Punchinello’s Chronicles

September 24, 2008

Building Special Interest Groups

Here in Illinois, the Senate proposed a bill to provide for insured coverage of autistic children. Politics led to stalling the bill, but it may work its way through. Wonderful. Autism is a horrific problem, and I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for any parents who find themselves caring for a child with this awful condition. Do we want to start building special interest groups and covering every possible type of particular health problem?

One of the most fascinating things to watch in today’s politics (fascinating like watching a train crash) is the application of human suffering as a rationale for government laws and spending. Who would argue against caring for autistic children, or giving the parents of these kids some financial help? If you argue against it, you’re presumably advocating all sorts of monstrous propositions.

“We must pay for the care of autistic children.” That’s the proposition. “If you disagree, then you want these children to die or you want their parents to go bankrupt and end up out on the streets.” Is that true?

Does a disagreement with a thesis automatically mean not only an agreement with its antithesis, but to actively advocate that opposite proposition? I don’t think so!

“We must pay for food for everyone in the country.” That’s the proposition. “If you disagree, then you want everyone in the country to have no food whatsoever and to starve.” Is that true?

I don’t want to see Illinois, already bankrupt, pretend to have money to pay for real pain and suffering. It’s like offering pretend money to someone about to lose their home to a foreclosure, then asking them to pretend it’s real money.

We, as a society, don’t have the money to pay for everyone’s problems. We can pay for SOME problems, or we can help here and there, but we can’t remove all of life’s bad events with money.

Nor do I want to see autistic children murdered because their so-called quality of life is less than someone else’s idea of a good or useful life (bioethics). I’m not advocating any position regarding the existence or treatment of autism. Instead, I’m advocating that the government is NOT an unlimited bank, funding the care and payment of anything bad in life that could ever possibly happen!

There’s a huge and fundamental difference between examining a specific problem, versus examining the process used to mitigate or resolve that problem. There’s an even bigger difference between a specific problem and the global philosophy of problem-solving in general. Yet nobody seems to see that such a difference exists.

To so many people today, a problem in life can be solved if it entails only a limited amount of money. Anything over that amount can only be solved by a government, presumably having unlimited amounts of money. We’re only a tiny distance away from outlawing death itself. We’re already playing around with outlawing pain!

I could see allocationg a government subsidy fund to provide grants in the research of autism, and hopefully to find a way to cure or manage the illness. I can see tax breaks to any private institution or industry that would like to help find a cure. I also could see a tax break to any company willing to provide additional help to an employee whose child may be autistic. But to pass laws providing blanket payments to anyone with autism makes no sense.

Suppose we were to simply eliminate all personal income tax of any kind, along with a license to exempt all sales tax for any parents of an autistic child? I could see the government perhaps offering to match that tax reduction dollar for dollar, to provide a fund of some sort for the family.

Another option would be to give a tax break to any physician or medical care institution equal to the expenditure of treatments and drugs going toward autistic patients. And hey, while we’re at it, let’s give the same tax break to anyone treating every other specific illness, disease, syndrome, and condition.

Then, to enhance wellness and reduce medical costs, let’s give a tax break to anyone at all who can demonstrate that they’re happy and feeling good about life. In fact, why not pay people to feel happy and healthy? How come we don’t have a special interest group composed of happy, healthy, active individuals?

Hmm…but that would reduce the flow of tax dollars flying into the coffers of the State treasury, wouldn’t it.


1 Comment »

  1. government grants individuals…

    It sounds interesting but I am not sure that I agree with you completely….

    Trackback by government grants individuals — October 20, 2008 @ 5:18 am | Reply

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