A new perspective on what is happening in Washington DC....from the Heritage Foundation.

Jennifer - posted on 04/11/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Changing the Culture of Washington
This Congress was sent to Washington with a simple mandate from the American people: cut federal spending and get government under control. Friday night's budget compromise to avert a government shutdown embraced these principles, but also left plenty of work to be done. Congress has finally started cutting spending instead of running up the tab on future generations, and we hope the budget deal changed the culture of Washington. No longer should budgets be railroaded through Washington that increase spending and grow government. From here on out, the question should be: What can be cut?

One good thing to have come out of this process is that the debate has clearly shifted. Though the details of the compromise remain murky, what's clear is that the national mood is for cutting, and all the reformist ideas are coming from one side only. We'll see what President Obama has to say about reforming entitlements when he addresses the nation on Wednesday. But so far, Congressional Democrats have been unwilling to make serious efforts toward cutting spending or consider much needed reforms to an entitlements regime that has grown out of all proportions, consumes the lion's share of our federal budget and will ultimately consign America to second-class status. They refused all but the most minuscule reductions in the 2011 budget, and their response to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wi.) ground-breaking 2012 budget has been demagoguery.

The liberal approach to the debate over the 2011 budget spoke volumes. Just last week, as a partial government shutdown loomed, liberal leaders pulled out every dirty trick in the book to protect their culture of spending. Liberal Members of Congress foolishly said Republicans were trying to "kill women" and end cancer screenings. The pitch of their tirade showed how desperate they were to maintain the status quo spending environment. It didn't work, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) was in the end able to deliver a compromise deal that amounted to the largest spending cut in history.

In what we can only hope is a harbinger of things to come, labor unions' power to protect the status quo was diminished as Speaker Boehner fought to allow inner-city children to safely receive a quality education. Restoring the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program was a great victory for parents in and outside of Washington who have all too often seen their needs fall second to the financial interests of union bosses. It also set the debate on future education funding to be measured in results, not federal dollars spent.

After taking care of this unfinished business from last year – for let's not forget that then Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) failed to pass a budget in 2010 – Speaker Boehner must now move on to much bigger battles over raising the debt limit and the 2012 budget.

In reality, even one of the biggest spending cuts in history is merely a drop in the bucket. A handful of days of deficit spending. A rounding error. But this should merely demonstrate how much there is left to accomplish. If the battle over such modest cuts can elicit the venom we saw from liberals this past week – imagine what is in store as we tackle the 2012 budget and the debt ceiling.

The 2012 budget debate will begin now. We cannot allow the same avoidance of responsibility to put us back into this situation next year. There will be important opportunities to cut spending and borrowing deeply and comprehensively, including real entitlement reform and limiting the size and scope of government. In this debate, liberals will look for these cuts to be brokered on the backs of our military. We must better resist those mistaken efforts.

America is still on a dangerous fiscal path. A cut of $38.5 billion will not change that. A larger one of $61 billion would not have changed that. Even one of $100 billion would not have changed that. The moral victories of the past are now merely small steps on the road to true Washington reform. The future fights over entitlement and budget reform will need to be measured in the trillions, not billions. And that debate begins today.

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Johnny - posted on 04/19/2011

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I guess I should call up my 93 year old grandma who has been in and out of hospital for several years and let her know her time is up. Next time, no paramedics! It's out to an ice flow for you GG!

I can not believe how people buy into these lies about universal health care coverage. As someone who has lived with it my whole life and has never been turned away, I find this fear mongering sad and ridiculous.

Just for the record. We can see our doctor whenever we feel the need. He often fits us in on the same day. When I need to see a specialist, I get referred immediately. If I am at an increased risk of a disease, he'll send me for routine screenings. When my breast size was becoming a problem and causing severe back pain and headaches, I was offered a breast reduction.

Knowing many Americans, having discussed this at length with Americans, it does not sound like you have a particularly superior system in any way.

How do you pay for it? Well, we use tax dollars and everyone who can afford it pays premiums based on income up to a certain level (flat above that). And we don't spend billions and billions on our military.

