Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 25, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 25, 2012 

HOWARD Hays As I See It


I have been troubled over the course of the last 
several years by the discussion and debate that 
is not happening in this country. We are in the 
midst of a radical transformation in our form of 
government and in the security of our freedoms, 
and yet we’re not really talking about whether 
this is the type of America in which any of us 
– conservative or liberal – want to live. While 
the mainstream press is 100% complicit in this 
transformation and undermining of the civil 
rights they profess to defend, it is not because 
of any conspiracy they have joined, but rather 
because of the obligation they have neglected.

Perhaps, to be charitable, I should just say that 
the press has simply missed the forest for the 
trees in their coverage of the various policy 
debates initiated by the actions of the Obama 
Administration. They tend to focus on whether 
the administration should do X or do Y, they 
focus on the merits of this action or that action, 
while missing the bigger, more important, debate 
about whether the President even has, or should 
have, the power to act in the first place.

At its heart, our form of government has allowed 
us to flourish as a nation because it limits the 
arbitrary actions any politician can take, because 
it forces the Congress to actually pass a law, 
allows a president to veto it, and provides for 
an override of that veto with sufficient votes 
back in the Congress. But if that process can 
be circumvented, then our freedoms and civil 
rights are severely compromised. So what has 
circumvented this process? The answer is the 
new use of the executive order.

President Obama recently issued an executive 
order suspending the enforcement of duly 
enacted immigration laws against children of 
illegal immigrants. We can debate the wisdom of 
allowing children of illegal immigrants to stay in 
this country if they obey our laws, and a lot of ink 
has already been spilled, and hot air exchanged, 
on the debate of the issue. In a sense, that’s a 
healthy debate to have. But the result of that 
debate needs to manifest itself in a Congressional 
vote to either affirm or change the immigration 
law, which would then be signed by the President. 
That’s the democratic process.

When the President simply issues an order 
invalidating a law, he has done nothing but 
arbitrarily exercise some perceived power to 
do what he wants done. That’s not democracy; 
it’s the beginning of tyranny. Consider also the 
discrimination inherent in this approach. Why 
should young illegal immigrants be excused from 
a law that other types of illegal immigrants are 
forced to obey? Why shouldn’t elderly illegal 
immigrants be saved the massive inconvenience 
of uprooting their life and returned to their 
native country? Why should any sub-group be 
exempted from a law that other groups are forced 
to obey?

Let me be clear that I am not advocating a 
massive round-up and deportation of illegal 
immigrants. This is a complex and difficult issue, 
but it is an issue which deserves to be handled 
in a democratic fashion, not in an arbitrary and 
dictatorial fashion. The constitution guarantees 
“equal protection under the laws”. If this principle 
is invalidated, then none of us can be guaranteed 
equal protection. 

This executive order is not an isolated 
occurrence. This President issued an executive 
order exempting select school districts from the 
provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. It 
matters not whether he did so because he thought 
it in the best interest of the affected students, or 
because he thought it in 
the best interest of the 
affected teachers whose 
jobs would be lost and 
whose unions are major 
campaign contributors. 
What should matter is 
whether this president 
– or any president – 
should have that much 
power. The power to do 
good (if that’s what this 
is) is also the power to do bad.

This president issued another executive order 
repealing certain provisions of the last welfare 
reform law. The Clinton Administration worked 
with a Republican-controlled Congress to pass 
a welfare reform law which requires welfare 
recipients to work, or at least actively look for 
work. Obama simply redefined the word “work” 
to include things that really aren’t work. If our 
government is going to take money from Peter 
(taxes) and give it to Paul (welfare benefits), it 
is fitting and fair that Congress debate and vote 
on the requirements and safeguards attached to 
this policy. It is blatantly unfair, and undermines 
the democratic process, to have a president 
simply change the definitions of the words in a 
law passed by congress and signed by a previous 
president. If Obama disagrees with the law’s 
word definitions, he needs to convince Congress 
to change the law. Winning an election did not 
make Obama king.

