Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

What has Obama done in office?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I have posted a couple times addressing this question. What has Obama done so far? You can read those here and here. But… I stumbled upon a fantastic site that answers that question simply—over and over and over again– What the F*** has Obama done so far dot com. Obama has done so much for our country. He cannot fix all the years of damage the last administration did but he has done a lot towards repairing so many national wounds. From healthcare reform to rights of all people to corporate responsibility—Obama has been working hard for all of us…these are just a few examples the website cites…

For Women…

For Children…

For minorities…

 

For gay rights…

 

For students…

For Human Rights (and for restoration of political legitimacy)…

For science and research…

For the disabled…

 

For the veterans and their families…

For the elderly…

For the unemployed…

For the fiscally conservative (and the next generation)…

For the geeks, even…

 

And as I said above, these are just a few of the examples of What Obama has done so far… in one term in office. I would say he has done an outstanding job so far.

Thank you President Barack Obama.

You can read more on the website: What the f*** has Obama done so far?

Healthcare Reform Passes Congress…at what cost?

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Shame on you President Obama,

I read your excited message about the healthcare reform bill passing Congress tonight and I burst into tears of joy. I felt like the change we have been seeking for so many years, that we have been working so hard to bring about was finally coming to fruition. Only to learn it ‘passed’ in exchange for the tens of millions of women in this country. When should we expect the government to send their lackeys to pick up our shoes so we can stay home proper, barefoot and forced pregnant? When did the promise of change become the promise of positive change for men and a reaffirmation of women as second-class citizens?

I am absolutely appalled that you or any member of our government would allow such draconian measures to be perpetrated against women. You are pushing to get this healthcare reform bill passed but at what cost?

The Stupak-Pitts anti-choice amendment renders health care insurance companies incapable, financially, to support women’s’ reproductive health. In order to survive financially under this amendment, they would be forced to drop current coverage for women’s reproductive healthcare. This is a monumental step backwards. It is not simply a matter of not covering costs for the women who are currently uninsured. It goes a mile further and ensures an economic stranglehold on all insurance companies to drop current benefits provided to women.

Choosing to throw women under the bus to get the new healthcare system passed is a galling cop out. This decision is nothing more than the vehicle the opponents need to undermine Roe v. Wade. The provisions of this ‘amendment’ sets women’s healthcare back a century and delivers a devastating blow to those millions of women who enthusiastically supported Obama and this healthcare reform bill.

Women’s healthcare should not be targeted and denied because of political or moral objections. These are not our views or our opinions. These are OUR bodies, OUR choices and OURinsurance companies should cover it–period, particularly when the majority of insurance companies currently cover comprehensive reproductive health services. It was one thing to leave out coverage under the new healthcare bill. That was already a negative aspect. However, it becomes a completely different story when you add an amendment that takes away current coverage, in addition to limiting the alternative options for the coverage taken away.

How dare all of you yellow-belly Democrats who approved this Stupak-Pitts amendment decide to not only NOTinclude reproductive health services in the new health-care system but to endanger the barely-adequate coverage that exists currently. This decision sends a loud message to women in this country: YOU are not important; your needs, your body, your health and your rights are not important. Are we to understand that ‘the millions of people’ that this new system is supposed to help does not include women? Is this the new, improved, sensible healthcare system for men only?

I must have missed that part of the inspirational speeches.

I no longer support this bill or its blatant disregard for women’s reproductive health. And I am extremely angry that I and millions of other women, are being discarded at the whim of two senators in a futile attempt to appease those inconsiderate, selfish people opposing healthcare for all. Are these people who oppose healthcare for all anything more than medical and/or financial terrorists? I thought we had a policy of no negotiation with terrorists?Why then were tens of millions of women conceded in these terroristic negotations to provide adequate healthcare to our citizens?

When did women become so unimportant in this country and to our President that our reproductive health and control over our own bodies are offered up on a silver platter in exchange for the Congress to approve a watered-down, ineffective version of healthcare reform that will punish and neglect no longer by economic status but rather by gender?

I wonder what will happen to this bill once we take away the flattened, discarded feminine support that has so eagerly backed Obama. You can count me out until the dissolution of this backwards Stupak-Pitts amendment.

I see where I rank in importance in your vision for change. If Congress got tens of millions of uteri, what will the Senate get?

