Friday, December 4, 2009

Lunatic spendthrifts loose in fantasyland

By Mike Canaday

What are the real problems in America today? National depression, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Tiger Woods, or the heath care issue on the Senate floor. If you at least watch TV this week, you see all these in the cross hairs of the national media.

If we break down the effects of these issues on the American people, Tiger Woods' problems are not relevant. His personal problems are not putting anyone in danger or cost the taxpayers any money. This morning's news seems to reflect that his personal problems are paramount. The story is reported hourly, in many cases before the latest on the health care bill or Afghanistan.

News organizations are reporting that our cost for just the Afghanistan engagement for a year would be the same amount needed to fix the health care system. Do you feel that our gains from our Afghanistan occupation are worth more than fixing our nations heath care system? The government seems to think so. Maybe both issues should be scrapped in the spirit of not spending money. I have not seen what Tiger Woods' position is on any of this.

The President has announced a troop surge of at least 30,000 destined for Afghanistan. This will bring our military presence in the neighborhood of more than 100,000. On the surface, a person might discount this move as having no effect on their day to day life. Think again. CNN reports that three democrats are proposing an additional national income tax hike to foot the bill for this troop increase. This type of war tax has not been imposed since Vietnam and the largest was in WWII. The American people seem to show more interest in issues if they have to pay for it. Certainly, in the current economic state this is understandable. Despite the controversy of whether we should even still occupy Middle Eastern countries, what about the financial ramifications? The White House is citing a $30 billion plus cost for just the 30,000 new troops in Afghanistan alone. Or, about $750,000 per soldier. Is it my imagination, or does this seem like an exorbitant amount of money for one person? We have all heard stories of the $500 hammers and the $1000 toilet seats. The proposal for the income tax hike for just the new troops deployed might cost a taxpayer anywhere from $50-250 annually. This seems small to some, but is only a fraction of the overall revenue needed.

John McCain said the government does not need a tax increase for the troops. On CNN, McCain said, " I can find a thousand places in the pork barrel spending for the war." I agree, the American people do not need more taxes, especially if there are "a thousand" other places to get the money. What are these thousand places, and why does the government have so many extra dollars in this recession? The word rebate seems to come to mind. Besides, the opening of the tax door to the American people has a way of staying open.

If the democrats eventually get this tax enacted, what is next? They might start taxing you to pay for the Tiger Woods investigation! The doublespeak broadcast will sound like this: "Everyone must know the truth at any cost. This is crucial." Oh, the California State Patrol has already closed his case. If you dont believe celebrities get easier treatment, get in your car tonight and run over a fire hydrant and see happens.

Unemployment, home foreclosures, and deficit spending are all at a record highs. Rising unemployment, now at 16 percent, and over 9 million Americans without bank accounts. This certainly seems like a red flag. It certainly looks us in the face daily, and the news organizations like to report tragedies. I would think they should talk about solutions more. Like a teenager with his mom's credit card, Obama and his pet, Congress, frolick and spend delusionally, instead of facing payment reality. If the government has so much extra money, why don't I see any of it? Doubtless GM's suit-and-tie-types probably have recently.

The new heath care proposal gives the insurance companies $500 billion for subsidies. Are these subsidies going to the American people or just lining the pockets of insurance moguls? We all know how hard it is to get money back from an insurance company once it is in their control - much like our government. It is now coming out that the very politicians voting on this health care bill are exempt from it. If it's so great, why write in an escape from the melee? Simple: it is not beneficial to the average American. Most recent estimates claim that this bill will cost most Americans at least 10 percent more in taxes annually with no clear increase in benefits, unless you're one of the 16 percent with no coverage.

The American people have endured without this legislation for over 200 years. Why does a 2000-something-page bill need passed by Christmas? It doesn't. It is just another instance of Congress sneaking legislation through, using diversionary issues like war and economy as a smokescreen of fear; both situations were created by this same Congress. The media's celebrity obsession helps the diversion wonderfully.
Sure, on the outside, a universal health care fantasy has allure, but under a microscope, health quality and costs are definitely at stake. The bill gives the government access to your bank account via direct withdrawal and probably your personal medical records, too. It is the first federal bill that forces Americans to buy something and you will not have the right to decline it without penalty! The ominous health care gods will probably just grapple for your money from your bank account automatically, if you still have one, or readjust your tax statement. These problems just scratch the surface.
The government has proven their inability to be fiscally responsible and has had little success. Look at the postal service, social security, bank bailouts, and the handling of Katrina in New Orleans. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are probably good examples of these government money/ body pits with little or no benefits of any kind. Does the whole health care system really need reworked for just 16 percent of the nations uninsured population? It is interesting that the unemployed and the uninsured are both 16 percent. Do you think maybe if there were more jobs in America that might hit two birds with the same stone? Maybe the government should use some of this extra money laying around in thousands of places and some of the money we are using in the wars to give the unemployed jobs building public works, much like they did during the depression in the 1930's. These projects could improve the infrastructure while at least capping the amount of people taking government handouts. The point is that citizens don't trust their own government to spend their hard earned money. Why should they? That is what contempt for the health care issue is in a nut shell -- personal choice and freedom.

The American people are smart enough to see the heath care, economy and Middle Eastern wars are today's real issues. Unfortunately, we're bound by the Constitution from direct vote on them. Our elected officials are in the drivers' seat. A comfortable reality in our democracy? One way or the other our voices must be heard. Write your senators, representatives, and Tiger Woods.
(Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)