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Sunday, December 8, 2013

The ObamaCare Buck Finally Stops -- Review & Outlook, The Wall Street Journal

President Obama says blame the government, not President Obama. 

President Obama has found someone to blame for the Affordable Care Act's rolling failures besides Republicans. ObamaCare is the government's fault, not his. 

On Thursday, Mr. Obama dropped by American University for a heart to heart with Chris Matthews, and the MSNBC host wondered who in the executive branch is responsible for the botched health-care rollout. Mr. Obama listed a few impersonal culprits including "cynicism," "Washington gridlock" and "the management of government," but he then drifted into another classic.

"The challenge, I think, that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around White House organization," he said. "It actually has to do with what I referred to earlier, which is we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly. . . . The White House is just a tiny part of what is a huge, widespread organization with increasingly complex tasks in a complex world."

So after five years, Mr. Obama has discovered government is inefficient and wasteful, or at least it is when he needs a political alibi.

Built-in incompetence and bureaucratic inertia are two of the reasons that some of us opposed handing the feds power over, oh, say, one-seventh of the economy. But there's a special irony here for Mr. Obama, given that the cardinal political project of his Presidency is to rehabilitate the public's confidence in large activist government.

As recently as Wednesday, Mr. Obama riffed that "government is us" in his inequality speech that liberals toasted as one of his best. He devoted his second Inaugural Address to the practical and moral virtues of what he called "collective action" and tried to convert we the people into we the government.
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