Outrage, at last

By Steve Bowen | Aug 15, 2009

Members of Congress recently headed back home for a long recess and, according to reports, have found angry constituents ready to greet them. It seems as though not a day goes by without news of some U.S. senator or representative, fresh from Washington, being confronted at a town hall meeting by angry citizens demanding explanations for the profligate spending and unprecedented assaults on individual liberty that have characterized this session of Congress.

The Democrats, of course, have been quick to dismiss these public protests as some kind of sinister plot hatched by the ever-vast right wing conspiracy.

They should be so lucky. Poll after poll shows support for the Obama agenda plunging across the board. On health care, the president and the Democrats in Congress are losing ground quickly. A new Rasmussen poll shows that not only do 74 percent of voters rate the quality of the health care they currently receive as good or excellent, 53 percent believe the president’s plan will make health care more expensive, rather than less, about the same percent of voters who think health care quality will decline as a consequence of the increased government meddling Obama favors.

Voters aren’t fooled by Obama’s promises to avoid a middle class tax hike either; 78 percent of voters told Rasmussen they believe a middle class tax increase is likely under the health care plans now being debated. When asked, a clear majority said that, given a choice, they would rather see lower taxes than a government takeover of health care.

Does all this explain the anger and indignation being expressed at town hall meetings across the country?

Not entirely. What is driving this long overdue outrage is the growing realization that the course being pursued by Congress and the president amounts to one of the greatest threats to individual liberty in the nation’s history.

Don’t believe me? Consider the following.

On heath care, the Democrats in Washington don’t intend to simply expand existing public health programs in order to cover the uninsured, they intend to fundamentally remake the nation’s health care system by inserting between patients and their doctors a layer of government agencies and bureaucrats who will ultimately decide what kind of health care Americans will be allowed to receive. The ultimate goal, of course, is a complete government takeover of the health care system, but for now, the Democrats will settle for ever-increasing government intrusion into the most private and personal health decisions people make.

Such heavily bureaucratic systems, once put in place, never go away. Passage of the kind of health reform legislation championed by congressional Democrats, including Reps. Pingree and Michaud of Maine, will forever change the nature of health care in America, at an enormous cost in both financial terms and in the loss of personal freedoms.

To accompany the government takeover of health care, Congress has also proposed, and the president supports, a vast expansion of government control over the economy in the form of the “cap and trade” bill. Think this 1,500-page bill controlling carbon emissions is simply a tightening of existing environmental laws? Think again. Cap and trade would impact every sector of the economy and result in massive increases in energy costs.

The cap and trade scheme developed by congressional Democrats will mean a massive level of government meddling in the lives of every American. There will be regulations on the kind of appliances and cars you can buy, regulations on the energy you use in your home, and a whole host of regulations on American businesses.

Then there are the costs. Worried about gas and heating oil prices? A recent analysis of the cap and trade bill supported by Reps. Pingree and Michaud predicts that over the next 25 years or so this legislation alone will increase gasoline prices by 58 percent and heating oil prices by 56 percent. Electricity rates will almost double. Energy costs for the average family will increase by $1,200 a year.

Imagine what this will do to the American economy.

If cap and trade doesn’t drive every job-creating business out of the country, the union-backed “card check” legislation certainly will. Enthusiastically supported by Reps. Pingree and Michaud, card check would take away from workers their right to vote on the establishment of a union in their place of employment. Worse still, in the event of a standoff between labor and management, it will empower government bureaucrats to force upon both parties whatever terms the government sees fit to impose.

Government, therefore, will be deciding for businesses who they should hire, under what conditions those employees are to work, and how much they are to be paid.

Government will do this, by the way, when it is not busy telling you what medical procedure you can and can’t have, which cars you can and can’t drive, and which dishwashers and light bulbs you can and can’t own.

Has there ever been a presidential administration in the history of this nation that has so actively sought to expand government control over so many aspects of American life? Has there ever been a Congress in such a hurry to expand its own power over so much of our personal and economic lives?

That is what is at the root of the outrage with Washington that is being expressed all over the nation. As Obama and his Congress bankrupt our children to expand their power in a way unprecedented in the nation’s history, it is an outrage that is entirely justified and well overdue.
Comments (3)
Posted by: Jack McGloughlin | Aug 21, 2009 19:41

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking as they try to make a point on the current fight for what America needs.
Healthcare improvement and overhaul.

