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Tea Party’s Medicare Beneficiaries Honk Up Palm Coast Against Federal Health Mandate

| March 26, 2012

flagler county tea party protest

Somebody needed and ambulance. (© FlaglerLive)

Just as the first day of arguments over the federal health law were concluding before the U.S. Supreme Court at 11:30 this morning, Palm Coast and Flagler County tea party activists were gathering at the four corners of the intersection of Palm Coast Parkway and Cypress Point Parkway for their latest anti-Obama rally. In this case, an anti “Obamacare” rally, as opponents of the federal health law like to call it.

Hands waved. Horns blew. Engines revved. Flags fluttered. Signs showing the president in various stages of disfigurement or giving him and his “Obamacare” a piece of the brandishers’ mind bobbed up and down as the activists stood at the four corners of the intersection.

But it was a distinctly thinner crowd than rallies of old: a total of 52 people at noon, a few more a half hour later. Nothing close to the hundreds of people who’d gathered at the biggest local tea party rally yet, two years ago on April 15, when throngs lined up the corners and medians at Palm Coast Parkway and Old Kings Road. Tea party meetings used to pull in big crowds, too, by the hundreds. Lately, it’s been by the dozens.

A couple of factors have caused the drop: the Flagler County Tea Party Group splintered, with a break-away group forming a local chapter of the so-called Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies of Florida. Some members toggle between the two groups. Some don’t. Another factor: the tea parties’ focus across the country has become fuzzier, its opposition energy either worn down or seeming tired, or out of touch, compared to the more youthful Occupy Wall Street movement. And tea party fans haven’t had a presidential candidate they can believe in wholeheartedly. That’s cooled their excitement. There’s also the delicate matter of age: tea party adherents are overwhelmingly older. They don’t live forever.

At the Palm Coast rally, some of the protesters weren’t even entirely sure why they were there. “Today I think is a national stop Obamacare rally that the tea parties across the country have. That’s what they told me,” John Ruffalo said, waving a sign of his own. But like his fellow-protesters, he knew where he stood and what he had to tell the federal government. “They’re in my kitchen telling me what I can eat. I can’t eat fat. They’re in my bathroom telling me to wipe my ass with three pieces of toilet paper. They’re in my bedroom telling me what I can do, what I can’t do,” Ruffalo said. “Stay out of my bedroom, stay out of my bathroom, stay out of my kitchen, stay out of my life.”

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Perhaps nine out of 10 of the protesters, including Ruffalo, were on Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly, and pulling in Social Security checks. But all opposed “Obamacare,” which would do markedly less than Medicare would when it comes to ensuring coverage, though it would require everyone to buy insurance—even if it’s bargain-basement insurance—or pay a fee to opt out. The protesters find that unconstitutional, even though virtually each one had been compelled to pay into the Medicare system for years, and accept Medicare coverage at 65.

How does the new federal health law interfere? “They’re overregulating everything. It was never intended to be this regulated,” Ruffalo says. Asking for specifics makes a specific answer difficult. Ruffalo, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, finds a way. “My doctor, my prostate doctor, is thinking of getting out of the business,” he says. “You know how many lives that man saved? Saved my life. So I’m only going by what he’s telling me. He’s not happy with it, he doesn’t like what’s happening, so if he’s the prostate doctor who’s saving all these lives, and he’s getting out of the business, there’s something wrong with it.”

Asked whether he’d be willing to give up Medicare, Ruffalo was just as categorical: “I wouldn’t give a shit one way or another.” He waved his sign. Horns blew. He added: “I’d give up Medicare. If I paid the doctor—tell me how much it is, and I’ll pay it.” He said he’d make payments if he couldn’t afford it. “Is that a problem, making payments or something?” Another man on the line says if he’d been able to contribute to a health savings account instead of Medicare since he was younger, he’d have had the money to care for himself.

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

That’s true only up to a point, and even if Ruffalo had been able to contribute to his health savings account for 30 years, instead of to Medicare, he would not likely have been able to pay his medical bills. Health savings accounts enable some savings, but the amount that can be saved each year is capped. This year, for example, no more than $3,100 can be contributed to a health savings account by an individual (the family cap is $6,250). The money is used for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Absent Medicare, all medical expenses would have to be paid out of that account, which can be depleted by a single operation or hospital stay because the insurance coverage that comes with it is usually thin and itself capped. The savings can be invested much like a 401(k) plan, in stocks or mutual funds. But they’re also susceptible to stock market fluctuations—and steep losses, as anyone with a 401(k) experienced in 2001 and 2008.

A protest line on a street isn’t the place for reason or specifics, however: all arguments must neatly fit on a placard, preferably in the cadence of bumper stickers.


Near Ruffalo, a 76-year-old man who wouldn’t give his name put it this way: “I have Medicare, I have no complaints. I pay my 20 percent whenever I go to the doctor and I pick up the balance of the tab. I’m not complaining. I’m not looking for full coverage. I’m willing to contribute some.” The new federal insurance law would not work much differently, though it’s likely to be more expensive than Medicare and afford less coverage. “You should not be forced to do anything you don’t want to do,” the man says. “And I know, you’re going to say to me yeah but then when somebody doesn’t have coverage, they get sick, they go to the hospital. They do it today. They do it today.” He was sure of one thing: “Under the new law you’re going to have options. They’re coming. As soon as we take this guy out of office, you’ll have your options.”

Tom Lawrence, who chairs the local tea party group, was across the street at the northeast corner of the intersection. He wasn’t worried about the thinner numbers. The protest was spread out from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Various people signed up for various time slots, Lawrence said, and 50 or so people was a good showing. He’d decided to move the protest from its previous location at Palm Coast Parkway and Old Kings for the greater visibility at the Cypress intersection.

“We’re here basically to show support for the people around the country who are saying their prayers that the Supreme Court will find this unconstitutional, because we think it’s a bad law in all senses,” Lawrence said of the federal health care mandate.

Tom Lawrence. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“We think that it’s an invasion on personal privacy, personal freedom. If the government can tell us what we have to buy, where does it stop? It’s a huge reach for the federal government. So if this is constitutional, then what’s next? They’re going to start telling me how to raise my kids? Raise my grandkids? Where I can live? To me, this scares me.” Lawrence concedes that governments force individuals to buy insurance—auto insurance, for example (and property insurance, with a mortgage), but those are state regulations, not federal, he says, and providers can sell auto insurance across state lines, which brings costs down. Health insurance couldn’t be bought across state lines.

