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Looking back: The unique perspective of time


Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Herb Panko

Chatfield, Minn.

Jeff Erding’s article in the Fillmore County Journal, February 24, 2014, issue, shows an astounding compilation of wild assertions, exaggerations, unsupportable opinions, and outright false statements.

Let’s start with his first “whopper.” Mr. Erding wonders, “Was our system of health care (before Obamacare) all that bad?” Yes, Mr. Erding, unless you have been living under a rock over the past several decades, it was that bad.

There was nearly universal agreement among conservatives and liberals alike that the previous system was badly in need of fixing. There were too many problems with the old system to delineate here, but let’s just point out two of the worst ones.

Under the old healthcare system, insurance companies could deny coverage for nearly any pre-existing condition. There were also lifetime limits. If you had extensive cancer surgery and you had exceeded your lifetime limit of, say, $200,000 by $300,000, you were on the hook for 300 grand. Obamacare eliminates both of these stipulations. It also puts a cap on the amount insurance companies can take out of your premium and pay their stockholders and overhead costs. It was commonly 60-70 percent or more. Obamacare limits that to 20 percent. The rest has to actually go to healthcare. Although still not perfect, Obamacare is a great improvement on what used to exist.

Mr. Erding goes on to say, “Our closest allies have abandoned us and world opinion of the USA is at an all-time low.” This is nothing short of a gross exaggeration. Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and most of our European allies have “abandoned” us? Disagreements, yes, but abandonment? Hardly! Of course, Mr. Erding provides no proof of that even if he could.

Next Mr. Erding says the “situation in the Middle East is now in a complete meltdown, thanks to the ineptitude by Obama and Hillary.” If Mr. Erding had even a cursory knowledge of Middle East history, he would know that his so-called “meltdown” and “ineptitude” started long before Obama. How about the massive failure under the Reagan Administration to adequately protect our marine barracks in Lebanon resulting in the suicide bombing and murder of over 200 of our soldiers? How about Bush’s failure to capture Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan when he had the opportunity? The truth is no American president, Republican or Democrat, since at least the 1960’s, and even before, has had an answer for the extremely complex problems that exist in that part of the world.

Here’s another of Mr. Erding’s “whoppers.” He states Obama is “using the IRS to silence and crush any opposition.” Really? What a dangerous and irresponsible statement! Where is your solid, irrefutable proof of that, Mr. Erding? Such wild accusations are inexcusable.

Finally, Mr. Erding claims that those on the far left are “typically” guilty of “abusive, insensitive language and name-calling.” I wonder if Mr. Erding has listened to any of the numerous right wing talk shows over the last couple of years. It would be difficult for anyone on the left to top most of those talk show hosts in their use of these same tactics.

Let’s hope that any future FCJ opinions submitted by Mr. Erding are more measured, cautious, and deliberative.

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