Waldo Canyon Disaster – Where Are Our Troops?

I just finished listening to a press conference on the Waldo Canyon Fire. Someone in the audience asked (I am paraphrasing) ‘Why can’t we call on the armed forces since there are so many stationed here – they can help with this type of event – why can’t we call on them and why are they somewhere else when we need them here?’ – to which this question received an applause from the people listening.

The answer was something to the effect, that although there are many trained firefighters within the armed forces, stationed there in Colorado Springs (and/or deployed) – that there are federal laws that prevent our local officials from “calling on them” until our local and State resources are “exhausted”.

This is exactly what is wrong with how our disaster-management is set up. The pyramid structure that requires top-down dictation to localities that take the initial brunt of any disaster is a formula for disaster in itself. The Colorado National Guard should NOT be in Iraq and Afghanistan in fire-fights – they should be fighting fires in OUR State in Colorado Springs, and in other communities that have been so terribly affected by Mother Nature’s (and arsonists’) wrath.

What are these mighty laws that have taken our own troops and made them inaccessible to our own homes’ security? The Department of Homeland Security is one of the culprits – if you are going to protect “the homeland” – why in the world aren’t you protecting these people’s homes who are burning? So much tax-payer money in resources that are inaccessible to the taxpayers! This is unconscionable – there is no reason that more of our own resources that we pay for should not be more accessible to these people who desperately need it. Now! Not after the disaster gets “bad enough” to warrant the “help” and mighty hand of the federal government that is putting more money, time and effort in fire-fights than fighting our fires.

I am proposing and supporting legislation that brings home all State ‘National’ guards so that Governors and localities can access to these men and women who serve in the interest of their own State – and not the federal government.

In Liberty,

 

Tisha

And now I am watching, on 48 Hours Mystery, they are showing a soldier in prison with PTSD among other issues that came back from Iraq and killed his girlfriend because “you can take the soldier out of the war, but you can’t take the war out of the soldier”. Why on earth do we have soldiers doing the unthinkable, when they could be hear at home doing what they train to do – protect the American people?

 

Disconnect

I have often said that our country has one big social problem. And I defer to that when debating because it is spiritual in nature – why are we on the planet, who do we answer to, why do we have values, and what is the all for?

For myself, as a sovereign individual seeking liberty so that I can pursue happiness, I think the whole point is to love, to create, and to take the high road while learning important life lessons. I do not think that fear creates anything, I think that fear is the opposite of love, and I think that it is impossible to walk on the high road when you are afraid. And I think that fear is what so many people, organizations, and factions of government use to get their various agendas through.

Example 1 – Peak Oil, Global Warming, and Fossil Fuels

I envision our wonderful and beautiful planet as a living and breathing entity (because it is). As humans, we have had the opportunity to live on and populate the earth for some time. As of late, it can be argued that we are doing some awful things to the earth – and we are. But that shouldn’t make us afraid to use the earth’s resources responsibly, that is what these resources are there for. The earth regenerates – much like we as humans re-generate billions of cells on a daily basis. To say that resources are finite and that we should be fearful, is a bit misleading – it may take many years to reproduce these resources (minerals, petroleum) or to see these resources become clean again (water), but the earth provides, and the resiliency of nature is beyond our human comprehension. We should not be afraid of using our resources – what we should do is have local oversight over resources and allow for regulations to be made at a State and local level (much better than a federal or international level where it is difficult for agencies to be accountable and transparent). When public lands are leased for responsible use of resources, citizens in these counties and States should be the direct beneficiaries of the monetary gain (instead of governments). If citizens in the county benefit from responsible resource development, they will be much more apt to participate in the discussion concerning development and regulation.

