A Cycle of Pomes: Reflections

There once was a president-king
Who could do most any cool thing
Except writing code,
(His limits there showed,)
Now our health care is broke, in a sling.

There once was an Obamono-whiz
Whose health care rollout kinda fizz
Led. And it crashed
A new clunker for cash,
Because that is just what it is.

Envoi

There once was a man named Obama,
Who gave us all his health-o-rama.
He thought healthcare.gov
A gift from above,
But which we thought was just blunt force trauma.

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43 thoughts on “A Cycle of Pomes: Reflections

  1. There once was a blog @ Dougwils.
    The words of the man there got thrills, 
    from the small group of Christians
    Whose life goal and mission
    Was to say that they all were Post Mills.
    : )

  2. If the politicians were poets
    I would give them my voets.
    Call me cynical, but I suppose
    even the ones that don’t smoke Toronto crack
    are daily adding to our woes
    should get off the people’s back pronto.

  3. If the politicians were poets // I would give them my voets // Call me cynical, but I suppose // even the ones that don’t smoke Toronto crack // are daily adding to our woes // and should get off the people’s back pronto.

  4. There once was a Prez named Barack,
    In whose promise the nation took stock.
    Now his lies are made known
    But our freedom’s long gone,
    And the sticker price jolts like a shock.

  5. Our Lord spoke to the multitude as they gathered on the Mount,
    He said, “Don’t let the government get near your bank account;
    Keep your shotguns locked and loaded and stand them by the door
    In case some tyrant wants your cash to help the sick and poor.
     
    And if the feds demand your cloak to warm a homeless child
    Don’t even think of yielding or your soul will be defiled;
    Let them learn the hard way that it isn’t very funny
    To cure a cancer-stricken child with other people’s money.
     
    Render unto Caesar but make sure you get the facts
    To know that what you’re paying is a lawful, righteous tax;
    I’m fine with drones and missiles and bank bailouts here and there
    But don’t you part with one red cent for socialized health care.
     
    I know it sounds hard-hearted but there is no greater crime
    Than healing human suffering on someone else’s dime;
    Other nations treat poor children but their taxes are sky high,
    It is clearly much more Christian just to let those children die.

  6. To Jill,  Christian Liberals make me smile because/every one of them has many dogs/With whom they are mild/As if its a child/why don’t any of them ever have hogs?/ Now on a more serious note/ I think I know how you go vote/but its hard to understand/why you so trust the “Man”/when he’s the one wearing a wolves’ coat/Don’t get me wrong I see your point clearly/I too hold real charity dearly/but why don’t you see/its so clear to me/that this land is communist very nearly./Here’s something for on which to sleep/these two ideas don’t compete/that a man with a gun/can protect his son/And also give away deer meat…..if the government would quit buying all the bullets that is.

  7. The lives of an ailing old geezer / Or spare embryos kept in a freezer / Are not (God forfend!) / The coin Christ meant to send / When he told us to render to Caesar.

  8. Some people hate others we’re told./Because their love differs from a liberal scold/Who think that a womb/Can be a “choice” tomb…/The writing is strange on their “I” chart.

  9. Oops.  Got lost in the rhyme, and it needs to be more nuanced, as not everyone fits this description      :  Some people hate others we’re told./Because their love differs from a liberal scold/Of whom some think that a womb/Can be a “choice” tomb…/Now tell me whose love has grown cold?

