Quote of the week: "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while Congress is in session" - Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
The House of Representatives adjourned for the year on Wednesday night. So, as Samuel Clemens so aptly stated, your property and freedom are safe until January 12th, 2010. You all know that the Senate is still wrestling with their Health Care Bill. Thus far, the absence of the government run part is a good thing, laregely because it is therefore unlikely to lead to full-blown socialized medicine. That's why Howard Dean and other unabashed socialized medicine advocates are now against the bill. But the bill still stinks because it will raise taxes and costs on every single American who currently has health insurance in order to create a new expensive bureaucracy in an attempt to insure the uninsured. If this bill were to pass, it would not surprise me if health insurance costs rise by about 30% on everyone because of the resulting taxes on insurance policies, new mandated coverage's, and expanded costs. I just don't see how the President and the Democrats believe that this will help people or the economy.
But Congress' other Christmas present to you is truly a lump of coal. On the very last day of this first session of the 111th Congress, 4 bills were passed that together borrowed or spent $1.1 Trillion. Let me repeat that, on Wednesday, the House passed 4 bills spending or borrowing $1.1 TRILLION IN ONE SINGLE DAY! If you do the math, it means that the House spent or borrowed about $9,400 per household in one day. One more time, House Democrats spent or borrowed $9,400 of money from your family IN ONE DAY! This lunacy included borrowing $300 billion which will only get us through early February's deficit; $150 billion of entirely new spending for Stimulus II, and a huge Defense spending bill. This is part of the reason that the national debt, which stood at $8.671 trillion on January 4, 2007 when Nancy Pelosi took the gavel as Speaker of the House, is now $12.129 trillion (as of December 16, 2009). That's a nearly 40% increase since only 2007!
This is absolutely unsustainable. You can't raise taxes enough to cover it and everyone knows it. You can't keep borrowing this much money without ruining the credit of the U.S. Treasury and hurting the value of the dollar and everyone knows this as well. And of course, this disastrous, unsustainable spending doesn't yet include anything from the health care bill, global warming (where we supposedly are offering to give billions to underdeveloped countries where people don't have enough to eat so they can reduce their carbon footprint rather than feed their people), or the surge in Afghanistan. I obviously don 't agree with the President and the Democratic leadership on much these days. But they won't even talk about stopping this or work towards finding a solution. That's not just bad policy; it's an abandonment of responsibility.
Congress temporarily extended a number of things until the end of February including the limit on how much can be borrowed, the Patriot Act, the FAA, Transportation funding, and various other things. They will also allow the death tax to temporarily end on January 1st as a result of their inaction. They basically punted on all of these issues because they are singularly obsessed with socializing medicine, and that obsession has used up the entire calendar. This, plus whatever happens to health care and the financial regulation bill will make for an interesting and busy February.
This all sounds pretty depressing, and I certainly get down myself at times. But this is STILL the greatest nation God ever put on earth. We are STILL the beacon of hope and liberty in the world. And we are STILL an exceptional nation, in spite of our President's views to the contrary. The fact that I can say what I just said is evidence of a freedom that most of the people in the world do not enjoy, even in today's modern age. Winston Churchill once said that democracy was the worst form of government ever devised......except for all the others that have been tried from time to time. He was right. Democracy is far from perfect. Your representatives, including and especially this one, are far from perfect. We don't always do what the people want. But when we don't, the people will elect someone who will. Don't give up. Instead standup! Don't despair, instead, thank the Lord for the brilliance of our founders and the privilege we have to be Americans.
May all the readers of this missive, liberal and conservative, independent and libertarian embrace one another for just a few days as we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. May we thank Him for His gifts to us. And may God bless us......each and every one of us.
Until we rejoin the fight next year (those liberal-conservative hugs can't last too long), Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and the most prosperous of New Years.
I remain respectfully,