Monday, December 28, 2009
What to Take from 2009 - #5
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas to those of you that celebrate the Christmas season.
As we celebrate the holiday, it is also a time when we begin the countdown to 2010 - not just politically, but socially. And as we start that countdown, what better time to look around (versus looking back) at the results from Washington as we close down 2009 for the history books.
With that said - as with other shows, blogs, writings, and the like - why not move through a small list of issues and items that impacted us as a high level in 2009, issues that we will be discussing both now and in the future as "game-changers"?
Of course, we could be here for quite a while, but there are some issues that continue to crop up through the year that have reached heightened notoriety over the course of the past several days.
Like the health care debate.
Of course, the Senate will pass some sort of health care reform bill on this Christmas Eve. Not surprisingly and sadly ironically, this noted reform for the nation will come from only 50% of the political equation - the supermajority in Washington that has continued to push through their agendas with the glee of 12-year-olds that are stuck in a gym class dodge-ball game with the 3rd graders. Without any regard to doing what's best for the nation in the spirit of patriotism, accountability, or fiscal responsibility, the Democrats have continued to push through radical spending measures in 2,000-page bills that have not been read by the majority of the Senate and have been promoted as cost-saving measures through questionable explanations.
For example, this current directive from both houses of Congress will include a mandate on "able" Americans to purchase health care insurance at risk of facing a fine enforced by the federal government. In a current time when the federal government cannot properly and efficiently impose border controls and illegal immigration laws, we are to believe - for the good of the country, no less - that federal enforcement of health care procurement is a good and prudent thing for the federal government to undertake.
So, in a nation where the cost of living is going on and the wages Americans bring home are going down, the best alternative for health care reform does not include measures that ensure that health care-related costs will go down. Instead, we are going to force people to buy health insurance to save money - of course, forcing many of the same underemployed and under-privileged people that don't have health insurance now because of job situations or family economies to scourge for money for another monthly bill.
This will be going on at the same time that additional taxes on health procedures, health care plans (those deemed "too good" or "too generous" by the bureaucracy in Washington), and the well-to-do will place an additional burden on the small business owners and other economy drivers of the nation.
So, what can we take from this "reform", aside from the fact that even the bipartisan ideas (and effort) that President Obama mentioned in his September speech (famously noted for Congressman Joe Wilson's "You Lie" comment) were never considered seriously by the Democrats in Congress?
Mainly, that the Democrats' reputation for tax-and-spend policies - said to be a oft-quoted misnomer during election season - was shown to be a deadly accurate protrayal of the supermajority in Congress today. Each solution given by the Democrats so far during the Obama Administration has centered around government spending, increased taxes on business-creators and economy-movers (i.e., consumers with money to burn), and a blinding belief that government is the solution to problems, not the entity that creates problem-solving environments.
If 2009 was an indication of what we can expect from Washington spending under the Obama Administration, the same issues of government expansion that upset Americans in 2006 will come back to play in 2010. If the same regarding spending (as we have seen repeatedly from Congress, epitomized in the health care bills) continues in Washington, we can also expect the same results in 2010 - heated opposition, lack of bipartisanship when crafting bills, increased spending (and deficits), and minimal results for everyday Americans.
If this is the change that we were supposed to believe in, then it's clear that not much as changed in Washington, DC except the residents in the White House and the seatholders on Capitol Hill - and, of course, the increasing price of admission for everyday Americans to watch the fiasco unfold.