vendredi 31 octobre 2008

The Ghost of Ebenezer McScrooge

That's McScrooge alright!

I must say, I'm proud of my twin sister Cathy. In the Republican state of Texas, the state that is responsible for the rise of George Bush, she caucused for Obama and is voting for Obama. It looks like she is the only one in her beautiful house on Lake Austin who will be doing so, and perhaps the only one on her street of Dell millionaires. Go Cathy! Yesterday I sent her Francis Fukuyama's excellent endorsement of Obama, which I will post here. He is an incredibly brilliant political theorist who studied under Allan Bloom, has written some excellent books (including The End of History and Trust), and is credited with being one of the thinkers behind the post-modern neo-con movement. And he's voting for Obama, for simple but compelling reasons. I asked Cathy to send his endorsement to her husband Bob, who responded by sending her a scare and greed piece about how Democrats are responsible for the HUGE cost of basic social security, which threatens to eat us alive. Be afraid!
So I sent her this in reply. I call it Today's Heartfelt Rant:

Dear Cathy,
47 million Americans (including a lot of children) have no health care. That is a disgrace in a nation as wealthy as ours. If the French can provide universal health care, then so can we. John McCain wants to "privatize" all of America, and as part of that plan give everyone 5,000 dollars for healthcare that will cost them at least 12,000 dollars a year. How is our sister Carolyn going to come up with the extra 7,000 dollars needed to pay for health insurance? I'll tell you the answer: she's not. She won't be able to. And don't tell her to work harder. She works her butt off.

Social Security spending is the least of our country's worries. You know how much the war in Iraq costs our country every month? Well, it's way more than 2 billion dollars. A month! In fact, it is costing 10 billion dollars and month and there is no end in sight (see information clearinghouse: The war was supposed to last a few weeks, remember? That was five and a half years ago! Donald Rumsfeld is gone but not that monthly bill and the mounting body count. And we the taxpayers just had to pay 700 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street, in part because of the disastrous economic policies of the Bush years. That would have paid for a lot of health care. Bush. Don't get me started. He came into office with a budget surplus and is leaving our economy in a shambles. He reminds me of a spoiled frat boy who trashes a place and, as he's leaving, says "Just use the deposit. If that's not enough, call my banker. He'll pay for the repairs."

I personally make enough money to pay my bills and have no problem accepting that my ability to be a big earner is partly due to where I started in life, which was much better off than many people. I have worked hard, sure, but it is not just hard work that got me where I am today.

If people don't want to share their toys or help to pay for the things that benefit all of society or should benefit all of society -- such as roads and other infrastructure, education, basic health care, basic retirement entitlements -- then I don't want to hear them complaining about potholes, higher insurance premiums (because those who can't afford healthcare go to emergency rooms for treatment and that costs all of us in one way or another), lousy public schools and criminality. You get what you pay for, and some of us are in a position to pay a little more. I am proud to be in that position. Most people who are not as well off as I am would love to be in that position.

That's the way I see things.


P.S. I'm not directing this at you, of course. I think it is time for people to understand that the only way a Republican can get elected this time around is to lie, scare people and appeal to their most selfish instincts.

Speaking of scary shit, watch this: