Independent Voters View | The Way Forward Jan 2010

Well, here we are its January 2010, ten months to go before the mid-term elections; and the hard left agenda in health care reform, cap and trade, and economic “stimulus” have come to a screeching halt. This, all due to the Independent Voters of Massachusetts speaking clearly and unequivocally with their votes to end the 60 vote majority in the US Senate enjoyed by the Democrats. Yet it remains to be seen if the President or Congress in general has truly understood the message sent; so I will lay out a way here for both the president and congress to get things done and maybe, just maybe get some independent support in the coming year.

Health Care Insurance Reform

I have been to several health care Town Hall Meetings in the past year, and have commented before on the current legislation. Time after time I have heard both Republicans and Democrats say that they agree on 80% of what is in both the House and Senate versions. All right then here is your chance get this 80% done by say July, let the other 20% become a part of the debate for the pending election season. If you do so, you will get a clear message in November on how to proceed. I would caution both Repubs and the Dems, do not be obstructionist or obfuscate the issues on this, we can identify it and will not tolerate it.

Just to review things that make sense to us in this area; lets make some regulatory adjustments to industry practices like eliminating the pre-existing condition clause. Let remove the Anti-Trust exemption and allow true portability nationwide, after all my car insurance is, why not my health insurance? The Federal Employee Health Benefit Program is nation wide why not anyone else’s?  Lets help out those who need it through Tax Credits, for these now competitive products. Let’s work out some cost control solutions on Medicare and Medicaid through more competitive bidding to provide supplies and services. Let’s imagine the discount we may be able to get on say a billion or two medical sponges (4 X 4 in Gauze pad), that you currently reimburse 4 or 5 Dollars for that I can get at the drugstore for about .19 cents apiece. That is just one example I’m sure there are more. Lets find ways to pay for positive and cost effective medical outcomes instead of just treatment. I am certain solutions are there if you work together to find them.

Cap and Trade Energy Policy

The current proposals are political claptrap and foolishness in the first degree. Once again most of us independents have very real concerns about our environment. We recognize the common sense of reducing carbon emissions etc.  However, creating a carbon trading system will only line the pockets of the people you let trade them amongst the users. Seems a get rich quick scheme for some yet to be designated group that the Dems are beholding to.

Instead lets look at some ways we can be come energy independent, and create jobs in the meantime. Big Ideas, that the government can lead the way on by providing incentives and limited funding for are, National Natural Gas Pipeline distribution system, coupled with truck, bus, and train conversion to natural gas technology. The Technology to do this is already available and cost effective. Get some tax incentives going, We have a 900 year supply of nat Gas that we can now get out of the ground. ULets start using it, it is 30-60 % cleaner than Oil and Coal.

Oil independence, with side drilling technology we have at our disposal ways to make oil extraction less expensive and more environmentally friendly, Lets get the rigs up and start tapping the continental; shelf from Florida to Maine, California to Alaska, and the great Midwest – rocky mountain shale. You want to see this happen in a hurry? Guarantee a floor price for domestic oil of $50 per barrel and prohibit it’s exportation. Once again there are many good ideas out there lets start anew and look for the ways to bring more Nuclear, Solar, and Wind on line as well. Along with electrical or fuel cell technology for cars; think incentives not taxes.

Jobs, Spending, and Taxes

Another iteration of the slow motion stimulus bill will be all it takes to throw you folks out on your ears come November. The fact of the matter is, and it has been repeated over and over again in history, if you want to help create good lasting jobs, help small business and industry create them through tax incentives; not by special taxes on the profits of the banks we need to loan money to the folks that create jobs. We will have your back if you make hard decisions about controlling spending, through limiting governmental growth. After all belt tightening is something all of us voters understand all to well; and please explain to the public how you managed a 5% cost of living increase when our social security retirees get none?

If you just got to have a fix and do some spending how about increasing funding for the VA hospitals and clinics? Most folks would see the good in that. If you just have to do some pork; how bout fixing some bridges around the country? We could use about 10 Billion a year for the next 15 years or so on that. If you really, really want to think big how about building a NationalNationBuilding / Disaster Response Corps, similar to the Army Reserves, Were people train part time and are subject to periodic deployments to places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, etc.. You could start by issuing ‘Hip Pocket Orders’ for Military retirees, and build it from there.

A special Note Honorable Mr Reid and Ms Pelosi;

You have dug yourselves and your caucuses a pretty deep hole. I doubt you will be able to extricate yourselves but there is time to ensure your party maintains (albeit smaller) majority in November. That is simply to work for positive change that the American voter can accept as reasonable and necessary. If you can reach far enough right to include the likes of me who are a bit right of center, you may well have a chance. Put the CSPAN cameras to work as well open all committees (except national security and intel meetings) to the unblinking scrutiny of the American Voting Public.

Honorable Messer’s McConnell and Boehner

If you want top be successful in November, I would suggest you give Independent Voters a positive reason for change or retention for that matter. You had better start putting ideas forward that solve problems instead of just sniping at the ones that are out there. Some of your members know how to do that. I would suggest you start using them to give the positive example your party has lacked for the last six years, you might want to consider revisiting the Contract with America and updating it for the times. You must also recognize and acknowledge upfront that Gridlock is not what you seek but common sense solutions.

Mr President

Sir, Three times now since your election the Independent Voters in three ‘Blue” States have spoken. They have spoken with a resounding clarity that the Big Government Programs are not what the American Public wants. We are still a nation of what others have called “Rugged Individualists” that want our government to assure the peace, protect our citizens, defend our borders, and assure equal opportunity (not results). We will assure our results through our own blood, sweat, and tears if you will but get and keep government the heck out of the way.

In any organization most folks will give a new manager a year to learn his footing and begin getting results. Yours is up today. I would suggest in a positive way, that you now face a great opportunity to excel and even give some credence to the views you expressed in “The Audacity of Hope”. You can with leadership with in your party lead them to the well of compromise and production. You can with leadership truly reach out to the other side and incorporate their good ideas. You can through leadership, stop apologizing for us and start leading us to victory in our wars and in the economic struggles we face. You sir were not elected to run two car companies, two mortgage banks, of to bash the stock market. You sir were hired to lead and I would suggest you would be wise to do so beginning now. Insist on physical responsibility, limit the growth in government spending, and cut unnecessary government programs now. Start now with the things we all can agree on and lead from the front. Independent Voters don’t want a leader that says do this; this is what’s best for you! Independent Voters want a leader that says “Here is where we are going Follow Me!”

Comments

I encourage comments from all points of View, For this particular Article I ask that in the spirit of Teamwork and Independent Thought that you keep them respectful, whatever your point of view.


Also this is far from a comprehensive list, So I open this Arena of Ideas to all who can offer any ideas for moving forward in 2010. Here's the Ring throw your hat in there and we'll dance around the brim...

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Comments 22 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Dear hmrjmr,

What a brilliantly written piece. I agree with every single point. It makes sense, it's common sense and I really think you should send this off to Washington. Bravo!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

hmrjmr, I love the style you've used to write this hub and aalso agree 100%. Keep up the great hubs!


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

BPOP Thanks for stopping by I think we all should send the link to our reps and let em know what we think.. Just an Idea See ya at the Inn...

Thanks Pam Take BPOP up on her idea as well!! Lets make a difference by the sound of our voices!


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Give the left a inch of rop and they will hang themselves with it. It is just in their nature and they cannot help it.

Keep on hubbing!


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Hmr,

I agree with all your ideas and then some. Where I live in WV we had a pilot plant in 1965 where gasoline was made from local coal for 11 cents/gallon whan oil based gasoline cost 9 cents a gallon to make. We have over 1000 years worth of coal if it is utilized to make gasoline we can thumb our noses at OPEC.

There is a current project under consideration to make methane from the same coal which is also proven technology. The Nazi's were doing coal gasification during WWII.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

eovery Far left Far right both are about the same. Don't trust any of em any farther than I can throw them.

Tom - Lots of options if we look for them, Lets keep the pressure on them and make them make it all work for us!!


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

All sensible persons will agree with your logic of understanding. Very nice and well written hub. Thanks.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

HP Thanks so much you had a good hub on the election as well!


amulets profile image

amulets 6 years ago from Singapore

Though I may not know much about US policy but you have written very well for anyone to clearly understand. Great Hub.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Thank you amulets!


Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

OMG I think you have read too many of my outspoken hubs...This is a great work have you enough tags on it to get many, many views??? If you need help with that, let me know, I am more than glad to help a great hub get seen and read by more people....Great work....


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

WMH - Thanks for your kind words. Lets hope it gets the right views and things get done right!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Hammer,

Aye! you've done well here, if I comment on it I'll have typed a two hub reply! Get this hub out there my friend, even the president and members of congress would have to take pause if they read it.

50


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

50 Cal - I had a real inner struggle to keep it this short, so Hub away any good ideas are worth reading! Thanks for stopping by my friend!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Hmrjmr1, Fascinating. I am an Independent voter and I don't appreciate your assuming ALL of us think as you do, but I certainly was stimulated by your opinions.

I don't know much about Health Care, but my husband is in the Oil and Gas business and I studied this area in college, so this is one area where I know your opinions are a bit naive. Enthusiastic, yes, but things just aren't that simple.

This President's reign has opened my eyes to the reality that it is very easy to come up with solutions for problems when viewing them from the outside in. When moved inside, the issues become extremely complex and it is easy to lose your way.

My vote will go to a candidate I research who has demonstrated authenticity, because when faced with making legistlation it doesn't matter what the candidate knew or believed going into each mess. What matters to me is a soul that chooses with integrity. And I am not talking religious right. Those folk have a very specific agenda.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA

Big John - In the spirit of fairness and social justice and equity, I propose that the feds institute a special tax on writers to come out of the earnings from Adsense, all 3 cents of it we get from all of these fine articles. What do you think?

Gus ;-0


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Storytellersrus - If I appeared to be presumptuous then let me clearly state here and now that I speak for me and only me. If others join in that sentiment then so be it. I will and have continue to fight for the voice to be heard weather you agree with me or not.

As for the Oil/Gas Debate, many smarter and more knowledgeable people are essentially saying much of the same thing. Simplifying it leads us to a more productive debate as there is much more to learn. I would suggest you could help folks with that, and I encourage you to do so. I am not without education and am now, as always, willing to learn.

AS to how we choose our candidates I see no difference between us. I choose neither on religious or progressive grounds; and look for the same qualities as you.

I thank you for stopping by and commenting! Keep up the good and independent work!


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Gus - I would just point out that 3 percent of not much is still a mighty small drop in the bucket. :D :D :D


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I guess I can't argue with you too much that we have to watch both sides, and keep them honest, but remember, in most cases a vote not for a republican, is a vote that is not cancelled out on the democrats side. So if you want to defeat the democrats, you must vote republican, or the vote is lost, and actually is about 1/2 of a vote for the democrats.

This is why we can't have a three party system because it would split the republicans, and give the dems more power. We have to be united, and we have to make sure the republicans are getting our message, also.

Keep on hubbing!


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

eovery - I think the right candidates shine and stand out from either party. I do not advocate organizing Independents to form another iteration of the same. What we must do is question everything, and make the candidates show their mettle and offer real ideas as opposed to party line mish mash.

Don't think we are far apart here and thanks for stopping by and commenting!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

As I said in your Global Warming hub, I did not say you aren't entitled to your opinion. You are an American. This is what we do!

I am all for Energy Independence. I have been since 1981, when OPEC's policies created scarcity and there were long lines at the pump. I supported solar energy development back then, but Reagan had other ideas and slashed funding. Oil shale development was ramping up on the Western Slope in Colorado, though getting oil from rock is extremely expensive. People cared about energy independence as long as it was affecting their ability to function-- and their pocket books. The minute the gas lines shrunk, solar and shale exploration became too expensive to be cost effective. It is truly about money for most Americans. I accept the reality of this motivating factor.

Because of this reality, the policies you laid out above must be considered from that bottom line: are they financially viable? With oil prices at $50/barrel, oil is so cheap that energy becomes a non-issue, even with fear mongers dredging up Peak Oil fears.

Sure there are environmentalists who prioritize the health of Mother Earth, but voters tend to care most about their bank accounts. When oil is cheap, the man on the street really doesn't care where it comes from or who controls it. It goes back into the "who cares as long as I can afford gas for my car and my home is heated" category. Our short attention span moves to other concerns like health care costs or school bond issues.

Sorry if this is cynical, but this is exactly what happened in the 80s and if anything, people have become MORE fiscally concerned, not less.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA Author

Storytellersrus - Thank you again for commenting, and once again I do not now nor have ever implied that I think you believe I am not entitled to my opinion. Let us put that to rest here and now.

As for the suggestions in the article I put them there to foster thought and ideas on the part of the readers. They may or may not work, but we cannot know until we discuss them and debate them. The $50 / barrel put forth is a proposed floor not a cap.

This may not be a good number but the philosophy of opening up the new reserves we are finding and making sure the oil extracted stays here may be accomplished in many ways and I would suspect there are better ways to ensure that. Lay them out and let people decide. I have not yet heard that from the right or the left, neither from big business or environmentalists. All of them have a narrow agenda and none of them have a viable solution. So lets merge the arguments and get the process started.

It may be that collectively we are as cynical as you say,it would not surprise me. But we cannot move forward if we don't move at all. Seems we have a small start right here on the things that need saying and I look forward to comments from you in the future.

I would dearly like to know what you think the solutions are...Thanks again.

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