Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WEDNESDAY REFLECTIONS

This morning it appears that the majority of Americans have become disenchanted with the Obama administration.

There always is a shift in the House in the mid term election but rarely of this projected magnitude. Not since 1948 has there been such a swing in the composition of the House.

There can never be a drastic shift in the Senate since only 1/3rd are up for election every two years. However, the Democrat's majority in the Senate is now dependent on the two Independents who caucus with them. In effect we have a coalition majority which can be fragile.

It will take several days to sort out the true changes that will be going on in Washington. However, it is often after the mid-term elections that the President has a mixed or even opposition Congress to work with. Now is the time to see if our politicians will work for the country or revert to their usual party politics habits.

The biggest danger is that for the next two years we will have a "do nothing" stalemated Congress unless the slim majority Senate can find compromises with the House which will take its own course. The fact is that the President will not be able to pass any of his programs.

That may not be bad since this election was an American disavowal of Socialism. There will be a cut back of Federal Mandated programs that contribute to the budget deficit. Some will be unfortunate because they are worthwhile, but management controls have been lacking. There has been to much opportunity for expenditure waste and corruption even on a minor amount which adds up.

The middle class will benefit in that the "Bush tax breaks" will be continued. How far it will extend to the truly wealthy remains to be determined. Unfortunately the "illegals" will lose any mandated health care benefits which is a true society loss.

Equally significant this election is the continuing increase in number of Republicans Governors elected replacing Democrats. An importance here lies in the fact that after the census Congressional numbers per state are reallocated. Moreover, Congressional districts are redrawn, which gives rise to gerrymandering. There is always the desire by the party in power to make as many electoral districts "safe" as they can do.

Contrary to the national trend in New Jersey incumbents as a rule were reelected. The number of young independents that voted seems to have been small in comparison to 2008. Nationwide that was the biggest voter element loss for the Obama administration.

What has precipitated this catastrophe to the Democrats. Perhaps it is the fact that although we are told that the recession is over, the unemployment rate is still 9% and higher in the industrial states.

There also is serious questions about the Health Care reformation. Most of the sitting Democrat Congressmen and Senators who were defeated were supporters of the changes. The small business operators fear that the fully implemented in 2014 will be overwhelm them through increased mandated insurance or taxes payments.

There may not be a repeal of any of the provisions, but Congress may not fund mandated portions of the plan.

Old time retired physicians like myself can conceive that although the intent is admirable the net results if all mandates are enacted can not help but be a decrease in the quality and quantity of care. Computerization and scientific advances are not a substitute for personal contact which will become even more limited under the new system.

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