Senator Claire McCaskill at a town hall meeting in Sedalia, MO, tried to spin senior scooters as a marginal preference issue, one that should be discouraged in favor of walking. Here is what she said:
"And that is, how many of you have seen the ads for scooters? [laughter] The ads for scooters. You can get a free scooter. Now think about that. It's not a free scooter. Guess who's paying for it? We're paying for it. Now why do we have a system that is marketing and foisting upon many people that may not want 'em, a scooter, 'cause it's free? Well, it's because we pay to get people scooters. Now, which is healthier? If you're on that borderline that it'd be nice to have a scooter to go around the grocery store, but you could still walk, which is better in terms of health outcomes?
Senator McCaskill: Walking. So what are we doing? We're paying for the scooters. You know, it's [laughter], we've got to get back to preventative care. We've got to get back to rewarding good outcomes, we've got to get back to, and we can do this."
It seems that Sen. McCaskill chooses to not be aware of the effects of advanced arthritis and the loss of natural lubrication between joints, causing constant pain while walking among many seniors.
By the way, the US Senate and Congress have an underground open top subway that they can ride between buildings rather than walk. To use Claire McCaskill's advice/standard, I propose that only those Senators not healthy enough to walk be allowed on this vehicle. One could foresee Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton leading a revolt at a minority senior center calling it racism to not fund scooters. But perhaps Jackson and Sharpton are behind the times in the new "Hope and Change" Washington.
The Democrats have gone from demonizing Scooter Libby - to demonizing seniors' Scooter Lobby. This line of thinking is totally compatible with ObamaCare efforts to ration medical-related services to seniors, as proposed by Rahm Emanuel's physician brother.
I propose a rebranding by seniors.
Most senior scooters are electric vehicles. Unlike the new luxury jets the Congress authorized for themselves, they don't produce any carbon emissions (if powered by a nuclear utility's electricity). I propose that seniors on scooters be reclassified as "Research Electric Vehicle Test Drivers for Urban Streets" or REVTD4US, for short. They are saving the earth, just like Segway owners.
Who else has all day to drive around but a senior who walks with difficulty - besides disabled veterans, who could be added to this program as well? An REVTD4US could test any new all-electric vehicle in real street conditions over thousands of hours, giving the EPA and the manufacturers stacks of data even larger than the ObamaCare 1000 page bill. And, if they were paid by either the government or General Motors (sorry for the redundancy), they could drive down unemployment figures. If I keep this train of thought up, Rahm Emanuel might even offer me a job. Well, maybe not.
Now seniors can proudly tell their friends and family that they are an official Research Electric Vehicle Test Drivers for Urban Streets -- or electric vehicle design consultants. It would have more status than being a Special Olympics athlete, the type Pres. Obama laughed at on national television.
GM, Chrsyler -- are you listening? You can score public relations points by hiring REVTD4US testers. You've already been given the funding in the Stimulus Package. Perhaps GM could hire retired auto workers whose GM bonds lost 90 percent of their value. Can these people afford a new car? I mean, if anyone is owed anthing - literally, by standard business law - it is these retirees.
So you see, Sen. McCaskill, these seniors on scooters jobs -- and their riders -- may not be "shovel ready," but they're willing to test new vehicles for the good of the country.