TOM WARD - Obama's Waterloo unfolding
TOM WARD - Obama's Waterloo unfolding
Readers know I'm a critic of President Obama, not that it matters in Rhode Island. Still, I've written little since Obamacare was unveiled last fall and people began to sign up for health care in the federal exchanges. Yes, we all remember stories about the failed website (though Rhode Island's HealthSourceRI works better). Still much has happened since October, and I happen to think it's going to be a disastrous fall for the Democratic Party. Fine. As the only political party to have dropped this turd on the people of the United States, Democrats have it coming.
Here are just a few lowlights:
* Even the president's acolytes in the media, those who felt the tingle and built the man and the myth, can no longer ignore that he has unilaterally changed the law over and over again. Writes Bloomberg Businessweek March 17-22, "the president has quietly delayed, modified, or selectively enforced elements of Obamacare more than a dozen times." If he was anyone else it would be a Constitutional crisis. But not Obama. No one dares. A chart in the magazine explains the changes, all of them done for the single purpose of protecting Democrats in Congress from the whipping they are about to get. Obama wants to play Santa Claus, giving out the candy. As the pain he created sets in, he delays law for political reasons. It's fraud, plain and simple.
Consider this, written last week by the R.I. Center from Freedom and Prosperity: "Five months prior to the launch of the exchange, (Rhode Island) expected 64,000 private enrollees, with 20,000 of them paying the full cost, plus 17,000 in the Small Business Health Options Program. The actual numbers paint a much different picture on the efficiency of the program. As of March 8 of this year, the exchange had enrolled 19,690 people, with only 2,284 paying the full cost, plus 795 in the Small Business Health Options Program."
And then there is the matter of the federal government walking away and dropping a $25 million annual bill on the people of Rhode Island to keep the exchange operating. No one at the Statehouse has a clue as to how we are going to pay that bill. Thanks for nothing, Barack!
Only those looking for "free" health care are signing up, both nationally and in the state. The millions expected to pay the bills are not, and they never will. This is a disaster Democrats created, and American families are living with now.
Their Nov. 11 shellacking will be epic.
What a joy it was to watch Providence College win the Big East title last week! It's been a long drought. Sure, the new "Catholic school" conference isn't what it used to be, but Creighton was a formidable foe, and nobody saw the all-game-long beating coming. Even all of Warren Buffett's billions and Omaha cheering section couldn't take the crown from the Friars.
If PC can take even the first game in the NCAA tourney from the legendary North Carolina Tarheels, it will be a very memorable season indeed. After North Carolina, though, all bets are off. It could be tough sledding. Still, Providence College is peaking when it needs to peak. Let's go Friars!
Recall those we put in?
Some determined Woonsocket residents have decided that City Councilors Garrett Mancieri and Melissa Murray, elected last November, should be recalled from office. If you think that sounds a bit early to be giving political novices the heave-ho, I think you'll find a lot of company. I expect the recall election will never happen, failing on a shortage of signatures to get it started.
Those behind the recall feel strongly that the new councilors, and others on the panel, aren't listening to struggling taxpayers as the council and new Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt work to keep a campaign promise to bring all-day kindergarten to the city. In the end, the city is under the control of a state Budget Commission, so nothing happens without them anyway. Baldelli-Hunt is trying to re-jigger the budget of the former administration and free up some money for kindergarten.
My personal opinion is that all-day K should be shelved for now. Baldelli-Hunt should be given time to see if she can find savings, and tax relief. Forget about new ideas. It's time to be very conservative with taxpayer dollars. There are still too many risks - like police pension lawsuits and state pension reform "reform" - to consider. Woonsocket's fiscal problems aren't going away, and the struggling state is little help.
Mancieri and Murray were swept into office in a tide of voter fury last fall, on the coattails of Baldelli-Hunt. They agree with her, and are supporting her policies. Voters are reaping the harvest they sowed last fall. So why complain now?
Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze newspapers.