Wednesday, January 12, 2011

JOB KILLING

A new catch phrase going around Washington these days seems to be "job-killing." This past week, there have been calls by Congressional Republicans to repeal the "job-killing" health care law past last year. 

I'm not sure how this law will kill jobs; since, if anything, it will create jobs as more people have access to health care. But this is a minor technicality. There is something more insidious going on. Over the years, there has been a trend by politicians to misrepresent facts, twist events, and now, blatantly lie. I know politics is a dirty business, but have we reached the point where it's okay to state an outright lie? Some of the changes in the new health care law will be good and some will be bad. But is this new law "job-killing"?  

It's true that lawmakers rely on rhetorical tricks to give their legislation an edge, and Democrats aren't immune. Last year, the Democrats tried to pass the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, a piece of legislation aimed at providing illegal aliens with free education and a path toward citizenship. (It seems the Democrats are not averse to sucking up to their political base as well.) And of course, there is the PATRIOT Act, a law that should have been named the "Give Up Your Constitutional Rights" Act. But that's another story.


I digress. Back to "job-killing." Calling something a "job killing" so and so apparently has some resonance. No doubt, the Republicans have done extensive marketing research and discovered that Americans are against "job-killing." Who isn't?  But to label something as "job killing" without a shred of truth does a great disservice to the American people. Do the Republicans truly believe that if you say something long enough, it will make it true?

Like many people, I was not happy with the final version of the health care law. For one thing, it did nothing to contain health care costs. In fact, the health care law eliminated the possibility of cost containment by removing the public option. The public option would have guaranteed competition by providing an alternative to the private insurance plans. By mandating that people purchase insurance from private insurance companies, while not capping premium rates, simply opens the door for abuse and high prices. Unfortunately, the public option was removed. The Republicans called the public option Socialism. I called it Free Market Capitalism. Which label do you like?

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