THE HEART TRUTH CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of DHHS.

The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of DHHS.

The Heart Truth: Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Women

The Heart Truth is that one in four American women dies of heart disease, and most fail to make the connection between risk factors—such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—and their personal risk of developing heart disease.

The Heart Truth Campaign: Serious Messages about Women’s Heart Health

The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Through the campaign, NHLBI leads the nation in a landmark heart health awareness movement that is being embraced by millions who share the common goal of better heart health for all women.

The Heart Truth campaign warns women about heart disease and provides tools to help them take action against its risk factors. It is primarily targeted to women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman’s risk of heart disease begins to increase. However, it’s never too early—or too late—to take action to prevent and control risk factors since heart disease develops over time and can start at a young age—even in the teen years.

The campaign message is paired with an arresting visual—the Red Dress—designed to warn women that heart disease is their #1 killer. The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action.

The Heart Truth partners include: The Office on Women’s Health, DHHS; WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; the American Heart Association; and other organizations committed to the health and well-being of women.

Campaign Background

The Heart Truth campaign began in response to recommendations of more than 70 experts in women’s health who met in March 2001 to develop a national action plan to reduce the toll of heart disease on American women. The campaign was developed with input from partner organizations and focus groups with women conducted across the country. This research revealed that most women underestimate their personal risk and do not fully understand the devastating impact that heart disease has on one’s life and family. The research strongly supported the urgent need to tell women about their risk of heart disease and how to lower it.

What’s a Red Dress Got to Do With It?

The Red Dress was designed to build awareness that women are at risk for heart disease, and motivate them to take action to reduce their risk. The creative concept of a Red Dress tested well with diverse women who cited its ability to get attention, convey the seriousness of heart disease, and change the perception that it is only a man’s issue.

The symbol links a woman’s focus on her “outer self” to the need to also focus on her “inner self,” especially her heart health. The Red Dress serves as a red alert to convey the message that “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women.”

Seeking to advance the symbol, The Heart Truth forged a groundbreaking collaboration between the Federal government and the fashion industry, an industry intrinsically tied to female audiences. As a result of this partnership, fashion leaders—including top designers, models, and celebrities—have demonstrated their support for the issue of women and heart disease by participating in The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collections at New York’s Fashion Week annually since 2003.

The Heart Truth launched the first Red Dress Collection at Fashion Week in February 2003, when 19 designers—from Vera Wang to Donna Karan to Oscar de la Renta—contributed red dresses for a stunning display under the Bryant Park tents. In February 2004, the fashion platform expanded with the creation of the first annual National Wear Red Day and the same-day debut of Red Dress Collection 2004—a fashion show featuring red dresses from the industry’s elite designers worn by top fashion models and celebrities. The campaign returned to New York Fashion Week in 2005, 2006, 2007, and again in 2008 with celebrity-studded fashion shows. Some of the world’s most recognized stars have walked the runway for The Heart Truth in new collections of designer red dresses including: Sheryl Crow, Kelly Ripa, Heidi Klum, Venus Williams, Angela Bassett, Rachael Ray, Christie Brinkley, Thalia, Vanessa Williams, Rita Moreno, Billie Jean King, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Molly Sims, LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Christina Milian, Fergie, Eartha Kitt, and Liza Minnelli.

National Wear Red Day

The Heart Truth and many individuals and organizations celebrate National Wear Red Day on the first Friday of February each year. From a celebrity-studded Red Dress fashion show in New York City to local community events and awareness activities, thousands across the country wear red to unite in the national movement to give women a personal and urgent wake-up call about their risk for heart disease. Wear Red Day serves as a reminder to every woman to care for her heart, because heart disease is the #1 killer of women. On this day men and women can participate by wearing a red dress, shirt, tie, or the Red Dress Pin.

Campaign Ambassadors

The Heart Truth has been honored to have the support of former first lady Laura Bush, and six other first ladies, in sharing the message of better heart health for all women. Mrs. Laura Bush served as the national ambassador from 2003-2009 and The Heart Truth was part of her Women’s Health and Wellness Initiative, leading the Federal government’s effort to give women a personal and urgent wake-up call about their risk of heart disease.

