So, why isn't this man helping to shape policy? He sounds pretty smart to me.
By now, I am sure many of you have seen footage of the Town Hall with Sen. Specter and Secretary Kathleen Sebellius. And while the following video begins with some of that footage, the bigger issue deals with how health care reform would affect veterans and their families. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) is on the House Armed Services Committee, and addresses this issue:
Feel free to take issue with some of his statements. One that jumped out at me was his comment about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. There have been SO many issues raised about that, someby me, including this: Congress expected the funds to last for four months, and they lasted for four days. This was a $1 Billion dollar program. If they failed to project how quickly the funds would run out for that, why should we trust they will do better with a FAR more expansive program in scope and scale, not to mention COST, like Health care reform?
Here's the short hand: if they can't predict how quickly $1 billion will go, how can they accurately predict how over $1 TRILLION will go?
Back to the veterans for just a moment. Good of Rep. Cummings to discuss this issue with his constituents who are veterans. Here is one veteran who has his own take on this issue (H/t to Logistics Monster for this video):
In case you are wondering what Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution says, here it is:
Article 1 - The Legislative Branch; Section 8 - Powers of Congress
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
It is good to see with what the Congress is officially charged under the Constitution that governs this land. For me, at least, it helps to put things into perspective. Kind of like the soldier who spoke up did, cutting through a whole bunch of rhetoric. I think our politicians could learn a lesson from him on that score, too - speak clearly, speak plainly, and base ALL of your decisions with the Constitution as a road map, rather than as a stumbling block.
Better yet, maybe they should all wear bracelets like, "WWJMD?" = "What Would James Madison Do?" Or, "WWJD?" = "What Would Jefferson Do?" Just a thought...