As many good discussions start, this one was originated on Facebook. There's a poll asking what people think of Universal Health Care and/or Obama's plan. I've always been a proponent of making health care a government mandated program. This, of course, is unpopular, particularly in Alabama and amongst my more conservative friends.
I believe, of course, that we have an obligation to take care of everyone on this planet...no matter how rich or poor. No matter if they're tall or skinny. I even believe that someone like me, who dislikes Hanson and the Jonas Brothers, has an obligation to make sure that for the rest of humanity, Hanson, the Jonas Brothers, and those who support such distasteful bands are taken care of. I believe it is just as much my duty to take care of former President George Bush as it is his duty to help take care of me. We are all stewards on this planet.
Well, that's all government health care is to me, is a way to take care of those in need. It's one way amongst the many that we can use to take care of peoples' every day needs and ensure that they are taken care of and not left behind. It seems only fair that we take care of other people, if we really deem ourselves to be decent, loving, and thoughtful people.
I have a friend who does not believe it is his duty to pay the taxes that will fund programs like health care. He believes my idea of a world where there is more government intervention to ensure that people are definitely taken care of is a scary prospect and will detract from his right to make and earn a living.
Firstly, it says nowhere in the constitution that people are guaranteed the right to be wealthy. Nowhere. We are not given a right to have money. Yes, some will point out that our founding father fought against taxes, but what is not pointed out is that it wasn't the taxes that were necessarily being fought. It was the taxation without representation that was the battlecry of our ancestors. Now, if you are a heterosexual living in any of the fifty states, then you can pretty much guarantee that you are represented. You may not like who represents you, but you've got a fair shot at expressing yourself. (I don't feel that gay/bisexual people are represent properly as this government has tended to show disdain for "alternative lifestyles" and I do not believe that people living in territories such as Puerto Rico are adequately represented.)
Secondly, taxes are not this big evil thing. Yes, it sucks to have your money taken away from you. It really does. I know that I hate having to pay sales tax, but I do it, because it serves a purpose. I also do it because I know that without that money, people wouldn't pay for the services that are covered by that 8%. I also realize that if people aren't willing to pay for those services, then chances are, they're not willing to pay for the services that the 10-35% they are taxed by the federal government without some kind of government mandate.
People swear up and down that if given the choice, they would take care of their fellow man. It's not true. People, by nature, are selfish. It sucks to say that, but it's true. If you don't believe me, the next time you go to Wal-Mart or somewhere where some charity is doing a fundraiser, look at the people who will just walk past without even stopping. Sure, they could be busy, but I bet if you check every week, regardless of the charity, they will pass by. There are some who stop and give what they can; my family is one of those. Still, the majority of people will not stop. If you won't stop to donate to a cause that will help drug addicts, then how am I supposed to believe that you'll be willing to support health care for your disabled neighbor? Or the education of your co-worker's five-year old daughter? How am I supposed to have faith that people in this world will take care of one another if they refuse to donate even a dime to a charity?
You can be well-intentioned. You can swear up and down that you're going to take care of other people. But if you don't actually do it right now, then I can see no need for lessening your tax burden which currently gives people actual programs that help to take care of their needs.
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