I’m going to write a few bits on the Ryan plan, etc. and I want to start with the most important facet of all these social welfare issues. I am calling this the orphan and brother-in-law problem.
The accusation by big government loving libs is that if the social welfare model is reformed people will die in the streets. Our Prez actually said the other day that autistic children would be left to fend for themselves, which was just silly. But these are the usual groups condemned to hypothetical starvation: the handicapped, the elderly, children.
But who is really most likely to lie in the gutter? That’s right, it’s your never-do-well brother-in-law. His kind has been with us always, and no, they are not going away.
And this is the first question society must answer, and in fact I think it has been answered. There have always been orphans, the poor, the disabled, the feckless b-i-l. And I truly think, for the most part, that most people want to chip in a little, all the time, to provide for these people. Otherwise we might have to directly provide for them ourselves. They might be sleeping our OUR couch RIGHT NOW!
Most of us discriminate between the “deserving” and the “undeserving” poor. I think for the most part that is a distinction that can be made but I venture it is more gray-shaded in real life than it is in theory. It is also arguable that allowing the “undeserving” to languish uncared for helps no one. We must, for example, treat the sick (or at the very least the contagious) because to do otherwise endangers all those “deserving” healthy.
However, there is a presumption on the left that each person has only a claim on the government and none whatsoever on their own family. Even their parents! If the public school doesn’t feed a child he or she will go hungry. This is frightening in that the left sees only a relationship between the individual and the state. Friends and family need not apply.
I remember the last bout of “mediscare” after Newt Gingrich’s quote was taken out of context and the Dems ran TV ads repeating his phrase ‘wither on the vine”. For those who don’t remember Gingrich was saying Medicare would “wither on the vine”, as you may realize this was quickly transposed to mean old folks would “wither on the vine”.
The TV ad I recall featured an old lady, sitting by a rain-streaked window, the rain evocatively echoed by the tears running down her face. Too much? Well not quite Paul Ryan pushing granny off the cliff, so their messaging has either improved or deteriorated, I’m really not sure.
I remember watching this ad and thinking, she’s not crying over Medicare, she’s crying because her kids don’t call, they don’t visit, they don’t care!
We do, as a society, need to chip in and provide for the needy. There are some rash folks who would deny this, but I doubt that is the majority of people.
However, as a society we need to husband our resources (is that sexist? My old college prof would say yes. What an insufferable idiot that woman was!) We also need, always, always, always to devolve power to individuals.
The question to be asked about Ryan’s plan vs. Obama’s plan (which, since you probably don’t know is 15 unelected, unaccountable, un-sue-able special masters making the decisions for you, for everyone!) is WHO CHOOSES?