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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The federal government wants us to save more?

Recently U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quoted as saying “Everyone is going to come to terms with the fact that we are gong to (have to) save more in the United States…If the U.S. starts saving more, that changes the whole world’s economic reality.”

Geithner isn’t wrong, saving more would help the economy; he’s just sounding a little too much like Marie Antoinette - elite and out of touch with the suffering general public.

For those of us that live in the real world, we can’t imagine where Mr. Geithner thinks we will get the money to save. Is he really so unaware of the millions of unemployed and the underemployed? Does he really not realize that those who are working are afraid of losing their jobs? We are facing a historically unprecedented federal budget deficit, and colossal federal debt which could raise taxes to enormous proportions; perhaps 30-35% of GDP. Soon we will be expected to support a massive new healthcare program which promises to tax everything that moves, along with a not too distant cap & trade scheme to pick our pockets.

How much better if instead of taking our money and spending it, if Washington would help this country by incentivizing more savings. Then, even if the deficit stayed large, the increase in private savings would provide more financial capital for private investment which would grow the economy and help put people back to work. It would also make the US economy less reliant on foreign investment.

There are many ways to incentivize private savings but one great way would be to scrap the federal health care program now being debated and instead return insurance to its rightful place - a product one buys hoping that one will never have to use - then strongly incentivize health savings accounts; a product where people save for the regular health maintenance of life.

Unfortunately today, “health insurance” is misnamed and thereby misunderstood - it has transitioned into a health maintenance product instead of an actual insurance product. This transition has created impractical expectations, poor incentives, and loss of consumer influence in the healthcare marketplace.

As a nation, we need to have a public discussion about our expectations. Routine health maintenance, like maintenance for your car or home, is just a part of life that one is wise to look after.

It is evident that any “insurance” product that will pay for routine health maintenance costs is going to be very expensive for a variety of reasons; increased consumption, lack of transparency and consumerism, and a lack of competition to name a few. The natural response of insurance companies is to stabilize these effects by setting limits, second guessing the decisions of doctors’, by excluding tests and treatments, and raising rates to cover costs. It is clear that the expectations of the consumer and those of the insurance company are at odds with each other; a federal government plan would surely produce similar results with the added disadvantage that it will literally take an act of Congress for unhappy constituents, unable to flee the program, to make any changes.

Health maintenance plans should be labeled and marketed as such - not insurance. Actual insurance should be returned to its rightful place; insuring for major emergencies and illness. The federal government should find better ways to incentivize participation in health savings accounts; the savings for minor illnesses which build up tax free, growing over time - eventually used for retirement or inheritable. This would help return power to consumers; granting more freedom in healthcare decisions. It would also increase private savings providing us an end-run around the problem of a large federal deficit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Press Release on Sate Sovereignty Committee

Press Release
Contact: Cyndie Todd 615-741-7462
November 18, 2009

Special Committee on State Sovereignty Approves Letter to the States
Letter to National Legislator Organizations

The Special Committee on State Sovereignty met yesterday as per the requirements of HJR 108; a resolution to the US Congress from the Tennessee General Assembly in support of the Tenth Amendment. The resolution created a committee of Conference and Correspondence to communicate the resolution to the legislatures of the 49 other states, and to call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government and to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.

At the last meeting the committee decided to ask the three national organizations for state legislators to help with this endeavor by asking each to form independent working groups, task forces or committees. The idea is the have the organizations independently examine the words of our founding documents and the founders’ intent, legal history, the infringements of the federal government, the effect on the people and the states, develop a plan to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates and conduct all other matters appropriate for the committee.

Also on the committee agenda was the approval of the Letter to the States authored by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Susan Lynn, at last month’s meeting. The letter was amended to include a statement that the committee is “not in favor at this time of any solution that would include a Constitutional Convention; risking that our beloved Constitution could by opened up and perhaps gravely altered.”

A third item on the agenda was a request from Rep. Karen Camper to include the NCBSL - The National Caucus of Black State Legislators in the organizations that will be asked to form committees, working groups or task forces.

The three other organizations that will be asked to create committees, working groups or task forces are theAmerican Legislative Exchange Council, the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State Representative Susan Lynn (R - Lebanon) Chairman of the committee stated “I am happy that the committee unanimously approved all three agenda items and that Tennessee is a leader in this effort.”

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Letter to the states approved by Joint Sovereignty Committee

Letter to the states

We send greetings from the Tennessee General Assembly. On June 23, 2009, House Joint Resolution 108, the State Sovereignty Resolution, was signed by Governor Phil Bredesen. The Resolution created a committee which has as its charge to:

· Communicate the resolution to the legislatures of the several states,
· Assure them that this State continues in the same esteem of their friendship,
· Call for a joint working group between the states to enumerate the abuses of authority by the federal government, and
· Seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates.

