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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
Imagine that a man, his wife, and his children are dissatisfied with their house. It was built in a hurry, to the previous owner’s specifications, and there are things they would like to change.
So they begin to discuss ways in which they can tear down their existing house and build an entirely new house. But no one can agree on what the new house should be.
The husband wants fewer rooms; his wife wants more. The kids want a bathtub and basement playroom. The husband wants an office and a theater in a two-story Tudor. His wife wants a small kitchen in a ranch. Some want modern; some want traditional. They can’t even agree on colors, or on cost, or on landscaping. Nothing.
They argue for months and years, and after more than 7 years of debate, they still can’t agree on anything about the new house.
Finally, the husband makes a decision. He will burn down their current house, and decide at some future time, to build a new house, specifications unknown.
Meanwhile, his wife and kids will live in the street, cold and wet, until everyone can do what they have failed to do for 7 years: Decide on the blueprints for the new house.
The husband will live in a luxury apartment at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump and his other rich friends.
You have just read the GOP’s latest healthcare plan for the poor and middle classes.
GOP’s Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network
Los Angeles Times, By Lisa Mascaro, Reporter
The influential Koch network, backed by the billionaire industrialists, floated the idea most recently at a retreat last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Among those attending the gathering at the luxurious Broadmoor Hotel was Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been working with the White House behind the scenes on the idea.
“This two-step plan to keep our two promises — both repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a system that provides affordable and portable health insurance — seems like a no-brainer to this gym rat,” Sasse wrote in a letter to the president he made public Friday.
Trump echoed the idea in a tweet arriving just moments after Sasse discussed the idea Friday morning on the “Fox & Friends” morning news show.
“If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Trump tweeted.
See all those rich Republicans, sitting smug and satisfied with their own platinum health care plans, and deciding that because they can’t agree on a new plan for you poor and middle classes, they will eliminate your existing plan, and perhaps come up with some sort of new plan, sometime in the future.
The logic is undeniable: If they couldn’t come up with a plan after 7 years of debate, simply destroy what you have and maybe, just maybe, they might be able to come up with a good plan, later.
Meanwhile, you poor and middle classes may or may not have healthcare coverage, but does it really matter? Not to the Party of the Rich. After all, the rich are the “makers” and the rest of you are the “takers,” and you deserve whatever fate the rich decides for you.
The turn of events alarmed many in Washington because it was a reversal of Trump’s early view to do the Obamacare overhaul all at once.
Trump reversing his view is normal. The man’s views always are wobbly, because his knowledge of anything always is vague.
So, he easily is swayed by the most recent person to tell him how incredible he is.
Senate Republicans expressed interest, desperate to find a Plan B that doesn’t preserve Obamacare’s taxes on the rich or cater to centrist senators trying to fend off deep Medicaid cuts.
They also want to avoid turning to Democrats for help.
There you have the real GOP motivations:
- Cut taxes on the rich
- Cut benefits for the poor and middle
- Eliminate anything that has the name “Obama” attached to it.
- Avoid giving the Democrats credit for anything.
Senators left town for the long Fourth of July recess without agreement on the legislation drafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which falls short of a full Obamacare repeal.
Instead, the bill ends Obamacare’s taxes and mandates — giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans — while leaving 23 million more Americans uninsured, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
McConnell was working the phones Friday from his home state of Kentucky as he struggles to secure 50 votes for passage, rewriting the bill to address concerns of conservatives who want a more robust repeal, and centrists worried that constituents will lose their healthcare coverage.
The irony is that McConnell’s constituents, the people of Kentucky, will lose massive amounts of money and health care if the current GOP plans become law.
But McConnell doesn’t care. Kentuckians would vote for him even if he were caught committing a mass murder of children (which, by the way, is exactly what the Republicans’ BCRA would do).
It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
Whether the Trump-Sasse idea, which has also been backed by another key conservative, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, gains traction remains to be seen.
Another Kentucky Senator who cares nothing for the people of Kentucky, but who is solid to be re-elected.
But as Republicans seek a resolution to the Senate standoff, the proposal may have appeal. It would allow senators to make good on their repeal promise, while punting until later the tough job of coming up with a replacement.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said, “What we would do is have the repeal go into effect at some date in the future, and give us the time in the meantime to develop the alternative.”
Apparently, 7 years has not been enough time for the GOP, but somehow, the problem will be solved “at some date in the future.”
It’s possible — perhaps even likely — that Congress would never agree on a replacement. That risks abandoning 22 million Americans who have received health coverage thanks to Obamacare, including many who voted for Trump.
If you go to any right-wing blog, you will see comments from Trump voters, showing that despite all the facts, they will continue to back Trump and vote Republican, as they lose their health care, their health, and their children’s health.
But no matter. That is the cult effect Trump has created.
It could also create even more disruption in the individual insurance market and lead to a return of high-priced polices as well as discrimination against people with preexisting health problems.
Trump already has created disruption in the insurance markets. Insurance rates rely on probability statistics, but Trump’s erratic meanderings have forced insurance companies to impose “worst-case” (i.e. higher) premiums.
McConnell warned senators he would have no choice but to reach out to Democrats for a bipartisan deal that would likely “include none of the reforms we would like to make.”
Oh, horrors! Reach out to Democrats to construct a bipartisan plan, an approach the Democrats have been pushing for years?
My heavens, that might create a plan that would cover even more of the poor and middle! Unthinkable.
Getting the health care issue off the agenda would also free up time for the other main Republican priority — tax reform — which has stalled amid the Senate’s logjam, and is also a Koch network priority.
Tax “reform,” always means tax the 99% more and the 1% less. So the GOP is torn: Cut health care for the 99% or cut taxes for the 1%.
Which is more important to the right wing?
Nathan Nascimento, a vice president at the Koch-backed Freedom Partners chamber of commerce, said: “The best way to provide relief to Americans suffering under Obamacare has always been to fully repeal Obamacare and work together to fix our broken health care system.”
Translation: The best way to provide relief to Americans who receive otherwise unaffordable health care is to eliminate their health care now, and maybe come up with something later.
Freedom Partners encouraged Congress to use the little-known Congressional Review Act to roll back more than a dozen Obama-era regulations – even helping to compile the list — which Republicans now count as one of the chief achievements of this Congress.
The GOP counts as an “achievement” anything that is anti-Obama, no matter what effect it has on the populace.
Trump had once panned the two-step approach, disagreeing with McConnell and other congressional leaders who early on also preferred the repeal now-replace later strategy.
When Sasse floated it anew, the administration signaled its support.
Since Trump repeatedly has shown he does not know what is in Obamacare, the only conclusion one can draw is that Trump recently spoke with someone who told him he is great and incredible, and should support the “destroy and maybe rebuild” plan.
Trump said the House of Representatives plan was “mean.” The Senate plan was at least as mean, perhaps meaner. The latest Kock plan combines meanness with stupidity.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
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 can afford better health care than can 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 A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) 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 EVERYONE Five 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 benefitting 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 FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce 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 business taxes would be a 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.