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|Restoration, Not Transformation||08/14/2009|
Barack Obama, both as a candidate and as president, repeatedly declared his intention to "fundamentally transform the United States of America." But America does not need transformation, we need restoration. To transform is "to change in character or condition," but to restore is "to bring back to or put back into a former or original state."
America has always been great because our people have been good. Freedom has been cherished and vigorously protected. Government has been limited. These things do not need to change. But periods of transformation have restructured the character of our nation -- and not always for the better. Restoration would allow us to return to what the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution calls "the Blessings of Liberty."
President Obama is emphasizing the potential effectiveness of the free market and illustrating the failure of government, whether in the car business, banking system or private sector. He explained his vision for government-run healthcare in the clearest terms possible this week. In his carefully orchestrated "town hall meeting," he addressed the concern that private insurance companies would not be able to compete with a publicly-funded option.
"I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine...it's the post office that's always having problems."
Some may call it a gaffe, but I believe it's completely accurate. Whether he was reading a script on a teleprompter or speaking purely from the heart, the truth came out. If the present proposed healthcare reform passes, your medical care will be as efficient and reliable as the United States Postal Service.
The USPS is forecast to lose $7 billion this year alone. The postmaster general wants to cut back hours and shut some facilities down completely, effectively rationing access to services. Last week, the New York Times business section recommended privatizing the post office due to their fiscal failure. When hospitals ship organs for transplants, they only trust private carriers.
This failure comes despite the fact that the USPS enjoys privileges denied to private carriers. Aside from the financial subsidies, they have a monopoly on the access to your mailbox. UPS, FedEx and other carriers cannot legally put items in your mailbox, adding time, manpower and expense to each delivery. Still, they do a job equal to or better than the "public option." Plus, they make a profit or go out of business, unlike the financial black hole created by the government-funded entity.
I don't intend to denigrate the fine people that work at the US Postal Service. I actually think they do a pretty good job. But the financial facts create a legitimate concern. Interestingly, the nation's second-largest employer can do very little to change course. Union contracts forbid layoffs. The generous benefits cannot be renegotiated. And every year, they must set aside $5 billion for health benefits of future employees -- as in people that do not yet work there. This fall, they face the real possibility of not being able to cover payroll.
Why are things bleak at the US Postal Service? The answer is simple: congressional oversight. This is precisely what is being proposed for the healthcare system, but it has not worked in the post office, the auto industry, mortgage lending and an array of other ventures that the government should have never attempted. Their role should begin with protecting those who follow the rules in business and end with punishing those who break them. The government should punish deception, manipulation, swindle and theft, not engage in deception, manipulation, swindle and theft!
We need to return to the founding fathers' wisdom of a limited government of the people, for the people and by the people. The president and congress would be wise to read the Tenth Amendment, which says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Healthcare is not delegated to the United States by the Constitution. The industry is far too large and the issue much too important to allow it to go the way of the post office. In a fast and furious six months, the president has begun his fundamental transformation, but it's not too late to restore our nation by returning to the fundamentals. The "cash for clunkers" program may have gone bankrupt in one week, social security and medicare and trillions in debt, and our healthcare system does not need to face the same fate.
Despite the promises of politicians, we don't have to willingly accept the transformation of our founding principles. The future is as uncertain as the arrival time of a third-class piece of mail. We still have the power, as private citizens, to demand proper representation from our elected officials. We can still write, call, email and speak to our congressmen. We can insist that the Constitution be upheld so that freedom prevails. America can still be great if our people will strive for what is good while always seeking to find ways to help one another and stop following those who don't even take time to read the legislation they try to pass.
Author: James Robison
Editor: Randy Robison
Word Count: 875
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.