So I've had a few questions---Marla, no comment on the election? You're usually so vocal? What happened? Well, I was in Disney World folks with limited access to email and the web. However, I suppose I shouldn't disappoint my friends who appear to be interested or at least tolerant of my opinions so I shall attempt to opine about this election.
I will go on the record and say I voted for McCain. He lost. I wasn't surprised. It isn't that I don't like Obama, I do. I think he will make a solid President. My concern is the runaway train the Democrats in/or recently elected to office are on. I am not sure when running roughshod over "rich" people became policy, especially since the latest rumor is that anyone who makes more than $100, 000 is now considered "uberwealthy" by Democrats. I am not sure when income redistribution became the only way to fix America's problems. I don't quite understand why conservative people are considered little better than the anti-Christ by the media. Apparently the airwaves are now "too conservative" so our freedom of speech is now in jeopardy, because it isn't left enough.
Our country currently has a love affair with entitlements--social security, education, etc. While I am not against these things in theory, I am concerned about the fact that these programs have created a sense of "my government owes me" among people in general. Your government doesn't owe you anything except protection from invasion and your rights as protected by the Constitution (you know haebeus corpus, freedom of religion, and so forth).
I am concerned that there are people out there who think Obama is going to make the government pay the house payment, send their kid to college, and put gas in the car. He is going to do none of those things. Even if he could, Obama never said that, and I dare say he doesn't believe that he should do any of those things. While Obama does have policy ideas that make me shake my head, I think he fundamentally believes in personal responsibility and personal freedom. But I am not sure exactly how Obama plans to reconcile a massive plan of redistribution of wealth with beliefs in personal responsibility. Having Joe Biden go on the record and call those of us opposed to their potential policies unpatriotic was not the best way to start.
So how do I feel about the election? Buy real estate, work for barter or trade, and hide your cash in your mattress otherwise what the stock market hasn't taken, this heavily Democratic Congress will. Do I think the country is going to fall apart? No. Do I think my rights are in danger? No. Do I think my country is in danger? Not more than it has been since 9/11. Do I think we are in danger of losing our capitalist society? We are flirting dangerously with some socialist ideas and anyone who thinks socialism really works should talk to a regular Joe from Canada or Europe. Do I think our health care system is going to be reformed? No. But we might lose a slew of really good doctors to income redistribution in the guise of payroll taxes, runaway malpractice insurance premiums, bigger cuts in the pitiful excuse for insurance reimbursement that already exists, and mandated health care policies that are made by people who don't provide health care.
On a totally different note (in other words, besides my pocketbook concerns), I am not unaffected by the historical significance of this election. I am elated that my country elected our first African-American President. "Never in my lifetime did I think it would happen," has been said over and over by people of my parent's generation. And let's not forget that Obama's biggest opponent in the primary was a female Senator! And the VP on the Republican ticket was a female Governor. On the congressional front, according to data provided by CAWP of Rutgers (www.cawp.rutgers.edu), there will be 17 female Senators (a new record), 74 females in the House of Representatives, and one new female Governor (taking the total to 8). These numbers are not insignificant. Maybe someday the numbers will be even more encouraging (like 25 female senators, 217 female representatives, and 25 female governors).
Where exactly am I then? Well, I am waiting and seeing just like everybody else. Regardless of the state of the economy and the future of tax policy, I remain extremely hopeful and I have full confidence in our leaders. At the end of the day, we're all Americans. United we stand and divided we fall. I realize those are tired words at this point in the election cycle, but they are still true. As a nation, we cannot afford to cut off our nose to spite our face. My only request to those who have been elected, get over it (whether you won or lost a majority), and get on with governing.
And while you're at it, I have this ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) issue I need to speak with you about on therapy caps for services in part B of medicare....