Jewish World Review Oct. 4, 2000 / 5 Tishrei, 5761
Where have you
been, Albert Jr.?
IN HIS DEBATE against Dan Quayle and Admiral Stockdale
in 1992, Al Gore said, "We have an environmental crisis, a
health insurance crisis, (and) substandard education. It is
time for a change." It's eight years later, and Gore is still
carping about the same crises. Where has he been for the
last eight years?
Clinton and Gore have talked about health care, education
and the environment so much the words ring in my head
like the lyrics to a bad song. Let's look beyond the
platitudes and examine what their record is on these issues
they claim to care about the most.
In the debate, Gore complained that there were almost 40
million uninsured Americans and promised that he and
Clinton would rectify that. Have they delivered?
In a Heritage Foundation study, James Frogue and Robert
Moffit report that the number of uninsured Americans has
risen through the Clinton years. Even though the economy
has grown at unprecedented levels, Clinton and Gore have
made no dent in the uninsured problem. The number of
uninsured finally began to decline last year, but the overall
number has increased during Clinton's tenure, from
approximately 40 million to 42.5 million. So, if we had a
crisis in 1992, we have a national emergency now --
assuming we hold Gore to the same standard he and
Clinton established for Bush and Quayle. Where have you
been, Albert Jr.?
Now, let's turn to education. Nina Shokraii Rees
documents that almost 40 percent of 4th graders in the
country read at substandard levels on national reading
tests. On international tests, America's 12th graders rank
last in advanced physics compared with students in 18
other countries. And shockingly, one-third of all incoming
college freshmen have to enroll in remedial reading, writing
or mathematics before they begin the regular curriculum.
What's worse for Gore -- especially considering his party's
professed monopoly on concern for the downtrodden -- is
that the numbers are far worse in the inner cities, where
58 percent of low-income 4th graders nationally cannot
read at a basic level. In addition, almost two-thirds of
low-income 8th graders cannot multiply or divide two-digit
numbers. Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
Gore apologists may object that it takes time to achieve
results. No doubt, but with education, just as with health
care, the problems are getting worse, and the main reason
is the same in both cases. Clinton and Gore have
implemented policies that have decreased competition and
choice in education and health care. This, from the leaders
of the party that claims to be the champion of "choice."
According to Frogue and Moffit, Americans have
substantially less control over their health care decisions
today than they did at the outset of the Clinton-Gore
administration. In the early 1990s, just a small percentage
of Americans were enrolled in HMOs. Today, more than
80 percent are in HMOs or other managed care plans.
Plus, the number of government rules and regulations
governing health care is growing at an alarming rate.
What's scarier is that if Bill and Al had succeeded in
establishing "Hillary care" the government would now
virtually control one seventh of our economy. And make
no mistake about it: They haven't given up on socialized
medicine as a long-term goal. In 1997, referring to health
care reform, Clinton said, "Now what I tried before won't
work. Maybe we can do it another way. That's what
we've tried to do, a step at a time, until we finish this."
As Shokraii Rees points out, our schools aren't failing for
lack of talented leaders, teachers, parents, students or
even resources. The problem is that the public school
system is a government-protected monopoly that "cannot
easily and quickly change to keep up with the fast pace of
today's global marketplace."
Sadly, this education monopoly harms the poor and
minorities more than any other group, and Gore is selling
out their educational souls by opposing school choice in
order to appease the teacher's unions.
With Gore, on the issues of health care and education (as
with most everything else) we will get more of what is
causing the problems: government control.
As for the environmental issue -- I've run out of space and
paper -- see you next
commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
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