Letters to the Editor

No GOP compromise

July 6, 2011

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To the editor:

Mike Hoeflich’s commentary (“U.S. losing art of compromise,” June 30) misses the mark by a mile. Hoeflich laments the lack of compromise by Congress, but it’s the Democrats who compromise regularly while the Republicans seldom do.

On health care, President Obama and the Democratic leadership gave up on single-payer at the start. Then Democrats caved on the limited public option. Republicans insisted that the newly insured Americans be covered by private insurers so Democrats bent over for that one, a major windfall for insurance companies.

The Democrats wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts for all but the richest Americans, but Republicans refused to budge so the rich kept their tax breaks, depriving our treasury of hundreds of billions of dollars.

On financial reform, the Republicans saw no need to tighten regulations even after the Wall Street parasites caused the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Republicans watered down the “reforms” so much that restraints on the banks will be negligible.

Now, Republicans want to provide vouchers with a $6,000 cap for Medicare recipients. Over $6,000, they are on their own to pay. One short visit to a hospital could exhaust the vouchers, so the patient could run up huge debt and face financial ruin. On this issue, the Democrats need to hang tough and not permit this pillaging of patients.

Finally, Hoeflich suggests Americans think that compromise is a bad thing. But most Americans know that compromise is good. It’s the Republican leaders in Congress who act like spoiled brats and won’t compromise for the public good.

Comments

veraleake 3 years, 8 months ago

People should never forget that real health depends how well you take care of yourself and not what health insurance you carry but I agree health insurance is important for every one. Search "Penny Health" or online for dollar a day insurance plans.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

I see the spam merchants were busy last night.

Stephen Roberts 3 years, 8 months ago

Why didn't the democrats pass the budget for 2012 while they had the majority?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

Talking with the Mope in Chief is not a conversation worth having..... (where have I heard that phrase before?)

Scott Drummond 3 years, 8 months ago

The republicans in Congress are just the bagmen for the crooks and banksters who have siezed our government and media. Until their corrupting influence is put back in balance, we will continue to be abused by their theft and greed.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 8 months ago

Your letter makes the democrats sound very weak.

And why should anyone compromise on a bill they believe is unconstitutional?

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Only if you think that trying to work together is weak, and that compromise is a bad thing.

Of course, it only works if the other side is doing the same thing. If not, we get the situation we have now.

Then, on the other hand, if the Democrats simply pass things without Republican agreement, they get criticized for that as well.

What exactly would you have them do?

Republican concerns about constitutionality seem oddly inconsistent - the Patriot Act seems unconstitutional to me, for example. And, if one opposes the use of the ICC for the health care mandate, one should logically oppose the use of it to federally prosecute home growers of marijuana in states that have legalized that. I haven't heard any Republicans talking about that one - have you?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 8 months ago

I suppose I am Republican in registration only because I am pretty consistent in my insistance that we follow the Constitution. I opposed the Iraq war, the Patriot act and the criminalization of marijuana.

The Patriot is unconstitutional and anyone that supports it is foolishly giving up their rights and freedoms in the name of security. As for marijuana - how can we allow a plethora of artifical drugs but prohibit one that is natural and has been shown to provide relief to patients. Plus, how hypocritical is it to say alcohol can be used recreationally but not pot?

Unlike many republicans I do believe government needs to stay out of our personal lives when our actions do not infringe upon the rights of others.

Compromise can be good, but let's look at the health care law. Obama's base supported the public option and believed that he would deliver so yes, when the dems caved it was not good compromise but a sign of weakness imho.

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

And, if he had pushed it despite Republican objection, then what?

We hear a lot of noise about how he pushed the whole thing through without any compromise as it is.

I'm glad to hear that your views are consistent - many are not.

Corey Williams 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, of course. Because polls are scientifically proven facts. Because the 2 to 2000 people reached by telephone can accurately represent the views of the whole country.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

They are weak, but primarily because "blue-dog" and so-called moderate Democrats take the same bribes from the same folks that the Republicans do.