  10. Jill Smith’s poem is too malicious in its mischaracterization to be innocent confusion.  It comes across as the  worn out propaganda of the socialist.  In any case, Bastiat is still a worthwhile antidote to nonsense:

    “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

     

    We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

  11. Katecho, I don’t mind being called stupid, naïve, idealistic, confused, and unable to profit from instruction.  But malicious is a charge I take very, very seriously.  Obviously the facts in my verse are overstated.  I am quite aware that American children are not dying in the street while Christians laugh.  I grew up in a country that offers tax-payer supported health care as matter of factly as it offers clean water, decent roads, and pensions for the aged poor.  If my believing that all of these things were blessings makes me a socialist, so be it.  As an extreme centrist, I would not be recognized as a comrade in arms by anyone much to the left of Bill O’Reilly.  I read Mr. Wilson’s essay very carefully, and what I understood him to say is that using tax money to provide public health care is tantamount to theft.  I understood him to say that using the power of the state to coerce free people into providing charity to others is morally wrong.  I am not speaking here about the problems of Obamacare, whether it is wrong to force people to pay for abortions they regard as murder, or whether it is right to give the government access to people’s private health information.  I am assuming that even if Obamacare was perfect in every way, Mr. Wilson would still consider it an illicit use of government’s power to levy taxes.  Am I mistaken in any of this?  I am further assuming from what I read that Mr. Wilson is not opposed to all taxation in principle.  I have not encountered his making a case that Christians should refuse to pay taxes to support the military.  I therefore concluded that he believes that while it is acceptable to compel citizens to support the military-industrial complex, it is unacceptable to compel citizens to provide health care to poor children.  My verse put this conclusion into the mouth of our Lord to see how well it fit with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.  It would be malicious indeed to assume without evidence that a certain type of evangelical Christian believes that the use of tax money to cure sick and uninsured children is a moral evil.  I did not make that assumption without evidence.  Nor did I say that evangelical Christians in general care nothing for the poor and suffering.  That would be a lie and an obvious one.  I cannot see the malice in attempting to point out that the political and economic philosophy of a Malthus, a Hobbes, an Adam Smith, or an Ayn Rand sound a little weird when we imagine them coming from our Lord.

  12. Jill Smith said:

    I grew up in a country that offers tax-payer supported health care as matter of factly as it offers clean water, decent roads, and pensions for the aged poor.  If my believing that all of these things were blessings makes me a socialist, so be it.

    Of course the first few generations always enjoy the blessings of socialism.  That’s how socialist structures are designed.  You just don’t want to be in the later generations who get to wait in lines and have to clean up the mess of indebtedness that ensues.  However, I appreciate Jill acknowledging how she has inherited her current bias on the subject, but her own experience is not an authority.  Jill continues:

    I understood him [Wilson] to say that using the power of the state to coerce free people into providing charity to others is morally wrong.

    Technically, socialism doesn’t force people to provide charity to others.  Instead it takes the people’s money in the name of charity to others.  See the difference?  How does this money get spent?  Well.  Some of it might make it to a truly needy person, and some might go toward the purchase of a latte charged against a SNAP card, and some might go to the nice government pension Jill referred to, and some might go to a large no-bid contractor who made a contribution to the President’s last campaign, but it’s the thought that counts, right?  Jill appeals to our emotions with a final stab:

    I have not encountered his making a case that Christians should refuse to pay taxes to support the military.  I therefore concluded that he believes that while it is acceptable to compel citizens to support the military-industrial complex, it is unacceptable to compel citizens to provide health care to poor children.  My verse put this conclusion into the mouth of our Lord to see how well it fit with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.  It would be malicious indeed to assume without evidence that a certain type of evangelical Christian believes that the use of tax money to cure sick and uninsured children is a moral evil.

    Jill is beginning to grasp that Wilson affirms a legitimate sphere and role for government and taxation.  But what might that role be?  Rather than submit to Jill’s plucking of our heart strings by her trotting out the sick uninsured children, why not consult Scripture on the matter?  Romans 13 informs us that the civic magistrate is in fact a minister of God’s wrath, and that it bears a sword.  Do sick children need a sword, or do they need the compassion of a Mother?  Has God left the sick children without a Mother?  Has He forgotten them?  What does Scripture say?  What institution receives God’s tithe for the express purpose of filling up God’s storehouse for the needy?  What is the arm of God’s compassion and mercy?  Is it the State or the Church?  Which one is holding the charity purse and which is holding the sword?  Scripture is quite clear, but socialists don’t care for this answer.  They would rather malign the compassion of Christians who resist their attempts to turn the sword-bearing government into our mother.  Those who use emotionalism to encourage the State’s usurping of the Church’s rightful role have a serious credibility problem to overcome.