Lawrence, too, is happy with his Medicare, but the new federal law “is more sweeping in my mind, because now they’re telling you, you have to buy health insurance. I would prefer the federal government stays out of the private sector.”

Jean Corra mentions the slouch toward socialism and says Mitt Romney would be her choice to stop it. As for Romney passing what even his Republican challengers call “Romneycare” in Massachusetts, the health insurance program that became the blueprint for the Obama administration’s federal version, Corra says “it worked for them,”—meaning for Massachusetts—“but it doesn’t necessarily mean it would work in every state, Number 1, let alone the whole country.”

Her husband Carl wishes he could give up Medicare, but he doesn’t have a choice. Absent the alternatives, he’s sticking with it, and paid into it his working years.

John Thomas, 75, stands at the end of the line, hoisting a huge flag with a white flagpole he rests on his thigh. “To me,” Thomas says, “it goes back to Madison and Jefferson and Jay, Hamilton. They wrote the Federalist Papers explaining what the Constitution is about. One of the things people were in great fear that the government would overreach. They argued that the Constitution had ample protections against overreaching by the federal authorities, and I think the last three years especially, but ever since Roosevelt, we’ve proved that that’s not the case. The Constitution did not have enough protections to prevent the federal government from overreaching, and this is just an example. A terrible example.”

Postscript: Tea party groups in Florida are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to veto the Florida Polytechnic University bill that would create the state’s 12th university (SB 1994), along with three other bills the movement opposes. Online news site Sunshine State News reported Tuesday that tea party groups are also asking Scott to veto an energy bill (HB 7117) that would create tax credits for clean energy programs, a measure that backers described as modest, but tea party representatives say is an overreach. “We do not believe the government should be determining the marketplace for renewable energy projects,” the group said in the Sunshine State piece.

The group is also calling for a veto of a budget conforming bill (HB 5301) that was controversial because it will require counties to pay the state Medicaid system for money that the counties contend they don’t owe. The money in dispute is over bills for treatment of Medicaid patients. Counties argue that the billing system is flawed and they don’t trust they’re being charged for the correct number of patients. That bill also includes coverage of children of state workers in the subsidized KidCare health care system. The tea party groups also want Scott to reject HB 599, which requires a $100,000 study to merge Hillsborough and Pinellas transit agencies. “The state of Florida should not be dictating to counties what they should and should not do for solving local transit issues,” the Tea Party Network said. On the Polytechnic legislation, the group said the move would dilute education funding, and the state should be encouraging the growth of private schools instead of creating new public ones.–News Service of Florida

Not quite throngish. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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69 Responses for “Tea Party’s Medicare Beneficiaries Honk Up Palm Coast Against Federal Health Mandate”

  1. GOP says:

    Great. Thank you for your efforts..

  2. B. Claire says:

    Dear God…haven’t you t-partiers done quite enough to set America back to the 1950s?!

    Give it a rest already.

    And take Eric Cantor & Paul Ryan with you!

    Thank you so much :)

    Bye Bye

    • cynthia says:

      Dear God,…haven’t you democrats done quite enough to set America back to the 1960s?!

      Give it a rest already

      And take Eric Holder & Nancy Pelosi with you!

      Thank you so much :)

      Bye Bye

  3. It irks me no end to hear nonsense arguments against the Affordable health care law. My wife is uninsurable because of a tiny aneurysm in her brain, and it costs her $1200 a month with a $10,000 annual deductible to buy a cobra conversion insurance policy. In a couple of years she will be eligible for Medicare and will not have to pay $1200 a month for a medicare supplement. She is otherwise as healthy as a horse. We are fortunate because we can afford it, but until this law kicks in, in 2014 she is not eligible for mainstream insurance because she has a “preexisting condition.”
    Lots of people who are under 65 have No insurance, and when a health care crisis comes around they face bankruptcy or having to do without healthcare. It is no secret that healthcare costs are ridiculous and have nothing to do with real costs and real profit margins. Imagine a hospital which charges $45,000 for a pacemaker which it can buy for $1500 and you get the idea. We have all heard of hospitals charging $13.00 for an aspirin.
    Almost everyone has a pre-existing condition of some kind, and we collectively are paying so dearly for insurance. I strongly support the plan to get national healthcare so we and others can get affordable insurance.

    • Layla says:

      Phil, would you mind explaining to my WHY you believe that pacemaker is only going to cost $1500 under Obamacare?

      Nobody is against health insurance. Many are against having this forced upon us and having our representatives and others having to “vote for the bill first in order to find out what’s in it.”

      You call it national healthcare; others call it socialism. We are about choices in this country, not force.

  4. Geezer Butler says:

    I thought that they were mentally disabled adults demonstrating for additional government benefits.
    I was only partly right. They weren’t asking for money!

  5. Bob Hamby says:

    We are not a break off from the Tea Party. We share the Tea Party values of limited Constitutional Government at all levels (federal, state, and local). We are principally dedicated to supporting the nomination and election of Republican candidates who are in agreement with our values. I and most of our members attend the Tea Party meetings and are in complete agreement with the Tea Party Values and Mission Statement. The Flagler Tea party has chosen to be non-partisan and to not endorse or support candidates during the election process.
    Believing that the achievement of the Tea Party values can best be implemented by engaging in the election process a group of Conservative Republicans received a charter for a Flagler Chapter of the state-wide Ronald Reagan Assemblies of Florida. We are dedicated to working within the Republican Party to promote the active participation of our members to e ndorse, support, and elect principled conservative Republican candidates. We welcome all conservative registered Republicans in Flagler County to join us and help us win the 2012 elections for our principled conservative Republicans.

    Bob Hamby
    President, Flagler Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly

    • snapperhead says:

      the same Reagan that tripled the deficit, permitted amnesty for 3 million illegals,expanded federal government employment by 300,000 employees, did nothing when Marines were killed in Lebanon, presided over the Savings and Loan debacle,raised taxes 11 times, sold arms to Iran and funded what we know today as Al Queda and the Taliban…that Reagan?

  6. Joe A. says:

    This protest could have been very informative to people had it been handled differently. I really like the idea of contributing to an HSA rather then Medicare. That is something new, the thought never crossed my mind.

    I am really turned off by the Tea Party approach. If Mr. Ruffalo’s bluntness and use of profanity in trying to educate the public is the best the Tea Party can put up, then I will seek information elsewhere. Once again a good concept destroyed by a poor messenger. I give a thumbs down to Mr. Ruffalo’s for his constant use of profanity in this article. Completely unnecessary. You totally lost credibility in my book.

