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Friday, June 14, 2013
At first when I read Andy Schmookler’s commentary, “Fighting only for resistance’s sake,” in my June 9 Roanoke Times, I thought it was a joke.
On further reflection, what concerns me is that he seriously believes what he wrote. We who are deemed conservative and tagged with other labels resist by communicating our concerns about our government’s actions to our elected representatives out of real concern about how our tax money is used.
We have no interest in demeaning anyone of either political party who truly represents our interests in their legislative endeavors. Conservatives support good ideas put forth by our legislators. What conservatives do not support is bad legislation even when the idea behind that legislation is well-intentioned.
For example, Obamacare can be a good thing, but as conservatives see it, a good idea has gone bad. Implementation and management of Obamacare will add untold thousands of people to our government payroll at an ongoing cost of billions of dollars a year. None of these new government employees will so much as apply a Band-Aid to a skinned knee during working hours. So far, Obamacare-promulgated regulations exceed 10,000 pages and counting.
For all of what this bulging new bureaucracy may cost over time to operate, none of those millions and billions spent on administration will provide anyone actual medical care. Is it any wonder those of us with any common sense will make our voices heard when a good idea becomes such bad law?
Blame who you will for gridlock in Congress, but keep in mind that it takes both houses of Congress to pass a bill. As it now stands, bills passed in the Republican-controlled House are rarely presented for debate in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. Absent rational debate in both houses of Congress, no bill, good, bad or indifferent, can be passed, and gridlock results. Elected representatives in both houses of Congress often use the terms bipartisan and compromise, but apparently do not legislate in the spirit of those terms. Look to your representatives in Congress, not us conservatives, as obstructing needed legislation.
Recently, a gun control bill failed in Congress because it was a knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy and because it was an unnecessary piece of legislation. Gun laws are more effectively enforced at a local level, and all states already have gun control laws. Regardless of how strict laws regarding gun ownership are, they will not prevent such tragedies in the future. Society’s criminal element and social aberrants could not care less about gun laws. These mayhem-minded people can take you out with a pressure cooker if they so desire.
Our economy collapsed five years ago because the overblown subprime mortgage market imploded when economic growth slowed down and our banking system crashed. Subprime loans that crashed the system were originally strong-armed on banks by two powerful elected Democrats.
Recovery from this collapse is slow because we have become a consumer economy, which produces little real wealth in comparison to a manufacturing-driven economy. Unless restrictive environmental laws that hamper growth of manufacturing and tax rates for manufacturers are revised, we will never again see significant economic or employment growth in this country. Democrats oppose any initiatives to ease unnecessary environmental restrictions on manufacturing or reform our tax code.
When it comes to government spending, keep in mind the Democratic-controlled Senate only recently narrowly passed a budget, the first since 2009.
This Senate budget offset a large chunk of continued deficit spending by raising taxes on the rich, a non-starter with Republicans. The House budget mandated deeper spending cuts and required no tax increases, a non-starter with Democrats. You think this continuing political wrangling over things like the sequester and debt ceiling might be resolvable if there were a proposed budget both houses of Congress could debate and compromise on?
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