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On budget, Paul Ryan is the adult Barack Obama claims to be

Well before Memorial Day, the Obama administration will achieve a dubious distinction, having accumulated more debt in those 40 months than George W. Bush accumulated in 96.  With the Treasury Secretary acknowledging yesterday that his team (i.e., the administration) doesn’t have a “definitive solution” to the nation’s growing debt problem, we now know that they’re punting on a crisis that Barack Obama, as candidate, promised to address.

Although the Democrat put himself forward as the adult in the room during last summer’s negotiations on the debt ceiling, this week’s budget shows that he and his advisors have been anything but grownup in dealing with the debt crisis.  Last fall, just after the House Budget Committee Chairman “spoke on ‘The American Idea’ at the Heritage Foundation in Washington”, Peggy Noonan explained why Paul Ryan merited the honorific the president accorded to himself:

Mr. Ryan receives much praise, but I don’t think his role in the current moment has been fully recognized. He is doing something unique in national politics. He thinks. He studies. He reads. Then he comes forward to speak, calmly and at some length, about what he believes to be true. He defines a problem and offers solutions, often providing the intellectual and philosophical rationale behind them. Conservatives naturally like him—they agree with him—but liberals and journalists inclined to disagree with him take him seriously and treat him with respect.

Ryan scored the president for his pettiness and slammed “corporate welfare and crony capitalism”: (more…)

Contraception mandate, like Obamacare, is anti-choice

On the big issues of the day, Charles Krauthammer lays it out  the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to make sense of the subject.  And so it is today with his column on the contraception mandate.

Unlike others who have weighed in on the contraception kerfuffle, Krauthammer underscores what is truly at stake, not just the mandate itself, but also choice, yes, choice, the ability of insurance companies to craft a variety of plans and the freedom of the consumer to choose the one that’s best for him (or her).

It’s not just freedom of religion:

Under Obamacare, the state treats private insurers the way it does government-regulated monopolies and utilities. It determines everything of importance. Insurers, by definition, set premiums according to risk. Not anymore. The risk ratios (for age, gender, smoking, etc.) are decreed by Washington. This is nationalization in all but name. The insurer is turned into a middleman, subject to state control — and presidential whim.

Now, to be sure, Krauthammer also gets at the subterfuge of the compromise the president announced last week. As he puts it, “The president of the United States has just ordered private companies to give away for free a service that his own health and human services secretary has repeatedly called a major financial burden.

Simply put, Obamacare empowers the government to determine what kind of plans insurance companies may offer and to define how these companies may factor risk ratios into a particular policy’s price.

Read the whole thing. It’s Krauthammer.

So much for post-partisanship

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:27 pm - February 17, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Hopenchange

Take a gander at the folks Barack Obama consulted before reaching his decision on the contraception mandate:

We know that the President did not act on impulse, that he took his time in making this decision, and that he sought advice from a range of individuals within the Democratic Party. Vice-President Joe Biden and William Daley, who was then Obama’s Chief of Staff, both profess to be Catholic, and they strongly advised against doing anything that would antagonize the Catholic bishops and the laity. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the House and current Democratic minority leader, were also consulted.

Emphasis added.  (Via Powerline Picks.)  He’s President of the United States.  Republicans hold a strong majority in the lower chamber of the legislative branch and he only sought advice from individuals within the Democratic Party?!?!?!

Telling.  Most telling.

Contrast this governing style with something he said early on in the 2008 presidential campaign.  As Jonah Goldberg reports:

. . .during a Nevada Democratic debate, then-senator Obama told the late Tim Russert that, “My greatest strength, I think, is the ability to bring people together from different perspectives to get them to recognize what they have in common and to move people in a different direction.

Seems like the only people who sought to bring together had a Democratic perspective. Now, to be sure, the Democrats consulted offered differing perspectives.  But, one wonders if the Democrat ever consults with Republicans before making a major administrative decision like this one.

RELATED:  The specious notion of Obama’s bipartisanship