 

Example 2 – Abortion

There is a very real and serious problem with abortion in our own country and around the world. It is nothing short of tragic, as the ability to conceive a child and to give life is a miracle and divine. Pro-life groups advocate making abortion illegal, and the problem is that laws do not change human behavior – only people making conscious choices affect human behavior. Causes of this epidemic include poverty, a welfare state with no repercussions for personal choices and individual responsibility, the erosion of the family unit (made possible by the first two causes), and a complete disconnect from our own human bodies. As a woman, I am incredibly in tune to my body, however, many are not. And this disconnect feeds the disease and the actions of people – who pollute their body and who find it easy to abort a living and breathing being from their very womb. No federal or state law will truly fix this problem. The only way to solve this is by creating positive environments for the developing young woman where she is healthy, pays attention to the divinity of her female form, and makes conscious decisions about what to put in or take out of her body. It is the cultivation of love within a human, that makes them change their moral behavior. No law, no angry vitriolic attacks, no heavy hand of government will ever cure the pain and fear that allows for the violent act of abortion to take place. Individuals acting in their communities, in their churches can foster the loving environments necessary to curb this behavior.

 

We are so disconnected from our planet and from each other. Right and left, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, all pick out issues to violently defend and profess – using fear and using hate. This disconnect from responsible and conscious decisions made with love; and the disconnect from having faith in each other and this planet, is our one big moral problem that affects every issue that we debate.

 

We have a chance to drop the caustic rhetoric and work together to love more, benefit our local communities more, and create a healthy economy and environment to improve our quality of life. And that is a win-win-win for all of us.

STRATEGIC IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR EMPOWERING LOCAL PARTNERS TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN THE UNITED STATES

What defines an extremist?  What defines extremism?

“As a government, we are working to prevent all types of extremism that leads to violence, regardless of who inspires it. At the same time, countering al-Qa’ida’s violent ideology is onepart of our comprehensive strategy to defeat al-Qa’ida. Over the past 2½ years, more key al-Qa’ida leaders—including Usama bin Laden—have been eliminated in rapid succession than at any time since the September 11 attacks. We have strengthened homeland security and improved information sharing. Thanks to coordinated intelligence and law enforcement, numerous terrorist plots have been thwarted, saving many American lives.” —President Barack Obama, August 2011

How is it possible to prevent extremism that leads to violence – regardless of who inspires it?  What must be done?  How do you know who to stop and when?  This most recent Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) out of Washington, D.C. leaves those definitions pretty open.

This is about definitions and who is defining them.  Most of us would agree that “extremists” who go and kill others (including themselves) are dangerous.  What about people who are extreme in their rhetoric but would never hurt anyone?  Freedom of speech allows us to speak up and out as long as we are not violating anyone else’s right to life and liberty. What if those people who speak up are called an extremist?  Are the Occupy Wall Street crowds engaging in extremism?  Are the Tea Party crowds engaging in extremism?  Are Ron Paul followers and supporters engaging in extremism?  Isn’t it up to the person to decide whether or not these people will engage in violence?  Before a crime is committed – who has the power to actually know what people are going to do?  Law enforcement and our government are not God and do not know everything.  Why are they the ones to decide who is being extreme and whether or not those people may use violence BEFORE IT HAS EVEN HAPPENED?  Isn’t that dangerous to our freedom to express ourselves?

I take offense to this and these definition because I myself have been called a “radical” and an “extremist” because I really truly believe in the Constitution of the United States being the control mechanism to keep our government in check.  I have also been called these names because I have given up everything to be able to try and speak to others about it.  I have even been called this when I say that I believe in Jesus Christ, as he walked and taught us while on this earth.  And if someone tried to kill me for any of these things, I would fight back.  Does that fit their definition of extremism?  Am I now the enemy?

These are questions you should ask yourself.  Even if YOU don’t think you are doing anything – what if someone who didn’t like you decided that you are?  What if they then tell local law enforcement what a dangerous and extreme person you are?  Are you now the enemy?

Just reminding you that we have more freedom right now than we may ever have again, and you better use it.

HERE IS THE DOCUMENT – IT IS EASY TO READ THROUGH, PLEASE DO

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”
– George Washington

Regulations, Fees, and Taxes

I’ve been traveling across the beautiful state of Colorado. During my journey, I’ve met a lot of small business owners that share in the frustrations that I experience as a small business owner. During this election and down economy, we as a community must change the current system to have it better for small businesses. But first, it’s important to understand the effect of small businesses on our community.

