Of all the ‘experts’ out there, I don’t recall hearing much at all noted about this being read as a ‘tax’. Go figure! You were right on!
“Big Gulp” and Food Stamps
I don’t like colas, sodas or soft drinks. There is absolutely no valued nutrition in a carbonated cola drink. I read, I investigate and I learn that this is not something I want to put in my body. But that is my choice…..
As a health care professional, I completely agree that a growing percentage of US citizens are nutritionally inept. 60% of US citizens are classified as overweight with half of these being obese. This epidemic leads to growing increases in the incidence of diabetes, heart disease and poor health outcomes. As a healthcare professional, it would be easy for me to agree that mayors and lawmakers can simply put a restriction on ‘non-healthful’ foods and beverages. It would be a ‘symbolic’ fix to a much deeper issue. But as a conservative woman, I know that human nature doesn’t work like that. Furthermore, it is an insult to intelligence.
Let’s consider the real reasons for Mayor Bloomberg’s latest proposal to reduce or control the sale of oversized carbonated colas in New York. As these are hypothetical, opinion-based suggestions, you are encouraged to ponder on the disease and not the symptom. The disease is government out-of-control over our personal liberties. The symptom is yet another ‘rule or law’ to take focus off of the real problems disguised as an attempt to show compassion! It’s embarrassing to know that this “Big Gulp” idea is actually being discussed!! But as conservatives, we are forced to point out the obvious. Let’s look at two examples that seem to contradict this notion of ‘caring’.
Bloomberg: The mayor and others have made statements in the recent past that suggests that there should never be “mandate” on what a food stamp recipient eats or drinks. Why? Because according to this mindset, that would be discriminating and “gulp”, maybe even racist. Isn’t ‘health’ the reason for this latest outreach? Is her saying he does not care about the health of the poor? I’m confused!
Conservative: Since taxpayers foot the bill for the ever-growing dependency on food stamp programs, then why not have voters take this issue to the polls in their states? Since we know that taxpayers also foot the bill for health care costs of many long standing entitlement programs, shouldn’t we be able to say what items are on the “No No” list? Such examples of current allowable items are: “soft drinks (really?), candy, cookies, snack crackers and ice cream” www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligibility.htm. Other eligible items include: seafood, steak and bakery. Shouldn’t items, such as broccoli, fresh fruit, nuts, whole grain breads be promoted on the “allowable” list?
So why is Mayor Bloomberg now so concerned about the health of all others? Is it possible the soft drink industry has fallen short on political lobbying and / or donations? Is it possible he is trying to take the focus off of the real problems in our current political climate, ie: economy? Ask yourself, why? Why colas?
Bloomberg: Allowed this atrocious behavior to flourish in downtown Manhattan. He demonstrated little, if any regard for local businesses and law abiding citizens’ rights. Why was he OK with this? Is he trying to put businesses out on the street? Does he promote this type of behavior with his own family? Does he believe that lazy, non-working complainers are the best he can attract?
Conservative: If you or I were to run wildly through the town, take off our clothes, defecate on cars, stab police, witness rapes, etc. then we would be subject to serious legal consequences.
Why? Why is Mayor Bloomberg afraid of the Occupiers? Is he interested in ‘bullying’ the law abiding businesses and restaurants because he knows he will be met with little resistance? Is this a backdoor way of intimidating the regular folk? Is he trying to get political donations? What is it? I still am confused!
I’m sitting and writing this because I simply cannot believe that our “Land of the Free” has permitted this type of leadership in this country. I’m embarrassed for the people who actually listen and promote these concepts. This has nothing to do with NY mayor’s desire to make people healthier. If it were, he would have endorsed restrictions on food stamp menus. If it were, he would have empowered individuals to think about the choices they make in their meal and beverage planning, not propose mandates. If he was a true and caring leader, he might choose to demonstrate his views through personal editorials, communications or social media pages. He might even have tried to ‘empower’ restaurants by holding a ‘friendly’ competition to show what restaurants come up with the healthiest alternative to sodas. Not only would this be fun, but it could promote community togetherness and increase revenues for the city.
