Thank you for your commitment to be part of the 2009 Town-Hall-ScreamFestpalooza. Who wouldn't want to scream at a party that hates America or which not only gave us the largest tax increase in history but opposed the largest tax cut in history? The party which nominated a foreigner for President, now want us to support a health system in which we pay more and more for less coverage, where bureaucrats make medical decisions for us and "death panels" decide when to pull the plug on granny -- not because it is good for America but because its maximizes their political power.
Before you scream "I want my country back" or "where's his birth certificate", you might want to know that I am talking about the Republican Party.
This is the party that openly admits that they hope the ship of state runs aground under President Obama, just as they once said that Bill Clinton was not their President. Apparently, they only love America when they are misleading it.
The Presidential election featured two candidates -- one born in a western state and the other in a foreign country. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, while John McCain was born in Panama (but within the Panama Canal Zone which was a territory of the U.S..) Democrats passed a resolution to quash any dispute over Senator McCain's citizenship, while Republicans have egged on the knuckleheads known as "birthers" to the point that nearly half of the party does not believe that Obama was born in the U.S.
If you think the Republicans are the party that is looking out for your wallet -- guess again. It is true that Ronald Reagan cut taxes upon coming into office in 1981, but he followed it by raising taxes six years in a row including signing the largest peacetime tax increase in 1982 -- which was substantially larger than Clinton's 1993 tax increase as a percentage of GDP. The Republicans also opposed President Obama's stimulus package which contained the largest tax cut in history, reducing taxes for 98.6 percent of taxpayers, because it increased taxes on the wealthiest a mere 3 percent (restoring Clinton-era tax rates).
Now they are using brazen lies to advocate a solution on health care that is equivalent to a 129% tax increase over eight years for a family of four at the median income level to benefit their supporters. Under the Republican do-nothing approach, what you pay for employer provided family health insurance will jump from $12,680 to $24,291 over eight years.
Even worse is the fact that every week we delay action 420 Americans die prematurely due to lack of adequate health insurance and nearly 12,000 Americans lose their homes to foreclosure due to medical causes. This is a far greater price than any American would pay under health care reform, but Republicans are silent on this because it benefits their donors.
They also want you to believe that they are fighting health reform because they don't want bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor. Hello -- does this sound vaguely familiar?: "Thank you for calling . . . all of our representatives are busy. If you are dying please press one, otherwise please leave a message and if you are lucky and behave we will call you back . . . someday."
Rather than offer a meaningful alternative to address these issues, the Republicans instead are resorting to distortion and distraction just as they did in opposing Social Security and Medicare. Sarah Palin and other Republicans are proving the Old Testament proverb that "the wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won't face facts;" with ludicrous claims that the legislation will create "death panels" with bureaucrats playing god with the fate of senior citizens (distorting a provision drafted by Republican Senator Isakson) or that there is no health care crisis.
The real reason Republicans are opposing health care was articulated by William Kristol in 1993, when he gave the Clinton health plan a death sentence due to fear that it would revive Democrats image "as the generous protector of middle-class interests." Kristol may be right because what does it say to working Americans if President Obama can pass such a bill in his first year in office, when the Republicans never lifted a finger on this issue during the 20 years they held the White House?
The sad reality is that the current town-hall screamers are being embraced by Republicans not as champions of free speech, but rather as cannon fodder in their fight to block any bill. I suspect most of them do not understand that defeating health care reform would be a pyrrhic victory since ultimately they will pay substantially more for less coverage.
Finally, be sure to remind your Congressman that they need to follow the will of the people. In America the will of the people is expressed at the ballot box and not by shouting down other views or talk radio buffoons. The fact is that in the last two elections the people have spoken far louder than any of us can shout -- nearly 70 million Americans in 2008 alone -- for Barack Obama and health care reform. Those are the voices that Congress should listen to.