As part of her ambassadorship, Mrs. Bush attended the launch of The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection at Fashion Week in February 2003 and hosted an American Heart Month kick-off event at the White House in February 2004. She also attended The Heart Truth’s Fashion Week events in New York in 2004, 2005, and 2007. At the Red Dress Collection 2008 Fashion Show, Mrs. Bush gave the opening remarks and joined the celebrity participants onstage at the close of the show. As Founding Ambassador, Mrs. Bush celebrates the contributions of leaders in the heart disease awareness movement. In 2007, she participated in two Heart Truth roundtables, and in February 2008, she saluted the fashion industry for their support in reaching women about heart disease at a reception at the White House.

The campaign looks forward to continued support from America’s first ladies in fighting heart disease, the #1 killer of women through such programs as the First Ladies Red Dress Collection, now in its third showing at the National First Ladies Museum in Canton, Ohio,through May 31, 2009. The Heart Truth’s First Ladies Red Dress Collection debuted in May 2005 in a special exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C, and was presented in 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library in California. The Collection featured red dresses and suits worn by seven of America’s First Ladies, including Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, and Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson.

Campaign Resources and Activities

The campaign offers a wide variety of resources to help individuals and local communities spread The Heart Truth, including:

  • Educational materials for women to learn about heart disease and how to reduce their risks
  • The Red Dress Pin, the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness
  • Speaker’s Kit—a “talk-in-a-box”—and other promotional materials to facilitate spreading The Heart Truth message in local communities
  • Online Toolkit containing activity ideas and materials to help individuals and organizations plan their own Heart Truth events throughout the year
  • Online Activity Registry allowing organizations to share what they have done and learn about what other groups across the nation are doing to help spread The Heart Truth
  • Compelling photos and stories of real women telling how heart disease changed their lives
  • National public service advertising (print, radio, and television)
  • Partnerships with national non-profit organizations reinforced at the local level to extend the campaign’s reach and message
  • Partnerships with key women of color organizations, including the Association of Black Cardiologists, Catalina magazine, Essence magazine, League of United Latin American Citizens, The Links, Inc., National Black Nurses Association, and National Latina Health Network, as well as campaign materials tailored specifically to Latinas and African American women
  • Corporate partnerships to expand the reach of The Heart Truth campaign’s message, including collaborations with Diet Coke, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, IMG Fashion, Celestial Seasonings, Time, Inc. Women’s Group , and Swarovski
  • Community programs, such as the Single City program, The Heart Truth Champions program, and The Heart Truth Road Show, that extend the reach of The Heart Truth messages into local communities

Making A Difference

The Heart Truth is making progress in the fight against heart disease in women. Heart disease deaths in American women continued to decline in 2006, and for the first time, have declined seven years consecutively, from 1999-2006..More women are aware that heart disease is the #1 killer of women—57 percent of women in 2006, up from 34 percent of women in 2000. The Red Dress has become one of the most recognizable health symbols in the United States—in 2008, more than half of women recognized the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease. More women are living longer, healthier lives, and fewer are dying of heart disease. But challenges remain, and many women still do not take heart disease seriously and personally. The Heart Truth campaign will continue to build awareness among women and motivate them to take action for heart health.

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For more information, or to access photography and other creative materials for The Heart Truth campaign, visit www.hearttruth.gov.

This site is in no way affiliated with The Heart Truth campaign. The information is copied and pasted purely for informational purposes. We wish to pass along this worthy cause—that is all.

Pink Ribbons and Profits

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Milking Cancer from Breast Cancer Action on Vimeo.

Disgusting. Shame on you Milk companies. And on New Balance. I just learned that they have a yearly cap on how much they donate—and we all know how much they must make off the pink ribbon. People want to buy things as a feel-good thing. The pink ribbon indicates money will be going towards breast cancer awareness or research. Any item sold with it that doesn’t have any portion going to the cause should not be sold. This is horrendous.

A wag of the finger to you New Balance. Pity. I own your shoes, a bag… all with pink ribbons. I won’t be buying from you again until you decide to lift the ‘cap’. That is the responsible thing to do. Period. And I will tell my friends and tell them to tell their friends etc. etc. Women talk…and we should walk right out of your stores empty handed and see how much profit you’ll make with informed consumers.

Consumers beware! Think before you pink… its a company that will help you be an informed consumer. You should know exactly how much companies donning the pink ribbon actually give to the cause and if there is a limit etc.

