As English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in 1651, life without government is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Don’t let the Republicans control the narrative that government “is bad” or “is the problem.” The argument is bogus.
My father used to say that “civilization is the last bubble in a long fermentation.” He was a City Manager and believed that a city was the loftiest expression of society. He grew up when FDR was President and believed that public service was the highest calling of a citizen.
How far the image of the government has fallen since my father died. Years of propaganda from right-wing libertarians have made “government” a bad word. Disinformation from the billionaire Koch Brothers has brought attacks on “government schools” and “big government.”
The next time you meet someone who thinks the government is a bad thing, talk to them about this list of 10 reasons that government is a good thing. The government carries out the rules of our society and takes action for the public in efforts that people cannot do as well individually. Government activities that everybody likes are law enforcement, roads, the courts and trash pickup.
But there’s so much more that we get from the government:
Environmental safety that guarantees us clear air and water. Without this, we’d have choking air pollution like in Shanghai and Delhi, India, and poisonous rivers like the Ganges in India and the Yellow River in China. When government is working properly it promotes a clean power plan, works to combat climate change, establishes flood building standards, prohibits coal dumping in streams, and participates in world climate agreements. 2017 was the hottest year on record in Tucson, and only government can prevent it from getting worse. Continue reading
Posted in Congress, Economics, Education, environment, Healthcare, Larry Bodine, President
Tagged clean energy, environmental safety, fentanyl, free public education, healthy citizens, national parks, net neutrality, Obamacare, opiods, oxycontin, pure food and drugs, solar energy
Don’t shed a tear for Senator John McCain. As he spends his dying days enjoying the best health care the government can buy, he is in favor of gutting health insurance for 11.8 million Americans who get health insurance via the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer on July 19, 2017. For him, healthcare is free.
McCain became a quasi-hero last year when he voted against the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, but don’t be fooled. He votes with Trump 83% of the time and he’s solidly in the “repeal and replace” camp.
The GOP Congress has worked to sabotage the health care law by killing the individual mandate to have insurance, cutting the sign-up period in half, slashing the ad budget and stopping billions in subsidies to insurers.
Despite that, 43,499 people in Arizona enrolled in coverage for 2018 on Healthcare.gov. McCain, who is dying of brain cancer, gets free healthcare as a US Senator and Navy veteran — but he would take away the guarantees and protections that the health care law provides for everyone else.
McCain’s appalling reply
Recently I wrote McCain, calling on him to support the Affordable Care Act. His letter back was appalling:
Since the enactment of Obamacare more than seven years ago, American’s across the country continue to see the consequences of this disastrous law. In Arizona alone, the cost of midlevel health insurance plans on Obamacare’s marketplace increased by 116 percent on average last year. Worse still, before Obamacare, Arizona had 24 insurance companies selling plans on the individual market. Today, there are just two companies and 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties have just one insurer. That is not what President Obama promised when this bill was signed into law, and why the status quo is simply unacceptable.
Now that Tea-Publicans have accomplished their one goal of passing their “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill, this year their attention will turn to punishing the poor for being poor, those damn “takers”!
The GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” wants to fulfill his life-long dream of dismantling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the so-called “entitlement” programs, more accurately the “social contract” programs for which people paid taxes into during their working years on the premise that it will be there for them in their retirement years.
But with the Senate down to a bare 51-49 GOP majority, the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Mitch McConnell, says Entitlement reform is not on 2018 Senate agenda despite what House Speaker Paul Ryan and senior Trump administration officials say. It’s Ryan vs. McConnell on entitlement reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s dream of dismantling the nation’s entitlement programs in 2018 has run into a harsh reality: His own party isn’t on board.
Nevertheless, Tea-Publicans are going to chip away at the social contract programs this year. In a break from longstanding legal precedent, last week the Trump Administration Says States May Impose Work Requirements for Medicaid:
The Trump administration said on Thursday that it would allow states to impose work requirements in Medicaid, a major policy shift that moves toward fulfilling a conservative vision for one of the nation’s largest social insurance programs for low-income people.
Federal officials said they would support state efforts to require able-bodied adults to work or participate in other “community engagement activities” as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.
Posted in Arizona State Legislature, AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Economics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Media, Party Politics, Poverty, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged health insurance, Medicaid, Obamacare
In the end, there was not a single Tea-Publican in the Senate to display courage and conviction of principles to vote against this abomination of a GOP tax bill finaced by $1.5 trillion in debt that future generations will pay. They all failed their “Profiles in Courage” moment.
The GOP’s plutocrat campaign donors and corporate masters demanded a tax cut they did not need and these lickspittle servants of the oligarchy kissed their feet and said “yes master, your wish is my command.”
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning when decent people were asleep, the Republican Tax Bill Passed the Senate in a 51-48 Vote:
Republicans took a critical step toward notching their first significant legislative victory since assuming full political control, as the House and Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday and into early Wednesday to pass the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades.
The $1.5 trillion tax bill, which is expected to head to President Trump’s desk in the coming days, will have broad effects on the economy, making deep and lasting cuts to corporate taxes as well as temporarily lowering individual taxes.
Posted in Activism, Arizona Congressional Delegation, AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Corruption, Economics, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Legislation, Party Politics, Polling, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged health insurance, Obamacare