To The Strongest- Nancy Pelosi For Speaker!

#TeamPelosi

The Blue Wave hit the nation hard last week, and it was beautiful. The number of seats we recaptured continues to grow and numbers in the hundreds, and that means we have made it. America is going to be all right so long as we are careful to properly utilize the resources of the House of Representatives.

In order to do that, we need our strongest master sitting behind the chessboard as the Speaker of the House. That master is Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, current Minority Speaker of the House, who with Chuck Schumer has led Democratic resistance to Donald Trump since the day he won the election.

Pelosi is one of the toughest, smartest Americans to have ever drawn breath, and we need her. No way are we going to let radicals shout her off the board, and in talking for a minute about why it is so critical that she get her old job back as Speaker, the chess analogy continues to be useful.

The concept of the Fortress, in chess, refers to a situation in which the two sides competing are not materially equal, and one is much stronger than the other. However, even so, the weaker side can hold, having just enough material to keep from being checkmated. In this way, a drawn position can be achieved.

The Fortress is the position that Democrats have been playing for, and all that we have suffered and endured through since two Novembers ago has been for the sake of achieving it.

The point is that the Republicans are still stronger in terms of the power they hold. They have the higher house of the legislature, they have the White House, they have a Supreme Court majority.

But it doesn’t matter.

So long as Democrats hold the House, the Trump administration can do nothing. We can obstruct them every time they try and do something awful, like murdering tens of millions of people by depriving them of their basic right to health care. Republicans used to do this to Obama as a routine. They were routinely and accurately described as obstructionists.

Any law that gets passed in America must necessarily pass through both houses of the Congress. That is what a bicameral legislature means. The purpose of having one has been illustrated so vividly these past two years that it’s almost redundant to say so, but there it is.

They can’t get a law through without the House, which we control. We’ve got the power to save our country because of it.

Having said all this, it ought to be abundantly clear how important it is to use this power wisely.

The question of who ought to be the Speaker of the House is therefore not a question at all. And no one is asking it, save a few extremist agitators among the far left who are never satisfied with anything. The answer is Nancy Pelosi, just as it has been for the last two decades.

The praises of Pelosi are easy to sing. In the first two years of Obama’s presidency, she brought to the table the $840 billion stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the Dodd-Frank banking reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Waxman-Markey climate bill. All four of them passed, and we didn’t have a full Congressional majority for nearly half of that time.

Mistreatment of Pelosi by the far left, in particular, is despicable. To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez– Biting the hand that feeds is the behavior of a spoiled child, whether or not that child happens to be a Representative. This person has been one of our most dedicated and historical leaders. Please stop and think about what you are doing. You really are getting in your own way with this kind of thing.

Pelosi is one of the most skillful political tacticians in America. She got her degree in political science back in 1961. She and Chuck Schumer even had good luck for a while, talking sense into Trump on the DACA deal, until Sean Hannity was allowed to overrule them.

Whosoever wants to throw away that kind of skill and professionalism at the exact time when the country needs it most is, to put it mildly, lacking a thorough knowledge of the subject.

She has a talent for organizing a caucus that is without equal. “You build your consensus in your caucus, and when you’re ready, you set the date to bring it to the floor,” she has explained, drawing a contrast between Democrats and Republicans. “This isn’t something where we ever go in and say: here’s the bill, now we need you to vote for it the day after tomorrow. That isn’t the Democratic Party. Some people criticize us for being such a Democratic Party, but that’s who we are.”

Building up that consensus is the part of the handiwork that the public doesn’t see. Only a few can manage it, and none without decades of experience. So one last time, we’re going to the chessboard for a hint of understanding, in talking about the need for cohesion of force.

Your army cannot communicate if a strong king is not present; and, in this case, that king happens to be a queen. Get behind her! It is what the country needs. That is the only thing that matters. As Alexander the Great said on his deathbed in referring to the inheritance of his empire, “To the strongest”!

