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Senator Harry Reid's Christmas Gift Giving With Our Money
First Senate Christmas Eve Vote in 114 Years
December 26, 2009
The big news in the past couple of days has been the Senate's now famous Christmas Eve vote to push forward the President's and Congressional Leadership's avowed ambition to impose European style socialism on the United States with their plan to socialize health care in this country despite the overwhelming opposition of the American people to their plan.
The President has made the imposition of the failed socialist health care model on the nation his prime objective for his first year in office and with that year approaching its end almost as fast as his free falling poll numbers, an air of despariation hangs over Washington.
Fearing that the sight of citizen opposition back home to this bad bill will change Senator's minds it became imperative that the legislation be passed before the Senators had a chance to meet and talk to the citizens who pay their salaries and whose interests the Senators are supposed to represent. Hence the Christmas Eve vote.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
No undertaking as massive as socializing one seventh of the world's largest economy can be done without some cost.
Here I am not talking about the trillions that the taxpayers will have to pay for this failed system but, rather the cost of buying the votes of 60 Democratic Senators (actually 58 Democratic Senators plus the Independent Senator Joe Liberman and Independent but, according to WikiPedia, self proclaimed Socialist, Bernie Sanders) needed to halt a fillibutster and cram the legislation through before Senators could go home and meet the angry citizens whose tax dollars pay them.
Of course Senate Marjority Leader Harry Reid was not concerned about a few extra billion to pass this trillion dollar monstrosity since the same taxpayers who will be stuck with the bill for Obama care also have to foot the bill to buy the votes to pass it.
Sort of like a bank robber sending the bank a bill for the gas needed to drive his get away car.
What Some Senators Charge for a YES Vote on Obama Care
Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut - $100,000,000 for a university hospital in his state where he faces re-election
Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana - $300,000,000 to pay for Louisiana's share of the proposed Medicaid increases under the bill (i.e., the taxpayers of the other 49 states have to subsidize Louisiana's share of the trillions needed for Obama Care in addition to their own share of the trillions).
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska - $100,000,000 to pay for Nebraska's anticipated Medicade increases under Obama Care - this appears to be just the first installment as Senator Nelson crafted this so that the taxpayers in the other 49 states will be paying this added cost in perpetuity or until the Democrat's socialist utopia goes broke and our nation's economy collapses like that of the socialist economy of the former Soviet Union.
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator Carl Levin of Michigan - exemption for Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company - which, ironically, happens to be headquartered in Omaha, NEBRASKA - and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance in MICHIGAN - from the proposed $10,000,000,000,000 (that is Billion) annual fee the bill proposes to impose on the insurance industry. Guess which corporate names will be at the top of the list of donors to these two Senators as they prepare to face angry electorates in the next election?
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida - unlike senior citizens in the other 49 states, the senior citizens of Florida will be exempt from the proposed cuts in the popular Medicare Advantage program.
Senator Bernie Sanders, socialist of Vermont - at 2.2% increase in Federal payments (read TAX DOLLARS from citizens of the other 49 states) to Vermont's Medicade program - worth about $600,000,000 over ten years.
Senator Max Baucus of Montana - special services for miners in Montana exposed to asbestos - taxpayers of other 49 states will pay for this and any who were exposed to asbestos outside of Montana will probably have to seek and pay out of pocket for care abroad as so called cost cutting provisions in the bill will restrict access to medical care for those without political clout.
And the List goes on.
On the Road to Kleptocracy
While the legislative agenda of the President and Democratic Congress fits the classic definition of big government socialism, a more apt description of the political philosophy of the rank and file Democrats in the Senate would be Kleptocracy (government run by and for thieves)
Their Eliteism and Arrogance Knows No Limits
In addition to treating the U.S. Treasury as their personal campaign coffers, these elitist Senators further exhibit their distain for the American people with their chavilier dismissal of the need to read legislation before voting on it, by their refusing to face and listen to consistutants in town hall meetings and by their justifications of this massive vote buying.
According to Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, this buying of votes with taxpayer dollars is justified since, according to her, People fight for their own states. That's the nature of a democracy,
Then there is Senator Harry Reid's aide, Jim Manley's view of legislative democracy, This is just part of the normal legislative process. Spoken like a true kleptocrat who really believes that the taxpayers' hard earned money is available for legislators to do with as they please.
Forget What You Learned in High School Civics
This is not what I recall from civics class in high school about how the legislative process worked.
Of course, any time you have two or more people working together there will be a need for compromise and some trading of favors. However, this is not a simple I'll vote for your bill if you promise to vote for my bill, but rather a case of hiding their trades inside a single massive bill which is then rushed through passage before anyone can read it.
The bill that was just passed was secretly crafted by Senator Reid and a few others and put forward in place of two or three others being considered.
Then, according to the Wall Street Journal, some 450 amendments were added with only about 20 debated. The 450 amendments were more than likely the taxpayer funded purchases of votes most of which, at the time of the Christmas Eve vote, were known only to Senator Reid and the Senator whose vote he had brought.
