- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The front-page story about a doctor who wants elderly critics of the Democrats’ health care plan to burn their Medicare cards provides great insight into the mind-set of supporters of the plan (“Pro-reform doctor wants critics to forgo Medicare,” Page 1, Monday). Dr. Aaron Shirley’s stunt — and that’s exactly what it is — reveals exactly what the Founding Fathers warned us about: a people so dependent on the federal government that they are labeled un-American or hypocritical when they criticize it.

People who have paid tens of thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money into a program designed to care for them in their golden years are of course going to be dependent on that program after they retire. That money could have been invested in low-yield bonds that today would be worth a great deal of money, but instead, it has been used to pay the salaries of bureaucrats in Washington.

Dr. Shirley knows as much, but he wants to make a point about hypocrisy. Instead, he has reinforced his opponents’ argument by highlighting the fact that certain people depend on a federal bureaucracy for their well-being and, as a result, are mere servants to the federal government. Is this what the Founders had in mind?

PHILIP J. EVELAND

Alexandria