  7. Lynn Tobin says:

    In case you haven’t heard, the majority of Americans are against the mandate commonly called Obama Care. People have forgotten the meaning of INSURANCE. One pays into the program called insurance until they are ill and THEN you can get benefits. To require insurers cover pre existing conditions is like waiting for your car to crash to get car “insurance!”
    According to Investors Business Daily “from 2013 to 2022 the cost of Obama Care will be $1.6 Trillion!!” “If the Federal government can compel a private citizen, under threat of penalty, to engage in a private contract with a private entity (to buy health insurance) is there anything the Federal Gevernment can not compel the citizen to do??

  8. Melvina Rushnock says:

    My husband and I stood at the corner today holding our signs. I saw some signs I felt offensive and distasteful, but certainly got one’s attention. We have no grandchildren of our own and at 71 and 76, our lives are beginning to grind down. Our love for this country gave us cause to leave our home and stand in the heat, sometimes enduring ugly remarks directed towards us. Some had the courage to blow their horns in support, but others shrunk in their car seats as they gave us the “thumbs up” approval sign. We love this country and would love to go back to a 50′s era when family was the center of the world and Mom could stay home and nurture them. This country is far too close to becoming socialist with so many poorly run government programs. We have not learned from the countries that tried socialism and have failed in their possibly well-meaning attempt at economic fairness. We do not want to see others control you and take the God given right to live life as the individual God intended. We have a wealth of experience and would love to pass the torch to the younger who are either too immature, busy or indifferent to save their own country for themselves and their children. If we are somewhat embarrassing to be around, we invite you to learn from and glean from our experiences as well as history’s lessons.

    • Nancy N. says:

      “We do not want to see others control you and take the God given right to live life as the individual God intended.”

      Did your God intend for me to live in terror constantly that I will get sicker than I already am and have no way to pay for my medical treatment? DId your God intend for me to have to go deep into unsustainable debt just to pay for the medications that keep me (fingers crossed) medically stable? Did your God intend for me to panic every time I see an envelope in the mailbox from my daughter’s insurance company that it might be a letter informing me that they have figured out a way to cancel her policy or force a downgrade of her benefits?

      I REALLY do not understand how people can get so bent out of shape about the government requiring them to do something that is the responsible thing to do anyway!!!! The law only requires the purchase of extremely minimal insurance, which every person with access to should purchase anyway as a matter of personal responsibility, and removes barriers to everyone doing so and provides assistance if it might be needed financially. This is no different from laws that require us to do many things that are good for us – helmet and seatbelt laws (well, except for Florida with helmets), auto insurance requirements, building codes that require things like smoke detectors & hurricane protection, etc.

      • Layla says:

        Nancy, if the law is a perfect solution, why have thousands of companies been given waivers?

        Why should some have to bear the cost and responsibility and others not?

  9. Nancy N. says:

    I will guarantee you two things – these tea party people with their “I’ll take care of myself” attitude have 1) had employer-sponsored health insurance their whole life and 2) that they’ve never had a serious health issue.

    I have lupus with a long history of complications. I am currently uninsured because with lupus no one will sell me insurance. I take hundreds of dollars every month in prescription medication alone. My routine lab work costs $500 or more each time. Then there are doctor’s visits…and I better hope that they don’t find any problems in any of those things – what will I do then?

    In the past I have had several surgeries that have cost over $30,000 each. And those were minor! Who in their right mind thinks they can handle hospital bills like that without going bankrupt?

    I have no idea when I am going to be insured again if the healthcare law is declared unconstitutional. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, I will be able in a few months to buy insurance through a Florida high-risk pool that was created by the law. But only if the law still exists then.

    Even worse…my 8 year old daughter has severe JRA & Scleroderma. Thankfully she is on a private policy that she’s been on since before she got sick, and didn’t lose her insurance like I did when the COBRA ran out. She is currently on IV treatments every couple of weeks that cost a couple thousand dollars each time – and that isn’t including the doctor’s visits and her daily maintenance medications. If we hadn’t been responsible and bought her that private policy when she was a healthy kid who only needed well kid check-ups, we would be in a lot of trouble right now and she would not be getting the care she needs.

    People who think that they can pay their own medical bills or “make payments” are stuck in the past and out of touch with what it costs for medical care these days. It’s simply not possible to pay for anything beyond a simple office visit and basic antibiotic without help for most people when a single prescription can run hundreds of dollars a month.

    • Layla says:

      Nancy, I am certainly sorry to hear about the difficulties you have had. I want you to have access to the type of insurance you need to make you and your family well.

      And I expect my government to be able to do that without forcing the rest of the country to purchase something they may not be able to afford or make the payments on.

      If they can provide it to you under a nation plan WITH FORCE, why can’t they provide it to you WITHOUT FORCE?

      • Nancy N. says:

        It’s simple math, Layla. Everyone – including the healthy people who don’t want to buy insurance – has to pay into the insurance pool for the pool to be able to afford to pay out for sick people like me who take out more in benefits than we pay in (that is, after all, the purpose of insurance – to spread risk).

        Unless of course, you’d prefer the alternative – that the government foot the bill for the benefits of people like me.

        Pick your poison, honey. It has to be one or the other solution to get people like me the medical help that we need.

        • Layla says:

          I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to pay and pay and pay, just like I am doing now because millions are not going to be able to afford the fees. They have lost homes, jobs, everything. As the old saying goes, you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.

          And then there are several thousand unions and businesses that have received waivers, so we’ll be paying for them, too.

          I’ll stick with my premise that this can be done without the force, fines and possible jail sentences. All we have to do is take away federal employee and Congressional health plans and you’ll see some action. Let them suffer like the rest of us.

  10. songbird says:

    Phil,
    Be sure to check out http://www.pcip.gov for your wife. The pre-existing condition plan is already in place through the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” as the critics like to call it. My close friend of mine is a type 1 diabetic who was paying close to a grand a month for insurance and through this plan it’s only $200 a month. EVERYONE with any type pre-existing condition needs to check to see if they can get their health insurance at a more affordable rate.

  11. New Jersey says:

    Looks like just a bunch of pissed of whites that are still angry that a Black man is in the White House.

    They don’t know what to protest so they find something.

    Try yelling at John big oil Mica for siding with the rich and the oil companies.

    How about protesting at city hall over the outlandish salary of the town manager.
    Try asking why the golf course and tennis courts continue to be a losing venture and what is the real cost to the taxpayers.

    • some guy says:

      Ya goota love the left THEY are the biggots and like to say those on the right are. Why is it they see people in terms of race forst not as indeviduials or on their thoughts BUt on what race they are.

