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Jewish World Review Oct. 2, 2000 / 3 Tishrei, 5761

Michelle Malkin

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Consumer Reports

Not every senior demands a handout -- THERE WAS an old lady who lived in a shoe, and in Vice President Al Gore's fairy-tale world, it's because Medicare didn't provide her with free drugs.

Gore visited Florida this week, kissed an elderly woman on the head, and touted his new campaign tome, "Medicare at the Crossroads." The booklet outlines Gore's plan to provide prescription drug coverage to all senior citizens – "even middle-class seniors," Gore emphasized – regardless of need.

I am sick of this wrinkled pandering. And I am not alone. I don't usually publicize the reader mail I receive, but my recent column about government-funded prescription drugs and the burden on younger workers elicited an amazing response seldom reflected in the mainstream media. Out of 200 e-mails and letters, all but a few dozen agreed that expanding Medicare with a universal prescription drug benefit is a foolish, free-lunch fiasco. The majority of letters were written not by elderly-bashing young people, but by some very wise older Americans.

Gene Mercer, an Arizona Republic reader, wrote: "I am 77 and do appreciate the Medicare I have received, but we cannot strap this next generation with increased benefits for so many who do not need it."

Ila Richardson, 72, of southern Oregon, added: "It's sickening to see the politicians, on both sides, pandering to the elderly for a few more votes. I have asked several of my senior friends how they feel about this whole ripoff of the young and they have all said, adamantly, 'Stop doing this!!!' "

Phil Edmunds, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reader, told me he sent a letter to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) "after getting yet another solicitation to join that organization of selfish fogies. I told them I despise the organization for demanding from the federal government benefits that most of its members have not earned and do not need."

Jim Perrin, 72, a Denver Rocky Mountain News reader, noted: "The problem today is that too many senior citizens don't care about the costs as long as someone else pays for them. I choose not to belong to AARP because they promote the 'poor pitiful old people' mentality…It makes me angry when I see groups of senior citizens dressed in Bermuda shorts with plane tickets in their pockets protesting for more tax money. Getting to be my age should cause them to be thankful not greedy."

Margaret Scheele, an elderly reader from Jacksonville, Florida, wrote: "I am appalled at the pandering of the candidates on this issue. I am equally appalled at the elderly who think they deserve this benefit."

Carl Walther, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reader, said: "Those of us who worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs at the same time so we could retire comfortably have very little sympathy with those who expect taxpayers to cover their lack of planning."

Jackie Upton of Baton Rouge, La., wrote: "My husband and I are 71 and have been [complaining] about Social Security and Medicare for years…We are well aware that, as healthy as we are, and even though he paid in the max during his working years, we will draw out his contributions at some point and then be drawing money from the young workers, including our five granddaughters. It is insane! We need medical payment help for catastrophic situations, not ordinary health care."

Don Akers, a 69-year-old Houston Chronicle reader, said that while he does collect Social Security and is on Medicare, "I can see that both are Ponzi schemes, and reductions are needed immediately…We need Republicans to stand up and say 'No More Entitlements.' "

Bobby Reeves, a 54-year-old Danville (Ky.) Advocate reader, noted: "I am afraid the Republicans are playing the giveaway game as the Democrats always have."

Indeed. Both major parties and presidential candidates are offering expanded Medicare benefits at a time when entitlement programs are on bankruptcy's brink. Meanwhile, Congress has failed to act on separate federal investigations that revealed $13.5 billion in improperly reimbursed Medicare claims last year and $450 million in annual Medicare overpayments to doctors.

Polls and political strategists advise candidates to kiss up to senior citizens at all costs. But responsible adults are sending a different message: Keep your lips and hands to yourself.


JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


09/27/00: Racial hype at the Olympics
09/25/00: Watch the other Washington
09/20/00: Textbook case of media arrogance
09/18/00: New York: Land of medical pork
09/13/00: Voices from the womb
09/11/00: No cure for generational pain
09/08/00: Notes on a West Coast wilding
09/06/00: Race matters at Washington Post
09/01/00: For those who labor 24/7
08/28/00: There's something about Rudy
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
08/18/00: The party of Maxine Waters
08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate