Fred Hiatt makes his living as the Serious Editor of the Washington Post‘s Serious Editorial Page, which allows him to act as an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in our society. Why, if there’s one thing that concerns him more than anything else it’s this: How can we help those among us who have the least? That’s what his column today is all about–how much he cares about poor Americans.
Oh, but wait, there’s one other thing too. He really loves war. Oh lordy he loves war! Like, even more than he likes helping poor people, he likes cheering on exciting wars in far off places. In Hiatt-land, there’s always money for wars, but rarely–that is to say, never– is there money lying around to help poor people (who he cares about!).
The Neo-con Circle Jerk Society (WaPo’s editorial page)–hereafter known as the NCCJS–recently articulated their apocalypic policy that endless War must be funded endlessly, but health care is not really so important.
On October 23rd, in response to a reader who asked, “Why is it okay to finance wars with debt, but not to pay for health care that way?” the NCCJS wrote [Via Glenn Greenwald]:
“All this assumes that defense and health care should be treated equally in the national budget. We would argue that they should not be . . . Universal health care, however desirable, is not “fundamental to the defense of our people.” Nor is it a “necessity” that it be adopted this year:Mr. Obama chose to propose a massive new entitlement at a time of historic budget deficits. In contrast, Gen. McChrystal believes that if reinforcements are not sent to Afghanistan in the next year, the war may be lost, with catastrophic consequences for U.S. interests in South Asia.U.S. soldiers would continue to die, without the prospect of defeating the Taliban. And, as Mr. Obama put it, “if left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.” [emphasis by GG]
Greenwald’s post offers all the needed criticisms of that passage–namely, that the Post’s editors see war and so-called “nation building” in other countries as necessary, but providing Americans with basic services as a luxury. But, wait a minute, you’re saying. I thought you said Fred Hiatt loved and cared about the poor. HMMMMM.
Just for fun, let’s examine a few lines that Hiatt wrote today, about poor people, and his love of them.
“In a country as wealthy as America, no one should have to go without medical care.”
Ok, I’m with you there, Hiatt, my man. So, I assume this sentence will be followed with something like, “that’s why I support a Medicare-for-all system that removes the profit incentives from health care.”
Not exactly. What we get instead is his hand-wringing concern that providing even a small amount of increased services to the poor might actually kill those people somehow.
“Here is the dilemma: The bill also could take America a step closer to bankruptcy. And for progressives in particular — for those who believe that government has a mission to help the poor and protect the vulnerable — that prospect should be alarming. If federal debt continues rising on its present path, hastened by a $1 trillion health-care bill, it is the poor and vulnerable who will be most harmed.”
Look, hippies, if we want to “help the poor and vulnerable,” we simply CAN’T provide them with health care. No, if we really want to help the poor, we must continue to fund two endless wars whose combined costs may end up exceeding 3 trillion dollars. That is, after all, what the NCCJS, lead by Hiatt, explicitly endorse as “necessary” for Americans.
So, to briefly recap Hiatt’s position: we must not cripple the poor with debt by providing them with slightly expanded access to health care, but crippling them with debt from other types of spending that offer them no benefit whatsoever–ie, foreign wars and lemon socialism–is something All Serious People Can Agree On. Cool.