Better than Santa

Published 1:17 pm Saturday, October 26, 2019

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When growing up, we all looked forward to Christmas because we hoped and looked forward to presents from Santa Claus. As little ones, we hadn’t the slightest idea of what it cost to have new items on Christmas mornings. As we grew older, we learned that sometimes family situations limited what to expect. When we had children of our own, we really understood the financial investment that it took for that annual visit. We have learned from life’s events that there is a limit to what can and does take place. We are limited not by our love but rather what we can afford.

This year, we are learning that there is something even better than Santa Claus. We are not learning it from economic books and study, but rather from people who are running for president of the United States. Who would have thought that everything could be available to all? Not me, when we had to make hard decisions.

It didn’t start with this year, but it clearly has gotten more and more absurd with those running for president. Consider a decade ago when the idea first arose that health care could be free for more and more people. This was occurring as the government was already trying to figure out how to pay for care of the elderly, children and the poorest.

This year’s crop of candidates are going across the country promising young people that they will pay for their college education or the bills that they have run up. They do this with no explanation of how far back they will look. Will they look back a set number of years? Will they look at the debt that has not yet been paid off? Will they ignore those young people who have worked their way through college and avoided debt? Will they be honest with these young people for whom they are trying to buy their votes and support? The fact is that there is no money to accomplish these promises. The only thing they can do is increase the national debt. What these young people do not seem to understand is that, in the years to come, they, their children, and their grandchildren will be burdened with this promise.

This same group of candidates would have you believe they are going to make everyone’s life better by eliminating health insurance and promising Medicare for everyone. It sounds good until one realizes that currently the Medicare program is already nearing bankruptcy that will require additional taxes on American workers. Ignoring their desire for expansion, to stave off the day of reckoning, federal bureaucrats are limiting what providers can charge. The short-term result of this is that some doctors are limiting the Medicare patients they will serve. The long-term effect is that bright young people will avoid medical professions. Enrolling everyone into Medicare will create a no-win situation that will grind the medical system down as providers are expected to do more for less reward. This will result in longer waits for care as well as other challenges.

Of course, these people claim that all of this spending would be paid for by taxing the “rich.” If they were honest and smart enough to do the math, they would understand they could take 100% of the richest folks’ income and it would not cover all the bills they are proposing. Even if it could, they do not seem to understand that people will make changes to protect their income. However, since it cannot, they will end up raising taxes on everyone.

Other proposals that this group offers are programs like the Green New Deal that is simply a stunt that will drive your electric bills up. This will come as a challenge for the poorest among us as those families have to make choices between the basics in life.

The question that must be answered is simple. Will the supporters of these candidates wake up from their zombie like sleep before it is too late? Will they think about the families they hope to have in the future and make decisions that will make life better or worse for their children?

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is