In a recent Blade article, Republicans said they expect 2010 gains in Michigan due to concerns over fiscal responsibility, which supposedly is a characteristic of GOP conservatives.
Where does this ridiculous myth come from? Budget-busting deficits were initially proposed by President Reagan when he rolled out his "Star Wars" program, and he actually increased the size of the federal government in other areas. Republicans never looked back from increasing spending after that, and brought deficits to an art form when, under President George W. Bush, they cut taxes and went to war on two fronts simultaneously. Going to war and not asking the public to pay for it with some type of increased taxation, was something no other president or Congress has ever done.
Is this one of their examples of fiscal responsibility?
While Congress has the final authority to approve money spent, the budgetary process begins with a submission by the executive branch. Prior to President Obama taking office, Republicans controlled the White House 20 of the last 28 years and Congress 12 of the last 16 years. So where has this fiscal restraint been and where was the "tea party" crowd that's now ranting about spending?
On the health-care front, the GOP was silent all of these years despite the fact that it was eating up more and more of our national budget. Now that the Democrats have started the debate, the GOP vehemently opposes the most fiscally responsible way to pay for health care, which is a single-payer program.
Under mainly Republican and conservative management, our economy has been sent over a cliff, and our health-care system is in tatters. These situations didn't just pop up in the last nine months.
In the battle over health care, the medical-industrial complex is fighting for money but American citizens are fighting for their lives.
If we eliminate wasteful spending, corruption, and health insurance bureaucrats' bloated pay and golden parachutes, we would reduce the exorbitant cost of our current broken, bankrupting, deadly health-care system. Our $2.4 trillion cost of medical treatments annually (16 percent of GDP) must be reduced to sustain our domestic economy's viability. We can no longer stay the course like the obstructionist Republicans in the minority want.
Free-market competition needs to be introduced. Public health care would provide competition to the for-profit, mega, medical corporations.
How about an option to voluntarily elect Medicare before age 65? Republicans argue that the majority of people would flock to the public plan and they use this argument as a reason not to do it. That argument is the exact reason to do it. Eighty-three percent of Americans know it's time for American health care.
When the lawmakers in our country decide to forgo their own "Cadillac" plan of health-care coverage, and use for themselves and their families whatever it is they want to mandate for us, we seniors and others who are skeptical just might come around to their way of thinking.
I can remember my father saying, "Don't do as I do, do as I say." I didn't like it then, and I like it less now.
I do not trust people who give our Social Security dollars to those who never contributed to the system. I do not trust those who insert addendums to bills to make the bills more palatable to certain lawmakers. I do not trust those who tell me that they will iron out the kinks in programs after they have been passed.
Once 100 senators and 435 representatives move down the health-care road, there will be no turning back.
I have been a wheelchair-user and advocate for people living with disabilities for nearly 30 years. For all of those years I have dreamed of living in a community so welcoming and accessible that there would be no reason to have signage directing certain people to certain entrances, this bathroom, or that drinking fountain. I never thought I would see it, but I just did.
As manager of public relations for the Ability Center, I toured the new Lucas County Arena in the company of members of its design team. As one who has been on plenty of these walkthroughs, usually ending up with a "close-but-no-cigar" rating, I have to say, this time, it was a pleasure.
There is so much to appreciate with the arena's grand design: the attention to aesthetics and inclusion of subtle design elements that celebrate Toledo and the music and sports that will take place inside. But with regard to usability, every surrounding parking facility offers a number of accessible spaces, every entrance, every bathroom, every sink, every drinking fountain is accessible. Without exception, every gathering space: the corridors, the terraces, the suites, the concession stands and bar, all were designed with flexibility and accessibility in mind.
Every accessible seat (and there are many) has an intimate and unobstructed view. All of the transitions from outside to inside, from room to hallway, were smooth and inviting. There is very little carpeting and where there is, it is low pile and offers little to no resistance to chair-users. There is Braille where there needs to be Braille, audio instruction in the elevators, and an audio induction loop for patrons with hearing issues. They've thought of everything.
I shouldn't be surprised. After all, these, for the most part, are the same people who were involved in the creation of Fifth Third Field, another accessible gem in the reinvention of downtown Toledo, voted number one minor league ballpark in the country. Now, I believe they've even topped that.
I am a family farmer near Hamler in Henry County. My wife and son and I make up just part of more than 25,000 Ohio grain farmers and I support state Issue 2, to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
I will be going to the polls Nov. 3 to vote yes for Issue 2 because farmers know best how to care for their flocks and herds. Issue 2 will create a board made up of Ohio experts in animal care, food safety, and farming and keep out-of-state activist groups from dictating how we farm.
I grow corn that feeds animals in Ohio. My family farm exists because of the state's livestock and poultry farms.
Agriculture is a major contributor to Ohio's economy. We are fortunate to have a long history of family farms producing safe, affordable, locally raised food. Let's keep it that way.
Join me and vote yes on State Issue 2 this November.
My representative in Congress, Bob Latta, says he votes for his district. But with unemployment ranging from 15.9 percent in Williams County to 8.7 percent in Mercer County, with an average of 13.4 percent, he still voted against extending unemployment for an additional 13 weeks.
But why should he care when he got a job and the best health insurance in the country by using his dad's name? He needs to learn that everyone on unemployment is looking for work and needs this to get them by until they fi nd a job. But he still votes the way the Republican Party tells him. Time to put him on the unemployment line with the GOP.
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