America is sending President Obama a message.
At the same time, liberals in Congress are pushing for big government plans for health care.
And so President Obama faces a choice: He can listen to the American people.
Or he can listen to Barney Frank.
Put it another way: President Obama can choose to fight his leftwing, or he can choose to fight the country.
It’s his choice. And he has to make it by September.
In Town Halls and Polls, Americans Are Sending a Message
The August congressional break is a good time for first year presidents to take stock; to assess the first seven months of their presidency and determine if they are on the right track or if they need to make a fundamental change in strategy.
This August break, Americans are sending President Obama and his surrogates a clear message on health care reform.
And in five polls released in just 24 hours last week, more Americans expressed disapproval of the president’s health reform plan than approval, a majority voiced increasing distrust of the president and Congress on the issue, and a large majority said they believed health care legislation was likely to ultimately raise their costs and reduce their freedom to choose their own doctor.
Barney Frank is Sending Him a Message Too
But if America has a message for President Obama, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is telling him something as well.
Maybe you saw this video in which Rep. Frank states plainly that the so-called public option in the House health reform bill is just step one in a strategy to create a single-payer, government monopoly health system.
And it’s not just Rep. Frank.
Henry Waxman, Pete Stark and Charlie Rangel have a message for the president too.
Current House Committee Chairs are More to the Left Than Any Time In History
In a Democratic caucus that is to the left of America, the most powerful committee chairmen in the House — just like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — are to the left of the majority of Democrats.
This study by RealClearPolitics shows that the current House committee chairmen are more liberal than the Democratic rank and file than at any time in history.
Time and partisan drawing of districts have elevated a group of liberal congressmen, who were first elected over 30 years ago in response to Watergate and the Vietnam War, to the most powerful positions in the House.
• Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was elected to Congress in 1975.
• Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee, entered Congress in 1971.
• Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), chairman of the health subcommittee of Ways and Means, was elected in 1971.
• And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has been in Congress since 1981.
The Last Hurrah for Liberal Committee Chairman?
After over 30 years of service, these hard-left members of Congress see their last chance to transform our health care system from a largely private system to a government-run system.
That’s why they attacked the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats for objecting to the high taxing, big government provisions of the House health care bill.
And it’s why they are pressuring President Obama not to compromise now.
They have power and they have clout. And if America is telling President Obama to slow down and reconsider his health reform plans, these powerful House committee chairmen are telling him to go full speed ahead, never mind what the people think.
The Stimulus Was a Pay-Off to Politicians. Now the Same Politicians Want Your Health Care
President Obama and liberal Democrats in the House are contemplating raising taxes on small businesses to pay for their health plan at a time when we’re approaching 10 percent unemployment.
And at a time when Federal Reserve officials are projecting below average job growth for the next five years.
It is warnings like this from the Federal Reserve that have convinced Americans that the much-hyped $787 billion stimulus bill has failed.
The stimulus bill was a pay-off to politicians, not an engine of economic growth. Americans know this, which is why they don’t trust these same politicians with their health care.
President Obama’s Moment of Decision
President Obama faces a choice.
There are individuals and groups that stand ready to work with him to forge bipartisan solutions on the nation’s most pressing domestic challenges.
At American Solutions we stand ready to help develop a bipartisan, pro-small business economic growth plan that could be passed when Congress returns in September.
At the Center for Health Transformation we stand ready to develop a bipartisan, market-based health reform plan that delivers more choices of high quality health care at a lower cost — without raising taxes.
Will President Obama hear the message of the American people and work with centrists — even though it will cause his leftwing to attack him?
Or will he listen to Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and ram through the programs that have the support of the Left but are opposed by the country?
It’s his choice.
Newt’s Quick Links
* Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First: Americans continue to sign the American Solutions petition demanding that Washington make its first priority Jobs Here, Jobs Now, Jobs First. The video for the launch of this campaign can be found here.
* Budget Crisis 101: On August 13 at the American Enterprise Institute I will be taking a comprehensive look at the budget crisis and the solutions we need to bring about real change in government and how we spend our money. Joining me will be former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. For more details, go to www.aei.org/event/100114.
* In case after case across the globe, President Obama has missed historic opportunities to stand for freedom. Former Congressman Bob McEwen who is the chairman of Renewing American Leadership takes the topic head on in Townhall.com.