Editor’s note: This weekend we reach deeper into the mailbag for a smattering of your views on a bunch of different issues. Let’s lead off with observations on the state of our union by Anthony Cosenza, a Defense Department veteran who teaches at Philadelphia University these days. Enjoy.—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: This is regarding your reporting on Obamacare versus the American Health Care Act (RINOcare). I am, unfortunately, a conservative adjunct professor in the bowels of the progressive, neocommunist academe in the city of Philadelphia—a liberal, Democrat bastion. The level of student naiveté and faculty propagandizing for the neocommunist agenda is debilitating.
I also worked 40 years for the Department of Defense, paying taxes from both jobs as part of my polity contribution. I have been subsidizing the government waste factory, the politically well connected who can avoid taxes, and the “low-income” people who believe they are entitled to half of what I earned in those 40 years. (Federal, state, local taxes, surcharges on utilities for nonpayers, etc., add up to about 50 percent.)
The one striking issue I have observed over the years is this construct that we should have equality of “outcomes” and not equality of “opportunity.” The scenario goes that if you are in the U.S., legally or illegally, you are entitled to what everybody else has, i.e. house, car, cell phone, free tuition, free health care, guaranteed income (welfare), and so on.
The focus is totally on “entitlements” with no consideration for the other side of the equation—contribution.
Students believe that the only contribution people have to make is carbon dioxide (breathe) and offspring (breed). So if you breathe and breed, you are entitled to a subsidized lifestyle. We have developed a culture that Aesop warned of with the ant and grasshopper: a nation of nihilistic, free-rider, social loafers who believe they are entitled to cradle-to-grave government (taxpayer) care while having only to contribute their occasional vote to the party that promises them free stuff.
This “progressive” cultural rot affects all aspects of our political, economic, and social fabric. It was rejected during this past election by middle-class Americans who work for a living to fund this progressive cancer.
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 12, 2017
Even the immigration debate has its roots in this cultural degradation, since we have to import unskilled, uneducated labor to take jobs “Americans won’t take,” as the liberals claim. They won’t take the jobs because they don’t have to work. The social safety net funded by taxes and debt allow them to have decent, subsistence living while contributing nothing.
Hence the discussion on Obamacare and a new entitlement by expanding “free health care” (Medicaid) for “the poor.” At some point, we have to stop the “free stuff” nanny-state drug of choice for progressivism and balance the equation with some form of contribution to offset the ever-increasing scope of government entitlements.
This version of RINOcare does nothing either to stop or reverse this progressive cancer.
I ask my students to define progressivism. Of course they characterize it as “progress” toward all the value-laden, sociological fluff terms like social justice, economic equality, equal pay, open borders that, when challenged, they can’t define or conceptualize the implications.
I tell them about the skin mole I had that “progressed” to cancer. It was progress, but in the wrong direction. Progress in the wrong direction can be deadly.
I am now 65 and at the tail end of this journey, but I fear for the viability of this experiment we call the United States. This election may have been the last chance to reverse that “progress” in the wrong direction.—Anthony Cosenza
It’s Too Easy to Spend Other People’s Money
Dear Daily Signal: The 2,000-plus pages of the Obamacare legislation include so many taxes, mandates, regulations, unelected bureaucrats, and on and on that the only way to “drain the swamp” of this horrendous, ill-conceived legislation is full and complete repeal. Where am I wrong?
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposed amendments “provide for the government (taxpayers) to pay all or portions of premiums to reduce premiums” (“Republicans Revive Obamacare Repeal Talks With Change to Unite Conservatives, Centrists”).
That’s simple enough, but awkwardly described in the promotion of the bill. Maybe I don’t wholly understand this.
Unfortunately, I see Ryan as a victim of the lobbyists (insurance companies and other beneficiaries of the legislation), conveniently forgetting the promise to the electorate and constituents for financial gain from lobbyists.
It should be much easier to obtain repeal of Obamacare and then replacement, rather than do both at the same time. Some effort should be to get the government out of the business of insurance and health care; the religious institutions and philanthropists will fill this responsibility, as they should.
It’s too easy to spend other people’s money and force something on the taxpayers and voters, while those doing it have no interest in the programs and are served by “other” programs they devised to cover themselves. Everyone responsible for a program should be covered by all programs devised by them for others.—Dick Matise, Dallas, Texas
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 13, 2017
Dear Daily Signal: Please help get health care reform to a good spot without blocking it. As a health care provider, the obstruction rather than construction of this bill is very frustrating.
Perfection is the enemy of pretty good. Most Americans are thrilled with pretty good as a followup to awful. Please get behind House Speaker Paul Ryan.—Alma Golden
‘Now I’m Struggling to Survive’
Dear Daily Signal: In Romina Boccia’s commentary on Social Security disability and those who are working, she fails to realize one thing: They will retract your disability benefits and continue doing so, and without just cause (“A Pathway to Work for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries”).
Social Security said they needed to take back my benefits, so they did. And then they took back more and more to the point where I am living on basically $400 a month, because I am working.
They don’t care, so now I’m struggling to survive. I still don’t make a lot of money. I’m still making under the sum of money they want. But they will not do anything to correct the mistake of double-docking me, and they will not hear me out.—Claire Gallo
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) March 29, 2017
Let’s Change Policy to Protect Unborn Children
Dear Daily Signal: Because of Roe v. Wade, more than 61 million unborn children have been killed through abortion. In 1973, the Supreme Court declared it could not resolve “the difficult question of when life begins,” and on the basis of this unresolved question, declared a new right to abortion based on a “right of privacy.”
But only Congress can make that decision. Science is clear that human life begins at conception, when a new human person is formed.
The Life at Conception Act of 2017 (S. 231/H.R. 681) declares that unborn children are persons legally entitled to protection in the Fifth and 14th amendments to the Constitution, and will rescue millions of unborn children from dying by abortion on demand. This bill declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning.
Because of the DNA schedule, we now have clear scientific evidence. This notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the unborn child is a violation of that unborn child’s constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law.
It’s time we recognize the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and change policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.
Nothing in this bill shall be construed to require prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child. I urge Americans to contact their senators and representatives and ask them to cosponsor and cast their vote for the Life at Conception Act of 2017.—John Gibson, Lake Jackson, Texas
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 18, 2017
Why We Don’t Have a Totalitarian State
Dear Daily Signal: I totally disagree with Steven Bucci’s conclusion in his commentary, “Who to Blame for the Latest WikiLeaks Dump: Manning and Snowden.”
Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden had nothing to do with the latest leaks, and Mr. Bucci acknowledged that fact but still blamed them. It is like blaming God for sins.
God gifted all his creation with free will, and it is up to individuals to use it. The latest leaks were a service because the “leakers” saw a danger in the way the CIA was operating and exposed it.
It is only through leaks that we don’t have a totalitarian state. The government doesn’t have a right to spy on Americans without a court order, and the FISA courts seem bent on approving any government request.
I disapprove of the actions of Manning, but I approve of Snowden’s actions because he exposed the National Security Agency’s collection of data from all Americans. The metadata collected allows the NSA to request the content if it doesn’t already have it. The metadata is dangerous because it can lead to a totalitarian state.
Wikileaks is a service that allows a look into a federal agency that is spying on Americans and is a danger to a free society. The CIA put the whole country in danger because they didn’t protect its hack programs. Mr. Bucci should be more outraged that the CIA was allowed to spy on anyone, even Americans. It apparently didn’t have to request a court order for any operations.
Now any hacker can overthrow the country by knocking out our power grid, or take down any senator, representative, Supreme Court justice, or president. Congress needs to look at and remedy this situation, fast.—Fred Minook
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 14, 2017
How Low We’ve Sunk in Surrendering Liberties
Dear Daily Signal: The fact that Sweet Cakes by Melissa is requesting that the Oregon government give its blessing to the bakery owners’ refusal to serve clients on religious grounds shows how low we’ve sunk in surrendering our freedoms and liberties (“Bakers Accused of Hate Get Emotional Day in Court”).
Requiring government approval for religious actions is no different from requiring government approval for anything else. Whom a business chooses to serve as clients belongs to the business alone for its own reasons and nobody else’s. That’s what private property rights are all about.
Instead of tying up the courts and wasting taxpayer money, same-sex couples denied service should quit whining and simply take their business elsewhere. It’s that simple.
The state of Oregon’s intervention in this matter is a waste of taxpayer money. The state government needs to butt out and use its resources for legitimate needs, instead of frivolous matters such as this.—Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte, N.C.
Siding With Buckley on Legalizing Pot
Dear Daily Signal: Cully Stimson’s commentary about stepping up federal law enforcement against marijuana laws is in direct opposition to The Heritage Foundation’s support for limited government, individual freedom, and states rights (“How Trump’s DOJ Can Start Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law”).
I side with the late William F. Buckley on the issue of legalizing marijuana. It originally was banned for racist reasons, and whether it is harmful or not doesn’t matter. Its prohibition doesn’t stop anyone who wants to take it, but it hurts all of us with all of the unintended consequences like financing gang violence and terrorism.—Jeff Goldstein
Don’t Let Outsiders Disrupt Town Halls
Dear Daily Signal: Thank you for allowing us to watch Rep. Dave Brat’s town hall meeting online (“How One Congressman Handles a Rowdy Town Hall Meeting”). A suggestion you may be able to circulate is for attendance of a town hall meeting to be restricted to the constituents of the member of Congress putting it on.
All attendees should be required to show ID indicating residency within the district. Only those who are verified constituents should be allowed in. Others may be allowed to join in “overflow” areas where their disruptions will not infringe on the rights of the true constituents to communicate with their representative.—Jerry Dundalk, Iron Mountain, Mich.
‘Quite the Chameleon’
Dear Daily Signal: Seems to me that Mike Gonzalez is somewhat disingenuous in his presentation of the very matter he is commenting on (“Trump Should End Government Funding of NPR’s Biased News”).
On the one hand, Gonzalez speaks of the “why” and on the other hand lauds the overall greatness of program offerings and the powerful support base of the entities he innocuously proposes be unfunded of taxpayer dollars. He seems quite the chameleon.—Darryl Szymanski, Sheridan, Wyo.
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) April 19, 2017
How Are We Doing?
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You all need a proofreader. Too many mistakes.—Kathy Hilliard
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I like your coverage of events. Calm, collected, and terse.—Jan Miller
I like this format. Thank you.-—Pat B.
I learn way more about what is happening in the news @dailysignal than any fictional major news channel.—Jay Schreffler
So appreciative of you! Am grateful for the accuracy in your information. You are a blessing to the citizens of our country. Good work.—Benedicta Harris