Friday, September 28, 2007

Bush Family Values Make Sense. . . In Bizarro World!

Sometimes I just don't understand what is wrong with George Bush. He certainly claims to be a pro-family, anti-spending, small government conservative, practically the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But while spouting these values, he often does something in diametrical opposition. It's as if he was beamed here from the mythical D.C. Comics alternate Universe, Bizarro World.

Point and case, the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate, across party lines, felt that this is an important enough program, to not only put forth a bill to continue it, but also to expand it. The recipients of this expansion would be the nine million or so children whose families are too poor to afford private health insurance, but who make too much to qualify for Medicare. Sounds reasonable, right? Help families to keep their children healthy. America's future. Who could be against that?

Well . . .

The President's response: "The proposal congressional leaders are pushing would raise taxes on working Americans and would raise spending by $35 to $50 billion. . . Our goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage."


What the President doesn't mention is that the "tax increase" comes from cigarettes and is essentially a usage tax. The implication that it raises taxes on "working Americans" is dubious. And since we're looking at costs to "working Americans," he fails to mention that the World Health Organization estimates the annual cost of smoking to the U.S. economy to be $76 billion. I wonder what kind of burden THAT puts on "working Americans"?

Equally mystifying is the fact that the President offers no plan as to how he will move uninsured children to private health coverage. It's nice to have the goal, but how's he going to get it done? In other words, Congress is offering a plan that will cover millions of uninsured children, Mr. Bush is offering a goal of moving them to private insurance at some future date.

Hmmm. . . Which to pick? Which to pick?

The final insult is that while the President talks a good game about finance and taxes talk is all it is. His administration, after all, has presided over the largest deficit in the history of the United States. This by the way came on the heels of inheriting the highest SURPLUS in the history of the U.S. And it's not as though the President has been shy about spending when it suits his needs. His 2008 budget request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to be $200 billion! If we can spend $200 billion for the war effort and not even get our money's worth, is $35 billion for the kids so outrageous?

Apparently in the confines of the Bizarro World Bush White House, it is.



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