Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Voting Guide for May 2016 - Time for Party Questions

Let's take a moment to look at the Party Questions. This time, I'm not going to look at just the one Party Question on the Republican ballot, but also the five on the Democrat ballot.

First, the Republican question:
Should Georgia empower parents with the right to use the tax dollars allocated for the education of their children, allowing them the freedom to choose among public, private, virtual, and home schools?

Then, the Democrat questions:
  1. Should Georgia invest less than 1% of its annual budget to provide healthcare to 500,000 low-income citizens and military veterans by expanding Medicaid?
  2. Should Georgia guarantee paid family leave to include pregnancy, serious illness, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or care for a newborn, newly-adopted child or newly-placed foster child?
  3. Should private property on rivers and streams be protected by natural vegetative buffers to ensure that Georgia's waters are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable?
  4. Should Georgia automatically register to vote all legal and permanent residents upon issuance of a driver's license or state-issued ID which includes an opt-out provision?
  5. Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow an appointee of the Governor to bypass the authority of your elected School Board and Superintendent of schools to take over operations and funding if a school has low standardized test scores?
Pop quiz. What do all five of the Democrat questions  have in common, that is completely opposite from the one Republican question?

Here's the answer: The Democrat questions are all about more top-down control, and less power for people to make decisions for themselves. The Republican question is all about solving problems by empowering people to make their own decisions.

Let's look at the Democrat questions one by one:

  1. The first question, once you read between the lines, is all about inviting Obamacare into the state. If you know about Obamacare, you know that its budgetary projections (which were flimsy enough to begin with) depended on states cutting Medicare and expecting states to ramp up Medicaid spending . You should also know that this "less than 1%" is only the starting amount, and it quickly ramps up. Also, as we know by now (and as many of us predicted), Obamacare has resulted in people having fewer, more expensive, less desirable options for insurance being rammed down our throats, in spite of promises otherwise. Some states have at least resisted throwing their own money into this Affordable Care Act mess, and Georgia is one of them. But, the Democrat party wants the state to comply with the Federal mandates. More top-down, less personal discretion.
  2. My employer tends to be on the generous side regarding family leave. My wife, having had mostly jobs for very small companies with five or fewer employees, has had to have less formal arrangements with her bosses. They are accommodating in their own less policy-driven ways. I don't like the government telling employers what they must do in order to make employees happy; Figuring that out should be the employer's job. What works for one employee, won't work for others. But, the politicians still want more top-down, less personal discretion.
  3. Yes, we all want swimmable, drinkable, fishable streams. But this is telling people who own private property adjacent to waterways that they can't decide for themselves how best to care for their own land. More meddling. More top-down, less personal discretion.
  4. This one starts with more top-down, less personal discretion, by having the state decide that you will be a registered voter unless you decide otherwise. But there is an insidious twist in the wording here. The wording talks about legal and permanent residents, but does not mention citizenship as a requirement for voting. There is a big partisan push to allow non-citizens to vote. Personally, I think citizenship should be a requirement for voting. I also believe in streamlining the process for non-criminal immigrants to become citizens, if they wish. If you want to vote in our elections, formally pledge your allegiance to our Constitution and abide by our laws. If you're not willing to do so, you are still free to take part in your own country's elective process. But, that's getting into bigger issues.
  5. Finally, the school issue. Both Republicans and Democrats have questions about how to deal with failing schools. The Republican approach is to give parents the power to help their own kids. The Democrat solution, if the locally elected and appointed education authorities aren't doing the job, pass the power up to the state to take over. This assumes that the state's elected and appointed authorities are "better" than the local authorities. More top-down, less personal discretion.
Since I'm voting on the Republican ballot, I only have the one question to address, and I am voting "yes" to give more discretion to parents. If I were voting on the Democrat ballot, I would have to vote "no" on all of those positions. And that's my two bits.

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