Thursday, April 14, 2011

Do we want America to be a good country, or do we want it to be a great country?


Do we want to live in a good country, or do we want to live in a great country?  Right now we are living in a mediocre country.  A great country takes care of its own.  Citizens in a great country recognize that they wouldn’t be there without the state itself.  Conservatives never seem to grasp that principle…that sense of community.  They want to rule on ideology and fail to see the human element.  They are busy trying to push their agenda no matter the costs; cut, cut, cut.

Spending and the deficit are related.  Nobody is trying to dispute this, but they are different discussions.  Conservatives are going to have to start getting used to the idea that the Affordable Health Care Act is here because it addresses inflation and the rising costs of health care.  Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan does not.  That was what health reform was all about; that is why there was an initiative for a federal approach.

Ryan does not address rising health costs.  “Obamacare” was instituted to reign in rising health costs.  Insurance companies are treating age like it’s a preexisting condition.  Simply put, there were no affordable private options.  The market failed to supply this.  Reform was the only way to bring down the rising costs of health care.  The new health care ultimately ends up saving costs.

“The facts have a liberal bias.” – Rachel Maddow, msnbc

The basic difference in liberal and conservative ideology is this:  Liberals believe in the people to make decisions; conservatives believe in the elite few to make our decisions.  This isn’t bias on my end.  You would be hard pressed to find a true conservative that doesn’t agree with that statement.

Again, do we want to be good or great?  A great nation guarantees certain rights.  A great nation recognizes when another state needs help and offers it.  Foreign aid only represents 1% of our budget.  As our president asks, how come other countries can recognize this and thrive and we cannot?  Why can’t we restore the “American Dream” and at the same time reduce the deficit?  We used to be that country.

50 million American’s would have to lose their health care under the Ryan plan.  How is this acceptable?  How can we think it is ok to give out vouchers, a shrinking benefit for a rising cost, and expect seniors and the disabled to be able to afford a suitable, private option?  We can’t afford Medicare but we can afford $1T in tax breaks for the wealthy?

The bottom 90% of earners income declined while the top 1% saw income rise to more than $250k each over the last decade.  President Obama rightfully asks, “That’s who needs to pay less taxes??”
These tax cuts are being paid for by the seniors.  President Obama states that “we don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit our investment in our people and our country.”   

We don’t have to sacrifice the America we believe in.
The president’s plan is to lower health care spending by lowering the cost of health care itself.  Ryan wants seniors to pay, and as stated earlier, Ryan’s plan doesn't even address rising health care costs.  The president reminds us that his reforms to Medicare and Medicaid will strengthen them and will let us keep a commitment to the citizens.  It will also save us $500B by 2023 and another $1T in the decade after that.  By improving 
Medicare, we will keep costs down.

The president tells us that we don’t have to give up a lot, just a little, to achieve community and good citizenship.  We need to rebuild and restore by investing in ourselves.  The tax burden for the wealthiest is at its lowest level in half a decade.  Rep Robert Andrews (NY-D) asks, “How do you borrow $1T from the Chinese to lower taxes for wealthy people and raise health care costs for seniors by getting rid of Medicare?”  Ryan’s plan would call on seniors to pay an additional $6K a year. 

Does this make us great country?  

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