(Centennial Fellow) Hitting to all fields: (1) Barack Obama may be a far better orator than George W. Bush, but when Bush delivered a message, despite his sometimes mangled syntax, everyone knew what he stood for. Because Obama's elocution is superior, only later do people realize they have no idea what he really meant.
(2) If overhauling the nation's health care system is so urgent that lawmakers can't be afforded time to read the bills before they vote, why does so much of the legislation not take effect until after the 2012 election?
(3) Obama vowed that he wouldn't sign health legislation if it adds "even one dime to our deficit over the next decade — and I mean what I say." The Senate bill costs $900 billion and, we now know, its alleged savings were counted twice and spent elsewhere in the bill. Obama also promised that health "reform" would "cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year" and he opposed a requirement that everyone must purchase insurance. The Senate bill is estimated to double or triple premiums for young families and, of course, requires them to buy insurance or pay a fine. What's more alarming — that Obama believes what he says, when so much is demonstrably untrue, or that he thinks most people still believe him?
(4) The test of a politician's commitment to limited government is if he still believes in limited government when his party is in power. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) was first elected in 1984. He's seen Republicans win majorities when they focused on limited government, constitutional freedom and economic growth. Yet, Barton wants Congress to require a college football post-season playoff and make it unlawful to call any game the "national championship" unless it is the culmination of a playoff.
(5) Notwithstanding Gov. Bill Ritter's proclamations and ribbon cuttings, the "new energy economy" isn't recession proof. A wind turbine manufacturer in Windsor first announced that 500 employees would be furloughed, then suggested they would be reassigned to other tasks and could face indefinite "long weekends" while production of turbine blades is halted. Once upon a time, politicians understood that a good energy policy produced power from reliable sources at affordable prices. Today, too many lawmakers think it's their job to prefer certain sources of energy — solar, wind and other "renewables" — and to impede others — namely, oil, gas, hydro and nuclear. Anyone who opposes an energy policy that utilizes all available sources is either woefully uninformed or has an ulterior motive for wanting to impose higher costs and fewer choices on everyone else.
(6) Government can't create jobs that contribute to a productive economy because government doesn't produce anything that people want to purchase. That's why government resorts to taxation.
(7) Majority rule can be just as dangerous as a despotic dictator. Consider Social Security, Medicare and the proposed federal takeover of health care: No one in their right mind would look their children or grandchildren in the eye and say, "You must pay two or three times more for health insurance, so I can buy my health insurance at less than half what it really costs." Nor would they saddle their loved ones with tens of thousands of dollars of debt and a future of soaring tax rates and meager economic opportunities. And for what? To support an unsustainable system of health care entitlements and a retirement Ponzi scheme that would be considered fraudulent were it operated by anyone other than government.
(8) If pro-life politics are so unfashionable, then how is it that Democrats — the party that won't even allow pro-life elected officials to speak at their national conventions — couldn't pass their health care bill in either the House or the Senate, despite huge majorities, without accommodating abortion foes?
(9) Just wondering: is dissent still patriotic?
Centennial Fellow Mark Hillman served as senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.