We are Democrats. We stick up for our friends, and we stick up for those who have helped us! Attacking your own side is good for no one but your opponents.

We need Nancy Pelosi. We are very proud of her. And we will never give her up.

Advertisements

Stand Up for Nancy Pelosi! Dedicated Democrat, National Treasure.

Stand up for those who have stood up for you.

Nancy Pelosi is a hero. Plain and simple. There is simply no other way to say it.

This person has stood firm for us for years. That is why she has been the target of the Republicans, for years.

This Millennial Democrats contributor happens to remember that Bill O’Reilly was on the radio the night of Obama’s victory in 2008 calling her “dangerous”.

This is why National Review, Breitbart, and Townhall have got Google locked down this morning when you type in her name.

The treatment of Nancy Pelosi as of late by the far left, in particular, is despicable. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that to bite the hand that feeds is the behavior of a spoiled child. This person has been one of our most dedicated and historical leaders.

What is driving this need to savage one of our most gifted and able leaders? It certainly isn’t any fault of hers. Pelosi is one of the most skillful political tacticians in America.

She and Chuck Schumer even had good luck for a while, talking sense into Trump on the DACA deal, until Sean Hannity was allowed to overrule them.

In 2005, when becoming House Speaker was still a hope rather than a reality, Pelosi played a central role in destroying efforts by George W. Bush to try partially privatizing Social Security. When fellow Democrats asked her when she might release a competing plan of her own, her reliable answer, according to one aide, was, “Never. Does never work for you?” It worked. Bush’s effort was a fiasco.

But it wasn’t until Pelosi became Speaker of the House and had the support of a Democratic White House that the conditions arose for her to truly become a legend.

The Atlantic’s Andy Kroll wrote that “Pelosi muscled through one major piece of legislation after another: the $840 billion stimulus package, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank banking-reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Waxman-Markey climate bill.”

She has a talent for organizing a cohesive caucus that is without equal. “You build your consensus in your caucus, and when you’re ready, you set the date to bring it to the floor,” she has explained, drawing a contrast between Democrats and Republicans. “This isn’t something where we ever go in and say: here’s the bill, now we need you to vote for it the day after tomorrow. That isn’t the Democratic Party. Some people criticize us for being such a Democratic Party, but that’s who we are.”

Building up that consensus is the part of the handiwork that the public doesn’t see. Only few can manage it, and none without decades of experience.

Nancy Pelosi got her degree in political science back in 1961. Whosoever wants to throw away that kind of skill and professionalism at the exact time when the country needs it most is, to put it mildly, lacking a thorough knowledge of the subject.

It has become a cliche to try and distance oneself from her or to say some crap about how she’s got “baggage”. This is what you call cowardice. It’s indecent. Period. It joins the Republicans and the loony left extremists in slinging filth at someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Republicans will be running nasty campaign ads linking Democratic candidates to Nancy Pelosi, whether or not she is still Speaker. That’s what they do. Long after she’s retired, that will be a dirty trick they use.

So stop falling for it! Stick up for your friends! Stick up for those who have helped you! Attacking your own side is good for no one but your opponents.

Nancy Pelosi has led Democratic resistance to Donald Trump since the day he won the election.

We are very proud of her.

And we will never give her up.

Why America Would Still Be Respected If Hillary Clinton Had Won.

#StillWithHer

Would America be more respected today, if Hillary Clinton had been elected President?

That’s a question that the whole world is asking.

It’s hard to believe anyone can doubt it. We’ve been subjected to every indignity conceivable over the course of this last year. Remember when Trump was too old and fat to walk with the other leaders at the Paris Summit earlier this year, and had to ride along behind the rest in a golf cart?

It really seems inconceivable that anyone capable of pulling on pants in the morning could be so unaware as Donald Trump. The man is a complete disgrace. He has eroded American prestige within a single year. Russia, which is only a regional power, has assumed the mantle of leadership in the minds of many. We haven’t been providing it.

Respect. They say you have to give it to get it. Donald Trump doesn’t respect anybody but himself.

