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Moving at the Speed of Government

Which may be an insult to the speed of the snail.

by
Stephen Green

Bio

December 8, 2013 - 10:55 pm
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“While there is more work to be done, the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness, and will continue their work to improve and enhance the website in the weeks and months ahead.” — The Obama White House, 2013

“Moving at the speed of government.” — Rudy Giuliani, 2007

There wasn’t a whole lot to remember about Giuliani’s short-lived effort to become the 2008 GOP nominee — but that line has stuck with me, because it perfectly encapsulates two things. The first is the obvious point that government moves slowly, when it can be bothered to move at all. The second is that Giuliani was riffing on the old UPS slogan, “Moving at the speed of business.” Politicians like to claim they can play CEO, and whip the massive federal machinery into Ludicrous Speed — but the promises always fall flat.

President Obama has promised to fix what’s wrong with Obamacare at “private sector velocity.” So to paraphrase another former New York City mayor, how’s he doin’?

If you want to count erecting a “Potemkin website,” then Obama has done an admirable job, as my friend and colleague Ed Driscoll noted last week. HealthCare.gov works to the extent that it can show you what you might pay and what subsidies you might receive, but the back end — the part which actually completes the process of selling insurance — still suffers from what physicists call “a total existence failure.”

Somehow, this is what New York Times columnist and former paid Enron advisor Paul Krugman describes as “past the hump.” “It’s going to be OK,” he told Business Insider on Friday. That’s a lot of faith in a half-built computer system which is supposed to have people — four million people — with actual fully-functioning health insurance by January 1.

From Grigory Potemkin’s original fake villages, built to impress Catherine II, to Joseph Goebbels’s “big lie” campaign against Europe’s Jews, big-government nomenklatura have always shown amazing ingenuity when it comes to fooling people. Not that I’m actually comparing Krugman to Goebbels, mind you. Goebbels was a true believer in a particularly nasty statist ideology, while Krugman is a highly paid opinion writer for the New York Times.

So let’s set the bar a little higher, shall we?

The president, still using his BlackBerry, finds himself in the awkward position of requiring fast technological action out of a federal government still dependent on 3.5-inch floppy discs. (With another hat tip to Ed D.)

But the main problem behind Obamacare right now isn’t smartphones from a dying Canadian manufacturer of obsolete computer storage media. It’s those pesky 834 files, which carry your vital information from HealthCare.gov to your insurer.

Well, in theory that’s what they do.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Actually, the "moving at" line came from the IT company ad, "moving at the speed of thought".

With the actions of Obama and his IRS, NSA, etc., it has changed to "moving at the speed of thought police".
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of the 834's showed children as spouses...but how many times did Woody Allen actually try to sign up?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bigger any diverse entity is, the less able it is to walk and chew gum at the same time, because it becomes more and more impossible for one part to know what the other part is doing. Corporations that diversify into areas only tangentially involved in their core businesses have found that out over the years, but in most cases the market has forced them to learn this lesson -- they become uncompetitive and either have to divest back to their core business or go out of business.

To big government liberals, that's never a problem. They're so full of hubris about their ability to be Masters of the Universe they believe they can run anything and everything just as or even more efficiently than the private sector, if they only put their minds to it. Barack Obama can talk about making healthcare.gov run at private-sector speeds, but the conceit there is that he both thinks that's even possible in a situation where failure to perform (at least in this administration) has no financial or job security consequences, and in the end the president still thinks the eventual end product he wants -- fully government-run health care -- is more efficient than the private sector.

The only thing he and his aides have taken from the ObamaCare debacle is they need better public relations spin for ObamaCare, not that it or any other big government program is destined to resemble the worst DMV office in the world because there's never punishment for failure of the people at the top.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
People need to stop thinking one dimensionally. If you ever played Chess it's not about the one move before your eyes - ObamaCare against the majority of taxpayers who said, "No!".

Chess is about the entire board and all the pieces. The black pieces being: using government agencies to destroy and intimidate opponents, rewarding friends with taxpayer money through crony capitalism, using the MSM to keep people distracted and spread disinformation (jobs numbers), and making millions more DemocRat voters through amnesty, snap, etc., and devalue the U.S. dollar through countless QE's. All of this is happening simultaneously.