Johnny - posted on 04/21/2011

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If you would be interested in reading a multitude of peer-reviewed studies supporting the existence of a consensus in the scientific community supporting the existence of climate change, please peruse the articles on this site:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/57...

Not Greenpeace. Not a lobby group. Not funded by hippies or mega-corporations. Just Science magazine and a list of studies published in recognized scientific journals specifically about how the scientific community has formed a consensus on climate change. Some of these also address why it is that people are being convinced that there is no consensus or that the scientists must be wrong and the sources of financing behind these efforts.

I do find it interesting that someone so dedicated to America is wanting to accept information from an organization that receives funding from Korean Intelligence Services and not one that receives much of it's funding from everyday Americans.

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2011

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I am sorry you don't seek a relationship with God, that makes me sad. But I respect your opinion and your right to worship or not. Yes, of course all of America has stopped to wonder why did they want to hurt us after 9-11 but keep in mind that Muslims have staged attacks in England, Egypt, India, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Iraq, Iran and Syria (more I am sure, but no time to look up). The reason they attacked us is because America is their biggest enemy, we represent the freedom of mankind and they wish to destroy that. Read "Because they Hate" by Brigette Gabrielle for a first hand account of Muslim terror.

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2011

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My opinion is that Cananda is lucky to have us for a neighbor, our military keeps the bad guys at bay in this part of the world and it doesn't cost the Canadians billions and billions.

Also my dad went on a govt funded program when he didn't have insurance any more to cover treatment for cancer. In America, people are get the treatment they need whether they can pay or not.

I have a friend from Canada who complained bitterly about the health care system in Canada. One example, when her father was sick he was put on a six month waiting list for an MRI that was needed to help determine his diagnosis. They would up taking him across into North Dakota so he could get some timely treatment.

Mary Elizabeth - it is specifically because I want everyone to get what help they need that I do no support socialized medicine.

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Johnny - posted on 04/21/2011

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You have misinterpreted my comments. I did not state that Ms. Gabriel was not a legitimate source of information. She can tell the world what she experienced and there is nothing illegitimate about that. What I was stating is that she has a strong bias.

Many Lebanese Muslims can tell similar stories of atrocities committed against them and their families by the Christians. It was a civil war.

Comparing the Lebanese Civil War to the holocaust is an affront to all of those who suffered and died under the Nazis.

If one views history through only one lens, one will miss the entire picture.

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2011

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I think that saying Ms.Gabriel is not a legitimate source of information about Muslim terror is like saying a Holocuast survivor doesn't have credibility about anti-semitism. Somehow I knew you would say she just isn't credible. I mean how could she be when she personally had her life destroyed by radical muslims?

Johnny - posted on 04/21/2011

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If I may point out, Egypt, India, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Philippines (etc.) are Muslim nations with their own internal battles or nations with very large Muslim populations. They are not attacking some external force, they are fighting amongst themselves.

England has stuck its nose in the business of Muslim-dominated countries farther back than even America. You remember colonialism right? That great evil Brittania that America fought against? Well, the Muslims felt pretty much as keen about being colonized by the British as Americans did. After World War II Britain was primarily responsible for the creation of the state of Israel, which we all know that Muslims just love.

The same goes for quite a few of the other western nations, such as Italy and France that Islamic extremists have attacked. They have been heavily historically involved in the Islamic world. Including colonizing Algeria and Somalia.

And don't forget, many of the European terrorists are not some crazies from a far off land. They are youth born and raised in those countries who have become alienated, latched on to an extremist ideology and turned to violence. Just like any other nasty cult. Like the Manson Family or the Branch Davidians.

Muslims are not some sort of united, uniform being intent on attacking America. Some are secular and hate America for invading their friends and neighbors and stealing their oil. Others might be Islamists who hate Americans for being Christians.

One would have hoped that the recent battle for freedom by the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria might have indicated that Muslims don't wish to destroy freedom. They wish to gain it for themselves. Just not entirely on America's terms. Terms which often includes living under brutal dictators who, while preserving America's access to oil and fighting terrorists, also send some of that lovely money America gives them to their own Swiss bank accounts and to a few terrorist cells that will continue to launch attacks that force the America to continue funding said same corrupt dictator. It's rather a vicious circle.