Why should we care about small businesses?   Small businesses are the heart and soul of a community – they are able to efficiently provide products and services that are tailored to a specific community’s need.   We all know the tragedy of the box-store – a lot of products at a low price, but not necessarily anyone who wants to help you (even though the back of their blue-jackets say they do).  Those big stores are oftentimes lured into communities with attractive tax-breaks packages, and as soon as those benefits end, that store leaves the community.  Small businesses are different in that they are tied to their community – the people who own small businesses generally live there in addition to working there.  These people have their children in the schools that are located in the community. When small business owners pay their taxes, these taxes are going to pay for public services that they will use. They earn money to invest into houses, roads, and the hope that the community will grow and continue to provide for their time invested there.  This understanding of their time and investment, makes small business owners the heart and soul of that community – they are an integral part of the economic development that takes place.

Here are two examples of small business owners that I’ve met during my journey across Colorado.

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CASE A:  A well-known nutritionist and health coach, Jane, has inquiries from her customers about starting to prepare meals and sell them, so these customers can have ready-made healthy meals made from local ingredients.   Jane does her due diligence and goes to talk to the local health department about what she needs to do to be in compliance.  The health department tells her that she has to pay three different fees for licenses.  Looking through the state health department book , the bureaucrat determines that what she is doing has never been done before. The procedure then becomes to hold on everything and wait until they call her back to tell her whether or not she can operate at all.  In the meantime, since Jane is going to be serving meat, the city health department tells her that she must be USDA certified – even though she gets the meat from a USDA certified and even though restaurants around the rest of city who also serve meat, do not have to be USDA certified!  Jane is halted from buying raw ingredients and products (sales tax revenue for the city), and then selling healthy, ready-made meals to her customers (sales revenue for the city).

*************

CASE B: A young entrepreneur, Tanya, has several farmers from around the area contact her because they have not been invited to participate in a newly-run market on a newly-developed part of the city called the Historic Riverwalk Project (funded by city sales tax revenue).  Tanya decides that she will also start a small farmers market, where anyone is welcome to participate, providing they pay a small fee to help cover her costs.  Doing her due diligence, she goes to the various City and County offices to make sure she is in compliance.  To even run her market, she is required to get and pay for a background check (approx.  $10) at the police department (even though she has a concealed carry permit [approx. $300]).  In order to have electricity, she is required to pay a fee every week (approx. $15), for every vendor (total of approx. $60), in addition to a fee every week for the event itself  (approx. $35). Furthermore, she is required to hire a certified electrician (approx. $60) every week to check the plugs that are being plugged into a building that is a city/county building which is already certified!  At the first event she is told that each vendor needs to have a certified GFI plug-in or adapter to plug into the already-GFI-certified building ($20×4 = approx. $80).  For an 8-week event, this is approximately $1040 just to plug in four electrical cords every week!  The health department tells Tanya, that even though her vendors coming from other parts of the state have insurance and are licensed to sell food in their respective counties, they must re-certify their products with their city health department (approx. $150).  This is a price that these vendors cannot afford, and decide not to come from other counties into the city for that farmers market (city sales tax revenue).   The money is extracted from Tanya and her market, so she does not make enough money to realize a profit, and she decides to not bring vendors (sales tax revenue) and products and services to the community to sell their wares (sales tax revenue).
Two small examples in a growing example of what small businesses are up against in order to survive.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Do you ever wonder if there are actually solutions to the mess we are in?

We hear a whole lot about the PROBLEM – but what about things we can actually DO?  I think we can all agree that our time would be better spent on positive and productive solutions versus complaining, hate speech, and rhetoric.

So, OF COURSE there are solutions.  This blog – Downsizingthefederalgovernment, as well as the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards (available on our website for purchase; please purchase there if you so desire as it keeps the lights on), offer a “department by department guide to cutting the federal government”.

The TRUTH is that we can solve a whole lot of our budget problems by eliminating waste and inefficiences.  AND if we have more money in the bank, we can do more productive things in our economy.

Don’t be fooled – there are things we can do RIGHT NOW.  All it takes is a group of concerned citizens willing to stand up and speak up.

– Tisha Casida

Downsizing the Federal Government

Do you ever wonder if there are actually solutions to the mess we are in?

We hear a whole lot about the PROBLEM – but what about things we can actually DO?  I think we can all agree that our time would be better spent on positive and productive solutions versus complaining, hate speech, and rhetoric.

