Saturday, October 30, 2010

The gift that keeps on giving

When Reagan was president, he set in motion ideas that still impact the Republican party and our country. One is that the federal government is bad (other than for fighting wars) and the corollary goes along with it-- taxes are bad.

So today from the right comes the cry of socialism and how income redistribution is bad whenever any programs are suggested that would provide services, do anything about unemployment, keep wages up to living costs, educate kids, protect the air or water (not so much do they worry when the government spies on you, arrests you without a trial or goes to war with no excuse other than it wants to).

But boy do they love to talk about income redistribution. It is thrown into all their conversations and speeches. Taxes are bad. We will lower yours. Government is bad. We still stop it from doing anything (except wars around the world but don't worry we'll block VA benefits when the soldiers get home).

They even talk of privatizing VA hospitals so that it'll cost more to run and provide less care (think electrocutions in Iraq for what kind of care Halliburton corporations will provide our vets); so the profits can go to the private sector and the soldiers, well they can see what it's like to be in a hospital like the VA ones used to be before they were upgraded under Clinton. The right wing doesn't want VA hospitals to stay under the government because they are a success story proving government can do good (likewise, despite rightie claims, for Social Security) .

Cannot.. Absolutely CANNOT have the government looking good at anything; so must end anything that works. Medicare was one too until Bush added a prescription drug benefit which wasn't paid for (that was so Bush and those who follow him. Heaven forbid you'd pay for anything as you go). What the Republicans cannot directly destroy, they will ruin through adding things to it that finally make it look bad.

So the country as a whole, 50% anyway, and that means women more than ever before, are voting GOP because well they are mad. Mad that jobs have been shipped overseas and government doesn't stop it... except the government they are about to vote into power has done something about it-- encouraged more jobs to go overseas. Doing that makes the stock market happy, dontchaknow!

Apparently these ladies, who have switched their allegiance to the Republicans, don't like health care. Well they probably like it but not for those who cannot afford to pay for it. Heck the rates have already gone up thanks to a health care program that won't take full effect until 2014...

Do they think? Seriously, do they think?

I hear it regularly that everybody can get health care right now. Just walk into any ER and be charged a horrendous price but anyone can see a doctor.

Except, ER is not set up to do routine health maintenance. It's there for disasters and there is no way it is a substitute for regular health care where people find out their blood sugar is high before they go into a coma or their kidneys are ruined. Where they get blood pressure medication before the first heart attack. What ER can give chemotherapy? I mean it is an ignorant argument but it suits people who get all their information from slick TV ads, fox news and right wing talk radio.

ER is no substitute for a family doctor but that's just fine with the right wing as they don't really dislike death panels. Insurance companies provide the service all the time. They just like to throw the word around like so many others like clean air, patriot act, no child left behind, etc.

One thing the health care bill did, or would have done if people like Sharron Angle get their way and end it before it starts, was deny insurance companies the right to refuse coverage to a child with a preexisting condition. That went into effect right away. So a child with epilepsy might never be able to purchase insurance their whole lifetime. This is okay with the right and apparently a lot of Americans who have been convinced that Reagan was right-- government can't do anything right and taxes are bad.

I could say more on this but this blog is really about something else being thrown around ad nauseum-- income redistribution.

Oh how evil it sounds, how communist. We should only have to pay for the direct services we ourselves want and of course that mercenary army going around the world fighting... and maybe the big staffs for those Congress people and their lush offices, a few basics like flying them around the world to check on how the Bahamas are doing. Otherwise though government should do nothing and if we want a freeway, we can just damned well pay for a private contractor to build it and then pay tolls. Eisenhower had it all wrong about uniting a nation, that RINO!!!, We don't need to have meat inspected. Forget public schools, let the little hellions run the streets.

Let Americans keep all their money as they can do better than the government with taking care of these things (other than the continuous ongoing wars, of course). When jobs are shipped overseas, well we can come up with new companies for here... at lower wages, of course. $5 a day good with you?

Here's the truth and you can deny it if you will-- all of what we have in this country involves income redistribution. If you like a library, want any public services at all, value freeways you can whiz across the continent on, want your borders protected, airports and airways regulated, enjoy knowing the police and firemen are out there and ready to go-- you have to pay for it. Some of you will pay more than others because you have more.

This is even more true today as the wealth has been concentrated in a very small part of our population. There is one party who wants it to stay that way and even grow as they send the middle class back to the peon class where they belong. There is one party who supports the undermining of the middle. Yeah you go ahead and vote for that bunch maybe with the hope you'll be among the rich someday. *first good laugh I got on this topic*

You vote for someone who claims that loss of jobs is the fault of Obama but then that government should do nothing because government cannot do anything right. That's logical, isn't it?

They say Obama who immediately began the stimulus when he got in office did nothing for jobs. Maybe he trusted the states too much (where the right wants power returned) as 1/3 of the stimulus went directly to them for what were supposed to be shovel ready projects. Some probably actually got there. 1/3 went to tax cuts for the middle with 1/3 for economic projects. I know some of the states still have their 1/3 and don't seem to know how to spend it yet.

