For the first time in history, the Democratic Congress will not allow a cost of living adjustment ("COLA") in Social Security retirement payments in 2010. In fact, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years. However, the per person monthly Medicare insurance premium will be increased from the 2009 premium amount of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010, and to $120.20 for the year 2011. At the same time, Congress voted itself raises in the dead of night earlier this year. And bonuses were approved for their staff members, pages, etc.) Maybe we should make a fuss until theypay them back and refuse to take any more. They are way overpaid as it is. These bums all deserve to be thrown out.
With the passage of time it is becoming clear that the pressure to enact health reform was due not to any crisis as most of the provisions of the various legislative proposals would not become effective until the year after the next presidential election. Instead, the urgency was due to the perceived -- and real -- necessity for rushing it into law before the truth about what actually is involved would become widespread.
Also there now has been time for another writer to provide this straightforward analysis that sorts through the conflicting claims and shows who is lying and/or trying to deceive us . . . and, guess what, it's NOT Sarah Palin.
What's going to happen to the privacy and confidentiality of every individual's medical records if or when government seizes control of the health care industry and/or the health insurance industry?
Experience has shown that any information in the government's data banks -- such as supposedly confidential data from IRS files -- can be obtained and made public by any politician interested in doing so and even by petty bureaucrats who troll through the files and are eager to share titillating stuff they find there.
Here is a letter that has just been dispatched to my district's member of the House of Reprehensibles and to each of my state's two U.S. senators:
As one of your constituents, I would appreciate answers from you to two questions:
1. Why have you voted for, and why has Congress appropriated millions of dollars to ACORN, an obviously corrupt organization that has engaged in illegal conduct for an extended period of time, going back long before the recent revelations about it?
2. Why have you and Congress heretofore tolerated and failed to eliminate from existing programs all the waste, fraud, and abuse that now supposedly are going to be eliminated to pay for health care/insurance reform without adding to the deficit?
I will look forward to your response and hope that it will not be merely a canned form letter.
Democrats like to claim they are the political heirs of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson but they either are ignorant of or dishonest about -- as well as confident that the rest of us will overlook -- the hostility of those estimable gentlemen to the concentration of financial power in large banking institutions.
With the financing and sponsorship of the federal government, the U.S. currently is undergoing a concentration of financial control in a few select hands in a way that the country hasn't experienced since Andrew Jackson, in the battle of his life, brought down the Second Bank of the United States.
Today, the Federal Reserve has arisen as the modern day version of that evil 19th century institution. It is the dominated handmaiden of the country's large money center and investment bankers. These institutions are benefiting hugely from having brought the nation's economy crashing down.
Look clearly at what has occurred:
* In the investment banking arena, Goldman Sachs was saved from collapse by an injection of taxpayer money from the public treasury. Its former competitors such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers are gone, not having been the recipient of similar largess. They were allowed to fail and Goldman Sachs has been left standing alone, free from any significant competitors, atop and dominant in the investment banking field.
* In commercial banking, the big players -- Citibank, Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc. -- also were rescued with injections of public monies. Their smaller competitors were not given similar governmental transfusions. The smaller ones have been collapsing and are continuing to collapse at a rate unprecedented since the great depression. As they approach failure, the government steps in and either hands them off, liquidates them, and/or sells their assets to one of the biggies . . . and the big players are increasing their market share.
The net result of all this is competition free dominance of the nation's finances by a few large players. It is no wonder they are able to pay back the money the government pumped into them.
They have reaped huge rewards from their past (and continuing) political bribes -- aka campaign contributions -- and the transgressions that impoverished the rest of the country.
The House of Reprehensibles has made chastising one of its (minority party) members for indecorous conduct a priority item of business. At the same time serious transgressions -- real corruption and criminal conduct -- by the Ways and Means Committee chairman and other (majority party) members* are left slowly simmering on a back burner.
This is a hoot . . . simply hilarious beyond description. Were it scripted as fiction nobody would believe it.
They ought to abandon Capitol Hill, sell off the clown house atop it, and make the show a traveling one, with performances under a big tent. Just think about what a hit the bloviating buffoon from Boston would be as the ring master and Nasty Nancy as . . . oh well, best not to go there. In any event, ticket sales for the extravaganza would balance the budget and eliminate the deficit in short order. ___________________________________ * Note: They truly are real members (if you get my meaning).
Politicians of the "progressive" persuasion once again are arguing that a massive new program they are pushing won't add to the humongous deficit they have created for future generations to pay after they are gone.
Their mind numbing mantra is that the huge bill will be paid from savings that will be realized by eliminating -- once again, the familiar chorus -- "waste, fraud, and abuse" from existing programs.
Never mind that such savings never materialize, and don't date ask why they heretofore have tolerated rather than eliminated all the "waste, fraud, and abuse."
Here is where we really could use a trigger. Let's insist that legislation enacting any new program provide that the new program will become effective only upon realization of the offsetting savings from first getting off of the "waste, fraud, and abuse" that is supposed to pay for it.
In other words, demand that they SHOW US THE MONEY FIRST!
The nation's press is attacking a member of the House of Reprehensibles who was moved by the rhetoric of the Chosen One to shout out "You Lie," thus engaging in boorish conduct that apparently violated the body's rules of decorous conduct.
