I Hear What They Are Saying I Just Don’t Believe Them

The point that will be made here today is not new by any means but it is a thought I had yesterday but what is different, for me, is the tone of the thought. This may be too subtle to do a good job articulating but I will try.

The health care passed (I guess, but now states are suing to block it?) and what I know I do not like. The point here will not be to debate the merits, we are all entitled to our viewpoint and that is mine. But even the people who support it should be skeptical about it somehow not costing more. I think people should be skeptical of the CBO estimates being relied upon by the proponents of the bill.

When the idea of it being deficit neutral first popped up I was skeptical. The more I thought about it I simply don’t believe it. I am not sure if if the politicians saying it will not increase the deficit really believe it (makes them idiots), are lying (makes them liars) or have somehow adopted a George Costanza viewpoint (“it’s not a lie if you believe it”).

My skepticism of politicians goes back to 8th grade (a story I’ve told before) when our congressman, Father Robert Drinan, yes he was a priest, came to speak to our school. I asked if he would support Ted Kennedy for President and I got a two minute non-answer. Drinan was succeeded by Barney Frank–seriously. I think, but am not sure, that the lines have since been redrawn such that my hometown is no longer in Frank’s district.

Part of my opinion on the healthcare bill stems from my belief that collectively it is not possible for them to write a bill so comprehensive that it can get everything right. As I observed how both sides were bickering over this I was not able to discern where wanting to improve health insurance ended and ideology began. The way I view things ideology drifts into the realm of emotion and when emotion is involved the quality of the work usually suffers.

Serious question have there ever been politicians that seem to be a deranged at Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank? Frank’s behavior at the start of the Geithner visit the other day seemed very bizarre. Was Newt Gingrich this type of crazy? As a Libertarian I dislike all of them but these two seem to lack basic decorum. I know they never lose elections and for all I know run unopposed but do democrats like these two? Despite how the paragraph reads I am trying to be serious, do people who vote democrat actually like these two?

This leads me to financial regulation. How can this dysfunctional unit (senate and congress) possibly cull together an adequate regulatory structure. I am not saying we don’t need an overhaul I am saying the people empowered to do it (per the joke I posted yesterday were there really congress people who did not read/understand the healthcare bill?) are woefully ill equipped to do the job properly. How can we be confident that what they produce doesn’t make it worse.

So many of the questions asked of Geithner, Bernanke and Volcker are so elementary by congresspeople, congresspeople on related committees mind you, that it creates the appearance buffoonery. I realize there could be a political reason for asking very elementary questions over and over, but if they never get to the difficult ones then confidence is not instilled that they understand the magnitude of the problem they are being tasked to fix.

Yes changes need to be made but I simply don’t believe they know how to do it.

This is not intended to be purely an anti-democrat rant as I think just as poorly of Bush et al.

About Roger Nusbaum 169 Articles

Roger Nusbaum is an Arizona-based financial advisor who builds and manages client portfolios using a mix of individual stocks and ETFs. Roger writes a popular blog, which focuses on risk management, foreign stocks, exchange traded funds, options etc.

Roger has been recognized by many in the investment management industry for his expertise in portfolio management. Roger has been regularly interviewed by the financial press, trade journals, and television news shows. He has also had numerous technical articles published and has been quoted in a number of professional trade journals, newspapers, and consumer finance magazines. He appears frequently on CNBC Asia as a market commentator.

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