Friday, March 28, 2014

What Will Happen to the Loser in Obamacare's War

I was talking to a dentist this morning about his win-win strategy at work.  He has a scheduler that gets a bonus every time she fills the daily schedule for the hygienists.  Win-win.  Win for the dentist, keepings his expensive hygienists busy earning revenue; win for the scheduler, who gets to share in the profits of the firm's extra revenue.

Now let's talk about government.  In the last few months I've moved from Government is Force to the idea that government needs a war.  That's why we have wars on communism, wars on poverty, wars on drugs.  It's obvious.  If government is force then government needs a job where force is called for.  Force is, we'll agree, an extreme remedy for any ill, so any government initiative must represent itself as a remedy for a monstrous evil in its inevitable call for force.  In other words, a war.

But the thing about a war is that usually it ends up with a winner and a loser.  In the great wars between nations the losing side really gets hammered.  I am thinking about France in 1815 after the Second Hundred Years War.  The fact is that France has never amounted to anything since 1815.  Or Germany after 1945.  The fact is that Germans invented pretty well everything in the period from 1800 to 1930.  But after Hitler stripped the brain out of Germany and tossed it over the Atlantic, and after Germany lost WWII, well, Germany just doesn't cut it any more.  Russia after losing the Cold War?  Not so hot.

And here's another thing.  Germany and Japan and Russia, the three big losers in the last century, all have very low birth rates, way below replacement.  In other words they are heading for oblivion.  Is that always what happens to nations defeated in war?

Now back to the US and our notorious divided nation.  And Obamacare.

Let us leave aside the notion that one of the arguments for limited government might be that we want to avoid winners and losers here at home.  Because we are all in this together.  We lost that argument, at least until the next revolution.

Let us think instead about the risk in a big domestic war like Obamacare that the folks that started the war might lose it.

It's a commonplace that nations start wars without seriously thinking about the consequences.  Certainly this has been true about Obamacare.  The Democrats went for Obamacare because it has been part of their 39 Articles since whenever: national health care.

We won, they said in 2009.  So we are going to do Obamacare.  We aren't going to do health reform that gets some Republicans in for a fig-leaf "bipartisan" bill.  So the Democrats went for decisive victory.

Imagine what would have happened if Obamacare had been a stunning success.  It would have demolished the Republican Party.  But it wasn't, and we know why.

Obamacare violated Irving Kristol's Rule.  If you want to help the poor, you must deal in the middle class.  Only Obamacare didn't.  It couldn't, because the middle class already has health insurance.

So, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out, the smart middle class voted Obamacare down in 2010.  The non-smart middle class is going to be voting against it in 2014.

Here's what I wonder.  What is going to happen to the Democrats after their glorious Eastern campaign for Obamacare hits its Stalingrad in the fall of 2014?

The reason that politicians are notorious and annoying trimmers and compromisers and log-rollers is that they instinctively know that a decisive battle is too risky.  Yeah, they could win, but what if they lose?

The consequence of Democrats losing in 2014 as the American people turn decisively against Obamacare is incalculable.  Because there has been nothing like it in our collective experience. A great government program in which one of the US political parties has invested all its marbles gets decisively defeated.  And the political party in question gets stuck owning the devastating defeat and failure.

Democrats have no clue what is about to happen to them.

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