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Gore Reinvented Government, Healthcare

From the archives of the National Review:

Reinventing government, reinventing health

By: Niskanen, William A.
Date: Monday, November 1 1993

On September 7 Vice President Al Gore presented the Report of the National Performance Review, promising to reduce both the budget deficit and the "trust deficit" by reinventing government. The theme is that government officials and civil servants should be treated like responsible adults. The government

On September 7 Vice President Al Gore presented the Report of the National Performance Review, promising to reduce both the budget deficit and the "trust deficit" by reinventing government. The theme is that government officials and civil servants should be treated like responsible adults. The government should rely more on incentives and less on controls, increasing flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. The regulation of federal managers and the level of unfunded mandates on state and local governments should be massively reduced. No longer would agencies be required to purchase supplies and support services through monopoly purchasing agencies. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be reduced by increased competition, both from private suppliers and from other agencies. (David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government, apparently read my 1971 book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government.) Government would operate more like a business.

On September 22, President Clinton summarized his complex plan to reform American health care, a major reorganization of this huge sector of the economy, the most expansive domestic-policy proposal since the New Deal. As is often the case, he was very articulate in describing the benefits of his proposed plan. The theme of this plan is very different from that of the Gore report. Patients and physicians are to be treated not as responsible adults but as pawns in a massive experiment in social engineering. The plan would rely more on controls and less on incentives, reducing the range of choice now in exchange for a promise of lower costs in the future. The regulation of health-care providers and the mandates on all employers would be massively increased. No longer would employers and individuals be allowed to select the health-insurance coverage they prefer; instead they would be required to buy a government-defined standard benefit package through a government-appointed monopoly purchasing agent in each region. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be increased by reduced competition, both among insurance companies and among health-care providers. The market for health care would be transformed into one giant government-managed bureaucracy.

One Cheer for Al

Put me down as a skeptical supporter of Al Gore’s proposals. A supporter because most of his proposed changes in the way Washington does its business are probably desirable, at least as experiments. Skeptical because we have seen many of these proposals before, with little measurable effect.

The primary challenge faced by the "efficiency zealots" (and I have been one) is that most government waste is there for the same reason that government programs are there-because someone with authority supports them. Moreover, waste is often more difficult to reduce than programs because most waste is ZIP-coded. Activities that most of us regard as waste are seen as jobs, perquisites, contracts, grants, or bases by those most directly affected. Government waste is the "profit" to the politicians and bureaucrats who run the government, and thus is often guarded more zealously than the interests of those who are served by government programs or of those who pay the bills.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, both the goal and the actions proposed by the Vice President are surprisingly modest. The report acknowledges that The average American believes we waste 48 cents of every tax dollar." The total savings from the Gore proposals, however, are estimated to be about 1.3 per cent of the total federal expenditures now projected for the fiscal years 1994-2000. A small change, even if realized. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in characteristic fedspeak, writes that "all but $4 billion is necessary just to meet the OBRA spending caps. The REGO savings do not represent additional deficit reduction. The report also suffers from wishful thinking. Two-thirds of the estimated savings results from unspecified |system’ savings. Specific agency and program level proposals account for only one-third of anticipated savings. The report ducks the issue of additional costs for a number of REGO proposals, then, are likely to be lost in the noise.

One reason for the modest savings is that the Gore group seemed to have pulled their purchases even when they were aimed at the right targets. Two examples illustrate this point. The report proposes to waive the "prevailing wage" requirements on federal construction contracts up to $100,000, but not on larger contracts, where all the money is. And the report proposes to reorganize the air-traffic-control system as a government corporation, like the Postal Service, rather than as a private, user-owned corporation. All too often, the report makes a good case for some management reform and then punts. The "trust deficit" is not likely to be reduced any more than the fiscal deficit.

Theory vs. Practice

On occasion, nevertheless, it is worth while to put aside one’s hard-earned skepticism to evaluate the proposed changes on their own merit. On this basis, the report deserves reading and support. Most of the text and proposals could have been written by the Reagan Administration. A broader commitment to these general themes would lead to many more suggestions for specific savings.

