Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 6/8/2009 [Archive]

If You Earn It Can You Keep It

If You Earn It Can You Keep It

By Martha Randolph Carr

The most fun about having a pragmatic democrat like Obama in the White House is the amount of angst that arises from trying to please everyone. Trying to find a practical solution to costly issues like health care in America, which is once again a hot topic, is a political black hole.

A lot of ideas are going to go into the meetings but most will never be heard from again. Take the idea of removing part or all of the tax exemption first given to workers in 1943 who participate in employee health care plans.

This idea was floated in 1984 by President Reagan, a Republican pragmatist who was actually trying to be there for all the voters, not just those who voted for him. It was even lauded as a practical way to pay for health care reform by economists but shot down mostly by labor unions and not spoken of again till now.

The balance is the problem. Most Republicans these days don't appear to have this concern. Their ideas may be galling to a lot of people but they're very clear about their mission.

The GOP's message has been consistently, if you earn it you can keep it. Said in another way it could sound like the ends do justify the means and don't look too closely at the have-nots. It'll ruin your day.

That's how a lot of old school liberals have told the story to the masses. It felt like there ought to be a campfire and a flashlight held just under the chin as the spooky story was told about how we'd all be crushed by big business and left with nothing. Never mind that big business provided the jobs. That's the reflexive counter argument from the red states and is often where discussion ends and circular arguments between the two sides get stuck in an endless loop.

But hold on just a moment before pulling out any of those old diatribes about who has to be right or wrong.

Start instead with the idea that in America it's a free society constructed with a certain set of ideals. Throw in that every citizen, with some exceptions, has the right to vote. That part we all finally agree upon and even that one has taken us a long time to put to rest, Florida and Ohio election machines not withstanding.

But where it got tricky was when our first elected officials threw in an entire Bill of Rights that said we were all going to do our best to simultaneously mind our own business and yet, take care of each other. There's the rub but also the reason so many want to immigrate to America, no matter who's in office.

Pulling off that magic trick is an impossible task that requires constant reworking and is the best thing we do on any given day. Most societies choose one or the other, and with good reason but we have a certain identity as freewheeling cowboys striking out on our own blended with mass protests where we come together peacefully to make our voices heard.

However, we believe that if you got up every day and went to work you should be able to keep the majority of that paycheck. That's only reasonable. We recognize, though that there are a lot of services like schools, courts, paved streets and more that need to be funded.

And then there are the funds necessary to pay for services like health care to help those who are working just as hard but earning far less. No one in America should have a curable condition and not be able to get adequate treatment but especially during the Great Recession, those numbers have been swelling. That's going to take money out of someone's pocket that may not be seen as directly benefitting the one who made the dough and then had to hand it over.

So, here's a couple of thoughts to ponder and is a good part of the reason why monarchies, which rule from the top down have failed and communism, which rules from the bottom up has also gone down in flames and America still stands. As the past year has shown us, millions of dollars aren't enough to guarantee lasting wealth or even health. Sometimes we have to come together in order to find solutions while cheering on those mavericks among us who will get back up and reach for something much better.

If you'd like to get involved in the 2009 America Challenge to raise funds for community-based charities email me at Martha@CagleCartoons.com for more information. Together we're going to build stronger communities and empower ourselves.

Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home, a memoir about the reemergence of U.S. orphanages is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: www.newvoicespeakers.com. Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com. Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Wheel of Misfortune COLOR
By: Pat Bagley

May 11, 2009

Wheel of Misfortune
By: Pat Bagley

May 11, 2009

Rising Health Care Costs Stress Test
By: R.J. Matson

May 12, 2009

Rising Health Care Costs Stress Test-COLOR
By: R.J. Matson

May 12, 2009

Medicare News
By: Larry Wright
The Detroit News
May 12, 2009

COLOR Medicare News
By: Larry Wright
The Detroit News
May 12, 2009

Health Care Debate COLOR
By: Gary McCoy

May 31, 2009

Health Care Debate
By: Gary McCoy

May 31, 2009

A New Dawn for Healthcare COLOR
By: Monte Wolverton
Cagle Cartoons
June 7, 2009

A New Dawn for Healthcare
By: Monte Wolverton
Cagle Cartoons
June 7, 2009

 Con  Health care COLOR
By: Eric Allie

April 21, 2009

 Con  Health care
By: Eric Allie

April 21, 2009
   

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]