and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
December #3

Spend, Big Government, as you will;
I'll keep my Christmas merry still
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

While I was addressing the 80-some Christmas cards I send to faraway family and friends, the U.S. Senate was debating its version of a health care bill. It took the first step toward a government-controlled, single-payer system by extending Medicare to people ages 55 to 65.

And as I searched for the Baby-Jesus-in-a-bottle that a family member painstakingly created, Congress sent a $1.1 trillion spending bill, complete with pay raises for federal employees, to the president, who will probably sign it before I actually find the bottle. Together they'll increase the $12.1 trillion national debt level before I get my Christmas Eve call from my grandchildren, who will end up paying for all of this.

As we get closer to Dec. 25, I'll be listening to carols instead of the news. I'll be reading newsletters from family and friends instead of position papers on "climate change." I'll be "taking time out" from politics along with a lot of other people who, like me, just can't stand it anymore this year or, unlike me, never pay attention anyhow.

Not everybody is fiddling with wrapping paper while the U.S. burns its future. I got an e-mail from someone inquiring about buses going to the Boston Tea Party anniversary rally in Washington, D.C., this week. Republican congressional candidate Bill Hudak called from the road; he was on his way to protest the drowning of America in debt.

I did what I could, without actually having to leave home: Sent an e-mail to friends at the National Taxpayer Union and Americans for Tax Reform with the subject line, "My next congressman coming to a rally near you;" asking them to keep a lookout for Bill's graphics-covered campaign car. God bless the patriots who are interrupting their holiday to save the country. The next time Bill holds a rally in Peabody, I'll be there!

I did attend a Center-Right Coalition meeting in Lexington last week to endorse Scott Brown for U.S. Senate. WCVB-TV was there to film him putting his bumper sticker on my car; it joins those of Hudak and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and those with the slogans "Freedom Works," "Revolution 2010" and "I love Prop 2." At least as I drive to the post office with packages, I'm also sort of campaigning!

I also voted in the Dec. 8 Senate primary. I do relate to people wanting to drop out during the holidays, but I can't imagine not taking time to vote when there is an election as important as this one.

OK, the GOP primary was an inevitable win for Brown, so we can give too-busy Republicans a pass. And if Democratic and Independent voters weren't paying close attention, they may have thought that it didn't make any difference which of the Democratic candidates won, since their positions on the issues all seemed alike.

It appears as if much of the electorate left the decision to those voters who choose a candidate based on gender. One liberal friend seemed pleased with her decision to support Martha Coakley; I know this person as a passionate opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so I was surprised she didn't choose Mike Capuano, a proven and committed vote against these wars. Wonder if she knew anything about him except that he's not a woman?

Of course some people think that women are always against war. Even if that were the case, one could argue that Coakley seems more likely to follow the leaders of her party, and the guy president. Not many women are as feisty and independent as Capuano.

If some pundits are right and the Democrat wins in January, this month's primary might have changed the course of history. But never mind, there were only 17 shopping days till Christmas so the 20 percent voter turnout was probably the best we could reasonably expect.

I think the pundits may be wrong, but here's the scary question: What if voters don't turn out for the final election on Jan. 19 either?

Nobody can argue that there's no difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates. Scott Brown's first act upon winning his primary was to sign the American for Tax Reform's "no new taxes" pledge, while also pledging to try to control federal spending and the deficit while voting against new entitlement programs.

If the health care debate lasts into next year, Brown could be the one vote to defeat the government takeover of health care that voters nationwide have said they don't want. He would vote against the new taxes in the cap-and-trade bill, as well as the next bailout or "stimulate government waste" bill.

But be of good cheer. All we have to do is get voters past New Year's Eve and they'll have nothing else to do for 19 days but follow the Senate race.

I will be making my family's traditional "good luck in the New Year" pork-and-sauerkraut dinner on Jan. 1, and then I'll be ready to focus on saving the country just like, I hope, every other good American.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.