Liberalism's Final Solutions - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Liberalism’s Final Solutions

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman didn’t call Obamacare’s death panels the final solution but he came pretty close. He barely avoided Hitler’s terminology by referring to them as the “real solution.”

Krugman’s comment came last Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” as he discussed the U.S. debt crisis. “Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes,” he said.

He criticized deficit hawks on the debt commission for letting critics of the death panels give such a wise cost-cutting device a bad name:

If they were going to do reality therapy, they should have said, OK, look, Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for. And at least for starters, it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words, it should have endorsed the panel that was part of the health care reform. If it’s not even — if the commission isn’t even brave enough to take on the death panels people, then it’s doing no good at all. It’s not educating the public. It’s not telling people about the kinds of choices that need to be made.

Here we have the “conscience of a liberal,” which is the name of Krugman’s New York Times blog. Sensing that he needed to do some hasty mop-up work after his appearance, Krugman posted an entry on the blog to “clarify” what he meant by death panels: “health care costs will have to be controlled, which will surely require having Medicare and Medicaid decide what they’re willing to pay for — not really death panels, of course, but consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we’re willing to spend for extreme care.”

But the stain of Krugman’s “real solution” isn’t so easily expunged. Throwing the chatty aside, “Not really death panels, of course,” or the euphemistic phrase “extreme care,” into the explanation doesn’t change the bottom-line meaning of what he originally said: that the rationing built into Obamacare translates into de facto death panels.

Obama’s hoped-for legacy of expanding coverage to tens of millions while somehow “reducing costs” will rest upon the graves of the enfeebled and the elderly. This is the left’s final and real solution to inconvenient health care costs once the federal government carries them, just as death via abortion is its final solution to inconvenient costs of “unwanted” pregnancy.

Progressives have worked very hard over the years to teach American children to associate Hitler’s final solution with “right-wing” autocracy, but in reality it came out of the very raw, Malthusian utilitarianism the Krugmans espouse. Hitler’s final solution began with death panels for the disabled, then expanded to other “undesirables.”

The late British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge would have called the death panels of Obamacare the “humane holocaust.” He predicted that Hitler’s crimes would become a future generation’s “compassion.” The liberals who coined the chilly slogan, “Every child a wanted child,” will no doubt come up with a similarly creepy one for the weak and elderly who need what Krugman calls “extreme care.”

In this life nothing is certain except death and taxes, goes the adage often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. In Old Krugman’s Almanac, it is death panels and a sales tax. “I believe that some day — maybe in the first Chelsea Clinton administration — it will actually happen,” he wrote on his blog.

Meanwhile, Americans are already feeling the loving touch of liberalism at airports. The ironies here abound: the most exhibitionistic generation ever fears “naked scanners” while a right-to-privacy, ACLU-friendly administration tells it to shut up and submit to a frisking.

Under the logic of the nanny state, “equality” always finds a way to swallow up freedom. In this instance, liberals feel better about violating the freedom of all rather than contemplate the awful possibility of violating the “right to privacy” of some through profiling. Society has “progressed” beyond that “discriminatory” measure, they say, and this great leap forward now means that everyone gets to be treated like terrorist suspects.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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