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Some of the issues confronting us – as I see them

January 16, 2008

One caucus and three primaries down and as my keyboard is clicking, another primary is winding down. To date, has any candidate proven to us a full understanding of the issues confronting America today? Has any candidate revealed a developed strategy for dealing with those issues? By now, you know that I support Ron Paul, but I’d like to take a few moments to address some of the burning issues of the day, as I see them.

Many people feel that health care is the single greatest problem we face. I have to agree that health care is a growing problem for many of my fellow citizens. Many of us are old enough to remember when health care was provided by the family doctor, not a corporate structure intent on ever-increasing profits. Most people tend to forget that it was our government, during the Nixon Presidency which forced HMOs upon us. Turning the last vestiges of our health care system over to government bureaucracy is not the right answer. David Walker, head of the General Accounting Office has warned us of the coming economic disaster with the current “entitlement system.”  The only way to pay for our current system is we either dramatically increase tax revenue, or we make serious cuts in federal programs. Adding universal health care to the current system is a recipe for the complete collapse of our economy.

Some people live in near constant fear of another terrorist attack on our soil. They are content to watch our individual rights and liberties taken from us, one piece at a time, in the interest of security. Be very careful what you ask for. My favorite quote for this is attributed to at least four people. It goes like this: “He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither.” And remember, it’s not just about the effect on current, but also future generations.

Lower income families living from paycheck to paycheck are seeing a decline in their ability to maintain a basic standard of living. With every inflation of the currency, those living on a fixed income see their nest egg visibly shrinking. It may be true that businesses love it when the Federal Reserve (a non-Federal agency) reduces the interest rate and floods new money into the financial system, but the effects on the value of monies already in circulation hurts the common man. The inflation of our currency must stop. And why does the federal government tax tips earned by service industry employees? They tax workers on what the government estimates earnings to be – whether or not that amount is actually made. Anywhere outside the government, that would be called theft.

Our military, stretched to its limits with personnel in some 130 countries around the world, is engaged in daily combat operations in two countries. And there is a concerted effort underway to develop the rationale for neutralizing the threat posed by Iran. I realize that there are valid circumstances where military force is necessary and appropriate. However, if for other than defensive purposes, a formal Declaration of War is needed to ensure that we the people are prepared to win at all costs and disengage our troops at the earliest convenience. If we win, every member of Congress can take a bow. If we lose, every member of Congress can accept responsibility. Why do we have a Congress intent on transferring ever more power to the Executive Branch? The Presidency was never designed to reign over an empire.

Some worry that our foreign policy is financially unsustainable and morally bankrupt. On the one hand, we use money and an arms trade to prop up despotic governments while on the other, we provide weaponry and logistical support to “freedom fighters.” We have not yet learned the lessons of unintended consequences. I pray that we learn this lesson before it’s too late.

Still others worry that the market is about to collapse. Who can say what stock market will do. I’m more concerned with that $9.5 trillion debt and its impact on my children and grandchildren! It’s money and the financial mechanisms we have to fear, far more than a maniac in a cave in Afghanistan.

Add to the list above a general distrust of elected officials and their promises, and you may get the idea that the problems we face are overwhelming and there is no way to change our impending doom.

But I’m an optimist! I still live in the greatest country in the world. Yet even optimists have concerns.  However short, there is yet time to save our country for our Posterity. We are faced with some hard choices to solve the many problems that are facing us today. Those we choose to represent us in government are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. Examine each candidate with due diligence. Once you know each candidate’s positions, head to the polls and make your choice.

Until next time,
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