So, OF COURSE there are solutions.  This blog – Downsizingthefederalgovernment, as well as the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards (available on our website for purchase; please purchase there if you so desire as it keeps the lights on), offer a “department by department guide to cutting the federal government”.

The TRUTH is that we can solve a whole lot of our budget problems by eliminating waste and inefficiences.  AND if we have more money in the bank, we can do more productive things in our economy.

Don’t be fooled – there are things we can do RIGHT NOW.  All it takes is a group of concerned citizens willing to stand up and speak up.

– Tisha Casida

Across the USA – Save America's Future is Spreading the Word

Good American Post Staff Reports

The executive director of Save America’s Future, Kenny Thomas, isn’t just talking about educating people – he is actually doing something about it.

Following Historic US Highway 50 for 3,043 miles – Thomas will stop along the stretch of 12 states to talk to and survey residents about their awareness and feelings concerning their views on government spending and the role of government.  This will be done with the help of his parents – Wally and Marilyn Thomas who will be following him with their motor home.  Upon his arrival in Washington DC, he will deliver this information to Congressional leaders, while his wife and daughters who will meet him in D.C., will deliver to President Obama letters from elementary school students who are concerned with the nation’s national debt.

We cheer Kenny’s efforts as he makes his travels, and hope that you will too.  Visit Save America’s Future HERE.

NAIS, Codex Alimentarius, Bill S510 and Other Bedtime Stories to Guarantee Nightmares

By Tamrah Jo Ortiz

This story was originally printed at The Good, Bad, & Ludicrous

Thanks to my good friends on Facebook, I was alerted that the ugly head of the government is once again poking its’ large and obnoxious nose into places it doesn’t belong.   Yes, I realize this is a inflammatory statement, hence, my writing here, instead of posting this as a comment at the www.opencongress.org website.  (which, if you’d like, you can visit and look at the hoopla going on over various bills.)

So, let’s take a look at each of these and try to make sense of them.

NAIS – The National Animal Identification System.   In brief, this idea is supposedly born of the desire to quickly identify and destroy animals that pose a threat to both food supply and our existence. (mad cow disease, avian bird flu, anyone?)

What is not so clear is how anyone thinks any of this will really work.   Number 1, the folks that want to implement this currently employ thousands to audit tax returns and apparently have not been successful in creating a database or secure electronic means of verifying taxes or conducting a paperless census (which, by the way, we filled out, returned and apparently was ‘lost’ as a census person showed up at my house saying they didn’t get ours.   On the flip side, my mom got 2 censuses to fill out and a friend never received any….)

Now, if these folks have not centralized, streamlined and made efficient the operations they have been in charge of for decades, how in the world are we to believe they can implement this kind of system and let us know about diseased food within 20 years of our consumption of it?

Number 2 – current figures show that given the ‘requirements’ of the system, most of the costs will fall on the small farmers and ranchers – courtesy of Wikipedia is the following:

“The costs of becoming NAIS compliant for a U.S. beef producer were found to be a minimum of $2.08 a head for large producers and as much as $17.56 a head for smaller operations, with an estimated average cost to cow/calf producers of $6.26 per animal, according to research by Christopher Raphael Crosby of Kansan State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics published in 2008.”

Does anyone hear “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”?

Number 3 – Historically, outbreaks of disease occur in close population, improperly nourished animals.   Farmer John who has 15 head of cattle and 160 acres of pasture does not face the same challenges as Mr. Beef, who has crammed 5,000 cows into a feedlot the size of a Wal-mart parking lot, where calves play on hills of cow patties and drink milk produced from the ingestion of soybean and corn meal (when cows have evolved to do just fine, thank you very much, on grass.)

Plus, Farmer John really depends on his herd for his food, to feed his family and perhaps a neighbor or two and to bring in some extra cash to pay the ever-increasing cost of living expenses.  So he has a HUGE investment in making sure his herd is healthy and well-nourished.  The loss of even one cow can make or break him.

Mr. Beef can depend on tax breaks, an adjustment of market prices, government bailouts, etc, if he somehow manages to lose his herd to disease.   So who do you think takes better care of their herd?

