In politics, I look at myself as a conservative-leaning moderate, who used to be Republican. However, in the 1980s the Republican Party left me for right-wing 19th Century ideologues and Christian fanatics. I refused to march down that path.
~ After all that is said and done, what does "conservative-leaning moderate" mean? I found that I really don't know. Modern-day political labels have been twisted and distorted in the past 20 years or so, that they have become meaningless. So without using any labels––certainly none slapped on me by those who disagree with my point of view––I'll offer my take on a couple of today's issues.
~ First, I need to set some ground rules. I believe in the U. S. Constitution; I believe in the Bill of Rights, including separation of church and state and individual sovereignty. The Preamble of the Constitution clearly states that "to form a more perfect union" the government must "promote the general welfare" of its citizens. So with those ground rules, here's my take on two current-day issues, Social Security and Universal Health Care.
~ Enacted in 1935, Social Security has proven to be the most successful governmental program in the history of the republic. In the past 73 years (nearly three-quarters of a century) Social Security has worked wonders in keeping most of the nation's elderly and disabled out of abject poverty––at an acceptable cost to most citizens.
~ The talk of radically changing Social Security to a private-account system as a fix to temporary actuarial problems makes no sense at all. The conservative approach to Social Security's actuarial problems is to remove the cap on social security contributions so that 15 percent of all compensation is subject to Social Security taxation. If that doesn't work by itself, simply tinker with the age requirements of SSI recipients.
~ The point is to conserve the benefits of Social Security and moderately alter some of the rules. That's simple and effective. Yes, Social Security does an excellent job of "promoting the general welfare" of U. S. citizens.
~ At the founding of this nation, western medicine was in its infancy, at best. Healthcare was left to eating right, use of alcohol for medicinal purposes, herbal potions, patent medicines and luck. Heavens, even aspirin was 100-plus years away from being developed.
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