We are seeing the same approach used as 
Obamacare is phased in. As the law takes affect, 
huge costs are placed on to the employer. Some 
employers don’t seem to be able to handle the 
extra burden (which was one of the complaints 
against the law in the first place). Rather than 
revise the law to correct this problem, President 
Obama has arbitrarily exempted some businesses 
from having to follow the law, while leaving other 
businesses to suffer the extra costs. That’s not 
fair competition. The business with the lower 
cost burden usually wins market share and earns 
greater profits. When the government is the 
one imposing a higher cost on some and a lower 
cost on others, that’s political favoritism and 
engenders bribery and corruption. We cannot 
righteously condemn a business owner who is 
forced to bribe a politician in order to survive in 
a world where arbitrary costs are placed on some 
and arbitrary benefits granted to others. 

Each of these issues is worthy of debate. We can 
and should determine what we think are the best 
immigration, education, welfare and healthcare 
policies, but we must make those determinations 
within a democratic process. They cannot be 
determined by the will of one man. We are 
witnessing the gradual deterioration of the 
safeguards to our freedoms and civil rights. The 
left, the right and every American in between has 
a vested interest insuring that arbitrary power 
is not granted our politicians. As was famously 
said not too long ago, “a government which 
has the power to give you everything you want, 
also has the power to take away everything you 
have”. Neither a President Obama or a President 
Romney should be allowed to simply issue an 
order and countermand the will of the people. 
That’s what the press should be discussing, and 
it’s what we will be deciding this November.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a 
freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and moral 
issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his 
wife and 3 children and is active in the community. 
He can be reached at

 “What we’re trying to accomplish here today with the passage of this third stimulus 
package is to create jobs and help the unemployed . . . We’ve got to get the engine of 
economic growth growing again . . . Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come 
back . . . I urge members to drop the demagoguery and pass this bill . . .” Rep. Paul 
Ryan (R-WI)

 In these Left / Right columns last week, Bill Press and Greg Welborn offered 
differing views on positions held by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. 
I intended to do the same, but found it difficult to determine exactly what those 
positions are.

 The opening quote reflects a progressive view of economics fitting for a column on “the left”. 
Recently, however, Ryan dismisses such views as “sugar-high economics”. 

 The change in Ryan’s economic philosophy coincides with a change in administrations. The quote 
is in support of a stimulus package proposed under George W. Bush. Ryan turned to condemning 
such spending with the inauguration of President Obama.

 In 2008, Ryan was a defender of hands-on government involvement in supporting the $700 billion 
TARP bailout of Wall Street. He urged a hands-off approach, however, in insisting those funds not be 
linked to reform measures designed to ensure such bailouts aren’t needed again in the future.

 While campaigning, Ryan decries the auto industry bailout, though he supported it in Congress. 
He characterizes the closing of the GM factory in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin as “one more 
broken promise” from President Obama, though the plant closed in 2008 – under President Bush.

 It’s hard enough keeping track of Paul Ryan’s positions, but it’s also hard tracking Mitt Romney’s 
position on Paul Ryan’s positions. Last March, Romney declared it would be “marvelous” were the 
Senate to pass Ryan’s budget; that he and Ryan were “very much on the same page”. 

 Minutes after the announcement of Ryan’s selection, however, Romney’s campaign issued talking 
points that “as president he will be putting together his own plan”, and reminding, “of course they 
aren’t going to have the same view on every issue.” This reminder was issued in the context of a recent 
Kaiser Foundation poll showing 58% of Americans in support of keeping Medicare as it is, against 
36% in support of Ryan’s plan.

 Then, the very next day, it was back to supporting the Ryan budget. Advisor Ed Gillespie stated 
Romney “would have signed it”, and Republican Chair Reince Preibus insisted, “He did embrace the 
Ryan budget. He embraced it.”

