Return of the Goldwater GOP -- by Harold Meyerson
Just outside our nation's capital, in affluent Montgomery and Fairfax counties, they still build public schools when the number of school-age children rises above the number that the existing schools can accommodate. . . . They thus increase government spending and withhold revenue from the private-school industry, but I've never heard anyone complain about that. A free public education is a right, or, if you prefer, an entitlement in America, because the nation long ago decided that an educated population is a national good.
You might think that the same logic would apply to providing children with health care, that the gains to the nation from having a healthy population would outweigh those of bolstering private health insurance companies in the name of laissez-faire ideology. According to President Bush and the hard-right wing of the Republican Party, though, you'd be sadly mistaken.
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