Do we Need . . . ?

The other McCain nails it:

The NEA didn’t even exist prior to 1965, which means that the United States managed to survive without federally funded art for 189 years. But did the lack of federal funding mean there was no art?

Of course not. Yet if you criticize the NEA, you will be accused of being anti-art, as if “federally funded art” and “art” were coterminous categories and, without federal funding, art would cease to be produced.

You might find this difficult to believe, but that second paragraph has been applied to me.

Remember that Medicare and Medicaid, like the NEA, didn’t even exist until 1965, so it isn’t as if government provision of health care were an absolute necessity. Our nation existed and flourished for many, many years prior to any significant federal involvement in health care.

Why, then, in 2009, are we being lectured that “doing nothing is not an option”? That there are problems in the system, any reasonable person would grant. But is the only alternative to “doing nothing” a massively expensive Rube Goldberg contraption like what is now being debated in Congress? Must we either endorse doing this or be labeled advocates of “doing nothing”?

Am I anti-health? If I criticize the federal food stamps program, am I anti-food? Or, rather, pro-hunger?

What we have here is not so much a failure of health care, but a failure of logic. And I resent being lectured by people who always based their arguments in such fallacies and false premises.

Well done, sir, well done. We all need to start asking (with some regularity) if government should be doing something rather than if it can do something. It may surprise, but government is equipped by very design, to do a few things well (and the rest of things not at all).