Soft Capitalism (Capitalism 2.0)

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

How about this for a New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. It used to be that there were some services and institutions so vital to our nation that they were exempt from market pressures. Some things we just didn’t do for money. The United States always defined capitalism, but it didn’t used to define us. But now it’s becoming all that we are.

Did you know, for example, that there was a time when being called a “war profiteer” was a bad thing? But now our war zones are dominated by private contractors and mercenaries who work for corporations. There are more private contractors in Iraq than American troops, and we pay them generous salaries to do jobs the troops used to do for themselves ­– like laundry. War is not supposed to turn a profit, but our wars have become boondoggles for weapons manufacturers and connected civilian contractors.

Prisons used to be a non-profit business, too. And for good reason –­ who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition you’re going to have trouble with the tenants. But now prisons are big business. A company called the Corrections Corporation of America is on the New York Stock Exchange, which is convenient since that’s where all the real crime is happening anyway. The CCA and similar corporations actually lobby Congress for stiffer sentencing laws so they can lock more people up and make more money. That’s why America has the world;s largest prison population ­– because actually rehabilitating people would have a negative impact on the bottom line.

Television news is another area that used to be roped off from the profit motive. When Walter Cronkite died last week, it was odd to see news anchor after news anchor talking about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite’s day. I thought, “Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.”

But maybe they aren’t. Because unlike in Cronkite’s day, today’s news has to make a profit like all the other divisions in a media conglomerate. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see the CBS Evening News broadcast live from the Staples Center for two nights this month, just in case Michael Jackson came back to life and sold Iran nuclear weapons. In Uncle Walter’s time, the news division was a loss leader. Making money was the job of The Beverly Hillbillies. And now that we have reporters moving to Alaska to hang out with the Palin family, the news is The Beverly Hillbillies.

And finally, there’s health care. It wasn’t that long ago that when a kid broke his leg playing stickball, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun put a thermometer in his mouth, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle and you were done. The bill was $1.50, plus you got to keep the thermometer.

But like everything else that’s good and noble in life, some Wall Street wizard decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they’re run by some bean counters in a corporate plaza in Charlotte. In the U.S. today, three giant for-profit conglomerates own close to 600 hospitals and other health care facilities. They’re not hospitals anymore; they’re Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. America’s largest hospital chain, HCA, was founded by the family of Bill Frist, who perfectly represents the Republican attitude toward health care: it’s not a right, it’s a racket. The more people who get sick and need medicine, the higher their profit margins. Which is why they’re always pushing the Jell-O.

Because medicine is now for-profit we have things like “recision,” where insurance companies hire people to figure out ways to deny you coverage when you get sick, even though you’ve been paying into your plan for years.

When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what’s in it for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private health care “soulless vampires making money off human pain.” The problem with President Obama’s health care plan isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism.

And if medicine is for profit, and war, and the news, and the penal system, my question is: what’s wrong with firemen? Why don’t they charge? They must be commies. Oh my God! That explains the red trucks!

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-not-everything-i_b_244050.html

Obama WON the 1st Presidential Debate — HANDS DOWN!

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Listen and watch (< --- CLICK THERE) the first Presidential debate in 2008 between Obama and McCain on National Security and International Affairs, as well as the urgent economic issues. (I will be blogging about this later for in-depth analysis but thought you might want to see it for yourself first). (Source of video: CSPAN) Complete Transcript from CNN:

LEHRER: Gentlemen, at this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?

First response to you, Senator Obama. You have two minutes.

OBAMA: Well, thank you very much, Jim, and thanks to the commission and the University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss,” for hosting us tonight. I can’t think of a more important time for us to talk about the future of the country.

You know, we are at a defining moment in our history. Our nation is involved in two wars, and we are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

And although we’ve heard a lot about Wall Street, those of you on Main Street I think have been struggling for a while, and you recognize that this could have an impact on all sectors of the economy.

And you’re wondering, how’s it going to affect me? How’s it going to affect my job? How’s it going to affect my house? How’s it going to affect my retirement savings or my ability to send my children to college? Video Watch footage of the debate »

So we have to move swiftly, and we have to move wisely. And I’ve put forward a series of proposals that make sure that we protect taxpayers as we engage in this important rescue effort.

No. 1, we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got oversight over this whole process; $700 billion, potentially, is a lot of money.

