In my mind, few things are more despicable than the politician who is willing to put human suffering on parade to advance their own political agenda. It's not new. It's been a common practice of both political parties for years.
In my mind, few things are more despicable than the politician who is willing to put human suffering on parade to advance their own political agenda. It's not new. It's been a common practice of both political parties for years. But, that practice once again emerged, as the tactic of choice, as the final push of the health care reform debate began. Key Democrat leaders ushered through an endless array of individuals with serious health problems, and who had to make extraordinarily difficult financial decisions, because of those problems.
The stories, if true, are heart-breaking and tragic. And, historically, most are rooted in some degree of truth. But, fact-checking over the years has revealed that many of the stories have been, shall we say, embellished or enhanced for dramatic effect. Sometimes, salient facts may be entirely omitted, for the purpose of making the circumstances appear more serious.
During the 2000 election cycle, for instance, Al Gore was big on promoting prescription drug coverage for seniors. (Something that President Bush eventually pushed through, and is now universally criticized for, by the left.) Al repeatedly invoked the names of seniors whose prescriptions cost so much that they had to make the painful choice of buying drugs or buying groceries. He inferred that some of them even had to resort to eating pet food, because they couldn't afford their expensive prescriptions if they bought groceries, too.
It was apparent that Al had not set foot in a grocery store for some time, and certainly not in the pet food aisle. Perhaps, the parking lots at many stores are not large enough to accommodate Al's private jet. The most expensive section of the grocery store is the pet section. People love their animals and will pay whatever price. Al failed to realize that there is no cost efficiency to buy pet food instead of groceries. Besides, it has a funny aftertaste...or, so I've been told. Al was never one to let the inconvenient truth get in the way of a great story.
I'm curious, too, why these stories never seem to be told in the context of tax burdens. As in, “I just received a desperate letter from Betty H., from Covington, Tennessee, who stated that her taxes were so unbearably high that she couldn't afford to buy groceries, or prescriptions, or health insurance, or pay her rent, or make her car payment, or buy pet food or anything else for that matter. Betty tells me she has to work three jobs, just to pay her taxes.”
Why don't we ever hear politicians tell us those kinds of gut-wrenching stories? Why isn't that considered one of the tough choices that people must make? Those were rhetorical questions, as I already know the answers. While certain politicians love to appear to be compassionate, they love the power to tax and spend, even more.
As a percentage of salaries, the average American family pays less than 10% for groceries, just under 20% for health care, and 20 to 30% for housing. By comparison, many families pay 30 to 40%, and some families over 50% of their total incomes on taxes, if you consider all forms of tax - local, state and federal incomes taxes, sales and property taxes, etc. Many families must work multiple jobs, today, just to have the spending power that a single income once provided, simply because of the increased tax burdens.
Mr. President, don't you think it's possible that if the average family's tax burden was reduced, that more people might be able to afford health insurance on their own? Al, isn't it possible that if senior citizens had lower tax burdens, they might be able to buy any necessary prescriptions AND groceries...and a whole lot more?
I'd love for that discussion to happen, but, it's doubtful it ever will. Not until politicians who so willingly exploit the misery of others, truly care as much about that suffering as they do self-promotion, advancing agendas, or the power that taxing and spending provides.