Archived Story

Get to the life boats as soon as possible

Published 10:09am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Column: Al Arends, My Point of View

Henry and Mary had looked forward to taking a cruise for many years. Finally the time came when their dream came true. On this particular night they had enjoyed a wonderful meal and the special entertainment. It was 11 o’clock before they went to bed that night. At 1:30 a.m. the loud speakers came on saying, “This is an emergency, we have hit another ship and we are sinking fast.” Mary jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom and began fixing her hair and putting on lipstick. Henry hollered at her and said, We’ve got to go.” She said, “I can’t go looking like this.” Henry said, “You want to look pretty when the boat your on will soon be underwater?” Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Our country is underwater in debt and what does the president do? He says that religious organizations have to provide contraception pills in insurance policies. And what do the Republicans do, they begin arguing with him. I believe both sides are like two little kids arguing over a piece of candy. I think both sides are wrong.

In generations past when a woman chose to use the pill she did not expect her insurance to pay for it. Birth control, female health issues and social diseases are all related to this issue and a subject for anther day. Why should my insurance premium go up to cover someone buying the pill? I’m sure some will disagree with me but then don’t complain about our health insurance being so expensive. If we want every little thing covered, someone is going to have to pay for the cost of doing the bookwork and writing the checks. Do I believe the president was wrong in mandating this coverage? Absolutely, and mandating it for religious organizations was another dumb decision.

But Republicans arguing about this “mandate” is also, in my opinion, dumb. It’s a no-win argument because it is a small issue and there are those people, especially some women who will take issue with me. Some people believe that they should receive benefits with other people paying for them. What has happened to us when we fail to take individual responsibility for the things we want and need. Let the government or someone else pay for what I want. The mandate by the preside is also an infringement on the religious beliefs of some faiths and I don’t think that’s right.

But lets face it. There are much bigger issues facing us and both parties need to be addressing those issues. The national debt is now greater than our total economy. Interest on the debt will soon consume 25 percent of all the government revenue. Medicare can continue on the same dead-end course for approximately nine years. Social security for seniors may be able to continue at the same level for another 20 years, which is not much hope for our children and grandchildren of receiving benefits that they are paying for. Most government employee pension plans are 15 to 25 percent underfunded. And we owe China 1.7 trillion dollars and they don’t want to lend us any more.

They government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we’re spending and our president is worrying about paying for birth control pills. Give me a break! When are we going to begin bailing out the boat or is it too late? Henry and Mary better quit arguing and begin solving real problems.


Al Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.