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Monday, September 28, 2009

In a struggle between Capitalism and Socialism, which will Americans choose?

Capitalism is "an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market." Socialism is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

There’s a new war going on and unfortunately it began with the previous administration. Just five months shy of leaving office, President George W. Bush signed into law the TARP bill to bailout the banks. President Bush said at the time he "abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." That’s a "bushism" that not even many Republicans could stand behind.

Five days before the election, then Senator Obama warned us that we are "five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America" but we didn't listen. While America does have her flaws, she doesn't need transforming. People come to America to live in a society based on freedom, prosperity and peace.

Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Party presidential candidate in 1940, 1944, and 1948 once said "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

At a Business Roundtable meeting in March, President Obama said "I am a strong believer in the ability of the free market to generate wealth and prosperity that’s shared across the board." Shared across the board? That’s interesting; the definition of free market doesn't include any use of the words "shared across the board." Yet this administration will try and convince you that trickle-down economics ("the theory that the entire country benefits as the nation’s richest amass and spend") is a fantasy. I don't remember a single job being created from someone at the bottom of the income ladder, do you?

The left, as exemplified by Obama, firmly believes all of life is a zero-sum game i.e. if someone is rich; it’s always at the expense of the poor. Socialists believe a person, business or country is only successful because they hijacked success from those less fortunate. Socialism leads to severely limited freedoms and to enormous, almost entire, state control. It leads to suppression of free speech, suppression of religion, and suppression of all things we hold dear. We need to stop these preliminary steps, if we are to avoid a very bleak future.

Since the beginning of the Obama administration, liberals have attacked Wall Street executives for making money, doctors for making money, and insurance companies for making money. Just an FYI, insurance companies have a 3.3 percent profit margin while the average business in this country has a 4.6 percent profit margin. Where is their outrage at the actors who make $20 to $30 million for one film or at former Vice President Al Gore who makes millions on the claim of "global warming"?

The administration needs to keep in mind that Americans still believe in Capitalism. A May, 2009 Rasmussen poll found that 77 percent of Americans believe that a free market system is better than socialism. Politicians need to remember that the majority of Americans still see America as a "special and unique country."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Political dissent doesn't equal racism

Civil rights attorney Keith Watters recently warned against playing the race card saying "We should not yell 'racism' unless there is direct evidence… Sane voices need to come on the media and say loud and clear that this is not about race." During the Bush administration, dissent equaled patriotism. According to some today, dissent under President Obama equals racism.

I know there are people out there who oppose President Obama simply because he is black. I, however, am not one of them and I take offense when Congressmen like Hank Johnson (D-GA) and James Clyburn (D-SC) use the race card in the debate over the president’s policies. A Fox News Poll dated September 15-19 found that 65 percent of those polled described their opposition toward President Obama as "honest disagreement" while 20 percent said their disagreement was based on race. Even the president isn't asserting racism into the debate. He recently told the host of ABC’s ‘This Week’ "there are some who are…more passionate about the idea of whether government can do anything right. And I think that that's probably the biggest driver of some of the vitriol."

What gets lost in the debate is just how far we've come. Are we done? No, but when 43percent of white voters vote a black man for president and the leaders of both national parties are black (Michael Steele for the GOP and President Obama for the Democrats), one has to admit "we've come along way, baby."

I was at the September 12 "March on Washington" and what I saw were a million plus Americans who love their country. I saw American flags, "Don't tread on me" flags, and state flags from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between waving in the wind. Signs reflecting the mode of the country read "I'm not your ATM", "You work for us", "It’s time to party like its 1773", and "the US Constitution is not negotiable." Were some of the 20 percent who oppose the president because of the color of his skin there, yes but they were easily outnumbered.

Moms, dads, kids, grandparents, whites, blacks, and hispanics, all concerned with the direction this country is headed flocked to our nation’s capitol. It's not just the direction of the past 8 months but of the past 70 years that has us worried. Big government started in the 1930’s under FDR, slowed down under President Clinton and began a new rapid rate of growth under President George W. Bush. In the past few decades, we've seen out of control spending, a Congress that has become to powerful and unaccountable to the citizens who elect them, and a government that has become to close to Wall Street and the labor unions.

