Friday, November 06, 2009

November 6, 2009 By Amanda Reinecker
Conservative Comeback

Tuesday was a big day for conservatives. The landslide victories of gubernatorial candidates Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey, plus the Maine referendum upholding marriage as a union between a man and a woman, clearly illustrates that "the state of conservatism is strong," writes Heritage's Conn Carroll in Wednesday's Morning Bell.

But why would states that voted last year for President Barack Obama now vote against candidates the President himself campaigned for? Heritage Vice President Michael Franc explains that "it's all about taxes, debt, and too much government." In short, it's about the government's complete abandonment of conservative principles.

The results in Virginia, New Jersey and Maine confirm what has become increasingly evident over the past 10 months: conservative principles are very much alive and popular among most Americans.

Since taking office, President Obama has made it clear he is among the most progressive Presidents in our history. But he didn't win based on his progressive tendencies. In fact, Carroll explains that the President led a fairly moderate campaign:

Obama promised to address jobs, the economy, our national security and even hold teachers accountable for children's education. Obama promised that most of America would receive a tax cut. He promised to win a necessary war in Afghanistan. These are conservative principle.

Once elected, however, the President and his allies on the Left quickly abandoned these sound campaign promises in favor of big-government policies that increase taxes, kill jobs, raise the deficit and weaken our national security. As history has repeatedly revealed, there is an inherent conflict between these progressive policies and the "overwhelming conservative philosophy in America."

Tuesday's results exposed this conflict by demonstrating the broad support for conservative ideals. They reflect the same sentiments expressed at tea parties, protests and town hall meetings nationwide: enough is enough!
An even worse health care plan

On Thursday, over 10,000 people rallied on the steps of the Capitol to express their concerns about the harmful health care discussions currently under way in the House of Representatives. The House could vote on this proposal as early as Saturday, though this timeline could slip as moderates peel off.

"Look closely at the latest House bill," writes Heritage health policy analyst Bob Moffit in Human Events. "This 1,990 page beast contains all of the problematic issues Americans has with [the last proposal] -- and then adds more," all of which will adversely impact the lives of all Americans.

Moffit outlines a few of the major flaws with the House's "revised" bill:

1. The federal government will control the health insurance market, roughly one-sixth of the nation's economy;

2. A great deal of power will be granted to a newly appointed "Health Choices Commissioner," i.e. a health czar, who would define coverage and premiums for everyone;

3. Eligibility for Medicaid, a poorly functioning entitlement program in desperate need of reform, will expand, causing benefits to decrease for those who truly need them;

4. Federally mandated minimum benefits that will be subsidized by taxpayers, regardless of whether they need the benefits or not;

5. Individual mandates that will require everyone to purchase government-approved coverage or else pay an extra income tax of 2.5 percent; and

6. Employer mandates that will likely force small business owners to cut wages and lay off workers in order to meet the coverage requirements, or pay a heavy fine per employee by choosing not to provide coverage.

And all of this will be ours for a whopping $1.055 trillion over the next 10 years -- a price tag that will surely add more than "one dime to our deficits" and saddle future generations with massive debt. All of this is in the bill, but few will be able to see it, as Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) has rescinded her pledge to post the final language online for 72 hours before a vote.

This is not real health care reform. Instead, Moffit argues, "it is a new health care entitlement that will speed up our fiscal insolvency, push new taxes on Americans in all income brackets and have a greater say over our health decisions."

In an exclusive interview recorded at The Heritage Foundation, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) explains that the current health care bill reflects a big-government approach to problem-solving. "The most outrageous detail in the current House bill is the philosophy on which it is premised," he argues. "It is premised on the philosophy that the government knows best how to organize one-sixth of our economy."

Real reform should be a bi-partisan product, based on America's core principles, that empowers the individual to choose the coverage that best suits his specific needs and budget and those of his family.

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