Monday, February 1, 2010

Opting Out

Now that Virginia's Senate has passed legislation preventing Washington from mandating the purchase of health insurance, I think it's time that states with legislatures against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan followed up with their own versions of these silly laws. Granted, it wouldn't accomplish much, just as Arizona and Virginia's laws will likely not matter when a final health insurance subsidy bill is finally passed by the filibuster-stuck Senate.

But what would a "left" version of this nonsense look like? It's hard to imagine because typically, the voices on the left are not as shrill, apocalyptic or stupid as the teabaggers and their ilk. I guess the first thing would be for state legislatures around the country to start passing laws prohibiting their residents federal income taxes to go towards either of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Instead of screaming about the tyrannical government that might make people purchase health insurance, "the folks" could be up in arms about this ongoing requirement to pay all that "war insurance" that doesn't ever seem to do as much good as a doctor's visit or some much needed surgery.

From there we might hope to see some states, feeling the crunch that such high rates of incarceration are putting on the budget, begin to decriminalize non-violent drug offenses so that they can focus on crimes that are hurting the community and save the billions that are going to processing, housing, and feeding people convicted of non-violent possession charges.

Finally, it's high time that these profit making mega churches started forking over some money. If they want to live a life of poverty and renounce material possessions fine. If they stick to wearing their scratchy habits and live simply off the donations from Sunday mass, fine, let them keep their tax free status. But if the preachers are wearing jewelery worth more than many members of their congregation make in a year, or drive around in fancy "pimped" out cars with spinning rims, or live in palatial mansions bought and paid for by the tithes that they force on their congregation, then these churches need to start paying taxes. And I mean a lot of taxes!

While I recognize that the likelihood of any of these things happening are about as likely as Obama suddenly becoming the radical progressive that FoxNews says he is, or that many of us wished he was, it would still be a great thing to see. The truth is that the Democrats seem to be either spineless, corrupt, or both (Bernie Sanders is an independent and does not fall under the afore mentioned categories). They are ineffective politicians who seem to keep waiting for some goodness to sink into their colleagues across the aisle and vote for what's right for the country, as opposed to what's right for Wall Street, the big corporations, and the richest 1%.

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