No. 2, we’ve got to make sure that taxpayers, when they are putting their money at risk, have the possibility of getting that money back and gains, if the market — and when the market returns.

No. 3, we’ve got to make sure that none of that money is going to pad CEO bank accounts or to promote golden parachutes.

And, No. 4, we’ve got to make sure that we’re helping homeowners, because the root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country. Read more about the expectations

Now, we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down.

It hasn’t worked. And I think that the fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake. That’s why I’m running for president, and that’s what I hope we’re going to be talking about tonight.

LEHRER: Senator McCain, two minutes. (more…)

Fundamentals and Economics by Magpie

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Make, sell and buy products. Starring in the Economy are consumers, manufacturers, corporations (often the latter two are one in the same) and, in today’s world, a whole mess of middle-men. You must make products (companies who hire workers to produce products) to sell (requiring stores, businesses etc. and workers) and then people (consumers) to buy these products. There are many theories on how to best manage an economy. We keep hearing about the fundamentals of our economy being strong or weak, depending on who you listen to…sadly enough. Let me tell you my thoughts on the real economic fundamentals politicians should be focused on right now.

Before people will shop or spend their money, they need the following things:

1. A roof over their head
2. Food on their plates
3. Electricity (yes, most of us have grown accustomed to that in this country)
4. Good health (which requires sufficient healthcare)
5. Gas/energy to get to and from work
6. Employment to provide the money necessary for the above

And finally…

7. Extras (these come after the fundamentals are procured).

However, if people cannot pay their mortgages (because they are victims of predatory lending born of the current Regime’s deregulation polices or because they have less money from the price-gouging of corporations on groceries, gas, electricity etc. or because they cannot find a job or are laid off or because corporate responsibility has flown out the window) and if they can’t buy enough groceries to feed their children or to pay for gas to get to and from work, or they fall ill and cannot get the proper care necessary for themselves, their children or their aging parents…then they will not be able to buy other stuff. Get it? If they cannot buy the “other stuff” then businesses suffer. Then businesses must cut jobs and/or employee benefits. And thus we spin towards a depression. You need only to examine the current financial situation to see this vicious cycle in action.

The fundamentals of economy are housing, groceries, gas/energy, and healthcare. This is true for the average American. Perhaps because the rich do not have the same concerns and they may think the fundamentals are different. However, if you ask the everyday American what is important to them, when they say economy, this is to what they are referring. They want their family’s basic needs met and to have a little extra money at the end of the day to buy bright and shiny things; to save a little extra for retirement and college funds; and to leave their children a little better off than they were left themselves. These are the fundamentals with which politicians should be concerned.

McCain, at best, gives lip service to these areas of the economy. He believes the fundamentals are strong. Oh, he is changing his tune the past week but if you didn’t know last week, we were in trouble… and it took a 500 point drop in the market and a ten point drop in your campaign lead to get it, you probably are not the most economically-savvy person for the Presidency. He does not truly understand what is fundamental for most of us. Simple enough mistake but simply too costly for everyday people to support his very different economic fundamentals by voting for him.

His idea of helping to immediately reduce the price of oil and groceries is to “send a strong message1 to the oil producing countries, as well as the oil companies, that prices are too high. Um, I think they already know this. They know they have us by the energy-throat and they are taking advantage of that. We need their services and they know it. Hrmmm… isn’t that the deregulated-corporate way McCain is in favor of? Doesn’t anyone else find it ironic that US oil companies are making windfall profits2 while the rest of us head into a economic (and quite possibly an emotional) depression? And yet, there is nothing in McCain’s plan to stop this corporate tomfoolery. No regulations? No consumer-assistance? No way! He is all about Corporate-welfare and idle threats. Neither will bring the prices down for us. Businesses want to make money. If they know you need a product, they will demand your first born, if they are allowed (READ DEREGULATION). But I will not even get started on how deregulation brings about corporate monopolies, resulting in the necessity to bail corporations with federal funds, ahem…AIG, which negates those greedy mongrels every argument about “welfare”. The difference between Republican spending and Democrat spending is who gets helped and why. Republicans wish to ensure the good “welfare” of corporations. Democrats wish to ensure the good “welfare” of people. Which category do you fall under? Which is more important to you?

