ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, October 22, 2007

Steyn on S-CHIP, Pete Fortney Stark, and Socialized Healthcare

Mark Steyn weighs in on the Congressman Stark's idiotic comments last week and the Democrats' War On Children. It's a great article and it should be read in full, but here's the closing which is just a perfect analysis of S-CHIP and the Frost kerfluffle that preceded the attempted veto override:

[...]
A couple of weeks ago, the Democrats put up a 12-year old S-CHIP beneficiary from Baltimore called Graeme Frost to deliver their official response to the President's Saturday-morning radio address. And immediately afterwards Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin and I jumped the sick kid in a dark alley and beat him to a pulp. Or so you'd have thought from the press coverage: The Washington Post called us "meanies". Well, no doubt it's true we hard-hearted conservatives can't muster the civilized level of discourse of Pete Stark. But we were trying to make a point – not about the kid, but about the family, and their relevance as a poster child for expanded government healthcare. Mr and Mrs Frost say their income's about $45,000 a year – she works "part-time" as a medical receptionist and he works "intermittently" as a self-employed woodworker. They have a 3,000 square foot home plus a second commercial property with a combined value of over $400,000, and three vehicles – a new Suburban, a Volvo SUV, and a Ford F250 pick-up.

How they make that arithmetic add up is between them and their accountant. But here's the point: The Frosts are not emblematic of the health care needs of America so much as they are of the delusion of the broader western world. They expect to be able to work "part-time" and "intermittently" but own two properties and three premium vehicles and have the state pick up healthcare costs. Who do you stick the bill to? Four-car owners? Much of France already lives that way: a healthy wealthy well-educated populace works a mandatory maximum 35-hour week with six weeks of paid vacation and retirement at 55 and with the government funding all the core responsibilities of adult life.

I'm in favor of tax credits for child healthcare, and Health Savings Accounts for adults, and any other reform that emphasizes the citizen's responsibility to himself and his dependants. But middle-class entitlement creep would be wrong even if was affordable, even if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover it every month: it turns free-born citizens into enervated wards of the nanny state. As Gerald Ford liked to say when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have." But there's an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn't big enough to get you to give any of it back. As I point out in my book, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: once a fellow's enjoying the fruits of Euro-style entitlements, he couldn't give a hoot about the general societal interest; he's got his, and who cares if it's going to bankrupt the state a generation hence?

That's the real "war on children": in Europe, it's killing their future. Don't make the same mistake here.
The facts are hard to argue... Sadly, few people have a desire to hear, much less understand, the facts.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler