Sunday, September 13, 2009

Presidents Address to Joint Session of Congress 9-9-09

This is the link to the official transcript of the Presidents address 9-9-09. I am posting it so anyone can go to it to see what I'm writing about in the Presidents words, not mine.


The Week In Politics 9-13-09

This has been an interesting week in the political world. It started with the resignation of Van Jones at midnight on 9-5-09, Saturday night. Seems like a strange time to resign but it works well if you want to delay attention to it. Of course this was on Labor Day weekend just before the President was due to address the AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati, OH, so it was best to keep the news low key before that event I’m sure.

Some ACORN workers are caught trying to help a prostitute and her pimp boyfriend (a pair of young budding journalist undercover) trying to buy a house and legitimize prostitution, this includes how to make it look legal on taxes and what write-offs they can take, oh yea, also how to stay out of trouble when they bring under aged illegal immigrants in to work the business. This happened at two different ACORN offices. Of course ACORN officials are denying all of this and saying it’s just a smear campaign, if so then why have they fired the workers that were caught on tape at these two offices? The real twist to this is that the state of Maryland may be trying to go after the young filmmaker for illegally taping the conversations, and where is the corruption in all this? These events led to the Census Bureau severing its ties with ACORN, at least some good has happened.

Cass Sustein was confirmed by the Senate this week, I can only hope that he will actually do his job and not use the position to push his radical agenda, although there isn’t a lot of hope that it will be that way.

And then there is the President, before I start commenting on his week I want everyone to understand that I in no way want to see the President fail, any President, I want to see America succeed, if that means going against what the current President wants then so be it. The President is an elected official, as I heard one talk show host state, he is the executor of the American peoples will (as in desires, not last will and testament), he is not the King of America. On that note here’s what he had in store for us this week, as already mentioned he spoke at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati, OH where he gave great support to the Unions, this is the President that says we should not be listening to special interest groups, at least not if they go against his agenda. He also stated at that event that if it weren’t for Unions we would not be where we are today, well that could very well be true, just not in the context he meant. I’ve never been in a Union and probably never will be, to me they are one more organization that may have started out with good intentions but have succumbed to money and power and are using the backs of American workers to gain political and financial power, they have outlived their usefulness. The President also gave a speech to a joint session of the House, something that is normally reserved for emergency or critical situations, maybe in his opinion this was, but it looks more like a last ditch effort to get his health care reform back on track. I will give my take on the speech below. And then we have the 9-12 rally in Washington DC, which I wish I could have been a part of, but I guess the President didn’t want to be since he went to Minnesota to pitch his Health Care Plan. How many times do you have to waste taxpayer dollars flying all across the nation to pitch the same thing we watch on TV or hear on the radio which we can’t even vote on? Congress will vote on the bill and the President will sign it or not, regardless of what we the American people say about it, that is evident by the form letters we get back from our Congressional members and the phone calls that go unanswered when we try to call them, so this trip was either just another waste of taxpayer dollars or a dodge from the events going on in Washington.

Evaluation of the Presidents address to the joint session of the House

Due to length I will not post the entire transcript of the Presidents speech here, I will post the link to it separately so anyone can look at it.

The first thing that struck me was the statement that he is not the first President to take up this cause. That is very true; Roosevelt first started trying to reform Health Care in the 40’s, that is also when we started really seeing the Progressive movement begin in politics. Progressives want to take your rights and make them privileges doled out by the Government as they see fit, to redistribute wealth as the key phrase goes now. There is a reason the bill first introduced by John Dingell Sr. in 1943 continues to be re-introduced every session by his son without getting passed, the American people don’t want it.

Next the President stated: “We are the only democracy -- the only advanced democracy on Earth”. We are not a democracy, we are a Republic. In 1905 an organization called the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS) started in New York. This organizations goal was to bring socialism to America. Later they changed their name to the League for Industrial Democracy. Due to the efforts of this group and others around the globe to bring about Democratic Socialism the word Democracy became a euphemism for socialism. Call it a pet peeve or nit picking but the President of the United States of America should know that America is a Republic and should use the correct word to describe the country, unless he is trying to send a different message. Most people do not know the difference, yes we are a Democratic Republic, both words are there, but we are not a democracy, they are completely different things.

