Archive for November, 2009

Thanks, US Military Personnel!

November 28, 2009

This Thanksgiving weekend, as I enjoy time at home with my family, those of you who are standing tall in our military to protect American freedoms have been on my mind.  I thank you all, though mere gratitude seems a paltry offering compared to your sacrifice.  (In the same way that we have to recognize that Jesus’ sacrifice for us can never be repaid by human effort.)  I served six years in the U.S. Navy down toward the end of the Vietnam war, so I know something of what it is like to be young and away from loved ones for extended periods.  (I also know that my NAVY service was like a vacation cruise compared to the daily life of many of you who are currently in harm’s way.)  I am humbled by your dedication to duty and your willingness to sacrifice for the rest of us.  Thank you!  You are in my prayers.  May God bless and protect you.

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Leave my sovereignty alone!

November 26, 2009

Because I live in the Eastern wilds of Iowa, as one might discern from earlier posts, I recently watched the C-Span video of Senator Chuck Grassley’s speech before the Saturday vote on whether to advance the health care bill (HR 3590) for debate.  Senator Grassley countered the Democratic stance that “nothing is worse than doing nothing” with compelling economic evidence that “this bill is worse than doing nothing”.  I thank Senator Grassley for endeavoring to be a voice of reason amidst chaos.  I have held the opinion that Senator Grassley has been part of the big-government problem.   But lately, I think he is learning to listen to his constituents and actually “gets it”.  He is taking much heat from the left for his opposition to the liberal agenda.   Which means that he is standing up for me.

Though Grassley’s speech fell on deaf ears in the Senate, I think it is important to give voice to the truth anyway. Often the Old Testament prophets were ignored, even when their predictions were dire. Once the truth had been spoken, those on whom the coming calamity fell were without the excuse of ignorance.  Occasionally, the people listened and disaster was averted.   I pray that happens in this case.

As bad as the Democratic health care plan is on the economic front, I find it filled with intolerable encroachments on our individual sovereignty.  I am unwilling to sell my freedom for the promise of  “affordable” health care.  Consider this: if the plan really had merit, people would flock to it voluntarily. There would be no need to enforce participation via the Internal Revenue Service, or to embed criminal penalties for non-participation.

I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I have my head buried in the sand on the need for insurance reform.   I have a health savings account out of which I pay all medical expenses until my family has met a $5000 deductible.  This means that unless something catastrophic happens, all (absolutely all) medical expenses come out of my own pocket.  With these plans, the insured has a strong incentive to manage costs.  It is impossible to delude oneself into the perspective that one of these high-deductible plans constitutes an entitlement.  The last two years, since I have been on this plan we have not met the deductible, so the insurance company has paid out precisely zero.   Still, this year the cost of the policy is going up 37% on top of the 24% that it went up last year.   Why?  Because most plans are not like mine.  Most have a higher premium paid by the employer, and a low deductible.  Once the deductible is met, the only thing that restrains the policy holder is a complicated set of rules set by the insurance company.  I envision this problem getting much worse under government control.   If the Federal Government can’t figure out how to move mail without the Post Office requiring a “bailout”, I would say the chance of a favorable outcome on the much more complicated issue of health care is very low.  The rhetoric attached to this debate is rife with unrealistic claims, and it isn’t even out of the gate yet.

If the Senate really wanted to improve the situation, they would tackle some specific problems (like how to provide incentives for self-restraint or tort reform) instead of trying to write behemoth bills to take over the health care industry.  Why does the bill take the form it takes?  Because it isn’t about reforming health care.  It’s about taking over.  It’s about making it illegal to decide for yourself what is best for you and then making you pay for something you didn’t need or want.

The President of the United States of America Bowing Down …

November 18, 2009

…  to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah at the G20 meeting in April,  to the Emperor of Japan in November.  Do you want to speculate whether he is planning to bow to the U.N. to surrender the sovereignty of our nation in the name of fighting climate change?  That sovereignty was won at great cost and has been protected at great cost, up until now.

When the President of the United States represents us in front of foreign dignitaries, his office exists because of brave men who endured freezing conditions with General Washington at Valley Forge.  When he travels to Japan on state business, he has a nation to represent because men like my father signed up to defend her after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  In the European Theater, men like my uncle , who was killed at Saint-Lô during the Battle of Normandy, added to the sacred honor of trust that the holder of the Office of the President should stand tall for.  Day after day, from the founding until now, brave men and women have sacrificed to uphold our nation in ways this President cannot fathom.

The scripture says that every knee will bow before Jesus Christ.  I say the President should bow before none other.