  13. For me, extreme centrist means that I see much to detest in both the left and the right.  I make tentative forays and then withdraw, repelled by flagrant self-interest and cupidity in the name of religion or progress or the national good.  I don’t have the temperament for fanaticism but, as Katecho observes, I am capable of emotionalism regarding sick and dying children.  Clearly this is a weakness although I had previously considered it one that is universally experienced by anyone of normal sensitivity.  Katecho, I have not said that evangelical Christians are indifferent to the sufferings of the sick and poor.  I believe that every sincere Christian cares deeply about the unfortunate, and uses his or her resources to relieve them.  You explained your conviction, based on your interpretation of St. Paul, that the dispensing of charity is the province of the church, not the government.   I understand that many of the Founding Fathers held this belief, and that in some cases presidents vetoed legislation because it involved federal involvement in charitable endeavors.  I also understand the principle of subsidiarity, which is a central part of Catholic teaching on social justice.  As a Catholic, I certainly appreciate the role of the church in providing health care.  The Catholic church operates one-quarter of privately operated hospitals in the United States.  So far, so good.  You are undoubtedly aware that the U.S. has, prior to the ACA, stood alone among the developed nations in not providing universal access to care.  Are you suggesting that every one of those 32 other nations has fallen victim to socialism because it has some kind of universal health plan?  Switzerland, Singapore, and South Korea are socialist nations?  Seriously?  The reason that uninsured American children are not in fact dying in the streets is that we have de facto coverage for them paid by the tax payer.  Do you believe that this use of tax money is unconstitutional?  Do you believe it violates Christian principles?  When you say that the church is to be the nurturing mother for these unfortunates, do you mean in some future Christian society based on original constitutional principles, or do you mean that sick people who rely on government help for their medical treatment should, right now, lose benefits paid for by taxation?  Where you lose me, Katecho, is in the idea that limited government, carried to such an extreme, is the only possible political arrangement of which God could approve.  If I point out the inevitable result of a policy which uses taxes for weapons but not for sick children, you accuse me of using emotion.  Heaven knows we would not want images of sick kiddies to deter us from our duty.  Heaven forbid that anyone point out there might be a human cost to this rigid adherence to principle.  Which is exactly the point I was trying to make in the verses you found malicious.  As a Catholic, I believe that access to health care is a right stemming from respect for life, respect for human dignity, and the duty to pay taxes to promote the general welfare.  I think that costs should be handled equitably but that poverty should not, in a nation as rich as this one, deny a person access to medical care.  You may detest my point of view on political grounds.  But how do you possibly conclude that yours is more Christian?

  14. Jill Smith wrote: I believe that access to health care is a right stemming from respect for life, respect for human dignity, and the duty to pay taxes to promote the general welfare.

