I still contend that merely ‘going negative’ does not work.  Newt is not dropping because Mitt went negative; he is dropping because of his own comments that sound extreme.  Cain did not drop because of his accusations of sexual misconduct; he dropped because he exposed his ignorance on foreign affairs.  Not only did he admit he did not know, he suggested it was not even important that he should know.

Calling Mitt a liar repeatedly will not help Newt in the polls, nor will Rick Perry saying Mitt likes to fire people.  This is just juvenile noise.  There is good negative and bad negative. They need to learn the difference.  Blasting a person’s positions is good negative, blasting them on irrelevant trivialities is bad negative.

Mitt looks like the runaway. He looks like a president selected out of Hollywood casting. However I don’t think he wins because he is that good, but because the rest are that bad.

Paul Ryan

I heard Paul Ryan on the radio.  He referred to the fact that this administration has turned the safety net into a hammock.  What a great metaphor.  He referred to the policies such as Dodd- Frank as ‘managed decline’, another great original phrase.  He is smart and clear.  What a great candidate he would make.

Former Georgia Congressman Jim Marshall spoke at our Rotary today on health care.  A moderate Democrat, he lost, in my opinion,  due to the Pelosi backlash.  Marshall had a lot of Republican support before, but I met more and more voters who were so appalled at the performance of the  Democrats when they controlled both houses that they could not pull the lever for any Democrat.

Jim asserted that while the population is centrist that few centrists survive in Congress because the more extreme members are entrenched through districting and seniority.

Though a Democrat, Jim voted against Obama Care, and has written about more free market reforms.  His most noted article Real Health-Care Reform, was published in The National Review in 2010.  It is worth a read.

An excerpt from his article:

Blaming our runaway health-care costs on insurers, drug manufacturers, lawyers, and medical providers distracts us from focusing on the principal culprit: our excessive dependence on a third-party-payer system. That’s what truly drives our cost dilemma. And that’s what Americans must focus on if we have any hope of overcoming the entrenched habits and interests that maintain this utterly wasteful and costly status quo.

We should slowly migrate away from the current system. Absent some acceptable alternative, third-party payers could continue offering comprehensive service to those who cannot effectively manage health care on their own. Most Americans, however, should participate in a sufficiently robust private market for health-care services, a market that settles on a price and also sets the expected standard of care. Today, there is no such market for health care, nor is there one for most military goods and services. The Pentagon tackles this price-for-quality problem with thousands of “acquisition specialists” only because it has no market option. Health care has a market option.

Jim Marshall

Jim also proposed medical care providers making their best price for cash payment at time of delivery.  He supported HSAs but only for catastrophic coverage not high deductible plans. To provide true market incentives he wants more users paying without sending anything through a third party.  Otherwise, he contends, only the healthiest will participate in HSAs and will adversely affect the risk pool.

Good ideas.  It is hard to envision Congress getting their head out of their asses long enough to even consider such logical ideas and his party certainly does not seem ready to embrace his free market approach.  But he made a very worthy presentation.