One of the difficulties of writing a monthly column about what is going on in our industry is that I must make sure that what I write will be relevant once you read it. That’s something I learned this past year as things happened so rapidly and changed constantly. By the time this is published, we may have a new health-care plan that the federal government will be running and we’ll all be wondering how we’re going to pay for it.
One thing that has not changed in Washington is an old adage: “Watch what they do and not what they say.” The government that is supposed to answer to American voters is now controlled by people who don’t want to hear other opinions, not even from their own party. They do and say things in public that hide what they do in closed meetings.
Ms. Pelosi and her cohort are pressuring people in their own party to not speak against their plans. Several “Blue Dog Democrats” that have voted according to the wills of their constituents, are being forced out. Several have announced that they won’t run for re-election. What kind of intimidation is Pelosi’s gang capable of mounting that chases them from office?
Just think about this: The House health-care bill had over 2,000 pages that no one had read when the vote was called. Prior to committee hearings, both the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader said they wanted to pass bills before anyone had time to “organize opposition.” Their rush to vote is a bad idea for any law. What are they hiding?
It was the same for the House climate-change bill. The Speaker promised to get a bill passed in time for the President to brag about it at December’s global climate summit. That didn’t happen, but (as of this writing) the President was able to announce an agreement with China and other countries to spend $30 billion dollars on climate measures. Of course, the agreement is called “nonbinding,” so what good does it do? It allows the President to claim he did something. He gets to pledge to spend more tax dollars. He presided over an equally pointless Jobs Summit and a meaningless Credit/Lending Forum. The Administration didn’t want any input from anyone that disagreed with it at the Jobs Summit because they already had their minds made up on what they were going to do. They bash banks in public over lending practices, but federal oversight continues to inhibit bankers’ flexibility to lend.
We have federal “czars” overseeing everything from executive pay to manufacturing policies, and anything in between. These are people on the federal payroll without so much as a wink from Congress. Where is the government’s authority to decide what civilians are paid? Next, some Congressmen say they intend to hold hearings on how much NCAA football coaches are paid! Some want to legislate how the NCAA should name the Division I football champion. Why are they spending their energies on this? What are their priorities?
When, and if, a new healthcare program is enacted, federal officials may be determining when you get a physical, and from whom. They may even dictate it. The House version would make it a felony for individuals to not have health insurance if they don’t pay the bill Uncle Sam sends them for it. Apparently, they know what’s best for us! They’re experts in everything. Why aren’t they willing to be covered by the same health-care program they’re developing for the rest of the country? Members of Congress have top-notch coverage, and they don’t have to abide by most of the laws they pass.
It’s the same with Congressional pay: no debate, just automatic passage. The U.S. Congress is passing laws without full disclosure or debate on issues that will affect us for decades to come. We can’t afford it, and we cannot allow it to continue. Major media help them conceal what they’re really doing by not asking the necessary questions that would reveal any of this. In this New Year, we must send a message to Congress that this is our country, and that we won’t let them destroy it. Many aspects of their current agenda will decimate U.S. manufacturing, and we are the only ones that can stand up and defend ourselves. We can’t wait for others to do it for us. Will we take the actions needed? Will we make the needed changes? Watch what they do and not what they say!
Contact James R. Grosmann at the National Tooling & Machining Assn., [email protected].