This column first appeared in March 2010.
Hang Tough for Freedom
Joan R. Neubauer
As much as he’d like to put it to bed, Mr. Obama still finds himself grappling, arguing, cajoling, and otherwise twisting political arms for votes on this healthcare reform bill. Despite the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase, healthcare reform still languishes for lack of support.
To his credit, Mr. Obama made an attempt at transparency in government with the Healthcare Summit, but he also demonstrated his Imperial attitude toward the loyal opposition and the American people. The president also failed to treat the opposition with respect. Combined, Mr. Obama and the democrats spoke for more than three hours while the republicans only spoke for little more than an hour-and-a-half. In addition, he made it a point to remind Senator McCain who had won the election, another comment that clearly showed his lack of respect for the senator from Arizona.
While the president may have thought to “clarify” his ideas and present the republicans as obstructionists, he only served to reinforce the opinion that D.C. is dismally out of touch with the governed and that the republicans will not cower before the attempt at power that comes from this particular Oval Office.
This administration has had a year to pass this bill, but has failed. Blaming the republicans doesn’t work. The democrats own the White House, the Senate, and the House, and yet they couldn’t pass the bill. He didn’t need a single republican vote.
This bill will have a profound effect on the physical and financial health of all Americans. As it stands now, it will take $500 billion from Medicare to help fund the new entitlement. Conveniently, they haven’t told us that according to the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government, Medicare was already nearly $37 trillion in the hole. In addition, Medicaid historically has had terrible problems with delivery of care, and both programs have had monumental difficulties with waste and fraud. In Illinois alone, Medicaid is $1.4 billion in debt, and Massachusetts says the program is unsustainable there. The same holds true in all 50 states.
If this bill passes, you can bet that government will curtail services, regulate prices, and set minimum standards at a point that will drive private insurers out of business, and force doctors and hospitals to close their doors. Americans will die for lack of care, and we’ll all feel the increasing oppression of an unwieldy bureaucracy as we are forced to turn to government for our health insurance.
Hang tough, Republicans. Take a lesson from Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin who unflinchingly weathered the intimidating stares of the president and other democrats as he rattled off statistic after statistic of why this bill is financially irresponsible, and how it counts revenues and offsets more than once. With courage and candor, he respectfully told the president that he has not been listening to the American people and that the finances of the bill do not bear scrutiny.
Hang tough, you Americans who value freedom and choice. Make your voices heard. Contact every Senator and Representative you can find and tell them to stop this curtailment of liberty and another step downward into the abyss of socialism. Make their phones ring. Fill their e-mail boxes. And then pray very hard that they make the right decision.
This column first appeared in February 2010.
Joan R. Neubauer
On March 2, we Texans will head to the polls to do our civic duty and vote in this year’s primary elections. As our election system is set up, regardless of our party affiliation, we can vote in either the Republican or the Democrat primary, but only one of them. But as you enter the polling place, don’t automatically head for the table with your party in big bold letters. Just wait a minute to consider.
This year, every one of the members of the House of Representatives is facing an end of their term. Some wish to remain in Congress and so must run in the primary. Some will face challenges, others will not. Voters in those appropriate states will see more than one name on the ballot for that seat within the same party.
In the Senate, about 36 senators will see the end of their term this year. Some have chosen to retire, while others have decided to run again. Again, some find themselves in a contest to retain enough support to run in November. That’s what our primary process is all about. Whether we send the good ol’ boys back to Washington or new blood into the fray comes down to the choice of the People who vote.
However, don’t forget about your local races. While things going on in Washington are very important, issues on the local level can also have a profound effect on you, your family, and your community. For example, we here in Brewster County have an interesting contest going on.
Our current county judge, Val Beard, has served in that position for the past sixteen years. She’s done an exceptional job of keeping our property taxes among the lowest in the state and updating our infrastructure. She’s an attorney, and so has a working knowledge of the law. In addition, she understands the issues farmers and ranchers face, as she has been involved in agriculture for the last 37 years. Her opponent, Avi Rangra, also a Democrat, has no such knowledge or experience.
Perhaps you see a similar situation in your part of the country. If you do, think very carefully before you go to vote in this primary. Read all you can. Learn all you can. Ask yourself, “Which one of these contests will have the most profound effect on me and my family?” Then consider, “Which one can I influence the most?” Once you answer these questions for yourself, go into your polling place and step over the table with the party designation that you feel most appropriate for you to vote in. And never, ever think that your vote serves no purpose or doesn’t count. I’m the queen of one-vote victories. I once won the office of precinct chair with a single write-in vote. Perhaps I’ll share that story with you sometime.
Then on March 2, go to the polls. Arm yourself with information. Let your conscience guide you. Then cast your vote for the best candidate who will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and our rights as Americans.
This column first appeared in January 2010.
We Are Family: The Foundation of Society
Joan R. Neubauer
The foundation of every government is some principle or passion in the minds of the people.
“Thoughts on Government”─1776
Contrary to what some of our liberal brothers and sisters may think, the U.S. government does not form the foundation of our society. As with any society, our foundation relies on the quality and stability of the basic unit of society, the family. All other institutions, including government, derive from the family, the People.
Sadly, we now find ourselves in a tug of war with our Congress. Those whom the People have elected to represent them, have decided to ignore the wishes of their employers. Despite the wishes of the people, Congress continues to forge ahead with the Heathcare Reform Bill. In addition, our legislators don’t seem to care that on more than one count, this bill can be interpreted as unconstitutional. In their elitist attitude, they have come to view the American people as children who have no idea what’s good for them.
As if that weren’t enough, our Congress continues to pound out a final agreement on this terrible bill in complete secrecy and I come to two conclusions: they either lack memory, or have lied to us. Let’s discount the forgetfulness, since time and time again I see and hear replays of Obama’s promises for transparency in government. So that leads us to the unpleasant realization that the democrats have lied to us and have no intention of honoring openness in government, because they have something to hide.
For months, they have told us that there would be no federal funding for abortions, but the Senate bill contains such provisions. Since the beginning of this debate, they have assured the American people that there would be no rationing. Look again. The language of this bill assures rationing that will indeed result. They have also said time and time again that this will provide quality healthcare to every American. Wrong. About 12 million Americans will still have no health insurance, and those who have insurance will have less coverage than previously, particularly our senior citizens.
Aside from the lack of quality healthcare and availability, let’s look at one of several possible Constitutional issues. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade resulted from invoking Constitutional guarantees of privacy and choice. I now cite that same argument and say I want to maintain the privacy of my health matters and freedom of choice. Government has no business knowing the state of my health; if I take any medication; and what it might be. I invoke the Constitution, a product of the will of the People, to continue to protect my privacy and exercise free choice. The government has no business mandating that I buy any product or service or being involved in any way in my healthcare.
Whether or not this legislation passes, we the People can still take our country back. We shouldn’t have to push back against our Congress this hard to maintain our rights as Americans, but we do. We shouldn’t have to fight this hard to retain our privacy and our freedoms, but we must.