    Ahhhhh yes that galactic taxation catch-all of the Constitution called “promoting the general welfare.” If socialists and other guilt manipulators didn’t always use this to beat people over the head then our federal government would in fact approximate what the Constitution envisions. They conveniently overlook the fact that the general welfare clause is in the preamble and preambles have no legal force. It is just a statement of purpose, which follows in the rest of the document. If the Constitution was written to just promote the general welfare and any taxation to support that phrase was ok, then please explain why the Constitution does not consist solely of just the preamble. IF that is what the framers wanted the federal government to be, then the document would have ended there and people like Rep. Pelosi would not be forced to provide really lame excuses for all these utopian schemes. The rest of the Constitution is there to define the powers of the federal government in what is called enumerated powers. That is why the document doesn’t stop with the preamble. The rest of the constitution defines the “general welfare” and it is most definitely NOT a phrase that legally justifies every utopian scheme under the heading of “social justice.”
    The other statement made is that access to health care is a “right.” Really? So that means that all the health care providers and others involved in health care delivery are required to provide health care and have, in fact, been forced into a state of involuntary servitude to those exercising this “right.” Rights do not impose an obligation on others.
    Using government authority and power to steal in the name of “social justice” for the poor is a crime. “Thou shalt not steal” is a law that applies to the free market, the State, the rich, and the poor. It does not say “Thou shalt not steal (unless you have a legislative majority).” As someone has observed, many Christians think that when doing the work of Jesus they are under grace, not law, as in the law mentioned above.
    Ms Smith’s statement above contains a glaring misconception. In reality gov’t mandated  healthcare is not concerned about universal access. It is concerned about making payers. This is glaringly evident in the hand wringing over the dearth of young healthy people signing up for Obamacare. The government says only vaguely that a child or other person with pre-existing conditions or chronic illness will get some healthcare access. It doesn’t say how much, at what quality, and when. The promises are not even binding on the government. The only sure thing is that you and I will pay for it either directly or indirectly whether we get some or not.

  15. Daigh, I should have been much clearer in my use of that phrase.  I am not American, and I do not have the intimate familiarity with the Constitution that you do.  In using the phrase “promote the general welfare”, I was drawing on Catholic social teaching as outlined in the statements of the Catholic Bishops Conference and in the official church catechism.  I am not backing away from my statement, but I did not intend to invoke the constitution as the moral justification.  Catholic social teaching insists on the duty to pay taxes not merely for defense and infrastructure and so on, but also to promote a society in which all have access to the necessities of life.  Catholic teaching does not say that this is necessarily at government expense although it insists that the poor should not be deprived of medical care simply because they cannot afford it.  The justification for this is respect for human life–and I am not for one moment suggesting that only Catholics have this respect.  Because I wanted to be sure I was correct in stating that 33 of the world’s 34 “developed” nations offer universal access to health care, I did some reading before I posted.  Some of these nations provide a system of incentives to ensure that everyone is covered; some have a single payer system; some have an involuntary deduction from paychecks.  I believe there are ways to provide universal access without necessarily creating socialist entitlement programs.  As I said earlier, nobody could seriously call Switzerland and Singapore socialist utopias yet they manage to provide access to care.  Even Hong Kong, considered to have the freest capitalist economy in the world, makes sure everyone has coverage.  I think that Obamacare was badly done.  I think that health care reform should have focused on the presently uninsured and uninsurable, with top priority being given to uninsured children.  I would have preferred to see a solution at the state rather than the federal level.  But I simply cannot understand why anyone objects in principle to the idea that providing children with health care is at least as important as providing the military with drones.