Let me disect some of your article. I will not disect the entire article just a few of the major points that you made...
Cap and Trade, yes this does have the possibility of raising some prices, but surely not as high as the purveyors of fear might lead you to believe. Further, I am not sureif youhave been paying attention, the current trend is to move away from fossils fuels and into renewable energy. You know like wind and solar. There may be even an interest in nuclear, although that is going to take double the amount of time to create and then the waste afterwards. But clearly, if you stop listening to the fear mongers you might understand that we are heading into "RENEWABLE" energy sources. It may take some time but we will get here. You also noted that we would be paying double and triple prices for the fossils fuels we use now. What was the excuse before cap and trade? do you have one? or do you forget paying almost 5 dollars a gallon for gas and oil?
Government deciding who businesses should hire, what conditions they are allowed to work under and how much they are paid.
Hmmm,you know what...they already do that. They decide who gets hired for certain jobs by setting standards and qualifications. They decide what conditions we work under, unless you do not know about OSHA and although it is the minimum end, they decide how much one needs to get paid. For government employees and contracts, they decide how much at each level. Have you not been paying attention for the last 30 or 40 years?
They are not telling you what medical procedure youcan or cannot have, what they are saying is...if youhave a test done in one hospitalor doctors office, the information needs to be available to the next one you go to so that the SAME test is not duplicated, therefore...can you say we save money?
You may have also not been paying attention over the ast 20 yars or so as automobile emissions and mileage have been under mandate, yes from the government to lower emission and improve mileage. There is no tradeoff here, it is what is already in place only simplified.
Yes most of thelast 8 years have been spent with the administration trying to control our every move, or do you forget wiretapping, illegal search and seizure, our own military in the form of private contractors on our soil. Never mind them foolish red, yelow and green signals to tell people whenthey should goout and when theyshould stay hidden in thier closets. Are you following me here?
Now for the root of the outrage currently spreading across this great country of ours...FEAR..amplified by a few loudmouth tv and radio personalities at the behest of the republican party who at tthis point are on thelosing side and trying desperately to win again, instead of coming together to solve real problems.
the above is my opinion.

Posted by: Connie Evans | Aug 21, 2009 15:40

The Heritage Institute speaks again. They state their fears and opinions as facts and then build, on that manufactured foundation, horrific castles in the air.
Here are some facts that the Heritage Institute doesn't mention because it would only confuse us poor citizens.
Private, for-profit insurance corporations now stand between you and your doctor or health care provider. Why are they there? To collect a transaction fee, sometimes while denying you access to your doctor. Would they like the system to change to give them competition? Let's look:
The "Health Care Industry" has added 3 lobbyists per day to the battle in Washington since March 2009. They spent over $1.4 MILLION PER DAY on lobbying in the first 3 months of 2009 and are on track to increase that by 50% in the 2nd quarter. They have spent an ADDITIONAL $52 million so far on advertising, above their "normal advertising budget" to "shape" the health care reform "debate" in 2009. The top 23 CEOs in that industry averaged over $24 million a year in salaries ,(one of those was 10 times that), and the top 80 managers hold over $800 BILLION in stock options.

All of that money came from our insurance premiums. The lobbying and advertising is being applied to anyone who might possibly have any influence in shaping health care reform to ensure that it DOES NOT include a strong Public Option that might compete with their profit cow.

Posted by: Joseph Tassi | Aug 21, 2009 15:29

In reading your article, I was struck by the fact that I didn't learn anything from you that I couldn't get from Fox News or some far right talk show host, all of whom profit financially by the dispersion of reactionary opinion. How do you profit Steve? I looked up the Maine Heritage Policy Center on line. I loved this part. The mission of the Maine Heritage Policy Center is to promote conservative public policy's based on the principles of free enterprise; limited constitutional government, individual freedom and my personal favorite, traditional American values. I believe you are undersestimating the level of outrage that exists in people in this town and in this country who understand that the argument offered between the left and right strains to camouflage the purposeful and destructive agenda promoted by the insurance and healthcare lobby's who fund both sides of the two party political process. Steve from the right...you play your part well.

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