The President went on to talk about the rising cost of health care in America. It’s true, health care costs are rising on nearly a daily basis and it’s out of control. There are good reasons for it. Doctors are paying more and more in malpractice insurance due to more and more medical law suits. Sure there are plenty of these, probably the majority of them are reasonable law suits, where the Doctor should loss his or her license and payment should be due to the victims of improper or in-correct care, but there are many out there that are plain and simple scams by law suit happy people just looking for ways to make a buck and ambulance chasing lawyers. We need mal-practice reform but we won’t see anything serious in this area because of the number of lawyers in Congress. We also have rising costs from covering people that do not have insurance either by choice or because they can not afford it and still go to the Doctor or emergency room for every little hang nail. Not everyone abuses this type of care but many do, not everyone taking advantage of this is an illegal alien either but many are and that is wrong. If you want to lower costs there just require proof of citizen ship before any care and put into place some type of plan that will cover those that need it, but it should be only the most basic of care, we don’t want people to stay on a plan like that, we want them to better themselves, (not the Government better them) and work their way up to where they can afford better health care. Now don’t get me wrong, if an illegal came in needing care I would give it to them at the basic level and then they would be on a plane, train, bus or horse cart back to whatever country they came from. Along these same lines he went on to say that health care is our deficit problem, really, what about TARP (yes a Bush 43 problem), what about the stimulus, what about Cash for Clunkers, what about Federal employee pay being out of control? There are plenty of causes for our deficit and national debt being out of control, why don’t we start there and freeze all the out of control spending from Washington and then look at solving the problems of health care.

Later the President states that what he has seen so far in the attempts to reform health care have been the same partisan tactics and scare tactics instead of honest debate and compromise. I try to listen to both sides as much as I can stand and I have heard plenty of ideas coming from both sides that if they worked on they could come out with some plan that might actually work. The President stated it was time for the bickering to stop and the scare tactics to stop, later in the speech the President used his own form of scare tactics and Chicago style thug politics. He stated that if we don’t do something more people will lose their health care and die, what is this a bedtime story or a scare tactic? He also stated toward the end that he would call out those that misrepresent the plan, well I do agree, it should not be misrepresented by anyone, including the President, but the way the President stated it this was an out an out threat. Misrepresentation is coming at us from all sides on this issue, death panels or just an offer for end of life choices, cover abortion or is it just not stated as being excluded, cover illegal aliens or is it just not stated as a requirement to prove citizenship, so where is the misrepresentation coming from and just what do you mean by calling you out? Who is using scare tactics now?

Now the plan the President laid out is basically three plans. Now here are the details every American needs to know, hey those are the Presidents words, not mine. As for those words he tends to use them a lot and it tends to tell me he only wants us to know some things but not everything, like the small print that is read really quick during the commercials. Back to the health care plan.

The first part of the plan says you can keep the insurance you have if you are happy with it, which is a good thing. It also places controls on the Insurance Companies, controls that will cap out of pocket expenses, removes caps for catastrophic expenses, remove pre-existing condition clauses and requirements to cover you without loss of coverage for illnesses and for routine preventive care. All of this is good, for the patient, what is bad about it and is not talked about is that in order to do this the Insurance Companies will either raise premiums or lower benefits in order to cover the added risks and expenses they will have to keep their investors happy. To go along with this after the President addressed the other parts of the plan he addressed those that can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it and those companies that can afford to provide coverage for their employees but choose not to. They will be required, his words again, to purchase health care, or in the case of a company, provide health care or pay a fee to help reduce the cost of health care for all, every person will bear responsibility for health care. He likened it to the requirement by many states that you have to purchase auto insurance. Bad analogy, if you want to drive you have to buy auto insurance, full coverage if you have a load to cover the risk of the bank or liability to cover anyone you may injure or damage you may do with your vehicle, the catch is, you are not required to drive, you can walk. We are already living and our actions with respect to health is not going to cause injury or damage of property to another person, he is requiring us to buy something without having a choice to, as his analogy was used, walk.

The second part of his plan was to provide a means of affordable insurance to those that are working and making decent money but still not enough to purchase health insurance. This is the bi-partisan compromise co-op only it’s renamed to an insurance exchange. This was the bone thrown to the republicans in this case. There wasn’t a lot of information on the exchange, just that Insurance Companies could become a part of this exchange and it would provide a choice of plans at lower more affordable costs to the individual. If I am interpreting this right the exchange itself will be like a group policy only available to individuals. It’s not a bad idea, I really wonder why the insurance agency didn’t come up with this on their own, but the down fall would be that there would then be no reason for companies to buy into group plans for their employees so all insurance could potentially fall into this exchange, hmmmmm, wonder if that is the plan behind the curtain. Now comes the kicker, to keep the insurance companies that participate in the exchange honest the Government will establish a “not-for-profit public option”. Yes the public option is still alive and well. This public option will have to self sustaining through the premiums it collects and it will not have the overhead of a private insurance company. The Congressional Budget Office estimates only 5% of Americans will sign up for this public option. Let’s think about this. Less overhead so the premiums can be much lower then private companies so that will be the best option for those that are already tight on money. Those that currently choose not to purchase insurance but can afford it are doing so because they want to spend their money in other places so this would be the best choice for them to. Companies will be given the choice of either providing coverage or paying a fee so this fee will more then likely be less then providing coverage so which direction do you think they will go. Sounds to me like this is a back door method to get everyone onto the public option, which if run by the Government will be a single payer option, that is only my opinion and not stated anywhere.

