Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eric Cantor: The Authoritarian Head of the American Household

You probably know that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wants federal aid to the tornado-struck Joplin, Missouri, to be matched with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

On CBS's "Face the Nation", Cantor elaborated on his views:
On Sunday, he compared the situation to that of a family putting off buying a new car when a family member became ill.
"When a family is struck with tragedy -- like the family of Joplin ... let's say if they had $10,000 set aside to do something else with, to buy a new car ... and then they were struck with a sick member of the family or something, and needed to take that money to apply it to that, that's what they would do, because families don't have unlimited money. And, really, neither does the federal government."
So Eric Cantor's imaginary family has no health insurance. Well, that is to be expected, given his earlier views on health care.

Comparing the federal government to families is often pretty misleading because governments are NOT families. They have different duties, for one thing.

But if we accept the metaphor, Cantor's imaginary family, with him in the position of the dictatorial decision-maker, seems to be doing something more than cutting back on other expenses because of lack of health coverage. It seems to be negotiating with its sick member about whether the money will be spent on the needed treatment in the first place.