Maybe that stimulus could have been better spent but saving the big automakers from bankruptcy saved those jobs at least. And PLEASE don't tell me we now own the automakers we loaned the money to or that we will always control them. That is a right wing lie. When the loan is paid off, we'll be gone and they will still be working. Even Bush's TARP plan appears to be mostly saving financial companies and letting them repay the money to go on without any more overseeing.

Some of the Stimulus went to alternative energy development and the results of that might take awhile to show up but it could make a huge difference in the future.

Tell me-- how much of that would Republicans have done? Anything for jobs except cut taxes on the wealthiest with their trickle down theory? How can anybody vote for Republicans on a jobs excuse when they don't believe government can do anything right? Republicans just want to go off on junkets with their fat cat friends and learn how to better manage our economy from the billionaires who want to gain even more wealth.

I didn't used to have bad feelings toward Reagan. I saw him as a decent enough man. The more his words are being used to create the ignorant mess we have today with a whole class of people convinced taxes are bad, any help for someone else is socialism, and the government cannot do anything, the madder I get at him.

But really it's not him. It's those who took those words and ran with them probably far beyond anything he imagined. Did he really want us to become a nation of wealthy and poor? He came out of the middle class. Didn't he see its importance in this country, what made it different than other places? I don't know but it's what the right is aimed at today and under the banner of Christianity. I wish a few of those religious righties would take a few days to read what Jesus really said and then try to compare it to what is being done in his name. Asking too much? Probably!


Kay Dennison said...

Beautifully said, as always. I can't add a thing!!!!

I'm tired of the poison the GOP is trying to feed us.

wally said...

The Reagan legacy is a myth. The Republicans revere him as a hero of American conservatism but when you look some of the things he did while in office the myth evaporates.
Yes, he cut taxes for the wealthy, but he also raised taxes in other areas. Of course, those were called “revenue enhancement”. The Federal deficit doubled during his terms of office.
Two things puzzle me about him. The first is why he gave a speech at Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1980 announcing his candidacy for the presidency. In his speech he talked a lot about states rights. Philadelphia was where civil rights workers were murdered in 1964. Doesn’t that puzzle you? The second mystery is when, in 1982 he signed the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act which deregulated the savings and loan institutions. Here is what he said, “This bill is the most important legislation for financial institutions in the last 50 years. It provides a long-term solution for troubled thrift institutions. … All in all, I think we hit the jackpot.” Hit the jackpot? The bill turned the troubles of savings-and-loans into an economic catastrophe. When he said we hit the jackpot, I wonder who the “we” were.
Like you, Rain, I wonder why the Evangelicals reject social programs that help the poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised. Jesus commanded his followers to help those less fortunate than themselves. Instead, the modern Christian has totally embraced free market capitalism that in its present unbridled form is based on personal greed and conquest. It doesn’t make sense.

Ingineer66 said...

Apparently it is OK with you to go to war in Pakistan or Kosovo, but not Afghanistan or Iraq. Because when Dems go to war it is just fine.

And one of the most important things that Federal Government is supposed to do with our tax dollars is secure the border, but our current administration is not only neglecting that duty they are suing a State that is trying to perform that task.
So it is ok with you for tax dollars to pay for a crucifix in a jar of urine, but not pay for the duties that are actually spelled out in the constitution.

I find it interesting that you blame Republicans for shipping jobs overseas when it is the Democrats that favor unsustainable wages through unions, draconian environmental regulations that drive companies out of business and high business taxes and fees that drive companies to cheaper places.

You are correct the ER is no substitute for primary care. But our system of giving free ER care to the poor is driving this problem. If they had to pay something, even if it was just $5.00 for an ER visit maybe the frequent fliers would not go there 50 to 100 times a year.

And actually the Obamacare bill caused many companies to drop children from coverage, one of those hidden little gems from the “just pass it and we will find out what is in it” crowd.

I do not know why you are so against privatizing part of Social Security for younger Americans. Even if they just put it in a Passbook savings account the return on their investment would be more than what they will get from the current system. There is no trust fund. It has been spent on other stuff. The politicians cannot help themselves, they see a pot of money and they want to spend it or at least get control of it.

And Bush cut taxes for ALL Americans that pay taxes. That is why the lowest income tax payers are now facing a 50% increase which is the largest tax increase in the history of the country.

People are voting Republican because they want government to get out of the way. Not because they think they will do a better job at creating jobs. You have the same mindset as Joe Biden and Obama, that only the government can do anything. That is not what made this country great. The entrepreneurial spirit and freedom made this country great. When the Wright Brothers or Henry Ford or Steve Jobs wanted to get going they did not go ask the government how to do it or even for help in doing it. They went out on their own and got it done.

Rain said...

We aren't at war with Pakistan but if we do, it'll be because they have nukes and al Qaeda controls too much of their territory. Did you want to have bin Laden stay somewhere with no problem? Did you seriously think they were through trying to attack us? As for Kosovo. A lot of Democrats didn't like it but it was one war that we didn't lose anybody in and was done because of ethnic cleansing. Is that okay with you?