We had a chance last year. We had one of the most competent politicians this country has ever seen, ready to take the reins from one of the most beloved politicians the country has ever seen.

It took Barack Obama eight years to get us pointed in the right direction again after the eight years of unending nightmare that was George Bush’s tenure in office, but he did it! Health care was resolved, we were out of Iraq, and the economy had substantially recovered.  All we had to do was walk forward together.

That did not happen, for a number of different reasons, and the scale of the missed opportunity is the worst.

Perhaps we should consider what might have been, the what-ifs of a Hillary win, what has been lost and what opportunities were squandered this year. But when we do, we must realize it will be painful.

Since Trump was elected, millions of Americans have been living with constant worry about losing their health care. President Hillary Clinton was the person who first laid the plans for an American public health system.

She had a lifetime of working with Congress and was a Senator herself for eight years. Her technical skill and consummate mastery of her topic gave her an ideal skill set to fine-tune Obamacare with and place it on firm footing for the future. There was no one else on Earth so uniquely qualified.

It is wisely said that Barack Obama’s greatest gift to Donald Trump was the economy. By nearly every conceivable metric, we are significantly better off now than we were in 2008. We’re still feeling the effects of his wise policies, although Trump tries taking credit for them all he can. He’s selling himself a dream, though. The Center for American Progress put together a list called 100 Days, 100 Ways, that Trump Has Hurt Americans. That was back in April.

Perhaps the biggest difference comes from what they intended to do with American resources. Speaking of Trump’s new tax plan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he thought the bill would go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

In direct contrast, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 economic platform focused on raising middle-class incomes to increase growth. It was lauded by economic experts around the world for its depth and its realism.

Clinton’s plan was well-thought out and detailed. She was the only 2008 candidate to advocate a balanced budget. The tax credit, health insurance, and retirement plans would have funnelled cash to consumers.

Her retirement plan would have addressed the looming Social Security crisis. Her proposal to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax has been a problem long overdue. In short, this platform would have benefited the U.S. economy.

All of these things are huge, of course. Every one of them should have been enough to lay Trump down for good. At the end of the day, the implications of her defeat are very serious.

The 2016 election proved to us that in many ways, our electoral process amounts to a popularity contest.

It wasn’t anything rational that led to such a self-destructive decision on the part of the American people last year. It was anger. People stopped listening to each other. The lines of communication broke down. In this highly polarized, explosive environment, the collective reason of America failed her, to the eternal detriment of at least the reputation of the country.

Would the United States have been more respected today, if Hillary Clinton was our President? As surely as the sun will rise in the East and set in the West.

Our national conduct would befit that of a superpower, instead of a bumbling infant. Our economy would have stayed strong. We would not be internationally reviled for pulling out of the Paris Accord. In short, we would have been making strides toward the future, doing good for as many people as we can, for as long as we can.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most competent living Americans, and the fact of her exclusion from the halls of power in Washington is to the detriment of every man, woman, and child who calls this country home.

There will come a time when we get to try again. America is an empire of magnificent strength. It was built to survive a great deal worse than Donald Trump. In the meantime, however, in our hearts, we know that she was robbed. That single fact alone has done more to disrespect this country than anything that has happened since Bush vs Gore.

To Hillary Clinton herself, Millennial Democrats would simply like to say, We miss you, Madam President. The Clintons will always be the First Family, to many of us. We were kids when you guys ran the country, and you took good care of us.

Hillary Clinton would have brought the country honour, at all the same junctures that Trump has debased it. She will be sorely missed.

The GOP’s Middle Income Tax Increase.

Trump Robs The Middle Class

The new tax bill that the House of Representatives passed Thursday can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. It’s going to hurt the middle class terribly. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal. It was hard to believe the budget plan the Senate just signed off on could be approved of by any human being with a heart.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill-conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. The CBO report speaks for itself. It’s really more of a tax plot.