 

 

The Protection Racket

November 9, 2009

I was listening to Chris Baker ably filling in for Glenn Beck this morning. He was interviewing Congressman Ted Poe of the second district of Texas. Congressman Poe has a long history serving as a Judge before taking his present office, so I was interested in his comments about how little thought was put into the constitutionality of the health care bill passed by the House over the weekend.

I heard other comments this morning on an earlier program about the portions of the new bill that will use the Internal Revenue Code to force purchase of health insurance. I thought this was too outrageous to believe, so I looked it up.  For example, see section 422 of H.R. 3962.  It is the first time in history that the United States Government has endeavored to force Americans to buy a product.

So, that got me to thinking about the protection racket. An enforcer tells a business owner that he needs to buy “protection” to “insure” something bad doesn’t happen. If the business owner doesn’t go along, well… something bad may happen.

How about prosecution and jail? Is that bad? The IRS is not constrained to due process. Would it be bad if enforcement was done under the authority of the IRS? It’s ironic isn’t it? The tax code has often been used as leverage in battling racketeering. Now, I guess it will be the other way around. The tax code is to be used as an aid.

I’m sorry. Some of you are going to have to explain to me how this “healthcare” situation is different that the type of conspiracy and racketeering that the Attorney General has usually been known to prosecute.

I think Congressman Ted Poe is right on the mark about the dubious Constitutionality of H.R. 3962. But I wonder if those who voted for it in the House shouldn’t be liable for conspiracy and racketeering charges.  Again, if my logic is flawed, explain it to me.

“Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen.”

November 8, 2009

“Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen.”  That’s what the guys at work have been telling me about H.R 3200 / 3962.   But, there it is, through the House.   While I was attending the Iowa Tea Party Statewide Convention to network with others of semi-like mind, the Democratic members of the House stayed for the weekend and exercised their majority.

If I read the polls correctly,  those Democratic representatives are so sure that they know best, the opinions of the majority of you just don’t matter.  It’s not like I have personally been asleep at the switch;  my own representative Leonard Boswell has been certain that he knows better than I for a long time.  When I call his office or send an email (frequently),  I always get a cordial explanation of why it is imperative that he do exactly the opposite of what I wanted.  Isn’t it great to be well represented?  I met some at the Tea Party Convention who want to run for Boswell’s seat.  I will pick one, and work tirelessly for his campaign.

I think I heard an elated victory speech from Speaker Pelosi.   Seems she gushed there was a cap on costs, but no cap on benefits.  I wonder if I could interest her in buying my perpetual motion machine design to solve the energy problem?

The system of checks and balances instituted by our wise founders only prevents the government from metastasizing  if  “We the People” don’t fill the Congress with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  Those polls are logically troublesome.  It seems like those elected should more closely represent the desires of those who elected them.  Perhaps the problem was too many votes cast against George Bush, instead of for the real desires of the people casting the vote.  Hmm.

H.R. 3962 – Just say NO!

November 1, 2009

From Nancy Pelosi’s blog The Gavel:

MYTH: “Health insurance reform will lead to rationed care for everyone.”

FACT: Under America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, there is not one provision in the bill that gives any “government bureaucrat” the ability to determine what treatments an individual can receive.
____________
Well, the truth will out.  The pro-government-health-care propaganda mill has shrilly denied that the government heath care plan would lead to rationing.   Reasonable people, of course, understand that resources are not infinite.  We are well acquainted with the problems with entitlements.

The H.R. 3200 bill cited by Ms. Pelosi’s “Myth Busting” comment above has now been incorporated into H.R. 3962.   So, I suppose technically the Speaker could claim the comment is obsolete.  (Isn’t she in charge up there?)   I cite from page 25 of the 1990-page bill itself, now that it has exited cloaked status:

(2) INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. – If the Secretary estimates for any fiscal year that the aggregate amounts available for payment of expenses of the high-risk pool will be less than the amount of the expenses, the Secretary shall make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums, or establishing waiting lists.

To deny that such rationing must exist is irrational.  But,  this revelation shows how far voters should trust the assertions of the Democratic majority in either Chamber of Congress or in the Executive — no matter how loudly they are proclaimed or whom is being vilified.

Reading the ‘‘Affordable Health Care for America Act’’ [H.R. 3962] is reminiscent of reading the tax code (with good reason). This behemoth bill will establish a massive government bureaucracy that will be just like dealing with the I.R.S. If you are in support of this bill now, you need to imagine what it would be like having to clear your every health related decision with an agent of the Internal Revenue Service. If we allow our “representatives” to pass this monstrosity, it will be a sad day for us and for our children.