Our Country's Health

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September 26th, 2008

This site is about health, specifically how diet and exercise can affect it. Today I'm going to take a bit of a detour and write about the health of our country. In prior posts, I've talked about how more than a few people in this country are overweight, how no one really cares about their health and how we're moving in the wrong direction. Today I'm going to talk about something much more important. Our country is sick and if we don't cure it now, I can't even imagine what's going to happen in the future.

Over the past few years, we've watched the housing bubble pop and major institutions start to crumble. Now we're in a dire situation in which our leaders say the only hope is spending $1 trillion. As usual, our government didn't see the warning signs, it did nothing to prevent this problem, it only reacted, as it always does. Our Congress, who's approval rating is at historic lows is getting together with The President who also isn't liked by many people to bailout those who've made horrible decisions. They say that while the bailout isn't ideal, it's better than the alternative.

After decades of being taught that stupid business decisions should be punished by the free market economy, the government is bailing out those companies that are have made bad decision after bad decision. If the only problem was that the government was spending $1 trillion, I wouldn't be so mad. The issue here is that our government is creating problems for tomorrow which could have been solved long ago. To pass this massive bailout package, Congress is raising the debt ceiling to $11 trillion. As if we aren't in debt enough, Congress has basically called our credit card company (China Inc.) and asked for a credit limit increase.

This should be a wake up call for everyone that we truly need change in this country. For too long in this country, the two party system has bankrupted this country in order to serve their constituents. With our national debt reaching $11 trillion, now is the time for real change. In this election, change has been used as a campaign slogan. Change we want, change we need but unfortunately, change we'll never get. I've been a Republican ever since I registered to vote (all 6 years ago). I don't think either party has any solutions to tackle this problem. Neither of the Presidential Candidates knows what's really going on. Both will increase spending once they get elected and neither will make the tough decisions this country needs to get out of this mess.

What does this all mean for the average person? The projected federal deficit was around $400 billion. So before this bailout package was even announced, the geniuses in DC were spending $400 billion more than they made. You can't run any business, charity or family with that kind of leadership.

What are your top concerns? Health care, alternative energy policy, tax cuts, infrastructure repairs... and probably a whole lot more. If you think that the next president is going to be able to deliver any of these, I don't know what to tell you because it's not going to happen.

The $400 billion projected deficit will go up to a $1.4 trillion deficit once this bailout is passed. I'm no historian but that's probably the biggest ever, probably percentage-wise too. That means no health care, no new unemployment, no tax cuts, no new military spending, no alternative energy research, no (fill in blank), no (fill in blank), no (fill in blank) and no (fill in blank).

So who am I going to vote for come November 4th? I don't know. Whichever person tells the American people the truth which is something like this "Over the next decade, we're going to have a tough time. We need to get rid of the debt because it's going to cripple us and we need to do it now. We will have to drastically cut government spending and we may even need to raise taxes for everyone, not just a select group of people. All of us are in this together and no one can fix this mess on their own."

Unfortunately we won't get any of that. We'll get McCain staying steadfast on his promise to cut taxes. Obama will stay strong on his universal health care proposal and in January 2009, our national debt limit will have to be increased again. I wish my credit card company was as nice as Uncle Sam's.

Why am I being so pessimistic? The Administration has been in office for 8 years and they saw none of this coming. Democrats have been in office for two years and only now they're doing something.

Unfortunately we don't learn from mistakes. As a country we are good at reacting but bad at preventing. Every major problem in our history could have probably been prevented by forward thinkers. Our government is not a forward thinker. They look forward to only one date and that's November 4th every two years. We're lucky this crisis happened right before election day or we might not have had this kind of quick response.

On November 4th I hope everyone speaks out loudly. Vote for who you think will solve the big problems our country is facing. Whether that person has a (D), (R), (G), (I) or anything else by there name shouldn't matter. Their age, skin color, middle name, how many houses or cars they own, type of lipstick they wear or sports they send their children to shouldn't matter. Problem solving is what should matter.