  12. cynthia says:

    This article is like yesterdays article on Trayron Martin , a racist, bigoted, socialist, liberal agenda. The same socialist/marxist liberals make there comments believing they are intitled to everything FREE of charge. Give me that, Give me those, Give me money, Give me shelter, Give me Food , Give me Healthcare, Give me transportation….on and on and on and on…….Till we are 16 trillion dollars in debt.
    In a very short time you won;t have to worry about any of these things. You will be put in containment camps and told what to do. Beware of what you ask for..You just may get it !

  13. elaygee says:

    That seems to be the picture around the country, old people on welfare complaining about fair medical benefits for the rest of us. All of them over the age of 76 have already gotten back every penny they put into Social Secuirty and Medicare PLUS interest and are now living off the backs of us, collecting welfare checks.

    How about they stop collecting welfare and go back to work and try to find affordable insurance like the rest of us? Some “greatest generation”. Most selfish generation more like it.

  14. Layla
    Thanks for your post. Medicare has certain guidelines on what it will pay for healthcare. Insuance companies routinely adopt a formula tied to the guidelines setting a MAX or ceiling on what it will approve. The same system will force health care providers to tow the line with their ridiculous charges BUT ONLY IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE. Universal health insurance will solve that problem.

    • Layla says:

      Thank you for your response and for your courtesy, Phil.

      I don’t mind being offered a national plan. I DO mind being forced to have it under penalty of severe fines or possibly prison. And I mind even more when favored groups are given waivers while others not so favorable towards the President are not granted the same considerations. I don’t think that makes me a racist.

      Congress has afforded itself a perfectly reasonable healthcare plan for many years now, one that would likely would be called a “cadillac” plan. They have managed to do this without force for themselves and other federal employees.

      Is there a reason why similar plans cannot be offered to the general public WITHOUT the threat of prison?

  15. Nancy N. says:

    You want to know what is wrong with the healthcare system? How about starting with the fact that my health insurance company pays around $65 for my standard set of lab work, and now that I’m uninsured, as a cash patient, the same lab will charge me $500 for the exact same set of tests?

    • Layla says:

      That is called insurance fraud and is one of the reasons why healthcare costs are through the roof. This is about profit, not healthcare.

      Congress has completely excused itself from its oversight responsibilities and that is what is costing you and the American people so dearly.

      This is what happens when you leave politicians in office for decades and refuse to vote.

  16. Joe A. says:

    @ Bob Hamby

    What I have read about the Tea Party and the Ronald Reagan Assembly Club is that it is a far right ideological movement. It is another far right wing extremist that is splitting the Republican voters. Its division is exemplified with the Presidential Republican nomination.

    It is a shame that the Republican Party has been hijacked by a group of organizational terrorist that show their intolerance to others, ignorance on the issues and down right selfishness. I am convinced that Ronald Reagan would ineligible to walk among your ranks.

    You can keep your far right wing extremist beliefs. Your division of the Republican Party is greatly benefiting the Democratic Party. I will be casting my vote for Barack Obama!

  17. palmcoaster says:

    @ Joe A.and Phil Chanfrau very well said.
    All those folks against Universal Health Care aka Obamacare are sure covered now by Medicare or handsome private health care afforded by their employer. I am glad I didn’t have to drive by PC Pkwy and Cypress Point as I may have gotten sick to my stomach, exposed at their derogatory sings images.
    I have a child unemployed for the longest time to not fault of her own…just the typical lay off given in this pathetic economy and of course she has no longer health insurance coverage, much less preventive. She has the fortune that her parents can afford her preventive annual test and a; good scare treatment needed that cost thousands to us. I also have a friend, with a dearest sister out of work and with no longer health insurance coverage due to tight finances and coming down with an emergency needed kidney surgery, my friend had to mortgage her house to pay for the 60,000 surgery, to save her life….She has been paying for that surgery for the past 5 years and has 7 more years to go and she is only 58 years old and not wealthy and her income is barely sufficient after spending her savings on her own costly private health insurance. We need Universal Health for all and stop demonizing our President out there over his outstanding law.. We are about the only country in the world where the right to prevent and treat the sick, is only reserved for the rich. All the others are let to die or go broke if they own anything! Meanwhile the group above sure don’t say one word about the trillions wasted in useless wars, thanks to their beloved liar GB.

  18. Bob Hamby says:

    Joe A.
    I’m sorry your reading list is limited to Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and other such reputable “news” sources. When did adherence to Constitutional principles become right wing extremist beliefs?
    Ronald Reagan was a Democrat who became a Republican because of his adherence to the principles of limited Constitutional government. The Republican Party still represents the best hope for our country to restore this belief in our Constitution rather than sinking further in the socialist mire we see so clearly in Europe. Ronald Reagan once said, “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs, which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell numbers….. And if there are those that cannot subscribe to these principals, then let them go their way.” Our organization strives to honor the belief in limited Constitutional government that will not be compromised.

    If after $6 Trillion in additional national debt in 3 years for you say “I will be casting my vote for Barack Obama!” could be taken as a left wing extremist position. But since unlike you I am not into labeling I will not call you an extremist.
    You do sound like other would be local politicians who decide to run for office as a Republican while still being a registered Democrat in New Jersey. But who am I to judge? If you are so bold as call me an extremist, would you also be so bold as to identify yourself so we can have a dialogue rather than throwing epitaphs and insults?
    Bob Hamby, President
    Flagler Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly

    • Joe A. says:

      Bob -
      My name is Joseph. I am not a would be politician and I am not from New Jersey. Not that we have gotten introductions out of the way.

      I voted for the Tea Party Candidates like Marco Rubio in 2010, because I believed they had a vision to change the status quo in Washington. I stood by in disbelief in 2011 as these very candidates turned the blame on the blue collard public employees. What changed my vote was the Governor of Wisconsin who blamed public employees for the status of our debt. It was the politicians that caused the debt.

      The message has been diluted across the nation. I have seen the Republican Party fight itself to a point that it is weak nationally and locally. Look at the potential nominees for President, each bring a different vision and have a distinct different support group. Somewhere along the line we will have to stand with one of these candidates and believe in them. Sadly, none of them have proved to me that they are worthy to be elected.

      Your rally yesterday could have been informative and persuaded a lot of people. Instead your spokesman is quoted in this article using profanity and in a tactless manner spoke on your groups behalf. There was a perfect opportunity to win support for those who are undecided.

