-- Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness --
Friday, February 26, 2010
Logic + Partisan Politics = ZILCH
President Obama continues to impress me. What he did yesterday was incredibly brave and immeasurably frustrating. [Welcome to strange world of Capitol Hill, Mr. President] His ambition in calling the summit of both parties from both Congressional Houses was utterly logical. Too bad politics got in the way. Perhaps it's time to revisit the idea of term limits for members of Congress. Give 'em all six years to do their damage then replace them. Seems like they're all in constant campaign mode which clearly colors their decision-making. Prolonging the debate with political posturing is not going to make the need for health care reform go away. Both parties have ideological points that deserve the consideration that they have received for the past Y E A R. It's time to get off the pot! Since D.C. residents, like me, have no representation in Congress, I can only hope that other Americans vote for intelligent, caring people to take their case to the top. ALL of us are frustrated that it is so hard for them to reach consensus or at least a modicum of agreement. Every American is feeling the sting of the economic squeeze and losses of employment. We're all in favor of job retention and creation. The connection between lowering health care costs for employers and individuals alike is obvious. Everybody needs health care. Every able bodied American needs employment. Right now, one seems to be dependant on the other -- no employment/no health insurance. This is unconscionable. No, socialized medicine is not the answer as some would have us think is being plugged by one side. Rather, the expectation of enormous profits must be tamed. Profit is the reason businesses exist -- BUT -- the goals for attaining them have become skewed. Must I say it? Greed is such an ugly word. We Americans have come to believe we are entitled to whatever we can get our hands on, whether or not we can afford it. I find it terrifying that so many are living on credit! Spouse and I rest easy at night knowing we owe no one anything. We also recycle, walk rather than drive and curb our use of electricity. But I digress. . . Just because the U.S. controls huge amounts of natural resources and world wealth does NOT entitle us to use them wrecklessly. I wouldn't dream of denying assistance to the Haitian earthquake survivors. In that same vein, how 'bout aiding American victims of the economic crisis? Extending unemployment benefits adds to the defeated and shameful feelings of people who once proudly earned their own keep. Instead of corporations paying multi-billions in bonuses to executives [already being paid far more than any human being is worth] re-hire thousands of laid-off workers, retrain those who need it, and put American workers back on the train to self-sufficiency. Without the benefit of tax shelters granted to the most affluent among us, these workers would increase tax revenues and the need for financial rescue would decrease. Restricting, by law if necessary, the most egregious health care provider profits and those of other corporations could go a long way to allowing every American to benefit from a basic level of health care. Surcharges on our phone bill annoy me, but I know what they're for [I think]. How 'bout surcharging corporations to help cover the costs of health care? It wouldn't have to be a huge percentage. It just seems right that the rest of us who can afford health care [right now, anyway] should be able to count on our insurers, pharmaceutical companies [to which we pay big bucks for prescriptions] and other for-profit providers to help our less fortunate neighbors. Bottom line: We All benefit from living in a healthier environment -- less illness, increased productivity, happier society.