Writing in The Arizona Republic, liberal columnist Linda Valdez took the occasion of Medicare’s 50th anniversary to laud the “courage” of Lyndon Johnson, for signing it into law.
Of course, she failed to mention that when he signed the Medicare bill in 1965, the initial cost was $3 billion, and it was estimated that the cost would increase to just $12 billion in 1990. Actually, it grew to $110 billion by 1990. Last year the cost went up to $511 billion. And a funding crisis looms.
We have spent some $15 trillion on LBJ’s war on poverty, however, 46 million people live in poverty today, and another 20 million live on less than half of the poverty level. His prediction of “victory of prosperity over poverty” is long forgotten.
After citing LBJ’s welfare wish list to continue his liberal agenda – education and training, medical care and housing -Valdez wrote, “Conservatives love to mock those ideas.” Not true. It’s unfortunate that she prefers to ignore the work going on to reverse the increase in poverty by conservatives who recognize what hasn’t worked.
The House Committee on the Budget reported last week that we are losing the war on poverty because of the lack of focus on results. There are layers upon layers of programs that have built up over time with little coordination between them, causing them to work against each other.
You may recall that Mitt Romney speaking of 49 federal job training programs reporting to eight different government agencies during his 2012 campaign. And, Sen. Tom Coburn earlier reported that some $14 billion was spent on these programs.
It seems that in the world of liberals, the label of “courage” has new meaning. Personally, I continue to associate a Medal of Honor recipient with the word “courage.”
Valdez is looking for more Democrats to show courage, asking them not to “act ashamed of liberal ideals.” I assume President Obama might also win Valdez’s courage award for ObamaCare.