Daily Reads

Friday, August 13, 2004

Pointless Political Rant

Trying a different font. Hmm.

Spent half an hour on the phone with my little sister yesterday. She lives out in SF, and is firmly entrenched in Blue State America, both physically and mentally. Not only has she actually said that Bush is Hitler, but she also thinks he is the anti-Christ, that Kerry is going to lower my taxes and the federal deficit, that Bush is going to raise my taxes and the federal deficit, that the only reason the Arabs hate us is that we support Israel (which I doubt is the reason that the Ottoman Empire was waltzing up to the gates of Vienna, or any of the problems during the period between WWI and WWII), and that the reason the Cold War lasted as long as it did is because we were in Cuba.

I understand the Israel thing, even if I think she's wrong. I've certainly heard enough other people spout that line. But where does the Cold War/Cuba thing come from? I have to admit that I don't know much about post WWII world history, but even my Blue State mother thought that was a rather odd comment, and my 20+ year navy vet husband's reaction was pretty close to twirling his finger beside his temple.

Oh, and by the way, we need universal national health care. I attempted to point out to her how much higher her taxes would have to be to pay for this, but all she could do is point me to the wonders of Canada. When I tried to remind her that Canadians die on the waiting lists to get in to see specialists, when here they would get in within a few weeks at most, all she could do was keep repeating that at least Canadians could all get health care. So I suppose the fact that we can all end up on waiting lists and die waiting is better than getting at least most people in soon enough to treat the disease process before it becomes terminal, since the triage for this is partly whether the ill person can afford the treatment. Not that I really know any doctor who will turn away a person who really needs his care. Physicians have no trouble with charity care; they do have a problem with having to basically be employees of a system which doesn't pay them a living wage, and which constantly interferes with their treatment decisions. Which last time I looked was considered practicing medicine without a license. But then I suppose that's OK as long as everyone gets free health care.

Just wait till she actually has a real job and has to pay real taxes. She may change her mind when she is trying to support a family of 4 on 50K a year in a place where rents are over 1K per month, and she is losing close to 25% of her paycheck in income and payroll taxes. That will leave her with barely 2K per month to pay all her utilities, her car payment, her insurance, her food, her clothes, a little bit of entertainment, and maybe actually put something away to pay for her retirement and her kids' college. The last thing I want is the federal government telling me they know how to spend my money better than I do, and not giving me any choice in the matter. Especially since the money they're taking right now for my retirement won't be there when I'm ready to recieve it, or not without some major restructuring, which neither of the main parties seems willing to do.

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