President Obama is “historic.” That refrain has been beaten into our heads time and again since Jan. 20, 2009. This is historic, that is historic. Everything is historic. We’d probably know even more “historic” stuff if only we – and not the National Security Agency – had the job of reading journalists’ private email. But they’re right, Barack Obama is an historic president, and the Hindenburg was an historic dirigible.
What we hear far less about in the media is the fact that, by almost every method of measure, this historic administration has been an unmitigated “historic” disaster.
With the latest round of unemployment numbers, we’ve just passed the longest recorded stretch of unemployment above 7.5 percent. We’re well on the way to nationalizing 20 percent of the nation’s economy and making the federal government the sole arbiter of our health care. We’ve turned out backs on allies and embraced enemies. Things have gone so horribly wrong that the only thing missing to make this truly “historic” is news President Obama has taken up the fiddle.
It was announced this week, conveniently at the start of a long holiday weekend, that President Obama was delaying the start of the employer mandate portion of his signature legislative accomplishment – the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. By delaying the implementation of this portion of the law, something not provided for in the law itself, the president has moved from ignoring laws passed by his predecessors (DOMA, immigration) into the rarified “historic” air of ignoring laws he passed himself.
But more than the historic aspect of it, it’s incredibly damaging to millions of Americans, which may well be the point of the action.
Obamacare has always been a means more than an end. The progressive dream of a single-payer health care system is the end, but it’s an end the American people never would accept all at once. But, if the system in which they found themselves failed so miserably, maybe even collapsed, single-payer would be a much easier sell.
Here’s how it could play out.
Obamacare was a mess from inception, one that would never work. Costs for both consumers and the government skyrocketed when the opposite not only was promised but offered as one of the main justifications for passage. Another was to provide coverage to the uninsured, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates that even when fully implemented Obamacare would leave 30 million Americans without health insurance.