Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Response to letter to editor on "failing government"

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature.   It is now official, you are ALL corrupt morons:

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.   People in politics want to be re-elected and therefore gladly accept contributions to their re-election war chests.   The way around this is not to allow political contributions but to make all candidates accept a “fair share” of election money and nothing more.   That should level the playing field.

Obama should have accepted his fair share in his run for President but he didn’t; instead he chose to stick it in the craw of the Powerful Elite - - i.e. the monied interests - - by playing their game.   He was successful because so many little people desperately wanted change.   So far, he has disappointed many little people.

The acceptance of money for re-election war chests does make it appear that our elected officials have been “bought”.   Congressmen and Senators should be made to wear jackets like NASCAR drivers with their big contributors’ logos on them for all to see.   That way the electorate back home could decide if indeed their congressional delegation had been bought and vote them out of office.

The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

Beyond me why everybody singles out the Post Office and says “UPS makes a profit; why can’t the US Postal Service?’  Two things you should understand:  The USPS serves every nook and cranny of every “Sleepy Hollow” in the country - - while UPS serves only those places where it can make a profit.   Also, the USPS is nothing but a subsidy to American business for distribution of bills, catalogs and sales literature - - to help American businesses stay in business.   Ever hear of “Bulk Rates?”   Who do you think “Bulk Rates” are for?   Certainly not for you and me.   Shouldn’t first class postage apply to catalogs, sales literature – and for that matter, magazines like Time and US News and World Report?   Remember that if it did, their cost of doing business would be more and the prices you and I pay would be higher.

I for one think the USPO does a pretty good job, given the above constraints.

Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

Social Security is a great program.   It was established specifically to take care of the elderly and the disabled.   Before Social Security, the elderly were the responsibility of their children or their churches.   That was well and fine while the nation was agrarian.   All an adult child had to do was plant a few more acres and have a few more chickens to take care of his parents.

A funny thing happened around 1890.   The country started shifting from agrarian to industrial.   So what should we have done with the aging parents?   Perhaps we should have lined them up against the wall and shot them.   After all, their children were having a tough enough time taking care of themselves.

Why not let the churches take care of them?   The funny thing is that churches are local.   As a rule, poor churches serve poor sections of town and rich churches serve the more affluent sections of town.   Do you really think that parishioners in the Country Club district would bother with providing for the elderly in the poorer sections of town?   Dream on.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not part of the US Government per se.   Instead, they are what are called government-sponsored enterprises (GSE’s).   GSE’s are a group of financial services created by the US Congress to enhance the flow of credit to targeted economic sectors.

Congress created GSE’s to enhance the availability and reduce the cost of credit to agriculture, home financing and education.   This makes those targeted economic sectors more efficient and transparent.

During the Great Depression, borrowers defaulted on mortgages right and left with the result that banks found themselves strapped for cash.   FDR and Congress created Fannie Mae to buy mortgages from lenders, freeing capital that could go to other borrowers.

Fannie Mae helped usher in a new generation of American home ownership, paving the way for banks to loan money to low- and middle-income buyers who otherwise might not have been considered creditworthy.

During budget difficulties at the time of the Viet Nam war, LBJ requested that Congress take Fannie off the government balance sheet and convert it into a publicly traded company owned by investors.   Two years later, Freddie Mac was launched, primarily to keep Fannie Mae from functioning as a monopoly.

Today, Fannie and Freddie dominate the mortgage markets.   Fannie and Freddie raise cash to buy mortgages from a variety of sources, including pension funds, mutual funds and foreign governments.   Their influence is large enough that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury felt the need to assure that Fannie and Freddie would not be permitted to collapse from reverberations of the sub-prime mortgage debacle under Bush II.

Historically, right wingers have been Fannie’s and Freddie's most vocal critics, arguing that Fannie’s and Freddie’s ties to the U.S. Government give them an unfair advantage over others in the industry.   Whether it does or does not, I can not say for sure.   But I do know that many people would not be home owners if it weren’t for Fannie and Freddie.

War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.

You don’t want to get me started on this one.   I am getting smarter in this area because of what I am doing to help get campus facilities for the intellectually and developmentally disabled into the Dayton area.

What LBJ did for the really little guy in terms of the “Great Society” was great.   Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan and Dean Stockwell did a hatchet job on the “War on Poverty” and the country still has not recovered.

When Ronnie did his hatchet job, it fell upon the “nonprofit” sector to pick up the slack.   Today, the nonprofit sector stands at a crossroads.   Government budget cuts starting with Reagan have eliminated a significant source of nonprofit revenues and have created a serious fiscal squeeze for many organizations that traditionally help the poor and the disabled.

Although the non profit sector as a whole managed to replace its lost revenue, it did so through increasing fees and charges.   That attracted for-profit businesses into traditional nonprofit fields.   That in turn created a serious economic challenge to the non profit sector.

Questions have been raised about what some see as over professionalization and bureaucratization among the nonprofits.   This has undermined public confidence and prompted questions about the basic legitimacy of the special tax and legal benefits nonprofits enjoy while providing service to the poor and the disabled.

Thank you Ronnie.   You did great.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965.   You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

See the rationale I provided for Social Security.   It also applies here.

Medicare and Medicaid are great programs for the elderly and the disabled.   FDR and HST tried to get Medicare passed but were unable.   LBJ did by twisting arms of Senators and Congressmen who “owed” him.

