Federal Government

Commuting with Julie – Go, Dems, Go!

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The Republicans are calling it a stunt.  They want to go on vacation, but the Democrats are tired of our children dying because the wrong person was able to purchase a weapon.  Most Americans agree with the Democrats, but Speaker Ryan and the rest of the GOP love being able to scare their base with “Obama is coming for your guns” talk.  The gun manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank.  When is enough enough?

Now!

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Affordable Care Act

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Pay attention to the fact that your state can refuse to expand medicaid, like Scott Walker recently did. By turning away the Federal money – poor people will be left without health insurance. One more item, small businesses won’t be hurt by Obama care – that’s one of those Conservative falsities (Conservatives love to lie). You need to have more than 50 employees to be affected.

Common Core and the GOP

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I’m going to admit that I do not know a lot about Common Core. What I do know is that it sets educational standards and no one seems to like it much. This reminds me of another attempt to set educational standards: No Child Left Behind.

We do need standards in education. While the right continues to scream about teachers’ unions and blame them for the decline of education, the left screams that we’re not spending enough money. The truth is probably in the middle left.

But, here’s the think: Common Core had bipartisan support when it was passed and now the GOP is turning against it in a big way. They’re accusing President Obama of illegally using Federal funds to make States follow the guidelines. Wait, how is that illegal? And, why can’t the GOP ever just come up with an idea without it being an attack on the President?

I’m beginning to think that they didn’t get enough hugs when they were children.

Romney’s Lack Of A True Tax Plan

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I write this just hours before the second Presidential Debate. As I write this, Romney is pulling slightly a head of President Obama in the polls. Given the plus/minus ratio, President Obama has not only lost his lead, he is effectively tied with Mitt Romney. This is without Romney releasing more than two years of his taxes, with Paul Ryan still dazed by his debate loss to Vice President Biden and without the Romney/Ryan team releasing a full and complete tax plan.

The latter of these is my greatest concern. You can’t cut $5 trillion out of Federal revenues without cutting the Federal budget severely. Period.

Romney/Ryan aren’t stating what will be cut. They aren’t detailing what loopholes they’re going to close. Will they take away the mortgage deduction? Early in his campaign, Romney said he would for families earning more than $250,000 but that didn’t go over well, so his team backed off as quickly as they mentioned it.

The only spending cut Romney actually promotes is the $444 million spent each year on public television. That’s less than a percent of our spending – big savings there. But, he’s talking about cutting $5 trillion in taxes. To leave the deficit as is, $5 trillion will have to cut from our spending and what should be cut?

You can’t cut defense. In addition to the welfare of our country, there are economic issues to consider. We spend less in defense, defense companies lay off employees and unemployment rises.

What about infrastructure? That has to be ruled out. Our nation’s roads, bridges and other structures are in the worse shape. We have been neglecting the majority of our infrastructure (exception is Wisconsin).

There are other programs. Romney wants to eliminate the Department of Education, that would be a huge savings and a very bad idea. We need to educate our nation’s youth, not throw them aside like yesterday’s news.

I’m just throwing ideas out here, because Romney/Ryan certainly never give us any.

Be warned: the great state of Wisconsin elected Scott Walker after he promised to lower taxes and create 450,000 jobs in his first four years. So, far, Walker has cut some taxes (mine haven’t dropped any), cut Education spending in the state and the unemployment rate – after a slight drop – is 7.5%. This isn’t the highest it has been under Scott Walker, but it is back on the rise.

In New Jersey, where Christie reigns, their unemployment is 9.9% – higher than the Nation’s. If the economy is what you care about, then Romney’s policies are not what you want. They aren’t working on the state level (cut taxes, cut spending ) and they won’t work on the national level.

$4,800.00

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Today is National Coming Out Day. I don’t celebrate it. I mean, who else is left for me to tell I’m a lesbian? My entire family knows, as do my friends, and my employer knew from day one – when I put a picture of Cheryl on my desk. Personally, I think this day should be National Stay Home Day. I think missing the 36 million gay Americans at work and school would make a larger impact, as we are everywhere.

Anyway, because of my feelings, I’ve decided to write about the $4,800.00 that will no longer be in my pocket once I cover Cheryl’s health insurance via my company’s domestic partnership policy. This is not money that pays for the insurance itself – this is the taxes taken straight from my paycheck because Cheryl and I cannot legally marry in our state and even if we could, the Federal Government won’t recognize it.

$4,800.00 may not sound like a lot of money, but think about the things we won’t be able to do with that money. $4,800.00 works out to $400 a month. That’s a car payment. $400 a month is ten tanks of gas. It’s ten visits to restaurants in Racine. It’s books and toys for our grandchildren. One month’s amount is a new smart phone.

Taxing my insurance coverage for Cheryl,  while not taxing a straight, married co-worker’s insurance coverage for their spouse isn’t right. It’s unfair taxation.

$4,800.00 a year will raise the total federal taxes on my income to over $12,000 a year. This is well above Mitt Romney’s tax rate of 14%.

