Monthly Archives: July 2009

Healthcare Bill Derailed?

liberty-bellThere is a good chance the healthcare bill being debated in Washington will be blocked, thanks to opposition by the electorate.  However, in the end Obama will win because the debate has been shaped in a fashion the American people cannot win.  The odds are that eventual healthcare reform will not contain most of the features in the current bill, but the momentum is there for some type of reform detrimental to the welfare of the nation.

Everyone seems to have accepted the underlying premise of the debate that fixing healthcare is the duty of the federal government.  No one is pointing out that the problems with healthcare, like most of the problems with the economy in general, can be laid at the feet of Congress.  More than anything else, the unaffordable cost of healthcare today is caused by the distortions in the market created by the fact that government is the single largest purchaser of healthcare.
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If we are to make any headway in getting the cost of healthcare under control, we have to begin with a debate as to whether or not healthcare is a proper function of the federal government.  The Founders, taking into account the expanse and diversity of America, deliberately limited the functions of the federal government.  They understood that attempting to govern citizens in a variety of states covering a large geographical area with differing customs, problems and needs could not be accomplished by a central government without major sacrifice of liberty.

Nowhere in the Constitution do we find any authorization for the Federal Government to be involved in healthcare.  Neither do we find any indication in the writings of the Founding Fathers that they would be in favor of government involvement in healthcare if they were alive today.

That is not to say that government has no role in the health of its citizens, just not at the federal level.  A good first step in solving America’s healthcare problems would be accepting the intentions of the Founders when they proposed and ratified the tenth amendment.  The proper place for public health issues, including medical care for the indigent and the regulation of insurance, if necessary, is at the state and local level.

If we continue to accept the premise of the statists that healthcare is the proper role of the Federal Government it is only a matter of time until we have socialized medicine.  Obama and the Democratic Party may not be successful in getting a nationalized health plan this time, but they will be back again.  Each time they propose it they get another step closer to succeeding.

Control of the nation’s healthcare has been the goal of left leaning politicians since the administration of the Progressive-Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt.  Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson and Clinton, each in turn, made an attempt to institute universal coverage.  Johnson signed into law the Medicare and Medicaid programs which eventually led to government control of some forty percent of the nation’s healthcare.

The increased demand for healthcare services brought about by these programs led to an inevitable increase in price.  That, added to the customary employer provided healthcare plans instituted a couple of decades earlier as a way of getting around wage controls and exorbitant taxation, helped to create an expectation on the part of the public that they should never have to pay for any health care “out of pocket”; someone else should always pick up the bill.

We may accept a bill for hundreds of dollars from our local mechanic for minor repairs on our car without complaint, but panic at the thought of paying for a routine trip to the doctor for treatment of a common cold.  Until the expectations of the public changes in this regard and until we get the overall government involvement in the healthcare system out of the hands of Washington and back into the hands of the state and local governments where it belongs, we are going to continue to deal with repeated efforts to socialize medicine.

If we do not change the way we think about the question of healthcare, Obama wins.

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Getting Ready for the 2010 Elections

minute-man-2-lithoAmerica, as a free nation of liberty and opportunity is rapidly approaching the point of no return.  If we continue to allow our professional career politicians to lead us in the direction we are now going we will very soon find ourselves living in a country where our personal freedoms and our opportunity for personal success depends on the whims of an elite ruling class rather than our own abilities and ambitions.

The next two election cycles may be our last opportunity to take back our country and our government from the statists who are threatening our liberty and our economic well-being.  As with charity, politics begins at home.  The state of Illinois is near the bottom of the list in personal freedom, and near the top of the list in corruption.  Our economy is in shambles, with jobs leaving the state, rampant crime, an education system in shambles and a burden of taxation that grows harder to bear every year.

It is imperative that we take advantage of the growing unpopularity of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party in the next two election cycles.  It goes without saying that we are where we are today because of the decisions our citizens have made in the past.  Too many people wrongly believe that the role of federal government is to solve our problems and that the role of the state government is to provide personal favors in exchange for political support.

We need to make some drastic changes in 2010 in order to set the stage for the battle ahead in 2012.  The place to begin is in the primary elections.  It is important that we replace those politicians in the Republican Party that do not adhere to the principles of republicanism.  It is equally important that we get rid of the politicians who continue to show allegiance to the party   and their own career goals instead of the people they represent.