McCain also plans to increase the value of the dollar (no mention of HOW he will do this btw, simple a pretty promise with no intellectual support) and theoretically this is supposed to reduce the price of oil. The idea that the value of the dollar directly affects the cost of oil is not that straightforward nor is it accurate.3 I understand it is easier to just believe what they are saying because it is frightening to think they may not have our best interest at heart after all, but WAKE UP AND THINK FOR A CHANGE!

What about McCain’s HOME PLAN? He plans on helping 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure. That is nice, isn’t it? What about the other 1.8 to 1.6 MILLION homeowners facing foreclosure? Oh and his HOME plan EXCLUDES those who were victims of the predatory lending he advocated through deregulation, in the first place. How will this help the housing crisis?

And how will John McCain pay for his proposed tax cuts? His plan is to halt all discretionary spending for an entire year. Let’s see what falls under discretionary funding. The following programs (and this is not the majority, just some I found)…

Office for Victims of Crime
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Mental Health Facilities/Services
Drug and Alcohol Facilities
K-12 Education Budgets
Health Research
Housing
AmeriCorps (Full-time Community Service program)
HeadStart/ECEAP (Pre-school)
Rural Housing Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

So, as far as I can tell he plans on cutting programs, such as mental health, educational funding (K-12 people), crime victims assistance, etc. It seems this is not going to benefit the American people. No, no, he plans on cutting these programs rather than corporate taxes. Hrm, which will benefit you or harm you? Oops sorry Sally Victim, that guy who tortured you and your daughter… yea, he got out of prison today but you won’t know about it because that program was cut for a year. Oh, yea those pesky science labs in your 7th grade class… oops, those are gone too.

Perhaps the Obama campaign should start asking how McCain plans on funding his wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran…etc.) Or his corporate welfare… including the 3trillion dollars of debt for bailing out AIG. It was the deregulation policies that he (and others like him–like Bush) emphatically endorse which got us into this mess in the first place.

In theory, it sounds like a perfect plan to deregulate corporations. Theoretically, they will begin to flourish without extra costs and this will have a trickle down effect. The wealth they are making hand-over-fist, theoretically, will spill down to the rest of us, leaving lots of wealth for us to pick up at their feet. Now, this is quite possibly accurate in some respects. For example, it is true the deregulation policies have helped a lot of big corporations make a lot of money. However, these same corporations will step on anyone and everyone ensuring no one does take any of the trickled-down wealth. They hire middlemen to collect and return as much of that as possible. The middlemen’s reward for doing so? He too can keep a little of the trickled-down wealth but rest assured he’s not getting rich, he’s in foreclosure so he reallyneeds that extra money. And he’ll do just about anything to ensure he gets, including voting against his own best interest. This is where the majority of McCain voters are… at the feet of corporate America, groveling, begging, complaining, screaming, hoping they will survive financially. But are they?

When the corporations start to shove the excess money into their pockets, the windfall, record profits (as are seen with the oil companies for example, even while we are amidst an energy and economic crisis), where are the majority of the rest of us in this wealth-blizzard they are experiencing? Are we reallyseeing a trickle down effect? Or are they simply kicking us to bankruptcy, while lining their offshore bank accounts to ensure they do not have to pay taxes on their wealth?

And while we hear so much about pork-barrel spending… does anyone even really know what the helinski that means? They assume it is liberal spending on personal welfare, a concept attached to some deceptive, lazy person milking the system while everyone else works so hard. This is a fallacy. Look, liberals don’t want to reward lazy people. They simply believe the government should help people, citizens, not corporations. What is it you want to see your tax dollars spent on? The Republicans try to make it sound like liberals or Democrats waste your money. What in tarnation are they doing themselves with the money? Did the government bail us out, did it spend our tax money ensuring our children had a good education or that our homes were saved? Or did it get us into 3trillion dollars worth of additional debt to save us or a corporation? The Republicans do not save us money, they simply twist the facts to make it look as if the spending of money on people is somehow ludicrous and wasteful. How is spending tax money on taxpayers wasteful? But they will use an isolated account of one system-moocher to invoke the irritation you feel each time you pay a significant amount of your check towards taxes to throw you into a blind flurry about the excessive use of government funds used by the Democrats. This is nonsense. Do a little research. I dare you. Go look up the annual amount of corporate fraud.

