There is an old saying which states “liberal policies care about the poor in theory- it’s the real poor they have a problem with”. Having spent many years in poverty as a child, I am intimately familiar with the pain of hunger and the burning desire for a better tomorrow. I will not be lectured by elites about their intentionally cryptic notions of “fairness”. It is my personal relationship with a past filled with painful memories of waking up hungry and the realization that it wasn’t just a bad dream that motivates me to confront an ideology that has imprisoned generations in an endless state of poverty. This sentence, imposed by decades of bureaucratic mismanagement, is marketed to the disadvantaged among us as a “gift” from self-anointed political philanthropists.
I refuse to accept the misguided notion, blindly propagated by institutional elites, that the political party best representing the interests of struggling lower income communities is the liberal wing of the Democratic party. When I analyze the issues I encounter most on the campaign trail, the economy and healthcare, I am deeply troubled by the quality issues in our prize city of Baltimore.
The Baltimore economy has been struggling to attract new businesses for decades. An exodus of tens of thousands of its citizens has not helped, as those leaving have taken their intellectual capital with them. A litany of new taxes and a “bureaucracy first, people second” approach to governing has led to an environment where the remaining citizens are viewed simply as tools to support the bureaucracy rather than the inverse. A well written op-ed piece by Steve Hanke and Stephen Walters in the Wall Street Journal on this very subject uses this stunning statistic which sums up the utter failure of Baltimore’s reliance on liberal economic ideology, “in 1950, the city’s median income was 7% above the national average. Today it is 22% below it.”
To add to the economic absurdity, the Mayor of Baltimore has now raised the “temporary” bottle tax, as if the chimerical dreams of a flourishing economy and streams of tax revenue were simply being subdued by the tax rate and not the underlying economic principles. We as Republicans must walk proudly into these communities, as I regularly do, and profess our ideas for growth, which are blind to socioeconomic class. I refuse to accept that a proud city, with infrastructure, public transit, access to the northeast corridor, a world class port and proximity to another major metropolitan area (Washington D.C.), should be relegated to a second class economy. I will not stand idle, while the good citizens of this great city are subjected to another minute of this “ignore the results” ideology.
With thousands of struggling lower income citizens utilizing Medicaid as a primary means of seeking access to healthcare, and ever increasing enrollment into the program, one would think, absent the facts, that the program serves the poor well. With their numerous speeches about “fairness” and “equality” it is easy to see why so many are misled. However, when we look again at the actual results of their “generosity” with our money, the story changes dramatically. An oft quoted University of Virginia study has shed light on the results on this program. The statistic that should ring alarm bells reads, a Medicaid recipient is 97% more likely to die after surgery than a person with private insurance. Wait, it gets much worse, a Medicaid recipient is 13% more likely to die after surgery than a person with no insurance at all. In what dictionary does this suffice as a definition of “help”?
With this piece I ask, rather I implore those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale; please vote for change in 2012. Please allow us a shot at repairing decades of damage to your economy, your education system and your access to quality healthcare. Vote for change and hold us accountable. The worst possible outcome would be more of the same and you have a subsequent election to change it back if dissatisfied. Please stop going on blind dates in the voting booth. I will not stop sounding the siren and will fight for every vote in every Maryland community. And for those who continue to tell me I am wasting my time I ask you, “what are you doing to fight for those who need us most?”
Dan Bongino is the Republican nominee for United States Senate in Maryland
His campaign website is www.Bongino.com