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Tom Pattantyus: Are ‘fundamental transformations’ really needed?

Right Here, Right Now

Posted: January 7, 2010 9:41 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
“We are five days from fundamentally transforming America” declared Presidential candidate Barack Obama on Oct. 30, 2008.

Why does America need to be fundamentally transformed?

The country has been very stable in most of the last 230-some years, and that stability is an important source of a strong and prosperous United States of America.

Freedom of expression, the right to own property, and equality under the law are the three fundamental pillars on which the strength of the country rests.

The U.S. is not a perfect country, but it is much better in all respects than most countries in the world. In fact, for many millions of Americans it is the best country in the world.

If fundamental transformations are to take place, what will happen to those important pillars? What will be the “unintended consequences”?

Eroding or removing just one of those pillars will fundamentally destabilize and weaken the country.

It looks to me that not radical transformation, but carefully planned changes are needed to improve those aspects of life which could be better in this country.

It is undeniable there are huge differences between the richest and the poorest, the highly educated and the uneducated, the prudent and the spendthrift.

Many of those differences, however, are caused by personal choices rather than by social injustices.

In my view, the ultimate goal of the president’s fundamental transformation, aided by the most radical members of Congress and the administration, might just be to exercise unfettered power over the U.S. and to perpetuate the progressive rule.

In the first year of the new administration, under the “one-party rule,” the fundamental transformation agenda seems to be ahead of everything else when unemployment, home foreclosures and debts to foreigners ought to be the most pressing problems.

* Why was a $787 billion stimulus bill enacted, yet only 30 percent of it is allocated (some for “pork,” i.e. earmarks)?

* Why did the house vote for an energy bill that will increase taxes on electricity and gas for every household, office and factory? It is a decision that may destroy jobs.

So far, investments in various “green” projects mostly benefited Chinese and European companies, and the “green transformation” of American energy supplies requires more or just as much time as drilling for oil, natural gas or reestablishing the nuclear energy business.

* Why is health care turned inside-out, imposing mandatory insurance purchases on individuals, families and businesses (a constitutionally questionable feature), thus hindering job creations and reducing discretionary spending while at the same time shifting huge expenses to state governments?

* Why are taxes to be increased during a severe recession?

* Why was the national debt increased to $14 trillion by careless spending?

Why the big hurry? Why the astronomical dollar figures? Why are potentially very expensive and far-reaching programs proposed when the economy, unemployment and foreclosure problems ought to be the main concern of the government?

Why are important, far-reaching legislative bills pushed through the House and Senate at breakneck speed? Why is meaningful debate neither elicited nor tolerated and why are media critics demonized, even threatened?

It does not seem to matter how much the “fundamental changes” will cost, how their enactment is incompatible with or against the U.S. Constitution, how much the new laws — both those voted in and proposed — are against the will of the majority of the population and how the U.S. might be reduced by them to a second (third?) rate world power.

Mr. President, senators, members of Congress and government officials: Have you forgotten your oaths of office?

What exactly will happen to the U.S. when the wealth is diminished, the money is debased, and unfinished wars are still in progress is anybody’s guess.

Why the Senate and the House, at least the Democratic sides, follow the president into a potential disaster is beyond me.

I hope against hope that my worries are unwarranted. The events of 2009, however, make it difficult to be an optimist.

Tom Pattantyus is a retired electronic engineer and can be reached at His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Fridays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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