We are hearing more and more of a Grand Bargain coming out of Washington, D.C. whether of an economic budget, immigration, gun control or the current cause of the day. It makes me twitchy. What about you?
In 2009, a Democratic Congress passed the wonder of our time, Obamacare or, wait for it, its proper name, The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act. Emphasis on affordability. Paging Dr. Phil. “How’s that working out for you?” A 2,700 page bill that few of our representatives actually read. Followed by more than 17,000 pages of regulations. Followed by the unveiling of a 60 page application for assistance in getting insurance, which has tucked into the questionnaire, “Do you want to register to vote?” (see bottom of page 48). Followed by the hiring of “tens of thousands of Obamacare Navigators” hired to help people fill out their forms, whose pay could be between $20-$48 per hour – California has indicated it might need as many as 21,000. Yeah, the same state with cities declaring bankruptcy. Katherine Sebelius, previous Governor of Kansas from 2003-2009, Secretary of the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services since 2009, admitted she underestimated the politics and the confusion caused by the slow rollout of the legislation. Really? (“We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”)
President Obama is two months late in delivering his proposed budget – he’s been awfully busy with gun control legislation. He has promised it will come out tomorrow. The Senate finally presented its first proposed budget in over four, count them, four years – one of the requirements of their job. Once everybody’s budget proposals are on the table, they have until June 30 to thrash out the annual budget.
So, based on the above, when you hear the words “Grand Bargain,” it does not mean a cool, streamlined comprehensive (shudder) solution. But, it might and therein lies the fear. You ought to be afraid. Very afraid. I am.