With all the problems this nation is facing, it is important for us to dig deeper for the real meanings behind these proposed absurdities from elected officials. Soft drinks are certainly not a health food, however there are a definitely worse items being ingested in today’s society: drugs, mindless and meaningless Hollywood music and reality shows, domestic violence, rape, murders, disorderly conduct, government subsidized food programs, excess alcohol, poor school outcomes, high gas prices, unemployment, to name a few….I wonder if that is the real reason why politicians focus on issues such as ‘Big Gulp’ soda pop concerns while simultaneously cannot “man up” to the serious problems. Why did we ever let it get to this point? These officials are supposed to work for us, not the other way around! It’s time to question motives. It’s time to make our government leaders take a “big gulp” of our reality!
Growing up in rural small town Ohio spoiled me. Perhaps the seventies and eighties were times that defined the simple growing up years of many, but one could also rely on Bonanza, Big Valley and other western viewings to appreciate what ‘real men’ could do. In the not-so -distant pre-industrial American frontier, one gets a glimpse of the real meaning of hard times. Manual labor from sunrise to sunset was family time. Helping your neighbor rebuild his humble home following a storm was duty. Men leaving their homes to find work in mineral mines, lumber yards, and livestock ranches was considered prideful obligation. There was an unwritten understanding that men, in general did what they had to do. Hard work, love and respect for family, respect for God and country were branded in men. Men were men, women were women. Perhaps that is the appeal. Fast forward…..
The Progressive Left Movement is propagating a true extinction, an extinction of good, old-fashioned, hard-working, roll up the sleeves, and “punch him in the nose if he’s messing with a woman, kind of guy”. I remember seeing this type of breed during my early years. Dad actually didn’t need a fist rather a “stare down” usually meant business. Some actually did throw a punch, but everyone shook it off including the ‘victim’. When times were tough, the tough got tougher. Stories of the Great Depression and World War II were discussed and shared by grandparents who so eloquently reminded us that hard times brought about innovation, creativity, collaboration and honor. Things were in no way perfect and at times impossible for some, but one gets the impression that there was no time for slacking.
In recent years, our country’s economy has declined. It’s worsened more so in the past several years because many government leaders are unwilling to address the real issues. It’s worsened because power has become more appealing than leadership. It’s worsened because government has hastened dependency by taking the provider role for an ever growing constituency. Men in our government no longer follow a code of ethics mixed with a bit of machismo. (Ronald Reagan and GWB excluded). A growing percentage of fathers are unemployed today, mainly due to the worsening economy which was hastened by irresponsible policies set forth by President Obama. Some fathers are forced to accept an unemployment check. Statistics indicate that the longer one is receiving unemployment, the less likely a real job will ensue. Women have taken on the role of provider in many families. Simultaneously, segments of society have come to ‘accept’ out-of-wedlock births and simply attribute it to “their culture”. The fathers flee the scene with little or no responsibility to “man up” to their consequence. Likewise, some men leave the marriage with ambitions to minimize ‘child support’ obligations (is this a cowboy?)
Poverty results as many mock the tradition of the nuclear family. Poverty is highly preventable by instituting measures, such as graduating from high school and getting married before having a child. Why isn’t this issue the focus of the rhetoric from the so-called Leadership? The answer is frightening. Our leadership cares more about their votes and power than about the future and integrity of this nation. (I call it like I see it!)
