Friday, January 04, 2008

Ever notice...

Does it occur to anyone else that every new program, every new benefit promised us, every social welfare program "enhancement" that all of these politicians tell us they are going to give us, is going to be bought and paid for with our own money, and often with money that one group earns that another group gets?

ANY candidate who runs a platform that carries a "new program" plank (like universal healthcare) is telling us that those who can afford it (a.k.a. those who have jobs) are going to bear the burden for those who can't (a.k.a. those who don't have a job).

I am touchy about the healthcare issue. I get 100% free healthcare, including all prescriptions. I get it from my employer. It's a benefit, a "perk" of working in a field of endeavor that is very likely to leave you crippled. Even training often leads to various levels of exposure (remember how I caught cold this past summer?) Foeld time will eventually weaken your resistance to illness. Not to mention exposure to chemicals that'd make an OSHA inspectors' head esplode. The Tank's hydraulic fluid is carcinogenic. I can't count how many times I've been soaked in it. The NBC system's air filters have chromium 23, which'll give you all sorts of tumors if inhaled/ingested/touched, and it gets exposed if the NBC system burns. I've had 3 NBC system fires in my career. Maintenance on heavy equipment takes its toll, as does carrying a couple hundred pounds of "ultralightweight field gear" in my rucksack for the occasional hike through the woods.

I honestly believe it's why most newly retired soldiers look 70 instead of 40.

I think I've earned my country picking up the tab for my scrapes and cuts. I don't think that a wall-street mover and shaker, or a hollyweird thespian, or any elected representative except the POTUS and VPOTUS (& their families) should get free healthcare; nor do I think your average meth head, 7-11 clerk, or college student should receive free healthcare.

The children--since they are our future, after all, should. Hands down. Every US citizen should be able to receive free vaccinations, meds and treatment until they are 18, and only if they have a pre-existing condition should that healthcare continue beyond age 18. If they are healthy at 18, then they need to know that anything worth having (like healthcare) must be earned.

But Chuck, how will we pay for all this free healthcare for the children? Simple: since Ambulance chasers drove healthcare costs through the roof, annual Attorney licenses from the bar will include a $100 levy for each lawyer. Additionally, all assets belonging to the Clinton Klan will be immediately seized. Welfare recipients will be paid a set amount, regardless of the number of babies they have (grandfathered, of course, so that current families would not suffer. After enactment, the rate would be for the same as the current 1-child rate, following the "You get one oops" ideology. Anchor babies would receive healthcare at whatever border detention facility their parents were staying at--unless the parents decided to move back to their own country.

Pharmaceutical companies will receive tax shelters for medicine provided to children's healthcare, and hospitals and doctors treating children will also receive tax breaks. Medical malpractice suits deemed frivolous will result in the immediate seizure of all assets, personal and business, of both the plaintiff and their attorneys. However, any malpractice suit deemed justified, and ending with a conviction will result in the doctor losing all license to practice medecine except in a federal or state-run prison or border detention facility.

Taxes on alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, and firearms shall immediately be repealed, and the programs they support will get the ax, too. After all, taxing a gun puts a federal and state vig on someone exercising their rights, and if everyone stopped drinking, smoking, and driving, those programs would die anyway. It's time the gummint got out of the business of trying to regulate legal behaviors, or at least profit from puritanical ideals.

The gummint could more than make up the revenue loss by emptying prisons of people serving life--or multiple life--sentences. $0.30 of lead, applied behind the ear of each convict, could solve that problem quickly (and would really add some deterrent to the "3 strikes" law.) Also, even if they aren't serving life sentences, the same could be applied to rapists and pedophiles.

Any revenue surplus at the end of the year would be put into an interest-bearing account, to be drawn on in years when the funds are needed ONLY for the children's healthcare.
Children's healthcare would begin at conception, too. Prenatal healthcare should be free and critical in a country as great as ours, and we should have an infant mortality rate so small that any infant death should be a national tragedy.

Finally, because parents who abuse their children cause an undue stress on the children's healthcare system, any parent convicted of abuse, or of allowing abuse to occur, shall be publicly flogged, put in stocks, and left in the town center until the child's physical, mental, and emotional wounds are healed.

Our society will only remain great as long as we protect those who cannot protect themselves, and as long as we are a society willing to cast out those who would willingly do harm to our society.

As for the elderly, you've had 65 years to figure shit out. You should've at LEAST come up with a good excuse, oh greatest generation...


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