Jeannie Merritt 3 years, 8 months ago

So, how is this Obama guy working out for the liberals in Lawrence?

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Better than the alternative would have - McCain/Palin if you recall.

BigAl 3 years, 8 months ago

So far, much better than that Bush guy. I'd say that the country is in better shape now than what it was when Obama took office. But, that isn't saying much. The country was in terrible shape.

beatrice 3 years, 8 months ago

Are we meant to be surprised that following a major oil disaster in the Gulf and energy disaster in Japan, combined with continued growing demand for oil in China, that the price of gas is higher now than it has been in the past? How exactly is this Obama's fault?

However, if you just want to throw numbers around, consider that the stock market was at 7,949.09 when Obama took office. Right now, it is at 12,609.90. My portfolio has almost doubled since Obama was in office. I'll take the real growth in my personal and retirement accounts over worrying about a few extra bucks at the pump.

So please, go on and on and on.

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Where again are people supposed to invest their money for retirement, if we eliminate SS?

Corey Williams 3 years, 8 months ago

Gas was around $1.30 a gallon in Knoxville, in 2002. It was $1.74 in Lawrence two years later. And just three years ago, didn't it go over $4 per gallon? So gas tripled in 6 years?
Please, go on.

somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

somedude20 3 years, 8 months ago

I do not see America voting for a mormon (even if they have magical underwear) and Bachmann has no chance of winning anything. Newt is a joke and has no chance (or staff). You have no strong candidates to remove what your ilk sees as the black man from the White House. I like Obama's chances, bring it!

If I remembered what I wrote the first time I would write it again. I have no idea what you think violates the agreement but there ain't no bad things here...move along and unring your bell!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 8 months ago

So, the Republicans are for the corrupt corporate elite and the Democrats are for the lazy welfare cheats.
It's no wonder our representatives can't agree on much, they represent us exactly.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Social Security privatization would raise the size of the government’s deficit by another $300 billion per year for the next 20 years. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

This does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

  • Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

How would the rest of the U.S. economy be affected if the private accounts replaced the current system?

Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk—it would likely put the entire economy at risk. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Why do governments shell out tax dollars to wealthy corporations? and WITHOUT our permission!

If all governments would cut corporate welfare and invest this money in IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL :

  1. many of us would be saving thousands of dollars annually

  2. big business and small business could operate for less

  3. all governments and school districts could cut operating expenses substantially

  4. employed blue and white collar workers would be healthier thus more productive

  5. All humans would have necessary healthcare 24/7

  6. in general OUR cost of living would decrease across the board

  7. New industry,small business and jobs would develop

Thus our tax dollars would be invested in our local communities providing a jump start to economic growth that which has been squandered as a result of corp welfare by reckless big governments at city,state and federal levels.

Speaking of privatization..... what is the largest single source of fraud in america? USA private industry. Why open more doors for this corrupt group?

One example:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies."

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

The constitution has been referenced a lot lately. I've almost forgotten what the constitution was all about. I certainly can't recognize it from the political dialog. I plan to read the full text, but, for now, here are snippets from the TIME, July 4 issue.

  1. The constitution has both a Commander-in-Chief clause and a Congress-must-declare-war clause. "The Congress shall have the power ... To declare war." (-Article I, Section 8); and "The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." (Article II, Section 2)

  2. "The validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned." (-14th Amendment, Section 4)

  3. "The Congress shall have power ... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States." (- Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) Is there anything in the constitution that prohibits the Affordable Care Act?

  4. "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." -14th Amendment, 1868

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

The question about the ACA is whether the Commerce clause rightly allows the federal government to mandate an individual purchase of health insurance or not.

Since health insurance is actually not sold across state lines, I fail to see an interstate commerce issue, so I would say the answer is no. My understanding of the intent of the Commerce clause was that it is supposed to allow the federal government to create rules/policies involving commerce between states.

If one allows it based on "broad regulatory schemes" or such, that seems to allow the government much too much power over individual decisions.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

The article concludes that some may consider ACA bad legislation, but that does not make the legislation unconstitutional. We'll see how this plays out.