The results of deregulation are a battered economy, a mortgage crisis, disproportionate wealth distribution; and disgruntled, disenfranchised customers left with no recourse…forced to deal with companies who couldn’t care less about them as individual consumers or even as groups of consumers. These corporations have fewer and fewer laws to bind them to the consumer, to stop them from taking advantage of the American people when we can least afford it. Smaller companies run by everyday people are gobbled up by the bigger companies and consumers are forced to do business with those 1 or 2 corrupt, multi-national conglomerates. And the corporations know this, anticipate their level of service being less than par and raise their prices accordingly. They know we are in need of oil, energy, communications, health care services, medicines, etc.

So you tell me…who has been and continues to prosper financially while the rest of us suffer? Drug companies, military industrial complexes, communication services, oil companies, electric companies, health-care insurance providers…etc. Saving money, second only to making money, motivates companies to outsource customer service, not only to other countries but simply to other companies or departments of their own corporation who do not care at all about consumers. Consumers get aggravated, but with no where to turn, are stuck getting their needs met by these corporate vampires. Diversity in the marketplace should buffer this, in theory, but in reality, with the deregulation of the big guys, the diversity in the marketplace is dwindling or simply not a realistic, viable option anymore.

Deregulation is not the answer. McCain supports deregulation emphatically. McCain is NOT the answer. We’ve seen what these policies have done for the people. We’ve seen what it has done for the business market. NOTHING good. NOTHING GOOD HAS COME FROM THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, unless you own an oil, telecommunications, financial or pharamceutical company. Since most of us do not, the tangible realities of their theoretical trickle-down effect are staring us in the face in the form of a mortgage crisis or a 500 point drop in the stock market, in the disappearance of our life’s savings, in the bill sitting on the table of the woman who worked every day since she graduated college only to lose her health care insurance a month after being diagnosed with cancer.

Enough is enough. Stop asking how Obama will pay for his economic plan when his includes helping improve the every day lives of the people funding the Federal Budget. Start asking how and why John McCain would rather focus on corporate welfare and illegitimate, unnecessary wars to the detriment of the everyday people, with our tax dollars. If he and Bush and the other billionaires want to rescue corporations or wage wars all over the world…let them do it with their own money. Our tax dollars should help US have a better life. Where was the referendum on bailing out these corporations? Where is the trickle-down effect from the deregulation policies?

Think people, think.

  1. http://www.johnmccain.com/Images/Issues/JobsforAmerica/briefing.pdf []
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/01/exxon-posts-record-profit_n_84463.html []
  3. http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/10/does_dollar_wea_1.html []

NUMBERS ANYONE?

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I have read my fair share of ranting asking how Obama will pay for his expansive budget plan. In particular the following parts are controversial to the Anti-Obama voters:

• A $65 billion-a-year health plan
• $15 billion in green energy spending
• $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
• A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
• $18 billion a year in education spending
• $3.5 billion for a national service plan

Oh the avaricious right would have you believe Obama is planning on spending, spending, spending…with no means to pay for it. This is a silly accusation. We, lefties, think in terms of people but we are not stupid. Some prefer numbers, even if they distort information to get them. But for the sake of prosperity, let’s discuss Obama’s economic plan on terms they can comprehend, figures. I was digging around in the federal budget for 2008 today, searching through hidden drawers, finding little tidbits to see what numbers I could use that would be fair and accurate. I found some.

In 2008, Bush requested a sum of $141,700,000,0001 (yes, folks BILLIONs) in appropriated (discretionary) funds to be allocated for Department of Defense emergency operations in the Global War on Terror. This is not base funding, it is not the mandatory funding allocated for defense…it is in addition to it, it is extra emergency SUPPLEMENTAL funding allocated for the “War on Terror”. This money is even above and beyond the $70,000,000,000 ($70.0 BILLION) allocated in the 2007 Defense Appropriations Act for such purposes. This is $388,219,178.10 per day in ADDITIONAL emergency supplemental funds (back-up to the back-up emergency funds) allocated to a war that should have never been started and will not continue, if Obama becomes President.

This is a good number to begin with, don’t you think? It is not the regular budget. It is not the defense budget (which can be argued and skewed in every direction). This is simply surplus-surplus funds (not as in extra money we have to spend frivolously but simply extra money allocated frivolously) sent over to this illegitimate war, a war Obama never wanted us to get into and fully intends on pulling us out of as soon as safely possible, upon election. A war McCain supported from the beginning and has no solid intention or concrete plan on ending.

