Hey Dems, focus on these four issues

One of this Independent voter’s frustrations with politics, which is exacerbated by this President, is pressing issues are not getting discussed. And, some are made worse or are sabotaged by the current White House incumbent as we are told to focus our attention on issues he has overstated in importance or sold on fear.

While there are many issues, it is hard to boil the ocean. So, my advice to all politicians, but especially the Democrats who are pushing these ideas, is to narrow the focus to the following four issues.

– Stabilize the healthcare system and have a good debate on Medicare for All, which is a hard sell. The GOP has failed to realize that a reason they lost the House is not listening to most Americans, instead sabotaging the ACA reneging on commitments to insurers and trying to repeal it. As a retired benefits actuary, consultant and manager. I would suggest an idea to stabilize the ACA is to expand Medicare to retirees at age 60 or 62 and measure the impact for its veracity. But, we need to start by paying insurers what we committed to them.

– Climate change is real, is happening and is man-influenced. AOC is dramatizing a little about the end of the world, but the data point she is citing is if we do not make huge strides by 2030 (12 years), our ability to stop the warming trend impact is minimal. She has been ridiculed for he Green New Deal by the GOP, but I would rather discuss her plan than Senator Marco Rubio ignoring the fact the largest city in Florida is the most at risk city on the planet and is seeing a larger number of sunny days flooding from the rising tides. Who is the crazier person, the one speaking to a problem or the one ignoring it altogether?

– Job retraining is key, but we need to understand the major reasons the jobs are going away are technology/ robotics and CEOs chasing cheap labor. It is not immigration or trade, which are down the list. This especially true in those impoverished areas where industry has left them behind moving or closing a plant.

– Finally, the debt and deficit are critical to discuss. The debt just passed $22 trillion and is headed to $34 trillion by the end of 2027. The annual deficit will pass $1 trillion this year, which is nearly 1/3 of our annual revenue. My former party and, in particular, the Freedom Caucus, are as hypocritical as they come. When the Dems had the White House, the Freedom Caucus screamed bloody murder when the debt was $8 trillion, then $13 trillion. But, I give the same caution to Dems I give to the GOP, we must reduce spending and increase revenue. The math will not work otherwise, so says the CBO, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, The Concord Coalition and Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Committee.

Of course, there are other critical issues. But, if you focus on the important few, it will resonate. This is especially true for younger folks – climate change, debt, future jobs and healthcare are important. In my view, the GOP has lost its way on issues of import. When I left the party twelve years ago, a key reason was its global warming denying stance. My thesis is if you are denying the greatest threat facing our planet, how can I trust you on resolving other issues?

We are behind the eight ball on too many issues. We are leaving our problems to our children and grandchildren. They will ask us, why did you do that? Why, indeed?

12 thoughts on “Hey Dems, focus on these four issues

  1. Note to Readers: I have written before that Democrats are lousy marketers. Including the to-date economic results under this President, historical data supports that the economy, stock market and job growth numbers under Democrat Presidents dwarfs that achieved under GOP Presidents. Yet, American voters think the opposite. We have had going on ten years of economic growth and over 8 years of job growth, but Trump has only been President two years.

    Dems need not be embarassed by pushing these issues as the GOP has been derelict in addressing them. So, say that point blank. When a GOP politicians push back on climate change – say I happen to think that coastal cities like Miami, New York, Houston deserve better than ignoring the problem as well as areas prone to drought, forest fires and stalled weather patterns. Shareholders get this, the UN get this, other countries get this. Why doesn’t the GOP and President?

    The same kind of push back could be deployed on any of the above. Again, I like saying, “you may not like my solution, but at least I am not ignoring the problem.”

    If you address these issues, you are on the side of the Angels in my view.

  2. Note to Readers: Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld is the first Republican to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020. He cited the words “grave peril,” to define the country under Donald Trump. Per The Guardian today,

    “In a speech in Bedford, New Hampshire, he (Weld) criticized the president as a threat to American democracy and said it was time for patriots to stand against.”

    Mr. Hannity, why would a Republican say that?

  3. It’s a fine list.  Unless there is room for just 1 more, I’d be inclined to replace “Job retraining …” by plutocracy.  In a multitude of interconnected ways, the USA is increasingly governed by and for the very rich.  There is a wealth of detail in books by economists like Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz.  Anything by Stiglitz is eloquent and cogent; he is a fine writer as well as a Nobel laureate.

    • Mellow, agreed of the importance and the concerns noted by those two well-respected authors. I also started to note our retrenching from our global leadership role and actions harmful to our allied relationships.

      I gravitated to the job retraining as that matters a great deal to those in areas where companies pulled the plug and left them. The issue is not immigration or trade, it is these companies chasing cheaper labor and has been since the dawn of employer and employee relationships. A favorite quote from a CFO in “The Rich and the Rest of Us,” is paraphrased as a company would get by with no employees if it could. Think AI and robotics.


  4. (I posted this separately if you wish to not post it, or respond separately)
    Sarcastically, I suggest the irresponsible persons be sure to legalize non-medically justified “assisted suicide”. Otherwise they’re going to have a bitter end in those (what we currently call) nursing homes.

    • Welcome. No problems in posting this comment. It is a larger topic, but is something that deserves discussion. Yet, I think the argument will receive better treatment if it focuses on medically necessary. I think it is Oregon that requires two doctors to certify medically necessary.

  5. Dear Keith,

    This is excellent advice since these are all critical issues. Fixing ACA/ expanding Medicare/ Medicaid; addressing climate change head on; educating average Joe workers as to the real reasons there’s a loss of manufacturing/ coal mining jobs which has nothing to do with immigration/ trade while pushing retraining and green jobs of the future; and dealing with that deficit. What’s interesting to me is that all these issues along with enacting sensible gun control measures could be considered true national emergencies.

    We’re on the same wavelength. If Dems focus on these bread and butter problems, they’ll get the voters’ attention. They have the better policies but they need to market them better.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Thanks Gronda. I was bemused at the Senators beating up on the Pharma CEOs today. They have tools they could use to drive costs down.
      – stabilize the ACA
      – expand Medicaid
      – let Medicare negotiate prices for Medicare/ Medicaid
      – limit how R&D is charged in pricing as other countries do

      The above would help with the mental health issues that are a factor in gun deaths by suicide. It also bemuses me when lawmakers blame mental health for mass shootings and then try to repeal the ACA. Keith

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