Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I’m in a particularly poor mood today.  I see that Mr. Reid is hell bent on getting his disastrous power grab bill to the Senate Floor this weekend.  I see that Olympia Snow is willing (again) to sell her soul and to sell out her constituents just to grab a little power in exchange for a vote.  It makes me wonder why our elected officials seem unwilling to take on the important issues of the day but have lots of time to play politics.  Apologies in advance if this post is a bit less civil than my usual.

Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Pretend you are a Member of Congress, or a Senator, or the President.  There are lots of important issues for you to consider.

Quick.  Chose one of the following and make it priority 1 (one).  Once you have that, pick number 2 (two), then 3 (three) and so forth.

Education Reform

Energy Supply and Self Sufficiency

Economy – jobs

National Security

National Debt

Healthcare Reform

Environmental Policy

National Basketball League Salaries

Race Relations

National Infrastructure issues

Communications security

Where does Healthcare reform fall on your list?

Now tell me if Congress and the President have their priorities right.  Below are a few comments on some of the issues our government is concerned with today:

Health Care Reform – proposed cost (most analysts say this is VERY optimistic) $100 Billion per year more than now ($420 Billion for Medicare, $216 Billion for Medicaid) and will cover an additional 20 to 30 million people.

Medicare currently covers about 35 million people for an annual budget of about $420 Billion.  that means we spend about $12,000 per person covered.  That also means we are being asked to believe that a government healthcare option will cover 30 Million people for around $100 Billion a year, less than one third what the government pays now for each person covered by Medicare or $3,350 per person per year.

Energy Research and Development – Current Energy Department Budget is around $25 Billion total.  Does this mean that our government, for all its protests about gaining energy self-sufficiency, is about 30 times as concerned about health care as it is about energy (read ‘or about the economy’)?

Jobs were supposed to be created by injecting a Trillion dollars into our economy via the Recovery Act.  It looks to me like some of that money could have better been used to hire some people to run the Recovery.Gov website who could read and write.

Our National Debt is now in the ballpark of $12 Trillion.  That is just shy of our Gross Domestic Product of $14 Trillion.  Borrowing and spending at the rate of the first 10 months of the current government indicates a doubling of our National Debt in the next 5 to 7 years.  Does this not trouble Congress or the White House, or You?  How are you going to pay the $40,000 that you owe?  Or the $40,000 that your wife owes?  Of the $40,000 for each of your kids?

Are you as concerned about the Environment as our Congress?  When was the last time you heard anything come out of Washington about the safety of our water supply?  Our food supply?  How about Air Polution?  Do these things have anything to do with the health of our population?  Are they addressed in our ‘Health Care Reform” legislation which is pending?

What about National Security?  Are we more or less likely to suffer another 9-11 type attack today than we have been over the past half dozen years?  Are you at all concerned about the Taliban taking over Pakistan or at least gaining access to one of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons?  I am.  Does it make sense that the President is doing nothing to lead our armed forces and diplomatic service to resolve this problem?  For a candidate who said his predecessor was doing everything wrong (and was not concentrating on Afghanistan which was the war we should be fighting), to be 10+ months into his Presidency and to have done nothing to indicate he wants to lead us in this vital area strikes me as either cowardice or incompetence.

Education is a hot topic.  Are we losing the ‘battle of the mind’ to Asian countries?  Are we ignoring our most valuable resource, our children?  Is education something that should be left to the states?  Our Congress doesn’t seem to care since it seems to only have time for health care reform legislation.  I guess they must since their leader says, “….health care is the single most important thing we can do for America’s long-term fiscal health. That is a fact. That’s a fact.”  B.H. Obama to the AMA, June, 2009

In my not-so-humble opinion, the only thing that makes Health Care rise to the top of Mr. Obama’s agenda and Mr. Reid’s and Mrs. Pelosi’s is political power.  What you think is important is unimportant to them.  Health care reform is their ticket to even more power and control.  Little things like jobs and national security will take a back seat until they have their Health Care Reform (read power).

Have you called or written to your Senators to let them know how you feel?  They need to know.