      I am neither a left wing extremist nor a right wing extremist, I believe I consider myself a moderate. I like to look at all of the opinions presented and decide what is best. Health care is like every other entitlement benefit offered by the government. There are people that really need the help of the government to give them that little boost to get by in hard times. On the other hand there are those abusing the system or those who need help can not get help. There needs to be common ground to help people who need help.

  19. palmcoaster says:

    @ Layla; for the reasons you named above is that as a taxpayer forced to fund their luxury health care, I demand that all senators and congressmen and supreme court justices voting against the Universal Health Care system for all, passed by Obama, should be stripped from the “Cadillac one” we are paying for them.
    What are we all, moronic taxpayers?
    If we continuo in this path now other than voting for President, just change the darn thing and instate that we vote for Supreme Court Justices….as the laws passed by Senate, Congress and the President are to be approved or not by them now, mostly Republican Justices. Are we still under a Federal Constitutional Republic system where the majority rules or under a Totalitarian System where the few controls all?

    • Layla says:

      Palmcoaster, I can not resist responding to your post re “moronic taxpayers”.

      My response is: Apparently so, as we take neither the time nor energy to bother to show up and vote them all out of office. Had we done so long ago and required lawmakers to shop for their insurance as we all must do, we likely wouldn’t be in this mess.

      I think the esteemed members of the infamous Ninth Circuit would take great umbrage at your charge of “mostly Republican justices”. These gentlemen take great pleasure in rewriting the laws of this nation.

      If laws such as this one are to be foisted upon the people without their permission, then we are indeed already under a Totalitarian System.

  20. Melvina Rushnock says:

    Social security IS an insurance policy which we all paid into. Many paid into it who have passed away before ever reaching the age of eligibility. As in most insurance companies, we participate and spread the risk. It is not an entitlement where others pay for me as a charity. I have some real issues with the SSI part of it as, indeed, a form of welfare. It is my understanding that, wary of too much government, the Amish do pay into SS, but do not take it. They wish to keep themselves and their faith pure of government interference. I’ve personally seen many who WERE ON welfare switch to SSI when that state sponsored “entitlement” became federal government supported. Again, more and more national government control over our lives will one day backfire and hold us prisoner even more than it does now.

  21. BW says:

    Tom Lawrence and the others need to wake up to the real damage they are doing to the brand ‘Republican’ and how much damage this particular movement has done to the GOP as a whole. They have become the face of the Republican Party with a message that is bordering on “insane” and often hypocritical. If you are going to organize a protest . . . give guidelines for signs and the message. It’s time for the real GOP to stand up and tell all of these groups to quiet down. Loud does not equal majority and this group has fooled themselves into thinking they are the majority. They are not and the will cause the loss of the 2012 election.

    I don’t personally agree with the mandate, but I do agree that many aspects of the healthcare industry are out of control and need to be addressed. It’s not about socialism or a socialist agenda. The only reason that word is used is to create fear. People are very much tuning out, laughing at this group, and they will see the loss in November because or pure narrow-mindedness.

    • Layla says:

      BW, despite what you hear or think, your local tea party IS BIPARTISAN, and proud of it. So if they have become the face of the Republican party, that must mean that more and more democrats are changing their mind about the kind of government they want to see in this county.

      I am grateful to Mr. Lawrence and his group for having the courage to exercise their freedom of speech in an area where disagreement is quickly met with charges of “racism”.

      If people are indeed laughing at this group, there are now over 1,200 VERY HAPPY tea partiers in Flagler County and their group is growing, not declining.

      I for one will be delighted to see you even show up and vote, since that is not usually the case in our town.

  22. Quail Hollow resident says:

    Obama,
    Taking back the America Bush and the GOP destroyed.
    That said, health insurance covers less and costs more EVERY year. Healthcare inflation is always multiple times the rate of inflation. Why the right clings to our failing system speaks volumes about them.

  23. BW says:

    Layla,

    No, the Tea Party is NOT bipartisan. I have drawn that conclusion from speaking directly with several very active members. They are focused solely on gaining Republican votes and are very anti-Democrat (not just President Obama). You have obviously been sold on the false propaganda they spew out to make people think they are not partisan.

    I am happy to see people speaking up. The idea of disagreement being “quickly met with charges of racsim” is speculative. Likewise, the Tea Partiers can be accused of the same thing and throwing the label of “liberal” and “socialist” at anyone who does not nob in firm agreement to whatever nonsense they spew out on any topic. The group is not growing fortunately and hopefully will fade into non-existence once the loss is logged in November. And, yes, I will be there voting.

    • Layla says:

      Sorry BW, but I am going to have to strongly DISAGREE with you on this one. It is one of the major reasons they do not endorse candidates. You might try attending and see for yourself. Then you won’t have to jump to any conclusions. Their meetings are open to the public.

      And lastly, if you will notice where all the spewing is coming from, it isn’t the members of the tea party. It is our good old fashioned democrats right here in PC.

      Oh how I long for the days of political discussions that weren’t personal attacks.

  24. palmcoaster says:

    @Layla. I think the incoming elections will generate a large electorate to the ballot boxes…just like in 2008.
    I hope so. Also you may, or may not know that Mr .Lawrence resides (and I could recognize some of his companions in the demonstration as well) inside a very trendy, exclusive, HOA high fees gated community. Sure Mr. Lawrence as published next:: “Lawrence, 68, a retired chemical engineer, businessman and former Palm Coast councilman who lives in the city’s gated Grand Haven community, said people are fed up with government.”. http://www.flapolitics.com/diary/4966/florida-political-news-august-22-2010.
    They do not have to worry about lacking Health Care Insurance as most of us worry, for ourselves or family member. Looks that Mr. Lawrence is fed up with government since he is not longer, by defeat, part of the government as a city councilman, or as failed as well, commissioner candidate.
    Those demonstrators live in comfort and abundance and still lash and demand to take more away from the less fortunate.
    By the way I bet that Mr. Lawrence never help pay any of his employees the full share of his/her health insurance for few months, because diminishing working hours in a bad economy created by Bush in 08 prevented those workers to afford to pay… Then come and talk to me “against Obama/Universal Health Care” for all. Lets do not forget that we have many Lawrence’s alike in this county, but none of them “Lawrence of Arabia”.

  25. palmcoaster says:

    @ Layla: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/18/2700483/4-republican-justices-control.html.
    Now tell me why will they take offense, to what I point and is a public record? After those Justices ruling in 2010 even one of your Republican leaders has this to say today, never mind mine words then: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-usa-campaign-moneybre82q13p-20120327,0,6421260.story

    • Layla says:

      My apologies, Palmcoaster. I did not realize you were referring to the High Court.

