Steamboat Springs It appears that those who supported the president's stimulus plan have over-promised and under-delivered. We were promised 8.4 percent unemployment, and we are headed to 10 percent and beyond. As with the stimulus plan, two more pieces of flawed legislation are being rushed through Congress - cap and trade and health care.
Cap and trade is a cruel and unnecessary tax to solve the questionable and controversial problem of global warming. It is projected to eliminate 3 million jobs and annually cost each taxpayer an additional $2,000. Recently, a leading Spanish university published "A Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources." It concluded that the average subsidy cost for each green job was $800,000. While creating 50,000 green jobs, Spain lost 110,000 jobs elsewhere. When the president sells his energy plan as a job creator, he omits the rest of the story.
According to a May 19, 2008, article on WorldNetDaily.com, 31,072 American scientists signed a petition that states: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."
Who is more credible, Al Gore or these scientists?
The toxic prescriptions for health care are equally unrealistic. Medicare needs to be fixed before considering anything else. Medicare fraud, waste and abuse are costing taxpayers $10 billion a year. Medicare has unfunded liabilities of $85 trillion. Congress has promised to pay in the future $85 trillion that it does not have. This is a massive fraud, far surpassing Bernie Madoff's giant Ponzi scheme.
How in good conscience can anyone in Congress consider another huge entitlement plan? The nation cannot afford it. The growth of the country's spending is out of control. During this year, mandatory government spending is projected to increase by 50 percent to $21,999 per household. Congress is taking us down the same path as California and Massachusetts. California is bankrupt. The current cost of the Massachusetts health plan is twice the initial estimates. It is also most likely that the estimated costs for the new health care plans before Congress are even more flawed. They range between $1 trillion and $4 trillion.
With national health care in Sweden, Great Britain and Canada, there are many examples of seniors dying while waiting for an operation for over a year. Care becomes rationed. Why are Canada, Great Britain and Sweden now promoting private health care clinics if their system is so perfect? The incidence of colon cancer in Canada is 25 percent greater than in this country, and the death rate from the disease is 16 percent higher. Great Britain is experiencing similar poor results with breast cancer. Is this the change that we should be seeking?
Look at what Safeway has accomplished. By making the participants in its health plan accountable and responsible, Safeway's costs were flat for four years while other companies experienced a 40 percent increase on average. This should be the model rather than the creation of another government money pit such as Amtrak, the Postal Service or Fannie Mae
Hopefully, Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet will instill some much needed common sense in Congress by leading the charge to defeat national health care and cap and trade. U.S. Rep. John Salazar's vote against cap and trade is a good first step. If the rush to approve unread massive spending bills is not stopped quickly, our children and grandchildren will live a life of economic servitude, paying off the ensuing massive debt.
William B. Potter