Thursday, November 12, 2009

Battle Weary, We March On

Nancy Tengler

I am no historian. But, my read of the Revolutionary War goes something like this: The Red Coats outnumbered, out-gunned and out-generaled Washington's Continental Army at every turn. In the beginning. But Washington had one advantage. He taught himself how to think like the enemy, when to retreat, wait. And, finally strike.

So far the early health care battles go to the enemy. Despite lack of public support, Nancy Pelosi twisted arms to make deals under cover of darkness and eked out a slim majority for passage of Nancycare. Yet, in the latest Rasmussen poll conducted the day following the vote "... 45% now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Most (52%) remain opposed. " A modest shift in Nancy's favor though still significantly in the minority. Once people understand what is in the bill, the opposition will grow. So we wait.

I spent an hour last evening sifting through the 1,990 page, $1.2 trillion bill. As Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said, it is "gibberish." With a month to study and consultation over its contents I would still have no clear understanding of most of its provisions. Yet with just a few days to consider it, Congress voted.

Big Lie #3--this bill is about providing health care for the neediest.

According to Benjamin Zycher, Research Fellow at Pacific Research Institute, "It's official. The Joint Tax Committee informs us that under the terms of the Pelosi health-care bill, 'Americans who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay the bill's new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.'"

Key excerpts from the JCT letter appear below:
“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]

“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…” [page 2]

“Criminal penalties:
Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:
Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
Section 7201felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

Tell me how this helps the needy? To me, it reeks of absolute control imposed by our representatives whose leader in the House is drunk with her own power. Meanwhile, Barbara Boxer under cover of health care and the Fort Hood terrorist attack, is pushing cap and trade through committee, California's Prop 13 is under serious attack of repeal, unemployment is rising, the economy continues to flounder and our troops in Afghanistan remain exposed while the Chief Fiddler considers strategy...still. Three months and ticking. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is finding it difficult to prosecute the war he once called the good war when he was campaigning for American votes. Attack after attack after attack.

But we can't dig a trench and duck for cover. We have to continue the battle. And our greatest weapon is the ballot. Even in California where our districts are so gerrymandered it seems pointless to vote, and our two Senator's have been entrenched for years, there is hope. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard has announced her intention to replace Barbara Boxer. Carly is a formidable foe. She can beat the diminutive (in every sense of the word), silly Boxer. Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay is already running a well-funded, well-organized stop spending-lower taxes-create jobs campaign for governor. We have strong Congressional candidates in the wings that care about the Constitution and family and sound economic policy. We may lose the health care battle, but we must win the war.

The time to strike will come. And like General Washington we must be ready; like the Revolutionary soldiers we must be strong and courageous.

March on patriots.

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