This retired small business owner thinks Obamacare is a step in the right direction

This retired small business owner thinks Obamacare is good for America. We get told every day that we are now a part of the new global economy, but our competition is from companies in countries with some form of health care for all. For the rest of the first world, health care is a social expense, while for us it is a business expense.

I played that game as a small business owner, but the deck was stacked against me. I was charged 200% of the rate for a large business, giving advantage to my larger competitors let alone off shore interests.

I never minded paying taxes: they were predictable and I could plan for them. But insurance inflation was out of control and killing many of us in the small business community. While bigger businesses were dropping coverage levels in order to leverage profit, we, the real employers of America, were dropping coverage to stay alive. In 2008 GM pointed to this flaw in our global logic and was summarily gob smacked. Like GM or not, they were right.

Now, the imperfect beginnings of a solution that serves employee and employer is before us. “Back to the drawing board” is political-speak for “bury it alive”. We can spend all day nit picking the small stuff while the elected who are beholden to BIG campaign contributors pull strings to neglect the many and profit the few.

I, for one, believe in American Ingenuity: that we should launch the project to create a yet unseen but soon to be envied strategy to ensure access to health care for Americans, and bloom as an economy within our borders and in the world. No guts, no glory. If you agree, contact your congressional delegation now.

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Pork: poison pill or political payoff? Bad, either way.

The camera-talkers in DC often squawk-out for “an up-or-down vote”, but we (the people) seldom get the whole story.

“Pork”, the unrelated actions attached to pending legislation, is deadly to any notion of integrity or transparency in government. If some cabal doesn’t want a bill to pass, they attach contrary, expensive, or politically charged pork: the poison pill approach. If it is clear legislation will pass, many will attach opportunistic pork (that often benefits big campaign contributors): the political pay off approach.

I’m fed up with this barnyard mischief. I want up-or-down votes alright, for one thing at a time: the bill. Smarty pants law making must end if our current (creepy) Congress wants this citizen’s respect. Or, to be re-elected, for that matter.

END PORK POLITICS NOW. We might actually see something get done in DC.

TalkingPigs

Managing the Debt Ceiling Is Like Getting Dressed

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Some mornings my son, now a father, woke up in such a tizzy that he wanted to bicker about everything. I fondly recall the morning he wanted to argue about whether or not he should zip up his jeans.

Watching the House vote this morning, it occurred to me that managing the debt ceiling is a lot like zipping: they both amount to finishing the job.

My son decided zipping his jeans was a good idea when I showed him how his pants would fall down if he didn’t. Just like the time to work through the “to-zip-or-not-to zip” question was before my kindergartner left the bedroom, it seems to me the time to discuss the debt ceiling is EVERY TIME we approve a budget.

What we do now is metaphorically wait until we find our jeans around our ankles, and then try to put the blame for our public embarrassment on someone else.

[Photo credit unavailable, I am sorry to say.]

Bogarumba: frantic dancing to imaginary music


AngryWoman

I have used the term Bogarumba for 30 years to describe the private-interest mischief used to confuse, manipulate, and distance real people from meaningful participation in the American political process. So much more than “wag the dog”, it includes every known strategy to control the narrative so that we (the people) spin off in ungrounded debate – planting flags, taking positions, never to find common ground – while the narrative creators have their way with the law of the land.

Funded by a crescendo of tax cuts leaving mountains of money in the hands of the few and their pet lobbies, they have launched fake science, blocked research, and created an infusion of “common knowledge” that is based upon private objectives, creating a barrier to our solving old problems in new ways: the very definition of American ingenuity.

Before any reader decides this is an attack on one party or another, let me be clear that this is an attack on the influence of cash on this republic’s democracy, regardless who plays the game. This is a cry for first, Campaign Finance Reform, as a tool to get our elected out of the financial death grip of monied interests (allowing the elected to represent voters rather than dollars), and second, Tax Code Reform that properly channels American wealth into a legitimate form of participation in the American political process.

Anticipating our recognition of these barriers, well paid spin doctors have prepared a plethora of alienating talking points and logic pathways to keep us apart. Our only defense is for each of us to ask ourselves the simple question, “is there life after kool-aid?”, can we each describe to ourselves the America we seek, and then come together to address the multitude of issues we face as a nation?

I say we can. This is what the Coffee Party is all about.

Spending problem? I can help.

If America has a ‘spending problem’, somebody should ask ME how I think we should spend the people’s money. Better yet, ask me how I DON’T want to spend it.

Given the choice between those ‘Homeland Security’ people who make me take off my shoes, throw away my hand lotion, and walk through the “get naked machine” in the airport, or meaningful health insurance for senior citizens and the disabled, I choose the latter.

Given the choice between investing in first rate public education for all Americans, or the War on Terror, the longest, least mission-driven, and most expensive / debt producing war (with the largest private Army) in the history of the nation, I choose the former.

And if asked to choose between subsidies for corporations with record profits or the social safety net? Guess.

The choices are not hard if you say them out loud.

