Tag Archives: Reagan

The Poor and Needy Neighbor

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”

 —Deuteronomy 15


UPDATE:

The CBO had not yet scored the AHCA at the time of this post’s writing. Now they have, and you can check out the full text here.

The most damning, immediate paragraph:

CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under the legislation than under current law. Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.

That’s 14 million more people uninsured than right now, and the number would kick up into the mid-20-millions by 2020 when the Medicaid expansion runs out.

Of course, the administration’s not sure whether it trusts the CBO:

 


There are a couple of things I want to look at in depth this week, and I’ll be breaking them out into separate posts to keep this from stretching to a full 6,000.

First up is:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA)

So, TrumpCare. Or maybe RyanCare. Or, as more than a few have pointed out, even better, Don’tCare or NoCare. The GOP finally made public the bill to repeal and replace the ACA that they’d been hiding from both other Congresspeople and the public since two weeks ago.

First things first. If you want to know how any new plan after ObamaCare is going to affect you and America at large, you’ve got to understand what ObamaCare is. That’s a tall order, but luckily there are a plethora of resources dedicated to helping you out. And Michael Goodwin’s very long comic from 2014 at economixcomix.com is probably the easiest and most straightforward to read. No joke (and his analysis of the new Trump/Ryan bill before the markup last week beats what I’ve written here on the details, if you’ve got the time).

The new bill, the AHCA, debuted to excoriating reviews from pretty much all sides. The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, and much more important for Republicans, the American Association of Retired People, or AARP, came out against NoCare.

Why? Well, it wrecks some of the best (and depending on your perspective, only good) parts of ObamaCare.

In order to widen the risk pool and lower the cost of insurance generally, ObamaCare forced all Americans to either pay an ongoing series of income-scaled fines or purchase health insurance. Young, healthy people who might otherwise have gone uninsured would then purchase insurance and subsidize old, unhealthy people. In order to reduce the financial burden for those young people, the original ACA also provided generous tax credits for people making between 100 and 400% of the federal poverty line, which is $11,770-$47,080 for a single person and $24,250-$97,000 for a family of four.

Here’s Ezra Klein explaining that risk pool and ‘death spirals’.

Continue reading The Poor and Needy Neighbor

A Memorable Series of Revolutions

As of the time I’m writing this, the Senate just confirmed “Mad Dog” Mattis, the first time since George Marshall at the end of the Second World War that a non-civilian has gotten a waiver to serve as Secretary of Defense. Two days ago, Donald Trump got in front of a crowd to crudely berate two news agencies and to announce that unlike every president in modern history, he will not be separating himself from his business interests. A week ago, congressional Republicans tried to eliminate the only independent ethics committee that oversees the legislature as the very first act of the new session.

Failing that, they scheduled more cabinet confirmation hearings in less time than ever before, hoping to railroad a slate of candidates who are, with little exaggeration, bent on destroying their respective departments. Late last month, North Carolina Republicans, having lost the governorship, used the end of their lame duck session to divest the executive of its powers and invest them, in effect, in the Republican Party, leading the Electoral Integrity Project to categorize the state as having “deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.” Not only that, but:

North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

Something’s up. And obviously, since the time I wrote this post back in January, more stuff has happened.

Continue reading A Memorable Series of Revolutions

Day by Day

Well, so I took the autumn off to take the LSAT and apply to law school and it seems like things took a turn for the worse while I was away. It’s too late to stop that last election, and we’ve got things like Swing Left, the Wall of US, Indivisible, WolfPAC, and the Justice Democrats working on the next one. So it feels like the role of a podcast and a blog that catalogue our backfiring efforts to make the world safe for democracy abroad might be to chart the way that our methodology and its effects are now coming home to roost.

I want the series to fall somewhere between Doug Muder’s Weekly Sift, which is a weekly roundup and blog post with clear-eyed, compassionate and brilliant analysis and Paul Slansky’s The Clothes Have No Emperor, which is a brutal, day-by-day account of the scandals, corruption, and rank incompetence of the Reagan Administration quoted directly from the news. Like Muder, I’m going to pair the weekly news post with a piece on the blog, and they’ll go up on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays or however it falls.

This first edition is going to be much longer and at the same time much less comprehensive than the norm—I’m going to breeze through the last four months or so, and I’ll both have too many words and be leaving too many out.

Continue reading Day by Day

So What About the Why?

So the podcast has been out for about twelve weeks now, and I’ve gotten a couple of scattered comments and responses on two different subjects that I think, in the end, come to the same thing.

And I think they’re valid and I think they’re important.

So I’m going to talk about them.

This is me
Big surprise, right?

The first suggestion is that I ought to make an effort, in the podcast, to avoid offending listeners who might come from somewhere further to the right on the political spectrum. And the second is that I ought to be getting more into why all this happened, why the government of the United States was somehow invested in these terrible goings-on in Guatemala. It’ll take a while for my responses to come back around and meet each other, but bear with me.

In response to the first thing, I guess I’d ask a question. Is it that the show is partisan? Or could it be that listeners are coming to the show with a pre-existing and  implicitly partisan complaint?

Because the only way that the show could immediately turn you off is if you were under the impression that the US could do literally no wrong.

Credit NBC — Safe for Democracy
Which is tough, right?

I could try to emphasize at the beginning of every episode that Democratic presidents were just as culpable as Republican ones or vice-versa, but that would put the show in the “fairness” business, and it’s not in the fairness business. It’s in the history business.

Continue reading So What About the Why?