Obamacare, WW II and how hubris undermines citizen confidence in government

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I recently heard a broadcast minute from Neal Boortz. He said the following:

During the 3 1/2 years of U.S. involvement (in WW II), here’s what we manufactured: 8 battleships, 22 aircraft carriers, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 4 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighters, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, 2.5 mil military trucks, 16.1 million men in uniform, and we developed the atomic bomb.
Simply astounding.

“During this same period of time, three and a half years, it should be noted that Obama couldn’t put together a functioning website,”

That contrast is simply amazing. The difference between then and today is much greater than the stark numbers might suggest however. Not only did the government of the early 1940s figure out how to harness the productivity of the American economy to build an unprecedented war machine in record time, but at the same time it was able to employ those resources to defeat enemies entrenched on three different continents, each thousands of miles away from home.

As anyone who has even a minor sense of history knows, it takes more than hubris to actually accomplish anything of consequence. In the case of the Roosevelt administration, in terms of domestic policy they were very much full of hubris. It most clearly showed itself in FDR’s legion of domestic programs which not only didn’t end the depression, but prolonged it and kept unemployment in double digits for years.

On the war front however, it was a different story. Not only was there no hubris, there was a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty as to what the prospects were for success. Nonetheless, while partisan divisions persisted – FDR’s Democrats lost 47 Congressional seats in 1942 – the nation was united in its pursuit of victory. Everyone understood that it was all in. As a result, through a combination of government direction, private sector ingenuity and productivity, individual courage and effort, the United States was not only able to develop everything Boortz talks about, but to employ those materials effectively enough to defeat the combined efforts of Hitler and Tojo.

While not perfect, FDR’s execution of its war strategy was successful for a number of reasons. First, the government was operating in an area where it had a unique skillset, one where it had an unambiguous Constitutional role to play, and one where it could focus the resources the energy of the nation on a common goal. Second, there was a finite clear measure of success everyone understood and agreed upon: the defeat of the Germans and the Japanese.

The competence of the various role players and clarity of the objectives allowed the government to lead the country to achieve what some might call its greatest moment. Such triumphs are rare with government action, and it’s no surprise Obamacare is not among them. Obamacare is the polar opposite of WW II in every way, from start to finish… although in Obamacare’s case it’s never finished. Obamacare did not have a Pearl Harbor to unify a nation… it had dubious statistics manipulated by duplicitous politicians seeking to extend government power. Unlike in WW II, with Obamacare the government had no Constitutional foundation for its actions. And finally, there is hubris. At the beginning of WWII nobody, from FDR down to the greenest private in the Army knew how they were going to defeat the Axis powers, and they knew they didn’t know. But they were confident they would find a way. With Obamacare you had exactly the opposite. You had lying, manipulating politicians, power hungry regulators and their legions of ivory tower lackeys telling the country that they knew exactly how the healthcare market worked, exactly what to do to fix it and precisely what the results would be for the American people. They were extraordinarily wrong on all three, and spectacularly so. As Boortz notes, there was the years in the making website debacle. But then there were the promises of “You can keep your doctor” and a $2,500 reduction in healthcare costs that turned out to be actual lies. And perhaps most ominously, the geniuses in the Obama administration so badly misunderstood how markets work that today, fully a quarter of the country’s doctors have opted out of participating in Obamacare exchanges, and more are opting out every day.

And so it goes with hubris and arrogance, emboldened by police power, the government inflicts the consequences of both on the country’s citizens. From Obamacare to green energy debacles to immigration to the disaster of the VA to… pretty much everything else this administration has tackled has been a textbook demonstration as to why government should not reach beyond its powers laid out in the Constitution. If the citizenry’s view on the Constitutionality of a law is murky, perhaps one should tread lightly and not jam it down their throats. If half of the population is viscerally and vociferously opposed to a law, it might be prudent to move slowly rather than rush through a 2,000 page law no one can read. Finally, if there is no endgame, if there is no clear, objective measure by which government action can be determined to be successful or not, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board and reexamine the goals of the law in the first place. Without such clarity laws are either too broadly written or too ambiguously written and either way adds up to too much power in the hands of bureaucrats and not enough in the hands of citizens. And that’s how hubris leads to a collapse of citizen confidence in government

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

12 Responses to “Obamacare, WW II and how hubris undermines citizen confidence in government”

  1. 1

    A.Men

    Hubris is a strategy. Saul Alinksy used it.

    obomba is a puppet of organized alinsky tactics. He’s smokin’ dope and golfin’.

    The regime is accomplishing record destruction of America, you just refusing to see it. Willfully blind!

  2. 2

    Nanny

    In Obama’s hubris he tried to lower the bar for taking over more of our country…..in this case he failed:

    In this ruling, Judge Leon said the administration’s bid to establish disparate impact as a legitimate measure of discrimination showed “hutzpah (bordering on desperation).”

    A federal judge overturned the Obama administration’s “desperation” move to try to find more ways to prove discrimination in housing in a decision Monday that also delivered a searing rebuke to Thomas Perez, a Cabinet official whom liberals are pushing to be the next attorney general.

    Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that the administration cannot rely on “disparate impact” to judge discrimination, dealing a blow to civil rights groups that said the analytical tool gave them more room to file discrimination cases.

    Disparate impact means looking at statistical analysis to see whether one group fares differently from another.

    Previously, someone had to prove intentional discrimination to win a housing complaint.

    Civil rights groups argue that disparate impact helps weed out hidden discrimination, while opponents say it is intrusive and papers over other reasons why outcomes may differ between races or other demographic categories.

