Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The GOP and Their Walk With Jesus

Oh, yes, the radical republicans have chosen to walk with Jesus, helping the sick, the lame, elderly, children, the poor, the stranger, and the hungry. They are the party of peace, behaving without anger or violence. They...Oh, who am I kidding. The GOP is the party of greed, lies, hypocrisy, religious and behavioral intolerance, and injustice. They are the nanny state party, regulating our bedrooms, our bodies, and our individual freedoms. We are jailed for indebtedness, with judges issuing criminal contempt of court sentences for our inability to satisfy payment of court costs and jail costs and collection agency demands. We are subject to theft of cash and property seized for "evidence" which is rarely returned even if charges are dropped or no charges are filed. We are arrested, jailed, and incarcerated because a "specially trained" police officer determined we were intoxicated even without any physical evidence. We are denied the ability and the right to institute or join class action lawsuits because of forced inequitable arbitration clauses. We are denied bail because we cannot afford it, or we are forced to pay a non-refundable 10% of that bail amount. Pre-trial incarceration is then given to us, housing consisting of jail or tent cities with convicted offenders and with little concern for medical needs.

The GOP is the party of freedom. Freedom to go without health care, the freedom for medical bankruptcies, freedom from dental, vision and hearing care, the freedom to die. Whenever I hear freedom and flexibility by radical conservatives, I hear the subtext of freedom from accountability, oversight, safety standards, wage minimums, competency, integrity, and legality. The freedom to do without, as in freedom for us to be without living wages, without health care, without discrimination, without a safe retirement income, without clean air and clean water, without justice and legal rights and legal protections, without protection from disenfranchisement and gerrymandering, without the freedom to join a union or to unionize, without freedom from religious intolerance and religion based discrimination.

The freedom to not be labeled lazy or undeserving or unworthy or morally corrupt just because of low income or wealth. If people are not paid well enough to go without government assistance, it is called corporate welfare. Ever hear of the concept of the wealthy paying their fair share? Ever hear of Social Responsibility? Not everyone wants to be or can be a CEO or manager or owner of a business. Some people just want fair wages.

Republicans are the party of laws written by corporations and industries for their own benefit, on both the state and federal level. The GOP is the party of free trade rather than fair trade. They worship profit, striving for returns of at least 15% annually while giving people who do the actual work little or no increase in wages or benefits. They worship health care for profit, cutting benefits, raising premiums and deductibles, saddling US companies with health insurance costs while foreign companies benefit from government universal health care. They cut in half taxes on companies and the wealthy, then insist on cutting any social programs because of revenue shortfalls, debt and deficits. They lie, cheat, steal, administer draconian and unfair justice. They allow killings with impunity with Stand Your Ground laws, impunity for "peace" officers' slaughter of people of color, and with a refusal to enact common sense restrictions on weapons used in massacres.

The radical conservatives have cut in half taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and are targeting social programs because of reduced revenues. The GOP perpetrates lies about Social Security, claiming that it is the biggest federal expense, that it is in the red, and that they must raise retirement ages and cut benefits to save our retirement. No mention is made of raising the cap on payroll taxes (currently $128,400, income over that is not subject to these taxes) so that the wealthy would pay more than a minuscule percentage of their income. Their is no talk about making simple adjustments to the payroll taxes. No mention is made that Social Security is not part of the federal budget, is separate by law with its own revenue stream, is fully funded until 2034 (after which it is 80% funded) and has a $2.8 billion Trust Fund consisting of U.S. Treasury Bonds. (The bonds are those pesky paper IOUs which give rise to arguments that Congress stole our retirement - did they also steal from the Chinese? Bonds earn interest and are how our government funds the $20-plus trillion National Debt; they are not instruments of theft.) Social Security benefit cuts or raises in retirement ages do not change the federal budget or the National Debt by one penny.

These radical conservatives have a funny idea of what Jesus stood for.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Those wonderful pre-ACA days

Wasn't it wonderful in the pre-ACA days when you were healthy? You could get plans with big deductibles, co-pays, coverage limits, yearly and lifetime caps, along with routine coverage denials for people with those plans, and applications denied for not-so-healthy people. Pre-existing condition? Sorry. Don't work for a company with more than 20 employees? Sorry. Oh, that treatment is "experimental" so we don't cover it. Sorry. Oh, you didn't tell us you had acne as a teenager long before the history period we asked for on your application. That is a preexisting condition you didn't tell us about and we are canceling your policy. Sorry.

The number one cause of bankruptcy was medical bills. Too many people got sick and found out their coverage was basically only a coupon. Remember how many raffles and fish-fries and other fund-raisers and collection jars there were for someone who got sick? What you had was insurance for healthy people and companies that routinely denied insurance claims when things got pricey. Sure, the ACA sucks, but at least a lot of people finally got coverage.

So until we can finally get universal single-payer coverage that Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom have had since at least 1995, we are stuck with a Republican plan (RomneyCare) that is for-profit. We're sorry your premiums went up when insurers had to cover sick people. Complain to other healthy people, because the rest of us don't buy it.

America - Land of Peons

Welcome to America. Land of the Wild West, unaffordable healthcare, unequal justice, bigotry, discrimination, high-cost secondary education, for-profit primary education. Land of laws written by corporations and the wealthy, a country where the main job of politicians is chasing mega-rich donors and corporate dollars. Welcome to unabashed greed, hypocrisy, corruption, religious intolerance and crumbling separation of church and state, attacks on retirements and constant lies about its cost, and asinine juvenile dangerous foreign diplomacy. Add in a narcissistic, delusional idiot president with cynical enablers.

Chanting that America is Number One does not make it so.

America - Land of Peons (pronounced PEE-ons).