Friday, October 4, 2013

Government's Constitutionally Defined Function

National Security Should Be the Overriding Priority

The Hiroshima Prefecture Hall of Industry near the site of the world's first atomic bomb attack on a populated city...

The government shutdown, in my mind has created an overwhelming argument for keeping the government totally out of healthcare management. Consider this, if Harry Reid has no problem denying cancer patients access to possibly lifesaving trials in order to keep the bad old conservatives from scuttling the "Affordable Care Act" with it's religious liberty offending contraception mandate and it's generally liberty offending individual mandate; what is to keep future conservative administrations from shutting everything down in order to remove all abortion? Now personally, I would love to see abortion removed from our healthcare system as my view is that the procedure is killing an unborn person. I would also love to see people of faith free to exercise their conscience in choosing heathcare and insurance. Still, if you are pro-choice, I hope you can see the logic of my argument. In a pluralistic society government solutions are often cumbersome one-size-fits-all solutions that are at best is a poor fit. At their worst they violate basic liberties in a way that a free people should not be willing to accept. Whoever you see as to blame for the current shutdown, it makes sense to consider the weakness of mandatory public systems in that they never operate in a moral vacuum. They will always be potential political pawns. This argument alone begs the abandonment of the "Affordable Care Act."

Single-payer systems, which the "Affordable Care Act" obviously creates a structural framework for, work better in fairly homogenous small nations such as those in Europe. They are still quite controversial. Tourists rejoice that they get treatment for a few dollars while elderly residents of the country report waiting years for such things as artificial hips. The wealthy leave the country and purchase care where a "private option" exists. The poor simply wait. Government certainly may have a legitimate roll as the safety net of last resort and no one would argue against its underwriting the new technology in hospitals, but government has no role in a person's personal healthcare decisions. Whatever role you see for the state, it works better as a supporter of other institutions and worse as a direct agent in people's lives. This week's issue of THYME [click to read] has more thoughts on this controversial healthcare bill that many feel was pushed through to law in defiance of strong and well-reasoned opposition.

Congress does have a Constitutionally mandated duty to originate and authorize spending. They have exercised this responsibility by crafting legislation to fund essential spending on a case by case basis. A return to this level of budgeting might just do wonders in reducing waste and redundancy in government spending.  Hopefully the civics lesson sprung upon us will not be in vain. Scores of companies have already requested (and received) exemption from the corporate mandate. Others are switching large numbers of employees to part-time status to avoid it. The President's "Signature Piece of Legislation" still leaves thousands uninsured while driving up costs for people like myself who have to purchase individual policies. It is time to put this Constitutionally questionable boondoggle out to pasture and create real solutions at the point of actual need.

Our government has another clear function, and that is the defense of our nation. Earlier this week Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu [click to read] was doing our own President's job for him. In addressing the UN he clearly and concisely detailed the very real threat of Hassan Rouhani's soothing rhetoric diverting our attention from Iran's yellow-cake and heavy water production efforts. Mr. Netanyahu pointed out the fact that Iran is now developing long-range ICBMs similar to the ones the US and the Soviet Union possessed in the 1960's.

I respectfully suggest that the President show some firmness to our nation's real enemies outside our borders and embrace honest discussion from the citizens within. Allow the government to be funded, as Congress is empowered to do, and work with all Americans to create targeted and reasonable solutions to the problems that face us.

...The U. S. Capitol, soon within range of Iranian missiles?

What's Happened to America? [click to listen]. Here is a very interesting and informative podcast from Donna Lou Shickel. This is the first of a series broadcast on her program: A Place of Grace.

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