 That “embrace” proved hard to square with the Romney-Ryan attack line that “Obama has cut $716 
billion from Medicare”, when it was shown Ryan’s budget contained the very same “cuts”. (Rather than 
“cuts”, it was actually a reduction in growth rates negotiated between the Obama Administration and 
providers, where they agreed to future reductions in payments in exchange for having more people 
insured, with more access to less-costly preventive care.)

 The difference was in where that $716 billion would go. Under the Affordable Care Act, it went 
towards reducing the number of uninsured. Under Ryan’s plan, it helped cover the cost of more tax 
cuts for millionaires.

 To avoid going off-message, Romney promised, “If I’m President of the United States, we’re 
putting the $716 billion back” – though this ignored Ryan’s concern over “solvency”. Under current 
projections, Medicare is expected to be in good shape through 2024, when revenues may only cover 
87% of expenditures. Without that $716 in savings, the date of insolvency moves closer, from twelve 
years in the future to four.

 No position-shift on the part of Paul Ryan seemed as desperate as his response to comments 
from U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who said he understood from “doctors” that 
pregnancy resulting from rape is “really rare” because, “in the case of legitimate rape, the female body 
has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” (Rep. Akin sits on the House science committee.)

 “Rape is rape, period. End of story”, insisted Rep. Ryan to a Pittsburgh TV station asking him to 
square his position denouncing Akin’s comments with his previous record. It was only last year Ryan 
partnered with Akin in co-sponsoring legislation that incorporated another controversial modifier - 
“forcible” rape. The legislation was to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, and access for millions 
of mostly low-income women to cancer screenings, pap tests and family planning services.

 There was an abortion exemption for rape and incest, but it had to be “forcible”. If the woman 
was drugged or mentally impaired, it wouldn’t qualify. Incest would count if the victim was under 
eighteen - but a fourteen-year-old girl victimized by a forty-year-old non-family member in a manner 
not deemed “forcible” would, as decreed by Reps. Akin and Ryan, be out of luck.

 Ryan also supported life-begins-at-fertilization “personhood” legislation, allowing prosecutors 
to treat abortion, as well as certain kinds of contraception and “morning after” pills, as murder. He 
argued that the decision as to whether contraception is made available through a woman’s healthcare 
plan should not be made by the woman, but rather by her employer.

 To be fair, the views of Reps. Akin and Ryan are shared by most Republicans in Congress and 
are indeed enshrined in the Republican Party platform. They just decry those views when they’re 

 Paul Ryan maintains his positions are informed by his Catholic faith. Last April, a group of 60 
Catholic leaders, theologians and clergy, who probably support his positions on contraception and 
abortion, issued a statement on Ryan’s budget, saying it is “morally indefensible and betrays Catholic 
principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good.”

 As I see it, the big problem with Paul Ryan is not too many changing positions, but rather an 
unchanging lack of principles. 



It is twenty to eight and my Democrat and Republican humming birds are still trying to get enough 
to eat before they go to roost for the night. I know one is a Democrat and the other a Republican because 
they both want exactly the same thing. When one hummingbird lands to drink the sweet water 
and the other sees him, he chases the other away. If he lands on the opposite side where he can’t be 
seen by the other, they both drink together. If one notices that the other is getting some of the sweet 
water, they both fly away fighting.

This is exactly what the Democrats and the Republicans are doing. They both want peace and a 
prosperous America but they continue to fight each other like the hummingbirds because they do not 
understand that money is a public utility and must be intelligently managed.

Dr Kenneth L. Russellm Professor of Education, Emeritus 

Sam Houston State University


 The Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce invites the 
public to attend a breakfast meeting featuring State 
Senator Carol Liu.

The event will be held on Monday, September 10th 
from 8am to 9am at the Hart House Senior Center in 
Memorial Park. 

Senator Liu is currently represents the 21st Senate 
District, and is a candidate for the newly created 25th 
Senate District which includes Sierra Madre.

For reservations please contact Chamber President Ed 
Chen at or call the Chamber 
Office at 626-355-5111.

 The cost is $10 for Chamber members d $20 for non-
members You can also make your reservations online 

State Senator Carol Liu