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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/20/10

What Part of Life Belongs to Politics?

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Message Margaret Bassett
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Long ago I recognized that the political process is, by definition, reactive. A good candidate gauges the mood of his/her constituents and acts accordingly. If the public becomes restive it is pretty sure that government will change. For the better, if a ballot-driven process points to a new course. For the worse, if bedlam breaks out and each "citizen" "voter" "taxpayer" begins to take seriously that he/she has the answer to a current catastrophe. Those who consider themselves to be leaders are likely to yell "anarchy." The quiet herd makes noises similar to what recently was called teabagging.

I'm sick and tired, too. But sick and tired of wasted words from those who seem to claim authority. Even more put off by those who believe they have the expertise to advise elected officials, as though they are somehow posture-chair generals.

Please understand I do not advocate that Americans adopt a drunk tank approach. It's their country and they have a right to speak--and act--their minds. However, a basic principle might be followed concerning an individual's rights under the constitution (liberally laced with a general dose of study) where ultimately is recognized that he/she is "one among many."

It pays, I think, that there's everyone else and then there's me. I could function if I couldn't read or write--or watch popular television. If all my present and future needs are being tended to, why should I get the Beltway blues?

Before the New Deal changed things, and if I could have remained on the farm, perhaps it would have worked. As it is, I'm doing my tax returns this weekend and I watch Medicare as I have since I turned 65. Also I watch what the general public likes. On my darkest days I wonder if they don't want too much while putting out too little effort and time. Nothing rankles me more than the phrase "Medicare for all" when I think that many don't recognize that Medicare is no free ride. First of all, Medicare only pays doctors 80% of what HHS determines they should receive. If we don't want to be stuck with the difference we must take out a policy to cover the other 20%. You guessed it! I pay AARP--really United Health--a monthly amount which ballooned for me this year. At the same time the hospital part of Medicare (Part B) has a premium deduction taken out of my Social Security check. None of this is a gripe, or hardship, as far as I'm concerned.

All I'm saying is that there is no free ride.

I read comments which make me wonder whether many of those not ready for Medicare realize how the original bill from the 60s has changed--not least by the rapacious Medicare Advantage. Then follows a comeon for prescriptions which are practically free to the patient. Yet if all had such a good deal (not taking into account Medicaid, which on the surface seems as good) I wonder who's going to pick up the tab. Soaking the rich, bringing some soldiers home, and avoiding "waste and fraud" can only take up so much slack.

Frankly, Americans have been bought. It's a question of who blinks first.

Good governmental benefits require proportionate taxes and it's a given that many who rely on the promise of a safety net are not paying. At the other end of the income scale are those rolling in dough and having enough clout to avoid payment to those they label as shirkers.

If our society is out of kilter, everyone has something to reconsider. If those carrying around teabags think they have invented something unique in politics, I've got a nice juicy lemon to put with their tea. It's not class warfare which we are dealing with. Everyone must take a new view. Living is going to become more expensive in the future. It seems like the word is reaching Washington. I notice several longtime ringleaders in Washington are beginning to head for the hills.

Kinda looks like they got the message, doesn't it?
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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.
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