The third part of the plan is for those that just can not afford insurance even at the reduced rates of the exchange. There will be tax credits to help them be able to buy insurance. There is a good portion of Americans whose income is low enough that they aren’t paying taxes as it is, what kind of tax credit will you give them. Where is the money for these tax credits going to come from? I know a rhetorical question. No where in the plan did the President address the problem of the Americans that are trying to support a family on minimum wage, or the ones that are out of work and every bit of savings they have is or un-employment insurance income is going to keeping their home and food on the table. That is where the current problem with health care is, these are the people that need the help and are probably in the worst health of any other group as a whole in America, these are the ones we should be trying to come up with some kind of plan for.

The President went on to state that under his plan illegal immigrants and abortion would not be covered under his plan. Under HR 3200 it was not stated that illegal immigrants and abortion was covered, it was also not stated that they weren’t covered, which is a back door method of covering them since there is no provision to not cover them. Congressman Wilson from SC yelled out “you lie” which is not really true, although I completely support the Congressman’s sentiment, all he did is state what the plan says, not what it can do, you know political speak strikes again.

Finally we need to remember that this is a crisis, that’s why we need to get this bill that is to long for anyone to read passed right now. If that is true, why are the parts of this bill that will provide coverage going in place in 2013 while the fees and penalties will go into place immediately? In the Presidents defense he did state that for those with pre-existing conditions that have lost their insurance, a plan for low cost insurance will be put into place immediately, that part I can agree with, but will it include the pre-existing condition of low wages or out of work?

The Presidents plan is a back door, let’s make every one think we are looking out for them as we take away their rights, their freedoms and their personal lives plan. This is the way to get the Government Health Care passed while we sit back and think we are being given a good deal. If the Government wants to do something right they should deal with the out of control spending and fraud throughout the Government so that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (plans that never should have been passed in the first place) are still there for those that have been paying into it, not be insolvent by 2017 for Medicare and Medicaid by the most recent reports and 2037 for Social Security. With control of spending and a balanced budget without a deficit we could pay down our debt while providing basic health care for the truly needy but at a level that would encourage them to better themselves to be able to afford better health care, part of that would have to be deportation of illegal immigrants to get them off our health care, off our education, and off our social services budgets. I know that sounds cruel and inhuman and racist, it’s not, it’s reality, they broke the law to get here send them home. Before you start blathering about their potential American citizen kids, would you think twice about sending me to jail if I broke the law, even if I was the sole bread winner in my family, not a chance, why should they be different? Every day we take kids away for Americans because they broke the law and would not be there to take care of them, if the kids can’t go back to where ever their parents came from then so be it. Better border controls would be less expensive but we are too nice to possibly offend our neighbors with stricter controls or a fence.

I fear this plan will pass and when it does it will open to door to taking away all our rights. Even though he states his plan will be deficit neutral that may not last. Once passed it will be as easy as a stroke of a pen to increase taxes to cover the health care bill without calling it and without the American public even realizing it. My greatest fear is that it is now out of our hands and up to our politicians in Washington, especially the Democratic party, hopefully there are enough good people left in the Democratic party to stop this.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What is really going on?

I'm not an educated person politically but I'm trying to watch, listen and read any thing I can to learn. One thing that I am picking up on is that our Government, the one we have had in place for over 200 years, is changing rapidly. I'm not talking about the collision course we have been on with Socialism for the last few decades, this is something more. There has been an alarming increase in actual and attempted power shifts into the White House. There has been the drastic increase in the number of Czar's, or Special Presidential Advisers that have been named, that alone with the backgrounds of some of these Czars should be enough to set off bells. We have had an Inspector General fired illegally for doing his job. He was investigating possible abuse of funds to Americorp, one of the branches of ACORN. Next thing we hear is that the President wants to bring the IG office under control of the White House, they are independent so they can do their job, this move will castrate them. Next we hear that the White House wants to take away the job of interrogation of potential terrorists from the CIA and have a special White House team do that job. At about the same time the White House was making a play to pull the vetting process into it's clutches, isn't the vetting process suppose to be the job of Congress? All these moves are going to render the Congress powerless and they are playing right into the hands of the White House. The current administration is trying to take over our health care, our energy, our banks, and our mortgages. When will the power grab stop? When will we as Americans that believe in the Constitution stand up and stop the power grab? The Progressives in Congress think this is the greatest administration ever, will they think the same when they find themselves out of a job? Will they think that way when they wake up and the America they knew is gone? There are no other new worlds to discover, no uninhabited lands where a new country can be started. Somehow we have to save what we have, save the America we all know and put it back on the right track.