A Failure to Communicate

“What we have here…is a failure to communicate.”

In the movie classic Cool Hand Luke, these are the words spoken by the warden to Luke, a young prisoner who makes a brief but daring escape from a chain gang. The warden, a cruel, iron-fisted man who ruled the prison like it was his own dictatorship, was determined to break the spirit of Luke, a happy-go-lucky young man thrown into prison for cutting off the tops of parking meters one night while drunk. His failure to break Luke infuriated the warden, and the escape attempt offered the warden an opportunity to kick Luke violently to satisfy his own rage, as well as make an example to the other prisoners of what happens to those that do not conform to the dictates of power.

The Obama administration has become the modern-day version of that warden. As American citizens become less and less trusting of the agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid, having seen the failed promises and resulting damage to our economy, Democrats have moved into damage control.

At first they attempted to woo us by eloquence and persuasion. We were told that 95% of Americans would get a tax cut, that the stimulus bill would keep unemployment under 8%, and that we could add 30 million people to the insurance rolls, increase benefits and still bring the cost down. Anyone who’d ever run a business or balanced a checkbook saw this for the utter nonsense that it was. Yet the Democrats used outright lies, bribery and threats to pass their agenda. Seeing their popularity wane as the “hope and change” of the campaign season turned into the reality of “rope and chains “ of massive debt, they have become more and more desperate to regain control of the narrative.

During the 2008 campaign Obama did not run against McCain so much as he ran against Bush, painting McCain as a surrogate for continuing Bush policies. He railed against the debt accumulated under the Bush administration, yet the highest annual deficit under Bush came in his last year, 2008, clocking in at just over $400 billion. Obama rang up $1.85 TRILLION in 2009 and the White House projects an average of around $1 trillion in deficits annually over the next decade. While we talk about the “Bush” deficit or the “Obama” deficit, the reality is that the under the Constitution only the House of Representatives may initiate tax bills (Article I, Section 7, Clause 1), and the president may either sign or veto the bill (Clause 2). So the deficits are more appropriately attributed to the legislature, not the executive. So the highest deficit of the Bush years came under control of the Democrat Congress, and with a Democrat Congress plus a Democrat president, the deficits quadrupled.

Consider the spending under Democrats in less than two years. As outlined by Deroy Murdock of Human Events, in addition to the already bloated annual appropriations bills that come up in the normal course of business, Democrats passed Cash for Clunkers ($3 billion), the energy efficiency program dubbed “Cash for Caulkers” ($6 billion), Home Buyer Tax Credits ($24 billion), subsidized assistance for mortgages ($75 billion), repeated extensions of unemployment benefits (now up to 99 weeks) which turn it into more of a welfare program ($34 billion), funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles program ($25 billion), and of course last month’s bailout of government-sector unions to the tune of $26 billion. That comes on top of the $862 billion “stimulus” package which failed to stimulate the economy, and of course ObamaCare, which is now projected to cost more than $3 trillion after all of the budget gimmicks are exposed. Now Obama is proposing another $50 billion (not another stimulus, but an “investment”) for Railways, Runways and Roads. While Obama indeed deserves credit for clever alliteration, this is another body blow to the economy.

As the reality of the situation gets more exposure, and more and more Democrats abandon Obama and Pelosi like rats off of a sinking ship, this administration moves from deceptive attempts at persuasion and a healthy dose of class warfare, to outright thuggery.

During the negotiations surrounding the bailout of the auto unions (and takeover of most of the domestic auto industry), Obama undermined decades of bankruptcy law by giving a huge payout/bailout to the union workers while leaving secured creditors (who legally should be the first compensated) with about $0.30 on the dollar for their investment. When they attempted to fight the theft, they were extorted, with Obama telling them they’d better take the offer or they may end up with nothing.

After the passage of ObamaCare revealed that the American people were not shedding tears of gratitude as they should be, the White House responded to criticism by setting up an office to which people could snitch on those critical of the bill or any correspondence which made “fishy” claims about ObamaCare, presumably so they could be properly dealt with. This idea was quickly abandoned (so reminiscent of the stories of children of Hitler’s Youth reporting on their own parents) after the White House servers were flooded with e-mails reporting fishy claims…such as the White House’s own press releases, and statements made by Democrat politicians.

Then, when major corporations such as Verizon, John Deere and Caterpillar released financial reports in which they charged billions of dollars against earnings due to the anticipated costs of ObamaCare, and warned of potential employee lay-offs, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) demanded that the executives of these companies appear before his committee for an inquisition. He was outraged that they would make such inflammatory and irresponsible claims and was determined to expose their partisan stunt, meant to undermine the legislation. Waxman quickly and quietly cancelled the inquisition when it was pointed out that those companies were required by law to issue those statements to shareholders.

The latest Obama administration thuggery comes in the form of a thinly veiled threat issued to insurance companies. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans warning them that there would be “zero tolerance” for companies that blame premium rate increases on provisions of ObamaCare. What prompted this rebuke? The organization released estimates to the public showing that ObamaCare will cause rates to increase between 1-9% on average, and as much as 16% in some states. This is due to the fact that we’ve added 30 million people, required plans to allow “children” to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, offer “free” preventative care, not to mention the myriad new mandates forced upon the insurance companies. And they truly thought costs would go down?

Sebelius threatened any company that attributed cost increases to ObamaCare with being banned from the new health insurance exchange which is scheduled to come online in 2014 (and run by the government). This would be a death sentence for these companies because it would effectively deny them any customers. So, keep your mouth shut about rate increases now (and allow Obama to demonize you for raising rates) or go out of business in two years.

This president has shown himself to be a disgrace to that high office. The leader of the free world should be a man or woman that we can admire and respect, even when we disagree on policy. Instead we have a community organizer that now fancies himself Al Capone, just another mobster out extorting businesses for his own power and influence. The American people are left to suffer in the aftermath of this deplorable behavior.

We can’t get rid of Obama in November, but we can get rid of many of his thugs and henchmen. November can’t come soon enough.

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