  16. You are like the American Catholic bishops of the the New Deal era of American history who did not stop to think what would happen by supporting and encouraging the state to get involved in charity. Read this piece by Paul Rahe at http://ricochet.com/main-feed/American-Catholicism-s-Pact-With-the-Devil
    In his piece he points out how the U.S. Bishops in the 1930s got on the New Deal bandwagon and pushed Roosevelt’s Social Security ponzi scheme. Did they not expect it to undermine the Christian duty of children to their parents or turn procreation into an indoor sport? But Rahe also points out (in the comments) that “six decades of kissing the socialist ring” by the U.S. Catholic church has even more long term dire consequences. And that is the false premise of the two kingdoms notion. Ideally it is supposed to work this way. The church is over here and the state over there with separate jurisdictions and each are not to meddle in the others sphere. The problem with that is the modern welfare state does not play by the rules. Power hungry politicians cause it to gobble up more and more of  life, pulling it into the secular sphere and politicizing everything. The U.S. Catholic bishops in particular and the American church (Protestant and Catholic) in general are now confronted with an ever increasing hostile federal government in the form of Obamacare. There are 3 aspects of Obamacare that are designed to destroy this separation once and for all by directly attacking 3 institutions of society that it sees as rivals. First, the church & it’s teachings (Catholic & Protestant) with its mandatory birth control and abortion provisions. Second, the family with the marriage penalty aspect of its premiums and third, the middle class with its one size fits all socialist approach. The modern welfare state cannot tolerate any rivals that believe there is an authority higher than the state. Make no mistake, they will be co-opted or failing that, destroyed, sooner or later.
    You stated “33 of the world’s 34 ‘developed’ nations offer universal access to health care.” Yes, I know, if only us, backward, knuckle dragging Americans would just get on the modern universal healthcare bandwagon we would all be ushered into heaven here on planet earth. How many of those 33 developed nations has a highly diverse population of over 300 millions souls? In small homogenous cultures it might work. You specifically cite Hong Kong and Switzerland. Hong Kong has 7 million people. Switzerland has 8 million. Stuffing over 300 million people into a 8 million person blivit of state run healthcare ain’t gonna work, PERIOD (to borrow President Obama’s favorite punctuation mark).
    You said regarding Obamacare, “I think that health care reform should have focused on the presently uninsured and uninsurable.” Maybe you can be excused for that statement, but that WAS the thrust of Obamacare. We were told over and over, there was a crisis in healthcare because there were so many uninsured. Now we have a system which was supposedly designed to take care of that. But they failed (actually lied to cover up) to mention that even more people had to have their perfectly acceptable insurance ripped away from them because universal access to healthcare is not about providing access but about putting as many as possible payers into a system of wealth transfer.
    I, too, think that children should have healthcare. It is important. But healthcare is not in the civil government’s job description and providing a defense is.

  17. There once was a prez like King Tut
    Whose mouth overloaded his butt
    When he said “you can keep it”
    Most everyone believed it
    But, alas, the policies had been cut.

  18. Daigh, the caravan has moved on and this is last week’s topic.  But I appreciated your courteous explanations, and I wanted to try once more to explain myself before retiring from the field.  First, if I said anything which made you or anyone believe that I see Americans as knuckle-draggers about health care, I am sorry because that was not my intention and it is not what I think.  Mentioning health care in other nations was not intended to indicate that those nations are morally superior, although I understand why you might have interpreted my words that way.  I should have been clearer.  The single hardest thing for me to understand is why there is an assumption among writers on this board that to be in favor of universal access to health care is to be in favor of full blown socialism.  I should rather have said:  If some nations are able to have both free market economies and some kind of guaranteed health care, why do we assume that this could never be possible here?  The second hardest thing for me to understand is why it is assumed on this board that the system of government intended by the founding fathers is the only one that is honoring to God.  Mr. Wilson’s favorite Catholic G.K. Chesterton once watched two women screaming at each other across the street while standing on their balconies.  “Those women will never agree,” he said.  “They are arguing from different premises.” There are many discussions on this board that I read with interest but don’t think of joining because I know at the outset that we would be arguing from different premises and that I would be wasting people’s time for no purpose.  I had not realized until reading Mr. Wilson’s and other people’s comments that Christian premises about the provision of health care could be so radically different.  I live in a pretty liberal environment in which I am usually the fiscal conservative.  I have Christian Republican friends whose dislike of Obamacare was similar to my own: that it was top heavy, unnecessarily ambitious, and flagrantly disrespectful of pro-life moral convictions.  I had never met a Christian who believed that the government has no right to involve itself in health care period and who further apparently believed that this is not a question of economic policy preferences but of essential Christian morality.  I am not sure whether the fundamental objection is (1) we cannot lawfully tax people for any program that is not part of the common defense, or (2) using taxation to compel some people to support other people is theft.  These are significantly different.  If the framers had said, “A well fed, educated, and healthy people being essential….Congress shall have the power to raise taxes for schools, hospitals, and food stamps,” would the second objection still apply?  If the second objection is insuperable, do you then also oppose all  publicly funded income support programs and benefits such as public schools?  Do you believe it is a cornerstone of a God-honoring society that anyone in need (the aged, the poor, the young) must look to charity rather than to the state?  There was a time when my own Canada was fundamentally a Christian nation yet maintained schools and social benefit programs using tax revenues.  Was this in violation of divine law?  I think I understand that there are huge cultural differences that shape a world view.  I think it is fair to say that Americans have a cultural and visceral distrust of government that is not shared by Canadians.  I also understand–but dislike–the point of view that says my money is my own and nobody is going to take it from me.  Clearly you don’t believe that all taxation is theft, or you could not support it in any circumstance.  And if taxation is not invariably theft (and it couldn’t be or our Lord would not have replied as he did), then–one more time–what, other than personal preference, makes it legitimate for defense but not for helping the poor?  It is not my place to say your beliefs are wrong.  But I hope you will forgive me for saying that, to an outsider, it looks like a political philosophy that owes more to John Locke than to Jesus.  Even that is okay–until it is seen as the only one that Jesus Himself would bless, and that anyone who does not share it cannot be His follower.

