Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Pete Morin News Service--Issue #29

Now that Senator Ben Nelson has capitulated and given his vote for the healthcare reform bill, it's time to take stock of where we stand as a free people living, in what we thought was, a constitutional republic.

The United States Government now controls the domestic automobile industry (with the exception of Ford), the banking industry and soon the healthcare industry. As citizens we must ask ourselves what special knowledge the government has in running the operations of these industries. What knowledge do bureaucrats have with respect to profit and loss, expenses, advertising and financial acumen that will enable them to better manage these vital services.

A little investigation, or perhaps, introspection, regarding these special attributes is in order.

1) Social Security: Since 1937 the Federal Government has concerned itself with pension security for the aged. The Social Security program so familiar to all of us today was called the FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). It was sold to the general populace as a pension program, but when its legality was questioned and came before the US Supreme Court, Roosevelt's Solicitor General was smart enough to call it simply a tax. You see, nowhere in the Constitution did the government have the authority to enact a pension program that was mandatory for the general public. As a tax, however, it fell within the purview of the 16th amendment and was acceptable as a transfer tax. Today many people believe the government has set aside a trust fund just for them to be paid out beginning between the ages of 62 and 70. The unfunded liability for the the FICA today is approximately $17.5 trillion dollars.

2) Medicare: Since 1966 the Federal Government has concerned itself with providing healthcare coverage for all citizens beginning at the age of 65. Originally, there was a debate concerning the income requirements that made one eligible for the program. Some members of Congress wanted to resrict availability to the indigent poor. This concern was eventually overcome to include all those 65 or older. The Medicare program is divided into several parts; part A, for hospitalization, part B for Outpatient services and part D for medications. Today, Medicare, all parts include, has an unfunded liability of approximately $89.3 trillion dollars.

3) Federal benifits and Pension Programs for government employees: Today, more than 20% of all government empolyees receive remuneration exceeding $100,000 dollars. This does not include pension programs, sick time, holidays and other miscellaneous paid leave or time off. Spending for the Federal budget for the fiscal year 2010 alone has increased 10%.

All of these programs were passed with good intentions and meant to insure a public against the vissitudes of an uncertain future. The result has been a debt that will be passed to our children and our children's children as far into the future as one can see. It can be said without exaggeration that, with the passing of a health reform bill, we will all be working for the government very soon. Our finances, our health our mode of transportation will be decided for us and bankruptcy is a very real possibility. In the hands of bureaucrats we now place our lives and future.

If there are any left who can understand the enormity of our predicament, I would hope they let themselves be heard before those who would be our masters have lost the ability to hear our voices. Today, truly, we are headed for a soft tyranny, but history tells us that tyranny, left unchecked, will lead to all liberties lost. This is a poor legacy indeed to leave our posterity.

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