This, that and another thing

Now that the state of the union and Democrat rebuttal are behind us, it would be nice if an independent voter had a turn. On the talk (and some shouting) shows, the independent views do not get heard enough and that is disappointing. For once, it would be illuminating for a member of neither party to share their thoughts.

For example, we might learn:

  • Global warming really is a concern and we should be doing something about it. On Bill Maher’s Friday show,  he noted that Senator Marco Rubio used the argument against the President for declaring a national emergency to build the wall, as what would stop President Kamala Harris from doing so to address climate change? Maher correctly pointed out the latter is becoming a national emergency, while the wall is not even a top ten issue and is overblown as a solution. He also noted, with the very real concerns over Miami, Rubio may become the Senator of Atlantis.
  •  A growing debt which is around $22 trillion with an annual deficit about to hit $1 trillion is a problem, especially with the deficit in a good economy. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget models the debt to be around $34 trillion at the end of the 2027 fiscal year. We must have spending cuts and revenue increases both. The math will not otherwise work. If a politician tells you differently, he or she is lying to you. Don’t let them.
  • The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing. So is KyNect in Kentucky. Too many people still don’t realize this in the GOP. But, don’t look to politicians to solve this, as they really do not understand how our complex healthcare system works. We need to stabilize the ACA and stop sabotaging it, as the GOP has done.  My recommendation as a retired benefits consultant, actuary and manager is to fund money promised to insurance companies to pay for adverse selection and committed to deductibles, copays for people beneath 2 1/2 times the poverty limit. I would also expand Medicare as a pilot, measured effort to retirees below age 65, such as 60 or 62. This will reduce the cost rate in the exchanges and Medicare. The remaining states need to get off the dime and expand Medicaid – it is a no brainer per GOP Governor John Kasich.
  •  Addressing America’s crumbling infrastructure would help rebuild assets and provide good jobs. We also need to build on the community college system with some added funding to retrain people to do the jobs of the future, as technology claims even more (this is the major threat, not immigration or trade). Also, building on the bipartisan idea pitched to the President last year by Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman from Ohio, we should co-invest with car manufacturers to retool plants to make the cars in demand and keep the factories open. This idea was ignored and the President was offended when GM announced some plant closings.
  •  There are so many more ideas around rethinking ill-conceived tariffs and trade fights, poverty issues, and gun governance, but let me make a general statement that is important. Start treating our allies and citizens with fairness and dignity. Stop the adversarial BS. A country and business makes more money long term by having a productive long term relationship. We need to stop measuring success on short-term transactions. Listen to your advisors as they actually study our problems. And, stop beating up on a free press. From where I sit, they are not perfect, but the true journalists try to get it right. The main source of fake news in the country sits in the oval office and he only cares about looking good.

Well, that is enough for now. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Not being from Kentucky, I would love to see this upset

I have written several times before that I find Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as two of the main culprits in our gridlock in Washington. I would add about 30 conservative members of House to the mix along with Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Ted Cruz who have held America as hostage. Yet, while Boehner’s seat is likely safe, McConnell is getting all that he could want from Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

She is a very formidable candidate and McConnell’s ratings are poor. But, McConnell is running against the President and not Grimes in his campaigning. As I noted in earlier posts, while the President is not perfect, he is not getting a fair shake with the GOP painting him with a negative brush more than he deserves. Given where the rest of the world is and the obstinance with the GOP in Congress, including McConnell, Obama has steered the economy pretty well and has nothing of which to be ashamed. Plus, while Obamacare polls poorly in Kentucky, the state health plan called Kynect is polling well. The irony is they are the same thing. Obama and Obamacare names are wielded as weapons without people looking beneath the hood to see that Obamacare is Kynect.

I have seen Grimes speak several times and she is her own person. She is pro Kentucky, while McConnell has shown his stripes as being a blocker. I would love to see Kentucky citizens send a strong message to the establishment and send another formidable woman to the Senate. To be frank, we need more voices of reason and it should not be lost on anyone that it took a group of women senators last fall to break the government shutdown started by these obstinant members of Congress.

Go get him, Secretary Grimes. You can do it and it would be wonderful if you did. The Senator is long over due to be shown the door.