The Math; The Credibility

As I said earlier this morning, I suspect that one reason non-racist non-nutty folks are still not sold entirely on healthcare reform is that the fiscal reassurances along with the new benefits don't really add up convincingly. Telling people they will have to give up nothing and that almost all the money can be found from savings is not gonna work with people who rightly view government claims of no-pain-all-gain action wth a raised eyebrow. That's why the Baucus bill is not as DOA as some might think. Here's a reader whom Obama ought to take seriously:

I think your argument with Megan McArdle over Medicare Part D misses the point. I always vote third party (Libertarian), as I did in 2008. But this is the first time I was rooting for the Democrat (although 2004 was close). I didn't expect Obama to be the messiah, I didn't expect hope and change, I didn't even expect to like his policies. But I allowed myself to hope that we would get an honest, responsible politician this time. We didn't. We soooo didn't.

Obama can pass all the big government programs he wants and I won't agree with him. But if he just had the balls to say, "Hey guys, this'll make your lives better but it'll cost a little so, unfortunately, you'll have to pay up," I'd respect the guy, generally support him, and hell I might even vote for him next time around. But that ain't what he's doing. He's the same irresponsible mess, with (hopefully) a tad less incompetence. His predecessor ran up the credit card. If Obama was the man I thought he was, he'd sacrifice and make us all pay it back. Instead he just wants to continue the spree. It disgusts me, he has destroyed any last hope I actually had that a responsible man can gain power in this country.

This is premature, I think. And Obama has a chance to win this guy back. That's where he should now focus his attention: on how healthcare reform can lower the deficit. And now he has the CBO to back him up.