Last week was a very good week for President Barack Obama. The United States Supreme Court upheld a provision (government subsidies) crucial to Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, Congress approved a bill allowing America’s leader “fast track” dominion over free-trade agreements, and same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. Of course, the President wasn’t actually responsible, for giving homosexuals the right to legal matrimony, but the Supreme Court’s ruling did happen on his watch. I’m not exactly sure what platform the Republicans will be able to embrace, this next election cycle, with “Obamacare” and gay marriage now being laws of the land. I suppose there is the nation’s gargantuan debt, in which one of their own (George W. Bush) began, and Obama unashamedly increased by colossal proportions, still left for debate.
By now, it’s no secret my lovely wife and I are proponents of the ACA. We’ve heard the horror stories and numerous rants, in opposition to the historical piece of legislation, but for us “Obamacare” has been nothing but a good thing. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative hip disease which means I’ll most-likely need hip replacement surgeries at some point. Without the Affordable Care Act we had decent health insurance, but the insurance company attached a rider to our policy denying coverage of my hips. With “Obamacare,” through our state’s health insurance marketplace, my wife and I have even better health insurance (at a slightly lower premium) that covers my pre-existing condition as mandated by the new law. Although the ACA is not perfect I’d absolutely hate to see this country’s healthcare system revert back to what it was.
I’ve also heard the arguments, for and against, concerning the recently proposed free-trade agreements. It’s interesting to me how seemingly equally intelligent individuals can be on opposite sides of any given issue, and each side can cite specific data in support of their chosen stance. Some say the trade partnership with other countries will help the U.S. economy while others say it will further hinder the nation’s unemployment rate. I tend to agree with the latter, based on the consequences suffered at the hands of a previous free-trade agreement (NAFTA), although I’m not too familiar with the details of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements. I do know there already are not enough jobs, in the United States, for every able-bodied person wanting one. Almighty technology is responsible for continuously squeezing out the human workforce and forever causing a lack of employment in this country.
Computers and machines have been replacing human beings, at an alarming rate, and will continue doing so. Bank tellers have lost out to ATMs and on-line banking, and more and more stores are replacing checkers with self-checkouts. The days of seeing two men on the back of a garbage truck have all but disappeared. Eventually and inevitably we’ll be saying goodbye to FED-EX and UPS delivery drivers – thanks to drones, and we’ll be bidding a fond farewell to truck, taxi, and limousine drivers – thanks to driverless vehicles. Regardless, whether or not the TPP or TTIP would aid in diminishing more jobs, here at home, I do not think the agreements should be “fast tracked” as is now permitted by the recent somewhat bipartisan passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). In general, rushing into anything is not usually recommended, so I wish our elected officials would’ve taken more time considering such an important matter.
I do not pretend to understand homosexuality, and my religion certainly does not condone it, but just like the millions of illegal immigrants, occupying this land, homosexuals are here to stay. I think everybody saw legalized same-sex marriage coming at some point; however, I think the Supreme Court’s citing of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, in its ruling, quite possibly provides a gateway to other legitimate requests for legalized marriages. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state governments from depriving its citizens of “life, liberty, or property.” What about those people whose desired liberty includes polygamy or marrying someone within their own family? It’s something to think about.
I heard a new argument, soon after the Supreme Court’s ruling, as to why gay couples should not be allowed to marry. Some people are saying the newlyweds will have a negative economic impact on our federal government, and they’re also suddenly concerned about Social Security and how legalized same-sex marriage will assuredly reduce the fragile system of its funds. That may be true; however, heterosexuals have been draining the system for years, and I haven’t heard too many complaints. Besides, others have suggested that the decreased spending on Medicaid and Medicare, after gay couples marry, would more than make up for the increase in payable Social Security benefits. The real problem is our leaders, from both sides of the aisle, have been making withdrawals from the beloved program for decades. Maybe now is the time for our elected officials to have a serious, bipartisan discussion about Social Security before the well runs dry.
In 50 years (probably less) no one is going to ponder when homosexuals weren’t allowed to marry. I rarely contemplate a way of life that was different than my lifetime, so why wouldn’t others be prone to do the same? I don’t think much about the telegraph, eight-track tapes, or segregation, since they were before my time, although I know they all existed. Likewise, future generations aren’t going to dwell on landlines, compact discs, or the days when there was heterosexual marriage only, because they’ll all simply be things of the past. That’s just how it is…like it or not. Yes, last week was indeed a good week for homosexuals, trade advocates, and “Obamacare” supporters. It certainly was a very good week for the President.