Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Go ahead, Try to make a wise prediction. Can't happen.

Predictability. Stability. These are two critical keys to success for any family, business, or government. Neither exist in our present day politics or economy.

Who among us can predict our health care or economic future? Not one of us. All we can do is guess, and guessing is the wrong way to build anything that will last.

The Good Book asks the question, “What person who is about to build a tower doesn’t first sit down and count the cost?” But how can anyone count the cost when the rules change almost daily?

A Washington Post article promoted the idea that President Obama might be open to giving states flexibility on Medicaid mandates. He might even grant states some leeway in the implementation of health benefit insurance exchanges. The test? Any flexible plans must meet the intent of the ACA? What does that mean? What flexibility? What, pray tell, is the intent of the ACA?

The Secretary of Health and Human Services has been woefully lax in issuing ObamaCare rules, and now President Obama suggests the rules that are not yet rules may change – if the federal government deems that states mean to do what the Affordable Care Act requires; as if anyone can figure out exactly what that means.

We await the ruling of the Supreme Court about the ACA. Will it overturn all of it, just the mandate, or let it stand? Which is worse?
 If it lets the ACA stand, then we face years of rules that are not rules, waivers that are not waivers, and endless political bickering. If the Court overturns the individual mandate, and lets everything else stand, we face the end of insurance companies (some would cheer this, but not stockholders). If the Court overturns everything, we face chaos.

Right now, today, someone somewhere is creating the next miracle medical device, discovering a new surgical procedure, harnessing some unknown element of creation that will revolutionize medical care. Why would anyone invest in the entrepreneur’s idea, when the investor knows that the rules will change?

Right now, today, banks and venture capitalists are pondering how to grow their money. The safest bet is not to bet on stability and predictability, because there is none. Keep the money in the vaults until America decides who and what it is. Speculate on the stock market, but avoid new ventures. For certain, keep your money far from Solyndra projects, because when the clouds carrying financial collapse produce economic thunderstorms, and America is caught up in a flood of bankruptcies, no one will worry about green energy. 

Or, maybe the rules will change and none of this will happen.

The greatest damage President Obama has done to America is to leave us without any sense of stability, or ability to predict with some rational certainty, where we are headed. On the other hand, it is possible to rationally predict that we are headed for a financial disaster. 

One other prediction: The election of 2012 will determine our survival as a nation of free people. That prediction you can take to the bank.

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