Do you remember the movie “Tombstone” that had Val Kilmer starring as Doc Holliday? If you do then you probably also remember him saying at the end of the movie “my hypocrisy knows no bounds.” That’s going to be the main topic of this column – hypocrisy. And, just like good old Doc Holliday, the folks I’m going to be citing seem to have no bounds when it comes to that subject.
First up is Sen. Chuck Schumer. Senate Democrats, especially Majority Leader Harry Reid, have really been saying a lot of disparaging things about a couple of brothers who donate a lot of money to political candidates and causes. The Koch brothers are pretty conservative and Sen. Reid has called them “un-American” basically because he doesn’t agree with their political slant.
Now enters Sen. Schumer, who after much pressing by a morning talk show host agreed with his leader, Sen. Reid, that the Koch brothers were indeed “un-American” due to the political ads they were running. Here is where the hypocrisy enters the picture. It seems that Sen. Schumer has accepted campaign contributions from these same individuals and very profusely thanked them for their support. I wonder when they became “un-American” – apparently sometime after they sent their campaign contribution.
Now let’s talk about all those folks touting how great the sign-up was for Obamacare. A few months ago they said that success would be if 7 million people signed up using the new insurance exchange. Apparently that just means that they signed up and it doesn’t matter if they actually paid or even plan on paying the premiums. And, nowhere have they accounted for how many of that 7 million actually had health insurance that was canceled because it didn’t meet the federal guidelines and now they have to replace the policy that was canceled.
But for the moment let’s say that in the eyes of the proponents of the new health care law 7 million is a huge number. Last November, proponents tried to minimize the disruption that would come about with the new law and speculated that only perhaps 5 percent of those with insurance might lose their coverage or at least some part of it. Five percent of the population amounts to 15 million people. So, in November a disruption of 15 million was seen as no big deal, but now having 7 million sign up is seen as a great accomplishment. Is the word hypocrisy appropriate here?
And, here is the even bigger issue that the proponents don’t want to talk about. Wasn’t the whole push for Obamacare to get more people paying for health insurance? Well guess what, if people without coverage didn’t sign up by the end of March, they can’t sign up until the next open enrollment period several months from now. So, they are going to be without health insurance and can’t buy it even if they have health issues.
Am I understanding this correctly? And, if I am, doesn’t it seem a little counterproductive to the intent of the problem it was trying to solve? Have we gone to sleep and awakened in some backwards world from which we can’t escape? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
And, here is the last and most egregious example of hypocrisy with no bounds. The president, just this week, signed another executive order (I’ve lost track of how many that is now). This particular order is aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women. Some studies say that women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men make. I think the issue is a lot more complicated than the study implies but let’s say, for argument’s sake, that number is correct. Women at the White House make about 88 cents for every dollar a man makes.
On the surface that would appear to be better than the average of the rest of the country but the pay is still not equal so why not. White House spokesperson Jay Carney said “that men and women who work the same White House jobs make the same salaries. The pay difference results from the fact that women outnumber men in the administration’s lower-level jobs.”
So, would not the same argument possibly hold true for other employers? Seems kind of hypocritical to sign an executive order without first putting your own house in order. But they are better, at least on paper, than the other guy so that must make it all right.
I am sure that all of us have been guilty of being hypocritical at some juncture in our lives and maybe more than we would like. But, unlike Doc Holliday and apparently many others, our hypocrisy does indeed have its bounds.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.