      Actually, the vetting process these justices go through is quite good, much better than being elected and I think it keeps them AWAY from special interests.

      Our Supreme Court does its best work when it is well balanced. Pretty impressive to see them in action.

      I need to correct you on something. John McCain is NOT a Republican leader. Some would say he is not even a Republican.

  26. Melvina Rushnock says:

    I’m very aware of the lack of insurance in some individuals lives. However, I’ve found that some I know who have “lived on welfare” have been priviliged to have excellent medical, mental and dental coverage as do the prisoners. Also, I have had a brother who was insurance free for nearly a decade and his wife has childhood RA. She was able to get medical, though with a high deductible, and had to wait just six months for a hip replacement. Is it the best situation? Of course not, but I’ve never known anyone who has not found financial help to meet their needs somehow some way when they were unable (or unwilling) to find work that provided insurance. There were 30 million people who did not have medical coverage and, instead of addressing them, the whole country will have to revamp the existing coverage. A hundred years ago, most health care issues were cared for at home and the hospitals were sponsored by churches etc. It wasn’t until big business took over that the hospitals and medical personnel became unaffordable to the average citizen. You can’t get a bigger business than the government!

    As far as we who are seniors “enjoying OUR Medicare” that is a quandry. We COULD live off or and with our children and add to their burdens, but we struggle to be independent and healthy for as long as possible and keeping ourselves healthy to do so. There are some who love their meds and the negative attention, but they are not the people I enjoy, choosing instead to live a full life and help our children where we can, adding encouragement along with independent living as long as possible. We wish for those of you who are younger that as well! If Medicare is no longer available or affordable and is taken away from us, will we soon be taking the needle because we have become society’s burden?

    • Nancy N. says:

      Don’t know where you are getting the idea that people on state aid and especially prisoners are getting “excellent” medical care. The quality of the medical care in the prison system in this state is downright criminal, and the medicaid care is barely better.

      I also find it difficult to believe that your friend’s wife bought anything other than a basic catastrophic policy that excluded her JRA, probably cost a fortune and like you said – deductible so high that it was unusable. I have lupus and NO ONE will sell me any kind of insurance policy AT ALL. I’ve literally had insurance agents who called me trying to get my business turn around and hang up on me in mid-sentence without even the courtesy of a goodbye when they heard the word “lupus” come out of my mouth. It goes: “I have lupus. Is that a problem?” CLICK. Dial Tone. I’m self-employed and so employer-sponsored insurance is not an option for me.

      You’ve never known anyone who couldn’t find a way to meet their financial needs for medical care when they didn’t have insurance? Allow me to introduce myself. Nice to meet you. My name is Nancy. Now you do.

  27. Zachary says:

    I for one wouldn’t mind if the Affordable Healthcare Act failed, ONLY to be replaced my a medicare-for-all (single-payer) plan.

  28. joseyj says:

    House and Senate Republicans have already voted to END MEDICARE, privatize it –
    and FORCE Seniors to BUY private insurance.

    GOP = Goodluck Old People

  29. joseyj says:

    Righties hate the mandate – but want all the goodies it provides.

  30. Bob Hamby says:

    To Joe A or Joseph
    Thanks for your reply. I cannot disagree with you that many people need help but disagree that Government help is the answer. Government “help” is taking money by force from some to give to others. For most of our country’s history that is snot how we developed as a nation. Governments at all levels are now promising to deliver “help” beyond their ability to deliver without strangling the goose that lays the golden eggs (taxpayers). The Governor of Wisconsin was (is) not blaming blue collar public employees for the mess in that state. He is simply pointing out that past promises made by politicians is not sustainable. Like many in Palm Coast I paid Social Security taxes/premiums for over 40 years and Medicare taxes since its inception but these “entitlement” programs sustainability without major overhauls is now in serious doubt. While now receiving benefits from these programs paid into (?), I am more concerned about the outlook of my Grandchildren’s’ future than about any loss I might incur with changes. Other posters on this site have talked about the Tea party being selfish. I consider it selfish to be more concerned about your own benefits than the legacy we will leave for future generations. Can you show me where in the constitution where heath care or any other so called entitlement is to be guaranteed by the US Government?

    Bob Hamby, President
    Flagler Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly

    • Joe A. says:

      Bob- no where in the constitution does is state anyone should receive any entitlement benefit from our government. I agree with you enough is enough. But on the same hand is there a way we can help those who can not help themselves? A common ground?

  31. L D Ablo says:

    Politics:The religion of the feebleminded.

  32. palmcoaster says:

    @Joseyj. Yes the extreme right is against Medicare, but sure not when can make themselves millionaires by fraudulent charging for undelivered services, like Rick Scott did and is still running loose.

  33. Bob Hamby says:

    Joe A.

    How about individuals, churches, and charitable organizations voluntarily helping those in need like was done for the 1 1/2 centuries of this Republic. Over burdensome Taxes, Government Regulations, and entitlement mentality have crushed the spirit of “help thy neighbor” (why do it if the Government will take care of it). This situation has developed over a long period of time and won’t be corrected over night. But we’ve got to start somewhere by reducing the size and scope of Government and it’s control over our lives. Helping others voluntarily feels so much better than having the Government take our resources and give them to somebody else..

    • Joe A. says:

      Bob -

      I want to compliment you. You have made an intellectual and intelligent response, which I enjoyed reading. My only hopes is that with future issues, the organization you represent can have you speak on their behalf. You answered me with factual information that was not destroyed by the constant use of profanity.

      I give you a “thumbs up” and like your previous post. However, I must give a big “thumbs down” to Mr. Ruffalo for his use of profanity in the interview. It took away from the message.

      I agree that government is no the answer to all of life’s problems. At times government is the very problem. Charity not only a financial contribution, rather comes from the heart with one’s desire to help another. There are people in this community that do not have the funding for proper medical care, but desperately need it. We need to find a way to help those people. Maybe an issue much bigger for you and I. But definitely something worth looking into.

    • Nancy N. says:

      I love it when people refer to the good old days who have no true concept of what the good old days really were like. Try studying some true history – not just the fairytale version of it – and you’ll discover that the past of healthcare in this country is just like the present: the rich got the best there was and the poor got at most the very basic care or more likely nothing.