This sleazy method of passing legislation is no surprise to those of us who have taken the time to follow politics and/or whos jobs have required us to actually read the mind-numbing regulations and laws that Congress and the bureaucracy routinely dump on us.
It is, however, a surpise to citizens who have relied on the left leaning main stream media for political news and information.
Times are Changing
However, thanks to the Internet, talk radio and cable news, the American people can now view all the gory details of the lawmaking process in Washington.
And, as polls show, the taxpaying citizens of this nation becoming increasingly angry and disillusioned as a result.
Polls show Americans views of Congress and the President to be at an all time low and falling while fully thirty-nine percent of us have replied that we no longer believe that the government does any good at all.
The Internet and Other Information Sources Will Make It Difficult for the Left to Dupe the American People
Also, in addition to providing an outlet for people to express their dissatisfaction with the current political situation, groups, such as the TEA Party Movement (TEA = Taxed Enough Already), are educating people about politics and the Constitiution which our politicians and mainstream media have chosen to ignore.
Senator Reid succeeded in ramming this bill through the Senate and he and Speaker Polosi will probably be able to get the final bill passed and sent to the President in time for him to claim that he accomplished something in his first year as President.
Despite the overwhelming opposition to this bill, the President and his hard left supporters in Congress expect that, once passed, people will forget their opposition and accept it as a fact accompli thereby giving the left the feeling of having achieved their nearly century long quest to set America firmly on the road to socialism.
This, however, is unlikely to happen. In years past, when the mainstream, left leaning media enjoyed near monopoly control over political information, leftist politicians could rely on this media to convince nearly everyone that big government was not only good and necessary but also enjoyed the overwhelming support of the American people.
Today the Internet, talk radio and cable TV news provide an abundance of information, on all sides of a topic, thereby giving people access to a full range of unfiltered information on which to make up their minds about current political issues. People now days not only have access information and opposing views on political topics but they also have the opportunity to see how many others share their views.
Selected Senate & House Members Have One More Chance To Add Additional Taxpayer Paid Goodies to the Bill
Even before Senator Reid's Christmas Eve vote, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had called upon the Attorney General of Alabama to investigate going to court to challenge the Constitutionality of Senator Nelson's scheme to make taxpayers in the other 49 states pay for Nebraska's added Medicade costs under the bill.
Since then Attorney Generals in another half dozen or more states have also begun investigating challenging the Constitutionality of some of the known provisions in the Senate version of the bill. And this isn't the final bill, let alone the law in its final form.
The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7 states: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
The House of Representatives has already passed its version of its trillion dollar health care industry take over bill and what was passed on Christmas Eve 2009 was Senator Reid's view of how this should be accomplished. Now selected members of the House and Senate will meet to decide how the two versions will be merged into one bill.
Since this merging process will include no only more vote buying but other little goodies secretly inserted during late night sessions attended by select members of the House or Senate meeting on the merger or by their unknown and unelected aides.
It is not uncommon to discover, after a bill like this has been passed, all kinds of hidden extras that no one admits to adding or even claiming to know who added them. Just another example of the low quality of people running our government.
There is a far greater possibility that a monkey, let loose on a word processor, could produce a piece of legislation that Congress would pass without reading than the odds that such a monkey could end up typing a line from Shakespeare.
Opposition to Obama Care Will Probably Increase Rather than Decrease When It Becomes Law
Contrary to what the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress believe, opposition to this bill will intensify rather than vanish with its passage.
First of all, the hard core socialist wing of the Democratic Party, which is the base to which the President and Congressional leadership owe their positions, are unhappy with this bill because it is too moderate. On the other side, the vast majority of American people are opposed to this bill because it is too radical and neither group will not be happy if it is passed.
The TEA Party Movement is not only alive and well but can be expected to gain even more momentum with the passage of this bill.
While there is still no real central leadership of the movement, its influence is being felt at the local level with the Republican Party leaders at this level being out maneuvered as local TEA Party groups throw their support behind small government conservatives seeking the Republican nonination for Congress.
Constitutional and especially Tenth Amendment (The Tenth Amendment to the Bill of Rights which reads The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.) groups initiating lawsuits against parts or all of the final bill on Constitutional and other grounds.
My guess is that the President and Democratic leadership in Congress will, despite the overwhelming opposition, force enough Democrats in both houses of Congress to pass this piece of bad legislation.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, even the President and Democratic Congressional leadership know that this will result in the loss of a number of seats in Congress and they have been offering jobs in the Administration to vulnerable Democrats in Congress if their vote on Obama Care causes them to lose in the 2010 election.
Obama Care Could Be Repealed by a New Congress in 2011
With Obama Care tied up in the courts and the election only ten months away little, if anything, will be done to get the program set up and people enrolled. If, as expected, conservative, small government Republican candidates running on a platform opposing Obama Care succeed in winning enough seats in Congress they could then simply repeal this law.
Links to My Other Hubs on Taxes and Big Government
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© 2009 Chuck Nugent