    Under the DOJ rules of their “Disparate Impact” legal construct it is also unlawful to screen job applicants for legal work eligibility.
    Hopefully, challenging this will be our next court victory.

    If equality of OUTCOME becomes the measure, instead of equality of OPPORTUNITY, Obama controls everything we say and do!

    See also:
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/disparate-impact-rejected-1415059893
    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/222690-judge-tosses-hud-discrimination-rule
    SCRIBD of the entire 34 page decision:
    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/11/03/345769.htm

  3. 3

    another+vet

    An excellent, well thought out comparison, Vince. About the only saving grace in all of this is that if enough of the American public learns the lesson that socialism, Marxism, neo-socialism, neo-Marxism, Keynesian economic theory, or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t work then perhaps they will never again fall victim to its false promises of a utopian society as envisioned by the likes of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and their modern protégés of which the current POTUS is one along with the Party and the majority of their die hard supporters. Unfortunately, given the lasting damage it has done, we will probably never fully recover.

    I remember reading an article written by an economist back when the regime was pushing for a second stimulus program who said that he hoped that they would get it simply because when that one failed too it would be enough to put the nails in the coffin of Keynesian economic theory.

  4. 4

    retire05

    During WWII we were a nation untied by a common bond; defeating Nazism and the Japanese Empire. We were not labeled for political purposes; we were all just Americans. When our troops marched through Italy and France, they were not black Americans, white Americans, Jewish Americans or Protestant Americans. They were “American” G.I.s, one and all.

    Then the left discovered they could divide us by race, gender, ethnicity and income for the purpose of votes. We saw Gramsci’s design of dividing us from one united people into many factions. Democrats also coopted the Civil Rights movement of Republicans, claiming they are now the party of Civil Rights. Now their latest target are Hispanics, just like it was the Irish in the 1800’s. Of course, the Democrats managed to destroy the one most solid foundation our nation knew, the black family.

    We are well on the road to Socialism, but like every nation where Socialism has already been tried, it will fail. I wonder if it will be too late when Americans wake up and realize that sometimes, the old ways are really the best.

  5. 5

    Greg

    Then the left discovered they could divide us by race, gender, ethnicity and income for the purpose of votes.

    News flash: Race, gender, ethnicity and income issues actually do exist.

  6. 7

    retire05

    @Greg:

    News flash: Race, gender, ethnicity and income issues actually do exist.

    I know, Greggie. You Democrats have done a fine job of dividing us as a nation. Never mind that a fairly recent poll showed blacks think blacks are more racist toward whites than whites are toward blacks. And how about the bang-up job y’all have been doing at showing your bias toward Christians as you climb into bed with the Muslims who would chop off your head given a chance. And of course, Obama recently said that being a “stay at home mom” is not what he wants for the nation. What other job is more important than raising children?

    I guess you think push cards that show a lynching is A-OK with you as long as it keeps blacks on the Democrat plantation and continues to destroy the black family so that they are reliant on the government.

  7. 8

    Nanny

    @Greg: News flash: Race, gender, ethnicity and income issues actually do exist.

    Yup.
    Just ask:
    Carlos Slim Helu
    Amancio Ortega
    Zhang Changhong
    Jack Ma
    Lakshmi Mittal
    Li Ka-shing
    Amancio Ortega
    Oprah Winfrey
    Elizabeth Holmes

    None of these settled for equality of outcome
    All of them took full advantage of their equality of opportunity, however.

  8. 9

    Petercat

    We, the people, were also different back then.
    Speaking in general terms:
    We were aware of our responsibilities, as well as our rights.
    We understood the need to make sacrifices for the for the betterment of others.
    We knew our duty towards our nation, and understood our nation’s true duty towards us.
    We were willing to act on our beliefs.
    We felt guided by a Christian God, by a power greater than ourselves.
    We did not believe that we, as individuals, were the most important single items in existence.

    sarc/on
    And, as for “here’s what we manufactured: 8 battleships, 22 aircraft carriers, 48 cruisers….”
    Well, we didn’t build that.
    The government did that.
    And it was a global effort.
    We couldn’t have done it without the help of the Germans, Italians, and Japanese.
    sarc/off

  9. 10

    retire05

    @Petercat:

    We were aware of our responsibilities, as well as our rights.

    Kids were taught government/civics in school. They were taught they could achieve anything, and then they produced the greatest generation.

    We understood the need to make sacrifices for the for the betterment of others.

    But we also understood that others had to assume responsibility for themselves. We believed in a hand up, not a hand out.

    We knew our duty towards our nation, and understood our nation’s true duty towards us.

    To those much is given, much is expected.

    We were willing to act on our beliefs.

    We believed in God and country.

    We felt guided by a Christian God, by a power greater than ourselves.

    We understood that we were founded as a Christian nation, and were not ashamed of that.

    We did not believe that we, as individuals, were the most important single items in existence.

    Wrong. Our nation was founded on the rights of the individual, not on the collective. We believed that if we were successful, we could then help others be successful.

  10. 11

    Buffalobob

    The great community organizer in chief started with his childish “the police acted stupidly” and went straight downhill from there. Like Poppa Doc Duvalier, he is great at handing out other peoples $20.00 dollar bills, not so much at running a country.

  11. 12

    Petercat

    @retire05: #10
    “Wrong. Our nation was founded on the rights of the individual, not on the collective. We believed that if we were successful, we could then help others be successful. ”
    You misunderstood my point.
    The individual does not decide his own importance. But we do decide the importance of others. For example;
    “‘Women and children first’ is the core belief of any true man, the recognition that some others are more important than himself.”
    Sadly, we have moved away from this concept of our individual importance to a narcissistic, me-first worldview.

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