First, a general point. As a voter who did not support President Barack Obama, in part because of his lack of experience on the national and international level, I hoped he would compensate by the choice of knowledgeable and experienced advisers and Cabinet members. With a few exceptions (Bernanke, Geithner, Gates and, maybe, Clinton), this has not been the case. Choices such as Napolitano, Stern, Browner and Van Jones have proved poor, and in same cases, embarrassing.
Next: the health-care debate. Mr. Obama is clearly a gifted orator, albeit one who occasionally plays free and easy with the facts. He states that his policy (whatever and whenever it finally becomes firm) will not add to the deficit and that the 10-year cost will not exceed $900 billion; this is in conflict with Congressional Budget Office estimates.
He states we can save $500 billion in eliminating fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid. To which, a perfectly rational rejoinder might be: Why don't we eliminate such fraud and waste now? Why wait for new legislation?