Vote to fight rising costs

Vote to fight rising costs
Published Brownsville Herald 3/12/2012
Our long negotiations with the Department of Veterans Affairs are over. A forensic review of our hospitalization account was ordered and it was noted that the vast majority of what we owed was already paid. We were, however, required to pay the posted late fees even though the billings were proven wrong and we didn’t owe them. We sent a check!
Fortunately, my wife is tenacious and we saved a substantial sum. The apparent answer when dealing with the VA is to follow the billings carefully and question anything that seems out of place.
But rising costs aren’t limited to health care. It seems everything we purchase has gone up in price enormously in the past two years or so.
Gas has gone up as much as 35 cents per gallon in just the last month.
Oil prices usually rise in the spring, but they have jumped to heights unseen at this time of year, startled by increased tensions over Iran’s nuclear program. Gasoline prices have reached $3.74 a gallon in some parts of the country.
Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu recently admitted to a House committee that the administration is not really interested in lowering gas prices. Along with the administration, he regards the spike in prices as a plus rather than a problem. They seem to believe that high gas prices will provide an incentive for people to support alternate energy technology, which is a priority for the White House, and a decrease in reliance on oil for energy.
The cost of fuel contributes substantially to the costs of everything, not just our “ride.”
If you watch the news reports on TV, every newscaster reports the skyrocketing prices.
There are at least two perspectives regarding these prices, depending on which reports and channels you follow.
The side supporting the administration tells us, and government heads support the rationale, that they hope to raise the gas prices to European levels in order to reduce the consumption of oil products and encourage a decrease in reliance on oil.
President Obama tells us that higher auto mileage standards set under his administration and better cars built by a resurgent U.S. auto industry will save money at the gas pump over the long term, in response to Republican criticism of his policy.
In a recent weekly radio address, Obama said Detroit automakers are on track to build cars that average nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025, doubling current mileage standards.
“That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time,” he said. For those of us trying to live on our modest retirements earned years ago, that’s a big deal! It affects us, especially as our families are yet again feeling the pain from rising gas prices.
Lately, President Obama has been eager to appear aggressive in the face of rising gasoline prices even as he reminds audiences that there is no simple and immediate solution that will reverse the current spike in prices.
We now have a president who originally campaigned on a promise to address rising gas prices and now talks as if they’re largely beyond his control.
I was not against the current administration in the beginning and felt a change was necessary. Unfortunately our leaders have thrown away resources to lost causes that could have contributed to helping the small businessman and us retirees (without the proverbial golden parachute) survive the plunge in the economy.
It seems the other side is right to encourage drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as supporting the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline and for imposing regulations on energy producers. Just think of the Texans who would be employed.
In the next few weeks we Libertarians, just as those in the two larger parties, will hold our county, state and national conventions. I urge everyone to take an active roll in nominating and voting for representatives who will support the needs of the communities rather that those who keep bidding higher and higher to satisfy the never-full pocket.
The coming elections are crucial for all of us and the future of the freedoms we’re used to.
While I was tempted to vote with the Democrats or Republicans, as some of my contemporaries are considering, I believe it is important to let the powers that be know that freedom and local government control are important, and that an electorate not ruled by the power mongers is crucial to the coming elections.
A strong Libertarian Party might not win all the electors in the end, but might be in a position to swing the vote just enough to support the candidate who will assure us that our views will be taken into consideration.
I am going to try my very best to attend the meeting and help elect candidates who will help assure us of our independence, with continued support for the private ownership of firearms, as well as less power to the government and more for the folks.
The Cameron County Libertarian Party will hold its county convention at noon Saturday, March 17, at the Crescent Moon Café, 722 East 11th Street in Brownsville (between Adams and Jefferson streets).