A disturbing pattern is beginning to emerge with respect to President Obama's relationship with Congress and the American people. It seems that he prefers bad legislation to no legislation, For example he supported the stimulus bill that was weighed down with the Democratic Party's 28 year wish list, but really offered little or no near term stimulus for the economy. He could have exercised leadership, but chose not to. A similar thing happened with the cap and trade energy bill that passed the House. That bill is a long way from an ideal carbon tax and for that matter a pure cap and trade system. Instead of charging for carbon emissions, it mostly gives away licenses to pollute for favored industries and penalizes the unfavored oil refineries. Should it pass in its current form, refineries will close and the U.S. will import even more gasoline and worse it will be a bonanza for Washington lobbyists seeking to bend the permit system in their favor.
Indeed the same syndrome is playing out with the health care bill. As the CBO noted it does nothing for cost control and, in fact, it increases health care costs for both government and the economy as a whole. President Obama surely wants the glory of presiding over national health care legislation, but he fails to realize that a bad bill will soon cause most American to look back with nostalgia at the system we now have. As the good Doctor Hippocrates once said, "do no harm." Bad bills do lots of harm.