‘Puter learned something reading E.J. Dionne’s latest opinion piece in today’s Washington Post. Surprisingly, that something is actually useful.
Mr. Dionne claims Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is losing the MediCare reform debate because Americans understand that Mr. Ryan’s proposal will increase their out of pocket health care costs. True, but the Democrat plan is to let MediCare go bankrupt, so paying more over time seems like a better solution to ‘Puter, moron that he is.
But it’s not Mr. Dionne’s central point that caught ‘Puter’s attention. Rather, it was the ease with which Mr. Dionne shunted all costs associated with MediCare, and health care generally, to the government. Here’s Mr. Dionne:
Here’s the basic difference before us: Conservatives want government to play less of a role in paying for health insurance. Progressives believe that government will inevitably play a growing role in the provision of health insurance because if it doesn’t, more Americans will lose their coverage.
To paraphrase Mr. Dionne, the government will pay for everything, so it’s OK. This got ‘Puter to thinking. It’s not the government that pays for anything. It’s you. It’s your neighbor. And, increasingly, it’s your kids.
Conservatives have for too long permitted liberals to use the term “government” in this context without push back. Conservatives need to make liberals own the consequences of their thoughts.
Mr. Ryan and his colleagues need to frame the liberals’ premise in stark terms, just as they have already framed the problem starkly. The next time Rep. Weiner (D-Twitter) or Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) or Sen. Reid (D-NV) blithely spouts the term “government funded” or any variation thereon, the conservatives need to respond firmly but politely thus: “Representative, you mean ‘neighbor funded,’ or ‘my child funded’ don’t you? Because the government has no money other than that it forcibly collects from citizens in the form of taxes, right?”
This would reframe the debate and allow conservatives to fight on favorable terrain. They can explain that sure, it would be nice for the government to pay for gold-plated health care (or welfare, or farm subsidies, or corporate tax breaks), but it’s not fair. It’s the same as forcing your neighbor and gunpoint to buy you a new car, even though you’ve got a perfectly serviceable one in the garage. Government spending needs to be portrayed in those terms. Americans viscerally understand that. Even welfare recipients, whether they be poor folks on AFDC or wealthy retirees on MediCare. Someone pays for everything. And by making them face the realty of the ultimate payor (their friends, families, neighbors and offspring), maybe conservatives can turn public opinion on government spending.
Certainly there are things for which “neighbor funding at the point of a gun” are appropriate. Building highways and power grids. Protecting our nation, whether militarily or through policemen and firemen. Health regulation is of vital importance. There is a long list of government activity worthy of being financed at gunpoint.
But ‘Puter’s willing to bet that list of things gets a lot shorter, even for old folks on MediCare, when you ask them whether they are willing to point a gun at their grandchildren and take the money out of their piggy banks. And that’s exactly what we’re currently doing with QE1, QE2 and soon-to-be-unveiled QE3. We’re bankrupting our kids for the nice things we want (not need) today.
Contra Mr. Dionne, conservatives have a winning hand here. They just have to have the balls to show up and play it.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.