Although the Republicans and their so-called "Blue Dog" conservative Democrats claimed they oppose President Obama's health care plan because it would increase the nation's debt, the real reason is driven by racism and the fact that the majority who would benefit from health care reform are minorities, the poor and families burdened by uninsured health challenges.
I know this is true because these same conservatives were silent when President George W. Bush ratcheted up the nation's deficit to record highs without even a whimper.
The Obama health care reform plan may in fact require some expansion of the nation's debt, but that was never an issue when we ran headfirst into a war with Iraq that had nothing to do with the war on terrorism and had everything to do with racism and American hatred of the Arab World.
Here are some facts conveniently ignored in this debate about how much Obama's is raising the debt.
How much debt did Bush tap?
On the day Bush was handed his job through the undemocratic and partisan intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court in early 2001, the national debt was $5.727 trillion.
By the end of 2008, before turning over the office to President Obama, the debt under Bush had increased without as much as a debate from the congress to nearly $10 trillion. That was a 75 percent increase in national debt under Bush.
And, before leaving office, Bush proposed a trillion dollar bailout of his buddies in the mismanaged financial and banking industry that suffocated the average homeowner in abusive, gimmicky mortgage debts and that brought the debt up to more than $11.3 trillion. That is a near doubling of the debt as a result of Bush and his Republican controlled congress and then the so-called Democratic controlled congress who were elected specifically to withdraw our soldiers from Iraq but who failed to do that.
To allow for the doubling of the Bush debt, the government included a provision in the bailout legislation that raised the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. He did that several times during his tenure, passing bills that quietly raised the ceiling on the debt.
Why? To pay for the misguided war in Iraq and to help cover up for the economic catastrophe that Bush and Vice President Cheney and his gang brought down on the American people, leaving the real terrorist, Osama Bin laden, to freely operate out of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border planning terrorist attacks that will probably come down the pipe during the Obama term in office.
Just like your income and earnings, money devalues year by year. What was considered a hefty credit card debt of $5,000 10 years ago has become a routinely accepted average credit card bill of just over $10,000.
Everything has increased over the years. And as personal debt has increased, so has the government debt. And both continue to increase.
It is a fact that we Americans live in a debt-driven society, greedy for benefits but unwilling to work the hours that immigrants and foreigners take for granted in their harsher lives and environments.
So why was it okay to raise the debt when Bush was in power but not okay to raise the debt when Obama is in power?
Because of racism in this country.
Raise the debt to fight in Iraq -- even though Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 at all.
But why spend more money when it might help the poor, the lower income middle class, and those Americans who have been victimized by the rich robber barons crooks in the health care industry?
Add to the fact that Obama is an African American, a minority, and someone with an Arab middle name who still, despite the facts, the truth and repeated denials, is labeled a "Muslim" (Gasp!), we can see why Obama's proposals would galvanize an odd couple of Republicans and Conservative Democrats who would rather help protect their pals in the banking industry than lend a helping hand to the over burdened in this country, a large majority of whom are minorities, poor and in need.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and Chicago radio talk show host. He can be reached at www.RadioChicagoland.com.)
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