That money alone would pay for the majority of “spending” Obama has planned. Let’s look at the remaining amount. $211.5 Billion dollars was the original amount of the “offensive suggestions”, right? Subtract the $141.7 billion (just one year’s supplemental back-up emergency funding for the war that will end under Obama) and this leaves a balance of $69.8 billion.

Let’s not forget Obama’s budget will provide a comprehensive health care plan for everyone, green energy spending (READ: LEGITIMATE MEANS TO END DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND GET US OUT OF THE ENERGY CRISIS WE ARE IN), $85 billion in tax cuts and credits for 95% of American households (immediate and long-term financial relief), more foreign aid (which will help improve foreign relations, which…um, will, uh, help reinforce the allies we have not alienated in the past eight years through our excessive use of military might, ignoring our own international agreements and throwing diplomacy out the proverbial window), a better educational system (paying teachers more, focusing on math and science to ensure our future generation is competitive in the technology of tomorrow, helping families afford college etc.) and expands our national service plan (helping people to work within their own communities to improve their own lives and the lives of others, to improve the community and the country as a whole).

However, I digress, back to the $69.8 billion dollars that needs a home in the budget.

Let’s eliminate the tax cuts for the richest 10% of Americans (who hold over 70% of the nation’s wealth)2 GASP! Or we can simply deny the additional $70 billion Bush requested for the 2009 version of the $70 billion extra supplemental funds asked for this year, to fund his War on Terror. Looks like the rich don’t even have to help. Simply ending the excessive spending on a war that Obama does not support will pay for all of his proposed spending with some left over ($200,000!).

But, now that I have done all this research, let’s play with the numbers a little, shall we?.

Pretend for a moment, not that we steal from the rich, but that we make them pay the taxes they should already be paying. After all, our taxing system is progressive. It was introduced as progressive, accepted as such and should remain as such. Translation: each person pays as per their income. The rich will pay more than the poor, but such is the progressive tax system in the United States.

The rich can afford more, so they should pay more…period.

If Richie Rich earns a billion dollars, he should have to pay the appropriate amount of taxes. Lisa Lackey is underemployed, she still pays her fair share even if she can’t afford them. Joe Average, gets a promotion and doesn’t see it all reflected on his next paycheck but he continues to pay his taxes as well. Lisa and Joe continue working hard to get promotions, hoping someday they can retire without financial worries. And both still pay their fair share year after year because neither can afford the same accountant who ensures Richie Rich receives fat and unnecessary tax-breaks.

Let’s for fun (hypothetically) take away the $116.6 billion in tax cuts for the richest 10% in FY 2009 and see what sort of fun we can have…

We could provide:3
34,365,274 People with Health Care for One Year OR
120,711,046 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
2,518,359 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
1,999,571 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
18,027,211 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
907,020 Affordable Housing Units OR
51,391,674 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
16,001,098 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
1,915,400 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
1,684,667 Port Container Inspectors for One year

Healthy, smart fun for everyone! Why don’t we discuss the realistic trickle down effects of this kind of spending rather than the non-existent theoretical trickle-down effects of laissez-faire type of economy the right-wing philistines prefer? Those who consistently bark about the unnecessary governmental spending by the Liberals, conveniently forget or justify their own spending (unnecessary wars, big corporations, corporate welfare due to excessive to excessive de-regulations, tax cuts for the rich…etc.)

Make no mistake about it, we are not talking about our everyday budgets here. We are talking about the country’s budget. Numbers look larger, more frightening, perhaps even irritating when we, the citizens, are struggling to make ends meet but Obama’s numbers are no bigger than McCain’s or any other President in the past for that matter. And Obama does have a plan on how to come up with the money. Numbers, such as these, seem astronomical to the average American but every national budget plan is more or less the allocation of our tax dollars to different priorities. So, ask yourself, do you want to take care of the economy with the same policies that got us here? Or do you want to try a sensible way?

  1. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/pdf/budget/defense.pdf []
  2. http://solutions.powersimsolutions.com/Ranking/HistoricalPerspective.aspx []
  3. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffs?location_type=1&state=888&program=276&tradeoff_item_item=999&submit_tradeoffs=Get+Trade+Off []