Posts Tagged ‘affordable care act

09
Jan
17

Another Era of “Undoing” is Upon Us

Generally speaking, the American two party system has boiled down to this:

One party (the Democrats) tries to do things. The other party (the Republicans) tries to undo things (I’m not advocating any one policy position here. This is just an observation.)

Other than building a border wall, and cutting taxes for the rich, the entire Republican agenda is about undoing things…

– Undo the Affordable Care Act
– Undo Wall Street regulations
– Undo Planned Parenthood
– Undo ethics oversight
– Undo climate and environmental regulations
– Undo the Consumer Protection Agency
– Undo social security
– Undo Medicare and Medicaid
– Undo marriage equality
– Undo the minimum wage
– Undo energy reforms
– Undo gun control
– Undo Roe vs Wade

Let’s take the ACA as an example. It has been around for six years. That should be long enough for the GOP to have a put together a well constructed plan for what they would do to replace it. Instead, all they know for sure is that they want to repeal (undo) it. They have some abstract ideas of what to put in its place, but one would think that after six years, they would have a refined and comprehensive plan. It is clear that while they’ve become quite proficient at stopping legislation, they are quite rusty at creating it.

Image: BESTPIX - Paul Ryan Holds "Enrollment Ceremony" For Bill To Repeal Affordable Care ActThe Republicans made it their mantra to obstruct and block President Obama’s agenda (even when compromise and agreement were attainable) for the entire tenure of his presidency. Democrats plan to use the same playbook against Donald Trump, but while the strategies may be similar, there is a profound difference in terms of their respective goals. When the GOP obstructs the Democrats, they do so to keep them from doing things. When the Democrats obstruct the Republicans, they do so to keep them from undoing things the Democrats have already done. One is done to prevent, the other is done to protect.

Returning things to the way they once were – seems to be a quite common and unsatisfactory Republican answer. The world is a dynamic place. What may have been a sensible policy 40 years ago, may not be now. This concept seems difficult for the Republicans to grasp. Over the past several decades, the GOP has lost their share of intellectual capital to the left – perhaps because people with ideas are more likely to commiserate with people who are open to the prospect of ACTUALLY implementing them.

As we begin 2017, the Republican Party has the eraser end of the pencil with big plans to wear it down to a nub. For the sake of the country, let’s hope they sharpen the other end and remember how to use it.

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09
Oct
13

Thoughts on the Government Shut Down

First and foremost… This is NOT one of those cases where we should be assigning blame to both parties equally.  The issue of the Affordable Care Act was settled four years ago when it was thoroughly debated and passed into law.  The president who supported it, was then convincingly re-elected.  No where in the Constitution does it say it is prudent for one party to shut down the government and use it as bargaining chip to repeal a law they don’t like.  If you don’t like a law, you repeal it through legislation…. Oh that’s right, you can’t because you don’t have adequate support to do so.  Funny how that works! The President SHOULD NOT negotiate with the Republican Party on this!  Doing so would validate this reckless and irresponsible tactic as legitimate.  The United States does not negotiate with terrorists, nor should it do so with people willing to risk our country’s well-being and good standing with our neighbors because they don’t like health care. Those who place political affiliation over country, are not patriots.

suicide elephantThe Republican Party is fond of drawing analogies between the budget and economy of the United States and household finance.  These analogies do not follow because the American family does not collect taxes or print its own money.  The analogy is a red herring that ignores the realities of macro-economics and geo-politics.  However, just for fun, let’s use the GOP’s favorite comparison to demonstrate how asinine their entire shutdown tactic is.

Let’s say that we are a fine upstanding family in the community.  We are trusted by our neighbors and are seen as the perfect modern household.  Our credit rating is over 800.  Banks and lenders will give us whatever we need because we always pay them back.  In fact, they are willing to lend us money at such low-interest rates they are practically paying us to take it.  All because we are the safest bet in the neighborhood.  Sure we have plenty of debt, but we use it as leverage for growth and have an abundance of assets.

But then, times get a little tougher.  The twins are going off to college at the same time and Becky needs braces.  The mother has a splendid idea!  Let’s have a family discussion to determine how we handle the finances!  But instead of keeping it private, let’s open up the doors and windows and let all of the neighbors watch!  We will invite our creditors, the mortgage lenders, everyone!  Then we will openly discuss which bills we will pay on time and which ones we will stiff.  We will openly admit that we don’t have Becky’s allowance at the moment and in mid discussion, Dad will get drunk and give one of the boys a black eye, Mom will pull out a bag of cocaine and snort it in front of everyone, and Uncle Jerry will fondle Becky on the couch.

This is what we are doing as a country right now.  We are broadcasting to the world that we are a mess and should not be trusted.

2-US-Government-Shutdown-Closes-Parks-1

As if the Republican Party’s hypocrisy knew any bounds, they overwhelmingly passed a bill in the House a few days ago that would guarantee all furloughed Federal employees receive the back pay from the time they were out of work during the shut down (once the government has re-opened.)  Pretty nice of them huh?  Until you consider that this is the party obsessed with the size of government and what they see as reckless spending, yet they are willing to shut down the government, send thousands of workers home and then STILL pay them what they would have been paid had the government been open and they had been working.  The party of “fiscal responsibility,” is willing to pay thousands of people to sit at home and get NO PRODUCTIVITY in return for the money, just so they can have a temper tantrum.  What a crock of shit! Let them stew in it.




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