Dear Michael Steele
I just received the Republican National Committee 2009 Obama Agenda Survey. I answered, partially because I like you personally, and wish you success in your position. It does my heart good to see a moderate in a high level Republican role, for a change, as I really like feeling included.
As usual, with partisan surveys, the questions in this survey are slanted, so I can’t answer them without comment.
For example, “Do you agree with Barack Obama’s budget plan that will lead to a $23.1 trillion deficit over the next ten years” No, of course. You didn’t ask how I felt about the Republican-generated deficit of the last eight years. I didn’t like that either.
I think our federal government should, except in dire emergency, pay its bills and operate on a cash basis. I think our federal government should be reined in and perform only such functions that are necessary to provide safety, security, fairness and freedom to live in any personally chosen lawful manner for all our citizens.
I‘ve often heard the statement, “People are no damn good.” I couldn’t disagree. Because of this unfortunate truth, the federal government must set standards for the country’s operation. I don’t mean expensive program requirements billed to the states must do this, but rather we must adopt interpretations of the Constitution, and the development and refinement of a system of laws that provide uniformity throughout the country. Standards for schools, medical practitioners and business operations are required as well.
President Barack Obama has promised to promote transparency and limit waste in government. If he is able to pull that off, our deficit won’t be nearly as big as projected. We could actually shrink, or do well without some government departments (for example, the IRS) which would require a staff of about 12, with a big computer, and a backup, if we initiated a flat tax. The only reason we don’t have one is that our government is using the tax code to manipulate our economy, and even our society.
“Are you in favor of the expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility that Democrats in Congress are pushing to pass?” Are they? That would be scary, indeed. Is there anything missing from the question?
Here’s a silly one: “Do you believe that Barack Obama’s nominees for federal courts should be immediately and unquestionably approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate?” Of course not, silly ‘Wabbit!’ Who would?
Unfortunately, Republican failures, both in Congress, the administration, and in the bedroom have caused us a few election problems recently. Perhaps, if we really lived by our principles, a few of us would get elected, maybe even enough to powerfully question judicial nominees.
“Do you believe that the best way to increase the quality and effectiveness of public education in the U.S. is to rapidly expand federal funding while eliminating performance standards and accountability?” Did someone propose that while I was sleeping? Would anyone agree with this?
That’s enough of the questionnaire. Not all the questions are that weird, but we’ve read enough. Too much political distortion.
As I said, I’m answering, but I have a few more things to say.
First, I absolutely believe that English should be declared the national language of the United States, and that translation should be provided in cases of emergency, or for humanitarian reasons. I also believe that no government documents, or ballots, or public school classes should be provided in any other language. This would not only promote unity in our society, but also save a lot of money.
I don’t believe in amnesty for illegal immigrants, although I personally sympathize with them. Amnesty just encourages more illegal immigration.
Instead, we should encourage our southern neighbors to adopt foreign worker programs modeled after the one already in place in the Philippines. Then people could come here to work, and go home, not expecting to even bring their children, not to mention enrolling them in public schools at taxpayer expense. They could afford, as do Filipino workers, to send their children to good, private schools at home. Their own governments could help protect their rights while they’re working here, and they could still send a lot of money home, helping their own countries’ economies.
I don’t think performance standards for public schools should be eliminated at all. I think there should be national standards based on the outcomes of educational efforts, not on the pieces of equipment or carpeted athletic facilities in the schools.
People can be well educated in modest facilities. A clean, intact facility with good heating and cooling, classroom space, bathrooms and decent, whole food (or lunches brought from home) should do the trick. I am not at all suggesting that we not have gyms, sports, libraries, track fields or computer centers. I’m proposing that we judge by educational outcome data.
I also believe in national standards for health care outcomes. I think it’s just fine to withhold payment for treatment of hospital-acquired infections. Make no mistake. Infection control in hospitals has been totally inadequate. It should be the hospital’s responsibility.
Neither private nor public insurance should be required to pay for futile treatments. It is only reasonable to expect a treatment – or a drug – to have some documented effectiveness before it‘s authorized for insurance reimbursement. Experimental treatments are absolutely fine, but are usually funded protocols, or could be paid for by private donations. The ethical principle that relates to this is the greatest good for the greatest number. The vast majority of Americans should be able to afford insurance.
The market should control medical pricing, and people should have the freedom to choose their physicians, pharmacists, etc., and to negotiate price with them without an adverse effect on insurance reimbursement.
I don’t think the government should fund a Citizen Volunteer Corps, paying corps members the same as is paid to the military. Did somebody come up with yet another way to spend government money that we don’t have? Is this a repeat of the CCC? Volunteerism is wonderful, and a basic safety net is important in a civilized, wealthy country, but I don’t think a new CCC is in order.
I do think everyone in the U.S. should be allowed to vote by private ballot, whether to join a union or to vote for president.
Thanks for the questionnaire, Mr. Steele. Please revise the next one to be more honest and clear. Please encourage your party members to look a little more to the country’s interests, and a little less to their own.
Contact me anytime. Anything I can do to help my country lead the world in honor, freedom and productivity, I’d be happy to do.