29 November 2017

Democrats as enablers of the tax revision debacle

From an op-ed piece in Salon:
So why are the Democrats not making more noise about a giant reverse-Robinhood scheme, that at least on the Senate side, also includes moves to gut Obamacare by ending the tax penalty for not carrying health insurance. If passed, that provision would allow millions to drop their coverage, which in turn, would raise premiums for everyone else. Remember how last summer Dems rose in the House and Senate to remind Republicans that tens of thousands of voters in their districts would lose their healthcare?
The answer — and it’s a theory, but one honed from covering national politics — is too many Democrats across Congress are still beholden to wealthier constituents, whether individuals who contribute to their campaigns, corporate employers who threaten to leave if they don’t get more corporate welfare, or people in their social circles who get invitations to Kennedy Center galas...

This time around, much more clearly than before, the goal seems to be to favor wealth, especially inherited wealth, over work. And buried in the legislation are multiple measures that would make it much harder for the children of the middle and working classes to work their way up,” Krugman said, citing examples...

Why aren’t Democratic leaders raising more hell about the worst GOP tax plan ever? Why aren’t they doing more to stop a juggernaut from getting closer to passing, one that panders to those who don’t need more money at the expense of future generations? Why are so many Democrats acting like the majority of Republicans?


  1. Maybe the Dems and the Repubs are not so far apart as we thought... Repubs are heavily dependent upon wealthy contributors. Except for Sanders and Kaine, so are the Dems. I don't know where to turn for representation. One seems as bad as the other.

  2. Yup, two sides of the same coin- that's exactly why we need to desperately reform campaign funding laws, and exactly why it won't happen...

  3. Follow the money. Where does it all end up? The Media. Now ask yourself 'who runs barter town"'

  4. "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H.L. Mencken, 1920

  5. I had forgotten Mencken's quote. How prescient!

  6. "If passed, that provision would allow millions to drop their coverage, which in turn, would raise premiums for everyone else." That wouldn't sound quite as harsh if it were rephrased as, "If passed, that provision would allow the young to opt not to transfer wealth to the old, a cohort already vastly more wealthy than they are."

    We really should have a single payer system in which the government could negotiate rates with drug companies and healthcare providers - like every other first world country. Of course, we'd need to be able to lock up doctors and nurses if they wanted to strike for higher wages.

  7. I'm all for a single-payer system -- just put us all on Medicare. I'm on Medicare now and I think it would solve the problems. They do need to change Medicare so that they could negotiate with Pharma and Medical Device manufacturers (as the VA can) to get better pricing. Why is America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, unwilling or unable to provide healthcare and dental care and prescription medication to its citizens? We need to call our legislators and complain. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121. It only takes a minute to identify yourself as a constituent and to state what you want to vote for or against.

  8. Millions should be able to drop forced coverage. Why buy into a system you don't use or don't want to use? I don't recall millions of Americans dying in the 80's, 90's, 2000's and 2010's before we were forced to buy coverage or else pay a penalty. It's about choice. I choose to be healthy. You choose to drink a bottle of whiskey a day, smoke two packs of cigarettes and day, and gorge on twinkies and ribs. Why should I pay for your health care? Answer: I shouldn't. Repeal the individual mandate.

    1. David, would you apply the same logic to the current forced coverage of automobile insurance? Why or why not?

      Second question - you "choose to be healthy." Does that mean you have chosen not to have any health insurance? I doubt that. And accidents happen to healthy people. If someone T-bones your vehicle at an intersection and you wind up with fixable but expensive injuries, other policyholders on your plan will wind up bailing you out. Tell me you have chosen not to have health insurance.


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