He thinks that government can do everything better. Financial problems? The government will step in. Health care system in need of overhaul? Let the government run it. Social security system about to fail? The government will take care of it...oh wait, they already do and it is failing anyway.
I can only conclude that President Obama has never actually been a supplicant in a government run office. He simply couldn't hold his grandiose theories of government rescue if he had.
I went to the Social Security office today to get a number for Josiah. We had carefully collected everything their website said we needed, and filled out the application in advance. At the door we were met by a "security guard"; an overweight desk clerk with a badge and a gun. He told us to "get a number and sit down over there." The only open seats had a large sign above them informing us that we could not sit there. We stood.
We stood for a long time. The boys were angels - playing reasonably quietly with their cars and trucks. Regardless, we got many "can't you keep them quiet" glares from the man with the badge. After about 45 minutes, and having watched many people who arrived after we did get their numbers called, I asked the guard if he could explain the number system to me. He said something about their being multiple numbering systems and told me, again, to go sit down. I asked if he could find out an estimate of how much longer it might be, since I had small children who needed naps, and I might need to leave and try again later. He snapped "That's not my job. Go sit down."
Eventually our number did get called. I handed the clerk all my paperwork, only to be informed that she couldn't accept copies of Josiah's records.
"They have to be originals."
Originals? What medical practice is going to give me original medical records? I explained that this was what the doctor's office had given me, knowing that it was for the social security office, and noted that none of the requirements online said anything about "original" medical records. They simply said that they had to be records from the doctor's office.
"I can't accept these because they aren't originals."
"Ok. What exactly do I need to get, then?" She rattled off a long list, too fast for me to process. "Could you write that down for me?"
The clerk glared at me and shoved my own papers back toward me. "You can write it down." And rattled it off again, too fast, before I could even pick up a pen.
I asked if she could repeat it, slower, and if she would mind signing it just so that I would have some record of what I'd been told. (The person ahead of me in line had run into a problem because what he'd been told on a previous visit to the office apparently wasn't correct, so I wanted some kind of assurance against that happening to me!)
"I don't have to sign anything for you! We're done!" And she tried to slam the window in my face. Since all my paperwork (including my drivers license) was still on her side of the window, I kept my hand in the way, gathered my papers, and asked why she couldn't sign what she was telling me to do?
That's when the security guard came lumbering over, hand on his gun, and told me to leave the premises immediately or he would call "federal police" and send me to prison.
No, I'm not kidding.
I left, of course. In a government office there is no recourse. You can't ask to speak to a manager or a supervisor. They don't care if you aren't satisfied with their "service" because they don't answer to anyone. Nevermind that it is we, the people, whom they are supposed to be serving. There is nothing I can do if a petty clerk decides to be unhelpful and have her resident bully throw me out.
God help us if this is what we can look forward to at the pediatrician's office.