Tag Archives: health care

Would You Save the Drowning Child? The GOP on Tax Cuts and Health Care.

The first thing you learn in law school is that you make a lot more money defending the rich than you do defending the poor. This is the Republican Politicians approach to government. They know that if they cut the taxes of the rich, their donor class will reward them handsomely for it. This is how people like Mitch McConnel and Paul Ryan have become millionaires on a government salary.

Peter Singer sketches a moral lesson in a parable: The Parable of the Drowning Child.

Let’s say that you were walking past a muddy pool of water, wearing a brand new $2000 suit. You saw a child drowning in the pool, and you didn’t have time to take off your suit in order to jump in and save her. The dilemma is this: you ruin your suit and save the child’s life, or you save the child’s life and it costs you a brand-new suit. Would you save the drowning child?

Most of us would. Millionaires would not. And this is the Republican politicians approach to government, as opposed to the Democrats. (I want everyone to keep in mind that I make a distinction between Republican politicians and Republican voters—because I think that most of the voters have been duped). Everything that Republican politicians do in Washington is meant to take from the poor and give to the rich.

Democrats are trying to ‘save the drowning child’—Republicans are out ‘buying new suits’.

And their latest attempt at repealing Obamacare smuggled into their tax cut for the rich, proves this to be true. Even though this attempt at cutting taxes for the rich, while cutting health care for the poor will still add to the government debt, they are trying to make it palatable to some of their politicians. While they hope to fool enough of us into believing that those tax cuts for the rich are actually good for the rest of us. Trickle-down economics: will we get fooled again?

Don the Con ran for president on a nationalistic working-class platform. Even though he has never shown anything but disdain for the working-class his whole life, a great many of the working-class helped put him in office (given the undemocratic Electoral College). Since he has taken office, he has not even proposed one thing to help the working-class. But what he is most excited about is the new tax cut proposal. So his is daughter.

Ivanka the Con, who was going to campaign for women’s rights (yea right!) is now out campaigning for these tax cuts. Why? it is simple—it will make her millions of dollars, given the repeal of the Estate Tax. This tax only affects the richest of the rich, and there are a few billionaire families pushing their minion Republican politicians in Washington to ensure that it gets done—by any means necessary. The two main tax cuts in this new GOP bill: the estate tax and the corporate tax. How will this help working families? It won’t. But they will say that it will. Who does this bill hurt? People on Medicaid, Medicare, and anyone else who needs a little assistance to afford health care.

How many more ‘drowning children’ is it going to take before the Republican Voters admit that they have been conned?

What Kind of a F#&*ing Person Does This?!

 

Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the Puerto Rico recovery effort. He has also signed legislation to completely undermine The Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). At the same time, he is threatening North Korea, and is going to decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal.

To say that Trump is unhinged would be an understatement.

On Tuesday night, General Barry McCaffrey told Brian Williams that he thinks we are headed unavoidably toward war with North Korea. Yesterday Nicholas Kristof, who just returned from North Korea thinks that they, too, are gearing up for an inevitable war with the United States. How can ‘cooler heads’ prevail when the biggest hot-head is in the Oval Office? For years, we have had a stand-off with North Korea. But we have had presidents, of both parties, who understood that we must remain calm. Trump could start a nuclear war with the same emotional storm in which he starts his Twitter-tantrums.

This is a man who is willing to hold 800,000 young people hostage (the DACA program) in order to build his “wall”—which even Republicans know is a cost-benefit disaster.

Everything about Trump can be understood as “undo everything that Obama accomplished”. Obama wanted better health care for millions—undo that. Obama wanted a nuclear treaty with Iran—undo that. Obama is a humanitarian—Trump is the opposite. Obama wanted peace…this is getting scary. From clean energy, environmental protection, affordable health care, treaties with other countries… Trump will do the opposite. We can use child psychology to understand Trump, but we cannot control him. He is unhinged and is leading us inevitably toward war, and even some in his own party now recognize this.

He has done nothing about the opioid crisis, except to appoint Invisible Jared to head up something (nobody knows). This has gone nowhere while America is in a drug crisis manufactured by our own pharmaceutical companies.

What, if anything, is it going to take for his supporters to admit that they have been conned?  His tax plan focuses on the Estate Tax, which benefits him and his billionaire friends. He has not even proposed an infrastructure plan, except as a surreptitious tax-cut for corporations which will supposedly ‘stimulate’ private spending.

He, and his minion Betsy DeVos, are trying to destroy public education. But for his Chief Strategize Steve Bannon, who now works for him outside the White House, even this isn’t far enough. Bannon wants to destroy even more, threatening to push the Republican Party even further to the right.

If America is lucky we will avoid a disaster for the next 18 months. But if the Democrats don’t get their shit together and turn out the vote, if we cannot take back the House and Senate in next year’s election, then we are going to pay the price for decades.

Democrats have one main job for the next year—get out the vote!

Gun Violence and Health Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As everyone in America knows by now, this last weekend we had the worst mass killing in modern history (the slaughter of women and children by US soldiers at Wounded Knee was the worst). Was this an act of ‘terrorism’?  We are all a little more terrorized right now. And while we may be in shock, we are not surprised. We are not surprised because we have become all too used to this happening in our country. We are not surprised by the lack of empathy on the part of Republican politicians. And we are not surprised by their lack of response: “now is not the time to talk about guns in this country”—is their only response. Followed by silence and prayer.

There are two things that we know for certain about this weekend’s mass murder: it will happen again, and Republican politicians will do nothing about it. They did nothing after Sandy Hook, when 26 children and their teachers were murdered. They do nothing every day in America when an average of 42 people are gunned down.  They will do nothing now. They are beholden to the gun lobby, in the same way they are beholden to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banks, Big Tobacco, and other corporate donors who line their pockets with blood money.

But here is my question: do these Republican politicians think that those 500 people wounded by a hail of bullets from the sky have a right to health care? This is important. Because they all showed up at the emergency rooms, where they weren’t turned away. Who is going to pay for their health care? The gun lobby? Are these innocent victims going to get stuck with thousands of dollars of medical bills? Or, is now not the time to talk about this either?

Here is my point: innocent victims should have their medical expenses covered—by a national insurance program. These people did not choose to be shot. But, nor do people choose to get cancer. Millions of people suffer from diseases, traffic accidents, and other health care related issues through no fault of their own. Some of them can afford insurance, some of them cannot.

Imagine the callousness of a politician saying to those wounded in the massacre last weekend: “we are sorry that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but here is a bill for tens of thousands of dollars for your medical expenses”.  But this is the same callousness which is implied every day. Take the logic of this massacre of innocent people, and apply it to what is happening every day in America.

Innocent people are dying, or declaring bankruptcy, because they cannot afford health insurance—through no fault of their own.