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Jewish World Review Oct. 4, 2000 / 5 Tishrei, 5761

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports

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 time.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?