In 1965, Democrats were clearly worried about the impact of the Medicare legislation. Medicare was viewed as an experiment that might not be sustainable, and therefore needed to be carefully reviewed. Democrat congressman, Wilbur Mills, then Chairman of Ways and Means argued: “when tax rates are as high as they are now, we must take into account the fact that any changes we make will inevitably have far reaching economic effects…It would be folly… To nationalize health care as some have proposed, and thus federalize medical personnel, institutions and procedures—eventually if not at the start—also would amount to a stunning new financial burden for every American taxpayer.”
It is also important to note that in 1965, Democrat supporters for expanded entitlement benefits realized they might be wrong. Reading though the debate in Congressional Register of 1965, one sees humility and open-mindedness. But, as Pelosi shows, the current Democrat leadership are rigid ideologues. To placate the ravening appetites of their left-wing extremists, special interest groups, they are willing to ruin the nation.
President Obama’s vision of America calls for an ever-expanding welfare state with ever-increasing government handouts and bailouts, even as the financial health of the nation teeters on the brink of insolvency. Then, to rub salt in the wounds of the fiscally conservative, Obama lectures on the need to address our “unsustainable” government spending, even as he continues to press for more spending aimed at supporting loyalists’ union causes, his own special interests, and dubious spending schemes.
Democrats from the 60s seemed determined to balance their desire for expansive entitlements with a respect the needs of those taxpayers--the businesses and workers-- whose taxes pay for it all. Above all, there was a cautious consciousness that huge, federally run government programs are rarely cost-effective and rarely operated efficiently.
In June 1966, discussing the implementation of the Medicare legislation, President Lyndon Johnson said “Washington is no place to patrol matters in 50 States. The farther you get away from the community, the less efficient you are and the more expensive you are.”
On the other hand, President Obama’s recent road tour (with stops at Facebook, Oprah’s couch and NYC) to promote the need for additional taxes to pay for spending schemes and to increase the debt ceiling without implementing dramatic spending cuts, reeked of demagoguery and implying that the federal government in Washington, is better suited to care for citizens than the citizens themselves. Or at least, that seemed to be his explanation, for the buzz-words adopted by the Left of “shared sacrifice” and “fair share” are deceptive. Just send your money to Washington and all will be taken care of and only the “rich” will pay; the middle class, citizen will be unaffected.
Is there any wonder why Americans are increasingly worried? Modern Democrats have lost their way and have become selfish, irresponsible and blind. They make intellectually dishonest pleas to protect unsustainable social welfare programs without the slightest interest in finding an honest way to pay for them.
Reading the speeches of Obama and other senior Democrat leaders gives one the distinct impression that they are far more interested in rewarding their core constituents than in protecting the nation’s financial health. Democrats would bankrupt the nation rather than make prudent and long-overdue changes to over-generous entitlement programs.
And that is why Americans are so worried.