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

What's the justification for such a broad interpretation of the ICC?

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Even if health insurance were in fact sold across state lines, I think the ICC would only properly apply to various rules involving those sales, not to requiring individuals to purchase it.

weeslicket 3 years, 8 months ago

read that article myself. good quotes.

item #2 seems a bit pressing these days.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

Can't take credit for the quotes. They were subheadings in the article.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Let’s see

Mr. Obama increased the size of the federal budget by 25% and he neither sought nor made any compromise. The Republicans want to reduce the same budget by 25% and are criticized for not compromising??

Dual standard or what?

I might mention Obama Care and all the compromise on that legislation.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

Wasn't ACA originally crafted by a group of Republicans? Much of the opposing rhetoric is deliberately uncooperative, priority #1. The Republican party is very good at orchestrating a united front, even when they are not united. Republican governors, for example, are all reading the same script. The national GOP is running the same strategy. See http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/may...

"TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback urged his fellow Republicans to support the proposed $14 billion state budget that is coming up for a vote later tonight.

And Brownback said he didn't want any Democratic votes. Reaching across the aisle for votes "is not the way you want to go," Brownback said to the House GOP caucus.

"Show the state of Kansas that Republicans can govern and they can govern as a team," he said. Republicans hold large majorities in the House and Senate."

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Well two points.

No the Republicans did not draft ACA. They had a very different view of how that would be done with much emphasis on the "private market”, limited federal regulation and minimal subsidies.

The Kansa Legislature until this year was run by a bi-partisan group composed of moderate Republicans and Democrats. This year the Republicans received sufficient votes from the citizens of Kansas that they could break that link - and did with relish!

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

"Crafted" rather than "drafted", but I get your point. I am trying to say that there is no compromise is going on. Red and Blue voters were both promised listening and compromise last election. The next election should be interesting.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely. People I talk to are not happy with anybody

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

If all governments would cut corporate welfare and invest this money in IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL :

  1. many of us would be saving thousands of dollars annually

  2. big business and small business could operate for less

  3. all governments and school districts could cut operating expenses substantially

  4. employed blue and white collar workers would be healthier thus more productive

  5. All humans would have necessary healthcare 24/7

  6. in general OUR cost of living would decrease across the board

  7. New industry,small business and jobs would develop

Thus our tax dollars would be invested in our local communities providing a jump start to economic growth that has been squandered as a result of corp welfare by reckless big governments at city,state and federal levels.

About privatization: Think fraud and the most reliable source of fraud committed against the consumers,taxpayers and government. Yep american private industry aka corporate america.

But one example:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies."

The star witness...

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

By Doug Orr

The opponents of Social Security will stop at nothing in their long crusade to destroy the most efficient retirement system in the world. Opponents have taken two tracks to attack Social Security.

The first is to claim the system as it is will fail, and the second is to claim that privatization is a better way to provide for retirement security. The first claim was the favorite from 1935 to about 2001.Then the privatization claim became the vogue. Now the first is back on the table.

With corporations routinely defaulting on their pension promises, more and more workers must rely on their individual wealth to make up the difference. The stock market collapse at the turn of the millennium wiped out much of the financial wealth of middle class Americans, and the collapse of the housing bubble has wiped out much of their remaining wealth.

Making any cuts to Social Security now, either by raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, would have a huge impact on their remaining retirement income and are not necessary to “save the system.” In fact, to make the most of the modifications currently being proposed by Obama's commission would be the height of folly.

