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OBAMACARE, NATIONAL DEBT, SYRIA
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 28, 2013) — At 9:38 p.m. EDT, Sen. Mike Lee, the junior U.S. Senator from Utah, was speaking at a town hall meeting in Farmington, UT about Obamacare, saying that “outside the beltway, the law is widely despised” but popular “within the beltway.”
Sen. Lee has been on the forefront of a campaign to convince the House of Representatives to defund Obamacare. At 10:09 p.m., Lee told those in attendance that Obamacare will cause a “substantial increase” in health care premiums. A bit later, he said, “I’m standing with the American people…we gotta stop it.”
An attendee asked what should be done if Obama authorizes military action in Syria without congressional approval, to which Lee responded that other presidents have been warned not to enter into military action with a “foreign sovereign government.” He said that “it’s a big problem” and that when Obama went in to Libya, he said he “didn’t have time” to confer with Congress. “He had time to go to the Arab League,” Lee said.
Lee admitted that “We have been supplying arms to the Syrian people for some time.” He said that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is “not a nice man,” but might be better than the next person who would be installed as the nation’s leader.
Another constituent asked about the $17 trillion national debt. Lee expounded on the interest paid on the debt, which he said was $225 billion each year. “That’s about what we were paying about 20 years ago,” Lee said, although he said that interest rates are much lower now than then. He said that there will be an $800 billion shortfall as interest rates rise from their “artificially low” levels.
One constituent asked Lee if he believed the minimum wage should be raised by Congress based on inflation, which he said would have dictated that minimum wage today would be $16.00/hour, to which Lee said, “I do not.” He received enthusiastic applause after stating that mandating a minimum wage actually “hurts the poor.”
Lee told the next questioner that he does not agree that campaign finance laws need to be changed in regard to corporations “speaking out in support of a candidate” or issue, referring to the Citizens United decision from 2010. Lee invoked “free political speech” in accordance with the First Amendment.
Regarding Medicare and other entitlement programs, Lee said that Congress had “raided” the funds which were expected to be put aside for program paid for by working people at the time. He blamed Republicans and Democrats equally and related it the federal government’s additional role in running health care through Obamacare.
Another questioner asked if “we would ever learn the truth about Benghazi and the IRS.” Lee answered that he believed the answer was “yes.” However, he said that Hillary Clinton, although at first responsive to Congress on various matters, became secretive after the attack in Benghazi on September 11 last year. Lee said that at that point, he became concerned.
He said that people given “a lot of power” sometimes become dishonest and corrupt. Lee then recommended that the power of government be limited, “especially at the federal level.”
Regarding a question about the Constitution, Lee said that preserving it will require “changing personnel” from those entrenched in Washington, DC to newcomers with a different approach. “Those of us who feel this way need to be more vocal,” Lee said. “We have to speak for ourselves and not let party leaders do it for us.”
Lee said that a “ruling class” consolidates power in Washington and takes away “freedom” and property rights from average Americans. Lee resolved at 10:18 p.m. EDT to undo Obamacare. At that point, a host said that the town hall meeting had run 20 minutes past its scheduled end time.
Lee then spoke again about the history of the United States and the “limited powers” afforded to the federal government by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. He said that “most of the power” should be at the local level to preserve economic opportunity. He said he is “concerned about the corporate cronyism” which prevents competition and raises the cost of goods and services. “That’s why ultimately, I say the U.S. Constitution…is ultimately an economic document…those opportunities are being threatened right now…”
“It’s time for us to get more engaged…Together we can do these things…May Almighty God continue to bless the sovereign state of Utah…may Almighty God continue to bless the United States of America,” Lee concluded to loud applause.