Glen Meakem: Year in Review
This week, I review events from the year 2009.
President Obama pursued a plethora of ill-conceived policy initiatives in 2009 including a massive and poorly designed fiscal stimulus, a government take over of the auto industry, classifying the CO2 we all exhale as a pollutant, cap and trade legislation, legislation and an executive order to force unionization on American workers, appeasement of Russia, a conciliatory stance towards an increasingly violent Iran, and opposition to constitutional democracy in Honduras. But the "mother" of all of President Obama and the Democrats’ efforts in this first year of control of our federal government by the Democrats has been the attempted nationalization of our country’s health care industry.
I have been struck by how well the left has marketed this attempt at health care nationalization as "health care reform." In a recent email sent by President Obama directly to his "Organizing for America" followers, Obama stated that "after nearly a century-long struggle, we are now on the cusp of making health insurance reform a reality in the United States of America." Let’s be clear. The liberal progressives have NOT been trying to "reform" health care in this country for the past 100 years. But they have been trying to socialize or nationalize it. The fact is that the bills in both the House and the Senate exacerbate all of the current problems in our healthcare system.
They cut Doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare patients by 20%, increase current healthcare premiums, cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion, and increase rationed care. The bills also increase taxes on Americans immediately (but healthcare benefits do not kick in for 4 years), bust state and federal budgets, increase the Federal deficit, punish small business, and allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Obamacare also takes away commercial freedom from each American by forcing each of us to purchase health insurance directly, through our employers, or through the government, or pay a fine. (The last time I checked, our government did not have the power to force any of us into commercial agreements we did not want.) It also makes it illegal to change or amend certain portions of the bill. ObamaCare does not bend the cost of health care down, but it does bring 15 million more Americans into the dependent class by placing them on Medicaid roles.
And that is really the bottom line. This healthcare legislation takes us in the wrong direction by increasing the dependent class. Instead, we should be encouraging individual men and women to take responsibility for their own healthcare, their own lives, and their own happiness.
Tim Hayes, of Tim Hayes Consulting joins me on the program to discuss some of the things that did not happen this year. Tim points out that President Obama’s inaugural address reinforced a moderate image that was created during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Drawing on specific words and phrases from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, Obama stated that it was time to put petty and partisan disagreements behind us. He called on lawmakers to usher in a new era of bipartisanship and transparency. Unfortunately, virtually every action that the President and his party have taken since the inauguration from conducting weekend votes, to firing the Inspector General looking into allegations of corruption in Americorp’s use of tax payer funds has been exactly the opposite.
Further, with the healthcare bills being written in secret, with thousands of spending earmarks embedded in legislation, pork barrel spending at an all time high, and the purchase of votes to pass partisan and destructive policy, it is clear that it is more than just business as usual in Washington D.C. – it is now hard ball Chicago politics in our nation’s capital. This is hardly the "hope and change" that many people who were fooled by Obama voted for.
Fortunately, President Obama was unable to ram his healthcare bill down our throats in August. Instead, he was forced to use the majority of the year to gain momentum on this issue. As a result, he was unable to implement the rest of his liberal agenda, which includes Amnesty for illegal aliens, Cap and Trade legislation, and "Card Check." As we move into 2010, President Obama and liberal leaders in Congress will likely try to further their left-wing agenda, but their approach and success will be tempered by the coming 2010 elections.
And this is what we have been waiting for. Many of our elected officials have ignored our wishes all year by supporting the auto bailouts, the $787 billion "stimulus" bill, and of course, healthcare legislation. Instead of listening to our concerns, they called us extremists, "tea baggers," and worse.
But there is hope, because we still have faith and family, and our great country – yes, the country many have fought and died for, is still here. The United States of America has grave problems but it has not yet been ruined. 2009 was the year that Middle America rose and began a movement to take back America. There are now tens of millions of Tea Party Patriots from coast to coast. Because regular people are getting involved and active, there is still much hope for America. For us conservatives who are concerned about our country, November 2010 cannot get here fast enough.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!
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