Obama Spokesman: Government Mandates Don't Work

     In a shocking display of irony, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) presidential campaign told CNN February 22 that a federal mandate “doesn’t work.”

     “But when people talk about the federal government ordering me to buy health insurance, that doesn’t work,” Federico Pena, the campaign’s national co-chair, said on “American Morning.”

     “It will not work in the West where people are very independent,” he said. “So from a very, from a conceptual perspective, this notion that the federal government is going to require me to buy health care insurance, doesn’t work.”

     Pena was defending Obama’s health care proposal, which does not include a government mandate for Americans to buy health insurance. Obama’s rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), supports a plan that includes a requirement to have insurance.

     Host Kiran Chetry defended Clinton’s proposal for a government strong-arm, noting that drivers are required in many states to purchase automobile insurance for their cars. Critics of Clinton’s plan suggest it would result in lost jobs and an enormous government bureaucracy to track down offenders. The Wall Street Journal reported that 20 percent of Massachusetts’s uninsured are exempt from punishment under that state's mandate, because they can’t afford coverage even with state assistance.

     The irony of an Obama supporter opposing government mandates is simply mind-boggling. His health care proposal may not include a government mandate, but he has long supported government regulation in numerous other areas.

     Obama leads all presidential candidates in promising programs totaling $287 billion in new spending, according to a report from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

     His proposal to solve the subprime mortgage “crisis” includes strengthening government regulation and levying fines against what he called “the unlicensed, unregulated, fly-by-night mortgage brokers who are hoodwinking low-income borrowers.”

     Obama supports increased regulation on nuclear development, tighter gun control standards, more regulation on broadcasters via the Federal Communications Commission, more power for the Environmental Protection Agency to set regulations, harsher fuel efficiency standards and manipulating the energy market to increase the use of biofuels and reduce carbon emissions.