September 23, 2005

No, No! Must not expand programs!

When you hear Newt Gingrich sounding like a reasonable individual, you know one of two things: either you've drifted way right, or his party has gone off and left him.

"The idea that — in a community where we could place people in the private housing market to reintegrate them into society — we would put them in [trailer] ghettos with no jobs, no community, no future, strikes me as extraordinarily bad public policy, and violates every conservative principle that I'm aware of," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.

"If they do it," Gingrich said of administration officials, "they will look back on it six months from now as the greatest disaster of this administration."

He's talking about the Bush Administration's idea to buy thousands of trailers to house Katrina-displaced people, rather than offer them cash to rent ordinary apartments. Why would they want to do this? Why, of course! Doing the latter might prove the worth of already-existing programs that they really really want to cut.

"Once you begin to expand any entitlement, it's very hard to pull back," said Grace-Marie Turner, a health policy analyst and president of the conservative Galen Institute.

Turner raised particular concerns about the bipartisan Senate Medicaid plan, which would expand who could get coverage and require Washington to pay the full cost of the program, including amounts normally covered by states, for up to 10 months. If the plan were adopted, she said, "then every state that has reason to declare an emergency will want full federal funding for Medicaid as well…. It would be very hard to say no."

God forbid you should try to do what's right for the citizens of the country you're supposed to be leading; your ideology is much more important.


Posted by Linkmeister at September 23, 2005 02:21 PM | TrackBack