Clarification of Healthcare Reform
July 16, 2012
The GOP has taken great delight in venomous deceptive criticism of “Obamacare” by calling it “socialism.” They gloat on by stating that Obama is going to ruin the country with his “socialism.” They seem to equate socialism with communism, fascism, devil worship and any other negative connotation that comes out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth. Equating socialism with these evil regimes lies somewhere between a bold-faced lie and the grandest of deceptions. The GOP still harbors resentment at a deep level against Franklin D. Roosevelt who initiated social security in the 1930s. This humanistic and prophetic action gave elderly American citizens who had worked until they could work no more a safety net of a minimum amount of income so that they could still live their remaining days in their own homes. What in God’s name is evil about that ? The desire to give the most needy citizens of this country who have worked until the health and the aging process has rendered them unable to make a living a subsistence allowance to live out their days with dignity. Had FDR not initiated social security, which the richest and the most powerful country in the world could easily afford even during an economic downturn, look where we would be today. Our demographics have changed dramatically such that the elderly make up a much higher percentage of our population than has ever existed in the entire history of mankind. A vast percentage of this previously unimaginable number of elderly are entirely dependent on social security. Isn’t that a wonderful achievement that this country who has been at the cutting edge of every major arena of human endeavor, is able to provide a safety net for so many millions of needy elderly.
The Republican Party treats this issue in such a black and white manner that one would think they were dealing with the cost of steel. Their oversimplification consists of cut social security and Medicare costs and the United States government will save money, reduce our debt, and stimulate the economy. Striking a blow against the evil of socialism at the expense and suffering of the elderly is all upside and no downside, right? This not very clever deception reveals a concrete and simplistic view of life that would cause the Founding Fathers to wretch. Abraham Lincoln, the acknowledged father of conservatism, made a clear and concise statement regarding this and other similar issues: “The role of government is to do for the people what the people cannot do for themselves.”
Avoiding the label of socialism, and considering what FDR did through the government, was to help the elderly do what they could not do for themselves. What action could a government possibly take that would fit Mr. Lincoln’s definition more precisely? In their black and white thinking, the GOP treats the “problem of the elderly “ and the inherent expense of taking care of them, as a simple matter: reduce the benefits of the elderly, save money, and the problem is solved. As much as I hate to burden the GOP with facts, the expense of caring for the elderly will not disappear; it will fall on their families. Millions of currently employed children of these elderly will be forced to quit work, thereby stop paying taxes, in order to care for their loved ones. It is a very complex issue because it involves almost everyone in society, both socially and economically.
I challenge the GOP to engage an independent accounting firm to perform a comprehensive analysis of the economic ramifications of their simplistic “sound bite” solution. Most of the “savings” of cutting Federal spending on taking care of the elderly, will come out of the pockets of their loved ones, lost wages, lost taxes on those lost wages, not to mention the intangible suffering for the majority of families when suddenly responsible for care of the aging loved ones, and lacking adequate recourses, experience additional suffering personally as the see the quality of the care they can render deteriorates.
If avoiding this inhumane and cruel scenario by paying a few dollars more in taxes, is “socialism”, then I for one am very happy to pay it. Americans, have by far the lowest tax rates of any equally affluent nation. And what do they “get” for these higher tax rates? Far superior care of their elderly and better access to medical care for starters. In comparison to these mostly Western European nations, we Americans want “something for nothing”. Parents who were raised on small family farms raised me. They had few “extras”, had to work hard, but were thankful for whatever they had. This consumerism society is never happy with what they have. TV and Madison Avenue sociopaths that control it, have taught us to never be happy with what we have. They will invent a bigger fancier thing that we don’t need, and the TV tells us we must buy it. In our television stupor we do as we are told, and act like greedy teenagers. But a few more dollars a year in taxes for grandma, they we are too busy to even visit any more, and we behave like spoiled brats. And if we have forgotten how to behave like that Rush Limbaugh will teach us how.
The GOP tries to make it simple for us: oppose taxation or we won’t be able to afford the new 63 foot plasma screen TV. Grow up America. Turn of the electronic narcotic, get off your butts, and pay attention to what is important in life. Pay you taxes with a smile; and vote the politicians that teach us consumerism and greed out of office.