Consider this: Good luck, Speaker Johnson

Reed Harris

I listened to the acceptance speech of Mike Johnson, our new House Speaker in Washington, D.C., now second in line to the presidency.  It appeared to be a good speech, but I do have some comments and questions.  In this writing I will bring up each individually. Some of the comments from House Speaker Johnson are paraphrases but most are quotes. Though his speech should be read or listened to by you, I would like to add these thoughts.

Early in the speech, after talking about his background, Speaker Johnson mentioned our form of government and in doing so said these words, “We don’t know how long it will last.”  This, to me, leaves doubt in the minds of those listening.  What is meant by this?  Does he know something we don’t? Was it necessary to say this? Should we be concerned?

In discussing the United States Declaration of Independence, he says, “All men are created equal, not born equal but created equal.” I agree with this and would go further. All men and women, no matter their race or ethnicity or color, are created equal. Sure, some will question the created-versus-born language, but this seems to depend on whether you believe in a God or not. I won’t touch that part except to say that the Oxford Dictionary defines creation as “bring (something) into existence.”

Speaker Johnson also said that the first thing he would bring to the floor of the house would be a bill for funding Israel. This has been done and passed. It would be a great thing if there wasn’t additional language to reduce funding to the IRS. You may say that it is good to see some of this funding reduced because it will decrease audits for the middle-class. However, since the GAO (Government Accounting Office) has historically audited up to six times the percentage of people who make over $1 million a year versus those who make under that amount, it helps the rich more. Good bill?  If you like the reverse Robin Hood theory.

“Human dignity is one of our core principles,” was one of Speaker Johnson’s comments. He brought this up as one of the seven core principles of our democracy. Since the Oxford Dictionary defines dignity as “a calm and serious manner that deserves respect,” We, as Americans, have a lot of work to do on that one.  For one, by taking books away from libraries that aren’t to someone’s liking, don’t we tell our children, and adults, that they aren’t smart enough to decide whether to read them?  For another, by saying that children can’t see transgender entertainment, aren’t we again deciding for the people?  Maybe saying, sorry you aren’t bright enough to decide? Certainly, no respect here.

It's sad to think that the government in the state of Florida is eliminating Critical Race Theory using their definition of what it means. They remind me of that famous line from the 1992 movie ‘A Few Good Men’. A USMC Colonel from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, during the trial, says “You can’t handle the truth!” Is that what the Florida Legislature is saying? That suddenly, what we were taught for many years now in school, is somehow automatically something we can’t understand? That we shouldn’t know?  Again, no respect.

Finally, the biggest, most hurtful way to cut down a woman’s dignity is to tell them that they can no longer have reproductive choice. Isn’t this a most heinous way to kick a ladder out from under a person? What we had come to see as law, is now gone?  Isn’t it also harmful that there are many states taking away contraception leaving no control whatsoever? Disrespectful.

House Speaker Johnson also mentioned that we must address our broken border. I agree. It’s time. However, we should remember that some of these immigrants crossing over are from peaceful nations and some of those are fleeing horrible situations. None-the-less, I have tried to review the list of past bills and bills still being held at various stages concerning all border issues. I have to say I can only get an overall look at what I will call ‘the mess’. Since 2010, the best date I can come up with, there have been 1,461 bills introduced with 78 that have passed the House and not the Senate, and 15 that have passed the Senate and not the House. There have also been 16 bills not passed and 60 bills enacted. Where does one start on cleaning up ‘the mess’?

The last quote from Speaker Johnson I would like to address is when he was discussing the inflation costs for Americans which we all feel. The Speaker said, “mortgage rates are the highest since 2001.”  I personally do not know this for sure but there is one interesting event in the last few years that may influence the rates for housing.

There have been large corporations and multi-millionaires and billionaires who have been buying up properties all over the country.  They will then turn around and rent them.  There are many people that wish to own homes who, instead, get outbid due to bidding wars between these people and entities.  Can this cause interest rates to go up?  Maybe by banks losing mortgage money because there are less home loans being made?  Maybe not.  It’s hard to tell.  I do remember, however, in the mid-80s when loans rates were 15 to 16 percent.

So, good luck House Speaker Mike Johnson. I will pray for your success. Good luck House of Representatives. Please get something done. Good luck citizens of the United States of America. Let’s hope everything works out.