Five proposals caught my special attention:

1. The report recommends a substantial increase in the electric-power rates charge by the federal power-marketing administrations. As a member of Congress from Tennessee, interestingly, Mr. Gore was specially protective of subsidized power, at one time summoning me to a starchamber hearing on the charge that I had been thinking on the job about this issue. Late converts should be forgiven for their prior sins.

On September 7 Vice President Al Gore presented the Report of the National Performance Review, promising to reduce both the budget deficit and the "trust deficit" by reinventing government. The theme is that government officials and civil servants should be treated like responsible adults. The government
should rely more on incentives and less on controls, increasing flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. The regulation of federal managers and the level of unfunded mandates on state and local governments should be massively reduced. No longer would agencies be required to purchase supplies and support services through monopoly purchasing agencies. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be reduced by increased competition, both from private suppliers and from other agencies. (David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government, apparently read my 1971 book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government.) Government would operate more like a business.

On September 22, President Clinton summarized his complex plan to reform American health care, a major reorganization of this huge sector of the economy, the most expansive domestic-policy proposal since the New Deal. As is often the case, he was very articulate in describing the benefits of his proposed plan. The theme of this plan is very different from that of the Gore report. Patients and physicians are to be treated not as responsible adults but as pawns in a massive experiment in social engineering. The plan would rely more on controls and less on incentives, reducing the range of choice now in exchange for a promise of lower costs in the future. The regulation of health-care providers and the mandates on all employers would be massively increased. No longer would employers and individuals be allowed to select the health-insurance coverage they prefer; instead they would be required to buy a government-defined standard benefit package through a government-appointed monopoly purchasing agent in each region. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be increased by reduced competition, both among insurance companies and among health-care providers. The market for health care would be transformed into one giant government-managed bureaucracy.

One Cheer for Al

Put me down as a skeptical supporter of Al Gore’s proposals. A supporter because most of his proposed changes in the way Washington does its business are probably desirable, at least as experiments. Skeptical because we have seen many of these proposals before, with little measurable effect.

The primary challenge faced by the "efficiency zealots" (and I have been one) is that most government waste is there for the same reason that government programs are there-because someone with authority supports them. Moreover, waste is often more difficult to reduce than programs because most waste is ZIP-coded. Activities that most of us regard as waste are seen as jobs, perquisites, contracts, grants, or bases by those most directly affected. Government waste is the "profit" to the politicians and bureaucrats who run the government, and thus is often guarded more zealously than the interests of those who are served by government programs or of those who pay the bills.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, both the goal and the actions proposed by the Vice President are surprisingly modest. The report acknowledges that The average American believes we waste 48 cents of every tax dollar." The total savings from the Gore proposals, however, are estimated to be about 1.3 per cent of the total federal expenditures now projected for the fiscal years 1994-2000. A small change, even if realized. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in characteristic fedspeak, writes that "all but $4 billion is necessary just to meet the OBRA spending caps. The REGO savings do not represent additional deficit reduction. The report also suffers from wishful thinking. Two-thirds of the estimated savings results from unspecified |system’ savings. Specific agency and program level proposals account for only one-third of anticipated savings. The report ducks the issue of additional costs for a number of REGO proposals, then, are likely to be lost in the noise.

One reason for the modest savings is that the Gore group seemed to have pulled their purchases even when they were aimed at the right targets. Two examples illustrate this point. The report proposes to waive the "prevailing wage" requirements on federal construction contracts up to $100,000, but not on larger contracts, where all the money is. And the report proposes to reorganize the air-traffic-control system as a government corporation, like the Postal Service, rather than as a private, user-owned corporation. All too often, the report makes a good case for some management reform and then punts. The "trust deficit" is not likely to be reduced any more than the fiscal deficit.

Theory vs. Practice

On occasion, nevertheless, it is worth while to put aside one’s hard-earned skepticism to evaluate the proposed changes on their own merit. On this basis, the report deserves reading and support. Most of the text and proposals could have been written by the Reagan Administration. A broader commitment to these general themes would lead to many more suggestions for specific savings.

Five proposals caught my special attention:

1. The report recommends a substantial increase in the electric-power rates charge by the federal power-marketing administrations. As a member of Congress from Tennessee, interestingly, Mr. Gore was specially protective of subsidized power, at one time summoning me to a starchamber hearing on the charge that I had been thinking on the job about this issue. Late converts should be forgiven for their prior sins.