Simply put, Americans are fed up and they aren't going to take it anymore and the color of the president’s skin has nothing to do with it. Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod said the day after the march "I don't think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood . . . "You know, I don't think we ought to be distracted by that. My message to them is, they're wrong." With tea party protesters now numbering in the millions, the Obama administration is making a huge mistake. With remarks like this, the administration is showing us that they have their heads in the sand and this will hurt them in 2010.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yes America, Republicans do have a health care plan

Despite the democrats attempt to tell you otherwise, the Republicans do have a health care plan (in fact they have several but I want to share two of them with you). For more information on all health care bills currently before the House and Senate, visit

Bill number one is called "The Patients' Choice Act of 2009" (S 1090/HR 2520) sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Richard Burr (RC) and Representatives Paul Ryan (RI) and Devin Nunes (RA). The bill addresses comprehensive health care reform by doing the following (quoting directly from the bill):

1. Shifts health care tax benefits to individuals and families in the form of a "Medi-Choice" tax rebate worth about $2,200 for individuals and $5,700 for families. Under this plan, if you like the health care you have, you can keep it – but you'll have more money in your pocket because you will still receive a tax rebate.

2. Lowers health care costs and insurance premiums by more sensibly caring for those with chronic illnesses and those deemed "uninsurable."

3. Utilizes risk adjustment mechanisms and other options at the State level – such as reinsurance and risk pools – to extend coverage to those with chronic medical conditions.

4. Markets can't solve all problems. This bill prevents cherry picking – when insurance companies choose to cover only healthy patients – by equalizing risk across insurance companies and reversing the perverse incentives that leave those most vulnerable with the fewest options.

5. Creates voluntary state-based solutions – state health exchanges – that will offer health insurance benefits using the same standard used for Members of Congress. Every American would have guaranteed access to coverage and care under this plan, regardless of patient age or health history.

6. Ensures that states get to design the solutions their patients need, states would have the freedom to form voluntary pooling arrangements with other state exchanges to diversify risk pools, ease administrative burdens and cover costs for insurance.

7. Provides simple new opportunities for automatic enrollment to help people who need coverage

8. Removes the stigma from Medicaid recipients and give them the ability to purchase the health coverage and care they need from any provider. It preserves Medicaid for the blind, aged, and disabled and eliminates widespread fraud in the programs.

On May 20, 2009, the bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and the following House committees - Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means "for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned." Translation, it’s waiting for review but since the bill is sponsored by the Republicans and the committees are controlled by the Democrats, it could be a very long wait.

Bill number two is called "The Empowering Patients First Act" (HR 3400) sponsored by The Republican Study Committee (chairman, Rep Tom Price, M.D. of GA). The bill is centered on four main principles. They are (again, quoting directly from the bill):

Principle 1: Access to Coverage for All Americans – Makes the purchase of health care financially feasible for all Americans, covers pre-existing conditions, protects employer-sponsored insurance, and shines light on existing health care plans.

Principle 2: Coverage is Truly Owned by the Patient – Grants greater choice and portability to the patient, and also gives employers more flexibility in the benefits offered. It also expands the individual market by creating several pooling mechanisms.

Principle 3: Improve the Health Care Delivery Structure – Establishes doctor-led quality measures, ensuring that you get the quality care you need. It also reimburses physicians to ensure the stability of your care, and encourages healthier lifestyles by allowing employers to offer discounts for healthy habits through wellness and prevention programs.

Principle 4: Rein in Out-of-Control Costs – Reforms the medical liability system. Also, the cost of the plan is completely offset through decreasing defensive medicine, savings from health care efficiencies, sifting out waste, fraud and abuse, plus an annual one-percent non defense discretionary spending step down.

On July 30, 2009, this bill was referred to the following House committees - Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Education and Labor, Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Rules, Budget and Appropriations “for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provision as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.” Again, democrats control all committees and will most likely sit on this bill.

Both bills continue the Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that allow individuals to set aside tax free money for routine care. HSAs are now used by more than six million Americans and could reduce costs by allowing patients to shop for the coverage and services that suit their needs.

The majority of Americans believe we need some type of health care reform, but not the radical reform sponsored by the left. It is imperative as members return to Congress the week of September 8 that we get the word out that Republicans do have alternatives and that Congress should consider them instead of burying them in committee.