Warning: This blog is political in nature.

If you are sensitive to political commentary,
please go back to my main Random Thoughts blog.

If you like political discussion, you may also like my Political Positions blog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Postal Service Reductions: A letter to my Congressman

A letter to my Congressman, Rick Boucher.


I am all for the proposed Postal Service (USPS) reductions in Saturday services. These reductions simply matches existing services offered by United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx).

Which brings up a bigger issue. Spin the USPS off as a private organization and remove the current competition restrictions on private businesses from non-priority postal delivery. USPS has outlived its purpose as a government-run organization, as private organizations have long-since proven capable in this space.

No regular-level postal employees will lose jobs, or not immediately, as only the administration will change. Private business leadership can be expected to soon bring the USPS into profitability through improvements in efficiency and cost reductions the current government affiliations do not allow. In addition, competition in the private space will provide the double benefit of improved service at lower prices.

At the very least, the USPS will benefit from an improved image. Many people and organizations, myself included, currently avoid use of regular postal mail due to its reputation for poor performance.

While private businesses such as UPS and FedEx consistently operate at a profit in the same market, USPS repeatedly runs in the red, with these large deficits covered by the generosity of the American taxpayers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Healthcare Bill: Now law, but fraudulent

There were lots of pleas for compassion going into the healthcare debates.

Every scenario has anecdotal evidence, that is, specific examples that seem to prove whatever the speaker wants to prove. Any businessperson knows that no decisions should ever be made solely on anecdotal evidence. Yes, there are people that have had huge bills due to lack of health insurance.

But did you know that most of the examples we've been given have not been accurate? Some of them have been made up, and others were blown way out of context?


The President said that people who want to get insurance on their own pay three times of that through an employer. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that's not so.

The President told the story of a man who had cancer, lost his insurance, couldn't get chemotherapy, and died. Not true -- the newspaper author of the story retracted it, but the President continued to tell the story after the retraction.

Lots of people say that people can't get medical care if they don't have insurance. They can get whatever care they need -- the law doesn't allow care providers to refuse care based on ability to pay. True, the person may get billed huge amounts (which they may never pay off, and which cannot legally be passed to inheritors), but they do get the care. Chemotherapy, heart transplants, whatever.

And just before the Congressional vote, the President introduced a small boy whose mother died of cancer after she couldn't get treatment without insurance.

Two problems with that. First, the mother was a member of a group dedicated to getting people to meet the needs of others by sharing from their own resources (a system some refer to, more-or-less accurately, as "communist"). But they wouldn't even meet the needs of one of their own members. You see, they wanted the government to meet the need, and not themselves personally, despite what they say.

But the government? That directly brings up the second point. She QUALIFIED FOR MEDICAID! But MediCaid didn't help her. She qualified for government healthcare assistance, but still didn't get it.

Yes, it's a tragic story. But the government-provided healthcare was already available, and this government-provided healthcare failed her.

And they want this already-failed system to be enforced on everyone else?!?!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Healthcare: They'll "Do Whatever It Takes"

Well, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have exposed a little more about themselves.

They have both said that they'll do "whatever it takes" to pass comprehensive government-regulated healthcare.

The problem is what it is "taking: things that are unconstitutional, and things that used to be considered illegal.

Things that are unconstitutional, like:

Requiring everyone to purchase something just for being a citizen.

Everyone makes the comparison with car insurance, but that's not accurate. For one, the law (which is state law, by the way, not federal) does not require comprehensive insurance; only other people are protected, not the owner. On the side of health care, other people were already protected from an individual's actions -- under criminal and tort law.

Secondly, auto insurance does not include wear-and-tear on the vehicle. That's the range of warranties and "extended warranties", and no state requires a car owner purchase or maintain an extended warranty on his or her car.

And things that are illegal, like:
Giving Congressmen Federal jobs if they promise to vote the "right" way. One Congressman has been promised the ambassadorship to NATO. One has been promised the administration of of NASA (they have an "administrator" rather than a "director").

These aren't "iffy" things like pork benefits to the Congressman's district that indirectly benefit the Congressman him/herself -- these are things that reasonably have cash value, since a job, even a cushy, appointed job, involves a salary. In fact, the cushy ones tend to have more monetary value than the others, since they also tend to have perks. NATO is based in Belgium -- a nice spot for a vacation home, from what I understand. And a vacation home paid for by other people that is, us, the tax-payers) is so-much-the-better.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to "kick through the door" to pass this regulation. The problem is that it's the door to someone else's house. And she knows it. And she doesn't care -- she wants in. And she wants everything you've got, so she can give it all away to her friends.

Get ready -- she's kicking on your door, and she's got a freight truck with her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Harvard University: Obama will cause gas to be $7/gallon

Think we need to regulate CO2? You know, the gas that everybody breathes out? The gas that trees need to live? The gas that some claim is causing the non-existent "global warming"?

Harvard University -- not a conservative group, but the President's own alma mater -- and reported by the New York Times, another group not exactly known for conservative leanings -- says that the Obama administration's current proposals for CO2 reductions will cause gasoline to go to $7 a gallon.

$7 a gallon for gas?

Guess what's worse -- most gas is paid for by the middle class.

Do you drive an hour each way to work? Can you afford $10,000 a year just in gas to get to and from work? And that's just gas, not any of the cost of the car or maintenance.

Cost of shipping will skyrocket. Everything in the stores will cost a LOT more, because it has to be trucked in. Even if the stuff is made locally, it has to be driven to the store.

We can't afford CO2 regulation, whether it be by the EPA, "Cap and Trade", or otherwise. Real scientists say that it's probably not causing global warming anyway.