On to the next – Codex Alimentarius – Proponents will tell you it’s an international effort to ensure the safety of food for all – as well as to keep me from accidently killing myself from taking too much Vitamin C.

Again, these efforts are brought to you by folks who can’t even balance their own budgets and settle disputes among themselves in a peaceful manner.  Do you really think they know how much Vitamin C I can handle and furthermore, if I were receiving nutritious food, would I even need a supplement?   If they are so invested in “Nutritious, Safe Food to further the health and well-being of the populace” then why did they ignore the published findings of biochemist Dr. Mary Enig in the 70’s, who warned of the dangers of trans-fats and hydrogenated fats to the human body?  Um, no, took about 40 years before they figured that one out (if they even have yet……………)

I also find it interesting that many countries within the World Effort of this measure are ARDENTLY opposed to GMO foods and have been very insistent on pushing for foods containing those types of ingredients to be Labeled.   Those who have a vested interest in controlling both seed and food supplies, by getting ‘patents’ on their genetically modified seeds and plants have kept up the pressure and keep taking a run at getting that ‘pesky little nuisance’ of required labeling for GMO foods buried under the rug.

All in all, I cannot see the reasoning for extending all this effort on the Codex other than for countries who take their food and health seriously to put up a ‘fence’ to keep those exports out from countries that do not.  (meaning, US)

So with the history of these two long-running dramas, I now come to the most recent – Senate Bill S510.

Innocuously titled, “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act”, it lists high-sounding ideals and includes some of the following:

food facility re-inspection (um…I worked as a waitress for 12 years, I can tell you, restaurants get inspected every year……)
food recalls (aren’t they already allowed to do that?)
a voluntary qualified importer program (have these people never heard of eating locally?)
So those violently opposed to this bill read it and see how easily seed and food control could be placed in the hands of those who have no business telling us what we can grow or eat, share with our neighbors or sell at the local farmer’s market.   And I agree with them to a point; while the bill does not specifically state any of these intents, the large generalized points of it are open to all kinds of interpretations.

History tells me the interpreters will translate it for the benefit of themselves, their agency budget and their large campaign contributors (corporations) before they will for my health and well being.

Again, if you look to history, deaths and illness related to the consumption of contaminated, diseased foods, has been linked to large corporate mono-culture farms, not the small local producers.  Why?  Well, because the small local producer not only feeds you, but their own family.  They don’t have the time or the energy (or the insanity) to grow one garden with ‘good stuff’ for their family and another with ‘questionable stuff’ to sell at the local market.

In addition, if I get ‘bad food’ at the local farmer’s market, I know exactly who to go to with my accusations.   When large farms put out questionable produce, it has also traveled through one or more broker warehouses, a packaging plant or two, the transportation gamut….on and on and its’ so easy to pass the buck on who exactly is to blame.

I’m also curious as to why Homeland Security is one of the committees listed on the bill’s information page.  What, are they afraid terrorists are going to send us toxic bananas?   Newsflash, if everyone ate organic and locally, this fear would be laughable.  And I can tell you, any terrorist shows up at our local farmers market with evil intent on his mind, I can guarantee there are enough ‘rednecks’ around here that are just waiting for an opportunity to show the world what real Homeland Security looks like.

I also wonder just where they are going to get the money to implement all this when they are already crying about ‘deficits’ and ‘budget cuts’.   To my mind, this has less to do with feeding the nation safely and more to do with feeding the oversized monster we call our government, as well as nudging out any competition to the large centralized food companies.

Implementation, testing and compliance enforcement take money – and that money will come from those who want to ‘buy into the market’ (meaning smaller operations won’t be able to afford to be in the market) –  but most of the money will come from you and me, the consumer.   What?  You don’t think so?  Just who do you think is paying for the Tobacco Company Settlements?   It isn’t the companies or the government, its’ the consumers.  But I’ll leave that debate for another time.

The legislation listed above can only make sense in a climate of fear.   They can only pass when we blindly believe the government is really trying to protect us.  When we believe that death is more heinous than liberty. (Oh where is Patrick Henry when you need him?)

