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I Was Just Thinking: Okay, maybe you didn’t want to know, but …

Bill Haglund
Bill Haglund

Nobody asked, but I’ve still got my opinions.

First, I’ve been known to “buck the trend” in the past; I’ve voiced ideas that are opposite others’ views, often finding myself in the minority. That hasn’t stopped me in the past; I doubt it’ll stop me in the future.

Here’s a surprise: I’m in the majority on this one. In fact, if we are to believe a recent pole, I’m in the 81-percent majority. I blame the House Republicans for the government shutdown.

Further, I believe it took real audacity for Rep. Steve King to address a group of Story County veterans in Washington, D.C., when they visited the memorials last Tuesday and blame the White House for the shutdown. Our illustrious Mr. King voiced that opinion every time a television crew had a camera nearby; he used the occasion to pose for photos with the veterans.

Have you no shame, Rep. King? (Given many of his past “out-of-the-blue” comments, I doubt he does.)

I even called Tom Latham’s Des Moines office to voice my displeasure with his vote on the matter.

How can anyone believe there is any moderation left when the GOP is obviously controlled by an ultra right wing group called The Tea Party? It’s pretty obvious to me that those 80, or so, members of the House of Representatives control the majority of their own party. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

And, why do they continue to tell us that we don’t want the Affordable Health Care Act? They don’t want it to be funded. They’ve labeled it “Obamacare,” as if that should give us all a negative connotation of the health care legislation.

There again, I’m in at least a plurality, if not an out-and-out majority. And, many Americans don’t have a clue about the subject.

Jimmy Kimmel recently asked, as part of his show, what people prefer: the Affordable Health Care Act or Obama Care? Most said, “The Affordable Care Act,” some adding they don’t like “Obama Care being shoved down our throats.”


We have a health care system that is the most costly in the world. Yet, it ranks only 20th best when it comes to the care we receive. Our health care is mandated by the multi-billion dollar health insurance companies and not the doctors and nurses and other health care professionals.

Personally, I’d rather put my health care in the hands of doctors, not those who put limits on how much care I receive because of what insurance policy I happen to have. (And, yes, I’m one of those turned down for health care insurance because of pre-existing conditions; it’s one of the reasons I had to sell the business my wife and I owned 20 years ago.)

The sad thing about this whole government shutdown is that the ones being hurt the most are the ones who need help the most.

The WIC (Women, Children, Infants) program has closed. Many rely on that program to survive. Are we so cold that we would let hungry children in this country starve?

Some “last hope” government cancer clinics are shut down. For many, those clinics are the last hope for children fighting terminal cancer. Are we so callous that it doesn’t matter?

The average government worker receives a salary of about $110,000. It’s hard for many in Iowa to feel sorry for those laid-off workers when that salary is greater than most working Iowans earn in two or three years. Still, it’s rankling to know that the Congress, which continues to do nothing, continues to be paid. Despite doing nothing, its members receive $174,000 annually and work an average of 2.5 days a week; members don’t have to worry about “Obama Care” – they have free health care for life (if we all had that, some would label it “Socialism”); they have tax-payer funded retirement; they can travel on our dime ($3,000 a day); they can hire a staff ($1.5 million a year is allotted for that).

It doesn’t seem to me any of ‘em is worth that kind of cash, especially when the rest of us have to work for our pay. I wonder what reaction I’d get if I went to my boss and told him that I was going to Hawaii for a couple weeks and that he’d have to foot the bill for first class air fare for my wife and I, we’d be staying in a $1,000-a-night motel and that, naturally, he’d have to give me another $2,000 for food and other incidental expenses.

I wonder what he’d say if, one day, I told him I didn’t like one thing or another about my job and that I’d be taking some time off until he changed his ways.

How far do you think I’d get? And, do you think I’d still have a job when I decided I’d return?

Opinions are like a favorite dessert. Everyone’s got one.

That’s mine.