I was trying to think of something to say about George W. Bush's decision to veto S-CHIP expansion and reauthorization that would move beyond accusing him of callous lack of concern for the well-being of children, but there's not that much to say. Greg Mankiw on his blog posted a highbrow version of the case against expansion and it seems that, basically, George W. Bush hates children. Or, rather, I guess that the official Bad Aspects of this effort to help children is that the bill will, allegedly, also crowd some people out of private sector insurance.

This, though, is a good thing to do.

The bill would also raise cigarette taxes, which, again, is a good thing to do since higher cigarette taxes cause either more revenue (a good thing) or else less smoking (a good thing) or else some combination of these two good things. Even Megan McArdle who hates children enough to oppose this policy can't figure out why Bush would be so fanatically anti-child as to take big political risks on this of all subjects. It seems to me, though, that the displacing of private insurance has got to be the key issue for him, since we know from his 2003 stab at health care reform that Bush loves insurance companies.

Photo of cute child possibly doomed to substandard health care by heartless conservative policies by Flickr user Pankaj used under a Creative Commons license