  34. Lynn Tobin says:

    After reading all the above posts, I find an astonishing absence of a key problem in this debate. WE ARE BROKE!! The USA can’t afford Obama Care period! The Supreme Court should toss out the entire law and let the Congress find some new solution. A solution where a TAX is not called a “penalty”, (to hoodwink the public to thinking it’s not going to pay more for an Obama program) and a solution that is not going to hurt the majority of the public to give health insurance to the 10% who do not have it. In a few years healthcare & social security entitlements will take up the majority of the US Gross National Product then we will be where Greece is now–unable to raise money from even China!!
    Obama Care is a nail in the coffin of the National Debt. Watch Out….

    • snapperhead says:

      the Republican solution for everything is to do nothing and let the “free” market fix everything. How’s that worked out so far? we spend double as a % of our GDP on health care than the rest of the industrialized world with inferior results. we spend more on defense than the rest of the world COMBINED! the GOP had the control of Congress for 12 years and 8 years under Bush to do something and did nothing for health insurance costs…zero.at least give the Democrats some credit for doing something about it as much as you may disagree with it. all the GOP has to offer is tax cuts for the wealthy and less regulations for Wall St. if the GOP cared as much for people when they’re living as much as they do for the unborn they’d be much better off as a governing body. Pro life my a$$…the people that cheered at the debates for executions and letting people die who have no health insurance should be ashamed to call themselves a Pro Life party.

  35. palmcoaster says:

    @Lynn Tobin. Did you oppose then (the same way you oppose then Uniiversal Health Care System for all
    now) when Bush lying about WMD got us into these useless wars going on ten years so far costing us trillions and trillions and thousands of lives? What a farce, to benefit the oil barons and war suppliers like Halliburton, Black Water and others.This President should have already stop these wars and take care of its people instead and the Supreme Court should stay out of the Obama Health Care law passed.

    • Lynn Tobin says:

      Palm Coaster….No I did not oppose Bush when he went into Iraq. You seem for forget that the CIA and many Democrats believed that WMD DID exist in Iraq. Were there Weapons of Mass Destruction? NO, but lets not confuse the expenditure of money for national defense with a new social welfare program. The difference is that: one, Defense, protects our freedoms. The other Obama Care takes away our freedoms!! If this law was so wonderful, why did Congress need to pass it in the middle of the night without reading it?! Yes,I am sorry that billions were spent on the Iraq War….the nation was conned into believing those weapons existed. Lets not get conned into spending more billions we DO NOT HAVE!!

  36. Jessie Christ says:

    I think alot of you have missed the underlying issue with the Health Care law. It was written by the big Insurers to benefit the big Insurers. Forcing people to accept health care or pay a penalty only guarantees that the “free market” insurance corporations will post huge gains in profit. This isn’t Socialism, this is cronyism and paid for politics.

    Furthermore, for those of you who love to throw out the Obama’s a socialist line of crap, the basis for socialism is that the government owns everything and that goods are distributed based on need, not greed. What exactly has Obama done to take away your house, your car, your boat, your t.v. etc? What has he done to make the CEO’s compensation equal to kid who takes your order at McDonalds? The correct answer to both is NOTHING! Don’t buy the Fox News rhetoric.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Is this what the conservative extreme right and the Tea Party demonstrating by Kohl’s want to continuo happening to those with no health insurance in our country?:
    http://www.news-leader.com/article/20120326/NEWS11/303260050/1264/rss
    Then we are quick to go to war to defend human rights of citizens in foreign countries…

  38. palmcoaster says:

    Is this what the conservative extreme right and the Tea Party demonstrating by Kohl’s want to continuo happening to those with no health insurance in our country?:
    http://www.news-leader.com/article/20120326/NEWS11/303260050/1264/rss
    Then we are quick to go to war to defend human rights of citizens in foreign countries…

  39. Student says:

    I’m from the Netherlands originally. There they have “state-controlled mandatory health insurance” for long-term treatment and obligatory health insurance, with private health insurance companies, for regular/short-term treatment (hmmm, the “state-controlled” part must sound VERY scary to Americans). The Dutch and the Netherlands are doing fine. The country is doing fine and so are its people. The country is not broke. Yes, it is also suffering from a recession, unemployment stands at 4.3% for 2011 (lower than the US) and 10% lives below the poverty line (lower than the US, see http://rt.com/usa/news/half-poor-america-poverty-909/ and FYI the poverty line in Europe is about $28,000 as opposed to $22,000 in the US), but GDP growth stands at 1.5% for 2011 (similar to the US). And for your information, I know absolutely NOBODY in the Netherlands that has gone bankrupt over medical expenses. Absolutely nobody.
    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_the_Netherlands on the 2006 health care reform in the Netherlands:
    “The Netherlands has introduced a new system of health care insurance based on risk equalization through a risk equalization pool. In this way, a compulsory insurance package is available to all citizens at affordable cost without the need for the insured to be assessed for risk by the insurance company. Indeed, health insurers are now willing to take on high risk individuals because they receive compensation for the higher risks”
    (although, if you read further, there are concerns raised about market-based competition – as the Netherlands has a mixed system now, as opposed to before 2006, when it really only had a state-run system).

    And, also for your information, the Netherlands is NOT a socialist country. It’s a pretty solid capitalist system, though balanced with a good social system. Please people, dare to expand your horizon, look beyond your own border, stop thinking in left and right terms, and please turn off Fox News. Some stuff works here, some stuff works in other countries; maybe, just maybe, if you combine good ideas you end up with better solutions…?

    And it takes time to build a system like this, that’s true. For instance, I was born into this “Dutch system”, and maybe therefore have a different mindset: that system allowed me to have good health care, a good education, a good life (not wealthy, but good: happy and safe), so I don’t mind paying the taxes I have to pay once I started working. You have to pay it forward. My taxes are for the less lucky, the less healthy and our society’s children, And, god forbid, at some point in the future I might be one of those less lucky or less healthy, and I’ll be grateful for all those others paying taxes. So yes, in the beginning it might feel “you’re paying for everyone else”, but once pretty much everyone has been affected by the system (accidents, child birth, old age, cancer, heart attacks… I think this pretty much covers 100% of the population), attitudes will start changing.

    Americans take individualism too far. In the end we are part of a society, we have a responsibility to take care of each other. Anything else is sub-human.

    • Lynn Tobin says:

      Student! I would like to know where you will be getting a job? If in the Netherlands, great! If you will be looking here, as ,many students do, after graduation, it is a reflection of the fact that the USA has the greatest ability for success for an individual in the world! Part of the success is dependent on the fact that many jobs are available here due to an economy that allows business to thrive like no where else in the world. Also individuals are NOT taxed to the hilt for social programs like state controlled mandatory health insurance. Remember also, we have a much, MUCH larger population that the Netherlands. Covering your population is much easier than in the USA, with its 350 million people and 10 million illegal immigrants that also take services from tax payers. You are comparing apples and turnips….it’s an unfair comparison. Perhaps you should be comparing the Netherlands with California…California, by the way is going bankrupt even without Obama Care!!

