To the Editor:
Well, by the tenor of certain letters to the editor it looks as if Obama’s honeymoon is over.
Though, as usual, the opinions expressed in most of those letters seem to be based on sweeping false premises backed by “factoids.” And since it has become standard policy by those on the right to accept the “if I believe it, it isn’t a lie” maxim, “factoid” use, even if inaccurate or false, is permissible.
Some examples: take Don Duddles who is unhappy with his cost of Medicare. First off, seriously – “the President was born into money” and “He has never walked in our shoes.” Wow, where did Mr. Duddles come up with those “factoids?” I respectively suggest that Mr. Duddles read President Obama’s biography.
By the grace of God or good fortune Mr. Duddles and his wife have only had to use their medical coverage a couple of times. Thus he reasons since he hasn’t been sick that often he feels his medical insurance costs are not what he considers affordable. Does the concept of insurance escape him? Does he think that he and his wife will live out their lives without encountering a major medical or hospitalization expense which could cost over $100,000? Don should keep in mind, from a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, medical-related issues, such as unpaid medical bills, lost income due to illness, or the mortgage of a home to pay medical bills, contributed to 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies.
Mr. Duddles alludes to the president not having any concept of affordable insurance. Does Mr. Duddles really think that we would be better off without the Affordable Care Act after it is full implementation? Already in 2012 insurance costs have risen by the smallest percentage in 20 years. And just a side note: Remember Mary Brown, the 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, who became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama’s health care law because “She is a small-business owner who did not believe the cost of health insurance is a wise or acceptable use of her resources.”
Court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall owing $55,000 in debts including $4,500 in unpaid medical bills for her husband’s hospitalization. As a result, Brown has been forced to live on unemployment compensation. And because she and her husband are in Chapter 7 (bankruptcy) and their business collapsed, the health care costs will have to be borne by the general public because they add to unpaid bills owed to medical providers.
In the end, doctors and hospitals will adjust their rates upward for the cumulative “free” care such as that provided to Brown’s husband.
Then we have Ms. Karen Schroeder, who states that our founders wanted an inexpensive (small) government supported by consumption taxes, corporate bonds, liquor, tobacco etc. Imagine financing an aircraft carrier, the interstate highway system or the CDC with those taxes and remember in 1790 there were only about three million U.S. citizens as opposed to more than 300 million today. Without a doubt, following Ms. Schroeder’s small government model we would never have grown beyond the original 13 states and become a world power.
The authors of the Constitution did not want a small ineffectual government, which they already had in the Articles of Confederation. George Washington and the other delegates to the Constitutional Convention shared a belief that the Constitution must establish a national government of substantial power, in contrast to the extremely weak central government of the Articles, which was so dysfunctional that Washington thought it nearly cost us victory in the Revolutionary War.
“The power of making war, peace, and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the Union ...” That statement from a letter signed by George Washington was unanimously endorsed by the Constitutional Convention. Nowhere in the letter does it say, “our goal is to make the federal government as small as possible.” The whole point of the Constitution was to make the federal government much stronger.
As for Ms. Schroeder’s statement that the wealthy already pay more in taxes, a clarification is in order. I’m reminded of the supposed Willie Sutton quote when he said that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” Show me a tax system in the world where the wealthy don’t pay more in taxes. When you look at Karen’s example of a 10 percent flat tax the person earning $50,000 has $45,000 left in disposable income whereas the person earning $200,000 has $180,000. You can certainly afford a decent health plan with $180,000 in disposable income.
When Ms. Schroeder says, “Conservatives should not compromise,” I hear only no tax increase for the wealthy, just give up tax deductions and loopholes – eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction, deductions for state income taxes and local property taxes, child and dependent care tax credit and a slew of others. All changes that impact mainly the middle class.
So the job creators can cry uncertainty, stall on hiring and continue pocketing profits.