How often does a bill out of congress really solve the issue its stated intention claims. I’m not talking about all of the various resolutions that honor our countrymen and women for meritorious service to this country. I am not even talking about appropriations bills that are required to keep the military operational and all other agencies lights on and civil servants paid. Servants? We’ll come back to that in another post.
I am talking about the several bills a year that attempt to solve social issues. This is the muddy area. Subjective by nature, this a primary arena where many passionate debaters wage the war of ideas. We don’t quibble over most of the simple bills in congress. Except maybe the ones that congratulate presidents for getting peace prizes before peace is obtained or for non-accomplishments other than peace at all. And even these debates get hot and then die fast due to the lack of permanent damage. I think many of us who disagree with these just think “how ridiculous” and move on. You can give the President a Cleo for all the creative advertising of his ideas for all I care.
But this “Health Care” bill as I stated in the last post was mostly void of real solutions and is already damaging the economy in the first week. If you don’t know, check out what is happening to AT&T and other job creating companies to see how the bill is already starting to deplete billions of dollars that could be used to create and maintain new jobs.
What was this really about? Why now when everyone is asking for smart legislation to return the economy to a focus on jobs?
As I look at the landscape of politics, I see a game. However damaging, it’s an interesting game. Your standard ambition driven politician undoubtedly has temptations beyond what average Americans deal with. Temptations we have a difficult time identifying with since we normally sit in the bleachers watching from afar. Sure, we are in the game. We get to “cheer” on the teams and team players with our votes and our poll results, but we don’t often get the chance to sign an executive order, vote directly on legislation, or the opportunity to change the political atmosphere in this country for generations to come. Most of us will never be in that batting order. And it is the response to this very opportunity that is the legacy of a politician. But hey, there is nothing wrong with doing well and getting much deserved recognition. Every politician knows that their record is all they have to stand on for future elections.
But the recognition is supposed to come after you do well. Normally your accomplishments are measured by a test called “time” and “effectiveness.” In talking with people about this latest law, some believe the politicians did well because they passed a Health Care bill. The success in their eyes is that, on paper, everyone has health coverage. Whether or not they receive quality health care is not the issue. If it were the issue, the accolades would be handed down after 5 or 10 years of living with this new plan and quality of care went up for generally everyone. Unfortunately, the program doesn’t really kick in for 4 years. Do you think that was an accident. The government is going to collect taxes for the next couple of years. Obama is most likely going to claim that the program is funded so well that he can start coverage early right before his next election. If so, he thinks the American people could be duped into thinking he is doing better than expected regardless of the CBO projections. Those projections by the way will be far more grim than they are for Social Security. At least FDR had the smarts to do the math. Large Num of Baby Boomers + Small Num of Seniors = Plenty of Social Security for at least 70 years.
And you know. He might be right. The American electorate praised Obama for his work as a great politician before he really even had a record worth praising at all because they thought he would make their house payment. The question is are more Americans going to see through it this time. If the Tea Party pulls in the numbers, there is a chance. The Republicans, God bless ’em, continue to almost fight the battle and when they do it is too late. Too reactionary.
In the previous post I think I made Opinion “C” clear that just passing this bill did not prove that the Federal Government cares for people. So what does it care about.
Opinion “C” is: a bit longer today than yesterday so bear with me.
Before the Great Depression there was an emphasis on centralizing power to Washington D.C. In 1913 the Federal Reserve was created and an income tax was enacted. That is right folks. That income tax you pay every paycheck would be ZIPPO if you lived before 1913. The country just got out of a minor one year long depression a few years earlier. If only it worked that way today. When I read more data on the timeline of the Great Depression and look at more level headed analysis of those events, like those by Dr. Robert Murphy in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, I see a pattern of human nature in politics.
This pre-Great Depression environment presented an opportunity for a few elected officials. To me, Hoover’s Wage Hike and Freeze and FDR’s New Deal were attempts to do nothing more than convert the appearance of sympathetic action on the part of the Fed toward the people into votes. They understood that if you make corporations look evil and divide this nation over lost jobs and wage mandates you can conquer it for at least one or more election cycles. Talk about greedy. Whether they thought it would work or not is irrelevant. It did not work and these actions played important roles in furthering the pain and suffering as this countrywent into a tail spin we now call the Great Depression. Not that this was great for anyone suffering under the mandates of this centralization of power. From a great distance, known as time, these appear to be very narcissistic actions attempting to make people “feel” like these presidents care about them. Humans are touchy feely people. They react to now not later on a normative basis. The net result of helping a majority of working class folks by forcing wage rates is that you gain the accolades and eventually ballots of any American for which it solves an immediate need. It appears that the detriment to the minority is of no real concern to the politician who just needs a quick win. In that sense, this is all an underhanded, even if unintended, bribe. It is no secret that power corrupts. The Constitution limits the Federal Government for this reason. But now there is a contingent of Americans who are willing to sell their freedom for these bribes. Freedom used to be priceless. “Liberty and justice for all” is now “some liberty and some justice for some depending on whether you fit in to the right idea of Federal living styles.” How much is your freedom worth. I find it interesting that the Statue of Liberty was given to us by people who did not have it. One day, if we are not careful we might just need to return it as a net result of not honoring the gift.
What all of this has shown me over the last 100 years from history books and experience is that since the congress does not feel it has enough power as it is granted by the Constitution, it invents ways to grab more. The commerce clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) is perfect for that. It deals in MONEY and MEANS to it through business transactions. The objectives for each politician may be different for what to do with that power, but they all know that the more power they have the more they can affect. But taking power from Americans is hard. We tend to be stubborn that way. It has taken our Government about 100 years to get to where we are today.
President Obama is literally doing the exact opposite of what this country needs as a whole in an attempt to wow a slim majority at the expense of liberty which reduces the ability for this country to self correct in economic times. If you want the economy to grow you reduce government and give business, big and small, the ability to move forward with expansion with dollars it would have used on taxation. Doing the absolute right thing is hard and is not rewarding all that often. The President, like many before him, appears to “need” immediate rewards so doing the really right thing is not very attractive politically.
In the bigger picture, and it gets way bigger, I think he realizes this situation and could not care less. This is a rebirthing of ruling methods in order to get just enough backing by bribing the citizens to go along with these crazy schemes. Types of fascist and socialist agendas of defunct governments who also don’t care about liberty are being tested in America as potential alternatives to the current Constitution. This has been going on for a century. It is not an Obama only problem. It is a political problem that a series of loop holes and/or sheer disregard of the Constitution creates. We are not starting down a slippery slope. We are more than half way down it. The Constitution is a wonderful document and it’s only real flaw is that our government is not forced to follow it. The founders, I believe, thought WE THE PEOPLE would take care of that.
This brings Opinion “C” to conclusion. The rights of the people started getting reduced under the guise of benefits for all, paid for by all, almost 100 years ago, and it is now being forced to a whole new level. To fine a person who does not get government approved health insurance is not the first or last step of infringement on our civil liberties unless we do something about it. Call it fascism, socialism or anything else, it is certainly not traditionally American. We had a pretty good balance of power prior to the Fed interfering with commerce and individual liberty starting in earnest in 1913. Recessions or panics prior were short lived and self corrected as the Fed did not artificially try to manipulate the free market. The market today is anything but free. If you don’t like what is happening you need to look to the main source of the problem, the Fed.
What is most disconcerting and makes me think we are almost too far gone is that not all Americans feel that their freedoms are worth keeping if a President can convince them otherwise. And the Cleo goes to…