RUSH: Richard Cohen, liberal columnist, Washington Post. Can I tell you a little story about Richard Cohen? I don't think he'll mind. Peter Jennings used to be married to somebody. I think Kati Marton. I'm not sure who it was. And Richard Cohen and Peter Jennings' wife had an affair. And Richard Cohen went to Peter Jennings house and knocked on the door and said, "We need to talk about this." Honest, it's famous, it's lore. Doesn't mean anything. It's just nice little story to tell. Doesn't attach itself to the story here, doesn't mean anything, just a little biographical information. Richard Cohen, the Washington Post today: "The President Who Doesn’t Care" is the headline. (paraphrasing) "The crowds adored Obama, but not as much as he adored himself."
Richard Cohen, in this piece as you read it, realizes -- and he says as much -- that Obama is a small, politically driven president; that he's not at all what was constructed to be. “History was draped over Obama like a cape. His bona fides in that sense were as unimpeachable as Bobby Kennedy’s. The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself. Liberals were intolerant of anyone who had doubts.
“Obama was not a man, but a totem. A single critical column from me during the campaign triggered a fusillade of invective. The famous and esteemed told me off. I was the tool of right-wing haters, a dope of a dupe. Kennedy had huge causes. End poverty. End the war. He challenged a sitting president over Vietnam. It could have cost him his career. It did cost him his life.”
He’s talking about Robert Kennedy, now.
“The draft is long gone, and with it indignation about senseless wars. Poverty persists, but now it is mostly blamed on the poor.” Oh, speaking of that, I had this in the Stack yesterday and didn't get to it. From the Weekly Standard: “New data compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee shows that last year the United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty.”
Now, we had this last week when it came out. As usual, you're on the cutting edge if you're here first. We mentioned this. The amount of money that we are spending on poverty per capita in this country is enough to wipe it out for one year. Not forever, because the new year then starts and the people who are in poverty are not earning anything themselves.
But we're spending enough so that there should not be any poverty, and yet there is! How is this explained? “[T]he United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty. The calculations are based on data from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Research Services.
“‘According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,’ the Senate Budget Committee notes. ‘If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.’
“This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year,” and yet we've still got poverty. Welfare was meant to bring people below the poverty line to a better place, but it doesn't, obviously. And welfare reform had the work requirement in it, and that was reducing the number of people on welfare, but Obama stripped the work requirements out.
He also stripped the work requirements out of the food stamp program, by the way. That doesn't get a whole lot of discussion, but he did. The real poverty in this country right now under Obama is the middle class. They’re not classified as poor, not getting a lot of help from the Fed, struggling to keep a roof over their heads. One in six in this country are in poverty, despite what we're spending. At some point, when are people gonna get clued in that the government can't solve these kinds of problems?
RUSH: I want to go back to this Richard Cohen piece in which Cohen says that Obama's a small politically driven guy, small politically driven president, that he never was what he was made out to be. "The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself." Remember Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas of Newsweek, they were at Grant Park watching Obama on election night, 2008. (imitating Meacham and Thomas) "Boy, this guy's creepy. It's like he's above all of us. He's up there, and he's watching us watch him. It's really creepy." And then they thought how weird is it, you win the election, and you send your wife and kids packing so that you're the only guy on the stage. You don't want your family there. They're saying this, after recommending to all of us that we elect the guy, after helping create the mythology that was Obama.
And now Richard Cohen is coming along and he's simply upset because he doesn't think Obama cares. By the way, if I might say so here, I think there are a lot of people -- well, I know there are; I hear from 'em -- there are a lot of Democrats, some of them prominent, who really think Obama doesn't want to win. He's giving them that impression. They really fear that Obama doesn't have it in him. He doesn't want to go through this. He doesn't think he should have to. Elections are for plebes. He agreed to have to do it one time. He's not into it. He really doesn't care. They're really depressed about it, a lot of Democrats are. I think they're a little all wet. I think Obama craves being reelected. I don't think he likes campaigning. I think he does think all this is beneath him. But I don't buy this notion he doesn't want it.
