Dear Pelosi/Reid Congress,
In the words of the monotonously repetitive holiday song, I want to wish you a merry Christmas. What a distinguished record you have amassed:
--The stimulus, which added, oh, about $1 trillion to the deficit and did not, as heralded, either end the recession or drive down unemployment.
--ObamaCare, which, if it ever takes full effect, will impersonalize and socialize medicine along the lines of the European model and create government medicine with the regulatory hammer of the Internal Revenue Service and all the efficiencies of the Postal Service. In addition, ObamaCare will (1) lengthen wait times, (2) ration care, (3) put the federales in the business of making end-of-life decisions (i.e., determining when to pull the plug), (4) diminish care quality, (5) push physicians out of medicine and discourage the young from entering, (6) throttle research and medical innovation, (7) send costs soaring and (8) not cover every American despite the facially unconstitutional "individual mandate."
(And next week, I may tell you how offensive and wrong ObamaCare truly is -- how grotesquely malignant a national mistake.)
FOR ALL that, and for the many lurid legislative obscenities in your post-election "lame-duck" session, I want to wish you a merry Christmas....
--For extending the Bush tax cuts after huffing and puffing and insisting, along with the president, you never would. (Obama's tergiversation required him to bring in Bill Clinton to testify at a bizarre press conference, "I would have done what the president has done.") This wasn't the permanent extension it should have been, but a good thing nevertheless.
--For your inability to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began October 1, thereby failing in perhaps the principal obligation of every Congress. The omnibus $1.27 trillion spending bill -- running to 1,934 pages few senators had read -- containing 6,630 earmarks (totaling $8.1 billion) most senators and the president disavowed liking. It nonetheless contained subsidies for (e.g.) ethanol; subsidies, of course, being earmarks by a different name. In this particular instance, given the November 2 election results, your failure may ironically prove to be, along with your extension of the Bush tax cuts, your principal lame-duck achievement.
--For your late-hour effort to ram through the "Dream Act" -- an effort thankfully thwarted. This abomination would have granted citizenship to the children of illegals who (a) enlisted in the military (a commendable provision) or (b) simply went to college -- not even close to the equivalent of military service as an avenue to citizenship.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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