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Thomas Brewton

Why Place Your Bet On The Horse That Always Loses?
By Thomas E. Brewton
Nov 13, 2009 - 12:11:32 AM

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Why believe that Obamacare will "bend the cost curve," when government has repeatedly failed to cut costs of existing healthcare entitlements?

The Obama administration and fellow liberal-progressive-socialists in Congress have based much of their rationalization for Obamacare on its purported reductions in healthcare costs. But, for at least two decades, proposals by the Social Security Administration and Congress to cut Medicare costs have come to naught.

This is hardly surprising, since Congress's modus operandi is spending money, and the more of it the better, from politicians' viewpoint. Alexis de Tocqueville, celebrated author of Democracy in America, put his finger on the insurmountable problem in mid-19th century. The theory of socialism is "from each according to ability, to each according to need," but, while the public's needs may be quantifiable, its wants are unlimited.

Efficiency is a negative criterion in any government project. Remember that the Employment Act of 1946 committed the government to maintaining full employment. From the politicians' viewpoint, it is better to employ excessive numbers of people, at higher costs, to enhance the image of helping the people. Congress's $787 billion so-called stimulus extravaganza is a recent example.

There is the added benefit that Federal projects employ members of labor unions, and those unions are BIG contributors to liberal-socialist political campaigns. Healthcare involves the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest and fastest growing union.  Its boss Andy Stern, the public recently has learned, was the most frequent single visitor to the White House meeting with President Obama 22 times in the first six months of this year.

The SEIU is all about mandating higher wages, higher benefits, and excessive levels of employees.  Labor unions in the United States have always seen themselves as adversaries of business, and now of government. Whether a business or a government might be bankrupted by union extortions is never a serious consideration. Union bosses, among the highest paid executives in the United States, know that their members are firmly convinced that business and government can always afford to pay more.

Neither the SEIU nor other unions will agree to plans to save so much as a nickel without a gun at their heads. And Democrat/Socialists, even if they had such a gun, would refuse to point it at the labor unions, their largest campaign fund donors and source of campaign laborers.

We can also be certain that, to the extent that the Federal government undertakes ventures normally handled by private business, the result will always be inflation. Government projects inherently and inevitably are more costly and wasteful than those of private business, simply because private business has limited resources that must be employed effectively if the private business is to survive. The Federal government has what until recently has seemed a bottomless well of fiat money from the Federal Reserve.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776

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