Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Abraham Lincoln

I noticed a news item today.  Representative Ryan, Chair of the House Budget Committee, intends to introduce again the proposal to replace Medicare with a system of vouchers.  According to my understanding, this change would apply to persons now younger than 56 (?) years old.  Persons already retired or approaching retirement would not be affected.  We would continue on Medicare as long as we live.

I think about our second greatest President (after G. Washington).  He was Abraham Lincoln.  One of his famous sayings was that government should do things for the people that the people can not do for themselves.  He was also a Republican.  If he were brought back to life today he would have some rather cutting words to say about Mr. Ryan and other "conservative" Republicans.

In years past our government, regardless of which party held power, has spent billions of dollars on research on various ailments and diseases that shorten our lives.  A result of this work, done to help the people and something the people couldn't have done by themselves, is that the life span of the average American has increased greatly since Lincoln's day.  My grandparents perished in their late 60's to early 80's.  I will achieve the age of ninety in a week and I still have good health and the expectation of seeing who the next President will be.  I am supported by Social Security and Medicare.

The "conservative" view is that the people should not expect government to do anything for them.  Well, not exactly.  The "conservative" function of government is to protect the property of those who possess much property.  All forms must be protected: land, bank accounts, securities, intellectual property, etc.  Communism and socialism are serious threats to property ownership and owners must be protected.  Any idea or proposal that resembles socialism must be suppressed.  This seems to be the view of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, who owe their majority position to the careful redistricting done after the 2010 Census by their allies in many State legislatures.  Even though the total vote count for the House last November was majority Democratic, the redistricting guaranteed that the Republicans won in a majority of the districts.

In spite of the outcome of the election, Mr. Ryan does not have a moral mandate to proceed with his scheme to do away with Medicare.  May the spirit of Abraham Lincoln prevail and protect us from Mr. Ryan and his allies.
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