Wed, 29 Apr 2009 18:30:02 +0000 – By Jon KrausharCommunications Consultant
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has given the Obama administration a "B-plus" for its first 100 days and has graded the news media a "strong A;" but both should be flunked for failing to admit that Barack Obama is rationing where he shouldn't and not rationing where he should.
Obama's sweeping health care reform proposals are ridden with rationing when you look behind the code language and stealth tactics. Just recently, on "Meet the Press," Lawrence Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, talked about "experts" who, using "the right kind of cost effectiveness...estimate that we could take as much as $700 billion a year out of our health care system" by eliminating unnecessary procedures.
Under Obamacare, those "experts" will be government bureaucrats -- not doctors. Obama's stimulus package dedicates $1.1 billion to medical "comparative effectiveness research." This is Obama-speak for bureaucrats determining if your doctor is using what the government deems are the right procedures at appropriate costs. Other than Gibbs and the see-hear-and-speak-no-rationing mainstream media reporters, who doesn't acknowledge that health care rationing is baked into Obama's health care plans?
Rationing is also an important part of other of Obama's priorities. Although President Obama pays lip service to educational reform, including the expansion of charter schools, Obama opted for rationing when his Education Department ended the Opportunity Scholarship Program that had provided 1,714 mostly black and Hispanic children in the District of Columbia with $7,500 per child in vouchers to move them from failing D.C. schools into private or parochial schools (where their reading scores beat their public school counterparts). Don't count on Gibbs and Obama's journalistic cheerleaders to tell you that Obama will cave and allow similar forms of rationing to please the teachers' unions and that 38 percent of members of Congress have theirchildren in private schools.
Rationing oil exploration, the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy (in favor of expensive "alternatives" such as ethanol) as well as the rationing of carbon emissions in a "cap-and-trade" program are all elements of Obama's "green" agenda. Of course the government, which has "bailed out" automakers, is also pressuring them to "ration" the production of cars that don't meet Obama's "green" standards. The net effect will be to ration consumer choices and also to impose the largest tax increase (on energy) in American history.
Regarding national defense, Obama's most ambitious rationing proposal is his call for a worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons. So far, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Al Qaeda and others threatening the United States have shown no inclination to follow Obama's lead. Will Obama "ration" military spending and efforts against terrorism to the point that the country will be judiciously protected? His first 100 days have raised several questions in that regard.
The one area where Obama has failed to ration is in his massive expansion of government spending, taxation, indebtedness and control. Obama has ignored several opportunities to cut pork projects and other government waste, abuse and corruption.
As President Obama celebrates his first 100 days in office with nary a nod to what he is rationing and what he is failing to ration, consider that he still has 1360 days in office to make either the right or the wrong decisions about rationing.
Since we can't rely on his press secretary or many in the mainstream media to reveal what's really happening, it's important that wedon't ration our vigilance or our outspokenness.
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.