Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reid, the Democrat, for Nevada

Presented with a flawed incumbent who can't defend his party's principles and a candidate who would vote to end the safety net, voters should opt for the flawed incumbent.

Voting for the first time can be an exciting experience. For many it is the first time they feel they can make a difference in how this nation shall be governed. Inspiring candidates offer the people they hope to represent an uplifting vision with a clear path how they will get us there before they ask for your help.

First time voters in Nevada have nothing to get excited about this year. They have to choose between Senator Harry Reid - the uninspiring, gaffe-prone and spineless Senate Majority Leader who is running on the Democratic line of the ballot and Sharon Angle, an inarticulate, gaffe-prone neanderthal who is running on the Republican line of the ballot.

Nevadans who might otherwise have voted for the generic Democrat or Republican might be tempted to stay home if they weren’t civically minded enough to vote for a third party or vote “none of the above.” The stakes are too high. Though neither candidate is exciting, they would lead this nation in two, diametrically opposed directions.

Independent voters who are disgusted with both parties might not care for President Barack Obama’s agenda should consider Angle’s antediluvian economic positions before they vote against Reid to get back at him. During the primary, Angle said she would vote to gradually abolish social security, an entitlement program designed to help American people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to retire at some point in their lives, and replace it with a private savings accounts.

Had these private saving accounts been invested in the stock market two years ago, many Americans would have seen their retirement savings wiped out, forcing them to go back to work. The stock market will eventually rise again but no one can count on it to rise for the indefinite future. At some point in the future, someone who has their retirement income invested in the stock market will see it collapse again. Future retirees must be insured a minimum amount of social security to get them through retirement. Senator Reid would fight to save social security. His opponent would not.

The Republican nominee also opposes President Barack Obama’s health care reform bill and is running on a promise to vote for its repeal. Angle told senate debate moderator Mitch Fox that health insurance companies shouldn't be forced to cover anything.

“I think that what we have here is a choice between the free market and Americanism,” Angle said. “American is about choices. And we need to allow people to have those choices. The free market will weed out those companies that don't offer as many choices and don't have a cost-effective system.”

What Angle proposes isn’t feasible. Most Americans purchase their health coverage through their employers who can buy several plans at cheaper rates. Health insurance companies are more inclined to offer the employers a cheaper rate since they can offset the payments they have to make on unhealthy individuals who undergo chronic treatment with the premiums they get from generally healthy individuals who only need to get their annual physical.

Employers may benefit if health insurers could sell their policies across state lines but that may translate into any benefits for their employees at all, particularly since a potential employee can at best choose his or her potential choice of employment based upon a set of health coverage promises long before that insurer is expected to make good on the return. Health insurance is paid for long before the insurer has to pay for any claims.

The health insurance mandates which Democrats typically support (Senate Majority Leader Reid included) are designed to protect the person who pays for health insurance by forcing the insurer to make good on the promises which their clients paid for. The health care bill which the senate majority leader supported wasn’t perfect. Some compromises had to be made in order to win the votes of those who might otherwise have voted to block an up or down vote on any reform package but the bill at minimum bars health insurance companies from using any using any pre-existing condition to weasel their way out of any insurance payments they owe to their clients.

Mr. Reid isn’t a candidate worth voting for. Nevadans and Americans in general need a candidate who will vote for social security and medicare reform if we are ultimately going to save both programs and the senate majority leader has given us no indication that he would do anything that would cost him some votes among the elderly. The retirement age will have to be raised as would the payroll tax for those who earn above a certain income level. Social security may need to be means-tested so that it wouldn’t be squandered on those who are fortunate enough to live without it. But Angle isn’t offering the means of saving social security; she’s offering the means of destroying it and she isn’t offering a means to cut health care costs; she’s offering the means to gut health care in entirely.

Presented with these two options, voters must choose Reid.

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