A Journalist's Archive

By Kathy Hare

DESPERATELY WANTED: A NEW COUNTRY. One where the “needs of the many” do not outweigh the “rights of individual.” One where the U.S. Constitution is more than a historic document. Climate: unimportant. Location: limited to earth. Willing to relocate. 

          I’m writing this column the day after the “historic healthcare vote.” Perhaps that’s the one point all Americans can agree upon, it certainly was a historic day. While half the nation applauded passage of the Health Care Reform Bill as a giant step forward, others, including myself, viewed the legislation as a modern-day crossing of the Rubicon. And if history is any indication - there’s no turning back! On March 21, the United States Congress passed a bill ordering its citizens to purchase a product for “our own good.”

The fore mentioned Rubicon isn’t about health insurance; it’s a philosophical divide between those who believe free enterprise and personal freedom go hand and hand, and those who don’t. Now I’m not naive, Americans began losing control of their production many years ago. Ironically, the biggest   threat to the free enterprise system occurred during the Civil War. While the intentions of the war were moral, the means to its end was not. When Lincoln needed more revenue to fund the war effort, he imposed a “temporary” progressive income tax, in spite of there being no provision in the Constitution for such a tax. People earning between $600 and $10,000 were taxed at 3 percent, those with incomes higher than $10,000 paid a higher rate. It wasn’t a difficult to implement the tax. The average Union soldier was making $13 a month, and workers in new shoe factories only brought home $12 a month, therefore, most voters never had to pay the tax.

Sound familiar? It should, 50 percent of American workers pay no income tax. That’s right – “workers!” So add to that number to the people who have mental or physical disabilities that keep them from working, along with the number of freeloaders that political correctness forbids me to mention, and it’s no wonder a vocal minority is shouting. Hey, maybe it’s the same minority who’s expected to pay for the latest entitlement!

After the Civil War the income tax was discontinued. But during the next national emergency it was reinstated, that scene played out a number of times until finally the screams of “unconstitutional” coming from people who could read the document were silenced by the passage of the 16th Amendment.

Read its text, and maybe you can understand why some people believe our “free nation” actually died in 1913. “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

 The next crisis, the Great Depression, demand a fix via the social security. And after all, only a callous, uncaring person would deny their aging relatives “security.” Yet, there’s no evidence elderly people died of starvation in the streets of America before the advent of that system.

Then President Johnson’s “Great Society” transformed food stamps and out-of-wedlock children into badges of honor. I know that sounds harsh, but the “Great Society” did more to destroy the family unit than any other social engineering program since slavery. Fathers became an impediment to receiving welfare; so they became superfluous. People think there is nothing worse than hunger, but I doubt generations of children raised without a father, as a role model for how the other half of the human species functions, would agree.    


Now judging by the crowds gathered outside the Capitol Building on March 21, I’m probably not the only person more than a little ticked-off at the direct the government is moving. I wasn’t born into totally socialistic society, and I don’t want to live in one now. This nation was founded by the most intelligent people to ever walk the earth. People who knew that “he who controls your wealth controls your life.” They witnessed the tyranny of monarchs, religious organizations, and political systems. So what happened? What made us forget the world they fled in order to create “a more perfect union?” Human nature happened. Be it kings, queens, democrats or republicans, people have always been willing to take what others produce.

But this time around, the political machine has crossed a philosophical line that no compromise can bridge.  Americans can’t even fake it anymore. With the passage of the Health Care Reform bill, it’s difficult to find any difference between our government and social democracies such as Germany, France or the Netherlands. And if the government continues to steal from the rich to feed the poor, the United States may soon a third world nation.

A myth is sustainable for a long time. Especially if there is a shred of evidence it might be true. So like many others, I foolishly clung to my self-righteousness – “at least I don’t live in a country with socialized medicine.” Well now it has a pretty name, “Health Care Reform,” but with a “mandatory tag” it’s impossible to label it as anything other than “government health care.” Current health insurance policies normally purchased by the self-employed because a higher deductible equals less expensive premiums aren’t quite good enough for the Obamacare system. So even if you have cash to pay for everyday illnesses, and only want “catastrophic insurance coverage,” the government says “it’s in your best interest to buy an “all-inclusive” health care policy, and if you don’t you will be fined.”   

Furthermore, European health care systems offered many “private alternatives” when socialized medicine was first introduced. In Ireland, 12 private health insurers offered coverage.  But within a few years insurance companies grew tired of jumping through governmental hoops to receive reimbursed, so they left Ireland. Now only one “private” insurer remains to cover the needs of all those too rich to receive an outright gift of free medical care.  Expect the same thing to happen here.  That’s why President Obama, who spent the last few years vilifying the insurance industry, is willing to hand them 32 million new clients. He knows they’ll be pushed out soon, right now we’re in his “just tweaking the system folks,” phase.

 Now some of my more optimistic compatriots are pinning their hopes on November 2. They think they can send a message to Congress that might alter the course of history. But I doubt it, pinning any hope on the short-term memory of the American public is problematic. Another crisis will arise, and enough stimulus checks will be issued to keep voters marching in step.

As countless illegal immigrants flooded this country over the years, I often questioned why they didn’t try to change the corrupt system of government that made it impossible for them to earn a living at home. Now I understand. We only have a finite time on earth, and if another country offers you an opportunity to succeed, you’ll be a fool not cross the border.

Unfortunately, no reply to my “Wanted” advertisement is forthcoming; therefore, I’m forced to   join in the fray. At least 47 percent of the population doesn’t want the government to own their banks, industries, or health care system; it’s time to come up with solutions of our own. Just like our forefathers did when faced with tyranny.  A lawsuit challenging the legality of the bill has been filed on the behalf of eleven states: Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

But even if it’s successful, another attack on those who produce is sure to follow. Therefore, I purpose setting aside a few states where people can live without any social safety nets other than the kindness of their neighbor. Come on – I know half of you would love to rid this country of malcontents who believe in such nonsense as “individual rights.” Think of the passionate society possible, minus voters who believe they have a right to keep and spend their income in whatever manner they choose. I think I could even sway others to pretend we are still part United States, as long as the IRS never steps foot in the territory. That would save face for a country that once called itself “the beacon of freedom for the entire world.”

Short of that, the only other option is an old fashion Tea Party. But this time around the motto is: “no taxation without the entire population’s participation.” Maybe, just maybe, that will put an end to a world where entitlements look good because someone else is paying the piper.

First published in The New Falcon Herald
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