March 7, 2009

This is one of the better New Rules segments I've seen from Maher in a while. He ends it with channeling Michael Moore with his criticism of insurance companies in this diatribe on the Republicans and their anti-government rhetoric and love of the private sector.

Maher:The thing is that endless variety only exists because Americans pay taxes to a government which maintains roads, irrigates fields, over sees the electrical grid and everything else but enables the modern American supermarket to carry forty seven varieties of frozen breakfast pastries.

Of course it's easy to tear government down. Ronald Reagan used to say the nine most terrifying words in the English language were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". But that was before "I'm Sarah Palin, now show me the launch codes".

You know the stimulus package was attacked as typical tax and spend, you know like repairing bridges is left wing stuff. Ooh there the liberals go again. Always wanting to get across the river.

Folks, the people are the government. The first responders who put out your fires. That's your government. The ranger who shoos pedophiles out of the bathroom. The postman who delivers your porn. I mean how stupid is it when people say "Oh yeah that's all we need. The federal government telling Detroit how to make cars, or Wells Fargo how to run a bank. You want them to look like the Post Office?"

Yeah. Actually. You mean the place that takes a note in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in Jersey on Wednesday for forty two cents? Well let me be the first to say I would be thrilled if America's health care system was anywhere near as functional as the Post Office.

The truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government doing the opposite. Of stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it is plainly too greedy to trust with, like Wall Street, like rebuilding Iraq. Like the way Republicans always frame the health care debate by saying health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats. Leaving out the fact that health decisions aren't made by doctors, patients or bureaucrats. They're made by insurance companies.

Insurance companies. Which are a lot like hospital gowns. Chances are your ass isn't covered.

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