Posts Tagged ‘big government’
Liberals sometimes never cease to amaze me. Not in the amazing as in the positive impressiveness, but the amazing as in, just when I think liberals can’t get any more dumb, something like this occurs and…well, I’m amazed.
To wit, the Washington state legislature is considering a bill, introduced by the Democrats, to impose a tax on electric-powered vehicles. Essentially, by citing things like road wear-and-tear, the Democrats are thinking they need to impose an annual tax on cars that don’t use gasoline. Of course, gas-powered cars pay for their fair share of the wear-and-tear at the pump, each time they fill up. But electric-cars, well, not so much, since they get plugged in every night.
On the surface, you would think this is actually an equitable solution because it’s “only fair” and the lib-crats are all about imposing their definition of “fairness” on the population by virtue of big government. But this one works against the liberal environmentalist mantra of trying to reduce the dependence on petroleum.
Now, while I don’t advocate this, since I don’t want to be accused of giving the lib-crats any ideas, there is a way to achieve the same objective and “have their cake and eat it too”. What if they imposed that additional tax on all of us evil petroleum users and give their electric cars the advantage of tax-free operation? After all, the iron rules of economy:
If you want more of something, you subsidize it.
If you want less of something, you tax it.
So, effectively, by the Washington state assembly advocating the taxation of electric vehicles, they are saying to the world that they are willing to have more taxes at the expense of losing their effort to eliminate the need for gas-powered cars.
One lib-crat ideal in competition with another lib-crat ideal. Amazing, right?
Yeah, me neither.
I began reading this little ditty on Breitbart and as I got through the headline, I began to say, “oh boy, the Witch in the Ditch is at it again”.
I’ve never been a big fan of Cindy Sheehan and think that she just continues to dishonor the memory of her son, Casey’s, service to the country by using his name to continue protesting Americas overseas combat efforts. The thing that bugs me about it is the fact that Casey Sheehan is dead, having died in the line of duty. When he took the oath, he must have realized that a potential eventuality of his service in the military would cost him his life. We hope that never happens to our soldiers and sailors, but whenever a young man or woman takes the oath, they are pledging their lives to the safety and security of the country, to follow the orders of the President, and to do his/her duty with honor and loyalty. I’m sure Casey knew this. However, his mother, in a means to cope with the loss, has made this anti-war effort in Casey’s name her whole life. But we often wonder if Casey would actually agree with his mother’s rallying cause.
That’s not the subject of my post here. My real point is what she said:
"We have to realize, it is not the president who is power, it is not the party that is in power it is the system that stays the same, no matter who is in charge."
With this one point, I cannot agree more. While she was upset at the fact that Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of making positive steps to pull the troops out of Iraq, the thing is, the war effort hasn’t changed, probably because Obama has learned more about the effort as President than the more flippantly ignorant comments from the campaign trail.
But what Cindy says narrowly, I echo generally. The big problem with our country today is that nothing changes in Washington. Obama and McCain both campaigned (arrogantly I might add) about how, by electing them, they would be able to change the tone in Washington. The thing is, the tone in Washington cannot be changed by anyone in Washington. We can have the Democrats in power, the GOP in power, it doesn’t really matter – as long as the “system”, or the “establishment” is in place, things just don’t change.
So what is the “establishment”? It’s primarily made up of career politicians who believe it is their right to be in office; it’s their destiny so to speak. It’s lackeys and interns that follow politicians around like star-struck groupies in order to
I’ve been reading through the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence again here recently and one thing that I found pretty amusing was the constitutional mandate (Article I, Section IV) that Congress must assemble at least once per year. I wonder if the Framers foresaw that government would become so involved in the lives of people that Congress would have to meet constantly. Congress, in the beginning was meant to be a part time gig and that the politicians would actually have real jobs outside of the political world.
Thing is, because We the People have allowed government to grow exorbitantly, politics becomes a more than full time job. We have to have politicians and staff, support people, secretaries, under-secretaries, assistants, czars, assistants to the czars, analysts, managers, experts and the list keeps just going on and on. And the one thing that we never get to see is a reduction in government, because once we add to the government, it never goes away. It’s the proverbial band-aid fix after band-aid fix, but we dare not actually fix the problem otherwise, some bureaucrat loses his purpose to governmentally exist.
I know that’s a generalizing statement, but let’s face it…if we actually reduced government, put mandatory sunsets on programs, put term limits on members of Congress, and stopped dolling out money to every little issue in America, perhaps we’d actually hear that new tone in Washington.
So, for one small point, Cindy and I agree. Better check the temp in sheol, it might be getting bit drafty.
With all the brouhaha regarding the healthcare debate, the one thing that’s not really getting said is what would we on the right wing do to make improvements to the health care system. It’s true, the liberal approach to big government healthcare stinks with the fetid stench of socialism. But while we debate the topic of health care with the liberals, we also need to be aware of the ideas by which we would improve our national system and make it better.