Quit looking to the government to save you from harm.   Know those who grow your food.   Have a relationship.  Trust me, they are much more invested in your health and well being than the FDA is.  Because without you, they don’t have a livelihood.  The FDA and government don’t either, but they have forgotten.

Remind them.

Sustainability Means Making MONEY. NOT Making DEBT

What is most frightening is that those in power are believed to be intelligent experts who understand economics and the constitutionality of decisions.  When they themselves say things like the debt is “ultimately not sustainable”, it makes one wonder HOW they can continue on the path of spending more money.
There would certainly be restraints on OUR COMPANY if we wanted to continually increase our debt without being able to produce enough to pay it off (IF we could even get working capital to start with).  So why can the government do it?

I want to raise a family someday, and with stories and summaries like the one from America’s Right discussing the blatant ignorance of our leadership, it makes me understand how important it is to get going on making “REAL CHANGE”, change that includes making choices NOW and in EVERY ELECTION to support and promote the CONSTITUTION and our FREE-MARKETS.

So here’s to being free and making money, and not making any more debt!

– Tisha Casida

Health Care – POSITIVE and PRO-ACTIVE Solutions

By: Sean McCarthy

There is a truism in governance which states if you want to limit a particular behavior or activity then regulate it—if you want to severely limit it then tax it.  Consider the current “health care” debate this country is having.  Then reflect on the various “social engineering” initiatives this country has supported based on moral grounds:  Prohibition—alcohol; regulation and prohibition of various pharmaceuticals aka “drugs”; regulation of tobacco, and ever increasing taxing of its use; legalization and government funding of abortion; funding and support for various sex education programs for youth; government funding of planned parenthood, and single parent support initiatives.

The list above is but a few random selections.  Based on the examples I provided above, when the government both regulated and taxed an activity (tobacco use) the result was a dramatic reduction in the use of the offending product.  Those unable to break their habit pay a heavy tax to continue satisfying their urge.  Some may say this is an unjust taxation as typically smokers are from the lower strata of the socioeconomic status—we are penalizing the poor to fill government coffers.  What can I say?  What government tax or regulatory regime is fair?  When does it not take from one group and give to another group?  At least the behavior is legal and smokers are free to choose whether to pay the price or not, whereas many other tax schemes do not afford one a choice.  Note the failings of the other initiatives listed above—what do they have in common?  They are projects whose stated objectives are failing miserably.  It seems the more money we put into education, or child pregnancy prevention the worse the results.  There is no adverse tax, or regulation associated with those behaviors.  We don’t regulate or tax the activity—in fact we subsidize it and thereby encourage the behavior.

So, drawing empirically from the anecdotes above, one could surmise if you wish to limit a behavior, then you should regulate and tax it.  If you wish to encourage a behavior, then limit the regulation, tax, and cost associated with the activity.  (Hmmm, a paradoxical conundrum may exist; we publically deplore an activity, yet through our governmental action we are literally increasing the numbers of participants in said “bad” behavior.)

Applying this postulate to health care will allow an effective perspective to develop.  Let’s start by stating the goals for which we can all agree:

  1. Universal transportable coverage.
  2. Reasonable/affordable costs for both services and insurance.
  3. The best health services and medication available in the world.

We don’t want to see costs continue their rapid escalation; we don’t want to see rationing, or long waits for care; and we don’t want to see any degradation in the quality of care in our country as it exists today.  It is becoming readily apparent the various proposals being weighed in the Congress will not achieve the basic tenets we desire, nor will they guarantee no degradation of the current system we have.

The various options all discuss increased regulatory oversight of all aspects of our system; they include various increases in the tax burden for both small business and the currently insured.  Remember, taxing and regulating limit a behavior; I think we want to encourage citizens and business to be responsible and pay for their own insurance and health care.  So, if the solution is to reduce regulatory burden and the tax burden to incentivize a desired behavior, what would it look like?  John Mackey’s “The Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare” (WSJ, August 12, 2009) provides a CEO’s (Whole Foods, national grocer) perspective with several private sector solutions:

-Encourage HSAs (Health Savings Accounts).  Similar to IRAs, individuals can deposit money directly tax free, as well as accepting deposits from their employer into this same account tax free.  The monies roll forward year to year tax free which encourages savings to cover deductibles or health care costs directly.  This is a limit on taxes which encourages a good behavior.

