Friday, December 11, 2009

Thinking About Government

In light of the huge national debate on health care reform, I found a statement by Neal Boorz in his 2008 address to the graduates of Texas A&M University thought provoking. To put it in context, it was the part of his speech where he talked about individual rights as opposed to group rights. He said that Liberals care more about group rights and are driven by a group mentality, and Conservatives think more about the individual rights.

According to his assessment, it is the Liberal mindset that pushes for more government programs and assistance, which is a driving force supporting issues like health care reform.

This is part of what Boorz had to say in that noteworthy speech:

"So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal."

As the recent Tea Parties have indicated, more and more people in the United States are feeling the effects of a government overdose, and the powers in Washington have become like some huge monster that is so out of control that nobody can figure out how to rein it in. The deficit is growing by giant steps. Federal interference in states' business is on the increase. "Pork" spending and lobbying is burning up millions of dollars. And politicians are so busy being politicians, they forget the job they were sent to Washington to do.

Insurmountable problems?

No.

Revise the campaign system so there is only six months for campaigning before an election. Period. Get rid of lobbyists and don't allow campaign donations over $1,000 from a business or corporation. Send single issue bills through the House and Senate without any "add ons."

Streamline government. I mean, really streamline the administration of offices and agencies. What jobs are vital for running the country, and what jobs are just there for show? Get rid of the IRS as it now works. The agency costs millions to operate and if the taxation process was simplified we could pare down the deficit in just a few years. Flat tax anyone?

And MOST IMPORTANTLY -- pardon the shout, but you can tell I feel strongly about this -- stop spending more than we have and giving IOU's to the Chinese.

Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest.

What about you? Any suggestions as to how to unsnarl the horrible mess in Washington? Or do you not think it is a horrible mess? I'm open to opposing opinions. That's what makes for a good discussion.

11 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

Fire every single member of Congress and start over, using your guidelines. This is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem and it is not dependent on who is in the Presidency. It is a problem with out representatives whose purpose for being there is to make money for themselves. Period.

Fire them all. No notice, no severance pay, no re-election.

Just my opinion, mind you.
Helen
Straight From Hel

Maryann Miller said...

I'm with you, Helen. And lets add no retirement pay to the list. It is obscene what they walk away from the job with, IF they walk away.

Matt said...

AMEN

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the support, Matt. Much appreciated. Now if we could just get about 90 percent of the rest of the country behind this idea.

Karin said...

I agree with you. Can we send this to congress. I also like Helen's comments to fire the Congress - BUT, if we haven't learned anything, they we will just re-elect them or their clones! Did you include term limits for Congress?

Maryann Miller said...

Karin, no, I forgot to include term limits. You are right. There should be no "career" reps for us.

Clint said...

I love your ideas and Neal Boortz's comments!

I think that there needs to be a balance between individual and collective rights...but it should be heavily tilted toward the individual. I think that it's our job as fellow humans to do what we can to help others, but that doesn't mean we neglect ourselves. Nor does it mean that government is the best available option for doing what's right for individuals and society as a whole.

What I'm about to say may sound alarmist or ridiculous, but it's not intended to be. I believe that the United States needs another revolution. It does not have to be a bloody one (nor should it be). Still, I think it needs to take place before our country as we know it is lost. The ideas that you and others who have commented on your post have stated are excellent starting points.

The only problem? I currently don't think that the American people have the guts to truly revolutionize the country. "Tea parties" aren't nearly enough. If America really wants change, then why was the re-election rate in the House well over 90 percent in 2008? The re-election rates in the Senate were nearly as high.

Wake up, America! If you keep on electing idiots, you're going to continue to get idiotic policies!

I also think that those who believe that the Democrats and/or the Republicans will be the ones to "save the country" are deluding themselves. With some exceptions, I think that there are very few differences between the two major parties. Both of them want to erode our freedoms...they just go about it in different ways.

I hope and pray that America lets those in DC know that we are the ones who gave them their jobs, and if they don't do what we've elected them to do then we can fire them. Simple as that.

Rant over. Sorry about the length and somewhat strident tone. I'm just a little bit passionate about this. ;)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Absolutely! I second Helen's motion. I'm in favor of voting incumbents out of office every time one comes up for election, no matter the party.

Ginger Simpson said...

The responses here are all the same things I've blogged about on myanonself. It's time to clean house and start over, and I agree that monies used to entice votes or line the pockets of politicians should be against the law. We elect these people to represent us and they turn the position into a career, lose their morality and become rich at our expense.

I do FEAR the government. There is way too much interest there in taking over every aspect of our lives. Pretty soon, freedom will be a thing of the past and something we'll wonder why we didn't work harder to save.

I hope you'll visit my blog and see my post today. It certainly makes sense.

http://myanonself.blogspot.com

Thanks for the chance to vent.

Karin said...

I think we re-elect so many becasue1) their name sounds familiar and 2)it's easier than actually checking all the candidates out.
Our Congress seems to be in the 'do unto others' mode. Congress voted term limits for the president many years ago, but refuses to discuss term limits for Congress. Congress votes itself the best health care and the best retirement packages. If Congress won't do for us what they do for themselves, then the states have to vote for changes. I think it is 3/4 of the states have to approve an ammendment. http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html

Mary Welk said...

I consider myself a political moderate with Liberal tendencies on some issues and Conservative tendencies on other issues. Having said that, I question why Mr. Boorz’s view that “Liberals care more about group rights and are driven by a group mentality, and Conservatives think more about the individual rights” should be seen as admirable.

If Boorz is right, then the Civil War was in great part a Liberal vs. Conservative battle, the Liberals favoring group rights (the right of a group of people to live as free citizens of this country regardless of their skin color), and the Conservatives favoring individual rights (the right of Southerners to own slaves).

Likewise, the 15th Amendment giving black men the right to vote and the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote were at the time of their passage considered Liberal movements favoring group rights as opposed by Conservatives who favored core WASP values.

Outside of Ku Klux Klan members, I doubt most of us today would agree with the Conservative line in the first two examples I’ve listed above. And I don’t know of any woman living today who would take a Conservative stand on the 19th Amendment. In fact, women today are still battling for equal pay for equal work in the business world, a battle that favors group rights – women’s rights – and thus could be considered a Liberal movement according to Boorz’s rationalization.

Our Constitution’s Preamble starts with the words “We the People of the United States”. Likewise, the Constitution’s Bill of Rights speaks to the “rights of the People”. Notice that “people” is plural, not singular. Only two amendments in the Bill of Rights speak directly to the individual – the 5th and 6th which discuss the individual’s right to due process and trial by jury. It’s obvious to me that our Founding Fathers were trying to craft a document that addressed the rights of citizens as a whole – as a group – while maintaining what they saw as important individual rights.

As for “the Liberal mindset … which is a driving force supporting issues like health care reform”, it isn’t only liberals who are asking for reform in the way we run our healthcare system here in the U.S. Conservatives also recognize the need for health insurance reform, for some kind of mandated insurance coverage for all working Americans, and for a lowering of hospital and medical costs. How we achieve reform of the present system is debatable, but the need to keep good health care available to everyone in the U.S. is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. It’s a PEOPLE issue, and “We the People” need to address it.