The high cost of free lunches

Burt Prelutsky
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Posted: Sep 08, 2006 1:10 AM

Sometimes I think I spend more time trying to figure out what makes liberals tick than Einstein spent coming up with his Theory of Relativity, but, then, he was merely dealing with time and space. I, on the other hand, am trying to bring sanity to bear on what gives every appearance of being sheer lunacy.

For instance, if I’d heard liberals suggest that the U.S. should adopt Canada’s health care plan once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Until recently, the drawbacks I was aware of were that it took huge taxes to support the plan and it could take months to schedule an operation. The one thing I never heard criticized was their drug program. Because the Canadian government negotiated directly with the pharmaceutical companies, we’ve been told incessantly, the cost of drugs was a lot cheaper once you went north of the border.

What I recently discovered painted quite a different picture; one more along the lines of the portrait up in Dorian Gray’s attic. For one thing, the wait for certain operations can take, not just months, but years. Which is why many Canadians, who have already been bled dry to support the program, opt to come south and pay for surgery out of their own threadbare pockets.

Other people who come across the border, but never go back, are doctors and surgeons. Tired of paying those exorbitant taxes and earning far less than their American colleagues, they’re creating a brain drain of sizable proportions.

Even Canada’s highly-touted pharmaceutical program isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It seems that the way it works, Canadians pay less than we do for patented drugs; however, once the patent runs out in a very few years, they have to pay more than we do for most generic drugs.

So, why is it that leftists are so enamored with Canada’s system? Just because they are. It’s for the same reason they’re against capital punishment for serial killers, but for abortions on demand for 13-year-olds. It’s why they’re vehemently opposed to having “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, but they’re for handing out sex questionnaires to eight-year-old kids, and condoms to their slightly older brothers. It’s why they’re against locking up the borders to illegal aliens, but they’re for denying law- abiding citizens the right to own guns. Why? Why? Why? Because they’re nuts. Because they read from the playbook that’s been assembled by the likes of James Carville and Ted Kennedy, Chris Matthews and Barbara Boxer, George Soros and Jimmy Carter, John Kerry and Michael Moore.

I can no more get into the head of a liberal than that proverbial camel can stroll through the eye of a needle.

Maybe the height of their lunacy is their belief that Muslim terrorists, whether beheading civilians in Iraq, blowing up school children in Tel Aviv, or placing phone calls in New York City, are entitled to all the Constitutional guarantees of American citizens.

Why did five left-wing members of the Supreme Court decide in the Kelo case that city governments have the right to take away your home if some developer decides it’s a good site for a mini-mall? As the Russian landowners discovered to their dismay 75 years ago, Stalin, like Kennedy, Souter and the other three lunkheads who get to wear their bathrobes to work, didn’t believe in private ownership of land and property.

Perhaps I’m on to something here. People like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, recognized that a constant threat to their regimes came from a strong middle class. And so they either killed them, imprisoned them, or re-educated them by means of whips, clubs and electrodes.

American liberals, deprived of such tools, have had to settle for the next-best weapon; namely, the very good friend of just about every tyrant who’s ever lived, the tax collector. It is the easiest means by which to destroy America’s middle class. The less of their own money that Americans get to keep, the more dependent they become on the federal government to provide health, education and housing.

Forty-two years ago, Barry Goldwater was ridiculed for pointing out that Uncle Sam was our uncle, not our daddy. These days, it seems, we all need reminding that he’s supposed to be our uncle, not our Big Brother.