What is your solution to the poor getting medical care? Let them do without? Seriously you think the ER is full of people with sore throats? Seriously you believe that? Have you been in one recently? When I have had to, I have only seen people with serious health emergencies. The issue is the working poor btw not the truly poor who get Medicaid.

So you don't like minimum wage? How about your own wage being negotiated based on staying above minimum wage? You really think if they ended minimum wage that your wage wouldn't go down unless your union could protect you?

You know the high cost of schools is a lot pensions of retired teachers, right? Which is true of a lot of government services. That's Obama's fault too?

Actually we have a lot of people down on the border working to protect it. You are acting as though Obama reduced their numbers instead of increased them. The border problem is a lot more than his problem or something you can blame him for but if you listen to enough right wing talk, you'd think it all was him and in two years. What a miracle worker he has been to do so much damage in two years.

The art part of the federal government is very tiny. I am not a big fan of it but the jar in urine was a statement about religion not about Christ and it was a photographer who is still regarded as one of the best. It was well before Obama's time.

That is hilarious about the high wages here being the reason our jobs have gone overseas and the fault of Democrats. Perhaps so. You ready to take a cut. My husband didn't get a salary based on a union. My guess is you do. So us as Democrats never gained a dime from that thinking; and you, who dislike Democrats so much has probably gotten a pretty good salary out of union cooperation.

I listened to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck a bit today while in town and heard the kind of twisted reasoning that blames Obama for everything and is relishing what will come next-- a Republican party owing it all to the multimillionaires and billionaires who have already increased what they have by 300% while everybody else went down. And you think those guys, who got so much to run these campaigns are going to really do something for you? You really do believe in Santa Claus. Anything they cut will hurt the middle class and any spending will benefit their buddies.

Rain said...

Ingineer, I know you to be a smart man but you just repeated the drivel about privatizing SS. First of all it wouldn't gain you a dime to be able to invest in the stock market instead of getting a check from the government. The stock market has been up and down so much and the only way the people who might go into it now could be secured anything would be if the government guaranteed it which is back to where we are. This is about money for Wall Street. Really you never figured out how much they take as a percentage when they invest your money money that now you don't pay them that money? This is about them, not about you. It's all about them.

When this election is over, I am not writing in this blog for a long time. I'll keep it and someday, when the next election gears up maybe I will again but I am SO tired of arguing these same points over and over again to no avail.

I will say one thing. You are one nice guy and one of the rare few who can argue the issues not insulting somebody else. But you are wrong about this. You are wrong about who is on your side and if you watch Boehner do all he can to ruin Obama while ruining the rest of us, you will see it. IF you pay attention. Those guys have one goal and it's not about you.

Ingineer66 said...

We are not at war with Afghanistan right now either. But that doesn't stop the left from whining about it. I did not say what we did in Kosovo was a bad thing. I was saying that it is fine with the left and the media in this country to bomb people if we have a Democrat President but if a Republican President does the same thing all you guys scream "War Monger" at the top of your lungs. We have troops on the ground and are bombing people daily in Pakistan and it has been escalated under Obama.

Where do you go to the ER? I have several friends and family that work in the medical system from Paramedics to unit secretaries to nurses and doctors. Our local ER is typical around the country and it is stuffed full of people with colds and bug bites and drug seekers. That is why many ERs have set up clinics on the premises or across the street to help take some of the overload of non-emergencies from the ER. And most of those people are there at government expense.

I know that we have a lot of people working to try to secure the border but they are not stopping even close to all the people crossing. They cannot even stop all of the people they see crossing on their high tech cameras and surveillance.
Obama is the leader of the Federal Government and the Federal Government is suing Arizona. As much as you want to spin it, that is a fact.

I do not have a problem with calling urine art. If somebody wants to display that then go rent a gallery and knock yourself out. But tax dollars should not be paying for it.

My wage has nothing to do with minimum wage. My wage is somewhat based on what other engineers get paid. It is mildly affected by immigrants coming in and working for less money or by outsourcing the work to other countries. And I have had a 17% pay cut for the last 18 months. No union protection for that.

Ingineer66 said...

Thank you for the compliments Rain. I know sometimes I just argue for arguments sake. I am getting tired of politics for a while as well. I know that you are a good person and a real American. We just see some things differently. But we also see many things the same. That is what makes this a great country.

For Social Security, I know Wall Street would make money, but if I am making money while they are making money that is not a bad thing. And there are more than just stocks there are also Bonds and Treasuries and savings as well that would be part of the portfolio. I would rather have some control of my SS investment than trusting Congress to do the right thing.

Rain said...

The left doesn't like war period whether it's a republican or a democratic president. Look at how many democrats are down on Obama and then tell me they don't care.

We will have to agree to disagree on the rest of this. I've stated my view many times. Now you have stated yours. The country is divided on a lot of this as we are. The main thing for you though is Obama didn't start this stuff and your tea party people won't end it. Wait til you see what they do until you crow. You may find the next two years as frustrating as I will!