Most recently, we have our country’s leadership ‘evolving’ in acceptance of ‘gay marriage’. Indeed, we’ve come far from the rugged cowboy days! Both the President and Vice President of the free world have ‘come out’ to say they ‘have no problem with it’ and their opinion has ‘evolved’ over the past three years. Nature unequivocally supports the union between man and woman. (Are there any other species having evolved in this former manner?) We also are entertained with the so-called ‘war on women’ that takes all responsibility off of the American male by touting that all women should receive ‘free contraceptives’, not to mention ‘free abortions’. Indeed it is one thing to mind our own business and accept that some people cling to their leftist beliefs, but hasn’t the current administration with the help of leftover baggage from the Women’s Movement, gone just a bit too far? Let’s ask a couple cowboys.
Cowboy #1: Our country is failing men. In most circumstances, the man is meant to be the head of the household. The man is meant to provide and protect. Instead, many men are allowing the taxpayer to support him and/or his family. Many are out of work because of the disastrous economy hastened by actions from a weak President. The government is enabling men to behave badly. (There was a time when men’s pride refused this sort of help!)
Me: Thankfully, there is still spotting of quality men but you won’t find them in the “Occupy Movement” or in top executive positions in government.
Cowboy #2: Many men have too much time on their hands with little ambition, motivation and pride. Men are escaping their obligations because the government expects so little of them, but mostly these men expect so little of themselves. Many men resort to ugly behaviors, such as porn, alcohol, drugs and laziness. (Is this a cowboy?)
Me: Acts of crime, rape and addictions have risen, especially in highly impoverished areas. Maybe if these guys were forced to find work, there would be no time for these shenanigans! (The first man who knocks on my door and offers to clean my windows will get paid in cash)
Cowboy #3: Men in the highest government positions REFUSE to admit to mistakes and blunderings. In spite of congressional attempts, the Attorney General, Eric Holder refuses to admit to any wrongdoing in the Fast and Furious Scandal. President Obama ignores reality of adding 5 trillion dollars in debt to our nation’s credit. Instead of standing like a real man, President Obama shifts blame on anything but himself. Instead of empowering people to work hard and come together, our President placates groups and instigates divisiveness amongst social classes, genders, races, etc.
Me: Ronald Reagan: You are missed!
So what’s an American woman to do? Are there any ‘cowboys’ left? The answer is yes, but these men are on the endangered species list. Only the real cowboys will ‘man up’ to responsibility, hard work and obligation, in spite of temptations of an easier road. The real cowboys of today put family, God and country first. They are our military, our dedicated fathers, husbands, brothers and friends who quietly take care of their lives and families without asking for a handout. They take blame for failures and defect the praise when it is due. Unfortunately, the shameless White House leadership today chooses to champion the likes of the evolving role of the male. President Obama embraces failure and demonizes success. By his actions, President Obama and Team encourage dependency rather than independence. Instead of standing up for what is right, they carefully craft a polarizing theme to divert attention from the real problems. The current political leadership of the Left is a shallow lot of selfish, arrogant, eccentrically weak men waiting for the next opportunity to win over more followers. What do these men really stand for? Whose side are they on?
America needs to evolve by returning to fundamental, traditional values. Our country needs a selfless, experienced, humble and knowledgeable man to take over as Leader of the Free World. America needs a Cowboy! Take that to the polls in November.
I’m not sure about others philosophy, but I believe the job of being a parent is to “MAKE CHILDREN INDEPENDENT” so that they can leave the nest as moral, responsible, capable adults. This storyline, championed by Obama and Co. unabashedly tells the fairytale that women cannot possibly lead life without government handouts. These handouts are insulting and rely on some women’s desire to be ‘taken care’ of. Forget a spouse, family or…gulp…oneself! The invisible hand will help and the only debt for the recipient is the ‘thankful’ vote.
The magic money tree and the degrading laws are always producing in Liberal Land! How can ‘equal pay’ be appreciated when one doesn’t receive ‘equal respect’. Who can respect someone like this? Worst of all, how can Julia respect herself?
This silly story is another attempt by the Left to undermine women’s intelligence and capabilities. It’s another back-handed insult attempting to patronize us into believing someone out there cares so much for us when in reality, we are regarded as dumb and ignorant. Ironically, isn’t that the perception the so-called “Women’s Movement” tried so hard to quash?
