Back in the 1960s Lyndon Johnson had a big idea, and liberals ushered in a so-called ?great society.? Over the next 30 years the federal government poured more than $5 trillion into various programs, without producing a noticeable drop in poverty. In fact, the government was actually rewarding broken homes, illegitimacy and paying people not to work.
But in 1996, conservatives stepped in. Our idea included requiring that welfare recipients actually work or train to work if they wanted to receive a check. In the last eight years, child poverty and dependence have plummeted, and employment among single mothers has skyrocketed.
Today we want to do something similar with Medicare. Last year, Congress passed a massive new prescription-drug entitlement that will take effect in 2006. It?s slated to cost more than $43 billion in its first year alone.
But there?s a better way: Medicare drug-discount cards. These cards harness the power of the market to allow seniors to save up to 90 percent on their prescriptions. Plus, they do so without the sort of government price-fixing that might limit access to -- or development of -- new drugs.
Liberals opposed the president?s plan to add prescription drugs to Medicare -- as many of us did. But they also failed to lay out an alternative, which conservatives did with drug-discount cards.
Conservatives intend to fix Social Security, welfare and Medicare -- the very programs that liberals created. And we?ll do so no matter how often the left yells, ?Stop!?