BHO vs. McCain on health care & energy

Health care and its rising costs, and declining availability, have become issues, and on this score McCain’s proposals are superior to Obama’s. Between government domination of the market through Medicare, Medical and other publicly funded programs, and tax-free employer-based plans, Americans have less and less say over the cost of their health care. Instead of budgeting for routine visits to the doctor, just as we do with food, clothing, gasoline and other household costs, and purchasing health insurance, as we do for our homes and our vehicles, for catastrophic expenses, we refer all our medical costs to the government or to private insurers. Is it any wonder that costs have skyrocketed? That both public and private plans have sought to cut costs? When asked Tuesday night if medical care was a responsibility, a right or an entitlement, McCain chose the first and Obama chose the second. These differences are telling. Knowing the advantage of being in a preferred group, as a recipient of government care or tax-free employer care, has over being in business for yourself or being unemployed, McCain proposes that every citizen, and not just employers, be given a $5000 a year refundable credit so that they can get the best deal they can. Not only that, they would be free to buy health insurance anywhere, not just in their own state, as the situation is now. Obama, on the other hand, wants to make a problematic situation even worse by instituting a government benefit for all who desire it. This would crowd out the private market for health insurance, just as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have done for housing loans, making the profitability of private plans highly dubious. Obama tries to play down this inevitable consequence by insisting that people would still be free to purchase private plans. Ask Canadians if they have that freedom under socialized medicine. And he adds that those who keep their employer-based plans will be taxed more. What he doesn’t tell you is that employers will be able to pay their employees more in lieu of health-care coverage, but employees will pay more taxes only because they are unjustly penalized for making more money!

Although McCain has been sidetracked by "environmental" concerns in regards to oil drilling and alleged global warming, he has long endorsed the full range of affordable and practical alternatives to dependence on foreign oil. More recently, he has endorsed drilling off our coastlines so long as affected states concur. He knows that the most eligible alternative for power is nuclear energy, which even environmental "greens" admit is safe and clean. He wants to stop the flow of oil money to despotic regimes that aid and abet terrorist groups abroad who threaten us and our allies, and everybody else. He supports research and development but not wholesale subsidies to as-yet unproven technology. But Obama is famous for advocating pitifully small conservation measures such as keeping up air pressure in our tires and driving at slower speeds. He makes rhetorical gestures toward oil and nuclear development, but does not commit himself to it.

This is as good a place as any to take on the bugaboo of the greedy oil companies, which even McCain feels compelled to harp on. In the first place, they buy most of their oil from overseas, spend gigantic sums for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, attempt to make a profit for their shareholders and supply gasoline at the lowest possible price. Media reports of "huge" profits never mention the much greater costs incurred, nor the necessity to obtain the means for securing more oil in the future. It makes literally no sense to believe that oil companies deliberately jack up prices and thereby infuriate their customers. They are dependent largely on their foreign suppliers, inasmuch as Congress has forbidden offshore drilling for 30 years. There is no more public, recurring and palpable cost than the per gallon price of gasoline. We had it good for so many years we thought it could go on forever. Now the only sensible thing to do is drill for more, the sooner the better.