More Health Care Scare Tactics
Since most undecided voters seem to be getting their opinions from commercials I thought I'd point out one incredibly inaccurate health care/tax scare commercial I've been seeing on TV.
Someone, apparently the high-fructose corn syrup or diet pill industry is sponsoring a commercial against a possible tax on junk food.
In countries where people struggle to eat enough this must seem ludicrous and, lest we forget, millions of people (many children) are on the verge of real hunger in this country right now with more getting desperate every day as unemployment runs out and no new jobs are in sight.
Personally I don't want the government telling me what to eat; I feel that, between them, Mother Nature and Darwin will place any necessary penalties on people who make bad choices. Unfortunately the rest of us also have to pay when people get sick or can't work.
But leaving out the ethics of promoting junk food in a country with terrible nutrition problems (i.e. too many people are far too large while far too many kids are going hungry), what bothers me is the blatant lie underlying the commercial's message. It is so obvious that people should feel insulted that it even runs.
(Of course it isn't as bad as Chia-Obama which is just wrong on so many levels.)
The tag or take-away line from the commercial is "Taxes never made anyone healthy."
What, not the tobacco tax which has paid for the insurance of millions of kids?
What, not Medicare taxes which provide healthcare for tens of millions of seniors?
What, not the taxes which go to pay public health officers, or build water systems, or pay for the CDC salaries, or local septic systems? As violent and nasty as the ancient Romans were, even Rome built good water systems and knew enough to build sewers - AND that is was something government had to do.
Well, I guess if you ignore the hundreds of millions of Americans who stay healthy or are treated for illness every day with tax money, then I guess the commercial's message is accurate.
I personally am not a big fan of the idea that government is here so everything will be fine. But some tasks, such as building sewer or drinking water systems for cities, or supporting the health of tens of millions of elderly or poor children, just weren't being managed well by private companies. The fact that government should do a better job doesn't mean they shouldn't do these things at all.
Years ago many water projects were started by small groups of citizens, but even they were almost always backed by public funds.
Does anyone actually believe that taxes on cigarettes haven't reduced the number of young smokers or made kids healthier by paying for CHIPs (Children's Health Insurance Program)?
(No, I'm not a health Nazi, I happen to smoke a not so occasional cigar but I'm old enough to decide for myself, not a teen or pre-teen being seduced into a lifetime addiction by advertising tricks.)
In "theory" less government is better and taxes are bad - the short form is "greed is good."
That works for a while till deficits get too big and you hand them over to the other political party to deal with. Know of any unfunded wars in our recent history? Or any big banks which probably needed more government regulation instead of less?
In theory less government and lower taxes don't harm us.
In theory it won't harm you to fall off the Empire State Building. After all, the fall doesn't cause any injury at all - most experts agree that it is that damn landing that causes all the problems.
Well, eventually a country lands too.
In the same way having health insurance premiums go up 10% per year (as it has been) isn't a real problem, as long as you can pay for it. Of course in another decade at the current rate of increase, health care will take up about 110% of GDP which is a real hard sidewalk under a very tall skyscraper.
Sure, less government is a great idea, but not if people don't exhibit any common sense.
Just wishing hard enough for something doesn't make it happen.
John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.
* The views of Opinion writers do not necessarily reflect the views of NewsBlaze
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