I believe that enough Illinois voters are fed up with petty, power hungry politicians who use their opportunity for public service only for service to themselves and their political cronies, that we can really make a difference in the next elections.  Voters are tired of watching those they support and vote for using their offices as stepping stones either to the accumulation of personal wealth and power or stepping-stones to federal prison.  They do not like the political dynasties being built by the Daleys, Strogers, Madigans and others.

2010 is likely to be a year of confusion and misery for many Americans, including Illinoisans.  It can also be a year of opportunity for patriotic citizens who wish to return government to the principles that have been shown to work for the past two hundred and twenty years.  Hopefully it will not be a year for third party “spoilers” to stifle reform by siphoning votes away from conservative candidates in the Republican Party who might have a chance otherwise to replace a statist candidate already in office.

We will not be supporting any political party in 2010, Republican or otherwise.  Instead, we will be supporting candidates who subscribe to the republican principles as articulated by the Founding Fathers; candidates who show they understand and support the purpose of government as set forth by the Declaration of Independence; who recognize the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for everyone, and will promote and protect those rights.  Most of all we will support candidates who demonstrate the knowledge and willingness to defend the Constitution of the United States.

Admittedly, there is not an overabundance of candidates at the present time who meet these qualifications, but it is early yet.  It is too early, in fact, to formally endorse any candidate.  However, there are at least two candidates who seem to have these qualifications that we will be watching closely in the months to come.

The first one is Adam Andrzejewski, Republican candidate for Governor.  He alone stands out among the seven Republicans running for Governor as someone who understands the principles of government as fought for by the patriots during the Revolutionary War and contended for so diligently in the first four decades of the young republic.  He has some innovative  ideas for solving health care problems at the state level.  He also advocates some practical approaches to education, taxes, corruption, job creation and budgetary policy.

Another candidate that is worthy of our attention is Jeff Danklefsen from the 14th Congressional District.  Jeff is a newcomer to the political arena.  And while he does not seem to have the business background or entrepreneurial spirit so many successful candidates possess, he is a rock solid conservative and represents the type of thinking we need from those representing us in Congress.

We will be gathering more information on these and other candidates as the primary season progresses.  In the meantime, we urge everyone to get involved in the coming elections, especially the primaries.  This is by far the most important election of our lifetime.  The future of the nation and the future of our children and grandchildren depend on the outcome.

Alaska Fights Back on State Sovereignty

liberty-bellFollowing is the text of a resolution passed by both Houses of the Alaska Legislature and signed by Governor Sarah Palin on July 10, 2009.  Similar resolutions have been passed by the legislatures of six other states so far.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS some federal actions weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS the Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS art. IV, sec. 4, Constitution of the United States, reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S.Ct. 2408 (1992), that the United States Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS all states, including Alaska, find themselves regularly facing proposals from the United States Congress that weaken states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature hereby claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution serves as Notice and Demand to the federal government to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; all other members of the 111th United States Congress; the presiding officers of the legislatures of each of the other 49 states; and the governors of each of the other 49 states.

ooOoo

For a synopsis of the powers delegated by the Constitution to Congress and the Federal government see “The Limited Powers of Congress”.

Another Political Party?

minute-man-2-lithoIf you are fed up with an out of control federal government that ignores the Constitution; and politicians whose loyalties are to party bosses not to their constituents; If you are fed up with corruption, cronyism, nepotism and incompetence in state and local governments; If you are discouraged by “third party” candidates that seem to accomplish little other than to enhance the candidate’s resume, the Conservative Party of Illinois may be the alternative you are looking for.

Our position is a little different from most alternative parties.  We recognize that in our form of government, third party candidates invariably end up electing the candidate least desired by their supporters.  Multiple parties can only be effective in a parliamentary system with apportioned representation.  In the U.S. “winner-takes-all” system more than two parties, contending for the same office is simply not practicable. For that reason, we will not be attempting to elect our own party candidates, at least not in the foreseeable future.

