When Congressman John Duncan rose to speak yesterday, he surely intended to improve the public’s perception of the Republicans’ positions that taxes for millionaires and billionaires must not be increased. Instead, Duncan expressed an ugly truth about the way that Republicans in Congress look at the government programs upon which tens of millions of Americans depend upon, literally for survival.
Duncan said, “Mr. Speaker, in all the debate about the debt ceiling, the biggest falsehood is that Republicans want to protect the multimillionaires and billionaires. The millionaires and billionaires can take care of themselves; and, in fact, they come out ahead especially when government gets too big. And Republicans lose the superwealthy areas usually by two-to-one margins or more. The reason we don’t want tax increases is because the Federal Government is so wasteful.”
It’s easy to accept a general statement like “the Federal Government is so wasteful”, but considered in context, the statement becomes cruelly absurd.
It’s important to remember that Representative Duncan is arguing that taxes for millionaires and billionaires must not be increased, and that Medicare services to Americans must be cut instead. When Duncan calls the federal government wasteful, he’s saying that Medicare is wasteful.
Actually, Medicare operates much more efficiently than private medical insurance does. There’s no skimming of profits as there is in the private insurance market. Medicare works extremely well.
What’s wasteful is for the federal government to throw huge amounts of money at millionaires and billionaires through tax breaks that they don’t need. The millionaires and billionaires don’t create jobs in America with that money – they spend most of it overseas.
John Duncan is wrong. Medicare is not a waste. It’s a part of the responsibility we all have as a national community, and it ought not to be sacrificed so that the extremely wealthy can continue to expand the shameful income inequality that’s been allowed to develop in the USA.