I was reading my sister’s piece on the Titanic again, and it got me thinking. Me being me, I started thinking politics, rather than nautical disasters.
Stick with me for a moment.
Paul Ryan has been warning of our dire financial situation for years now. You can say this about Ryan: he has the courage of his own convictions. He’s one of the few folks in Congress who can articulate the true nature of our financial plight, and he rarely wastes an opportunity to voice that concern. From his now-famous videos on the Path To Prosperity, to various exchanges with his political opponents about the disastrous Obamacare, the man exudes charm, sincerity and raw certitude of his subject matter.
Like the early warning system that the Titanic never had, Ryan continually exhorts us to address-and-avoid the impending financial doom that sits directly in our path. Dismissing his warnings by calling them “mean” is simply to misstate the obvious: we can’t spend money we don’t have. You also can’t do it by printing money (aka: monetizing the debt), and you can’t borrow money indefinitely. These realities are unpleasant to consider, but to avoid considering them BECAUSE they’re unpleasant brings a certain phrase to mind:
His most recent article (discussing Obamacare and its dangers) in The American Spectator is classic Ryan:
The President’s health care overhaul is emblematic of the wrong way to address the problems in health care and Medicare. The law raids Medicare by nearly $700 billion to fund a new, unsustainable, open-ended health care entitlement. It creates a government panel of bureaucrats with the power to impose price controls on providers in ways that would result in rationed care and restricted access to treatments. It vastly expands an already unwieldy administrative state by creating 159 new boards, commissions, and government programs. It is built around the flawed assumption that bureaucrats, if given power over the marketplace, can curb rising health care costs by expertly determining prices and dictating treatment options to doctors and patients.
Ultimately, this approach transforms the relationship between citizen and state, leaving individuals increasingly passive and dependent on their government. Further, it substantially diminishes the quality of and the access to care, as future policymakers cut costs to meet budgetary bottom lines rather than patients’ medical needs. There is no way for “experts” in Washington to know more about the health care needs of individual Americans than those individuals and their doctors know, nor should bureaucrats second-guess how each individual would prioritize services against costs.
Read the whole article. Ryan is worried that Obamacare takes a bad situation and manages to make it even worse. However, he also consistently says that his approach is not the ONLY way out; it’s simply A way out. If we can use it to have an actual discussion about HOW to address our financial ship, perhaps we can avoid our iceberg better than a certain ship did a hundred years ago.