Tag: Virginia

Public Option Advocates in Downtown Leesburg

On our way to the public library this evening with my family, we passed by a very peaceful demonstration of approx 30 people in downtown Leesburg.  I noticed the signs for “Support Public Option” (or something very similar).  As I passed by the group and turned north on 15, I adamantly shook my head in disagreement.  That’s when I saw the other signs (most likely the opposite side of the sign I first saw), “Health Care for All”.  So, by expressing my disagreement with the public option, I am also displaying by my opinion AGAINST Health care for all? 

These two are obviously not synonymous; the public option has to do with insurance not the providing of health care.  No one ever states that anyone (with cash or without) can get health care from almost any emergency room across the country.  Regardless, the goal seems to be to link the Public Option with an emotion triggering idea such as “Health care for all.”  Anyone who opposes the public option surely opposes health care for all, right? Ummm….not really.

It’s the same emotional carrot that is dangled in front of the public when politicians/activists promote higher funding for educational programs; it’s FOR THE KIDS, you hate monger!   Sure does generate an emotional response.   I don’t want to be thought of as an uncaring unenlightened schnob that thinks that if you can’t pay for health care, then tough titties.  Who does?  And that’s the bitch of it.  It allows the debate to never talk about the basic fundamentals for each argument. 

In one corner, we have a group that believes that the government is the solution.  Government control is best; government knows best.  Through the government’s intervention, we can provide everyone healthcare.  Popular thoughts:  “Why doesn’t the other side care about the folks who are hurting and struggling; we’re a rich country so we should do something.  If it meant health care for all, I would pay more taxes.”  The rub:  By providing everyone healthcare, the only way to reduce cost (to even sustain this coverage) is to limit access.

In the other corner, we have a group that believes in limited Government.  The Government has its place for regulation and removing barriers to competition (if they actually do this, seems rare now a days doesn’t it?).  It’s only through competition that you can lower costs.  Besides if there more completion, there’s more options and more choices.  Popular thoughts:  “If the other side is so willing to pay higher taxes to provide health care for all, how many people’s health care are they currently paying for (my guess is zero)?  If I feel that I have a case against my insurance company, I can bring them to court.  I can’t bring my government to court if I suspect wrong doing, unethical behavior or otherwise.  How can a private company compete with the government?  Why doesn’t the government allow insurance companies to compete against each other across state lines?”  The rub:  It’s easy to give power to government and it’s hard to give people responsibility for their own well being.

Since these fundamentals do not readily fit on a sign that any person can hold on the corner of a street or in a town hall meeting, I guess we will never get down to brass tacks.

Used Book Sales!

I just love used book sales!  Wonderful way to “recycle” your books and pick up a few for you and the family for very cheap…all the while supporting your local libary.  This one is at the Cyr Gates Community Center, 300 Parkview Drive, New Iberia on November 6th.  Check it out!

Here is one in McLean, VA, a little earlier in September.  We’ve found some good ones here!

Better yet, check out this Book Sale Finder website to find one near you!

Deed Delivers at GMU

Loudoun Independent reports on Deed’s latest speech this week delivered at GMU.  Common themes throughout were:

  • Tax credits for small business.  Here, here!  Well it was a brief mention, but I grab onto these ideas when I hear them. We need lower taxes as well as tax credits!
  • Not taking/reducing funding monies from Education.  Even though he says that he supports zero based budgets (Traditional budgeting only increases need to be justified.  Zero-based budget requires justification of all budgeted dollars), he says that he disagrees with reducing Education monies.  This doesn’t quite jive, but who’s holding him accountable for that?    In fact he seems to support Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money!  In “2004, I voted for the largest investment in education funding in the Commonwealth’s history.” 
  • Government is best way to provide opportunity.  This should be taken away as the over-arching theme and the one with which I am most concerned.  “…it’s the people we elect who have the biggest impact on your educational and economic opportunities.”  I disagree whole-heartedly with this assessment.  In fact, it’s this governmental impact that I’d like to reduce….give the power back to the people. 

VA Lawmakers Saving Us from Ourselves

Many of the 879 laws passed in the recent 45-day General Assembly session come into effect today.  I am very thankful for the no-writing/reading of texts/e-mails-while-driving law, but I don’t think it goes far enough.  Based on my own experiences, I think an amendment should be added that prohibits the following activities while driving:

  • Putting on makeup
  • Writing
  • Eating
  • Playing electronic games or use of cell phone apps
  • Drinking (no more cupholders, car costs would go down)
  • Getting Dressed/Changing Clothes (admit it, you’ve done this!)
  • Going to the bathroom (Guys, you can’t deny you’ve done this at least once!)
  • Reading the newspaper or anything else
  • Reading a map (of course if this is a law, they have to provide everyone a free GPS)
  • Operating a DVD player (for the kids, right)
  • Distracting communications that would ultimately divert drivers attention away from driving–this includes arguments with your significant other or any other member of your family, breaking up fighting kids in the backseat, and any stressful cellphone conversations wtih clients, co-workers, bosses, HR, payroll, security, banker, parole officer, etc. 

Of course additional ammendments may be added as new hazards are discovered or made up.

More On (Moron) Loudoun Taxes

I’ve been thinking about what the Loudoun County Government Administrator said last year about county taxes.  He said that the issue isn’t how high the taxes should be, rather how much taxes loudoun residents would pay.

In a recent public forum regarding the Loudoun County budget, the majority of the “public” at the forum seemed to be in favor of higher taxes.  In fact, they applauded it.  Flash back to 2004 when Loudoun County Board of Supervisors member created:

“Loudoun Legacy Fund to provide citizens the opportunity to voluntarily contribute funds above and beyond the taxes levied on real estate.

Through the Legacy Fund, individuals, businesses, estates, trusts and any other entity may make voluntary contributions and may designate those contributions to any of the agencies and departments of the Loudoun County Government, such as Parks, Recreation and Community Services; Economic Development; the Loudoun County Public Schools; and the Loudoun Public Library; and for projects such as road improvements and land easements. “

The website even provides who the check should be written out to and the address where the check should be sent.  Given the latest hoopla (a technical term) for and about higher taxes for Loudoun County residents, you’d think that this Legacy Fund was being used to the fullest, right?  Think again.  I was advised this week via voice mail from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors that the Legacy Fund was shut down for lack of use and interest.  If that doesn’t provide market research or proof of what Loudoun residents think of higher taxes, I don’t know what does.