Dave Richards' Weekly Column in The Woonsocket Call





Dave Richards for April 22nd……

--It is getting worse, friend. The “sanitizing” of speech in our country regarding healthcare is a tool being used against us now. Rhetoric reigns supreme. And public discourse is being discouraged by the very people who should be promoting a lively debate on how to navigate through these difficult times.

I believe I know conclusively that President Obama has instructed all departments of the federal government over which he as jurisdiction never to use the term “ObamaCare” in public. They are to use the term “Affordable Care Act”. Last week I spent some time with friends who work for the federal government and they refused to admit the president had said that, so I can only infer that since I also know them to be dutiful federal employees that they have been additionally instructed to not admit it. I further observed that, like good federal employees, they not only didn’t call it “ObamaCare”, but they have taken the deception up a notch and now call it the “A.C.A.”, never even saying the words “affordable care act”.

Mind you, these people are good people and I respect them as both good people and as good and loyal employees who do what they are told, so I have no complaint about this as far as that goes. And you all know from my comments in the past that I am not in favor of the continuing agenda to overturn or maim the law which brought this social and economic change to our country. The debate to do national healthcare or not to do it has been had and the side who didn’t want it lost the vote. I was on the losing side, but I say “Get over it”, and let’s try to make the best of it even if we are unhappy.

But I also think that honesty is important in daily life. And trying to brainwash the public by using euphemisms and acronyms is not being honest in my opinion. The ‘Affordable Healthcare Act’ is not affordable. But we will find a way, we always do. Hillary Clinton, as our nation’s First Lady in the 1990s was tasked by her husband Bill to figure out the healthcare problem decades ago. She concluded that individual citizens couldn’t afford the solution, that it had to be employers who paid for healthcare. She was honest about it. But her husband, President Clinton, knew he couldn’t sell that honesty to the public or to the nation’s businesses. So nothing at all was done at that time.

Mr. Obama knew all these facts, too. But he decided he would attack the problem from an oblique angle and say he was going to make the individual citizen pay for healthcare but then immediately force businesses to give raises (by increasing the minimum wage some 20% to 30%) to help the individuals pay for it. Thus, the burden was put on businesses without a fight. And without honesty.

The other side in this conflict is not ‘lily white’, either. Saying that the whole country is going to be destroyed by ObamaCare and we must fight like the patriots of colonial times to save our country from this tyranny is also pure rhetoric. The truth, as so often happens, can be found in the middle of this argument.

--I was both surprised and confused by the sudden dismissal of Tom Bruce as Woonsocket’s Finance Director last week. The business ethics of employer/employee relationships being what they are, neither side would or should talk much about it in the near term, so I haven’t had a personal conversation with either party about it. The outside observer, however, can take away from what little was said that the two just plain disagreed over important points and, since Mayor Baldelli-Hunt is the boss, her opinion is the one which prevailed. It certainly is her prerogative. But therein lies the source of my confusion.

I do not expect that I know exactly what a Finance Director does on the job. I’m sure there is a difference between them and other financial professionals and that there are those who are better at the job than others. We, the public, have been told for years that, putting our current financial difficulties aside, Woonsocket is the envy of the area for having Mr. Bruce on our team. So you are left with thinking that our mayor, as ‘coach’ of the city’s ‘team’, must really feel confident in what she is doing to replace such a pivotal player at such a critical point in the game.

We have seen this mayor act in a confusing way before. When she re-instated a worker I wondered what she was doing. But I withheld judgment and as time went along it was clear to me that she just had a different way of doing things. I think we should all give her a chance to show us what she has in mind for the long term on this decision.

To sum up on both topics, in the end, the day to day decisions are not up to us. We have a representative form of government. We are given the chance to select the ‘coaches’ and then leave it to them to do what must be done on our behalf. Just like we wouldn’t want the people who hired us for our jobs to be nit-picking everything we do, I think it is important to also have some faith in those we hire to do their jobs without undue interference, even when how they do their jobs is confusing to us.

--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to dave@onworldwide.com or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.

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