Richard Cohen says, "But somewhere between the campaign and the White House itself, Obama got lost. It turned out he had no cause at all. Expanding health insurance was Hillary Clinton’s longtime goal, and even after Obama adopted it, he never argued for it with any fervor." Well, let me tell you why that is. It's no different than the stimulus. Okay, you argue for it, you get it passed, and then it's done. And, folks, it really is true. The liberals create these bubbles of reality, or phony reality, as it is, they live in. I know this sounds implausible, it sounds irrational. Nobody would believe this. I'm telling you, they do. Remember these people have theorized all their lives what they would do if they just got in power, if they got control. They sit around and they whine and moan about everything wrong with America, capitalism's horrible, it sucks, the private sector is filled with cheaters and all that. We're the good people, you put us in charge and it will all just happen the right way.
So Obama argues for the stimulus, he gets it, and moves on. That's supposed to create jobs. And when it doesn't, a year, year and a half later, he's genuinely surprised. He put all that money in there, why didn't it create jobs? Well, all the money went to shore up unions and pensions and so forth. Health care. He didn't know the details of it. He didn't care about the details. All he knew was the government was gonna be in charge, period. To him that fixes everything. Government in charge, government is us, and we are good people, and we are compassionate, and we care, and we know more than anybody else and we know better than anybody else. But he didn't know the details of it. That's why he didn't sell it or argue it. He knew the broad themes, but the wonkish details, he didn't care. At the end of the day all he wanted was government-run health care, and then he knew that it was organized around eliminating the private sector health insurance market so that in a few short years the only option citizens would have would be getting their health insurance from the government. That's all he knew. How we got there, how long it took, of secondary concern.
So when Richard Cohen writes, "Even after Obama adopted it, he never argued for it with any fervor." It's because it was done. After he adopted, it was done. Just like all of his jobs programs, all these seminars and workshops in the White House. You have a two-hour Friday afternoon workplace on jobs. At the end of it, they report back to Obama, and, okay, we've fixed jobs. And I'm not exaggerating. They don't have the slightest idea how things really work in the private sector. They just think government is better and everybody in government is better people. And so you put them in charge of it, it's automatically gonna happen. Plus, if you add in Obama's own narcissism -- I know it all sounds irrational. "Rush, rational people don't think that. It takes work." I know, folks, I know. But can you point to any real work in Obama's life? And I don't say that trying to be funny or even cutting.
Can you point to any real work? Not community organizing. I'm talking about real work where there's accomplishment, achievement, being paid, private sector, tasks, goals, objectives, can you point to it? Yeah, campaigning's work, but he's never really had to follow through. He's only been able to delegate things.
Speaking of which, Forbes magazine is out with a couple of little details. Wisconsin and Ohio, how they're going to be hammered because of Obamacare. First, Wisconsin. "With the Presidential election one week away, it’s worth reviewing how Obamacare will impact the residents of key swing states. In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, Obamacare will drive up the cost of private health coverage, especially for those who buy insurance on their own."
You are the enemy if you buy your own health insurance, take care of yourself. The private sector, you have to be targeted, wiped out. You're supposed to get your insurance from an exchange. And the way they're gonna do that is just jack up prices everywhere in the private sector, and that's what will happen. "One of Obama's key health care advisers, Jonathan Gruber --" this is an Obama adviser. This isn't Forbes or some other media speculating. "One of Obama’s key health-care advisers, Jonathan Gruber, found that by 2016, individual premiums in Wisconsin will increase by an average of 30 percent." Because of Obamacare.
Now, does he know that? No. I really don't think he knows. And furthermore, I don't think he cares. Obamacare is just magic, okay, we got government-run health care, and he said it's gonna reduce everybody's premiums $2,500, and that's what he believes. He says it, and it is. He says everybody's gonna get covered, and everybody will be covered. And when it doesn't happen, then something screwed up. It wasn't the bad program. Something screwed up, and we got a new program to fix it. That's how government expands and builds on itself. Creates a failure, then appoints itself the doctor to fix the problem, creates a new program that just makes everything worse again, and it builds, and on and on, a repeating cycle.