2. The Administration is urged to set a goal of reducing the internal regulations affecting federal agencies by 50 per cent. The Gore report is silent, however, about the much more costly regulations affecting the private sector, except to note that the new regulatory review process "will be more useful and realistic."

3. Cabinet secretaries and agency heads should have the "authority to grant states and localities selective waivers from federal regulations or mandates." How would Congress react to a request for similar authority to waive regulations affecting the private sector?

4. The report urges the President to issue a directive limiting the use of unfunded mandates on state and local governments. That would be valuable discipline and would shift the accountability for the remaining mandates to those political authorities that imposed the costs. A few days later, however, President Clinton proposed a large mandate on private employers to finance his health-care plan.

5. Finally, the report strongly criticizes the regulations that require government agencies to purchase supplies, support services, printing, and real estate through a centralized purchasing agency. The report recommends that agencies be allowed to purchase these services from any source. The centerpiece of the proposed restructuring of health care, in contrast, is a "health alliance" that would be a monopoly purchaser of health plans in each state or region. Al, call Bill!

Each of these proposals, of course, implies a double standard. That is not a sufficient basis for opposing them. Moreover, the perception of a double standard (as with politicians and teachers who oppose school choice but send their own children to private schools) can be a useful wedge in making the case that the private sector should not be subject to stricter standards.

On September 7 Vice President Al Gore presented the Report of the National Performance Review, promising to reduce both the budget deficit and the "trust deficit" by reinventing government. The theme is that government officials and civil servants should be treated like responsible adults. The government
should rely more on incentives and less on controls, increasing flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. The regulation of federal managers and the level of unfunded mandates on state and local governments should be massively reduced. No longer would agencies be required to purchase supplies and support services through monopoly purchasing agencies. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be reduced by increased competition, both from private suppliers and from other agencies. (David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government, apparently read my 1971 book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government.) Government would operate more like a business.

On September 22, President Clinton summarized his complex plan to reform American health care, a major reorganization of this huge sector of the economy, the most expansive domestic-policy proposal since the New Deal. As is often the case, he was very articulate in describing the benefits of his proposed plan. The theme of this plan is very different from that of the Gore report. Patients and physicians are to be treated not as responsible adults but as pawns in a massive experiment in social engineering. The plan would rely more on controls and less on incentives, reducing the range of choice now in exchange for a promise of lower costs in the future. The regulation of health-care providers and the mandates on all employers would be massively increased. No longer would employers and individuals be allowed to select the health-insurance coverage they prefer; instead they would be required to buy a government-defined standard benefit package through a government-appointed monopoly purchasing agent in each region. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be increased by reduced competition, both among insurance companies and among health-care providers. The market for health care would be transformed into one giant government-managed bureaucracy.

One Cheer for Al

Put me down as a skeptical supporter of Al Gore’s proposals. A supporter because most of his proposed changes in the way Washington does its business are probably desirable, at least as experiments. Skeptical because we have seen many of these proposals before, with little measurable effect.

The primary challenge faced by the "efficiency zealots" (and I have been one) is that most government waste is there for the same reason that government programs are there-because someone with authority supports them. Moreover, waste is often more difficult to reduce than programs because most waste is ZIP-coded. Activities that most of us regard as waste are seen as jobs, perquisites, contracts, grants, or bases by those most directly affected. Government waste is the "profit" to the politicians and bureaucrats who run the government, and thus is often guarded more zealously than the interests of those who are served by government programs or of those who pay the bills.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, both the goal and the actions proposed by the Vice President are surprisingly modest. The report acknowledges that The average American believes we waste 48 cents of every tax dollar." The total savings from the Gore proposals, however, are estimated to be about 1.3 per cent of the total federal expenditures now projected for the fiscal years 1994-2000. A small change, even if realized. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in characteristic fedspeak, writes that "all but $4 billion is necessary just to meet the OBRA spending caps. The REGO savings do not represent additional deficit reduction. The report also suffers from wishful thinking. Two-thirds of the estimated savings results from unspecified |system’ savings. Specific agency and program level proposals account for only one-third of anticipated savings. The report ducks the issue of additional costs for a number of REGO proposals, then, are likely to be lost in the noise.

