I screamed at the radio when I heard Rep. Todd Akin say…

Republican incumbent Todd Akin [D-MO] shared 30 minutes of his time with host Don Marsh and listeners of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air” on Monday, Oct. 4. I’m glad he was on the show, because it’s important that people actually hear what he says, and the “logic” behind his ideas. Many of his statements were the expected Republican boilerplate. But some of what he said was disturbingly illogical and extreme, but perhaps not as extreme as some of the ideas he expresses on his website, particularly his website pronouncements about the role of prayer in making our country better. I wonder if his constituents are fully aware of these views. If they aren’t, and if we all aren’t, we need to pay better attention. The lack of compassion is astonishing, particularly in the notion that charity is the way to solve the problem of uninsured Americans. [The excerpts are nearly verbatim from the radio interview.]

Driving with my windows open on a beautiful fall day, I’m sure that I startled several other drivers with my shrieks when I heard him say…

On Washington, DC…

“…[That I’m]…happy to be out of Washington is always a safe assumption.” [Author’s comment: Larry from South St. Louis, whoever you are, thank you for calling in and reminding Congressman Akin that he has a job to do in Washington that we pay him for.]

On healthcare reform…

“…In the last election the Democrats took an overwhelming majority of everything, so there’s not the normal buffering that goes on.” [Author’s comment: The party of no made sure that “buffering” actually did take place.]

“…Because the Democrats had a wide open playing field, they did what they wanted to do…You see extreme practices coming from the Democrat side…The idea of the Federal Government running health care. That’s a pretty extreme policy.”

“…If Medicare and Medicaid are broken are we gonna turn the rest of health care over to the government?”

“…Republicans believe that the private system is better. There certain have to be patches and fixes…. We passed a number of proposals to improve health care when we had the majority…Don’t scrap the whole thing and give it to the government to run.”

“..If you’re just a responsible guy…you’re a good citizen [author’s emphasis] and bought health insurance, and then you become uninsurable because someone in your family gets a pre-existing condition—in a few years you’re bankrupt…The best way to approach is to prevent more people from falling into that trap of not being insured.”

“…Charity: that’s the way they were always paid for in the past. The big tycoons originally built the hospitals. There’s still a lot of charity, but it’s being laundered through the government…The most efficient way to cover poverty is by charity. The government [can’t] step in to take care of people’s food, shelter, education and health care. Across the ocean, the government tried it and the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. We can’t afford that. You can’t cheat mathematics… The government can’t provide perfect healthcare for everyone and housing and food and provide for the national defense. [We need to think about] what government should do, and what should go back to the states and local.”

On President Obama…

“…I think [describing President Obama] as a socialist is a bland description. Obama said he was a socialist when he talked to Joe the Plumber. He said that it’s the federal government’s job to redistribute wealth…”

On Social Security and on paying for health care via charity…

“…Politically, I think Social Security will be given more to the people who are more needy. And people who have others forms of security won’t get it. I don’t like it…I would prefer that we allow incentives for people to save on their own. At a minimum, if you have Social Security, let the money that people put in, let that be indexed to those people, so they own some of what they’re investing.  As opposed to giving it irresponsibly to government and they spend it all and then spend ourselves into a box like we’re doing now.”

“…if you’re relying on [Social Security] alone for your retirement, that’s pretty tough. Certainly, investments are risky, especially when Wash DC is asleep at the switch…”

“… If people get back in healthcare to where people are in buying other kinds of commodities…Say you’re going to buy and boat or car, you price shop and look at your income and your budget and you come up with a process where you work out a formula for where you are and what your income is, and what’s the best deal. In the insurance business, we’ve made it so there isn’t a bargain. You’re covered, so you say, I want the fanciest thing I can get.”

“… I wouldn’t rely on charity. I’d save my money and buy health insurance. People have to be responsible. If we don’t take responsibility for the decisions we make, we have a country that doesn’t work.”

“…What must the federal government do, and what are niceties we wish they would do? Medicare and Medicaid are a socialist kind of approach. It wasn’t done that way a long time ago. Charity was a big part of it. Charity built hospitals and libraries…Should the government mandate it, I’m uncomfortable with that, because then the government will dictate what the product is, and that takes out the variability that you have in a market system.”

Gloria Shur Bilchik Gloria Shur Bilchik (481 Posts)

Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.