I wonder how the people in charge can sleep at night by overtaxing American citizens. I know people who claim that I shouldn’t be a one issue voter, but they don’t get it. This isn’t just about receiving a legal document – this is about taking money out of my pocket unfairly and unjustly.

Our friend, Mitt Romney

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While Governor, Mitt Romney signed into law a healthcare law that is very much like the Affordable Care Act. I will admit that I am not very familiar with Massachusett’s law, but I believe that if Romney had disagreed with the law, he could have vetoed it.

Romney is running for President and he plans on overturning ACA (aka Obamacare) on day one, my friend.

Now, this passed weekend, Romney goes on talk shows and said that there are some parts of ACA he likes and he will keep them.

What?

How can anyone take this guy seriously any more? I don’t have a problem with a politician saying “You know, I was against this, but I did more research and I’ve changed my mind.” I don’t mind a politician saying, “I was against this, but I’ve received a thousand letters from my constituents and I’m going to vote for it, because they want me too.”  (Where would we find a guy like that?)

But, Romney is running on a platform that is against Obamacare! And, now he’s mellowing? Where is the decisive business man he claims to be? He flips and flops that it scares me. He wants to be liked. Mitt Romney wants all of us to like him.

But, that’s not possible when you’re running for office. You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. We need a President with a backbone! Not someone who wants all of us to be his friend. I have friends. The country has friends. What we need is a strong leader and Mitt isn’t.

The Supreme Court Gets It Right

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Finally, the Roberts led Court made a decision that will actually be good for this country. Too bad the right wing is too stubborn to agree.

Sadly, many on the right just don’t get it.

They think that this equates to people getting something for nothing. Apparently, they haven’t been told that millions of hardworking American citizens either can’t afford insurance or work where it isn’t offered.  The Affordable Care Act means that they will have access to affordable health insurance. That’s a good thing.

Plus, the law finally does what should’ve been done a very long time ago – it regulates the insurance companies. Now, they have to spend 85% of the premiums on actual health care. This is a good thing.  Let me explain.

I’m a responsible, tax paying American citizen. When I was working as a contractor, I purchased the most expensive health care plan my employer offered.  I paid the full amount of the premium. I thought I had purchased a plan that would cover up to $15,000 of charges.  I ended up in the hospital and the bill came to well over $6,000. My insurance company didn’t pay anything. What they did do was deny the hospital payment for services and lower the cost of others. I was left with a $4,000 bill.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $4,000 just lying around.

With the health care law in full effect, this wouldn’t have happened. And, I wouldn’t be making monthly payments to my local hospital. The insurance company would’ve done what I had been paying them to do.

Another good thing about the health care law is the removal of pre-existing conditions. I have a very mild case of asthma. There was a mix up with my insurance when I switched from one consulting firm to another. This left me without insurance coverage for about two weeks (during which I managed to rack up another $2,000 in Hospital bills.)

Under the old ways, no continuing coverage – no coverage for my asthma. Not now.

Now, my new insurance cannot penalize me for someone else’s mistake.

Which brings me to the Individual Mandate. #1. You don’t want someone to not have coverage, be diagnosed with cancer and then sign up for insurance. That would be the same as not buying car insurance until after you’ve been in an accident. By making everyone have insurance, this scenario practically goes away.
#2. By everyone having insurance, hospitals will be paid for services. If you think people are walking away from medical bills and no one is paying for it, you’re wrong. We all pay when the hospitals raise their rates to make up for the deadbeats.

Responsible adults carry insurance. Now, we’re all going to be responsible adults whether the right wing agrees or not.

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Romney is NOT our Man

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Quick, which Presidential candidate had a rich daddy pay for his Harvard education?

ROMNEY.

Which candidate broke companies apart, created layoffs for his fellow Americans and became rich in the process ?

ROMNEY.

Romney’s campaign slogan “Putting Jobs First” is a joke of epic proportions. Romney isn’t someone who knows about putting jobs first. He is a business man and a very successful one. For that he deserves credit. However; you CAN’T run the government like you run a business.

Business people care about profits and that runs contrary to creating jobs. Businesses don’t create jobs for the sake of creating them. They create jobs when there is a need.

What creates need? Demand. Demand for your products or services creates the environment that causes companies to higher.

Profits DO NOT create jobs. Take a good hard look at the profit and lost sheets of nearly every major company in the country. You will find that most of them – the majority of them – are making higher profits now then before the 2008 crash.

Then, take a look at their hiring. See any job creation? Not a lot.

Think tax cuts are the answer? Think again. Taxes on the upper one percent and corporations are lower now than they were in the 1950s. And, still, very few jobs.

Is our economy improving?

Yes it is, but if we make cuts in government spending now – like Romney supports – and we further cut the taxes on the rich – like Romney wants – we’re repeating 1937. And, we all know what happened in 1937.

Romney is the wrong man at the wrong time. We don’t need a business man who only knows profits. We don’t need a man who spent his professional career laying people off. We don’t need a man who asks his country what can you do for me and then hides his money in the Cayman Islands. We don’t need a man who believes that “Corporations are people, my friend.”

We need a man who has had student loan debt. A man who knows our communities. A man who understands that the road to success is paved with hard work and dedication.

We need President Obama for another four years.

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