Health care and the deficit

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:

SEN. Joseph Lieberman's criticism of the Obama health-care initiative may prove to be a pivotal turning point.

Others have focused exclusively on the Obama plan's impact on health care. The elderly worry about bearing the brunt of the inevitable rationing; others look with alarm at the de facto socialization of one-sixth of our economy.

But Lieberman's critique doesn't center on the program's health-care aspects or even on its ultimate desirability. Rather, he questions the wisdom of attempting so radical a transformation and so extensive -- and expensive -- an extention of government's role in our economy during a major recession attended by a huge budget deficit.

His go-slow commentary integrates worries about the economy, the deficit and interest rates with those about the health-care proposal itself. In making this linkage, Lieberman cautions supporters of the idea and of the plan that this might not be the right time to try to do it all.

His comments come at a time when the Congressional Budget Office predicts a growth in the 10-year deficit projection to $9 trillion and when Americans are growing increasingly nervous about the massive debt we are incurring.

Few buy the president's argument that spending $1 trillion extra will cut the deficit and rein in spending. The very notion is so counter-intuitive that it is hard to give it any credibility.

...

No kidding. That is why such pledges are being met with derisive laughter at Town Hall meetings even in liberal districts. The Democrats just have no credibility on the issue especially after their gigantic "stimulus" boondoggle. Lieberman has swerved into one of the real problems the Democrats are blindly bumping into.

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