One reason for the modest savings is that the Gore group seemed to have pulled their purchases even when they were aimed at the right targets. Two examples illustrate this point. The report proposes to waive the "prevailing wage" requirements on federal construction contracts up to $100,000, but not on larger contracts, where all the money is. And the report proposes to reorganize the air-traffic-control system as a government corporation, like the Postal Service, rather than as a private, user-owned corporation. All too often, the report makes a good case for some management reform and then punts. The "trust deficit" is not likely to be reduced any more than the fiscal deficit.

Theory vs. Practice

On occasion, nevertheless, it is worth while to put aside one’s hard-earned skepticism to evaluate the proposed changes on their own merit. On this basis, the report deserves reading and support. Most of the text and proposals could have been written by the Reagan Administration. A broader commitment to these general themes would lead to many more suggestions for specific savings.

Five proposals caught my special attention:

1. The report recommends a substantial increase in the electric-power rates charge by the federal power-marketing administrations. As a member of Congress from Tennessee, interestingly, Mr. Gore was specially protective of subsidized power, at one time summoning me to a starchamber hearing on the charge that I had been thinking on the job about this issue. Late converts should be forgiven for their prior sins.

2. The Administration is urged to set a goal of reducing the internal regulations affecting federal agencies by 50 per cent. The Gore report is silent, however, about the much more costly regulations affecting the private sector, except to note that the new regulatory review process "will be more useful and realistic."

3. Cabinet secretaries and agency heads should have the "authority to grant states and localities selective waivers from federal regulations or mandates." How would Congress react to a request for similar authority to waive regulations affecting the private sector?

4. The report urges the President to issue a directive limiting the use of unfunded mandates on state and local governments. That would be valuable discipline and would shift the accountability for the remaining mandates to those political authorities that imposed the costs. A few days later, however, President Clinton proposed a large mandate on private employers to finance his health-care plan.

5. Finally, the report strongly criticizes the regulations that require government agencies to purchase supplies, support services, printing, and real estate through a centralized purchasing agency. The report recommends that agencies be allowed to purchase these services from any source. The centerpiece of the proposed restructuring of health care, in contrast, is a "health alliance" that would be a monopoly purchaser of health plans in each state or region. Al, call Bill!

Each of these proposals, of course, implies a double standard. That is not a sufficient basis for opposing them. Moreover, the perception of a double standard (as with politicians and teachers who oppose school choice but send their own children to private schools) can be a useful wedge in making the case that the private sector should not be subject to stricter standards.

No Cheers for Bill

Put me down, as a vigorous opponent of the Clinton health plan. Most of the problems of our current health-care system are a consequence of too much of the wrong kind of insurance, a legacy of prior government mistakes. The plan would substantially broaden insurance coverage and then try to constrain the adverse effects via bureaucratic controls.

All of us would be required to buy a standard benefits package that includes some services many of us would never think of using, and most of us would never purchase insurance to cover. For others, the standard package will not include some coverage they would prefer. Any one-size-fits-all benefits package, thus, will be too large for some and too small for others. Moreover, all those in the same plan would pay the same premium, whatever their expected use of medical care, substantially reducing the financial incentive to stay healthy. Broader coverage would be financed by higher taxes and mandates on employers, which would reduce the growth of employment and wages. This plan would be a massive transfer from those who expect to make little use of the health-care system to those who would incur the highest costs, regardless of the cause of this difference, and regardless of their income.

At the moment, all the projected costs of this plan are fantasy, because the indirect effects may be much larger than the direct effects. The most important relevant fact is that the current costs of Medicare and Medicaid are many times the official projections when the programs were approved.

On September 7 Vice President Al Gore presented the Report of the National Performance Review, promising to reduce both the budget deficit and the "trust deficit" by reinventing government. The theme is that government officials and civil servants should be treated like responsible adults. The government
should rely more on incentives and less on controls, increasing flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. The regulation of federal managers and the level of unfunded mandates on state and local governments should be massively reduced. No longer would agencies be required to purchase supplies and support services through monopoly purchasing agencies. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be reduced by increased competition, both from private suppliers and from other agencies. (David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government, apparently read my 1971 book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government.) Government would operate more like a business.

