Monday, November 16, 2009

Fiscal responsibility

I’m impressed at the cautious approach to health care legislation by republicans and blue dog democrats. They are all really, really concerned about the effects of the legislation on our deficit and our vastly expanded public debt. And that is a good thing. After all, our great, great, great grandchildren may have to pay off that debt some day, won’t they?
I just wonder why these same ladies and gentlemen didn’t seem as concerned when the Shrub was running things into the ground. It was after the Shrub cut the taxes to his richest friends that we once again descended into that circle of deficit hell. And everyone applauded. Suddenly, they’re all snarky about the deficits. Wouldn’t do to run deficits just to allow people to have health care, would it? In the paper this morning, some gallant reader responded to an Op-Ed piece by Nicholas Kristof. Kristof had claimed that 45,000 Americans die each year, because they have no health insurance. He used as one example, a case of a 31-year old woman who died from cervical cancer, because she didn’t get pap smears in an annual physical. The reader, a compassionate woman no doubt, asserted that the woman who died simply showed bad judgment, and that having insurance or not having insurance wasn’t the problem.
See, I like it when we reduce everything to individual morality and judgment. It’s not that the (formerly) richest nation on earth is, shall we say, remiss in failing to assure that its inmates have access to the same high quality care as our commercial CEOs and their legislative handmaidens. No, it’s that those without health insurance are immoral, or simply exercise bad judgment. That way, we the people don’t have to accept any responsibility for these, shall we say, premature deaths. Meanwhile, we can get on with the real bidness of AMERICA—making our CEOs safe from socialists. I wonder whether we just shouldn’t convert AMERICA into one of those off shore tax havens, and stand ready to accept all those illicit profit dollars from Colombian and Afghan drug dealers. I mean, why should we let the Bahamians have all the fun?
And elsewhere, the Bimbo Barbie from Alaska is readying herself to make a few million from that book someone else wrote about her. No wonder she wanted so badly to quit from all that governing stuff. It must have been great sitting out on her back deck, looking across the straits to Russia and listening to her ghostwriter spin a tale of magic about herself and her loony family. I wonder whether her ghostwriter inserted anything about when Barbie-doll plans to secede from the North American continent?
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