-Ensure all health insurance plans are tax deductible.  Whether paid for directly by the individual or by an employer, we should encourage this.  Making the premiums tax deductible will definitely encourage everyone to buy an insurance plan.

-Reduce regulations regarding mandatory coverage.  Oftentimes many like to blame a failing of the market place when results are not desirable.  In this case years of mandated coverage by our well meaning government have increased the cost of coverage for all concerned.  Let’s allow the consumer/citizen to choose what coverage they need—not special interest groups and their lobbyists.  This is the practice in all other forms of insurance markets (i.e., auto, life, property, etc.)

-Tort reform.  No surprise here.  If my costs to insure my practice increase, I simply pass the cost to the consumer.  If I cannot recover the cost, then I cannot stay in business which limits the number of practitioners, increasing demand on the remaining service providers which further increases costs.  Some argue tort reform is a canard.  They say liability claims represent only 1% of the total monies spent in health care.  What they don’t discuss are the various extra tests, and costs associated with ensuring a practitioner is not vulnerable to a future claim of negligence.  Oftentimes a past law suit judgment against a doctor causes all others in the medical field to require additional procedures to ensure they are safe from potential nuisance suits.

-Transparent and timely costs.  Call a doctor or hospital and ask for their rate sheet on various procedures and they won’t be able to provide one.  Why?  Well, it depends on the method of payment, the insurance company, and several other medically irrelevant factors.  Why is this not the case with a dentist?  How about a Veterinarian?  If you get a cavity filled, or your dog has its regular check up, you know the cost and you pay it right then and there.  Let’s make routine treatment the same for our personal medical needs.  If you have to pay it, you will likely be more cost conscious.  If your doctor does not have to wait 60 to 90 days while fighting your insurance company for payment, then costs will be reduced.

You can see these are simple suggestions, but they are based on eliminating needless regulation and tax.  We should own our coverage and be responsible for the costs associated with our health care.  As with other areas of our life, when we have to pay the freight directly, we are more diligent in ensuring costs are low and quality is high.  What about pre-existing conditions?  If you owned your health care plan, and it was not tied to your employment, then this issue would be mollified tremendously. With few exceptions we could all get inexpensive health coverage plans when we are young. Similar to term life insurance, you would lock in an annual premium for life.  Regardless of sickness in the years ahead, your premium would remain the same.  If you lose your job, you don’t lose the coverage—analogous to life, property, and auto insurance.  Your employer can, and as your value to the firm dictates, should contribute towards your individual health insurance plan.  Again, this would be tax deductible and increase the savings for the individual plan holder.

Individual responsibility, limiting government involvement, and allowing the power of personal economics to govern one’s choice of coverage is the key.  Whatever difficult issue faces our country, it is, it will be, and it always has been better to solve difficult issues in our country by supporting individual choice, as opposed to arcane legislation.

A US ARMY Veteran who proudly served as a Cavalry Officer and  Airborne Ranger.  After his military service, McCarthy worked as an executive in the transportation industry providing transportation solutions for large manufacturing facilities.  Intrigued by manufacturing McCarthy was hired by the Trane Company in Pueblo as a production manager in 1995,  learning their innovative world class manufacturing processes.  This allowed him to run his own facility in Colorado Springs for a small door and window manufacturer.

Commuting, and working long hours for the benefit of absentee owners motivated McCarthy to start his own enterprise.  His affinity for “numbers” drew him to the mortgage industry.  On July 4th, 1997 he started his venture which he has run continuously either solely or with partners since.  He purposely started on that date to commemorate his own “independence” day.  McCarthy still owns and operates Castle Investment & Loan, an independent mortgage brokerage and private placement lender.

McCarthy serves on numerous community boards in Pueblo; currently he is President of both the PCC Foundation Board of Directors, as well as the Pueblo Performing Arts Guild (PPAG).  He proudly advocates for Pueblo businesses, the downtown district (member Board of Directors Pueblo Downtown Assoc.), taxpayers, and the “Traditional Liberal” perspective of free enterprise, limited government, and fiscal prudence.   McCarthy can be reached at: seanmccarthy@aculink.net

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