Our Government, Which Art in Washington, Hallowed be Thy Legislation…
by Dan Vander Ark
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I don’t know, maybe its time for the peasants to pick up the pitchforks.
Why do I say that? Because our government seems to be so sorely out of touch with Mr. & Mrs. Average American.
The professional politicians enact law after law and program after program. And yet if they ran a Fortune 500 company the way they run the government; it would soon make the Fortune-less 500 listing.
The same accounting practices that got Ken Lay and Bernie Madoff in deep legal trouble with the Feds are being practiced by Congress at this very hour.
We’ve taken a sledge hammer to our grandchildren’s piggy banks. You don’t have to be an Old Testament prophet to see that our spending and national debt is simply unsustainable.
And yet “We The People”, the ones who work hard, pay the bills on time, live within our means, fix up our houses, and don’t expect a handout every time something bad happens, are viewed as incapable of knowing what is best for our country. “We The People” are thought of by Washington and Hollywood as “Fly-Over Country” -- that great center of the nation sometimes so disdained by politicians from the east and performers from the west. Fly-Over Country to them is “Hicktown USA.”
When the healthcare bill passed last March I called my mom. She’s 84 years old and grew up during the Great Depression. Both my mom and I were pretty disappointed the way that things had gone with the vote on that 2,000 plus page bill. When the chips were down, Congressman Stupak of Michigan folded like a tent and his Pro-Life stand didn’t prove to be much of a stand after all.
I mentioned to someone how disappointed I was that the bill had passed. The reply? “Well, at least it’s moving.” (The “it” they referred to was the decades-long legislative battle of trying to enact national healthcare.)
It’s moving alright. It’s a ginormous boulder of economic ruin gathering steam as it rolls downhill directly toward my children’s and grandchildren’s future.
Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand that something has to be done about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare. I have worked for 20 years in the supply chain operations department of a large healthcare facility and see the rising costs. Something has to be done. But that “something” is not to nationalize healthcare. When has a federal program ever brought down the cost of anything? The government is collecting 10 years of taxes to pay for 7 years of the program – and they say it’s going to lower the cost of healthcare? There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as free healthcare…somebody somewhere has to pay for it.
To paraphrase William Kristol, "This legislation puts the government in the driver’s seat of a giant, poorly-constructed bus in which we are simply helpless passengers.”
Matthew Continetti wrote this, “The people voiced their opposition in rambunctious town hall meetings and at a massive march on Washington in early September (2009). (But) they were mocked and vilified for their efforts.”
No wonder the Tea Party political phenomenon has taken the country by storm and astonished the Washington insiders.
It is my belief that in 10-20 years we will look back at the good old days of 2010 Healthcare. We definitely have some things to fix but let’s not vilify all of healthcare for political gain. The advances being made today in medicine are incredible. A few months ago one of my coworkers was helping with the supply chain process in the Special Procedure’s lab (where they put in stents and coils and do other amazing feats). He emailed and said he was watching on a monitor as they were shooting glue into a guy’s brain to stop an aneurysm. I probably didn’t put that in the correct medical terminology, but wow, what incredible progress is being made in medicine today!
And all we do is complain because we have to sit for an extra 30 minutes in the waiting room. Go on a trip next summer with my boss’s boss to Cameroon (West Africa) and have a good look at their healthcare. If you do, I bet the next time you visit your doctor here in the states you’ll give him or her a big hug!
Here’s my really rough plan on how to improve healthcare:
1. If you lay around watching TV and eating Doritos all day you pay a higher premium.
2. If you exercise and get a physical and eat well you pay a lower premium.
3. Require ALL elected officials and federal employees to have the same health care plan we have.
4. Health insurance is only used for big stuff, otherwise its pay as you go (I don’t have car insurance so that it will pay for my headlights or battery to be replaced).
5. Instead of wasting a trillion dollars on a stimulus package, just give every American family $10,000.00 – they then choose either to spend it or put it away for healthcare needs. If they blow it on other stuff, they then have to pay their medical costs out of their own pocket.
Did you know that the healthcare legislation passed this spring, which is perhaps the greatest loss of freedom enacted by our government, was signed into law on the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death speech?”