  19. Jill Smith wrote:

    When you say that the church is to be the nurturing mother for these unfortunates, do you mean in some future Christian society based on original constitutional principles, or do you mean that sick people who rely on government help for their medical treatment should, right now, lose benefits paid for by taxation?

    The former, although not by appeal to constitutional principles.  We need to return to Scriptural principles to establish the lawful spheres of authority.  I’m not a radical or revolutionary.  It has taken us decades to get into this compromised situation, and I expect it would take time to move out from it.  The Church today has abdicated for so long that it is simply not in position to take up its full role overnight.  There would need to be a transition period back to proper separation of Church and State spheres.  However, I don’t see evidence that our culture seeks to repent and begin working in the right direction again.  Instead I see evidence of an acceleration into uncontrolled debt and default, and the possible need to rebuild from devastation.  I can’t predict what God may accomplish, but I want to sound the call for repentance in some small way.

    Where you lose me, Katecho, is in the idea that limited government, carried to such an extreme, is the only possible political arrangement of which God could approve.  If I point out the inevitable result of a policy which uses taxes for weapons but not for sick children, you accuse me of using emotion.  Heaven knows we would not want images of sick kiddies to deter us from our duty.  Heaven forbid that anyone point out there might be a human cost to this rigid adherence to principle.  Which is exactly the point I was trying to make in the verses you found malicious.

    Rigid adherence to principle?  I never set a timeline, I simply pointed out which institution bears the sword of God’s wrath, and which bears the charity purse of God’s compassion for the needy.  Jill is the one who appears to be against this principle, and endorsing further State socialism.  I wouldn’t object if Jill agreed with the principle and felt the State should give the role of charity back to the Church over time.

     

    Jill hasn’t indicated which country she’s from, but I’d predict that as the level of State socialism has increased there, the role and influence and participation of the Church in that culture has also decreased.  If she disagrees with this, I’d like to know which country she’s from.  The Church is not blameless for its abdications, but the State has certainly been using its coercive powers to swell up like a dead waterbuffalo in the summer sun.  It’s not even sustainable.

