What follows is the letter I sent this evening to Chris Hagenow, my state representative. It references an open letter to Iowa's Senator Charles Grassley by another local state representative, Kent Sorenson.
One of the problems with our current representatives in government is that politicians almost universally believe that it's their job to craft solutions in our name. The problems with this are:
The experience of building it from the inside out and living it every day, crafting a workable, efficient solution that is market-tested - this is the only way to solve problems. This kind of real world problem-solving can't happen in a closed-door meeting among lobbyists and lawyers. It happens on the streets among the entrepreneurs who take on the risks of learning what the market will buy.
- the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to face market pressures like the private sector
- the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to personally invest their own money into the "solution" they craft like the private sector
- the people crafting these "solutions" don't have to face the customer service problems that inevitably follow the implementation of their "solutions"
Chuck Grassley believes in his heart that his job is to craft solutions in Washington, despite Washington's pathetic track record. Medicare is broke. Medicaid is broke. Social Security won't be there for you or me or our kids, yet we continue to sink money into it with every paycheck. Plainly, Washington "solutions" are a losing venture - every time they're tried. Can we call these programs "clunkers?"
What I don't hear from Chuck Grassley is that he intends to use his office to protect our liberties. The founding fathers never intended that our elected representatives would be our designated "problem solvers." What they did expect is that elected representatives would limit government. That premise was once a core plank in the Republican platform. Is it now?
I ask because it's clear that Chuck Grassley's intentions are not to limit government, but to limit the Democrats. He hopes to craft a bipartisan approach to health care "reform." I'll say this as plainly as I can: bipartisanship is just a euphemism for less freedom and higher taxes. You know - and I know - that any health care compromise with the Democrats will only increase costs and reduce the freedom of our children when they inherit this mess as adults. They'll be stuck with the bill. But here's the kicker: as I mentioned, neither you or I expect Social Security to be around. While the money we "invested" will be gone, Social Security missing from our future won't greatly detract from our lives. But health care? That's personal. If health care is diminished, as it is in other countries where health care has been socialized, then we're just as responsible as Chuck Grassley if we sit idly by and let it happen. As a parent, I won't let happen. I trust you won't either.
As my state representative, I ask what you intend to do to tell Grassley in no uncertain terms that the only acceptable health care solution is that Washington have nothing more to do with it. The only acceptable solution is a free-market solution. If the goal is to make health care more accessible, then the answer is to make it more affordable through cost control. Washington can only add layers of management onto health care costs, which will not improve the quality of health care nor will it reduce costs. The trillions borrowed to "afford" Washington solutions today will be shouldered by our children years from now, and loving parents don't burden their children with a mountain of debt.
I admire state representative Kent Sorenson's open letter to Grassley. Good for him for standing tall. I can tell you that the grassroots conservative movement is thrilled to see his principled stand. I'd like to know how you intend to stand for our children's futures. Will you send Grassley the clear message that bipartisanship on health care will bankrupt America, just like every other Washington "solution?"
More specifically, as a Republican, will you stand for limited government? This is an opportunity for you to define the GOP clearly for us voters. I urge you to re-establish for us that plank in the Republican platform. I miss it.