I am almost 60 years old. I've lived through good times and bad, war and peace, conservative and liberal administrations. I've experienced periods of civility and compromise and periods of animosity and gridlock. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you have some years on you, are you, like me, asking yourself: Where has my country gone?
One of the accomplishments of the Obama Administration has been that a universal health care package has been passed and signed into law. Not a single Republican in the Senate voted for its passage. I do not profess to be an expert on health care and whether or not this historic law needs some amendments is not the point of this post. It seems that every Republican candidate for President believes that the way to defeat Barak Obama is to pledge to repeal what he calls "Obama care". The Republican front runner in the campaign to defeat Obama is Mitt Romney; in his speech yesterday, after winning the New Hampshire Primary, Romney, of course, pledged to "repeal Obama care". He argues that repealing this important legislation will "save $95 Billion, a statement that has been proven false. This is strange, coming from him, since he, as Governor of Massachusetts, presented and passed similar legislation at the state level. It is one of the many issues that has resulted in his reputation as a "flip flopper". Another is his transformation from a centrist, 'pro-choice' candidate to a self-proclaimed conservative, 'pro-life' candidate. The accusation is that he would change any previous position he has taken, so long as he can be the Republican nominee.
However, Romney's record as a "flip flopper" is also not the point of this post. So, you ask? Mark: You are in the third paragraph of the post; what's your point? Well, I'm glad you asked. The point is this: Why does every Republican believe that the concept of behaving like almost every civilized country and providing health care to all citizens of our great country is a "bad thing" that must be repealed? Why is every Republican opposed to asking the richest people in America to give up their unnecessary tax breaks and pay their fair share of the burden? What happened to shared sacrifice and helping out your neighbor? When did it all become about making and keeping as much as you can, regardless of whether or not your behavior/greed hurts others? Have the Wall Street and Mortgage crises taught us nothing?
In my core industry, the personal injury legal industry, the debate is the same. Greedy corporate interests and insurance companies, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, seek to restrict the rights of individual citizens to pursue litigation. They call this "tort reform" and, again, most Republicans, inexplicably, support it. It is O.K. for the likes of Rick Perry to brag about his "tort reform" accomplishments in Texas, then pursue litigation to place himself on this ballot or that one (when his own campaign screwed up on the qualification requirements). But, according to Perry, it is not OK for a paraplegic to obtain a pain and suffering award of over $250,000 because of a surgical screw-up. Would it make a difference to Perry if I told him that the taxpayers must make up the difference? Does he even grasp the notion? These Republicans are supposed to be "conservative"; they are supposed to support strict adherence to the Constitution. Doesn't that include the 7th Amendment (right to jury trial in civil cases) and separation of powers? Why do most Republicans support the intrusion into the judicial branch by the legislative? Why would a constitutional conservative support these concepts? With current Republican dogma, why does the "little guy" and the average taxpayer always get screwed over for the benefit of powerful corporate interests?
And why would we, as American citizens, support such concepts? Why would we consider voting for these guys? What happened to giving a helping hand to your neighbor? To those less fortunate than us? If you ask many of the richest people in America about this, they will often answer "no thank you, government (Republican party); I don't need a hand out or a bail out. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes to help out". Yet, Republicans are constantly devising policies to rob from the poor and give to the rich based, primarily, on the notion that these rich guys are the "jobs creators". The problem is, they are not creating jobs. They are lining their own pockets with the tax savings in bonuses, golden parachutes, perks, corporate jets and the like. One of the biggest criticisms of Romney, by his own party members, is that, as a business man, he laid off more people than he hired and took large profits for investors (rich people) while acquiring, then tearing apart, struggling companies.
Again, I don't know whether the health care bill needs tweaking; if it does, we should tweak it. But, we should not abandon the concept of universal health care for all citizens; it is a worthy goal and a lofty ambition. I am proud that our President promised this groundbreaking legislation to those less fortunate than me and I am proud that he kept his promise. These people are not big campaign contributors. Many are not registered to vote, don't vote, or hardly get involved in the process. He didn't pursue or pass universal health care for political gain; he did it because he cares about the poor and unfortunate and because America, as a country, should stand for the proposition that those who have realized the American dream will help out, in any way we can, those who have not been so fortunate. For the homeless, the unemployed, the downsized, the foreclosed, the minimum wage earner, the American dream is a nightmare. He did it for them. His proposed changes in our tax policies are also for them, these people who often don't get involved in politics, often aren't registered to vote, often don't vote. And I, for one, applaud him for his initiative. We, the people, should learn from it. The "Obama conscience" is what "America" should be about.
Mark M. Bello is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation where he is instrumental in providing cash flow solutions and consulting when necessity of life lawsuit funding is needed during litigation. Mr. Bello has thirty-four years experience as a trial lawyer and 13 years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the litigation funding industry. He is recognized as an expert in this field by ExpertPages.com and ALM Experts. Mr. Bello is a sustaining and Justice PAC member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Member of the American and Michigan Bar Associations, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Member of InjuryBoard, out-of-state member of the Mississippi Association for Justice and a business associate of the Florida Justice Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California. His articles have appeared in FindLaw, The West Reporter, The Safety Report, Plaintiff Magazine, Advocate Magazine, and other fine legal publications.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.