By Mark Skousen
"Medicare is especially important to me. I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it."
-- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
In his response to President Obama's State of the Union message, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio sent a mixed message. Maybe that's why he was sweating so profusely and needed to drink some water -- or maybe the purple Kool-Aid of big government.
While Sen. Rubio professed belief in free markets and free minds -- the foundations of the American republic -- he defended two very big government programs: the welfare programs of Social Security and Medicare, and the federal Department of Education. The first is an inefficient way to help retirees, and the second is a boondoggle of massive destruction.
It just goes to show you how good people can become benefit-corrupted by big government programs. Even wealthy people who can have their own private medical insurance and retirement plans become dependent on the government. Without Social Security and Medicare, Americans would be more independent, more health conscious and more charitable.
Sen. Rubio seems to think that without Medicare, his father could not have died with dignity. Or that his mother couldn't have received proper assistance in dealing with cancer. Yet there are private and better alternatives to government assistance.
He seems to think that he couldn't have finished college without federal student aid. Yet there are numerous private alternatives to government aid, such as private scholarships and grants. And by making college education available to all through federal student loans and grants, the cost of a college degree has skyrocketed.
Then there is the monstrous waste and regulatory nightmare associated with the Department of Education. Don't get me started.
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Mark Skousen, Ph. D., is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of more than 25 books.