On September 22, President Clinton summarized his complex plan to reform American health care, a major reorganization of this huge sector of the economy, the most expansive domestic-policy proposal since the New Deal. As is often the case, he was very articulate in describing the benefits of his proposed plan. The theme of this plan is very different from that of the Gore report. Patients and physicians are to be treated not as responsible adults but as pawns in a massive experiment in social engineering. The plan would rely more on controls and less on incentives, reducing the range of choice now in exchange for a promise of lower costs in the future. The regulation of health-care providers and the mandates on all employers would be massively increased. No longer would employers and individuals be allowed to select the health-insurance coverage they prefer; instead they would be required to buy a government-defined standard benefit package through a government-appointed monopoly purchasing agent in each region. Bureaucracy, paperwork, and waste would be increased by reduced competition, both among insurance companies and among health-care providers. The market for health care would be transformed into one giant government-managed bureaucracy.

One Cheer for Al

Put me down as a skeptical supporter of Al Gore’s proposals. A supporter because most of his proposed changes in the way Washington does its business are probably desirable, at least as experiments. Skeptical because we have seen many of these proposals before, with little measurable effect.

The primary challenge faced by the "efficiency zealots" (and I have been one) is that most government waste is there for the same reason that government programs are there-because someone with authority supports them. Moreover, waste is often more difficult to reduce than programs because most waste is ZIP-coded. Activities that most of us regard as waste are seen as jobs, perquisites, contracts, grants, or bases by those most directly affected. Government waste is the "profit" to the politicians and bureaucrats who run the government, and thus is often guarded more zealously than the interests of those who are served by government programs or of those who pay the bills.

Given the magnitude of this challenge, both the goal and the actions proposed by the Vice President are surprisingly modest. The report acknowledges that The average American believes we waste 48 cents of every tax dollar." The total savings from the Gore proposals, however, are estimated to be about 1.3 per cent of the total federal expenditures now projected for the fiscal years 1994-2000. A small change, even if realized. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in characteristic fedspeak, writes that "all but $4 billion is necessary just to meet the OBRA spending caps. The REGO savings do not represent additional deficit reduction. The report also suffers from wishful thinking. Two-thirds of the estimated savings results from unspecified |system’ savings. Specific agency and program level proposals account for only one-third of anticipated savings. The report ducks the issue of additional costs for a number of REGO proposals, then, are likely to be lost in the noise.

One reason for the modest savings is that the Gore group seemed to have pulled their purchases even when they were aimed at the right targets. Two examples illustrate this point. The report proposes to waive the "prevailing wage" requirements on federal construction contracts up to $100,000, but not on larger contracts, where all the money is. And the report proposes to reorganize the air-traffic-control system as a government corporation, like the Postal Service, rather than as a private, user-owned corporation. All too often, the report makes a good case for some management reform and then punts. The "trust deficit" is not likely to be reduced any more than the fiscal deficit.

Theory vs. Practice

On occasion, nevertheless, it is worth while to put aside one’s hard-earned skepticism to evaluate the proposed changes on their own merit. On this basis, the report deserves reading and support. Most of the text and proposals could have been written by the Reagan Administration. A broader commitment to these general themes would lead to many more suggestions for specific savings.

Five proposals caught my special attention:

1. The report recommends a substantial increase in the electric-power rates charge by the federal power-marketing administrations. As a member of Congress from Tennessee, interestingly, Mr. Gore was specially protective of subsidized power, at one time summoning me to a starchamber hearing on the charge that I had been thinking on the job about this issue. Late converts should be forgiven for their prior sins.

2. The Administration is urged to set a goal of reducing the internal regulations affecting federal agencies by 50 per cent. The Gore report is silent, however, about the much more costly regulations affecting the private sector, except to note that the new regulatory review process "will be more useful and realistic."

3. Cabinet secretaries and agency heads should have the "authority to grant states and localities selective waivers from federal regulations or mandates." How would Congress react to a request for similar authority to waive regulations affecting the private sector?

