Some time ago I wrote that the health care legislation may well be sunk by its cost, given the public’s concerns over soaring deficits, increased government involvement in the economy, and the belief that taxes will have to increase dramatically. Not many pundits are focusing on how this impacts the health care debate, but I still think it matters.
Minnesota Governor (and likely 2012 presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty has called for a federal balanced budget amendment. While nobody believes a balanced budget amendment is in this nation’s future any time soon, Pawlenty is appealing to the sentiment shared by the vast majority of Americans: irrational government spending is going to sink this nation’s economy.
The Administration and congressional Democrats take the position that the health care overhaul will be deficit neutral. This, of course, is nonsense. But even if you are naive enough to accept this argument, you cannot escape the fact that taxes are increasing in order to pay for this. Americans are tired of growing government. All rational Americans are concerned about the financial burdens being placed upon our children and grandchildren.
You can be sure members of Congress are learning of the angst over this legislation. Polls are starting to clearly show a desire for more fiscal responsibility in Washington. I am convinced that first and foremost, politicians are into self-preservation. If constituents make it known that politicians who vote for bigger government and more spending will not be re-elected, pressure will build. If I am right, passage of health care legislation is still far from certain.