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IPad Vs. ObamaCare

April 4, 2010

I went to the Apple store today to check out the iPad and I have to say this thing would make Ming The Merciless blink. A couple weeks ago Steve Jobs was the ringleader at a big intro for the iPad and since then, the press and commentariat have been debating the vices and virtues of a tablet computer. Jobs’s enthusiasm has been lampooned ad nauseum (Incredible!). As I say, the pad’s a marvel but the only arbiter that matters here is the market. So we’ll have to see.  Anyway, I only bring this up  because I think it should be contrasted with the selling of ObamaCare to the public. From the WaPo today, a story entitled “Obama  gives 17-minute answer to health-care query in N.C.“:

A woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package. “We are overtaxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.

Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer — more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).

Always fond of lists, Obama ticked off his approach to health care — twice. “Number one is that we are the only — we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 50 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance,” he said. A few minutes later he got to the next point, which seemed awfully similar to the first…

All I have to say is that this is a fable about the difference between markets and governance. If Steve Jobs gave this performance, he’d have been vilified for months. And yet this ObamaCare, a nearly trillion dollar program (at the outside), gets sold by a clown yelling fire from a stage and the response from the media and the public is tepid. Listening to this speech, an urge comes over me to find another government service provider as fast I can. Unfortunately I can’t do that just yet. But we’re trying. The takeaway: ObamaCare, conscription for the equivalent of Videotex when we could, if wanted, one day have the iPad.

Video of Obama’s performance here.

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