Wouldn't it be nice if the members of the fourth estate examined the accuracy of what the target of their assault said instead of diverting attention from that question?
In weighing transgressions, might not a congressman engaging in impolite behavior be less serious and consequential than a president misleading the nation's citizens and the Congress on an issue of great public importance?
For those frustrated by our out-of-control government, here is something every one of us can do without expending a great deal of time and effort:
Call the local office of both of your state's U.S. senators and your member of the House of Reprehensibles and demand that these "public servants" explain to you why their bodies have authorized sending taxpayer money from the public treasury to ACORN.
In doing this, don't be put off by any explanation that it was only in the last few days that ACORN was shown to be trying to assist in the establishment of tax evading brothels to be staffed by underage illegal immigrant prostitutes. The organization has a long history of corruption with an extended and well documented history of involvement in election fraud that apparently didn't in the slightest deter our rulers from appropriating our money to it.
Small government -- one limited in size and scope to what our country's founders contemplated and sought to provide for by the Constitution -- is likely to be clean and decent. It would not and could not do enough to make it worth buying.
Government swollen to what we have today inevitably breeds corruption simply because it is everywhere, doing everything and therefore very much worth influencing. Such a government always and everywhere inevitably will come to belong to those who one way or another can pay the most to buy control of it.
Drivers on California's highways and byways can more often than not be observed to be using hand held cell phones despite a state law prohibiting them from doing so.
The law is being ignored or deliberately broken even though it is not a nanny state one such those requiring the use of seat belts and helmets -- cell phone use by motorists does adversely affect the safety of others on and along the roadways. Thus it is like the late (and unlamented) 55 mph speed limit, which also was commonly violated to the chagrin of would be rulers who arrogantly presume they can alter public behavior simply by enacting a law.
Those who pass such laws ignore the following bit of wisdom from Napoleon Bonaparte:
One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.
However, by so doing, feckless lawmakers actually serve the cause of freedom. Enacting foolish laws transforms normally law abiding individuals into outlaws. Widespread law breaking undoubtedly has a deleterious affect on society but coming to see themselves as outlaws is liberating for the law breakers -- they increasingly recognize and exercise their individual abilities to determine for themselves which laws deserve their respect and observance as well as those that do not.
Accordingly, lawmakers would do well to take into account both Napoleon's above-quoted maxim and its counterpart from Thomas Fuller:
If you command wisely, you'll be obeyed cheerfully.
Expanding the government's role in providing or paying for health care for the general public inevitably will lead to greater governmental intrusions into everyone's life because, as the saying correctly states: He who pays the piper calls the tune.
Nowhere is the truth of that saying better demonstrated that the enactment and enforcement of nanny state laws such as those requiring people traveling by automobile to wear seat belts and those on motorcycles to wear helmets. Those subject to these laws have lost the freedom to decide whether to take well advised steps to protect their physical well being. The laws are justified because individuals suffering injuries that could be avoided by wearing seat belts and helmets often are cared for at public expense -- therefore the public has a financial interest that justifies limiting the liberty of those who might choose to take the risk of suffering such injuries.
Similarly, if the government becomes responsible for providing or paying for our health care, it will determine that its interest in limiting that burden justifies increasing encroachments on, and control over every aspect of the lives of individual citizens that might adversely impact any individual's health.
"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders."
The continuing financial crisis obviously is causing responsible people (and even some politicians) to focus on the situation. So, even in government, according to this report, some are coming to grips with reality. The financial crisis obviously is causing minds to focus.
At the same time though, as this other report shows, others -- probably a majority of the members of our political class -- clearly have no minds to focus.
A vehicle getting 15 miles per gallon and traveling 12,000 miles per year uses 800 gallons of gasoline annually.
A vehicle getting 25 miles per gallon and traveling 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a year.
So, the average clunker transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.
They claim 700,000 vehicles – so that's 224 million gallons a year. That equates to a bit more than 5 million barrels of oil. 5 million barrels of oil is about 25% of one day's US consumption. And, at $75 per barrel, 5 million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars.
So, we all contributed to spending $3 billion to save $350 million.
How good a deal was that ? ? ? ?
They'll probably do a great job with health care though!!
London's Daily Telegraph has published a letter from group of experts who care for the terminally ill who claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.
In accordance with National Health Service guidelines introduced across England to help doctors and medical staffs in England can deal with dying patients by ceasing to provide fluid and drugs to such patients and putting them on continuous sedation until they pass away. The rub is that this approach also can mask signs of improvement in a patient's condition, according to the experts.
Consequently, the letter state, the scheme is causing a "national crisis" in patient care.The letter was signed by palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke's cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.
"Forecasting death is an inexact science," they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death "without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.
"As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."
The Obamapods keep describing town hall meeting as unruly mob scenes, but when mayhem erupted at a Thousand Oaks, California, demonstration an opponent of ObamaCare was the victim. The Associated Press reported:
Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Frank O'Hanlon says about 100 people demonstrating in favor of health care reforms rallied Wednesday night on a street corner. One protester walked across the street to confront about 25 counter-demonstrators.
O'Hanlon says the man got into an argument and fist fight, during which he bit off the left pinky of a 65-year-old man who opposed health care reform.
The victim was treated at a local hospital where doctors still were able to reattach his finger without waiting for approval from a government oversight panel.