In my latest reading of Lou Dobbs' War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back, I read the chapter on education, and started the chapter on health care.
On education, Dobbs (like Arianna Huffington in Third World America)
articulated views that span the political spectrum. Dobbs laments that
a lot of government spending on education goes to bureaucracy rather
than improving education, and yet Dobbs believes that teachers should be
paid more because higher pay will attract quality teachers. At the
same time, Dobbs is not for paying teachers more based on
seniority----the system that many teachers' unions endorse----but rather
he believes in merit pay. Regarding higher education, Dobbs is
critical of cut-backs in student loans, the inhibition on loan
consolidation, and the increase in the student loan interest rate.
(This book was published in 2006, which was during the Bush II
Administration.) And Dobbs is also against government cutbacks in job training (but
Republicans usually respond that they're against wasteful duplication of
job training programs, not job training itself).
On health care, Dobbs criticizes President George
W. Bush for focusing on Social Security and how federal courts handle
moral issues rather than health care, which is of concern to many
Americans. Dobbs notes that the American health care system is driving
people to bankruptcy, even as the oppressive bankruptcy law that was
passed under George W. Bush (due to the influence of special interests)
strips bankruptcy of its status as a refuge! Dobbs also does not care
for the prescription drug benefit because it offers seniors choices, yet
it does so in complex language and thus many seniors do not understand
their options (and, according to Dobbs, the government officials who are
there to help seniors in this communicate inaccurate information).
Meanwhile, health insurance companies profit from this "benefit". Dobbs
lays into the boogeymen of both the right and also the left: the trial
lawyers, the pharmaceuticals, and the health insurance companies.