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October 14, 2010

Swimming Upstream Again

Patricia A. Kelly

This week I’m surrounded by politics. I attended both State Senator David Brinkley’s fund raising breakfast and the Republican Women’s Club of Frederick County’s meeting on the same day. If I had worked at it, or donated more money, I think I could have spent the entire day in political meetings. It’s the season.


Tuesday morning I listened to both Senator Brinkley and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., give brief remarks on state government, Governor Ehrlich repeating many of the remarks he made on Monday in his debate with Gov. Martin O’Malley. He accused Governor O’Malley of class warfare against the rich, and reported the loss of millions of dollars to the state as the rich moved out in response to tax changes. I have a relative who changed his residence for this reason, so I personally know it‘s possible. It has happened in more than one state.


So much for the “Steal from the rich and give to the poor” philosophy of our presently dominant political establishment. They must have forgotten that the rich have second homes.


If Governor Ehrlich wins, he plans to put a sign at each entrance to the state proclaiming that we are “Open for Business.” That sounds good to me. As far as I’m concerned, private business is the only option for creating real jobs, and, thus, increased income for state residents.


Government-created jobs often cost the taxpayers’ money rather than adding to the financial stability of a community. This year, for example, our increased spring employment figures were due to the hiring of census workers; temporary, of course.


I never understand who both state and federal governments think is paying for their “gifts” to us. Does no one get that we are involuntarily giving these supposed benefits to ourselves with our own tax dollars? In addition, these benefits are given to a selective few rather than being fairly distributed to us all.


That brings up an amusing thought. What if the government did take our tax money and give it back evenly? I like that idea. That would keep them busy without causing much harm. All it would cost would be the salaries of those who process the money. I think I’ll propose this when I get elected to Congress.


I have a friend who is a liberal thinker. She believes she should pay what she owes to such entities as small businesses. Otherwise, she thinks that need should determine who gets paid. Large companies and physicians don’t need money as much as she does, so she thinks it’s okay to buy lots of shoes instead of paying her debts. (I did not make this up.) Sounds a lot like our president to me.


A good example of government games is the rescue of people whose homes are worth less than their mortgages, saving them from foreclosure. Sometimes the plan is to reduce the amount of the mortgage to less than the current value of the house. That would be great, especially for those who lied about their income to get their mortgages in the first place.


I may be slow, but I just don’t see how one can justify taking money from people, current in their mortgage payments, who have lost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity on their own homes, to prevent foreclosure for those who can’t make their payments. I’m not even mentioning what happens to the shareholders of the banks who have to eat a lot of bad loans.


An equally bizarre example is the requirement that health insurance plans accept people with pre-existing conditions, and keep paying for chronic illnesses without any caps. These elements of health care reform are going to cost a fortune. And guess who will be paying?


Our health care system definitely needs reform. I recommend transparency in fees as a start.


Our president, along with his liberal cohorts, continues to tell us that he’s helping us. He’s actually helping himself to our money, and giving back some of it to the some of us that he thinks need it the most.


You can see how well that worked when you look at the crumbled infrastructure of communist-era Russia. Man, a profit-driven animal, probably silly enough to want to support his own family, watered down the concrete and sold some on the side. “To each according to his needs. From each according to his abilities,” said Karl Marx, the other Marx brother.


The most amazing thing about all this is us. We just let these things slide, as if they were okay. We don’t seem to get that we could change things with our votes. We seem to vote for the person who promises us the most instead of working toward substantive change. We actually fall for justifications for such programs as Cash for Clunkers, and somehow fail to notice that responsible car owners are not the ones who get the benefits, and definitely not the economy as a whole. Just ask people who’ve been trying to buy a used car since then.


Since it’s political season again, we have another chance to swim upstream through the rhetoric, and try to figure out who should get our votes.


Do we want a country that stands for personal responsibility, or do we want to stand in line for gifts from hard working taxpayers?


Do we want a country that stands for inclusion and unity, or do we want to be bilingual and live with intolerance and hatred?


Do we want to stand for following our own immigration laws, or do we want to selectively violate them in the misguided notion that this is “kind?”


Do we want to be respected, independent and a role model for the world, or do we want to wander around, hedonistic and narcissistic, worshipping physical beauty and celebrity, and demanding instant gratification?


Think about it, and vote. And good luck. We’re going to need it.


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