Friday, October 15, 2004

Reading the other side

I like to read articles by right wingers, especially when they're blunt. In the Wall Street Journal today, Daniel Henninger, in his "Wonderland" column argues that the election is close because American voters haven't yet faced the fact that we have to let go of the security provided to us by the "New Deal." Specifically, he means we have to not count on the government to provide our healthcare and we have to either privatize social security or give it up to inevitable failure.

Henninger says that "It's quite a lot to ask them (voters)... to step away from 50 or more years of federally guaranteed social protection."

Of course, Henninger wants us to. But I'm glad he said what he wants to clearly. Because the clear response is: "It is quite a lot to ask, and why should we yes?"

First of all, we paid for it. We all pay social security taxes right now. You propose privatizing the system and creating personal savings accounts tied to the performance of the equity, debt and currency markets? I say... I already contribute money to a 401k and that money bears those risks. I also need something to be guaranteed and I expect my government to guaranty it.

You say we need George Bush's personal savings accounts? I say, as I've said before, that I already pay insurance premiums and that they're already too high. Telling me to put more of my money aside for healthcare is not a solution to rising healthcare costs! The complaint of the American healthcare consumer is that we pay too much for too little, not that we want to pay more!

What Henninger really wants is to remove the government's obligation to help ordinary people. What he doesn't mention (and and what he leaves out is as telling as what he puts in) is that maybe our corporations should give up some of their security too. They could start by giving up the $65 billion in subsidies they collect from the government every year. They could start by giving up the right to not pay taxes on profits that they keep offshore, despite enjoying the many services and protections that the government offers them.

But those choices aren't on the table in this election. Only the protections for average folk, it seems, are up for grabs. I wonder why that is?

1 Comments:

At 11:13 AM , Blogger Jessie said...

what, five days and no new posts, not even about O'Reily and the falafel. i'm waiting.....

 

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