  20. Katecho, I have misjudged your meaning by reading you too literally.  I did assume that you were advocating an immediate end to all vestiges of the welfare state.   That assumption has undoubtedly led me to be more argumentative than I ought to have been.  I think we have some common ground.  My experience with Catholic charities has led me to believe that they are much more efficient and compassionate than the government in relieving distress.  Of course I would rather have my tax dollars dispensed by the Salvation Army and World Vision if only on the grounds of doing the most good with scarce resources.  A central part of Catholic social teaching is that assistance must not demoralize the recipient and must not rob him of his dignity.  Only a fool could think that the War on Poverty (which I believe was well intended) has not demoralized people.  I believe that the church (or other charitable organization, religious or secular, is better equipped than the government to target specific assistance that returns people (where possible) to the dignity of self-sufficiency.  Of course I would support a general move toward lessening the role of government if I could envision a society in which the church (or other organizations) could take on the responsibilities we have handed to the state.  But I can’t.  Call it a failure of the imagination, but when I envision how such a society might look, I can’t apply it to the reality of a huge, diverse, and not seriously religious population.  But if you are asking me:  Would I prefer to live in a society in which government welfare programs are unnecessary because the people are hardworking, virtuous, and so charitable that of their own volition they protect the sick and needy, then yes of course I would.  Do I think we have a duty to curb waste and avoid government debt if we can do so without imposing unnecessary suffering on the helpless?  Of course I do.  But there our paths diverge.  I think it was a legitimate use of government to reform the system of health care in order to provide access to the millions who did not have it.  I think it is a legitimate use of tax money to provide premium assistance to those who cannot afford access to care, particularly children.  You will consider this socialism, and I will continue to say that it isn’t.  In my opinion, socialism would be demanding that the government provide free health care for all regardless of ability to pay.  For a few years my family was paying almost $2000 each month for health insurance.  Friends thought we were crazy.  Why not just go to the County Hospital if you get sick, they asked.  That option struck me as immoral–and frankly socialistic.  It is taking cynical advantage of the fact that in this country we don’t refuse medical treatment to people who lack insurance.  If it is a reality that the taxpayer will end up paying for my cancer treatment if I don’t have insurance, it seems entirely reasonable to me that I should be required to carry it.  How this should be done, how to lower costs as much as possible, how to prevent abuses, and how to honor pro-life convictions (which I entirely share) is all up for debate.  In any event, I don’t think I can convince you that I am not a socialist, and I certainly can’t persuade you that I am unemotional.  But I hope I have persuaded you that I am not actuated by malice. 

  21. I should have added that Obamacare as it was enacted is not the kind of health care reform I would have chosen.  Oscar Wilde once said something like “It is unfortunate that so many people are poor.  But to remedy that by impoverishing the rest of us is merely ridiculous.” 

  22. Daigh, the caravan has moved on and this is last week’s topic.

    Ms Smith I am so sorry I am behind the times that you have declared passé. I suspect that remark is more a result tiring of trying to defend the indefensible than stale topics.
     

    The single hardest thing for me to understand is why there is an assumption among writers on this board that to be in favor of universal access to health care is to be in favor of full blown socialism.  I should rather have said:  If some nations are able to have both free market economies and some kind of guaranteed health care, why do we assume that this could never be possible here?  The second hardest thing for me to understand is why it is assumed on this board that the system of government intended by the founding fathers is the only one that is honoring to God.

