What Is Conservatism?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
 What is being a conservative really all about? Of late more and more of the news is talking about conservatives in D.C. wanting - urging really - for the country to embrace being a conservative.
 
I really don't know what that means. In the world around us those that speak the loudest are the few with money, lots of it. Koch Brothers, Mercer Family and even Trump though I am not sure of his consistency with much of anything.
 
The health measure being debated in Congress is a conservative piece of legislation but will take away health benefits for millions, some 24 million by later years.
Conservative talk wants to bench NPR, Meals on Wheels, college support, Medicare and on and on with cuts quite draconian leaving many millions wondering how they will live without some of the many life saving measures including school lunches.  O.K, I can already hear the howls of protest my mention of meals on wheels. That is just one of the many in Trump's so-called skinny budget.. 
 
The country's debt is some $20 trillion. Let me write out for you the number of zeroes in that number -  20,000,000,000,000. That is 12 of them. A congressmen, named Brat suggests that our real debt is some $100 trillion. Who do we believe and why do we believe them? We  live our lives according to our income stream. We manage. The government, apparently, cannot manage.
 
The staff and congressional pay comprises a very large sum of taxpayer money. We have 435 of them with staff positions usually in multiple locations. The presidential staff at the White House consists of secretaries, associate secretaries and on and on with staffing  on layers that would make a CEO scream that was heading a large corporation. I have done a bit of digging and thought it interesting to share with you dollar figures for supporting Congress.. Budgets for each individual in Congress are $1,503, 265 X 435 members. That total is $6,539,202,270. The first number in millions and the second number in billions. Congress is in session 111 days. For most of that legislative time is spent in "work sessions". Actual legislation appears to be secondary to running for re-election and being in the midst of temptations. 
 
I pose this question for the conservatives in our midst? Is that outlay of funds, nearly $7 billion, a good use of money?  Tennessee state legislature meets only 90 days a year. When was the last time you actually saw/heard Chuck or that doctor from Jasper?  The last news item I saw recently was that time home for both of those elected representatives not one single town hall meeting. Conservative use of funds?
 
We elect representatives to serve us and with that comes a responsibility to be available to the people that elect that representative. The members of Congress, both sides, all seem to speak "groupie speak" and miss the vital concerns of governing and living that affect every one of us. Health care for all... not a new idea and one the conservative and the GOP wrestle with. Remember the repeal and replace some 60+ times.. and then when they have the entire pie? Wow, guess governing is more complicated than meeting for just 111 days and spending actually little time attending to the needs of the people that put them in office.
 
 On some political hot potatoes I am a progressive and on others, a conservative. I believe a woman has a right to choose but only if. I believe that children regardless of race or economic standing deserve a quality education and that means an educational program that suggests only what was done way back yonder. I believe in health care and this country has the means and the wealth to pay for it. I believe that the wealthy should pay taxes just like I have to. The tax code, so onerous  and so complicated, needs revisions and quickly. Guess what Congress will do with the tax code? Something like what they just did with ObamaCare. Wanna bet that all those billions for Congressmen to meet for 111 days and have the presidency; Congress entirely; most state governors, and before I forget, how come state governments are run so much more efficiently and are attentive to the needs of the voters? Could it be your mother used to say to the neighbor, "Once he is out of sight, I just don't know what he's a doin'."
 
Robert Brooks


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