Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Bass-Ackwards "Solution"

President Barack Obama has a lot of problems on his plate these days. From the economy to health care to foreign policy, it's amazing to consider everything Obama has to deal with on a daily basis. That requires a keen attention to detail and a solutions-oriented approach.

Unfortunately, Obama seems to lack both. If anything, Obama has shown a decided lack of these skills or at least a Bizarro World approach to problems.

Take the health care reform battle, for example. With unemployment skyrocketing, Obama decides health care is the most important issue because of the millions of people who aren't covered by health insurance. Okay, but how does that put people to work? Sure, you're creating a government bureaucracy, but that's not really helping the economy by creating jobs in the private sector. When you consider, though, that health insurance is included with a good number of jobs these days, a logical approach to the coverage issue might be...oh I don't know...getting people into jobs with health insurance. Not only would it get the uninsured the coverage Obama thinks they need, but it would also tackle the unemployment issue and go a long way towards improving the economy. Instead, Obama decided to attack a symptom instead of the disease.

In doing so, Obama has committed to working on the problem from the wrong end. Get people health insurance coverage and then worry about their ability to pay for it. Oh, and in a completely unrelated story, around half of American households pay no income tax as was reported recently. So guess who gets to pay for Obama's largess. That's right, the other half, who probably already have health insurance coverage. Yeah, that will sit well.

In foreign policy, Obama is no better. We have serious issues on the horizon with Iran developing nuclear technology. They say it's for power generation, but when you consider Iran is sitting on one of the largest oil deposits in the world, I'm thinking it's for other reasons than energy generation. Obama is committed to dealing with Iran, but recent talks about the Iranian nuclear program included a discussion about another country in that neck of the woods, Israel. Seems Obama wants Israel to stand down at the same time he wants Iran to stand down.

Okay, how many other people reading that had a WTF moment? Just checking.

It's good that Obama wants to address the Iranian situation, but why bring Israel into it? Iranian President Imadinnerjacket has said repeatedly that he wants to destroy Israel, so it would seem logical that Israel would want to defend itself through whatever means they have at their disposal, which includes...nuclear weapons. The likelihood that Iran will abide by the terms of any agreement is unlikely at best, but Israel has a track record of following our lead as best they can.

Whether Israel will go along with the Obama plan to scale down both Iran and Israel is up in the air yet, but it doesn't undercut one of the major issues behind it: Obama's wrongheaded approach to solving problems. It's one thing to come up with a solution that doesn't work and have to go back to the drawing board. It's another to make the same mistakes in different scenarios and never correct them.

At this point, Obama is clearly on the latter path. That can only have negative implications down the road.

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