Obama's Class War: Wall Street Bailouts Killed Healthcare Reform

The Wall Street bailouts have left no money for healthcare reform.

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That's a lot of money, and not surprisingly, it's driving up interest rates, causing the dollar to fall, and even causing other countries to make plans to convert their assets to currencies other than the greenback—or even to create a new world currency altogether. Such talk has spooked not only the markets, but also the country. And Democrats are getting the message on spending: enough is enough.But don't take my word for it. Take the word of America's No. 1 Democrat, Barack Obama. On May 22, C-SPAN's Steve Scully put this question to the president: "You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?"And here's the answer, dooming a big healthcare plan: "Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on healthcare so far." True enough. America ran out of money before the Obama administration did anything about healthcare—although, of course, the Obamans did just about everything for the banks.Yet in the meantime, the projected cost of his de-prioritized healthcare plan keeps rising; estimates now vary from  $1.6 trillion to $4 trillion over the next 10 years. That's a lot of money—but it's chump change compared to what was spent on the bailouts. Even the total at the high end of current projections, $4 trillion, works out to  $400 billion a year. And as we have seen, the bailouts of 2008-2009 ran up the fiscal score by as much as $12 trillion. In other words, the bailouts cost 30 times the annual bill for a new healthcare plan. And from the looks of things now, any healthcare plan that might survive will cost a great deal less than that.  For his part, Obama seems cool and calm as always. He's happy enough with his economic team, keeping his poise as his healthcare agenda goes down the drain. It's all a question of priorities. As Vice President Joe Biden has said many times, "My dad had an expression, 'Show me your budget, and I'll show you what you value.'"Well, Obama has done that. Without ever quite saying so, he has made his values clear.The 44th president has, indeed, played class warfare. But it hasn't been a class struggle in which he sided with the poor against the rich, or even the middle class against the rich. Just the opposite. He has championed trillion-dollar subsidies for the investor class, enshrining bank bailouts as a higher priority than universal healthcare. That is, he has privileged Wall Street over perhaps the most sacred priority that Democrats hold dear: health insurance for all.One day, rank-and-file Democrats will figure out that they have lost yet another class war—defeated by their own president.

Corrected on : James P. Pinkerton, a fellow at the New America Foundation and a contributor to the Fox News Channel, was a domestic policy aide in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses.