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Dr. Krauthammer shoots....HE SCORES!

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by stanleykurtz, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. stanleykurtz

    stanleykurtz Member

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    March 06, 2009
    Deception at Core of Obama Plans

    By Charles Krauthammer
    WASHINGTON -- Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "$2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

    Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.

    All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

    The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

    "Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

    The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

    Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

    At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.

    The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.

    And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

    What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

    Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

    Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

    letters@charleskrauthammer.com
    Copyright 2009, Washington Post Writers Group
     
  2. aghast

    aghast Member

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    Mistah Kurtz - he dead.

    Do you have any opinions of your own about this article, or did you stop me from going to the Post opinion page this morning for a reason?

    The missing link.
     
  3. Refman

    Refman Contributing Member

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    Universal access to college sounds great, until you look at it practically.

    50 years ago, you could earn a good living with a high school education. Not everybody finished high school. Then when most people started finishing high school, you needed a bachelor's degree to set you apart from the herd. Now a bachelor's helps, but a graduate degree will really set you apart.

    If we have universal access to college, a bachelor's degree will be worth the same that a high school diploma is now...a dime a dozen.

    It is sad...but it is true.
     
  4. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Krauthammer....FTW

    Obama is failing
     
  5. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    How is this sad? If an entire nation undergoes higher education, everyone benefits as a result. You're speaking of college like it's just a way to compete for a job but valuable lessons are learned as well, lessons that can only help strengthen a country. Yeah, it'll be more competitive; of course colleges are more easily differentiated then high schools. Nobody cares that much if you go to Elston Highs Private School or Durka Durka Public School but I'd argue that there is a world of difference between Tier 1 colleges and community colleges, so an advantage will still exist if you are a better student. Of course, encouraging brighter students to pursue graduate studies in order to maintain their competitive position for good jobs isn't necessarily a bad thing either.
     
  6. stanleykurtz

    stanleykurtz Member

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    No, I don't question or comment upon Dr. Krauthammer's work. I just sit in front of my Krauthammer poster in my my Krauthammer shrine (in the corner of my attic), and marvel at his greatness.
     
  7. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Thank God Krauthammer was sooo right about the war and the Bush presidency! Of course he's right now about Obama!

    Krauthammer is obviously jealous of Obama's big ears.

    anyone would be
     
  8. stanleykurtz

    stanleykurtz Member

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    Agreed
    Perfect for a "listening tour".
     
  9. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    I agree, but in a different way.

    I don't see everyone as "fit" for college.

    If you're not an academic, why do we force it upon people?

    We have this societal ill right now of assuming college is "IT" for everyone.

    We need to get people involved in learning trade skills and crafts again. Foster that kind of grassroots education.

    If someone is good at it, nuture it and stop trying to feed them this sunshine fairytale about going to college and becoming President.

    If anything, we need less people in college and more people learning applicable work skills.
     
  10. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    There is a difference between universal access to college and universal access to a diploma. Your concerns really only apply to the latter.
     
  11. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    I'm thinking that if we open the flood gates and allow universal access to college, wouldn't colleges start lowering standards because it simply equates to "more students = more money"?

    I think they are linked somewhat.
     
  12. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    50 years ago America was the clear leader of high-tech industries. Today we've lost significant ground to Asia, Europe and Canada ...all of who have better access to education than America.
     
  13. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    Canada has a system of reduced tuition that amounts to universal access for residents. To my knowledge there is a system of checks and balances to ensure that Canadian institutions are functioning at their best capacity (I think it's a quota system); either way, that can be easily rectified.
     
  14. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    Please. 50 years ago the world was different. Now we are much more a part of world and competing against everyone in it... not just the people who went to our school. If we raise the percentage of college educated folks, that will pay off in the long run because other countries will not easily be able to match that percentage.
     
  15. stanleykurtz

    stanleykurtz Member

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    Universal access to college using vouchers is ok by me. Let the colleges compete for the money.
     
  16. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    I don't see how Universal Access turns colleges into high schools. You won't "have" to go to college, so people aren't going to be forced. You would still have to be apply to and be accepted to a college. The only thing Universal Access means to me is more student grants and less student loans.
     
  17. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    Who doesn't already have access to college?
     
  18. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Kraut Hammer?

    Sounds like an Illinois Nazi. I hate Illinois Nazi's...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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  20. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    ...without spending the next 20 years paying off loans.
     

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