Anglico linked to this strange article by everyone's favorite arch-conservative John Hood that decries public transportation because it is not proven to lower obesity levels. (WTF: I guess he just needed some strawman today) But I only had to read his openning sentence to see his true uncaring character:
Because we have taxpayer-financed programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, obesity is a major public-policy issue.
You see John Hood, and others on the extreme far right with him, only thinks that the health of citizens is important when it somehow affects their personal pocketbook. To me working for the common good, including good health, is a fundamental public policy position that should be pursued regardless of whether I personally see a benefit from it or not.
Even the Republican president Eisenhower saw the importance of national health when he created the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, an organization maintained by every subsequent president and chaired by another Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for a while. Without even mentioning the other public health initiatives of governments of all levels for hundreds of years, it should be evident that there has been a strong public policy for aiding in the health of the citizenry that has been recognized for years without the need to justify the issue on the basis of ancillary cost issues.
Once again, Hood's efficient writing has shown us a glimpse of his character and lack of historical perspective in one sentence; it is quite a talent, really. And I just wonder how long he spent thinking about his article.