Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here's a thought of mine-- our side has acted upon an odd sort of assumption that because Bush turned the Clinton surplus into a deficit, it somehow is his, rather than America's, or to put it another way, that it didn't become Obama's and our own when Obama was elected. It's like we've been seeing it as something less than fully real because it has some immoral origin. I don't have any problem with the sentiment behind this thinking, but I do have a problem with our not doing more to recognize that it needs to become left wing and liberal to do something about the size of our debt. I rather strongly think health care might have been more popular if we weren't operating at such sizable deficits and debt.

I realize the CBO calls the health care legislation deficit neutral, or even likely to reduce the deficit. However, the CBO's imprimatur only tells us the organization making its prediction is not an inherently political one. It does not mean nothing political affected its analysis, for our ability to say so would mean we'd have to believe it is humanly possible to ever remove politics from the vantage points human beings view any part of the world. It's less political than it would have been had it come from another source, but that's all we can say on that issue.

But that's less important than the larger point-- the fact that the CBO says a thing about something like this only means it's a guess based upon the calculations of a group less beholden to a certain point of view than another group would be. It does not mean what it has said is automatically accurate. The problem with this is that when we're talking about legislation that will run into the trillions of dollars on the cost side, the CBO's projections don't have to be off by much for them to bring about profound economic consequences.

This does not mean I value by one iota less the millions of people who will now have access to health care. It does mean when we gained executive power we took ownership of everything that had come before us; the good and the bad. As much as the eventual judgment about why last night's election went as it did-- and many on the left are going to place all the blame on the Tea Party and our not having been even more progressive than we were, despite our not having political support for this anymore than the far right had for its candidates and positions-- note how NBC's Alexandra Moe shows us that in conditions as favorable as these, the Tea Party still only elected 32% of its candidates-- the fact still remains that some of what just happened was Obama's fault, which to me, is nearly tantamount to our saying it was our fault. If we're too arrogant to learn what we can from this election, we deserve what just happened to us.

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