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Lieberman on Health Reform: Disingenuous or Dishonest?

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Connecticut "independent Democrat" Senator Joe Lieberman wrote an editorial in the November 1st Hartford Courant, "Joe's Stand: Public Option A Risk We Can't Afford." Lieberman's views cannot go unchallenged.

Senator Lieberman says he "share(s) the president's commitment to pass legislation that lowers health care costs, provides greater access to coverage and puts new regulations on insurance companies to protect consumers." He supports Obama's pledge to "not support legislation that adds one dime to the already-staggering (national) debt now or in the future."

But, Lieberman observes, "Our fiscal house is deteriorating dangerously" and, "our health care problem is inexorably linked to our broader economic problems and, in particular, our out-of-control national debt." He writes, "Health care has contributed significantly to this crisis."

Au contraire, Senator Lieberman.

Are you saying health care is primarily responsible for the doubling of the national debt over the past eight years?

Did the Bush tax cuts and tax rebates have nothing to do with it?

Did seven years of waging two un-funded, debt-financed wars have nothing to do with it?

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Did eight years of record-deficit spending have nothing to do with it?

Did nine years of lax or no regulation of financial markets not bring the economy to its knees and require trillions of dollars of government bailouts?

Did that economic crisis not create the need for nearly a trillion dollars of stimulus money?

Did the lack of Congressional discipline that decoupled government expenditures from the revenues needed to offset them have nothing to do with it?

Medicare is in the hole, to be sure. But does Congress's failure to raise enough revenue to cover expenses have nothing to do with it? Does the added cost of Medicare Part D have nothing to do with it?

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How disingenuous can you be, Senator?

And which of those policies did you threaten to filibuster, Senator Lieberman -- to filibuster before they were even debated? The tax cuts? The rebates? The war spending? The deficit spending? The economic deregulation? The shortfall in revenues needed to sustain Social Security and Medicare?

The answer is none of them. All of them passed with either your active support or your acquiescence.

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Rick Wise is an industrial psychologist and retired management consultant. For 15 years, he was managing director of ValueNet International, Inc. Before starting ValueNet, Rick was director, corporate training and, later, director, corporate (more...)

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