Monday, March 22, 2010
Do you Command, or are you Commanded?
This weekend, watching the major news channels cover the vote on Healthcare Reform. As is an often happens to me, I fantasized about appearing before the Representatives and putting forth my views on this massive bill that has been at the heart of so much controversy. Yet, ultimately, beyond any epic speech I could have given, one question hit me hard and I wished more than anything I could have asked it of that Body.
Do you command the American People, or are you commanded by them?
And, even though I did not get to ask my question in person, I did receive my answer last night. The Bill was passed and is set to become law, in spite of about two-thirds of the American people not wanting this to be passed.
Pelosi, a woman who is arguably as hated at Palin, spoke with joy of the historic moment upon the bill’s passage. Indeed, the line “historic moment” was probably used a historic number of times. But, I will agree with Speaker Pelosi. This was a historic moment.
But probably not for the reasons she thinks it is.
What will come in the future, I cannot say. What I can say is that it will not be pretty. Even as I write this, I’m sure there are massive protests being waged both online and off. Celebrations are being held, backs are being slapped. And, in dark places, the proverbial sword is being sharpened.
My question was answered last night. The government, and those who lead it, see that they command the American people.
There were many, many speeches last night, by people from both sides of the Party line, neither of which I felt much love for. (I can be classified as an Independent, and have as little love for Republicans as I do Democrats). Yet, perhaps the greatest speech by a living politician I’ve ever heard was given last night.
Rep. Boehner, it seemed, got the true idea of what a democracy was meant to be. He got, at least in my eyes, what it meant to represent the American people. He portrayed himself as one who is commanded, not who commands. Now, I’m sure there’s plenty of evidence that he has not done this, that he is as bad as every other politician, but I’m not interested in this at the moment. It was his words, right then and there, that said more than anything.
Yet, his words seemed to fall on deaf ears. I’m not going to discuss the costs or wording of the Bill. That has been done ad-nausea and will continue to be so. Rather, I would like to talk about what I think it means, for me and every other little person on the bottom of the pile.
We will now be ordered, by law, to buy health insurance. Now, buying health insurance is a good idea, but it should be a persons choice. This Bill was sold to America as a way to insure the uninsured. I’m not going to get into the numbers of who is uninsured or why, plenty have done that. But forcing people who don’t have health insurance to buy it, regardless of if they want it or not, regardless of if they can afford it or not, is wrong. Speaking for myself, I rarely go to the doctor, and paying tons of money for insurance that I may not even need is not an expense I want, especially in light of all the other expenses I already face entering the world on my own. I have had dreams of starting my own business, if just a small one, but now I face the problem of providing health insurance to any workers I hire. Now, I don’t know about other businesses, but the one’s I’m interested don’t really produce a lot of capital in the initial stages. Indeed, most small businesses don’t, and every expense incurred in the early stages is something that makes it that much harder to succeed. The economy is already down, people are still losing jobs, and the jobless rate, counting the unreported, is probably in the mid to high teens. Business are having to cut expenses to stay afloat, making the buy healthcare or pay fines is only going to crush the little ones.
Also, I am now going to end up paying more in taxes to cover the bill for people who can’t afford health insurance but must now still have it. I don’t care about Government number crunchers telling me this new law will save money. I’ve been studying history in collage for over four years and covered Governments all over the globe. Every single one of them cost more to run than it ever made. Previously, there was always the ability to invade and gain more resources in order to balance the expense of government, but as that is no longer socially, legally, or UN excepted, I doubt we can invade anywhere to get more wealth. And, since America is pretty much the top of the wealth game anyways, I don’t know of anywhere with the resources to justify such an action economically.
Obama and his administration have now succeeded in creating a debt so massive as to be incomprehensible. It is in the trillions of dollars. It is in the double digits of the trillions of dollars, and it’s only going to get higher. 10,000,000,000 is a big number, and it isn’t even the correct amount of the debt. To put this in terms people can maybe grasp, I’ll use the example of LEGO bricks. A 2x4 brick, the standard size, runs about an inch long by half an inch high by half an inch wide. Placed so that each bricks is stacked on top of each other we would get a tower 5,000,000,000 inches high, or 78,914.14 miles high, roughly half the distance to the moon. As a wall, half an inch thick and 6 feet high, you’d get a length of 2893518.52 feet or 548.01 miles. I’ll let you come up with something that is that long.
And the ink isn’t even dry and already there are calls to get immigration reform done. I hate to even think about what that will entail or cost. Suffice it to say, however, that it will indeed cost.
I am left with a rather sour taste in my mouth, and not from anything I’ve eaten. What happens now? I’m not sure. I do know that at least 38 states have prepared legislation to counter this bill. I know it will be an ugly, drawn out fight in which more than feelings are likely to be hurt and people will be used as political, and maybe even literal, cannon fodder depending on how it goes down. The bill itself is enough to overburden the government’s empty coffers, which seem to have inverted the meaning of positive and negative numbers to begin with. Obama will be lauded as a great hero and even greater villain. The Republicans will most likely sweep the next elections, but in all fairness they can reverse it nor halt it. People around me who didn’t like Obama have said he’ll be a lame duck president, but at this point he’s been anything but. He has fulfilled his biggest campaign promise. He brought Change to America like we haven’t seen in a hundred years. It’s not a change I wanted though. The government controls more each day, and that means I have less control. As much as people like to say everyone’s equal, this isn’t true, because in a finite system there will always be those who have and those who don’t. Arguably, Obama and Co. are working to change this, but it looks more and more like equality equals zero.
The government stated that it Commands the people. Now we’ll see if the people will be willing to give up Command of their government. It will be historic, the only question is in what way.