So, I bring out these points that have been articulated by John C. Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, as written in the March 2009 issue of Imprimis. It’s not my intention, specifically to plagiarize Dr. Goodman, but it is my intent to share these ideas with you, the faithful readers of The Rabid Conservative.
Health care needs to be about real choices that benefit the patient-doctor relationship and put patients and doctors at the center of the program. These ideas, while not exhaustive, are good ways to start with that.
1. Give patients control over some, if not all, of their Medicare money. Dr. Goodman says at minimum, 1/3 of that money should be at the discretion of the patient. Yeah, put some constraints on what exactly the money can be spent, but after that, let the patients decide. I bet they’ll be far more frugal, generally.
2. Allow doctors to price and package services like every other professional does. Right now, doctors have to live under the constraints of Medicare and the insurance companies. The way I see it, if you allow doctors the same flexibility as other professionals and inject that good ol’ entrepreneurial spirit, suddenly, competition becomes real and the market deals with price control.
3. The stimulus bill had provisions for digitizing medical records. I would tend to agree with this one, just so long as the database does not give the government power to dictate clinical guidelines and make national coverage decisions. The information remains in the hands of physicians and accessible by them and their patients. I believe it’s time to begin re-writing HIPAA for the 21st century’s world of information.
The difficulty with digital records is where to keep the information. If you create a central database, you can bet the insurance lobby will push for access to that database in order to manage their risk and exposures.
I agree that information should be visible and quickly accessible, but in so doing, stiff controls need to be put in place to ensure that information is secure.
4. Promote more self-help services for medical care. Allow doctors and health professionals to be more conversant with patients (phone and e-mail – what a concept!) as well as build better databases for helping people provide their own medical care at home. Things like WebMD are a start, but government grant money to build such a repository of information can reduce the burden on the system.
5. Get the system pre-funded by encouraging people to save for their own health care. Give them incentives to do it, such as tax protection or even dividends. Encourage HSA’s more in the marketplace and in the workplace. Encourage people to start putting money away to pay for their own expenses. Dropping $50-$100 a month into an HSA with a potential employer match (like a medical 401k) will pre-fund the system and reduce the burden on the tax payer.
6. Mandate warranted care for major hospital procedures and require hospitals and clinics to disclose error and infection rates. A big drag here is if you go in for a procedure and they jack you up or they don’t get it right, you go back for re-treatment and pay for that. Wouldn’t be nice to go to the hospital just once and get whatever is broke fixed?
These are just a few ideas from Dr. Goodman and I think while we as Conservatives carry on the fight against socialized medicine, we should also promote ideas that would actually fix the system without putting Washington as the comptroller of the system. We don’t need the government involved in this. All we need is the good sense and determination to sort this on our own and then go get it done.
And then Congress won’t have to worry about reading a thousand page document in one night to make sure the legislation actually make sense.
BTW – Tell your reps and senators that if they don’t have the common courtesy and decency as an elected official to read what they are signing, then just say no!
Today, a story came out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area about a poor schlub who ended up seeing a $23 quadrillion charge on his credit card bill. Jon Seale was surprised to say the least when his statement rolled in with a mega-charge after dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s. National Broadcasting Corporation (stress National), produced this article that would probably end up being filed under the Oddly Enough category.
$23 quadrillion is 2000 time that of the current National Debt (despite Obama’s best efforts to put the next twelve generations of Americans into poverty). $23 quadrillion is far more money than there is on Earth. In fact, the Gross World Product (basically the planetary GDP) in 2007 was estimated at $54 trillion. Now if you added up all the money in the US coffers (M1, M2, and M3), you’d get around $6 trillion. These numbers are but a drop in the bucket to Mr. Seale’s $23 quadrillion bill.
Now this is all in jest, obviously. Mr. Seale won’t be having to pay off the crazy charge nor even the $20 overdraft fee, which is a good thing. And he’ll have something to laugh about next time he buys anything from Wolfgang Puck.
But there is a bigger lesson to learn here – who is actually going to pay for nationalized health care, cap and
trade tax, the stimuli bills that get pumped out of the government coffers, and every other big government program that the liberals in Congress have promoted in the last few months? Well, we are of course!
And just like Mr. Seale’s initial reaction of “what the ______” (fill in your own explicative) when he saw his statement, we’re going to start seeing it in everything we do. We’ll see gas prices go up when the cap and tax bill goes in, a bill that is designed to attack energy production in the US and will line the coffers of companies like Goldman Sachs and others who will profit. We’ll see the costs of big government in our food, clothing, and basic sustenance when the millionaire business owners that will get the 5.4% tax hike when nationalized health care is pushed into our lives like a bad prescription. And while we’re out enjoying the fruits of the Stimulus Bills that keep rolling out, well someone has to pay for that. And I don’t see the suits in Washington turning their pockets out to pay for it, but rather, are requiring all of us to do it.
