Im on vacation again, and, just like last year, Im going to offer my opinion on several topics which either dont justify a full column, or I just havent had the inclination to write about them yet.
SCOTUS and the ACA: Thanks to the deciding vote of Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Courts affirmative landmark decision of the Affordable Care Act will likely change health care in America forever.
Since I suspect none of us have actually read the law and therefore are only repeating what weve ingested via our own left/right leaning news sources, we cant speak authoritatively on the subject. However, this is my take on it.
When this decision was announced, the speed and vehemence with which the Republicans threatened to repeal, not amend, the entire bill was sickening. Is there not one Republican with cojones enough to say There must be something worth saving in a two thousand page document.?
This is especially true for Mitt Romney, considering his RomneyCare in Massachusetts has all of the benefits of the national ACA, it has already proved itself worthy in that state, and he pushed it through the legislature. Let me get this straight, Massachusetts absolutely had to have RomneyCare, and now the nation doesnt need the ACA? Hypocritical does not even begin to cover his temerity.
As if the response by the politicians wasnt bad enough in its own right, Romneys campaign took in an estimated 4.6 million dollars in ONE day! Wait-a-minute. Are these the same people who are suffering through a horrible economy, no doubt unemployed (maybe for years), cant buy food or health insurance, cant pay the bills, lost their house, and yet, they got on their computers and donated this kind of dough via a credit card? Something doesnt smell right to me. Health care legislation alone cannot muster the lemmings this quickly.
Im beginning to sense there may be another, more sinister, reason the Red States want Obama out of the White House, but who would dare say it? After all, a hundred and fifty years really isnt all that long, is it?
The economy: Before Chief Justice Roberts opened the bomb bay doors and dispatched his traitorous (according to many) opinion, everything political was about the economy. Now? Except for the extremely worn out jobs mantra, the economy (per se) gets barely a sound bite. Lets discuss it anyway.
I visualize our economy as on oil tanker (approximately a thousand feet long) and consequently, once its headed in the wrong direction, it takes a long time to turn it around. I believe the public has been misled into believing that the economy went down the drain overnight, instead of the several years it actually took. Now everyone expects it to make a u-turn like a VW Beetle. You can wish all you want, like that pony for Christmas, but its not going to happen. The economy is improving, albeit slowly, and continually asking are we there yet is in no way helpful.
And, while it wont stop the drum beat of jobs, I will, none-the-less, address the issue. When President Obama took office in 2009 the unemployment rate was 6.8%, and with the failed economy, rose to a high of 10 percent in October of that year. However, since then, it has been trending down and has stood at about 8.2 percent for the last six months.
Could the rate be lower? Absolutely, but it could have also remained much higher without his intervention. Lets face it, the economy is going to improve eventually (because its cyclical) whether Obama, or Romney, is the President. I bet you a potatoe even Dan Quayle could do it in time.
Speaking of jobs, remember when I said thered be a price to pay for running off the immigrant farm hands? It happened, as reported in Eatocracy/CNN.com:
The farmers commissioned a study from the University of Georgias Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development to determine the extent of damage the shortage had done.
The study examined seven staple Georgia crops, Vidalia onions included. The findings were shocking: 18 Vidalia-producing farms lost an estimated $16,312,345 and 835 jobs. In total, the seven crops studied lost almost $75 million and more than 5,200 jobs because of the labor shortage.
Keep in mind this study is based on only seven crops, and its just one study. I wonder what the total loss across the entire agricultural industry might be, what those immigrants might have purchased with those wages, and how many small businesses might have hired workers because of those purchases? Its not a sermon, just a thought.
A final note on the economy: Has anyone noticed the stock market is up about 45% over the last 3 years? Coincidence, I think not. If you get the blame, shouldnt you also get the credit?
The Election: In November well decide whos going to be steering the ship for the next four years. It likely wont come as a surprise to you that I plan to vote for the current President. Its not because hes a Democrat, but because (to paraphrase) I like my money, guns and freedom and [I will gladly] keep the CHANGE.
Lets not forget, Romney is a gazillionaire. Its true, he got there the American way hard work and sometimes on the backs of others. In other years, we would be screaming corporate executive, he makes more in a year than Ill see in a lifetime, he closed businesses, he shipped jobs overseas, he has off shore bank accounts. Were not hearing it this year because hes all the Republicans have to offer. Except while governor, (where, did I mention, he implemented a health care plan?) his entire career has been based on greed. Its not a trait I value in a President, and while those certainly are reasons enough to not cast a vote for Romney, the main reason I wont vote for him is he tied his dog to the roof of his car and went on vacation. And, as they say in the courtroom, this speaks to character. Its a fatal flaw in my opinion.
Thats my opinion, whats yours?
Rick Godfrey writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.