A Potemkin Village you say? I say only if you are looking at the first move and not if you are watching whats taking place across the entire board as the white pieces disappear one by one.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
@IceRider...you NAILED it, with the "thinking one dimensionally" concept. Hubby & I follow a "wellness" lifestyle model, (often ridiculed as "health freaks"), so our "wellness budget" includes organic food, gym memberships, etc. We just switched from a high quality PPO, (now called a "Platinum Plan") because it was canceled & are now DOWNSIZING to a cheap crummy "Silver Plan" to save money instead of paying hundreds more to keep our good insurance. I have already called our Doctors (none of whom are taking this new insurance ) & negociated a reasonable cash discount. Our newly revised "wellness budget" will now include 1) The Obamacare Tax. 2) Doctor Appt's., Labs, X-Rays, & any typical Allopathic Medical treatments. 3) Gym Membership. 4) Organic Food. 5) Alternative Medicine, such as Acupuncture which is helping eliminate the pain of neuropathy. 6) All non-covered (but prescribed by our Doctors) healing modalities, such as Pilates prescribed by my Physical Therapist. By taking stock of our personal requirements, we are "rigging the system" to cover our particular needs. The bottom line is, do what you have to do to take care of yourself!!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
600 million for the website... that's 1.5 million for every American that could have gone into a Heath Savings Account. Ongoing costs of about 6 million per year for all the new (unaborted) citizens.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
It simply amazes me that Bigger-Government-Is-Always-Better-Barry, knowing the standard for performance and efficiency is the Private Sector, thinks his bogus lies will somehow make Big Government work better than that Private Sector.

He needs to destroy the Private Sector to improve Big Government to Private Sector quality.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had to question myself when I heard this come out of my mouth recently, but I think government today is actually doing more things that violate our rights than it is doing to protect rights. All the stuff they're doing with Obamacare falls into the latter category, of course. I imagine if we could roll back the size and scope of government, it could actually be efficient. A girl can dream...
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...government today is actually doing more things that violate our rights than it is doing to protect rights"

Further to that point, they are usually doing the former ostensibly in the service or providing the latter. They spend a lot of time conferring phoney-baloney "rights" and end up suspending our actual inalienable and constitutional rights to provide them.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
3 weeks and 2 days from now............ thousands of people....... insurance cancelled......... life-threatening medical condition.......... not able to get covered under the Unaffordable Non-care Act (ie. Soeterocare)........... insufficient $ to pay cash for services.......... turned away from their former doctor........... emergency wards filled.........deaths by the dozens (hundreds?)......... Obama pushes for immigration reform!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd say they have gone to Ludicrous Speed ... and stopped ... with the predictable result. Hope 0bummer is wearing a helmet.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
men, I wish his putative father had been wearing a raincoat.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
He doesn't need a helmet... he has "ear" brakes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
When a conservative builds something, it is intended to compete effectively in the free market.

When a liberal builds something, it is intended to expose the downside of the free market.

And when a small c communist builds something, it is intended to destroy the free market.


Obama adopts the talk of the first, hides as the second and does the work of the third.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, the "moving at" line came from the IT company ad, "moving at the speed of thought".

With the actions of Obama and his IRS, NSA, etc., it has changed to "moving at the speed of thought police".
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of the 834's showed children as spouses...but how many times did Woody Allen actually try to sign up?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bigger any diverse entity is, the less able it is to walk and chew gum at the same time, because it becomes more and more impossible for one part to know what the other part is doing. Corporations that diversify into areas only tangentially involved in their core businesses have found that out over the years, but in most cases the market has forced them to learn this lesson -- they become uncompetitive and either have to divest back to their core business or go out of business.

To big government liberals, that's never a problem. They're so full of hubris about their ability to be Masters of the Universe they believe they can run anything and everything just as or even more efficiently than the private sector, if they only put their minds to it. Barack Obama can talk about making healthcare.gov run at private-sector speeds, but the conceit there is that he both thinks that's even possible in a situation where failure to perform (at least in this administration) has no financial or job security consequences, and in the end the president still thinks the eventual end product he wants -- fully government-run health care -- is more efficient than the private sector.

The only thing he and his aides have taken from the ObamaCare debacle is they need better public relations spin for ObamaCare, not that it or any other big government program is destined to resemble the worst DMV office in the world because there's never punishment for failure of the people at the top.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
To big government liberals, that's never a problem. They're so full of hubris about their ability to be Masters of the Universe they believe they can run anything and everything just as or even more efficiently than the private sector, if they only put their minds to it.

You're forgetting that government is fundamentally different from business. Its job is to both serve the public good, and to provide the infrastructure for society to exist.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
As they say in business, "Beware the enthusiastic incompetent." Right now, the Federal government is full of them, from the top down.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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