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The Audacity of Speed

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How much havoc can Obama wreak before our buyers’ remorse catches up with him?

“The audacity of speed.” Maybe it’s been used before, but the first time I heard the phrase was from Fortune’s Nina Easton on the June 21 “Meet the Press” It’s a very good description of The Obama Express. It offers little hope of anything but a huge crash. And ever so slowly, the public may be awakening to that reality.

We all know about “buyer’s remorse.” When you buy something, perhaps on impulse, without careful and objective analysis, you eventually come out of the euphoria of the moment and actually begin trying to use the product, and its flaws become apparent. You then regret buying it. Sometimes the disparity between what you thought you were getting and what you realize you actually have on your hands is so great you feel like a fool, embarrassed and ashamed by your gullibility. Savvy marketers try to prevent buyer’s remorse by delivering a product that closely matches its advertising promises, and by managing the customer’s expectations.

Obama has failed on both counts. He is not at all what was advertised. And he created expectations no mortal could ever meet. A new NBC poll shows a precipitous drop in his approval rating with those coveted independent voters, from 60 percent to 46 percent. Arguably these are the voters to watch most closely, as they operate with greater objectivity and less ideological commitment than either liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans.

One of the troubles with extreme, reckless speed is the necessity of ignoring or having to lie about details. Consider the takeover of the health care industry Obama is trying to rush through the radical transformation of 1/5th of the entire American economy, creating at bare minimum a new obligation of more than a trillion dollars. His advertising promises include finally resolving the conundrum of all the uninsured people – a number bandied about as 40 million. And lowering health care costs for everyone. And that you can keep the insurance plan and doctors you have if you wish. And that no one earning less than $250,000 a year will face a tax increase.

The Congressional Budget Office has exposed the lies even more quickly than Obama has stacked up the national debt:

Lie #1: By COB estimates, the majority of the 40 million now uninsured will still be uninsured.

Lie #2: Between 16 million and 30 million people will be immediately forced to give up current coverage and move to the public (government-run) plan and will almost certainly face government interference with choices of doctors and restrictions on available care.

Lie #3: Financing this mess probably requires the taxing of employer provided health insurance and benefits as income – a new tax on everybody, and/or creating new sales taxes levied on tobacco, alcohol, sugary foods, and who knows what else – a tax on many regardless of income.

None of these assertions are from conservative Republicans or the growing number of moderate Democrats who oppose Obama’s stampede to socialized medicine. They come from the Congressional Budget Office, set up to be independent and objective.

There’s some buyer’s remorse over Obama-Motors too. People seem surprised at the shuttering of well over 1,000 car dealerships including many that are successful, profitable and important to their communities, dumping 40,000 people or so into the unemployment lines.

Some people are alarmed about the massive shadow government he is creating, installing twenty czars and counting, accountable only to him. They are layered on top of the existent government agencies and their administrators that are accountable to congress. The bumper sticker I wrote about this says “Stop Him Before He Czars Again.”

Some people weren’t aware they were buying an unprecedented, unimaginable mountain of debt. That bumper sticker says: “Please Don’t Tell Obama What Comes After Trillion.”

He seems to think he’s pretty slick, pretty fast. Let’s see if he can out-run fast-accelerating buyers’ remorse. The race is on.

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