By the way, as for "Brigitte Gabriel", I also don't consider a Lebanese Christian who lived through their civil war to deliver a particularly unbiased view on the Muslim/American situation.

As for my lack of belief, I certainly didn't intend to sadden you. For me, it has never been anything but a positive. Not a day goes by that I wish for a relationship with a God I do not believe exists.

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2011

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People have to decide for themselves who is more believable Heritage or Greenpeace. I personally believe that human caused climate change is a lie perpetuated by environmental extremists. There has been plenty of evidence that even NASA has been involved in the doctoring of data in order to support the "we are destroying the planet" dogma. I don't think anyone really KNOWS if the planet is getting hotter or not since he haven't been keeping close tabs on global temps for a couple thousand years. Also, some places in the world are getting colder, not warmer and we all know that climate change on Earth is completely normal. Al Gore's book has been totally debunked as political junk science and there is NO consensus in the scientific community about global climate change.

Johnny - posted on 04/20/2011

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LOL. I don't blame America first. I just include America as being responsible for many of the world's problems. Have you ever stopped to think about why the Islamists have targeted America to such an extent when it is on the other side of two oceans and has a very small and liberal Muslim population? As for "evil", it takes two to play that game. I could come up with a rather long list of evil deeds by America around the globe. But that is whole other issue. I don't pray, but I like to hope that one day common sense will prevail and America will stop looking for new enemies. The world is a nasty enough place without looking for more.

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2011

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As far as funding for PP, I would be happy, delighted really, to send my tax dollars to them if they would stop providing abortions. I totally support afforable health care for women but I do think funding should be state to state for tax dollars, not from the feds.

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2011

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Johnny, yes I figured that would be your response. Maybe a member of the blame America first crowd? You are entitled to your opinion but the fact is America has a proud history of trying to defend the world against evil. We are not perfect and have made mistakes but in the final analysis America has always stood against evil and I sincerely pray that we will continue to do so.

Johnny - posted on 04/20/2011

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Oh yes, thank you for rushing around the world creating enemies that then have to be "kept at bay". We are eternally grateful, lol!

There are regional problems with our medical system. Canada's population is far smaller and in our hinterlands is far more spread out. It is absolutely out of the question that we can afford to supply high level health care to people in towns of 200 people 500 miles from the nearest center. In some provinces, there are more waitlisting issues than others. But actually living here, I have only met one or two people in my life that would like us to change over to your system of doing things. Most Canadians are very happy with what we have. It is not perfect, it could be improved, but I wouldn't trade it for anyone else's.

ME - posted on 04/20/2011

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Thanks "Johnny," it's so frustrating to me that Americans are SO misinformed about Universal Health Care...or that they are too greedy and selfish to want to help their neighbors...

[deleted account]

I also don't agree that it reduces the services between doctor and patient. The requirement to carry preventive services (which most major medical type policies did NOT do) only increases the communication between doctor and patient. It also opens the door to routine screenings that maybe people wouldn't have had before like their colonoscopy and their mammograms. I happen to like my employer and we were ahead of the pack by having all these preventive services at no cost beginning 3 years ago and we have proof from our members that costs on diseases have dramatically decreased due to increased early detection.

[deleted account]

Tort reform hasn't done anything in Texas to reduce medical costs. I would also disagree that it is always destructive of an economy. There are far too many things to consider in an economy. In addition, when you really crunch the polls more people in those countries love their insurance. Now as to lifetime max's. You may think $500K is a lot but it's not. My father had a severe illness and lengthy hospitilization in 2009-2010 (6 months in the hospital and 2 months in a skilled nursing facility). His total bill including everything was just shy of $400K. And it could easily occur again. Now if he had a lifetime max of $500K, he's screwed. I'm not familiar with too many other options. Picking up another policy may not be an option depending on where you live. I'm in NY. If his policy capped out on him and he wanted to buy his own policy in addition to it, I'll use what my company offers as an example. The first is Healthy New York which is a scaled down policy with benefits mandated by the state for people who cannot afford insurance on their own but do not qualify for medicaid and are not on medicare. It runs about $240 a month. However his pensions put him out of the income range. Ok, his next option is a full scale policy that runs $1400 a month for a SINGLE policy. He couldn't afford that. Now what? (Just for giggles, the family version of that policy is $3600 give or take a few cents.) So I'm curious what other options you would suggest. Unless we want to now call the insurance company the death panel who woudl have been killing my daddy. This is why hyperbole like that is silly. (Just like the killing of women by the cutting of funds to PP. It will cause major problems with women having access to healthcare but probably won't kill that many women.)

