Rich Galen

That's why, when I read that Obama was being fitted for yet another halo for his plan to "shave 1.5 percentage points off the growth rate of U.S. health-care costs over the next decade" I flashed back to those really fun days of the shut-down fight.

On the other side of the ledger, the President's plan to make health care available to everyone will entail, according to Bloomberg, "a 10-year price tag [of] $634 billion."

Even in 2009 that's real money. And, Obama has no idea how to pay for it.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Ia), ever the big thinker, has proposed "a special tax on soda and junk food." Does diet soda count? And if you order a salad at McDonald's is that exempt from the "junk food tax?"

Sometimes you have to sit back and wonder just how some of these people got to be where they are and how they stay there.

Related Topic:

In the green room at CNN yesterday there were two women waiting to be interviewed. I asked them what they were going to talk about and they said they were there on behalf of some nurses who had been arrested for acting out at a Senate hearing on single-payer health insurance.

I asked them whether the nurses thought they would be arrested if they made a scene and the two women said they did.

ME: Then what's the problem? They wanted to get arrested. They did get arrested, so everyone's happy. Or am I missing something?

THEM: It's a punitive arrest. They're being held even though in California nurses have their fingerprints on file and they should have been released.

ME: It seems to me that getting arrested is, by definition, punitive.

THEM: No other country in the world would have arrested them for free speech.

ME: Every other country in the world would have arrested them for speaking out against the government. They weren't arrested for speaking out. They were arrested for disrupting a Senate hearing.

THEM: Well…

Is this a great country, or what?

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at