Obama: Slow Down, and Count Your Pennies

I’m quite content with my health insurance, but it’s not about me. It’s about the 45 million Americans who have no health insurance. So I favor universal health care. And it IS about me in the sense that, despite our seeming good situation, a health situation could arise that would send Pam and I to the poorhouse. Most Americans teeter on that brink.

I also favor investing in energy independence. I favor investing in green technology, so that the US can become the world leader in what will inevitably become a huge industry. And the financial system definitely needs overhauled.

BUT HOLD ON MR. PRESIDENT.

I’ve thought for some time that President Obama was trying to do too much, too fast. Huge price tags are being thrown around, and we’re rushing to spend this money without really thinking things through. Sure, I guess plans were formulated back during the campaign, and duly published on websites for policy wonks to study. But…can we have some national debate first?

The perpetual Obama-haters at Fox and elsewhere have been spewing about this for some time, but their one-note partisanship lacks any credibility with me. Nobody is ALL bad, as these folks contend about Obama. I listen half-heartedly to what they say, but I pay much more attention to a lot of other folks who don’t take such a partisan approach.

Lately, some credible (to me) voices are speaking words of caution.

Colin Powell, speaking to CNN: “I’m concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs, and the additional government that will be needed to excutie them…..I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president — and I’ve talked to some of his people about this — is that you can’t have so many things on the table that you can’t absorb it all. And we can’t pay for it all.”

Jack and Susie Welch, in BusinessWeek July 6: “With his everything-all-at-once overhaul of our country’s $13 trillion economy, President Obama is unquestionably taking on too much….People are scared; many are angry. They want problems fixed fast. But change–especially massive, frame-breaking change along the lines the President is pushing–can’t just be about getting things done. It has to be about getting the right outcomes, and right outcomes rarely get sorted out in a rush. They emerge from vigorous debate, from grappling with ideas and wallowing in the details of options and their consequences, intended and not….Without question, every area of our economy that he is trying to upend could and should be remade to some extent. Our pushback has to do with pacing and scope.”

The column by the Welches is excellent. They get specific about some problems with things being passed. They write that “a ‘this is an emergency’ approach is just a way to silence debate over long-term consequences.”

I applaud Obama for moving aggressively on a lot of issues that desperately need attention. I don’t have confidence that John McCain would have gotten much of anything done now, particularly with Democrats ruling both houses of Congress. But I’d really like him to just SLOW DOWN.

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