So Ron Paul has apparently said that there’s nothing to fear in the swine flu, and that this is just another example of government waste. In a response to regurgitation on Paul Burka’s blog I commented:
Uh… I’m sure that the fact that we haven’t had any serious outbreaks since the sixties has nothing to do with good government policy. I’m sure in 1976 that if the government had sat on its hands everything would have gone exactly the same way.
Sure we know how many people DID die in 1976 Ron, but how many people DIDN’T die? That’s a much more useful statistic, and without it you can’t say that the government reaction was bad.
And if you look at post-9/11 you can see that an actual event is much more useful for galvanizing wasteful government spending than is a subverted event (i.e. prevented LAX bombing). So if us “pro-government” people really wanted to make money off of this flu, we should be telling people not to worry, so more people get infected and we can use the massive public outrage to implement thousands of new programs. Oh wait, that’s what the Republican party keeps doing, and is why this country is trillions of dollars in the hole.
How about we use the government effectively? Let’s manage the disease before it kills people with the resources we have, and then admit at the end of the day that the reason things have gone so well is that the government responded appropriately.
When will Republicans realize that choking the government of money, and then criticize it when it costs too much to ramp up when we really need it, is a really ineffective and expensive way to govern? I know that vaccines aren’t part of the libertarian – “I shouldn’t have to do anything I don’t want to” ideology, but sometimes we need to be adults and do things we don’t want to. This is one thing Republicans and Democrats generally agree on since the public health cost of a vaccine vs. treating the disease is massive.
Our CDC does a great job. And you really only have to look at say – Mexico – to see this. You guys can jack around with the federal budget and education, but keep your ideology off the things that keep me alive. Thanks.
I didn’t even mention the number of places that Ron Paul had his facts wrong.