Two recent news items remind us of the disconnect between the Democrats' claimed monopoly on compassion and the effects of their policies.
First, consider the emotionally charged public debate over President Bush's veto of a proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Programs.
Standing by congressional Democrats in their push to override the veto, singer Paul Simon said with earnest indignation, "The president's veto of the reauthorization of SCHIP appears to be a heartless act. I'm here today to ask those of you who supported the veto to reexamine your conscience, to find compassion in your heart for our most vulnerable and sweetest citizens, our children."
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, the compassionate Simon is obviously unaware that the matter is not as simple as merely throwing money at the problem. To quote House Minority Leader John Boehner, "There are 500,000 kids in America who are eligible for this program who have not been signed up, yet there are some 700,000 adults who are already on the program."
Simon, unlike the Democrats pulling his puppet strings, must not realize that President Bush supports a $5 billion expansion, not reduction, of the program, or that the Democrats' plan goes far beyond providing a safety net to the needy. It would allow states to make coverage available to families with incomes greater than $60,000 a year, which would entice people who can well afford private health insurance to opt for state coverage.
Is it good for the children for Democrats to exploit them as props in their quest to force socialized medicine on this nation, one incremental step at a time? Will the inevitably long waiting lines and substantially reduced quality of care be good for the children?
Why can't congressional Democrats just admit they have a soft spot for socialism: that they believe capitalism results in too much economic disparity and that government -– the Constitution be damned –- should redistribute wealth to suit their ideas of fairness? Never mind that a command-control economy results in a smaller economic pie. What matters is they care, and by gosh, they're willing to forcibly transfer other people's money to prove it.
As another example, consider the Democrats' obstruction of President Bush's efforts to reform Social Security. Who can forget the Democrats' (Bill Clinton's, Al Gore's) insistence that the future solvency of this entitlement was in such jeopardy that it must be placed off limits in a lock box?