That does not mean, however, that alternative parties do not have an important function in our political structure.  The value of alternative parties is voter education and issue advocacy.  Our objective in the next two or three election cycles is to help return the U.S. to a constitutional republican form of government based on the founding principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

To this end, we will be identifying incumbent candidates that have demonstrated a disdain for the Constitution, or party biases that prevent them from working in the best interest of their state and the nation as a whole.  We will attempt to defeat them in primary contests by identifying and supporting candidates who honor the founding principles of limited government, limited taxation, respect for private property, and individual liberty.

Most important of all, we will attempt to identify and promote candidates who will defend the Constitution, and attempt to secure the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (prosperity) to all.  From a practical point of view, this will mean, in most cases, working with the conservative base of the Republican Party.

If this makes sense to you, we invite you to join us in helping conservative Republicans take back their party and help curtail the advance of statism.  For those who live outside Illinois, you can check for a Conservative Party in your state by going to the national website at conservativepartyusa.org

Three Cheers for Sarah Palin

Watching the talking heads and reading the scribbling of the Washington wizards concerning the announcement by Sarah Palin of her resignation as Governor of Alaska, I am reminded of an incident that happened a number of years ago.

A friend and I were driving through the countryside of northern Michigan when my friend decided he would like to stop for a beer.  We pulled into the parking lot of a roadside tavern on the outskirts of a small town and went inside.  We walked up to an empty spot at the bar and stood waiting for the bartender to finish with other customers and take our order.

My friend is a rather imposing figure, standing six-feet-four in his size twelve brogans, with hands only slightly smaller than an outfielder’s glove and a physique reminiscent of a Chicago Bears linebacker.

As we were standing there, I noticed two locals engaged in a friendly game of darts, except that my friend and I were standing between them and the dartboard.  I reached up, tapped my friend on the shoulder, and quietly informed him that we were interfering with the men’s game.  Looking around he noticed the dart players for the first time and quickly stepped aside with an apology; “Sorry, I didn’t notice”.

One of the dart-playing duo looked up at my friend with a slight smile on his face and replied, “That’s OK big guy; you can stand anywhere you like”.

That’s about the way I feel about Sarah Palin.  She has served the state of Alaska well in every public office she has held, from the PTA in Wasilla, to the Governor’s office in Juneau, and she gave the Republican candidate, John McCain the only hope he had of winning the Presidency. For the most part she has gotten only grief for her troubles, plus a staggering legal bill from defending herself against a continuing stream of unfounded and unwarranted accusations by her political enemies.

She owes nothing to the Republican Party and any obligations she may have had to John McCain for picking her as his running mate has been canceled out by the behavior of his campaign staffers after the election.  She certainly owes nothing to the political establishment or the uncaring and thoughtless masses that have delighted in the public attacks on her and her family.  If she does retire from politics, it will be a serious but well-deserved loss for America.

Those of us who admire her and appreciate the “All-American spirit” she brought to the political arena will wish her well if she chooses to re-prioritize her life not to include politics.  If she chooses to spend her time as first mate on the family fishing boat, or just helping her family heal from the wounds inflicted on it by a cruel and unfeeling media, so be it.

On the other hand, if she decides to run for Congress in 2010 or for the White House in 2012 or 16, millions of Americans will be in her corner cheering her on and supporting her efforts.

The most frequent advice she has gotten from the wizards of smarts, is to spend the next few years getting to know and understand the issues in possible preparation for a later return to the political stage.

That would be good advice if there was any evidence that experience or knowledge of the issues was of any benefit to the welfare of the nation.  No one in their right mind can look at America today and say that the experienced, ivy-league educated, professional politicians so valued by the political class has done a good job in steering the ship of state.

It seems to me that what America needs is a non-partisan citizen-politician uninfluenced by the decadence of the “Beltway” establishment; that understands the founding principles that make this county great and unique among the nations of the world at the helm.  By coincidence, Sarah seems to have just these qualifications.

I don’t know if she is the right one to carry the Republican banner in 2012; it’s much too early to tell.  However, she stands head and shoulders above any of those most frequently mentioned by the would-be “king makers”.

I for one, am looking forward to the possibility that having removed her family somewhat from the firing-line by resigning the governorship, she will continue in the forefront of political discourse as an example of the true citizen-patriot-politician so desperately needed at this point in our history.