A Pox on Both Your Houses

August 10, 2013

Events of the past few months should, to any thinking individual, convince him of the disingenuousness and ineffectualism of the partisanship and ideological that pervades our political system, and which are two sides of the same corrupt, counterfeit coin. 

As several prominent Republicans queued up to ridicule President Obama for his long-planned week on Martha’s Vineyard, especially in the midst of so much turmoil (as though there has been no turmoil for the preceding fifty-one weeks), Congress adjourned for a four-week summer “recess” after doing virtually nothing when it was in session.  According to my count, Congress passed a mere fifteen laws in the past six months, which, at that rate, would make it the least productive Congress in history. (On second thought, in view of their collective lack of competence, perhaps that is a good thing.)

 Similarly, after ballyhooing incessantly that Obamacare needs to be repealed and funding for it denied, just prior to going into summer recess Republicans rushed to join with their Democrat counterparts who at least ostensibly, vigorously support the law, to praise Mr Obama’s “reinterpretation” of the law so as to exempt Congress and staff members from having to pay for their own medical coverage as we lesser citizens have to do.  You may recall that in 2010, amidst much fanfare, Congress boasted that since Obamacare was good enough for all other citizens, it should apply equally to those in Congress, and both parties amended the law so to provide.  Not so fast!  As the consequence of that commitment was about to become a reality, members of Congress and their staff began to freak out.  Under present law, they will lose the subsidies that they presently receive under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP, which picks up about three-quarters of the average premium, while correspondingly, because they make too much money, they would not qualify for subsidies under the Obamacare-mandated exchanges.  Recognizing that it would be a horrible injustice for Congress to have to abide by the laws to which the rest of us are subject, at Mr Obama’s request with Congress’ blessing, the Office of Personnel Management decreed that the provision in the 2010 law (and which begins with “notwithstanding any other provision of law”) was not intended by the Affordable Care Act to change the subsidies granted in  the 1959 law that created the FEHBP.  Voila, taxpayers will continue to chip in $4,900 for individual and $10,000 for family coverage for millionaire Senators and the affluent professionals who are chiefs of staff, legislative directors and the like.

 Charles Beard (a historian with whom I have little agreement) liked to argue that the American revolution was less about “home rule” that it was about “who rules at home.”  While that point is debatable with respect to our Revolution, it is clear that partisanship and ideology are mere proxies for a bedrock thirst for power by small minded, self-centered individuals.

 George Washington warned us that “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.  Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”  We have consented to making it our master.  Unless we all discard such foolishness and concentrate only on what empirically is shown to work, we shall reap the whirlwind.

 Of course that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong…………………….


© Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com 2013  Reproduction, copying or use of this post without the written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Richard L Wise and RLWise.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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