Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shut it down?

I don't know, seems broken enough anyway, what more damage could it possibly do?  There are a lot of things about "Obamacare" that I can find issue with but we know that this is not the time, our government has never worked that way.  The issue before Congress is our National Budget, finding the money to fund already promised goods and services and obligations.  It is not supposed to be and never has been a time to sneak in new agendas nor alter or get rid of existing points of contention.  In the next few years "The Affordable Care Act" as it is officially known,  will go through its growth, change and develop and ideally will become what its intentions were:  affordable health care for everyone.  No one could really want to go back in time, just a short two years ago, when we were the only industrialized nation on the planet without national health care, a time when health care had double digit inflation, when we had 35 million Americans without insurance and government subsidy of our health system was about to rival our military spending.  There are hundreds of improvements to make.  It won't be right until members of Congress have the same health care all Americans have but these are incremental changes and not an opportunity to threaten to break the government if they don't abandon the Affordable Health Care Act.  That sounds like terrorism.  A hostage situation.  They are basically threatening to blow the place up if they don't get their way!  That is nuts and not the way our government is supposed to work.
   California is like a different country.  40 million people live there and it is the 8th largest economy in the world.  Illegal aliens can get driver's licenses there, I think on the theory that if you are going to be in an auto accident you hope the parties involved have insurance!  In 2010, after years of Republican rule with the "Governator", California was 27 Billion Dollars in debt.   Now they have a Democratic Governor and a Democratic controlled House and Senate.  They tried something different:  they cut spending AND raised taxes, what a novel idea!  Now they have a surplus.  It is difficult to wrap your head around the idea that the top 1% control 23% if the wealth.  In our wildest dreams we can't even imagine that kind of money.  Think if the top 1% each won the 400,000,000 dollar PowerBall, that wouldn't be enough!  It never used to be that way, certainly not in the '50's and '60's when our Middle Class was perhaps at its strongest.  Rich people (over 50 million in assets and $5 million per year) can't spend that kind of money and it just plain doesn't trickle down.
It is funny that the Tea Party is from the South, Southern States with minimum wages 25% lower than California, the poorest States who receive the most in Federal subsidies  The South where their most burning emotional issues are centered around restricting the rights of others, limiting, a narrowness.
The South where there could be a Church on every corner and a gun shop alongside.  The "Teaparty", our own American Taliban!  Enforcing, restricting, narrow and selfish.  Congress recently cut back 40 Billion dollars in Food Stamps and offered twice that much in Federal Subsidies to Agricultural Corporations!  Is this crazy or what?  Monsato receives your tax dollars!
These are interesting issues but now is not the time.  We lost our AAAA+ credit rating a couple years ago over this same problem, Congressional infighting instead of doing their job.  We have elections to determine the direction we wish, next year a Congressional Election and two years later another Presidential Election.  That is the best time to speak and let your voices be heard.  We can follow California or Mississippi or create a different path.
The Republican Party is self destructing and I am sorry about that.  They were the party protecting our environment, behind much of our Civil Rights Laws, in Massachusetts behind National Health Care, under Eisenhower, the party behind the massive build up of our infrastructure.  They were truly an American Political Party to be proud of and now they too are held hostage by the political acts of terrorism  by the likes of Ted Cruz.
We will get over this.  Even if the Government shuts down it won't come to an end.  It is a great time to reflect and a time to imagine how it could all be better.  What does it mean to be an American?  Do we want to be inclusive or an island, each to ourselves and beholding to none.   We change all the time, we evolve.  We used to not have Social Security and many thought it would mark the end times when we got it.  Women couldn't vote, slavery was once legal, public schools went only through the eighth grade.
We can participate in this change or not but it is going to happen.  That is one of the best things about this country.