It is for that purpose that this letter addresses your honorable body.

In 1776, our founding fathers declared our freedom in the magnificent Declaration of Independence; our guide to governance. They established a nation of free and independent states. Declaring that the purpose of our political system is to secure for its citizens’ their natural rights. The Constitution authorizes the national government to carry out seventeen enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 and the powers of several of the ensuing amendments.

At the time of the Constitutional ratification process James Madison drafted the “Virginia Plan” to give Congress general legislative authority and to empower the national judiciary to hear any case that might cause friction among the states, to give the congress a veto over state laws, to empower the national government to use the military against the states, and to eliminate the states’ accustomed role in selecting members of Congress. Each one of these proposals was soundly defeated. In fact, Madison made many more attempts to authorize a national veto over state laws, and these were repeatedly defeated as well.

There are clear limits to the power of the federal government and clear realms of power for the states. However, the simple and clear expression of purpose, to secure our natural rights, has evolved into the modern expectation that the national government has an obligation to ensure our life, to create our liberty, and fund our pursuit of happiness.

The national government has become a complex system of programs whose purposes lie outside of the responsibilities of the enumerated powers and of securing our natural rights; programs that benefit some while others must pay.

Today, the federal government seeks to control the salaries of those employed by private business, to change the provisions of private of contracts, to nationalize banks, insurers and auto manufacturers, and to dictate to every person in the land what his or her medical choices will be.Forcing property from employers to provide healthcare, legislating what individuals are and are not entitled to, and using the labor of some so that others can receive money that they did not earn goes far beyond securing natural rights, and the enumerated powers in the Constitution.

The role of our American government has been blurred, bent, and breached. The rights endowed to us by our creator must be restored. To be sure, the People created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only. The Constitutional ratifying structure was created so it would be clear that it was the People, and not the States, that were doing the ratifying.

The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government, and also that which is absolutely necessary to advancing those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution of the United States. The rest is to be handled by the state governments, or locally, by the people themselves.

The Constitution does not include a congressional power to override state laws. It does not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over all matters. It does not provide Congress with the power to legislate over everything. This is verified by the simple fact that attempts to make these principles part of the Constitution were soundly rejected by its signers.

With this in mind, any federal attempt to legislate beyond the Constitutional limits of Congress’ authority is a usurpation of state sovereignty - and unconstitutional.Governments and political leaders are best held accountable to the will of the people when government is local. The people of a state know what is best for them; authorities, potentially thousands of miles away, governing their lives is opposed to the very notion of freedom.

Our committee wishes to express that we are not in favor of any solution that would include a Constitutional Convention; risking that our beloved Constitution could be opened up and perhaps gravely altered.

Our plan is to ask the Council of State Governments, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Caucus of Black State Legislators to form working groups, task forces or committees. Such groups would independently examine the words of our founding documents and the founders’ intent, legal history, the infringements of the federal government, the effect on the people and the states, develop a plan to seek repeal of the assumption of powers and the imposed mandates, and conduct all other matters appropriate for the committee.

We invite your state to join with us in asking for such working groups and supporting them with your attendance. We further encourage you to pass similar resolutions in support of the Tenth Amendment.

In Liberty,

Susan Lynn
State Representative

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Liberty News Radio

Rep. Lynn will be a guest on Liberty News Radio at 10 am central time today to talk about HJR 108.

Listen live on the internet here: http://libertynewsradio.com/listen.php

Call In Number: 866-986-NEWS

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Work of Gov Ops

New rules by the Department of Health for the Division of Emergency Medical Services regarding ambulance sanitation, safety standards, equipment and supplies require periodic safety inspections at least annually, and/or every 30,000 miles after a vehicle registers 200,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This is a prudent measure that will help assure that the vehicle is mechanically safe, roadworthy and maintained to federal and state laws.

However, the Government Operations Committee was concerned last week by a provision in the new rule that prohibits the transfer of ownership of an ambulance that is older than five model years or with an odometer mileage in excess of 200,000 miles. In this day and age, vehicles older than five years are very common. The Government Operations Committee felt that to prohibit a county, municipality or ambulance service in our state from being able to resell or to purchase an ambulance that may in actuality have years of good operational service left is simply forcing greater expense on our locals.

This morning I received a notice from the Department of Health that they have removed provision O from the rules. Therefore, the rules provide that ambulance vehicles will have annual inspections by a certified mechanic with records maintained and submitted for licensure; and after 200,000 miles, an inspection every 30,000 miles.