One of the top issues in the presidential campaign is medical insurance, or rather, the lack of it.
The New York Times reported this week that, "About 25 million Americans did not have sufficient coverage last year to shield them from financial hardship," and that is an increase of 9 million since 2003. Add to that number "the approximately 50 million uninsured Americans," and that is 75 million Americans that face an economic catastrophe should they get seriously sick, approximately 25 percent of the United States population.
If either candidate or even a minor party candidate could persuade that block of voters to bullet vote on that issue alone, that candidate could win or at least would decide who would.
Neither Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain adequately address the issue. Obama permits those who believe they will never get sick and need no insurance and can avoid the premiums — primarily young people — to do so. That violates a basic premise of insurance, which is that you cover the sick and the healthy to reduce the collective cost.
McCain requires no one to be covered, leaving it to the individual to take or not to take the income tax exemption provided under his proposal and buy their individual policies. The proposal offered by Hillary Clinton is still the best and should be appropriated by one of the two candidates.
Immigration Policy Should Be Enforced
I believe that the United States now has a responsible immigration policy. We allow about 1 million people a year to enter our borders and become eligible for U.S. citizenship. However, there are those who believe — and that includes both presidential candidates — that illegal aliens should have a path to citizenship as well. I do not.
I believe if more immigrants are desirable, and I think they are, it should be done by increasing the legal numbers permitted to come here. The supporters of illegal immigrants advocating amnesty and "a path to citizenship" raise the false specter of arresting 12 million to 20 million illegals, putting them on buses and boxcars, and shipping them home.
That, of course, is ridiculous and no one is advocating such a Nazi-like tactic. What everyone knows is that if there are no jobs available, huge numbers of illegals will contemplate going home on their own and in fact that is now happening.
On May 1, 2008 The New York Times reported, "As a result of the difficulties [getting a job and law enforcement efforts], among immigrants who had been here less than five years, 49 percent said they were thinking of returning home, while 41 percent said they planned to remain in the United States.
"Overall, slightly under one-third of the immigrants said they were thinking of leaving this country. In 2001, the last time a similar survey asked a comparable question, about 20 percent of Latino immigrants said they were thinking of going home."
The pressures should be brought on the employers. White collar criminals need only a brief stay in jail to give up their avarice — a 30 day sentence for a first offense, with the doubling of the sentence for each subsequent offense, along with a hefty fine, in my judgment, would be adequate to stem the lawlessness.
I repeat a suggestion I made some time ago. The federal government should offer free transportation back to the country of origin and a $500 per person reward for those who appear at the American embassy in the country of origin to collect it.
Regrettably, none of this will happen because there are so many institutions and public officials that defend illegal immigration and believe in a policy of open borders. It is a philosophy which would impose limitations on the United States which are not imposed on other countries.
Another example is the constant attack by environmentalists on the United States and President Bush for not joining the Kyoto Treaty which is up for renewal in 2012.
No matter how many times it is pointed out that China is a huge user of fossil fuels and a polluter which recently took second place heretofore held by Japan following the United States, those criticizing the U.S. excuse China and do not bracket the two demanding both sign the Kyoto protocols simultaneously.
How will those critics of the U.S. react now that, according to The New York Times of June 14, "China has clearly overtaken the United States as the world's leading emitter of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas." The Times further reported that "in 2007, China's emissions were 14 percent higher than those of the U.S." and China had "carbon emissions seven percent higher by volume than the U.S. in 2006." Kyoto excluded from coverage the developing nations of China and India.
Britian Recogniizes Urgency of Terrorism
In Great Britain, Prime Minister George Brown just won a vote in parliament on providing additional time to hold terrorist suspects in jail without charging them from 28 days to 42 days, by the skin of his teeth with the Conservative Party and a substantial number of Labor backbenchers voting against the bill.
According to The New York Times, should the law be enacted, "for suspects to be held beyond 28 days, the government would have to win parliamentary backing for an order, valid for 30 days, declaring 'a grave exceptional terrorist threat.' Any suspect held beyond 28 days would have the right to appeal to a judge," and "compensation, which some lawmakers said would be as much as $6,000 a day."
Britain has been plagued with severe homegrown terrorism from its local Muslim population.
Congratulations to Prime Minister Brown who is exhibiting the understanding of the dangers of Islamic terrorism recognized by Tony Blair and not being deterred by those who for philosophical or political tactics decline to. Regrettably, I believe those with resolve to stand up to worldwide Islamic terrorism in the United States are weakening.
Immigration for Africans
The New York Times reported on June 12 that "a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that immigration judges and the appellate system established as a check on their decisions committed 'obvious errors' by denying asylum to three Guinean women who claimed that they were victims of genital cutting back in Africa."
One of the lawyers for the women said, "Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for women who seek our nation's protection to escape the brutal practice of female genital mutilation and the other forms of gender persecution that are associated with it."
The Times article continued, "The practice of genital cutting, a tradition throughout sub-Saharan Africa, has long been criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations." Of course — but does that mean that the millions of women who live there are eligible to enter the U.S. as refugees?
The Times reported, "In previous cases, the board has said that women subject to forced sterilization are routinely granted asylum." This would cover millions of women living in China under that country's one child only policy. I believe that the United States should be compassionate, but irrational, no.
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