Thank heaven that he did.   That kept so many decent Americans from having to bankrupt their selves to provide medical care for their parents or their disabled children.

I still remember the TV news the day that LBJ flew to Independence MO to sign the legislation at Harry Truman’s home and to give Truman the first Medicare card.   How happy HST was.   It was a great day for America.

Medicare is so great; I fervently hope that we can get “Medicare for all”.   The country needs it desperately.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.   It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before.   You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

I do not know as much about the Department of Energy as I do about other things so I am asking you to extrapolate from the generalities about the need for government that I provide in the next section.   I will say this though: America’s dependence on foreign oil must be reduced.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.

Government has to be ready to do what private enterprise will not.   At the local level, police, fire, schools, utilities – and especially, the courts are examples of government services.   So is snow removal which is so important from a safety standpoint in a nation which has so many automobiles on the road.

At the national level, Military power is the most important.   Taxation and appropriation follow closely.   And of course, the national court system where the Judiciary is one of the three branches of government.   Ever wonder why?

America is a country of the rule of law.   What good would a contract be if there were no courts to enforce it?   Without laws and the courts to enforce them, there would be absolute chaos.   Is that what you who are so anti government want?   There must be government for the nation to survive.

What do you think the odds would be that private enterprise would build something like the Tennessee Valley Authority dams which were built to jump start economic activity in the South?   Or for that matter, how about all the hydroelectric dams in the Southwestern U.S. which are the main source of fresh water for desert areas.   How many people do you think would live in the Greater LA metropolitan area, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso Las Vegas or Albuquerque without water from these dams?   Where do you think a good chunk of the electricity for the people that live there come from?


You asked for it.   This is an area I know a little about.

If you want to read “My Daughter’s medical Horror Story” which I was able to get to various Senators and Representatives in Washington, just let me know and I will send it to you electronically.

Caring for the sick is first and foremost, a moral issue.   Supposedly, America is a Christian country.   Ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”   Would He not heal the sick, support the weak, and comfort the afflicted.   That is exactly what a universal health care system seeks to do.   A “Single Payer” system would be the best choice among universal health care possibilities.

Here are some health care reform myths.   If you believe these myths, then the Medical – Industrial Complex “lobbying” of Congress has done a job on you.

Universal coverage costs too much:   No it doesn’t.    Every other industrialized nation offers universal coverage at a cost much lower than the aggregate we spend in the US, a goodly portion of which goes to insurance and pharmaceutical profits.

Our taxes will go up:   Perhaps, but we are still going to come out ahead when aggregate expenses are considered.   Single Payer “taxes” will cost us less than the premiums, co-pays and medical bill we pay today.   Further, our health coverage will be secure regardless of income or status of employment.

Americans get world class care and we shouldn’t mess with that: in fact, many Americans do not get world class care.   Sure, world class care is available to those that are rich or have good insurance.    However, on almost all measures of health care and mortality, the United States still lags Canada and Europe.   Why is that if we have world class healthcare.

Other countries have much longer waiting times than we do: Actually there are no waiting lists for emergency surgery or urgently needed procedures in universal care countries.   Check for studies on wait times.

There is no health care problem; people can get care even if they are uninsured: Yes.   By law, a person cannot he turned down if he presents himself to an Emergency Room.   However, ERs are an expensive place to get treatment.   Further, even with the availability of expensive ERs, more than 60 Americans die daily from lack of care.   See for more.

And the biggie: “Single Payer” is socialized medicine.   No, single payer is not socialized medicine because government will not own the hospitals and physicians will not be on a government salary.   Single payer will work like today’s Medicare program for the elderly and the disabled where patients see private doctors and use private hospitals.   Clearly, “Single Payer” is not socialized medicine.   Single payer is actually public insurance rather than private insurance.   That is a great big difference.

So you need a job?   This is another biggie the Medical - Industrial Complex doesn’t want the American people to know:

When I was in college, Charlie Wilson said, “What is good for General Motors is good for the country.”   WRONG!!!   GM is now bankrupt.   One of the primary reasons they are is that GM has to buy medical insurance for its employees while their Japanese, German, British and Scandinavian competitors do not.   That is analogous to having the American runner carry a hundred pound weight in a foot race.

A national single-payer system would relieve corporations like GM of the burden of buying and administering health insurance, stabilize costs, and give them the global level playing field they need to compete in world markets.

American business can play a major role in solving the healthcare dilemma by overcoming their blind resistance to a universal care system and insisting instead that a national plan be designed to provide their employees with proper medical coverage without runaway costs.   Universal coverage such as a “Single-Payer” system offers the best hope of achieving these goals.

I would like to ask why the country considers humongous profits for the insurance industry more important than the other economic sectors being on a level playing field with their foreign competitors.

One final thing:   I am on the mailing list for Steny Hoyer’s “Daily Dose”.   From the Daily Dose sent at 5:26 PM Friday, January 8, 2010, I quote:  At the Time This Daily Dose Was Sent, Insured Americans Had Paid a “Hidden Tax” of $44,179,853,891 since January 1, 2009 in Additional Premium Costs to Cover Care for the Uninsured.

Folks, keep this circulating.   It is very well stated.   Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' and their staff (they never read anything) will clue them in on how American's feel.

I will forward this to Congressional and Senate Staffers who have helped me get my daughter’s Medical Horror Story to the proper authorities.

Al Baca
(937) 236-0782

No comments:

Post a Comment

The TrueMajority OREO video... featuring an animated Ben Cohen.