During last night’s the Carol Shea-Porter(D-NH) Town Hall in Laconia, a Doctor (who is an acquaintance of mine) asked Shea-Porter four questions. I think that the answers (listed under each question) is illustrative of the way most of the questions were answer all night long – not answered, "drive by" answers, or answers that did not speak to the questions but certainly ate up a lot of time.
Similar to other Town Halls she has had, there is little to no possibility of follow up questions by the attendees to ask for the answers or clarification of what was actually said.
I have called the good doctor (left a message) to see if she would be willing to do a follow up on what she heard from her Representative.
- The CBO estimate: would you have voted for the bill if it had shown it was going to raise the deficit?
- Pelosi recently said that the "doctor fix" (automatic Medicare payment cuts that are voted to be waived every year) will be permanently fixed soon. The cost of this was conveniently left out of the bill. However, the profit assumed from nationalizing the student loan industry was put into the bill – how many in Congress would have voted against it then (assuming, the "doc fix" in and the student loans out)?
- Dodges question on including the nationlization of education funding by technically splitting hairs – "it’s in the reconciliation bill, not the healthcare bill"; does not address it further.
- Government efficiency? Will the projections of this cost prove to be true? Right now, the Post Office is bankrupt, Social security is paying out more than is coming in, Medicare is bankrupt, and why hasn’t "fraud & waste" been fixed already/
- Military – best in world – we do that right.
- Interstate Highway system (derision from the crowd)
- SS checks come out on time
You know, I’m glad our armed services are the best in the world – but why do the Dems always want to cut their budgets if they are THE successful thing that Govt does – protect us militarily? I’ve driven a fair number of miles on the Highway system – she ought to be REAL careful with that answer. And relying on checks going out the door on time, I’m afraid, is a REAL LOW bar to step over to prove that Govt is efficient.
- SS could be fixed if the was no upper limit on where the taxing stops.
She carefully neglects the major reason why there is an upper limit: "disparate result" in which the careful facade of "what you put in, you get back" would disappear forever (and which was one of the founding tenets of what was first known as "Widow Welfare" – she neglected to address other fixes such as means testing, the continual enlarging of the program to buy votes.
Notice that she did NOT address the SIZE of the unfunded mandate – and studies have shown that even if the tax cap was removed, it would only delay, not solve the problem; there are just too many Boomers retiring at once.
- "most [re: seniors -Skip] are happy with it, have healthiest seniors ever because they have Medicare."
Medicare unfunded cost – that’s a deflection, a magician sleight of hand – no discussion of the unfunded mandate that both SS and Medicare are underwater by $106 TRILLION!!!
- "Not everything is run well, but I have to say that the country is under new mgt and it is getting better."
Derision ensued from the assembly at this continued "Blame Bush" tactic. When are the Dems going to realize that THEY own this now – that America is becoming an excuse free zone with respect to this?.
- Why no medicial tort reform in the bill?
At 5: 20, she starts in on this:
- "Tort reform is in there but not enough" – talks about grants to states to study the problem (audience laughs); again, blames Bush for doing nothing.
Conveniently, she, with this, glosses over the established fact that there is NO real tort reform in the bill: Hear that, Ann Marie? She was against (here, here) when she all but called you a liar, but now, she’s was for it!
- She admits that it has been a longstanding problem that nothing was done about – but no mention how the Dems have been blocking reform efforts.
This is akin to the environmentalists claiming that nuclear power should not be allowed because it is too expensive – and not owing up to the facts that much of the price is due to suing the power companies trying to build the plants (making it much longer to do and more expensive to do).
At 6:25, she starts talking about the debt – a true filibuster effort to "beat the clock" and fill up the time and leave NO time for the good doctor to ask "But you didn’t answer my question!"
- Blames Bush for the largest deficit ever after a Clinton surplus – denies Obama now owns the biggest deficit – people are laughing at her. Blames economy (did not vote for TARP 3 times, gets cover from Chamber of COmmerce for her ARRA vote) for her part in increasing the debt.
- 1/3 for the largest tax cut in history
- 1/3 for infrastructure
- where’s the other third???
- Spending more? Had to ask for Federal help for NH flooding – "had to do it" Notice the immediate knee-jerk reaction to always go to the Feds / govt for help. After all, we mere little people cannot help ourselves – only government can fix things!
- She signed up for the Debt Reduction Committee bill – blames Senate Republicans for it not passing. That has now forced Obama to do it by executive order. Will still have to pay the bills, create jobs, handle disasters – it will take time and spend more money
Sidebar: er, is this what we ELECTED you chuckleheads to do – you know, VOTE on this kind of stuff instead of yet another dodge from making the hard decisions????
- Analogy of broken limb – economy on life support. Philosophy – govt has to fix it. Not just Congress – Blames people coming to her, concerned about deficit, but help us with our project.