That's how we end up with redundant programs for poverty, redundant programs on job training and all these other nefarious things. So the bottom line is, Obama's own guy says health insurance premiums in Wisconsin, because of Obamacare, will go up 30% in four years, which means it's gonna be more than that if this is what they're copping to. "In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for more than 300,000 Wisconsin seniors enrolled in the program." This is Obama's guy saying this to Forbes magazine. "And 27 percent of Wisconsin physicians say that they will place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients," because they're not being reimbursed, they can't make a living. That equals higher premiums, less coverage, and less treatment, all because of Obamacare, which, the exact opposite was supposed to happen, right? Everybody's supposed to be covered. Everybody's premiums are supposed to go down.
When has any government program lowered the cost of anything? When has the government gotten smaller? When have there actually been budget cuts, when does it happen? In terms of the overall size of the federal budget, it never gets smaller, does it? There aren't any real cuts. Individual line items might get zeroed out, might be cut, rate of growth might be cut, but the overall budget never gets cut. So here's Obamacare. But as far as he's concerned, bill's passed, it's fixed.
Pelosi. When Obama signed the health care bill, Pelosi went out, smiling, as best she could with all the Botox, she went out and she was smiling, and she just was ecstatic. "Affordable health care for all Americans." This was after. She wasn't selling it. This was after it was already signed into law. You could argue she really thinks this is what happened. With the left, something you don't really know. They do believe that they are magic. They do believe that their ideas automatically always work, and since the purpose of health care in their altruistic minds was to make sure people that weren't covered were covered, and it got cheaper, that's what they were doing. "Okay, it's signed into law, that's what's gonna happen. It's gonna get cheaper and everybody will be covered. We're great people. Affordable health care for all Americans."
It's just the exact opposite. But too late.
That's Wisconsin. Move on to Ohio. "With the Presidential election one week away, it’s worth reviewing how Obamacare will impact the residents of key swing states. In Ohio, as elsewhere, Obamacare will drive up the cost of private health coverage, especially for those who buy insurance on their own. A non-partisan study found that, by 2017, individual premiums in Ohio will increase by as much as --" you ready for this? "-- 85 percent. In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for more than 700,000 Ohio seniors enrolled in the program. And more than 30 percent of Ohio physicians say that they will place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients."
Individual market premiums as much as an 85% increase in Ohio. Thirty percent increase in Wisconsin. Eighty-five percent in Ohio. You say, what's the difference? Well, the difference is in the private sector markets in both states and how they're impacted by Obamacare. But no matter where you go, no matter what state you go to, health care is going to get more expensive because of Obamacare. And if you doubt that, just ask yourself, what program administered by the federal government has gotten cheaper? What program administered by the federal government has become more efficient? What federal program are you excited to go meet with the bureaucrats in charge to get whatever deal done? It doesn't exist.
So Richard Cohen says, "after Obama adopted it, he never argued for it," 'cause he didn't think he had to, it was all done, magic. Everybody's gonna get covered. It's gonna cost less. Richard Cohen says: "In an unfairly mocked campaign speech, he promised to slow the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. But when he took office, climate change was abandoned -- too much trouble, too much opposition. His eloquence, it turned out, was reserved for campaigning."
This sounds like Cohen actually expected Obama to do something about the rising oceans. Hello, Hurricane Sandy. Rising oceans. I don't think anything's been done about that, at least the way I see it. Heal the planet? I don't think anything's been done about that. And Richard Cohen says: "Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival." Believe me, this is what they're all saying behind closed doors. They still want him reelected because it's their credibility on the line, but they know.
RUSH: The easiest way to explain the amazing cost increases in all these states --Wisconsin and Ohio, since they were mentioned – is mandates. There are so many mandates on private citizens, on doctors, on insurance companies. The mandates, the federal mandates, are huge. The requirements and new regulations, too. But the mandates are the reason the prices are gonna be jacked up so high.
And it's all in Obamacare, and it's all admitted to by people who are administering the program.