The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On passage of a health-care bill in light of the differences between the House and Senate versions:

Well, it will depend on whether these numbers are anywhere near real. We just heard Harry Reid throw out a number, and I don’t know where it came from, three-quarters of a trillion dollars he said are going to be saved as a result of this [Senate health-care bill]. I don’t know where that came out of. If that holds up, I will eat my hat.

There are already loopholes that Mort talked about, the doctor fix, and there is something else. In the House bill, and I’m sure in the bill that we will hear about tomorrow in the Senate, it’s ten years of people paying in, and six or seven years of health care [paying out] because [the benefits] kick in later.

So that is how you make the numbers look good. But annually it runs at a huge deficit.

On President Obama’s interview with Fox News’ Major Garrett:

Let me say how good it was to see the president sit down with Major. It constitutes the most important truce … since the Korean armistice in 1953, and I would say that we are South Korea …

[Present Obama] said “people” are warning us about a loss of confidence. He means the Chinese and the others whom he has been speaking with. Meaning that: He is a little bit wary about attacking the jobs issue with another huge stimulus because the people who buy our bonds, who he has been speaking with in Asia, are extremely nervous about that and are discouraging any attempt to blow up our debt on the jobs issue, also on health care and other [parts] of Obama’s ambitious domestic agenda.

So it looks as if he wants to scale back. And in fact, the example he used, he mentioned earlier in the [Fox] interview, which we said: One thing we could do is to increase our exports to Asia by one percent, that would create a lot of jobs and it wouldn’t be a drain on the treasury.

And that is so. But if he wants any progress on that, he’s got to get [the] Chinese to … readjust their currency.

And on that he just got stiffed. … On Sunday, at the APEC summit, the Asian summit, the clause in the communique that called for a market-oriented currency exchange, which is code for raising the Chinese currency, was stopped and didn’t enter the communique at all.

On Obama’s remarks to Garrett on Israeli settlement construction:

Well, he returned to his hard line again, in which he says that Israeli settlements are making it hard for a re-launch of the peace negotiations.

Apart from what anybody thinks about the virtue of settlement, the ideological import of it, look at the historical fact. For 16 years, in the absence of a freeze of settlements, there were negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In fact, a year ago Abbas, the leader of the Palestinians, was deep in negotiations with the Israeli prime minister at a time when there was an increase in settlements.

So it was Obama who comes in. He calls for a settlement freeze. The Palestinians, of course, endorse it, and then say that unless Israel imposes a freeze, that there won’t be any negotiations.

This was a self-inflicted wound on the part of the administration, completely unnecessary, and that’s what has stopped the negotiations.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”