Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Current Thoughts of a Dreamer

Posted on August 11, 2009

It has been a long while since I have taken the time to sit down and write. I have been busy with many things, many projects, many tasks since the election of 2008. One of those many things involved becoming a “victim” of the economy. I was laid off from my corporate job in February and have since been trying to redefine myself and make myself fit many odd shaped holes in order to support my family and not become another statistic.

With that said, I have been watching, closely, the actions of our new president and our senators and representatives in congress since the swearing in of Mr. Obama in January and there is not much that makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside. Of all the legislation and reform and stimulus that has taken place in the last 7 months, none of it prevented me from losing my job in the residential construction industry, none of it has created a new job for me to take, and none of it has stimulated the economy in my state.

Today, the big debate is over healthcare reform. Listen, I am in favor of reform of anything that doesn’t seem to be working correctly and needs improvement but I think healthcare may be a ways down the list of things that need our attention in this category. Let’s look at the programs we have in place already and how well they currently work. Haven’t we been hearing for the last few elections all the doom and gloom about social security and how, in it’s current state, is going to be bankrupt sooner rather than later? Why aren’t we feverently trying to “reform” this broken program and get it working how it was intended to work? How about Medicare and Medicaid? Are those programs flawless and efficient? I am not involved with either program but from what I am told, it needs a lot of work in order to be what it is intended to be. What about any other government program? Can anyone name me one program that is efficient, free of wanton waste and abuse, and does all the things it was set up to do? I can think of only one and that would be the United States Marine Corps. Now, there may be others, but I am most familiar with the Marine Corps because I served in the Corps and was directly involved in budgeting and spending for a squadron of KC-130 aircraft. We touted the fact that we were the only branch of service that returned money to the coffers at the endof the fiscal year instead of looking for more to cover overspending. Each year, we did more and more on less and less when it came to travel and training.

What does this have to do with what’s going on right now? A lot! This is proof, given the right leadership and control, government run programs can be efficient and productive at the same time. Perhaps if we put a few retired former Commandants of the Marine Corps in charge of government, we may see some progress. But I am just a dreamer and perhaps a little biased being a former Marine. But there is a correlation here.

In regard to healthcare reform, I think we may be letting ourselves think that what our current President and his administration are saying is actually possible and that big government can provide and run an efficient and productive, high quality program. Just today, President Obama, at a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire, tried to defend his program by saying that private options would remain in place and citing the fact that by doing so, healthcare quality would remain high due and prices low due to the competitive nature of having a government run option as well as privately run options. In his example, though, he may have given us a hint of what we already know. Here is an excerp from a CNN article about the Town Hall: ‘..Obama defended his call for a government-funded public health insurance option to compete against private insurers. He said such an option would hold down rates, rejecting accusations it amounted to a government takeover of health care because private companies can’t compete with a government-funded plan. “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine,” Obama said, referring to private courier services that compete with the U.S. Postal Service. “It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”‘ The last part of this quote is what I think may be his tell. He states that “It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” Excuse my French but, No Shit! What part of this equation makes government run healthcare seem the least bit appetizing?

If the government can’t seem to run a simple delivery business, what makes them think they can run a complex industry like healthcare? To me, the writing is on the wall and we should be concentrating where the real expense lies. I think what we should be looking at is tort reform first, then let’s see if that reduces the costs of medical care. It is a fact that doctors must pay up to 40% of the income towards malpractice insurance. That is before they pay a dime of income tax or anything else. Lets reduce that expense to the doctor and see if rates come down. But again, I am just a dreamer. This will never happen and you know why? Because it will force government to put a value to a human life. In order to do that, they must determine what the average length of a human life is. In order to accomplish this, they must determine when life begins. Do you see where this is going? If they get into that debate, they set themselves up for many a fight over life, when it begins, and at what point abortion becomes murder and they don’t want that fight.

The fight they do want, at least in this administration, is the one where capitalism takes the hit and socialism gains ground. Let’s face it, President Obama got elected on two principals: change and handouts. People were tired of the way things were being managed but they also wanted a handout from government, they believed Obama was going to make everything all rainbows and lolly pops and all their troubles would go away. In my head, I keep seeing that YouTube video of the woman at his victory speech in the Chicago park that said she “knew everything was going to be OK now”. She knew Obama was going to take care of everything and that he would put gas in her car and she didn’t have to worry about paying her mortgage anymore. I wonder where she is today? Has he paid her mortgage? Has he put gas in her car? He sure as hell hasn’t taken any of the burden off my shoulders.

President Obama, let’s work on fixing the programs that we already have in place that are broken and missing their mark. Once we get all that stuff cleaned up, let’s move on to government run healthcare and try it out in a state or two before we upload it to the whole national system. But I am afraid, due to the backlog of malfunctioning government run programs, you will need to get term limits for the office of President changed to at least 4 terms so you can get your chance at healthcare. Oh, and perhaps the Post Office should be at the top of your list of programs to fix first. It seems there are, in your book at least, already two successful business plans in place that are “doing just fine” that you could emulate. But again, I am just a dreamer!

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