The real interpretation of this plot is that the Progressive Left does NOT believe in you. That’s the real difference between Progressives and Conservatives.
As a Registered Nurse, I have had the privilege of caring for a wide range of people throughout my career. I remain fortunate to have observed and continue to work alongside top-ranked doctors, nurses, multidisciplinary specialists and watchful families working together to provide excellent service with little or no expectation, other than payment and at times, recognition from colleagues where best-demonstrated practices are shared. As a provider, the need to ‘market’ myself is usually managed by other entities so that I and other professionals could provide care to patients. Likewise, the patient consumer comes to expect a service with little or no understanding of how payments for that service are rendered. The healthcare / medical profession strives to provide excellence while the consumer has come to expect it and perhaps, take it for granted. This reality, coupled with a growing population (demand) and elevated financial burdens (supply), has led us to where we are today. Fast forward to the present day and I ask myself to make sense of how we as a nation got to this point. I hypothesize and outline the facts that may have led us to this highly politicized issue of Health Care and its current legal challenges.
The healthcare needs of the American people have intrigued the Progressive movement beginning in the late 1800s / 19th century. In 1918, the first federal grants were given to states for public healthservice. During the 1920s’ and early 30’s there was the general opposition to government run health insurance as evidenced by the American Medical Association’s (AMA) opposition to state run insurance and the American Hospital Association’s endorsement of Blue Cross. In June 1935, however the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration writes a report on “Risk of Economic Security Arising out of Illness” which led to a bill in proposal for social government health insurance. Later that same year, Social Security was signed into law and FDR announces the “First National Health survey”. Over the next several years, health care costs are analyzed along with various proposals for a “national health bill”. During State of the Union Addresses between 1943 and 1945, FDR advocates for “cradle to grave health care”, “economic bill of rights” and “good medical care”.
Upon Truman’s arrival to office in 1945, he immediately commands congress to reenact a previously proposed bill for National Health Insurance and federal grants were enacted in 1946. Despite efforts, no definite law was adopted even as then, Eisenhower proposes “re-insurance” measures. In 1959, the Forand Bill was re-introduced (previously shot down by the House and AMA) to provide health benefits for social security beneficiaries. The Kennedy administration follows up by recommending health insurance for the elderly. Lyndon B. Johnson speaks to congress on “Health of Nation” and in July 1965, signs Medicare into law.
It is my opinion that the personal connection between provider and patient has been strained by the realities of such things as third party payers, lawsuits, diagnosis codes, deadlines, new technology and regulations. Somewhere along the way, patients, aka consumers became detached from the concept that health care needs were a tangible product for purchase. A disconnect occurred between the provided service and the payer of that service. It became impossible to put a direct value on a service, especially when “someone else was paying”, whether it be private insurance (mandated by the government for employers to provide) or government subsidized ‘benefit’. The consumer no longer relates to the service investment.
Over the decades following the birth of the ‘entitlement’ programs, political power and the legislative pen placed further strain on the private insurers by taking over an ever-expanding piece of the pie. After trying to compete with subsidized programs, private insurers are conveniently demonized as the “expensive bad guys” and soon you have politicians claiming “crisis” leading to support of Barack Obama’s massive new ‘prescription’ conveniently called the “Affordable Care Act” (Have you ever noticed that Barack Obama stopped talking about the bill immediately after he signed it?). If debated by the American people and their representatives, this unconstitutionally written bill likely would never have been signed into law. With what may be viewed as good intentions by some, now becomes an entitlement encompassing some 20% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ironically, the patient-provider-payer system will become more detached, less effective and more resentful. There will be no end to what the federal government can surmise to control. Moreover, if this government mandate is not overturned, as it should be, not only will every American’s health be compromised, but so will our freedoms.