My postcard to the President

Dear Mr. President:

Now that it is down to Mr. Boehner and you to settle the budget squabble, this citizen asks that you do what we elected you to do. The people need to know you have not fallen for the “entitlement hoax” (that social security and medicare have destroyed America); that “The Entitled” are still the wealthy no matter how they spin it; and that today’s tax codes are proof of their “Special” status.

If the money people knew what they were doing the world would not be in economic chaos. The Special and their corporate-persons-not-citizens have profited from bad strategies, among them peace and prosperity tax cuts during time of war and recession. Their threats of job cuts and money hoarding need to be answered with resolve.

Your mandate is to restore the dignity of public spending for the public good, to resist tricks (like the assumption a 66 year old women can find a job), to allow the Affordable Care Act to save Medicare, and to put an end to talk about the undeserving public employee, veteran, worker, etc.

You need to respond to heckles that you should run the country like a business by doing real investing in things that will deliver genuine returns, like education, future energy, and American commerce and industry. Austerity is for losers. Privatization is for the conquered.

We are tired of being called names because we give food stamps to underpaid employees, designer tax loopholes to corporations with record profits, and subsidies for medically challenging food. The day of The Special is over. The public vision and will to “pay it forward” is back.

Respectfully yours….

The FISCAL OBSTACLE COURSE is a sign of past failures – or is it?

The so called ‘Fiscal Cliff’ may not be a cliff at all. The Economic Policy Institute calls it The Fiscal Obstacle Course. This morning the National Priorities Project gave a simple definition of what our elected officials face:

“Fiscal cliff” refers to a host of different federal budget cuts and tax increases that are all scheduled to take effect at the start of 2013. These looming budget cuts and tax increases are referred to as a “cliff” because, if they all actually took effect in 2013, it would be a major setback for our weak economy.” This is a puzzle an adult should be able to solve, but would an adult have made this mess in the first place? We can do better than this.

Those folks in DC are our surrogates. We the People elected them to speak our voices to action. The childish histrionics we face today are a function of the failure of the Super Committee (and the Congress that created it) to represent US, and a function of their subversive success in representing their preferred constituency: big money.

The Coffee Party is the stand for Tax Code Reform because today’s code is a perfect expression of that breach of trust.

TAX CODE REFORM BEGINS with our actions as individuals and as Coffee Party – alone and in collaboration with other good government organizations – to let our surrogates in the House, Senate, and White House know what WE expect.

Call them. Fax them. Email them. Send them postcards. Attend town halls. Be informed, engaged, and in communication now and for the rest of your life. Recall those who fail to maintain your trust. Campaign for those you trust the most. Welcome to citizen participation, the magic that makes this republic’s democracy work for us all.

Tax Cuts and Date Night

Parents know that when the kids begin to date, school nights are out and weekends are in. There are exceptions, of course, but we know that kids need sleep if they are going to try to learn something in the morning.

I say peace and prosperity tax cuts are just like date night: they should only happen when the conditions are appropriate. The continuation of these tax cuts during time of war and recession makes about as much sense as letting your kids go to a rave the night before their final exams.

And, as every parent knows, once it looks like the exception has become  the rule, you have a battle on your hands that you may never really win.

But when I try to be the adult in the room and point out the obvious about tax cuts (that the conditions are not right, and the exception has become the rule), you would think I was standing in the lunch line at school badmouthing the rave:  the “partiers” doth protesteth too much, methinks.

Dear Employees, I gladly impart my wisdom: pay attention!

Dear Employees:

In this country of ours it is important to vote for the candidate of your choice. But today, more than ever, your future employment with this company depends upon how you vote.

Our shareholders, executives, corporate officers, and I have gotten used to the lifestyle afforded by today’s generous tax climate. The wrong vote could change all that.

And the idea that we might have to provide equal pay for equal work, include health insurance in your compensation, contribute to the social safety net, or help pay down the debt seems so ordinary, and not attractive to investors.

You should be grateful we haven’t sent your jobs overseas or brought in guest workers already! The wrong vote just might make us change our minds.

After all, it is money that makes money in this country, and if you want us to continue to include you in our business plans, I suggest you think twice before you make us cranky.

Best wishes for smart voting and future employment,             THE BOSS

Rough seas for America

Our ship of state has been dragging the anchor of an obstructive Congress ever since the new president took office. Tonight I had to listen to one of these lead weights tell the television cameras that the same thinking that dug a furrow in economic bottoms for the last three and a half years should now be hoisted up, and put in the captain’s chair. I don’t think so.

I am not a Democrat or a Republican; and I am not a fool. Every problem in America that this Congress of ours has refused to try to solve was blamed on the POTUS tonight. Mr. Ryan was quite the salesman but I was not convinced: rather, I was insulted by his clinging to rocky talking points from the deep.

“Cut and run” is a boating term: when danger is at hand, and you cannot free the anchor, it is better to sever the line and head for safety than to waste time salvaging your investment in mere hardware. Mr. Ryan helped me make my decision tonight: I’m cutting this nominee and his presidential candidate loose.