Thursday, February 08, 2007

Score One for Edwards

After Russ Feingold dropped out of the '08 sweepstakes I was a little bit surprised how quickly liberal bloggers (the Kossacks in particular) hitched themselves to John Edwards's wagon. I didn't care terribly for Edwards in '04, and I'm not that excited about his candidacy this time either. However, Edwards scored points with me when he made waves recently by stating that he would raise taxes to support his universal health care plan. I haven't seen much critical discussion of his plan, and the details I've seen reported are fairly vague. In other words, I don't know if his numbers are realistic or if the plan is a good one. But the mere fact that the man is willing to admit that it will cost money, and that those costs will have to be offset with higher taxes speaks highly to me of Edwards. We've been hearing about health coverage as a major issue for many election cycles at this point, but nothing has been accomplished (nor we have even come close to making progress), because delivering on health care promises will be expensive and painful, and while voters have expressed their desire for health care reform, they've never ratified any willingness to make sacrifices (in terms of taxes or other spending cuts) in order to make it happen. Of course, voters have never had a chance to do so, because politicians (on both sides of the aisle) are content to promise reform while pretending no sacrifice will be necessary. If real progress is to be made, we need to have a serious and frank discussion about what it will cost and how to pay for it. Edwards is the first candidate I've seen who seems to be willing to take part in that discussion. Kudos to him. I'm a long way from jumping on the Edwards bandwagon, but I'm now willing to start taking him seriously.

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