The False Health Care Debate

Note: I thought I’d add some thoughts to this discussion from a Christian Libertarian perspective in the tradition of R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North.–UTB

ObamaHealthCare“We are all socialists now,” declared Newsweek.[1] Newsweek is a few decades too late. We have been a socialist country for quite some time. Recently, stand-in host Laurence O’Donnell interviewed Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.).  O’Donnell, an unmistakable socialist, had another good laugh by humiliating an inconsistent Republican.  He wanted Rep. Culberson to admit that Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are Socialistic programs, and since they are, why do Republicans object to government-run healthcare; it’s just more of the same. O’Donnell is absolutely right. He is trying to live consistently with his own worldview, and he is demanding that Republicans live consistently with theirs. Though O’Donnell is a bully, Culberson did not want to answer that question directly. The political ramifications would be disastrous. After all, to accuse Medicare of being socialistic is to destroy the Republican’s case against government run health care. As O’Donnell rightly observed, the origin of all these programs are socialistic. Otto von Bismarck proposed them, and Adolf Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt patterned their social programs after his.[2] This history is too overwhelming for a Republican congressman.

Natl_Debt_Chart_2006This debate is not so much a debate against health care as it is a debate against the Obama administration. The only few consistent voices out there (Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and others) know that this current administration is acting wrongly, but they also know that the Bush administration acted horrendously as well. Bush was the first president since John Quincy Adams not to veto a single bill in his first term. In Bush’s first term alone, government spending had gone up 30%. Add to that the Iraq War and you have the biggest spender in US presidential history. One wonders why Obama was so inspired to bail out big companies. He followed the example of his predecessor; a faithful protectionist. As a Keynesian, Bush believed strongly in government intervention and redistribution of wealth. Bush had no interest in recovering a free-market economy. Capitalism was a word that was forced to be uttered in the presence of certain crowds. It is true that he sought social security reform. But this was far from a genuine, capitalistic reform. As Lew Rockwell observed:

Genuine privatization would be a grand idea. But that is not what the Bush administration proposes. Not anywhere close. They are proposing to partially convert the existing tax and spend system into a forced savings program. This is not choice, but rather a species of socialism. The forced investments would be fed to approved funds with approved companies and be guaranteed a rate of return.

So in the end, Bush-style privatization would partially socialize the most important sector of the American capital markets, and we aren’t talking about small change. And how would this transition be funded? Bush has suggested that he would be willing to lift the FICA cap, which would mean the worst tax increase in U.S. history. Debt, taxes, inflation take your pick. The costs are in the trillions.”[3]

This debate is nothing more than an anti-democratic obsession. The raucous and chaotic Town hall meetings are a great illustration of what should be taking place. Republicans should be furious over the takeover of heath care. They should raise hell over these crooks. Liberals are calling for a legitimate debate over these matters. The reality is, on this matter there is no debate! As Keynesian economist, Paul Krugman learned recently after asking a group of Canadians if they liked their national health care, the answer was a resounding No! But because this issue is not up for debate does not mean that Republicans are the paragon of morality and righteousness. On the contrary, Republicans—with few exceptions—are the ones who accentuate this socialist regime. Where were all these protestors during the Bush Administration? Where were the spirited questions from concerned citizens over their future? It simply did not exist. Bush had convinced them that the war was a necessary evil, and the socialists programs were just necessary for the well-being of the nation. Some presidents are economic liberals when it comes to spending domestically, but conservative when it comes to spending abroad. Bush disproved that dichotomy and gave future presidents an example to follow.

The heath care debate is a rather silly one. Republicans will probably win the day. They have the majority of the nation on their side. As the Huffington Post reports, the White House is sending out mixed messages over the public option. Some are now saying that the public option is not as significant. Even President Obama is beginning to downplay the significance of the public option calling it “just one sliver of it, one aspect of it (referring to greater plan of health care reform).” [4] Of course, when the battle is lost, then the important things are not as important. Republicans have done well. Their voices have been heard and it will reflect the 2010 elections. It is even possible that the Republicans may take a majority again.[5] But what will happen when the GOP is in control again? Will they learn to be consistent free-marketers as O’Donnell is a consistent socialist? Or will they behave as party loyalists who do the bidding of their king, even if it means compromising principle?


[1] http://www.newsweek.com/id/183663

[2] Gary Demar’s excellent article deals with this interview and the historical data: http://www.americanvision.org/article/republicans-are-socialists-too/

[3] http://dailyreckoning.com/bushs-top-ten-economic-errors/

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/16/white-houses-mixed-messag_n_260733.html

[5] Peter Schiff and Dr. Rand Paul are both running for Senate in the Republican Party.

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