Three older men are sitting in the park
1st Man: It sure is windy.
2nd Man: No, no, it's Thursday.
3rd Man: Me too! Let's go get a beer!
Mark Steyn addresses last week's "debate" about the SCHIP veto vote. From the OC Register:
A couple of weeks ago, the Democrats put up a 12-year-old SCHIP beneficiary from Baltimore, 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 health care. 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 Chevy Suburban, a Volvo SUV, and a Ford F-250 pickup.That was the SCHIP "debate" in the nutshell: it was like the conversation of those three older men in the park. Republicans wanted to talk about the costs and consequences of the massive expansion of government health services. The Democrats were having an altogether different conversation.
Like a magician, they tried to misdirect the focus somewhere else completely different. First, Dems droned on, mantra-like, about the "the children". Lately, Democrats believe they could bring up a bill requiring all house pets in America to be spray-painted orange and, if they tagged "it's for the children" onto it, it would sail through Congress.
The Democrats have at last found a war they want to fight. Iraq and terrorism is all an Evil Dick Cheney plot, but the "war on children" is a cause sublime.
When the debate shifted to the number of adults covered by this "children's" bill, Democrats and various ankle-biters turned the debate to the "meanies" and the non-story of Mitch McConnell's aide asking reporters to look into questions raised about the Frost's resources.
Again, the "debate" was about two sides talking about two completely different subjects. Steyn continues:
So what is the best thing America could do "for the children"? Well, it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the Western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a system of unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme. Most of us understand, for example, that Social Security needs to be "fixed" – or we'll have to raise taxes, or the retirement age, or cut benefits, etc. But, just to get the entitlements debate in perspective, projected public pensions liabilities in the United States are expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of our gross domestic product. In Greece, the equivalent figure is 25 percent – that's not a matter of raising taxes or tweaking retirement age; that's total societal collapse.Don't expect any response that includes anything so mundane as facts, figures or math. They'll be focused on how the mere act of asking these questions turns one into a "slimer", "smear artist" or constitutes a "jihad" against the kids. Steyn winds up on the point that will never be addressed by any current Democratic leader.
And so, in a democratic system today's electors vote to keep the government gravy coming and leave it to tomorrow for "the children" to worry about. That's the real "war on children" – and every time you add a new entitlement to the budget you make it less and less likely they'll win it.Just like the Social Security "debate", every time someone raises the unconvenient question of running out of money, the shouting down of the "meanie" will begin by the New York Times and the running pack of liberal lackeys. Like those old men in the park, no debate can exist if both sides aren't on the same subject.
Mark Steyn and others raised questions this week; questions the Democrats deigned not to answer. Those questions will still need answered tomorrow. No matter how many times the subject is changed.
No matter how many times the inquisitive get branded as "meanies".
Back to Front Page.