The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Doctor

After a dismal set of employment figures was released this week, followed by housing numbers that are even worse, Barack Obama gave a speech in which he used a medical metaphor. He suggested, as he often does, that he is a victim of George W. Bush’s mismanagement of the economy. There’s nothing new there.

“It’s as if the economy got hit by a truck,” he said (paraphrasing slightly). He went on to say that the patient (the economy) will need still more time to heal. He asked for patience and noted that it could have been a lot worse if he didn’t step in.

Apparently two and a half years of care and the force-feeding of “medication” worth well over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money were inadequate to effect a cure.

Since President Obama has chosen a medical metaphor, I’ll be so bold as to continue it.

Initially, the President was the emergency room physician that worked to treat the patient that was “struck by the truck.” He called in specialists (his advisors) who prescribed an ineffective course of treatment (i.e., the ill-fated stimulus, the cash for clunkers plan, the first time home-buyer tax credit, the bailout of GM, etc.) all costing the patient huge sums of out-of-pocket and borrowed cash. Although the attending physicians predicted recovery in 18 months, things got progressively worse for the patient (it was, after all, a very big truck).

Today, President Obama is playing the role of the internist who is managing the case of the still suffering patient. With each passing month, the patient’s condition changes, but overall, the trend is not good. Recovery is nowhere in sight.

Relatives of the patient (all of us) are becoming frustrated and have asked the internist for some new ideas, for a concrete plan of treatment. The internist refuses to propose a concrete plan and at the same time dishonestly criticizes another physician (Rep. Paul Ryan) who does.

Would you stay with the internist or look for another doctor? That’s a decision that all of us will have to make in 2012.