Washington Reform – Hazardous To Your Liberty?

Of all the words used in Washington, the most dreaded should be the word “reform.” It is flung about as easily as the word “and” or the word “but.” Why this word should be dreaded coming from the cronies in Washington, is easily understandable when used with an area targeted for “reform” after reviewing the word’s definition.

According to the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary, Reform means “to change from worse to better; to amend; to correct; to restore to a former good state, or to bring from a bad to a good state; as, to reform a profligate man; to reform corrupt manners or morals.” The definition of reform can also mean “to change from bad to good; to remove that which is bad or corrupt; as, to reform abuses; to reform the vices of the age” according to the 1828 Webster’s dictionary.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines reform as “to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses” or “to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action.”

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How many times have Americans heard about tax reform, immigration reform, and healthcare reform? The newest addition to this list is NSA reform. Knowing Washington and knowing these different definitions of reform between the cited dictionaries, which definition of “reform” is Washington referring? What definition of “reform” does the average American use? What definition of reform does anyone serious about correcting issues use?

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Herein lies the problem. It can be almost guaranteed that the definition the average American uses comes from neither of these dictionaries but from a more simple one word synonym found in a thesaurus. The synonyms of “revise,” “rework,” “improve,” “change,” and “alter” are but a few used in the word exchange for “reform.” These are used in Washington as well when you hear about “reworking” the tax code, “improving” immigration laws, “altering” the NSA data collection methods and “changing” the health care system. One can bet that the American hearing those words has a totally different idea than what is meant by the Washington crony spouting them. The result is blind support by many Americans for the words spouted based on the perceived meaning of those words, not the Washington intent.

When a Washington crony talks about tax reform or revising/reworking the tax code, it becomes a face to palm moment. The current US tax code is 73,000 pages and is administered by an agency riddled with scandal and corruption. Does anyone actually believe Washington is seriously talking about “removing that which is bad or corrupt” or “changing from bad to good” or even bringing from a bad to a good state, the IRS and tax code? Some Americans would believe it, depending on their personal definition of “reform.” According to the 1828 Webster Dictionary this answer should be, no, not hardly. Washington means to supplement or change what is already there and introduce a different methodology or course of action, but not necessarily to remove an evil. To have tax reform in its truest sense, the “bad and corrupt” IRS must be removed. The atrociously complex tax code, which is also “bad and corrupt,” must be removed. The slate must be wiped clean. The corrupt IRS and atrocious tax code must be abolished and replaced with a simpler, fairer method for obtaining revenue. With 73,000 pages of tax code, does anyone or any accountant know the entire code to ensure all tax returns are within compliance?

One only has to look at the unconstitutional travesty that is Obamacare to see Washington’s and Obama’s idea of health care “reform.” It wasn’t exactly what many Americans had in mind; but, it was what intelligent Americans knew would occur knowing the crony definition of “reform” and this administration’s unquenchable thirst for power. The problem was not the unavailability of health care to uninsured Americans or denial of health care to Americans by politicians. The issue plain and simple was the inability of some Americans to afford health care plans at the current insurance established rates if plans were not offered by employers. Some individuals were not eligible for employer plans for various reasons or individuals were self-employed. Health care remained available to uninsured Americans; however, the choice of where to receive care was limited as was the type of care due to the inability to pay health care expenses out of pocket.

Obama’s health care reform solution does not make health insurance plans more affordable for the masses. It does the opposite. And, those who enjoyed employer subsidized health care plans may be facing a future without health insurance and the imposition of hefty fines and penalties by the IRS. The availability of health care may also be diminished under this government “reform” as well as the removal of patients’ rights recognized by the health care community. The establishment of the payment review board, or “death panels,” where none existed before, should cause people to pause and consider what this means: possible denial of life saving procedures based on government criteria; potential rationing of health care based on government criteria; and possibly the removal of choice regarding health care procedures. With the revelation coming out this is a step in moving closer to a one payer system, does anyone see the true definition of “reform” in these actions?

While the US health care system has problems, many people from around the world come to this country to partake in our health care system and the system is considered good. So, what was so “bad and corrupt” in our health care system that it needed to be returned to a “good or better” state? Obamacare actually changes the current health care system into one that the administration believes is an “improved form or condition.” Congress and government agencies recognized this “reform” as vastly improved, so they ended up opting out of participation. This “improved form” of health care has now encountered problems so numerous the employer mandate is delayed for one year, but the individual mandate remains effective for all Americans to enjoy this “new and improved” insurance system.

Immigration has been an issue in America for some time. While Americans’ idea of immigration reform centered on securing our borders, enforcing current laws and impunity for violators, Washington’s definition turned out to be providing amnesty for violators of the immigration law, a promise on border security and revision of current laws while suggesting agency personnel overlook enforcing some laws currently in place. Their “reform” contemplates a National ID card for everyone to keep track of illegals, permitted aliens and citizens alike. Does this sound like the definition of reform? Did anyone hear any mention of limiting individuals from immigrating who come from areas in the world hostile to the US in order to protect our country from invasion? What type of reform did Washington have in mind? The problem is the entire legislative “reform” of immigration is yet to be fully exposed and realized. The answer to the question is more certainly to be “Who knows; ” but one can bet their idea and definition of reform does not come close to the actual meaning of the word.

The latest and greatest to hit the “reform” scene is the NSA data collection efforts against American citizens. One only has to look at the pathetic “reform” history in Washington to know what any type of reform will be promoted with this agency. Any agency that attains enormous power is an agency that will not relinquish it. IRS, DHS and DOJ anyone? The reform of the activities by this agency will surely follow the “reform” definition by Washington with appropriate protocol applied.

It should be no surprise at this point that Washington is not using any definition of “reform” listed in any dictionary. Washington is using its own. The next time the word “reform” is thrown lackadaisically about, one should immediately ask, “What definition of reform are you using?” As you can see, not everyone defines reform in the same way nor do they use the appropriate definition. Beware of Washington “reform.” It could be hazardous to your liberty.

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