Sunday, October 21, 2007

Steyn on SCHIP: Ponzi scheme?

I've long been a fan of Mark Steyn, a Canadian columnist and author, and his unique perspective on American politics. It was my husband who, after reading several of his columns online, introduced me to Steyn's witty and informative commentary.

As a Canadian, he often comments about the good things in America, especially compared to the more socialistic tendencies of European nations. His most recent analysis of SCHIP is no exception, making light of the 'for the children' catch phrase in contrast to what he describes as the real 'war on children.'

Last Thursday, Nancy Pelosi, as is the fashion, used the phrase "the children" like some twitchy verbal tic, a kind of Democrat Tourette's syndrome: "This is a discussion about America's children … We could establish ourselves as the children's Congress … Come forward on behalf of the children ... I tried to do that when I was sworn in as speaker surrounded by children. It was a spontaneous moment, but it was one that was clear in its message: we are gaveling this House to order on behalf of the children."

Etc. So what is the best thing America could do "for the children"? Well, it could try not to make the same mistake as most of the rest of the Western world and avoid bequeathing the next generation a system of unsustainable entitlements that turns the entire nation into a giant Ponzi scheme.

Steyn is always a thought-provoking read - but this column goes a step further and asks us to think not just about the short-term impact of a SCHIP expansion, but the cumulative effect it - and other entitlement programs - have ... especially on 'the children.'

UPDATED: Turns out Taxmanblog, Porkopolis and Wizbang blogs have posts on this article as well...


Roo said...

While I hate to see families in distress over medical bills, I am seriously opposed to this program. It is a road sign pointing to "I'm entitled to it. The Government said so."

And if I hear one more politician (or politically based entity!) use the term "for the children" I'm going to scream.

You want to do something "for the children"? Allocate funds to secure renewable energy. How about sustainable nature resources? Or...primary education?

Government endorsed 'warm fuzzies' are certainly wearing thin in my book.

Maggie Thurber said...

"government endorsed 'warm fuzzies'"

that's a good one!

Tim Higgins said...

I cannot help but agree with roo that everyone feels for families in distress over medical bills (even cold-hearted Republicans and heartless conservatives), and I too cringe every time I hear the phrase, "for the children".

I am shocked however at Mr. Steyn's characterization of SCHIP as a ponzi scheme. I thought that Social Security held this singular, dubious distinction.

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