Government Health Care

Some people are suggesting we create a system just like Canada. There’s a 10 second ad at the beginning. It’s a 2 minute news clip from ABC.

After you consider that, there’s this article in the Wall Street Journal. The American plan will be a lot like the British and the Canadian plan. High costs to the taxpayers, long waits, rationed care. Consider what happens to the development of new therapies for disease when there is no longer a profit motive for the companies involved. Why would a hospital ever buy an new MRI machine without a way to make money on it? Pr. Obama promised hope. That’s what will be left.

This isn’t about providing health care, anyway. It’s about consolidating control. With computerized medical records, taking over the health care system will lock in the federal government as the arbiter for who gets care, how much, and who gets told that they just need to accept their diagnosis and go to hospice. It will justify more taxes on certain foods, just like they did to cigarettes. In the end it will be one more way for the government to look into our lives.

Here’s what Ronald Reagan had to say about socialized medicine in 1961:
48 years ago, and he nails it. It’s socialism that that’s being forced on us and we would do best see it clearly.

One last question. Do you think Pr. Obama, along with all the members of Congress, and their families are going to get this new level of service they are proposing for us? I promise you that they will continue to be offered the finest of care at our expense.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
–H.L. Mencken


Who Benefits?

It’s Cash for Clunkers time in America! Wildly successful, people are dragging out the old SUVs and Detroit iron to get a $4500 break on a new car. Congress dumped, or will dump, $2,000,000,000 more taxpayer dollars into this program in the next few days. That’s our money, boys and girls, it’s not “federal money”. There is no such thing as federal money. Every dollar the government spends comes from the taxpayers. If they spend dollars they don’t have yet, it because they are borrowing on dollars they expect to get from future taxes. If it’s taxes they are getting from corporations, those corporations just pass those costs along in the price of the products they sell, and we pay those taxes too. It’s a closed system.

Now that we have the basic facts of how taxes work and what federal money really is, there’s another trick in this program. The guy who owns that gas guzzling, air polluting behemoth doesn’t get anything. The car companies do. Because if I get ol’ Red running, I can’t take it down and turn it in for $4500. No, the only way this works is if I buy a new car, sign up for the payments, and the dealer destroys the engine in the vehicle, and submits all the right paperwork. Then the dealer gets the money, and the car company makes a sale.

So, once again, the American taxpayers are directly subsidizing the auto industry, to the tune of an extra $3,000,000,000. In the case of GM, we are giving money to a company that is already 60% owned by the government. What am I going to get out of this? Not a damn thing except more debt for my children grandchildren great-grandchildren to work off.

Right now we have a program that President Obama said “…has succeeded well beyond our expectations and all expectations” that is having it’s budget triple less than a week into operation. What sort of planning and cost structure have they got for the federal health care plan? Who’s going to pay for that?

I don’t like Communism because it hands out wealth through rationing books.
–Omar Torrijos Herrera

Cit Nation, Requirement 6

I had an interesting discussion with a friend concerning yesterday’s post, and decided to do requirement 6. I picked Patrick Henry and his famous speech in March of 1775.His biography can be found on the Official Williamsburg website. It describes his life and how he came to be in a position to give his speech. Another biography I found has a more comprehensive account of his later years, and how he served during the Revolution and in the early years of the country.

I read his speech, and you can read it here. This speech was given after the Boston Tea Party and less than a month before the battle of Lexington and Concord. The southern colonies were grappling with how they were going to respond to the excesses of the British, with some people counseling compliance due to the seeming power of the British military. It was very important because it influenced Virginia to join the rebellion. It lays out the issues that concerned them, touches on the power of the British, and then moves into an impassioned call to arms. It is still important today as a benchmark for what liberty is and what means may be morally justified in the defense of that liberty.

As a quote, I chose this:

The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!

It is not the most famous passage, but it is the ringing truth of these words, both then and now, that made me choose this quote. Our freedoms are not free, they have been bought time and time again in blood. Patrick Henry’s words helped moved the colonies into open rebellion, and the war, turmoil, and death that ensued. To have these words today helps me remember the fires that forged this country, and the kind of men the Founding Fathers were.

What famous speech would you pick if given this assignment?

As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
–William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice

Citizenship in the Nation

One of the required merit badges for Eagle Scout is Citizenship in the Nation. For the purposes of discussing this, I’m going to post the full requirements below. I had to go look up number 5. Number 4 could be the subject of a book. Numbers 4 and 7 could be the subject of a discussion about the proper role of the federal government. Any Scout that made a sincere effort to fulfill these requirements would have a basic understanding of the workings of the federal government. He’d learn a little history with numbers 2, 4, and 6 and some current events with number 3.

This is not pioneering, campcraft, or hiking. This goes to the heart of the Scouting program. Knowledge of these things is how we truly become informed and are thus capable of participating in the life of our country. It is citizenhip.

Citizenship in the Nation Requirements

1. Explain what citizenship in the nation means and what it takes to be a good citizen of this country. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of a responsible and active American citizen.
2. Do TWO of the following:

a. Visit a place that is listed as a National Historic Landmark or that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tell your counselor what you learned about the landmark or site and what you found interesting about it.
b. Tour your state capitol building or the U.S. Capitol. Tell your counselor what you learned about the capitol, its function, and the history.
c. Tour a federal facility. Explain to your counselor what you saw there and what you learned about its function in the local community and how it serves this nation.
d. Choose a national monument that interests you. Using books, brochures, the Internet (with your parent’s permission), and other resources, find out more about the monument. Tell your counselor what you learned, and explain why the monument is important to this country’s citizens.

3. Watch the national evening news five days in a row OR read the front page of a major daily newspaper five days in a row. Discuss the national issues you learned about with your counselor. Choose one of the issues and explain how it affects you and your family.
4. Discuss each of the following documents with your counselor. Tell your counselor how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one.

a. Declaration of Independence
b. Preamble to the Constitution
c. The Constitution
d. Bill of Rights
e. Amendments to the Constitution

5. List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with your counselor how these functions affect your family and local community.
6. With your counselor’s approval, choose a speech of national historical importance. Find out about the author, and tell your counselor about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your counselor why.
7. Name the three branches of our federal government and explain to your counselor their functions. Explain how citizens are involved in each branch. For each branch of government, explain the importance of the system of checks and balances.
8. Name your two senators and the member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter and any response you receive to your counselor.

I think this could be expanded into a required high school class, and every student could benefit from understanding the system that governs us. I don’t remember anything like this from high school, either personally or from my children. Just understanding that the Constitution is designed to establish limits on the power of the Federal government and protect the power of the states and the rights of the citizens would go a long way toward repairing the mess we are in now.

Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it.
–Martha Gellhorn

Overheard at the Gun Store

Was looking at ammo I can’t afford, talking with a friend, when the lady filling out a 4473 spoke up. She looked up at the clerk and said, “No wonder Obama doesn’t like guns, he couldn’t buy one.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it asks right here, “Are you an American citizen?” and if someone answers no to any of these questions, you won’t be able to sell them a gun, right?”

Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It’s unbridled, its unplanned, it’s full of surprises.

–Erma Bombeck