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Friday, September 28, 2007

Corruptions and Dishonesties

NY Times columnist David Brooks on the S-CHIP expansion that Norm Coleman supports:

And yet because S-chip is a product of the current climate, the expansion plan in Congress has all sorts of corruptions and dishonesties built in. First, it perpetuates a smoke screen of obfuscation between who pays and who chooses. States have an incentive to ramp up benefits because they know that most of the cost will be borne by taxpayers somewhere else. Second, it entices children out of private and into public insurance, even though after 2012 it cannot cover the cost.

Third, it creates a fund-raising mechanism cowardly in the extreme. Politicians in Washington like to talk in the abstract about shared sacrifice. They could go to the American people and say: We need to insure more children and to do that we’re going to raise broad-based taxes slightly.

But that’s honest and direct, and therefore impermissible. Instead, this program is funded by raising taxes on smokers, who generally are much poorer than average Americans and much less educated. High school dropouts smoke at roughly three times the rates of college graduates.

They are also among the most demoralized people in society. Recent sociological research shows that most Americans regard smoking as a sign of low-class, unattractive behavior — and most smokers see it this way, too. Research by Kip Viscusi of Harvard suggests that smokers actually overestimate the dangers of their habit; they believe they are killing themselves even faster than they really are.

The S-chip bill takes money from these relatively poor, politically immobilized people and shifts it to those making up to $62,000 a year. Nobody is raising a tax on wine consumption or gasoline consumption to pay for this benefit. Instead, Congress is taxing the weakest possible group in order to shift benefits to others, some of whom are middle class.


Blogger Right Hook said...

Since when has Congress been Constitutionally empowered to run a health insurance program of any kind? This is nothing more than a socialist transfer of wealth scam.

Jason and Rush are absolutely correct in their assessment that this is nothing more than Hillary-Care on the installment plan.

The RINOs who voted for this nonsense deserve to be ousted and should be ashamed of themselves.

9/28/2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Force50 said...

Let me see. The poor funding a "want" and not a need for the middle class. Truly we are becoming a nation of spoiled brats led by feckless politicians.

10/03/2007 10:10 AM  

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