Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Crazy Rudy

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani is not one of my favourite people. Never has been.

Out on the campaign trail, Giuliani has resorted to—well, “lying” may be too strong a word, but certainly he’s been distorting the truth. This is either deliberate obfuscation, or he’s an idiot. Some of his ideas make me lean toward the latter explanation.

Using typical partisan rhetoric, he declared “Democrats are kind of falling over each other seeing who can raise taxes faster”. Yeah, well, politicians say stupid things like that all the time. But to suggest that Democrats would raise taxes “20 to 30 percent” with no specifics to back up his figures crosses the line from a typical politician’s B.S. to slander.

Giuliani said that Democratic candidate John Edwards would raise capital gains taxes 40 percent. What Giuliani neglected to mention was that the tax increase would be for the rich, the people who benefited from the Bushies’ tax cuts. The money raised would go to cut the taxes for the middle class—you know, the people who got jack from the Bushies’ tax cuts.

But Giuliani’s ignorance doesn’t end there. He also has some weird notion that giving people tax deductions for purchasing private health insurance would somehow fix America’s healthcare crisis. His “solution” would mean that employers would no longer be providing health insurance, and people would buy private health insurance and get a tax deduction for that. This has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve heard a politician say about health care in America.

Tax deductions would provide nothing to the millions of Americans who struggle to pay for everyday things—housing, food, education. There are 45 million Americans with no health insurance at all, and tens of millions more who are one accident or serious illness away from bankruptcy.

What Giuliani doesn’t get is that if people don’t have the money to pay for health insurance in the first place, giving them a tax deduction isn’t going to change anything. As part of the Republican establishment, maybe he can’t conceive of a solution that doesn’t involve first, foremost and most importantly—preserving, protecting and expanding the profits of the mega corporations controlling America’s health system.

To say that, “well, at least Rudy Giuliani isn’t as bad” as Mitt Romney or any of the others on the extreme right is no reason to vote for him. So far, he hasn’t offered any reasons, either.

No comments: