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Jeffrey Bueche, Casselton, N.D., Published October 12 2013

Letter: Ahlin’s willful ignorance about 'crisis'

While I am not a tea party member, I should respond to the opinion expressed by Jane Ahlin on the Commentary page in the Sunday, Oct. 6, edition of The Forum.

Ahlin is either confused about the circumstances of the government shutdown or is being disingenuous about facts. The real “crisis” that is being addressed is twofold.

First, the under-employed, self-employed, newly uninsured and low-wage earners of the country are now solely responsible for the onerous burden of implementing a poorly planned and managed law, Obamacare. The administration has, without legal standing or authority, exempted or delayed implementation of mandates prescribed in the law for nearly everyone except the individual payer.

One would think that delaying the individual requirement would be, at the least, the fair and decent thing to do. The House submitted a second bill that would delay the mandate until 2014, the same as the employer mandate. The Senate would not take it up, and the president vowed to veto it.

Second, the “stop-gap” spending measures the administration seems to prefer over an actual budget must stop: If we continue to work without a budget, how can we say what the deficit is?

We have been spending at nearly the same rate as 2008-09 when the government created several “one-time” and “temporary” appropriations. How can we make temporary spending appropriations that become automatic in the next continuing resolution? What are we spending it on? Who accounts for that money when it is not apportioned? Can Ahlin really justify continued government spending and borrowing without a plan?

The tea party is not a gang of anti-government rabble; quite the opposite. Anyone who identifies with the tea party is generally law-abiding. What they want is a government that honors its constitutional contract with its citizens. They realize that health care is not a “system”; it is a contract between two private parties, much like hiring a plumber, mechanic or contractor. It is not the business of government to involve itself on a national level.

Every state has some form of health care contingency for its poor, old and very young. There are laws forbidding hospitals and emergency rooms from turning people away because of inability to pay. I don’t hear any cries to repeal or de-fund any of these state or local measures from the evil tea party.

As to those who were furloughed, no one wants to see one more person out of work. The House of Representatives put forward several small bills to address the issues of pay for those who are required to work, and to try to put more federal employees back on the books, passing these spending bills with bipartisan support. The Senate will not take them up. The president has threatened to veto the bills because they are not “clean” spending bills and do not include funding for the Affordable Health Care Act.

In addition, Ahlin’s hate-filled rants about the “apocalyptic minority” show that she is little more than a bigot who will use her Forum column to harass, vilify and marginalize those with whom, in her willful ignorance, she does not agree.