Congressman Jim Jordan articulated America’s wonderful place in history so well, “Every other country started with a top-down model…God gave power to the elite, to the kings and the queen…and (finally) it trickled down to ‘we the people.’ In America we said, ‘No. It's different. God gave power and fundamental rights and liberties to 'we the people.’ We started with a bottom-up model. We started with a ‘we the people’ model as our Constitution goes. That is so unique. No other country has started on that premise and it's that premise that makes us special…” (From www.aproundtable.org)
There is an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through our backbone. We want small government and we want to be left alone. We don’t want to contact the government to find out if we can cut down a tree on our property. We want freedom, not a soft tyranny of endless regulations. To quote from Lady Libertas, “The American People have the DNA of Liberty in their veins.”
That is why I found it so appalling when I received the American Community Survey this past spring and found out that I could be fined up to $5,000.00 for not answering such questions as, “What time do you leave for work in the morning?”
My mom and dad worked really hard and never expected Uncle Sam to bail them out when life got tough. My mom related how my grandfather would rant (in his very colorful language) about Roosevelt’s government give-aways and how it was going to ruin the nation. And just like my grandfather, my parents weren’t in favor of government give-aways either. Neither my mom nor my dad had a college education. And yet their common sense far exceeded the college sense of most Washingtonians.
And they pretty much believed in “The Ten Cannots” of Abraham Lincoln:
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich (socialism is just trickle up poverty)
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred
You cannot establish security on borrowed money
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves
Doesn’t it just make good sense to:
1. Require legislators to have actually had a real job.
2. Require legislators to live under the same laws they enact
3. Require that each wasted tax dollar means one dollar less in the legislator’s paycheck (Brian Darling wrote an article titled, “I See Dead People and They Have Stimulus Checks.” I think that’s such a neat title)
4. Reward hard work.
5. Require that the government should support the nuclear family (fatherlessness is a BIG problem in America today…remember to pray for kids who don’t have their dads around)
6. Give unemployment bennies for one year at the most – then require that people have to get some sort of a job, even if it’s sweeping out parking lots or doing the highway clean up thing (I have a four year college degree and both my wife and I, when things got tough financially, washed dishes, cleaned houses and delivered phone books to make ends meet).
7. Require those that have a job that is being subsidized by Uncle Sam to be to work on time or it’s a $100.00 fine every time they are late. Laziness is not a medical condition.
Big Government has become Big Unsustainable Government. One of the cable news channels showed people lined up by the 100’s when they heard that some government program was giving out money. Said one of the people in line, “I came for some of that free Government money!”
Our coins have the inscription, “In God We Trust.” But do we?
Sometimes the Lord’s Prayer becomes:
Our Government which art in Washington
Hallowed be Thy Legislation
Thy Great Society come
Thy Bills be done
In Fly-Over Country as they are on Pennsylvania Avenue
Give us each day our tiny tax breaks
And forgive us our tax debts the same way that you forgave the Secretary of the Treasury
And lead us not into the temptation of thinking that what we work hard for all of our lives is actually ours
But deliver us from those evil Tea Party people
For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory and our 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights and our Property Rights and our Freedom of Speech and so on and so forth.
I don’t really think its time for the peasants to pick up the pitchforks. But I do believe its time for us to be on our knees in prayer for this wonderful country. (Besides – there’s a lot more power in prayer than in pitchforks.)
Both my wife and I served in the military and we both deeply love this nation. No matter where I am at or what I am doing, when I hear our National Anthem sung or I see the flag waving or pass by in a parade I get a lump in my throat.
I am forever indebted to those who have given their lives for America.
This is the land where heroes are born. You know, heroes like my mom and dad and your mom and dad.
Pray that revival would sweep throughout our land from sea to shining sea.
Ask for a tremendous compassion for the poor and the less fortunate.
Find a way to carry out a “Random Act of Kindness” on one of your neighbors.
And Vote November 2nd
Dan Vander Ark
All Rights Reserved
America The Beautiful (by Katherine Lee Bates)
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
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