Friday, June 03, 2011

Mitt Romney officially announced his candidacy today. He gave a good speech, but his interview on Sean Hannity's program was better. He has taken the Romneycare issue head on. It requires an explanation because it has been distorted by the Dems, the media and conservative critics of Obamacare. By doing so he has made it clear that the nation's health care is a matter for the states, not the Federal Government, and further, that the problem that lead to the Massachusetts law, namely free-riders (people who could have purchased health insurance, but didn't) gaming the system with the knowledge that if they show up, hospitals and doctors have to treat them, will still be with us. Romney made it clear that he will do all he can to repeal Obamacare because it's unsound constitutionally and packed with taxes and regulation that will hurt the recovery and the economy going forward.

Hugh Hewitt provides a more detailed argument distinguishing the two plans and explaining federalism and the fact that the states possess police powers that the Feds do not.

Romney's problem is that stuff like that makes peoples' eyes glaze over, which makes the issue easy to demagogue, but all GOP candidates will have to answer this issue if they support Rep. Ryan's budget. It's not a matter of destroying Medicare. It's a way of replacing it with something that has a chance of providing the elderly with a safety net in the future. In essence, it's a proposal for returning us all to responsibility for our own support and expenses. That should really be the broader goal for reforming all entitlements. Caring for the indigent is a moral responsibility for society, but not for government bureaucracies. It should be done through individual acts of service and voluntary contributions rather than by coercive measures like taxing an redistributing. The latter benefits both the giver and the recipient and helps put the poor on the path to self-sufficiency. The former makes them dependents of the state and gives them a legal claim on the taxes paid by others, hence the name "entitlements." None of us is entitled to anything. The air, earth and water and the miracle of plant and animal life that provides food for us, are all gifts from God for which we should be grateful and not as personal entitlements. In essence, we are all beggars before God and have no right to withhold his blessing from the needy. Our lives are stewardships and should be so considered.

Medicare is broke and will be gutted by Obamacare. That is the main point that the right must get through to everybody. Obama takes $500 billion out of medicare and then claims to put it back twice, which can't be good for my generation. It's not a matter of the right wishing to take away Medicare from the elderly. That's already going to happen even under Obamacare. It's a matter of reforming the system so that there will still be a program out there in the future. The Dems seem to be counting on getting to the point where it just won't work anymore and then raising taxes as an emergency. Don't let them.

Ryan's approach is a matter of revising the program in a way to keep it functioning. Romney would turn it over to the states to manage as they see fit, but I'd like to know more details. I'm sure those will come forth in the next year. I would prefer it to be dropped slowly, but as people are not perfect, I doubt that will happen, Hippocratic oath and all.

I support Romney because I think he, of all the choices has the training and experience to solve our dilemma not merely by cutting spending, but by selecting the cutting in order to improve efficiency and eliminate waste, and also by changing policies in a way that will help our economy recover and become productive and dynamic once again. We have priced ourselves out of world markets with our welfare state mentality and lost our competitive edge as our schools fail in their primary mission and turn to indoctrination in socialism and environmentalism.

Our society will be judged by how we treat the poor, but in the end, it's more of an individual judgment than a collective one. We will be blessed with prosperity or have God's blessings withdrawn to the extent we choose to live morally. Babylon, the world's materialism and greed, selfishness, and luxuries will fall and be destroyed, and the system of world trade will collapse to the great chagrin of those who profit by it. Those who put their trust in it will be left to mourn and weep when it fails.


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