- Politics and Social Issues
Those Cruel and Uncaring Conservatives
October 10, 2011
I had a conversation with a liberal who allegedly was a wealthy person awhile back (I have no proof they were wealthy, only that they said they were in the top 1% of income earners).
He believed he had the perfect right to tell all taxpayers what it was he thought they should do with their money.
His (basic) philosophy was, we weren’t taxed enough and the rich didn’t pay their “fair share” (gee, this is starting to have a familiar ring to it).
He (let’s call him Joe for the sake of this story) even offered an account about a relative in the hopes he could theoretically bolster his position. It was a sad story – the relative had a grown son who lived with him, got into a horrendous car accident and the subsequent hospital bills broke the family member’s finances and ultimately spirit. Broke, homeless and saddled with a now dependent son to take care of, along with insurmountable debt, the relative was despondent. Joe said, this wasn’t fair.
This was the basis for his argument that a) the rich need to pay their fair share and b) others need to pay for the healthcare costs of others who are less fortunate (i.e. Obamacare).
I will confess, at first blush, my heart went out to this man. We had a grown daughter who lived with us a short time after she graduated from Michigan State University while she was in-between jobs. If something had--God-forbid--happened to her, we would have given everything and anything we had to bring her back to health. There is no question of it.
When I thought of this, another thought occurred to me. We bought our first house – the house we now live in, in 2004. As a career Army Officer, my husband and I thought it wise for us never to own a home as we moved on an average, every two years. So it was with trepidation I realized that our daughter would be living with us and she no longer would be covered under her student-bought health insurance. My husband and I discussed it and after a little research, we bought a six month “catastrophic" health insurance policy for her – just in case. We didn’t want to take the chance that she could possibly require extensive care due to some unforeseen emergency and then be left with crippling bills leading to us losing our long awaited for home. You pay in one lump sum and at the time, it gave us some peace of mind.
So it was with that memory I asked Joe, “Did your relative buy insurance for his son and it just didn’t cover the costs or what?”
Joe ignored my question and rattled on about those with enough money should be “investing” in helping those who couldn’t afford health care.
So I tried to get back to the point. I explained what we did for our daughter. I then asked again, had his relative neglected to do the same thing? Is that why this terrible calamity left him broke and essentially destitute because he failed to buy health insurance for his son?
More obfuscation by mentioning that I was cruel and callous for not wanting to help the poor or needy. Yeah, those cruel and horrible conservatives. We're an evil lot we are...
So I repeated my question, prefacing it with, “Was it that your relative couldn’t even afford this type of lump sum policy at the time? Prior to the accident, was your relative poor?”
I’m guessing not. I'm guessing relative decided he simply didn't wish to bother paying for medical insurance for his young grown son. I'll never know for certain as I never received an answer to my questions posed to him regarding a rider type of policy to tide the relative over while his son lived with him for just such a terrible unexpected emergency.
I believe his relative decided to take his chances believing nothing disastrous would happen. That’s a nice outlook, but why should the taxpayer pay for that type of gamble? While I'm sorry for his relative's now stone-broke situation, why is this my fault? The grasshopper and the ant story seems to come to mind here...
Why is it the responsibility of me or any taxpayer to pay for his relatives poor judgment? That would have been my question had I bothered to continue to waste my time answering his straw-man arguments. I didn’t stick around, I don’t have the patience as I don’t suffer fools very well. I know, I need to work on that, but there it is…a confession. Who has the time to chase around a circular, nonsensical argument?
It all boils down to personal responsibility. It’s a Biblical principle. Imagine that. This seems a very difficult concept for liberals to embrace. Do I say that healthcare in this country with or without Obamacare is perfect? Of course not. However, I do know this – asking those who earn a living and pay taxes, to pay for everyone who falls upon unfortunate circumstances isn’t logical.
Later on Joe was bemoaning those who came into the clinic where his wife worked in various advanced stages of illness due to the fact they couldn’t afford proper preventative medical care. Ultimately, they ended up in a clinic well past an easily treatable stage sometimes actually leading to death. My heart broke. I listened to him tell a few more very upsetting stories. Especially when he talked about a small child who came into the clinic almost on death’s door with something that early treatment probably could have avoided altogether. He finished with his obvious implication as yet unspoken—we need Obamacare.
I have been a volunteer for such organizations as the American Red Cross and various nation-wide animal rescue groups for most of my adult life. I’m not saying this to elicit any type of reaction from anyone who might read this. I will say something quite frankly. I do it first and foremost because yes, I believe it to be my Christian duty. It is also something else.
It makes me feel good.
It truly is better to give than it is to receive and I’ve lived this, over and over, applying this principle proving itself sometimes in the short run but also sometimes in the long run. When I give, it brings me joy. I’m no saint and I’m not trying to imply that I am. Doing something for others that brings happiness is awesome.
So it was not without care that I answered Joe as he left his implied point about our need for Obamacare hanging in the air between us.
“Well, I guess this is the way I see it. It’s all about personal responsibility. Even Jesus said in his time ‘The poor will always be with you.’ Since this is a universal truth, I see it this way: I have no right to demand that my neighbor next door do something about a cause I believe to be important, as causes are as varied as species of fish. I do, however, have the ability to do something about the poor myself, in my own community and I believe it is my duty to take action. So I take action.”
I went on to explain, that to some that may be just to write a check. To some who don’t have the means or the money – for example those who might work two jobs with three children to support – then maybe once a month they could ladle soup at the soup kitchen. Regardless of how much a person can devote towards this end, it’s up to the individual as I have no right to take my neighbor’s money and put it towards the particular societal organization I personally deem worthy. The federal government doesn’t either. I gave this example: I believe a pro-life group should get a large portion of our charitable giving. Should it therefore be my right to take his (Joe’s) money and give it to my chosen pro-life group (knowing full-well Joe was pro-choice)? Of course not. That’s why the federal government taking money and distributing it is a wrong system of doing things. Not to mention unconstitutional.
Joe is a figment of my imagination, it is in reality, a conglomeration of discussions with liberals, but the point is still the same.
Personal responsibility. You keep your mitts off of my money and I’ll keep my mitts off of yours unless it is specified in the constitution for the general welfare. Otherwise liberals, check that box to give extra money to the treasury when you send your money into the IRS. If you prefer, make a trip to D.C. and deliver your money in person. Stop carping about you having the right to the money the rest of us have earned, you don’t.