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2011

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The biggest argument of socialized medicine is WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM??? We can afford to GIVE AWAY top quality health care.

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2011

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Yes, there are some problems with medical insurance and they mostly have to do with tort laws that are driving up the cost of medicine because of lawsuits. You can thank the Breck boy and his cohorts for that! We DO NOT want socialized medicine. It doesn't provide good services and results in significanlty reducing the resources available to patients and interferes with the doctor patient relationship through cost controlling regulations. Just look at how national health care has DESTROYED the economy of Britain. In Canada, you better be someone important if you need serious care, or you better come to the US. Another glowing example of socialized medicine.

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2011

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There are two significant problems with socialized medicine - there isn't enough money coming in to provide the kind of quality care we have now in the US through taxes. The lifetime max on my insurance is like 500,000 and if it runs out then there are other options.

Kelly - posted on 04/18/2011

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As a former member of an airline union, let me assure you they don't give a damn about safety rules. The COMPANIES are more concerned with fatigue, and ensuring rest times are met, especially for pilots.

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Because that may be the stated intention but killing the bill, takes away responsibility to ensure pilot safety rules.

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But Jennifer, we already had that in the form of annual and lifetime maximums in private insurance. The health care reform bill removed those limitations for the most part. Now if you're saying that the end result will be the same, why is there even an argument over it?

Jennifer - posted on 04/16/2011

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Ok, looked up the aviation bill. Some of the Repubs want to change the union rules as to how the workers organize. Why is that compromising their moral high ground?

Jennifer - posted on 04/16/2011

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No the death panels and killing grandma is a real consequence of socialized medicine. When you have to start saying that a life is worth a certain dollar amount each year and you won't get more, in England its about 23,000 and then they cut you off, death panels and killing grandma becomes real.
The hybebole of the left leading up to the budget compromise that women's health would be compromised because we want to defund Planned Parenthood is a lie, like them saying 70,000 kids would die if we passed the budget the Conservatives wanted.

Jennifer - posted on 04/16/2011

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What is the air safety bill that they killed? I would like to look it up.

Jennifer - posted on 04/16/2011

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The Heritage Foundation is a great source of information. With real facts that do not try to rewrite history or play numbers games to support their political views...only what is truth.

Kelly - posted on 04/16/2011

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Isn't the real issue here that spending needs to be cut severely? There is a finite amount of money that can be confiscated via taxation. At some point soon, spending is going to have to be slashed. Our debt is at a dangerously critical level. The fact is that we cannot afford to spend any more money as a country, and we need to cut what is already being spent. Instead of fighting tooth and nail for more money (while pretending to take the high road) why aren't democrats working WITH the House to get reckless spending out of control?

We have become a bloated entitled beast of a country. Some serious sacrifices are going to have to be made, and some hard pills are going to have to be swallowed. Better to do it now before things escalate beyond repair. If China decides to call our debt, the dollar is worthless. No one wants to see that happen, do they?

ME - posted on 04/12/2011

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The Heritage Foundation is not exactly an unbiased source of information...

[deleted account]

"Just last week, as a partial government shutdown loomed, liberal leaders pulled out every dirty trick in the book to protect their culture of spending. Liberal Members of Congress foolishly said Republicans were trying to "kill women" and end cancer screenings."

Would that be like "death panels" and "killing Grandma?"

I'm neither liberal nor democrat but let's not pretend that the Republicans are on some high moral ground after they killed the air safety bill.

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