Socialism Creeps In As America SleepsHealth Care: Democrats on the take and in the dead of night pass an execrable piece of legislation that they haven't read, the public doesn't want and only socialists could love. What has happened to this country?
If we hadn't stayed up past midnight Sunday, we wouldn't have known what was going on. Here we thought a vote on the proposed health care overhaul wasn't going to take place until Thursday night — Christmas Eve.
But there they were, the United States Senate, at 1 a.m. Monday, rushing to vote in the middle of a snowstorm to close debate on the most important piece of legislation of our time — the nationalization of the US. health care system. And we've been scrambling ever since to make sense of it.
Let's see if we have this right:
• This was a vote on a Democrat-concocted scheme that Americans have rejected every time it's been proposed for 100 years and that is opposed again, by 54% to 41% by the public at large, by 2-to-1 by practicing physicians and by every last member on the Republican side of the aisle.
• The vote was taken without any members having read the main 2,074-page bill, let alone the 383 pages of amendments that were tacked on at the last minute to buy off senators, including Nebraska's Ben Nelson, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders.
• Despite growing public opposition, Democratic members had the nerve to call those who questioned their monstrosity "obstructionists" and worse. Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse called health care bill foes "birthers," "fanatics" and "people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups." Is this what Democrats meant when they said they seek bipartisan solutions to the nation's problems?
• The bill contains at last count — including significant new levies on those earning less than $250,000, a major breach of Obama's pledge not to raise taxes by "one penny" on those in that income group.
A family of four that refuses to buy into a "qualifying" health insurance program will pay a "surtax" of as much as $6,750. At the same time, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that health insurance premiums will nearly double by 2016.
As the nonpartisan Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation put it, "The House and Senate health care bills contain enormous tax hikes to accompany massive increases in government spending."
• Spending under the package, which Democrats vowed will "cut costs," will in fact increase. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that total health care spending will rise by $289 billion from 2010 to 2019. That's a lowball guess. Once all the budget gimmicks are removed, the real 10-year price tag is at least $2.5 trillion, Senate Budget Committee staffers say.
What's truly frightening about this bill isn't what it does, but what it sets us on course to do.
The bill's requirement that Americans buy insurance is a major step toward that takeover. It's the first time in our nation's history the government has made Americans buy something. Get used to it. It's going to become a pattern.
[This compulsory purchase provision may eventually be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, along with the section that prevents future legislators from making changes in the bill! Even the constitution itself can be amended! -- AEM]
In 1938, Austria was in deep depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily.Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a kind Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.
The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks in cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed.The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.
We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have employment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria.
We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.
After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could return to the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.
Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and to participate in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into our daily medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The bureaucrats would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said that they were going to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed, letters started to come saying that these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. It was euthanasia.
After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, pre-teen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it "The Burned Earth". Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks in order to be safe. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.
Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America truly is the greatest country in the world.