The Return of Jason
It would have been so perfect if yesterday had been Friday the 13th when Jason made his horror-filled reappearance.
Yesterday on CNN, Jason Chaffetz R-UT) explained that poor people shouldn't buy an iPhone if they need health insurance, because he was all about "self-reliance." Well, bully for him!
“Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice,” he said. “So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”
Or to put this another way, translating the above from the original French -- "Let them eat cake."
Let's understand something really simple. An iPhone costs $800, give or take, depending on the model. That's a lot, though you can of course get a less expensive Android phone. But also, people may get one every 2-3 years. So, that breaks down to about $350 a years. Or even less if you're really scrimping and keep your mobile phone even longer. (Never mind if destitute people actually do get an iPhone or any mobile phone. But for the sake of argument and to make Jason Chaffetz happy, let's assume that they do.) On the other hand, good healthcare might be around $8,000. More if it's for two people. And it costs that every single year. Year after year.
This isn't about "self-reliance." This is about self-righteousness. This is about pompous, selfish, holier-than-thou, nasty selfishness.
He did try to walk about his statement about iPhones, but the words were out there in the ozone. And even his explanation showed the same thoughtless sensibility, just couched in less-outlandish words. But the crass meaning was still the same -- it's your fault if you're too poor for expensive health care, and if that means you die in the process, well that's the way it goes.
But then, keep in mind that Jason Chaffetz is the same person who endorsed Donald Trump, and then removed his endorsement after the Trump/Access Hollywood tape, saying he didn't know how "I could look my daughter in the face" -- and then figured out how he could look his 15-year-old daughter in the face since he later endorsed Trump once again.
What I'm trying to figure out at this point is if he's able once again to look his daughter in the face after what this time is his own thoughtless, cold-hearted, mean-spirited statement. Though before explaining himself, one wonders if he has to ask her to put her iPhone done first.
But then, he'll also have to explain to all the people struggling to make ends meet, who don't have a mobile phone, why he's supporting cuts to their health care while increasing cuts to older Americans even if they're multi-millionaires.
In the end, the question isn't how Jason Chaffetz can look his daughter in the face, or look at the poor in the face, but how he can look at himself in the face.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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