Saturday, March 12, 2011

Change we all should make

A question was posed to me this week by a friend of mine. I had to spend a great deal of time really thinking about the answer but I think I have it after dwelling on the matter the last few days. The scenario was what I would do if I were a Senator and a Democrat constituent with a sick child approached me as I am about to slash Medicare and begs me not to sentence her child to death by denying her the benefits of this government program.

This is why I hate heartstring politics.

This answer will likely render me unelectable, but oh well. I would go door to door with the woman and her child to her friends and family and church and neighbors asking for them to freely contribute to the child’s care. However much I would want to help the child I could not do so by taking food, by the force of the government tax code, off the plates of his neighbors.

This sort of rob Peter to pay Paul mentality common amongst liberals and “compassionate conservatives” like George W Bush is certainly understandable from the standpoint of “if you don’t people will die.” Its hard to look people in need in the eye as a Christian and then say “no.” The sad truth is that if we look at matters collectively or individually there is a bigger problem at hand. Because of unfunded mandates like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, according to we’re looking at a total liability somewhere around $113 trillion dollars. Do yourself a favor and pull up this website. It will make me seem a lot less heartless to you.

I will therefore answer the question now with a question. How do you pay a $113 trillion dollar debt? Last I heard there was only some 64 Trillion dollars in the entire planet! Yes Michael Moore we do have a debt problem! And sorry I can’t take it away from the rich because quite frankly they’re already paying most of the bill and unlike celebrities entrepreneurs earn their keep! How do you fund $113 Trillion dollars in liabilities with only $64 Trillion dollars, especially since we’re not the only country with a piece of the $64 trillion dollar pie. How do we get the other countries to give up their share? War maybe?

Here’s the struggle we face, do we steal from the productive sector to fund an outrageously expensive and inefficient health care program and keep running up the unfunded liabilities? Stated more bluntly, do we kill the country by collapsing the system, or the many, to save the kid or the few? Or do we find a private sector solution? Personally I would fight tooth and nail to save the kid, but by fund raising in the private sector. Its my obligation to do all I can to help as a Christian and a Mormon. But I am reminded of the position King Benjamin took on the issue of collectivism and taxes.

And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne- and all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day. (Mosiah 2:14)

Now that is a public servant!

The Nephites, one of the most successful cultures in history, managed to create a society where there were “no poor among them,” and as the Book of Mormon tells us righteous leadership and a spirit of charity lead the people to prosper, not politicians redistributing wealth through the force of taxation. Not taking from the “haves” to give to the “have nots.”
I believe we hurt ourselves and the poor by pawning off our personal responsibilities on the government. We refuse to address them as individuals and try to justify it with an “I paid at the office,” attitude. Paying taxes will not save your soul. All you’re doing is throwing up an SEP field (Someone else’s problem) so you don’t see it and therefore get to convince yourself the problem is solved.

And yet we still have people on essentially Socialized medicine still dying because of inadequate and expensive care. Worse the debt clock keeps ticking higher and higher. In short these programs are not working.
On the war on poverty: Mission NOT accomplished. Thanks a lot LBJ. Obamacare will only make it worse.
As has been discussed by numerous people in numerous articles there are free market solutions. To increase quality and accessibility of care we need to make medical care cheaper. When the government gets involved it tends to become more expensive. Given that this blog is not about the solutions I will not regurgitate the Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich or Ezra Taft Benson models. But if we follow some combination of those plans health care will be less expensive, and therefore more accessible to the poor… Of which I am one thank you very much.

The last step is a change we need, and that is more charity. Americans are a very caring and giving lot, but a lot still slips under the radar because of our SEP field (government programs). If we make the effort to become more charitable on our own then cutting government programs won’t mean a death sentence for anyone.

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