Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let's Respect The Voters' Verdict

Source: Fox News
After months of relative silence, Paul Ryan will be taking center stage once again on Tuesday when he will release his budget proposal. This morning, he appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace to preview the upcoming budget.

Based on what Ryan said, it appears that his fiscal approach is essentially unchanged. The primary difference appears to be that he now intends to balance the budget in 10 years. His previous proposal did not balance the budget until well into the 2030s, if then. This is good news for those - like myself - who believe that tackling our fiscal problems should be the number one priority of Washington.

During the interview Ryan said something that made me roll my eyes. Here the exchange I am referring to:
WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
RYAN: Yes.
WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.
BINGO! It is not going to happen. So we can look forward to more time wasted in Washington over issues that have been settled by the voters.

Do not get me wrong, I think Obamacare is terrible policy. It is too centralized and bureaucratic in its approach. Mandates generally result in higher costs. The penalties for not purchasing health insurance are much lower than the premiums, thus undermining the bill's funding mechanism. The GOP was correct in opposing its passage. But that was three years ago and since then we have had a ruling from the Supreme Court and an election. Time to move on.

Mitt Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate was widely praised by conservatives because it meant that the presidential race would about "big issues" and not about what the Wall Street Journal termed "small things".   The voters would have to make a choice between Obama's "government-centered society" and  "an opportunity society, where free people and free enterprise thrive and success is admired and emulated, not attacked," wrote Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades.

Repealing Obamacare was one of  big items on the Romney To Do List. Mitt promised he would instruct his Secretary of HHS to grant all 50 states a waiver from Obamacare on Day One. This issue was fully litigated and the voters' verdict is in: Romney lost.

Not only was Obama was re-elected by a comfortable margin, the Democrats gained seats in the Senate even though the odds were stacked against them. Democrats won thet total vote in the House and did not gain control only because of gerry mandering. A pretty clear verdict. Voters want the "government-centered society".

It wasn't my choice. But that's what the majority of Americans have decided and it should be respected otherwise our system cannot work. We will continue to be paralyzed while our national debt keeps growing jeopardizing our economic future and national security.

Re-litigating Obamacare will only hurt the GOP. Ryan and company would be better off formulating new policies. It would be better for their party and it would be better for our country.