But some basic questions here:
Who really wants cap and trade? The greens who believe that we’re destroying the earth every time we breathe (a message they’ve been hammering on the drums for over 100 years, back at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution). Well, countries that are interested in making money and advancing into the First World have already shrugged off Cap and Trade, such as India, China, and Mexico (which will basically render our efforts towards reducing emissions useless and give these countries an economic advantage). And all of this has been set in motion to combat a problem that has never truly been scientifically vetted amongst the critics or the climate community.
Who really wants nationalized health care? Do we really want to see a wait for nine hours to get seen for a potentially broken arm? What about a two week wait immediately after a “heart problem” which could end up being fatal? What about having to wait *years* before being able to see a specialist, waiting for some government bureaucrat to make a decision about whether it’s viable and in the public’s interest to treat you.
Who really wants these stimulus bills? Who wants to watch us sacrifice the futures of our kids to spend on programs that the liberals want to fund? Who wants to see $1T spending bills that promise to lower unemployment if they are passed, but do nothing but commit money to government programs that create nothing but dependency on the government?
The government is spending money it doesn’t have, running up the country’s credit card, and hoping that by dumping exorbitant amounts of cash on the problems of the world that they will go away. Unfortunately, the only thing big government does is get in the way of those things that actually would solve the world’s problems.
The sad thing about all of this is that Mr. Seale may end up seeing another bill come in with some nice high charges on it, but this time, they will be real.
Most of what is crossing the national wire to me is pretty boring; it’s the same old song and dance. We’re constantly assailed with idiocy from the Main Stream Media. So, in sweeping the local newspapers and feeds, I find little gems like this one that, to me, are far more interesting, because of the scope, there’s little attention drawn to it and little to no concerted effort to do a Public Relations cleansing of the facts. In other words, what journalism should be.
Turns out out, the small town of Conneaut, Ohio, which borders Lake Erie and is in the far north east corner of the state, population 13,000, has a website operator named Katie Schwartz who is being drilled by the City Manager because of her website. The City Manager, Bob Schaumleffel, Jr. sent a Cease and Desist letter because, on the surface, it was because he didn’t want Schwartz’ website to be confused with the official city website, which is currently being overhauled. However, while citing competition with the defunct city website, Schaumleffel went political, ranting about about personal attacks against him and his administrative team. Schaumleffel went on to send a Cease and Desist letter which city council not to rescind to Schwartz over all of this.
Schwartz is a young professional, with degrees in Marketing and Business. She arrived in Conneaut about 18 months ago and was dismayed over the lack of business advertising. EverythingConneautOhio.com has been online for three months now and fills the hole very well as a business portal and online meeting center. She has a forum, a blog, uses Twitter, and has worked to be true to the name. But what is most remarkable this is her level of activism into improving her town’s economic climate. She’s using a private, free-market approach to help increase the quality of her town. Once again, we see private industry doing something that the government bureaucracy was unable or unwilling to do.
Schwartz’ website is a business, but it is a private site and has the same protections as any other private site. Just because Schwartz has done a good job marketing it and positioning it to be more of an online hub for the folks in Conneaut doesn’t mean that she has to be totally agreeable with the current administration of the city. Schaumleffel showed his hand by ranting on about receiving personal attacks as the result of her site.
In briefly looking over the site, I didn’t find anything overly critical of the City Administration, but I did see two topics out there that might create some stir. First, a topic about televising the council meetings on the local cable channels, definitely a plus for those who advocate for an open and transparent government. Second was the wisdom of having a City Manager versus an elected Mayor. A little more research showed that the previous city manager resigned abruptly last year, which leads me to believe this may be a topic of increasing interest in Conneaut. And with a private website in place to facilitate communication among dissidents, issues can pick up steam quickly.
But Schaumleffel doesn’t seem to be to keen on this site and has told her to cease and desist and take all information relating to the municipal offices down. In reviewing the information, it contained who the City Manager and Council members were and how to get a hold of them. So why did three out of the seven on city council and the city manager believe that it was inappropriate to list this information? Such information hardly competes with the official city site but it has put a burr in Schaumleffel’s saddle.
Personally, I hope Schwartz tells the City Manager to go pound sand. He has no right to dictate what Schwartz posts on her site. She has not at all purported her site to be the official city site and nothing on the site is slanderous in any way. But yet, local government is censuring her over her efforts, just because the City Manager doesn’t have the chops to deal with being criticized as a public official.
Bob, being criticized is part of being in office. Put on your big boy pants and just roll with it. Or, even better, try listening to your citizens, the way government should work.
Good work, Katie. Hang tough!