Goldwater Jr.: Obama Policies 'Scare the Hell Out of Me'

Saturday, 05 Sep 2009 01:02 PM

By David A. Patten

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Former California Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. says President Barack Obama's big-government reforms are "potentially jeopardizing future generations," admitting to Newsmax.TV that "It scares the hell out of me.”

Goldwater, the son of Republican icon Barry Goldwater, warns in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview that Obama's plans for a government-run health insurance scheme overlook one a crucial fact: There's no historical evidence the federal government can effectively operate such a massive government program.

Goldwater, who worked as a stockbroker and business executive before he won his first congressional campaign in 1969, believes the insurance business is best left to the private sector. But he adds that citizens are right to "insist that insurance companies do a better job of meeting their responsibilities."

See Video: Goldwater Says Obama's Team Naïve on Healthcare - Click Here Now

The former congressman interjected himself in the healthcare debate in August, when he wrote a commentary for The American Spectator in which he provided a long list of federal programs that have become organizational and fiscal nightmares:

  • Medicare – Fraud in Medicare and Medicaid costs taxpayers more than $60 billion a year. Moreover, the system has some $36 trillion in unfunded liabilities – future payments it will have to meet to fulfill its obligations.

  • Energy – More than 30 years after former President Jimmy Carter declared war on energy dependence and created the Department of Energy, America is as dependent on foreign oil as ever. Today the department employs 16,000 workers, has 100,000 contract employees, and a budget of about $26 billion.

  • The U.S. Postal Service – It lost $7 billion last year and plans to shut down hundreds of offices to remain afloat.

  • Amtrak – Created by Congress in October 1970, Amtrak was supposed to be profitable. In its 38 years of operation, it's never made a profit, and requires billions in subsidies from the federal government.

  • The War on Drugs – Richard Nixon first declared war on drugs in 1969. In the past 40 years, the U.S. government has spent $2.5 trillion around the globe in an effort to stop the flow of drugs. And drugs are as prevalent as ever.

    "There's nothing that the federal government that I can think has run well," Goldwater tells Newsmax. "And so I'm wondering: 'Mister President, how do you think the government can run a universal health program?'"

    Goldwater tells Newsmax he's not surprised that the Obama administration and Democrats tried to rush healthcare reform through Congress. Although he left Congress in 1984, he well remembers the last night an ambitious young president tried to persuade Americans that universal healthcare was a good idea.

    "We tried this back under Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary in 1993," he says. "And it seemed like that had one a steamroller going for it also. But I think during this August break members of Congress are getting an earful. They're going to go back I think with a sense of reality. They've got to take a hard look at what they're doing."

    Newsmax TV's Kathleen Walter asked Goldwater what worried him the most about Obama's healthcare proposals.

    "I'm concerned about the huge amount of obligations the president is putting on the American people," Goldwater replied. "He's potentially jeopardizing future generations by all he's trying to do. May I remind your listeners that our government today, President Obama, and the Obama crew that has occupied the White House, are quite naïve.

    "They are people that are very smart – in fact, there are probably more Ph.D's in the White House than there are at Harvard. But none of these people have real time experience in government, let alone in the private sector.

    "The president has never run a company," he added, "never had to deal with personnel, he's never had to meet a payroll. And many of his people that work for him are very inexperienced, yet they are laying on the table today a potential jeopardy of future generations. It scares the hell out of me."

    Goldwater says the current debate of health care is beneficial, but he would like to see solutions that don't involve further expansion of the federal government. He says the states, rather than the federal government, ought to regulate insurance companies. And Medicare, he says, should be refocused on its original intent of providing healthcare for seniors.

    "Today Medicare is used to bailout all kinds of people, the poor, children, people that are disabled," Goldwater comments. "It's stretched beyond it was originally created. I'd bring it back what its original intent was."

    The larger question in the healthcare debate, says the son of the famous Arizona senator, is the impact the reforms would ultimately have on Americans' liberty and independence.

    "Why are we always having to look to the federal government for a solution when in fact … the federal government does not run anything very well? Why is there such a panacea that we feel that the federal government is the only [key to] our welfare in this country?

    "We are a free nation of free people," Goldwater tells Newsmax. "And this is why so many people around the world are trying to come to the United States, because of this freedom. It is freedom that has made us the greatest country in the world. Why are we discarding that? Why are we saying that there's something wrong with freedom or liberty? Let's put it to work. Let's get all Americans working together to help in solving this problem. Let's not just throw it away onto the federal government that has a lousy track record."

    See Video: Goldwater Says Obama's Team Naïve on Healthcare - Click Here Now

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