A large crowd heard New York State Assemblyman Andy Goodell present his vision for how government should function at the Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots meeting Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Lakewood American Legion.
The event was slated to be a debate between incumbent Goodell and his challenger, Dr. Rudy Mueller. Mueller, however, rejected the invitation. He was conspicuous by his absence. However, in his place was an empty chair with his name attached.
"Our country was started with the Declaration of Independence, which now is turning into the Declaration of Dependence by some candidates," Goodell said.
Individual freedom was the basis for the country - a competitive free-market economy and individual success. Today, however, an individual can earn more on welfare than at an entry-level job.
"(Some politicians are) reaching into your wallet, taking out your money and being as generous as they want to be," Goodell said.
The Assemblyman proposed there is a clear choice between two different visions. Goodell's vision focuses upon the private sector, a competitive market, a state that is business friendly, decreased spending and with more personal freedom and responsibility. He feels more options in health care are needed, along with reduced government intrusion into daily lives. His vision is not based on what government can give the people, because government is the problem.
The other vision, he said, is a benevolent government solving all problems, funding political campaigns and establishing all wage rates as fair and reasonable without regard to market conditions.
Regarding small businesses, he said many dropped health insurance for employees because of high costs covering 58 mandates, including abortion. Additionally, large deductibles are required in order to cover the cost of the many mandates.
Welfare recipients who stay at home received a 10 percent increase in allotments. The state must make it easier to leave welfare and be successful, Goodell said. He proposed a bill to bring Medicaid health care coverage in line with private health care. Currently, the state spends $30 to $40 million on welfare hearings when individuals fail to appear for work. Goodell proposed video conferences could be used instead, greatly reducing costs.
Goodell's pet peeve is "other" taxes. He proposed legislation to phase out the 9.36 percent health care tax, one of the largest taxes in New York State, for anyone receiving hospital care. The state reaps $4.32 billion from this flat tax health assessment. Additionally, Medicaid costs county taxpayers $1.5 million per month for welfare. Cattaraugus and Allegany counties combined have the same population, but spend only $500,000 per month, one-third of what Chautauqua County pays.
LAKEWOOD - The Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots presented U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, New York State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County Court Judge John Ward and Beth Powers of Liberty in America at its Saturday, Oct. 13 rally at the Lakewood American Legion. A general meeting was held by the group on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Lakewood American Legion.
Goodell said his background in political science and economics is the kind needed in Albany. He stated New York has the worst tax climate in the United States. He enumerated his objectives as a politician: support legislation critical for job growth; vocally oppose legislation that will kill New York's economy; and help local businesses. He is against the 9.36 percent sales tax on hospital bills. He stated his opponent wants a complete government take over of health care at a cost of $138 billion. Additionally, he is against public financing of campaigns, saying "it's not right to raise taxes to pay for campaigns, especially when politicians decide how much they will receive."
Powers seconded Goodell, saying "New York's business climate is behind California. What an embarrassment." Former Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root, she said, stated the real unemployment rate is between 15 and 20 percent. Powers also touched on national issues: President Obama "ticking off" the Catholic church; putting religious freedom in jeopardy; and a high black welfare constituency. This is a "seminal election about the culture of our country," Powers said.
"There is a clear battle Nov. 6," said Reed. "America must rest on her Constitutional roots."
There are 87 congressional freshmen who have been asking fundamental questions about the $16 trillion debt, which is a drag on the economy, and about the Federal government's role, which is to keep America safe. Regarding the Affordable Care Act, Reed stated AARP and Obama have been lying to the American people. The administration cut $716 billion from Medicare and cut providers significantly, resulting in many doctors not taking Medicare patients.
Ward concluded the event by reminding the group that he is pro law and order, handing out swift justice to those who disrupt. He also is a supporter of the Second Amendment which guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear arms.