I’ll Give You Yours If You Give Me Mine

You’ll rarely find the Nonprofiteer arguing for reduction in funding for any social program–but here’s an exception.  In yet another pointless effort to secure cooperation from Republicans so the government can accomplish something actual people actually want (partisan, moi?), Democrats offered a swap: they’d agree to fund abstinence-only sex education programs if Republicans would agree to fund one of the Democrats’ pork-barrel boondoggles, namely, health care for working-class children.

Of course, it didn’t work–here’s an idea, guys: if you’re going to sell out, get something back, okay?–but even if it had, it’s an idiotic way to do business.  Instead, when Republicans argue there’s not enough money for the S-CHIP program, respond to their argument: CANCEL abstinence programs, which are a dishonest and ineffective waste of time, and use that money to PAY for S-CHIP.

Of course the outcome would be different if we had a Democratic (that is, non-vetoing) president.  But the Nonprofiteer is afraid the S-CHIP battle is the shape of things to come.  If we don’t make the big push for universal health insurance within the next few years, it’ll be too late: the more Baby Boomers become eligible for Medicare, the less they’ll worry about those of us who don’t have the option of government insurance.  And if you think the health insurance lobby isn’t watching that clock, consider that these are people who look at actuarial tables for a living. 

You don’t fund programs by diverting money to other programs: you fund programs by withdrawing money from other programs.  Let’s start with abstinence.

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2 Responses to “I’ll Give You Yours If You Give Me Mine”

  1. Anita Bernstein Says:

    Correct me if I am wrong: The S-CHIP bill that Bush vetoed would have upped federal spending from $5 billion to $12 billion per year. Abstinence-only education is a horror, but to the tune of only $50 million. So the swap you propose, though terrific as policy, leaves children uninsured. I suggest we make up some of the shortfall by defunding one of our mercenary armies in Iraq.

  2. Nonprofiteer Says:

    You’re absolutely right: getting rid of abstinence education would only be a start. I too support diverting money from Blackwater’s profits to children’s health care. May I also suggest taking a look at the new EarmarkWatch.org, a Website displaying Congressional earmarks hidden in various appropriations bills? Surely we could do without some of those grants for research into wombat hygiene in Kansas, and though few of the earmarks top $1 million, as Mr. Dirksen said, “Sooner or later you’re talking about real money.”

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