4. The report urges the President to issue a directive limiting the use of unfunded mandates on state and local governments. That would be valuable discipline and would shift the accountability for the remaining mandates to those political authorities that imposed the costs. A few days later, however, President Clinton proposed a large mandate on private employers to finance his health-care plan.

5. Finally, the report strongly criticizes the regulations that require government agencies to purchase supplies, support services, printing, and real estate through a centralized purchasing agency. The report recommends that agencies be allowed to purchase these services from any source. The centerpiece of the proposed restructuring of health care, in contrast, is a "health alliance" that would be a monopoly purchaser of health plans in each state or region. Al, call Bill!

Each of these proposals, of course, implies a double standard. That is not a sufficient basis for opposing them. Moreover, the perception of a double standard (as with politicians and teachers who oppose school choice but send their own children to private schools) can be a useful wedge in making the case that the private sector should not be subject to stricter standards.

No Cheers for Bill

Put me down, as a vigorous opponent of the Clinton health plan. Most of the problems of our current health-care system are a consequence of too much of the wrong kind of insurance, a legacy of prior government mistakes. The plan would substantially broaden insurance coverage and then try to constrain the adverse effects via bureaucratic controls.

All of us would be required to buy a standard benefits package that includes some services many of us would never think of using, and most of us would never purchase insurance to cover. For others, the standard package will not include some coverage they would prefer. Any one-size-fits-all benefits package, thus, will be too large for some and too small for others. Moreover, all those in the same plan would pay the same premium, whatever their expected use of medical care, substantially reducing the financial incentive to stay healthy. Broader coverage would be financed by higher taxes and mandates on employers, which would reduce the growth of employment and wages. This plan would be a massive transfer from those who expect to make little use of the health-care system to those who would incur the highest costs, regardless of the cause of this difference, and regardless of their income.

At the moment, all the projected costs of this plan are fantasy, because the indirect effects may be much larger than the direct effects. The most important relevant fact is that the current costs of Medicare and Medicaid are many times the official projections when the programs were approved.

The President seems to be either naive or cynical – naive if he believes that one can substantially increase the demand for health care without increasing prices and expenditures, cynical if he believes that he can convince Congress to approve this plan before the costs are apparent. A more immediate concern is that about half of the Senate Republicans have endorsed most of Mr. Clinton’s major provisions, a strategy best described as a pre-emptive surrender to the largest expansion in federal powers in several decades.

In the end, responsive and efficient government should not be our primary concern. Doing the right thing more responsively or at lower cost is a worthwhile goal and may or may not reduce expenditures. Doing the wrong thing better serves no obvious purpose.

Our government was not designed to have limited powers. It was designed to be small. On a per-dollar basis, the Federal Government now probably has less waste, for example, than during the Jackson Administration and less graft than during the Grant Administration. But "waste, fraud, and abuse" did not matter much when the federal budget took up a tiny fraction of national output. Our primary problem is that we now have a huge inefficient government. Since 1929, for example, the federal budget’s share of gross domestic product has increased from 2.6 per cent to 24.5 per cent, and the relative cost of federal regulations has probably increased at a similar rate. Our government now defines own powers, without even rhetorical deference to the limited powers enumerated in the Constitution. Reinventing government may well be worth while. The huge expansion of federal powers to implement the Clinton health plan, in contrast, would be a threat to our physical, economic, and political health.

And we can all see how well these reforms worked out.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Gore Reinvented Government, Healthcare”

  1. U NO HOO says:

    Didn’t Reagan have the Grace Report?

  2. proreason says:

    “Government waste is the “profit” to the politicians and bureaucrats who run the government, and thus is often guarded more zealously than the interests of those who are served by government programs or of those who pay the bills. ”

    First time I heard that formulation.

    How true it is.

    What a booty bag of treasure Death Care will be for our congressional aristocrats!!!!

    Imagine having 20% of the economy at your disposal.

    No wonder the Republicans regret being forced to reluctantly oppose it.

  3. Yarddog1 says:

    I’m sorry – I just feel compelled to say this. There is no doubt that future generations will view Al as one of the biggest buffoons in history. It is truly shameful that he influences so many in the present. I know – it’s a bit off point – but I couldn’t go help myself.