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

Speaking of the Campaigner in Chief: "President Obama, yesterday: “I’ve asked leaders of both parties and both houses of Congress to come here to the White House on Thursday so we can build on the work that’s already been done and drive towards a final agreement. It’s my hope that everybody is going to leave their ultimatums at the door, that we’ll all leave our political rhetoric at the door.” President Obama, today: “The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners, for oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars because the price of gasoline has gone up so high.” http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/271241/obama-uses-some-political-rhetoric-left-outside-door

weeslicket 3 years, 8 months ago

Part 1: you know, it's funny how our history comes back to haunt us. i remember in 2000, we had a surplus. and the big arguments were about how to use that surplus. there were 3 items in play, mostly. 1. debt reduction 2. social security (et. al.) solvency 3. reduce taxes

i thought, at the time, that it made the most sense to pay off our collective bills when it was easy to do so. we could have actually started paying off our debts at the beginning of 2K, when it would have felt pretty darn painless.

but, reduce taxes is what happened. because "that money is ours". even though we were reminded that our debt is also ours. (and then we put 2 wars on a credit card.)

and now here we are.

bisky1 3 years, 8 months ago

somedude: the only one to see a blackman in the house is you, the rest of us want a job, security, opportunity, and low taxes. bisky

weeslicket 3 years, 8 months ago

Part 2: i am reminded by others that it is never a good thing to raise taxes during down times. but then, i am reminded by others that it is also never a good thing to raise taxes during up times. well, where does that eventually get you?

i am reminded by others that it is never a good thing to raise taxes during down times. but then, those other people don't remind me that it is also often a good thing to increase spending during down times. but spending must be paid for. (any ideas on how to pay for our operating costs? could revenues help in any way? perhaps during less painful times?)

as a nation, in the year 2000, when we had a chance to pay our bills: we did not pay our bills. and now look at our choices.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Cut the operating costs. They havenot alkways been this high!

Mike Ford 3 years, 8 months ago

here it comes, Bush created this mess, Bush gets a pass from idiots who seem to be permanently stuck in we don't accept any responsibility for 2000-2008. They have a johnny come lately sense of reality that they think allows them to deflect any blame. Mr. Obama inherited a boat with many holes in it. First hole, car industry.... GM cuts brands survives and pays down much of it's debt..... Fiat is negotiating to pay Chrysler's debt ahead of time. Second hole....wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yes we deal with corrupt leaders there but they're our corrupt allies...troop downsizing and Osama Bin Laden gone.. failure??? really.... Stocks were around 6500 in February 2009, they are flirting with 13,000 now. After 6 years of boycotting Dubya and leaving my 401K off the market, I put my 401K back in the market recently. Bank bailouts are a problem because as soon as these crooks recovered they decided they were not going to follow the trickle down GOP model of mythology and actually share the fruits of their market manipulation with the rest of us. Remember the Michael Milken I got mine mentality....It's baaaaaack..... When a country is bottoming out unemployment and housing numbers stay low. We have to head north at some point. The GOP cannot claim Obama's programs are failures on their own when they've actively and publically worked for these programs to fail. You're either the problem or the solution and right now the GOP is so intent on clobbering this country into oblivion for political gain that they don't care and neither do the dimwits who vote for them. Welcome to class war. I remember it in the eighties also

Mike Ford 3 years, 8 months ago

he kind of had to otherwise these dimwits would've opposed him him right out of the gate. you couldn't figure that one out? really???

jayhawxrok 3 years, 8 months ago

The Republicans are a mess....once again a party hijacked. When they are in the majority they ram their agenda down the throats of the country, despite how many initiatives have been proven not to work again and again. When Dubya was Pres, the Reps spent and spent and spent and raised the debt ceiling every year he was in office, twice in one year. Now they draw a line in the sand that makes sense only to themselves and which doesn't benefit the country in any way. I do not beieve they are capable of putting country before party....their agenda has been to oppose Obama, not at all to govern responsibly. Obama inherited a mess, Americans are smart enough to know he didn't create it and we're smart enough to know if tax cuts were the answer to every fiscal problem ever conceived, we'd be rulers of the world by now since that's all the Reps ever bring to the table.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

So tax increases are the answer to every possible issue? Given that we only tax about half of our working population and that our projected deficit is greater than our GDP just how much do you think you would have to take to continue down the path we are on. The answer is all of it as when you reach the GDP there is no more.

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