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The prostitute and the baby

Politics

It didn't add up. The numbers didn't add up, and the psychology didn't add up.

The numbers are one thing---how President Obama is going to provide universal healthcare and federalized education through college, and that in a time when, by his own candid admission, we have "already run out of money."

The numbers part of the mystery is slowly coming clear: The president is going to get the cash from Medicare and Medicaid, and he's going to do it by rationing care, which is what the $1.1 billion investment in "comparative effectiveness research" is all about. (The people in my state of Pennsylvania had better hold on to their hats. Ours is the third ranking state in percentage of population 65 years old or older. Most people's healthcare expenditures are clustered around the last few years of life---which is a very inefficient use of resources. Do you get my drift?)

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Here's another way Obama will try to get the numbers to add up: The stimulus package increases the IRS budget by $400 million. With this nice present, the tax collecting agency plans to increase its enforcement budget to $5.5 billion, beefing up its collections army by 44,500 agents, what Deputy Commissioner Linda Stiff admits is the "largest hiring initiative in recent years." (Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says this will "strengthen our nation's security through financial intelligence.) It remains to be seen how many extra pennies can be squeezed from this stone. But every little bit helps, right?

That's the numbers part---the easy part. The psychology part of the mystery of Obamaism is even more baffling, but I think I figured it out just today. Want to hear?

Since we all know that the money is not really there to implement Obama's dream (or as Krauthammer put it, "his ultimate mission---the leveling of social inequalities"), then why are the masses still gung-ho for him? Since we know that we are all on a runaway train whose next stop is financial oblivion, why is Obama still so popular?

I derive my solution to this mystery of psychology---this headlong plunge of lemmings over a cliff---from the story of King Solomon, the prostitutes, and the baby. You will recall (1 Kings 3) that when Solomon offered to slice the disputed infant in two, in order to be "fair" with the two women, who both claimed to have the rightful ownership, the woman who was the actual mother preferred to see the child given away than killed. But the woman who was not the real mother thought Solomon's deal was very fair and satisfying.

What in the world can account for a sentiment like that---a sentiment that prefers one's own forfeiture and demise, if only one can derive the perverse satisfaction that the woman she hates will suffer loss along with her? The answer is covetousness---that green-eyed monster of covetousness that, in its orgiastic irrationality, prefers suicide to the prospect of another person enjoying something she doesn't have.

Are Obama's programs going to send us all down the drain? Fine! As long as you're going down with me! I prefer your downfall and unhappiness to my own well-being!

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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