In a previous post titled, “Talking to a Wall; Trying to tell Americans how the rich ruin their lives,” we included this comment from reader Wingrad:
“The decision by Texas to reject expansion of Medicaid, the government health-coverage program for the poor, will prevent the state from receiving an estimated $100 billion in federal cash over a decade, at the same time its hospitals are eating $5.5 billion in annual costs for treating uninsured people.”
Now $100 billion is real money, even in the land of oil and cows, but the Texas politicians, owned by the rich, are determined to prevent the poor from receiving health care, no matter the cost to the citizens of Texas.
If despising the poor for being poor is a favorite sport of the rich, those Texas billionaires sure are having fun.
Texas’ Changing Relationship To Obamacare
November 2, 2015
Many Texans still oppose the law, even though the state is home to the most uninsured people in the country.
Texas Republicans still consider the Affordable Care Act to be political kryptonite. Sen. Ted Cruz continues to criticize it. Attorney General Ken Paxton just filed another lawsuit attacking part of it. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he won’t consider the Medicaid expansion, because he considers Medicaid a dysfunctional entitlement program that should not be allowed to expand.
The CEO of the taxpayer-supported Harris Health System, George Masi, says he needs the revenue that Medicaid expansion would bring. He’s had to lay off more than 100 employees and cut back on charity care.
“What is even more profound is that money is going to other states that expanded Medicaid, like New York, California, Connecticut,” Masi says. “And so the taxpayer of Texas is being penalized, if you will, for not taking advantage of that option.”
Ken Janda, who runs Community Health Choice, a not-for-profit insurance company in Houston, says the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association are both being more vocal on the issue, as is the Texas Association of Business.
The federal Medicaid funds would help the state budget and inject revenue into the medical sector of the economy.
“Doctors’ offices are able to hire more people,” Janda says. “Pharmacies are able to hire more people. That becomes an economic multiplier.”
County budgets would benefit as well, because they support safety-net clinics and public hospitals such as Ben Taub, part of the Harris Health system.
“If Texas expanded Medicaid, we would be able to look at reducing local property taxes across the board in all counties, or use those dollars for something besides health care,” says Janda.
But, why be satisfied with a little, expensive fun-time bigotry, when you can buy lots more?
>Texas Lt. Gov. Would Forfeit Billions Over Anti-Trans Discrimination. Here’s What That Means For Schools.
The Lone Star State’s second in command would rather eliminate federal funds for poor students than comply with Title IX regulations.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Friday his state would give up all federal education funding in order to avoid complying with the gender equity law Title IX in how trans students are treated.
The result of forfeiting the $10 billion currently flowing from the U.S. government to schools and public universities in Texas could leave thousands of college students without a way to pay tuition, grind to a halt a majority of research taking place on the campuses, and leave low-income children without support for meals.
“[President Barack Obama] says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Patrick said Friday at a press conference. “Well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”
“We will not sell out our children to the federal government,” Patrick said.
Uh, I hate to mention it, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, but it’s not 30 pieces of silver; it’s $10 billion. And, refusing billions of dollars for your schools IS selling out your children.
Why would he do that? Hmmm . . . Maybe this is why:
Texas K-12 schools receive $5 billion a year in federal funding, a third going toward providing meals for impoverished students, and a fifth of it for supporting students with disabilities.
The right wing certainly doesn’t want to provide meals to the poor. Absolutely not. Advancing that principle is worth any sacrifice.
Half of all research done within the UT system comes from the federal government, as do half of all scholarships and financial aid for students who need help paying for college. State funds in both cases only account for about one-quarter of the revenue.
Public higher education in Texas has increasingly become reliant on federal revenue as the state has trimmed appropriations, according to the Texas comptroller office. Experts widely believe most public colleges could not survive without federal funding.
One wonders why this wealthy state, that can afford to walk away from billions of dollars, has had to trim appropriations for its schools.
Anyway, the federal government cannot bully the right-wing Texas (or North Carolina) governments into showing compassion for the poor and other minorities.
They would rather see their schools close and their children go uneducated.
Yes, hatred and bigotry may expensive, but Texan politicians have their principles.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.)
Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..