I’m a Union Worker. We are not the problem. Social workers, construction workers, Teachers, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, Sanitation workers, clerical workers, road workers, nurses, janitors, computer programmers, even public employee retirees,etc. are NOT the enemy, but we are your neighbors. If you’re jealous of our benefits, FIGHT FOR YOUR OWN! But don’t fight against ours. The rich who created this crisis are putting middle class families against each other. We live here, pay taxes, work hard, are part of the Community, & try to support our families too. If you’re a UNION Worker, copy & repost. UNION YES!!!
As the Republicans’ health care crusade continues, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing GOP lawmakers present their regressive ideas in the most politically palatable ways they can think of. Occasionally, however, a GOP official will slip and say what he’s actually thinking.
TPM highlighted just such an instance late yesterday.
A Republican congressman said Monday that an amendment to the GOP’s American Health Care Act would require sicker people to pay more in insurance costs than people “who lead good lives.”
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Monday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was asked about an amendment he supports to Republicans’ health care effort that would allow states to opt out of health- and age-based pricing protections required by Obamacare, if they established high-risk pools or other equivalent measures in their place.
Health care proponents routinely argue that the Republican approach would effectively punish those who most need care. Brooks not only conceded the point, he suggested that those who most need care are less deserving of protection.
“My understanding is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, you know, they are doing the things to keep their bodies healthy,” the Alabama Republican argued. “And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”
Note the specificity of Brooks’ language. If, for example, a child is born with a heart condition, Brooks envisions a system in which that child and her family is forced to pay exorbitant costs in order to help those who “lead good lives” and behave “the right way.”
As New York’s Jon Chait put it, “The Republican plan expresses one of the core beliefs shared by movement conservatives, and utterly alien to people across the globe, right and left: that people who can’t afford the cost of their own medical care have nobody to blame but themselves.”
It’s important to note that in the same CNN interview, Brooks went on to say some Americans have pre-existing conditions “through no fault of their own.” It’s a welcome concession, to be sure. But the Republican congressman added that it’s a “challenge” to determine how the system should try to help those people, and that’ll be something policymakers may have to work on “over the years … as we go forward.”
In other words, the key is to uproot the system now, leave millions of families without access to affordable care, and put many struggling people at a dangerous disadvantage – and then eventually, Republicans might consider ideas to help those in need.
Brooks’ candor is elucidating, and to a very real extent, his comments should help shape the debate on Capitol Hill. To support the Republicans’ American Health Care Act is to effectively endorse Brooks’ approach to protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.
An Alabama Republican congressman admitted that he believes those with pre-existing conditions are less deserving of protection.
One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago.
A classic example is the phrase “tax cuts for the rich,” which is loudly proclaimed by opponents, whenever there is a proposal to reduce tax rates. The current proposal to reduce federal tax rates has revived this phrase, which was disproved by facts, as far back as the 1920s — and by now should be called “tax lies for the gullible.”
How is the claim of “tax cuts for the rich” false? Let me count the ways. More important, you can easily check out the facts for yourself with a simple visit to your local public library or, for those more computer-minded, on the Internet.
One of the key arguments of those who oppose what they call “tax cuts for the rich” is that the Reagan administration tax cuts led to huge federal government deficits, contrary to “supply side economics” which said that lower tax rates would lead to higher tax revenues.
This reduces the whole issue to a question about facts — and the hard facts are available in many places, including a local public library or on the Internet.
The hardest of these hard facts is that the revenues collected from federal income taxes during every year of the Reagan administration were higher than the revenues collected from federal income taxes during any year of any previous administration.
How can that be? Because tax RATES and tax REVENUES are two different things. Tax rates and tax revenues can move in either the same direction or in opposite directions, depending on how the economy responds.
But why should you take my word for it that federal income tax revenues were higher than before during the Reagan administration? Check it out.
Official statistics are available in many places. The easiest way to find those statistics is to go look at a copy of the annual “Economic Report of the President.” It doesn’t have to be the latest Report under President Trump. It can be a Report from any administration, from the Obama administration all the way back to the administration of the elder George Bush.
Each annual “Economic Report of the President” has the history of federal revenues and expenditures, going back for decades. And that is just one of the places where you can get this data. The truth is readily available, if you want it. But, if you are satisfied with political rhetoric, so be it.
Before we turn to the question of “the rich,” let’s first understand the implications of higher income tax revenues after income tax rates were cut during the Reagan administration.
That should have put an end to the talk about how lower tax rates reduce government revenues and therefore tax cuts need to be “paid for” or else there will be rising deficits. There were in fact rising deficits in the 1980s, but that was due to spending that outran even the rising tax revenues.
Congress does the spending, and there is no amount of money that Congress cannot outspend.
As for “the rich,” higher-income taxpayers paid more — repeat, MORE tax revenues into the federal treasury under the lower tax rates than they had under the previous higher tax rates.
That happened not only during the Reagan administration, but also during the Coolidge administration and the Kennedy administration before Reagan, and under the G.W. Bush administration after Reagan. All these administrations cut tax rates and received higher tax revenues than before.
More than that, “the rich” not only paid higher total tax revenues after the so-called “tax cuts for the rich,” they also paid a higher percentage of all tax revenues afterwards. Data on this can be found in a number of places, including documented sources listed in my monograph titled “‘Trickle Down’ Theory and ‘Tax Cuts for the Rich.'”
As a source more congenial to some, a front-page story in the New York Times on July 9, 2006 — during the Bush 43 administration — reported, “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.” Expectations, of course, are in the eye of the beholder.
One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago. A classic example is the phrase