Saturday, April 23, 2011

Health Care and Social Security

In my last post, I used the figure that 70% of Americans were against the Health Care bill. Let’s not get hung up on the 70%. I heard this figure batted around conservative talk radio for a few weeks around the time of the Health Care bill being passed in February 2010. The point is that figures like this can be manipulated just about anyway that you want. Sorry, I assumed (You know what this makes me, right?) that readers understand this. I use this figure to get attention on the importance of this issue and to demonstrate that resistance to passage was as great if not greater than a number of failed bills in the past.

The point that I was attempting to make is that the Health Care bill was about as popular as it was the last time it was attempted in the early 1990’s. President Clinton backed off when he saw how unfavorable the public was receiving this potential law(s). In both cases, the Health Care bill was about as desired as the changes to Social Security was in the 1980’s and again in the early 2000’s.

My father told me back in high school (1972-1976) that Social Security would be broke before I could retire so don’t count on it for anything. If it paid out anything, you would be that much better off. It was already well known in the early 1970’s that Social Security had a dark future. The Republicans wanted to do something about this in the 1980’s. The public was solidly against any changes that were proposed. The Republicans came back to this issue in the early 2000’s and received the same response. The idea was dropped again.

In 2010, the public was against the massive Health Care bill once again. OK, lots of polling data tells us a lot of things. I watch not just Fox News. I also watch CNN, MSNBC and CNBC. I read articles written by both conservatives and liberals. (Note: I brought up a show of Rachel Maddow’s in my last post) I tend to agree with conservatives more. However, it is still obvious that the resistance to the Health Care bill of 2010 was every bit as solid as the resistance to proposed changes in Social Security (Both times) and to the resistance of the Health Care bill the first time proposed in the 1990’s. All three were dropped. In the case of the Health Care bill of 2010, the Democrats passed it anyway. President Obama signed it straight away. “This way, we will actually find out what is in the bill.”

This is NOT democracy. Our government is NOT listening to us. To use a different example: Let’s say that in 2012, Republicans score BIG. Let’s say they get massive majorities in both house and senate and an extremist in the White House. They propose a massive change to Social Security, far worse than what has been attempted the two previous times. And the public has not changed its mind and is just as firmly against change as the two times before. So the Republicans can do it anyway? Where the hell will this leave us? Our government knows better than we do, so why do we need to vote? (I recently saw a commentator on CNN talk about not allowing ‘ignorant’ people the ability to vote. A natural progression.)

You can argue about how strongly the American public was and is against the Health Care bill. You can’t argue that we were for it. The fighting going on today is one of the results. People don’t want to give in because they have seen what happened. Why the hell would you compromise on any issue after an event like this? Once again, we can thank President Obama and the Democrats for this lack of united action and the deep division within our country today.

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