  40. palmcoaster says:

    @Student…Kudos!! Thank you for your description about Health Care for All aka Universal Health Care = Obamacare. Works in the rest of the world, why not here. Just shift our trillions from policing the world and use it to take care of our own first.

  41. Jaco says:

    Forgetting Obamacare and who came up with it for a moment…

    Our Health care system is tied to your employer. Employers are very unlikely to switch since the headaches involved (employees upset, paperwork, etc.) make it not worth the effort, I know this personally from talking to our CFO. In my state only ONE insurance company has a maternity rider for personal plans so it is a myth that you are in control of your health care, or even that there is competition since in order to switch plans you have to quit your job.

    Now let’s imagine for a moment that tomorrow you found you had cancer. You began to take treatments but fell ill and as a result lost your job. Since you have no job, paying your mortgage and having food for the kids is a primary concern, so the biggest expense you can no longer afford is the Cobra health care plan.

    Since pre-existing conditions are an excuse for not covering someone you can no longer get insurance with anyone else.

    Does this seem like the best health care system? I am not saying we need “Obamacare” but our current system is unacceptable. At a minimum removing the “preexisting conditions” clause, and limiting profit-to-expense ratio or rate hikes on ill people is a must.

  42. palmcoaster says:

    @ L. Tobin. Probably student is here just doing that… studying. Something that is totally unaffordable for American students thanks to the system in place deserving of your loath. A system that will worsen with time, unless the extreme conservationist is defeated. Forget about California being bankrupt our whole country is right now. Regarding your proceed of the dead horse beating called Illegal Immigrants and the invented tax payers cost for them, is BS. What is really costly to us are the refugees programs legally imported on our pockets with all expenses paid and remaining as such for their whole life if needed. Most sponsored by churches and forced funded by us.
    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0044.pdf
    Exemption made when as many never integrate end up killing scores of us out of inadaptation rage and as thank you gesture, as reported: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/31/nation/la-na-kentucky-terror-arrests-20110601
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/01/national/01hunter.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1333551605-58XRAxNc2ORYPl2mCOBQrA
    http://www.nnnforum.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-92874.html
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3048108&page=1
    http://www.wnd.com/2007/02/40169/

  43. Jessie Christ says:

    I had a very long discussion with a compliance officer for an Insurance company regarding Obamacare this past weekend. He’s a friend of a friend. This is what he told me, “Obamacare failed us (the insurance companies) because it’s opt-out penalty it too low and healthy people will gladly pay the meager fee.” He went on to say, “The only way Insurers can continue to make gains in profitability is to get the healthy 18 to 26 year old people into the insurance pool. We can’t possibly continue to make what we’re making with an aging insurance base that constantly needs medical attention.” I asked him what role the insurers had in shaping the Obamacare plan. “We had our hands in every single aspect of the policy, it was definitely designed by us, to benefit us. It’s just a shame that Obama’s people ruined it by make the penalty too low.”

    Needless to say, Obamacare is not Socialism, it’s about corporate greed and paid for politicians working together to create bigger profit for both. Obama is not a Socialist, that would mean that all people would have their needs taken care of, not just the CEO’s of the biggest donor companies. Both sides are playing us like fools! United we stand, divided we fall………..to the greedy politicans and corporations.

    • Lynn Tobin says:

      I think any notion of “corporate greed” is stupid. Corporations are in business to make money PERIOD! Apple has more cash than most countries in the world. Does that make them greedy??? NO that makes them GOOD! Apple makes products that people want and profit is what makes the world go round. Without profit (you think it is Greed) we would be unable to get taxes from business, employ people and have a good economy that raises everyone’s life. Corporations SHOULD be pushing to make a profit to make money for shareholders. It is corporations that fund most pension funds and annuities. People who go on about corporate greed are uninformed about the US economy in general and how it works. I’m all for corporations making the most money possible. Im all for people making as much money as possible. If you think it is wrong, just look up why Communism failed….no corporate greed there!! Result….everyone was poor! * except the politicians

  44. Jessie Christ says:

    Lynn Tobin, let me first say that I am not against Corporate profitability, shareholder return on investment, and economic growth. As a Business Administration major from UCF, I understand how the economy works locally, countrywide, and globally .

    What I am against, as is what the Bible is against, is GREED! You know, where someone feels the need to build themselves a gold mansion to park their gold Rolls Royce in, so they can have their staff serve their dinner on their gold china with gold utensils while they continually cut employee benefits and squeeze more out of them to provide a bigger pot of gold for themselves. Look at what your heroes from Enron and your boy Bernie Madoff did. They made millions a year, but it wasn’t enough because they were GREEDY. They had to take more. Just like the big insurers are doing today. Just like the big oil companies are doing today. Just like Monsanto is doing today. And so on.

    Also, in the last 5 years more companies have eliminated 401k matching and Health Insurance contributions while demanding fewer employees do more to make up for the other employees layoffs. All the while a majority of these businesses continue to post their biggest profits ever year after year. While in your naive mind, that may be smart business, it’s unethical, unnecessary, and most of all, immoral. And it doesn’t make the economy any better. Trickle down economics is crap. Look at Obama’s stimulus/bailout of the big banks and car manufacturers. Did that help average joes anywhere? Maybe Detroit (you know, the bankrupt city in Michigan) but not here.

    And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with hard work, but why does a CEO deserve $13 million dollars a year paycheck PLUS bonus, when their average profit earning employee gets less than 1% of that income? Heck, the majority of the employees get less than .5% of that paycheck. And that’s not even taking into consideration the third world countries that the corporations pay sub-substandard wages to while dumping toxic shat in their rivers and land.

    And before you start your socialism/marxism/communism rant toward me, I do not for one second believe that everyone should make the same pay. Obviously the assembly line worker does not go out and make the sales which drive the demand and does not deserve the same pay as the manager who has to staff and run the operation to meet that demand. With that said, there is a realistic proportion to Executive pay that is accepted in every other country but the US. Why? GREED! We live in a country that has accepted greed as a standard, when it should be the other way around.

    Bravo Lynn, you have played right into the hands of corporate owned American politics. Bravo!

    And don’t get me started on Wall Street and how they can continually get monumental bonuses while stock portfolio’s, IRA’s, Mutual Funds, property values slide further down in my accounts…..

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