     
    Hard to understand? Just one market taken over by the state does not produce “full blown socialism.” You apparently did not read Mr. Rahe’s article I cited. I am not going to rehearse that here. I will just say that the modern welfare state knows know bounds to it messianic mission. Sooner or later it takes over every aspect of life. How about this. To paraphrase old adages: “if a state taxes like socialism, if it takes away personal freedom by causing the individual to marry his interests to the state (as per Woodrow Wilson) and if it hand down arbitrary edicts to the private sector… then it is socialist state (actually here in the U.S. it is socialism in its fascist form). A socialist state by any other name would still govern as bad. By definition it is impossible to have a free market when the state dictates the conditions of that market beyond its legitimate functions of enforcing criminal laws and enforcing civil contracts.
    We are seeing that unfold right before our eyes. Obama is now ruling by edict in his soft tyranny. His “fix” yesterday was motivated solely by politics and not concern for people losing their insurance, the insurance market or the companies providing that insurance. He just declared his “fix” without consulting anyone beyond his political hacks. This is a perfect storm of when the state takes over something, it thoroughly politicizes, and all other considerations take a seat all the way in the back of that caravan of yours that has moved on. Socialist statists don’t understand that government cannot change one thing over here without affecting/screwing up something else over there. But Obama knows this and really wants to destroy the private insurance industry in favor of a single payer (the state) system. This is his stated goal and he is succeeding. Omelets and broken eggs on a national scale.
    Ms Smith, where in the Gospel of Matthew does Jesus call on the STATE to care for the “least of us”? I agree with you if you are saying we as individuals have a moral duty to help the poor. But you are telling us that Jesus would also feel honored if the civil government confiscated money from one segment of society, created a huge bureaucracy to administer an impersonal healthcare system, and then redistributed confiscated money to another segment of society! Some socialists and Christians like to repeat that there are over 2000 verses in the Bible that call us to express love and justice for the needy and oppressed. What these lovers of big government need to do is point out just one word in those verses that our Lord used to authorize civil governments to confiscate wealth and spread it around. How about the verses re: gleaning. It was not a governmental function. If God thought government directed charity was God honoring then why doesn’t the law require the state to levy taxes so a Department of Gleaning and its attendant bureaucracy be set up and directed to employ people to pick over the field’s and deliver the leftovers to the poor? Ms. Smith, what about the OT verse declaring a ten percent tax is a sign of tyranny? Or is the Old Testament “last week’s topic” and not developed enough for the today’s developed nations? The state is the biggest obstacle to helping the poor, and it ain’t for lack of taxation and redistribution schemes. Have you forgotten that Mary and Joseph had to leave their home, abandon Joseph’s means of providing for his family, embark on a difficult journey for a pregnant woman, spend money for something not in their interest, and all to be counted for the purposes of a government taxation scheme? God honoring?
    The main problem for your version of God honoring state welfare is the human heart the Scriptures warns us about. The system as set up by the U. S. Founders was not perfect but it took into account fallen human nature and provided for ways to bind down that fallen human nature with constraints. This is because the state possesses the sword and has to be limited because of the damage it will do if directed by “good intentions.” It has been said that the Constitution frees us from the tyranny of good intentions. But alas that has fallen by the wayside and we will pay a terrible price for our hubris.

  23. The Pres wants control of your purse strings // Can you fathom the pain that this curse brings? // Bureaucracy in layers // Sucking dry the taxpayers // Debt loads crushing the economy’s hurse springs.

  24. I note that Canada came up in the discussion above.  That’s my home and native land.  But anyone who tells you our health care system is free is living in a dream world.  We pay monthly fees whether we use it or not, we pay additional fees for certain services, and we pay crushing income tax as well as various other taxes on nearly everything you can imagine.  By the time all is said and done, I think I pay nearly 75% of my income in taxes of one form or another.  Oh yeah, and if you need any type of major surgery, I hope it isn’t urgent.  Waiting lists can range from 3 months to 7 years (for organ transplants).  National health care plans are like investing: if it seems to good to be true it always is.  Many people think Canadian health care is free because there is no cash register at the counter on the way out of the hospital.  I don’t consider 35-52% income tax to be free in any sense of the word. 

  25. Daigh, I was not suggesting that the topic is no longer timely, and the caravan reference was meant lightheartedly.  I was intending to ask the readers’ indulgence for my revisiting this topic one more time.  I believed–probably correctly–that I was becoming irritating.   I should have said:  I know that other topics have arisen that people are posting about, and I know that I am becoming wearisome in trying to explain or defend my point.  I apologize for using words or tones you found offensive.  I think that my posts on this issue are straining not only the patience but also the charitableness of some readers, and I believe that nothing further I say will be seen as possibly coming from a Christian heart or from a sincere desire to understand.  I don’t expect that a God bless from me would mean anything to you, but I say it nonetheless.  I do appreciate very much the time and effort you spent in giving me explanations.

  26. No, Ms. Smith, it was your regular assertions that no matter what you said, that was not what you said that was overdone. That’s quite a useful tactic for avoiding having questions raised by others. All I really discerned from your postings is that you are a proponent of the Canadian form of the impersonal messianic state and not the Obama version of “God walking on earth.” 

    “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” ~ Alan Greenspan

    However, I really do wish you well, especially if you ever find yourself in need of a CAT scan. Before Obamacare, you had the very real alternative of heading south of the border for more timely and quality healthcare. Now we all are impoverished.

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