    “Accountability and Government” are two words that cannot be connected. Government, at least ours, has become nothing more that a grand scam. Take the profitability, corruption and waste out of government and there would be enough money for almost anything.

    • proreason says:

      To think, Gore was within a handful of votes of being President of the United States.

      Can anybody imagine a more disastrous occurrence for this great country.

      Oh wait……..

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    More reasons to clean and bleach the DC gene pool.

    The only thing missin’ is the lithping windbag pervert, B. Fwank, and his brother in crime, C. Dodd. May as well throw Reid and Pelosi in there, too.

    Likely will take a thorough scrubbing to get the scum off.

  5. canary says:

    Yep all the health care b.s started with Clinton. Just like the growth of illegal Mexicans, and muslim Terrorists. Clinton was in so much trouble all the time with his sexual addiction, then sexual addictions classes, rape accusations, Hillary gate, Monica gate, Kosova that he did everything he could to avoid being in the same room, or speaking to the FBI and the CIA.
    Anyone got a picture of that pilot that flew and crashed that little airplane into the WH. Wasn’t Hilary mad at Bill at the time and staying at a hotel so where, when it happened. Remember?

  6. proreason says:

    Proreason reinvents government. Read about it here!!

    I’m ready to accept the Two Americas meme. It’s clear to me that there are irreconciliable differences between Liberals and Conservatives.

    Personally, I would favor secession of selected states if it wasn’t illegal and likely to result in a destructive war. It also would terribly unfair to the unwitting people stuck in the Conservative fly-over country..

    So this is proreason’s modest proposal to solve our country’s irreconcilable problems. I believe this can be accomplished legally, within the Constitution (although it will require an amendment), and it will make both Liberals and Conservatives deliriously happy.

    Split the United States into two states sharing the same space, Conservative US and Liberal US. It isn’t a geographic split. It’s a political split. At the level of the existing states and counties/cities/etc. little would change. But at the federal level, each citizen would declare himself a citizen of CUS or LUS.

    Some federal functions could not be split. For example, the military. CUS and LUS would have to agree to all joint military action. If CUS wants a bigger military, CUS could allocate for that on its own, but the CUS military would be under the joint command of CUS/LUS. There may be a few more functions that cannot be split, and they would be handled similarly to the military.

    For all other federal functions, the federal government functions and services would be 100% separate.

    For example, LUS citizens will want free health care and will want to tax all of its wealthy citizens 100% or more to provide for that. CUS citizens will continue to struggle along with a broken health care system, with vast numbers of uninsured citizens and non-citizens.

    Example 2: LUS will dedicate unlimitted resources to curtailing Global Warming. CUS will probably risk destroying the world by not making the investment necessary to control inter-planetary movements, and will have to suffer the consequences.

    Example 3: LUS will continue with 100% state-run schools, and its citizens will continue to learn about the horrors caused by the original USA, and also the new horrors perpetrated by the CUS. CUS citizens will move to a more privately operated school system and will have to endure the exhorbitant profits the education profiteers will collect.

    CUS and LUS citizens will coexist in the same cities and towns, and have the same national security and selected other joint government functions. Most other federal functions will be separate.

    There are many details to be worked out with this plan, but I think it has enormous potential.

    Essentially, LUS citizens will be able to tax themselves as much as they want, and the LUS government will control every detail of the citizen’s lives. There will be 20 hour work weeks, 32-week vacations, UK-class health care, no poverty, and no limits on drugs, sex and rap music.

    CUS citizens will continue to be slaves to capitalist exploitation. Taxes will be lower, but the citizens well-being will sink to new levels of depravity. It’s even conceivable that the next 230 years of the CUS could be as disastrous as the first 230 years of the old united United States.

    But at least, we won’t be bickering all the time, and both Americas will get what they want and deserve.

  7. Reality Bytes says:

    How about starting with holding government leaders to the same legal standards as evil Wall Street Exec’s?

    Before you know it, half of them would be indicted & the other half would skip the country to avoid prosecution. Problem Solved!

  8. canary says:

    ProReason, It should be a possibilty. Obama want’s to take away states rights, more than any president we’ve had.

    Why not start free health care for Democrats as a trial run. Tax just the Democrats, and provide the care to them.


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