The Trumps will save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal with most of that amount coming from a repeal of the estate tax, according to an analysis NBC News commissioned of Trump’s one known 2005 tax return and his estimated net worth

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large-scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

Trump Gives Big Pharma Boost Instead of Boundaries- What A Shame.

Last week the Trump administration made a policy change designed specifically to boost Big Pharma. What was needed was a president who would use the regulatory powers of the government to protect the patients and small pharmacies nationwide. Instead, he dealt them a harsh blow.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule,  that cuts Medicare Part B drug reimbursement to some hospitals serving poorer patients by about 30 percent.

On November 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) Final Rule for 2018.  The Final Rule retains a controversial proposal to cut Medicare Part B drug reimbursement for products purchased under the 340B Program and billed through the HOPPS.

The rule change has been a big lobbying priority for Big Pharma. They benefit from a law allowing them to sell drugs at a discount, in exchange for Big Pharma companies getting access to entitlement monies.

Big Pharma believes that program, whose existence and previous expansion is written into law, is reducing its profit margins.  It wants nothing more than to stick it to these hospitals.

Ironically, this will end up badly harming Trump voters, and the areas in which they live. A personal anecdote serves well to illustrate the problem.

A sad thing happened to one of our contributors recently. Upon leaving work, he decided to stop and buy a soft drink, as he has done five days a week for twenty-two years, at a downtown pharmacy nearby. When he went inside, the girl behind the counter broke into tears at the sight of him, gave him a big hug, and told him how much she was going to miss him.

The little store, which has been open since the 1950’s, will be shuttering its doors at the end of the year.

After more than 60 years, the drugstore has become the latest casualty in a three-decade decimation of independent drugstores by chain drugstores.

Doug Hoey, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association, says that the scenario our contributor experienced is repeating itself with increasing regularity across the country.

The problem for independent pharmacies is the reimbursement system. Reimbursement is the amount the insurer pays for the drug. Depending on the type and cost of the drug, the insurer pays either the physician directly, the drug manufacturer or an intermediary known as a pharmacy benefit manager, or PBM.

Pricing and reimbursement are directly entangled. When drugs get released onto the market, they will ultimately have several different prices, but the first one is the list price, which comes from the manufacturer. The list price serves as the basis for future calculations.

Being independent meant that PBMs had an incentive to pass those savings back to their health plan sponsors, and thus, ultimately, to patients.

That’s why, when drug-makers began acquiring PBMs in the 1990s, the Federal Trade Commission acted swiftly to undo the deals. The FTC believed that combining PBMs with pharmaceutical companies created obvious and dangerous conflicts of interest.

It would have enabled drug-makers to coordinate pricing policies, gain access to the sensitive information of their competitors, and favor their own drugs. Today, though, it’s big pharmacies instead of big drug-makers that are merging with PBMs. And the deals are creating similar conflicts of interest.

Regardless of whether the PBM’s owner is the big drug companies or the big pharmacies, the problem is the same. When the company owns the industry that sets prices, it becomes possible for a savage like Martin Shkreli to do things like jack the prices of crucial AIDS drugs up to 5,000% versus their usual rates.

One technique they use is to simply pay generic makers to keep their products out of drugstores. The schemes are referred to as a “pay to delay” deal. Another, known as product-hopping, involves getting around patent term limits by reformulating drugs slightly and marketing them as something new altogether.

The strategy often involves embroiling up some kind of legal dispute, designed to hang the new pill up in court as long as possible, while the brand names make a killing. Drugs like the antipsychotic Abilify, which in its generic form costs 30 bucks for 20 pills, cost consumers and pharmacies $1, 234 for the same exact thing.

Anyone who knows that is sure to choose the generic, and this is what the big brand names are afraid of. This was the impetus behind their most underhanded ruse, preventing generic drug makers from getting access to doses of branded drugs they need to run tests.

Generic makers need roughly 5,000 doses of branded drugs to show that their products are truly equivalent. Big manufacturers have been narrowing their lists of approved pharmacies, again to box small companies in and consume them.

Nearly 9 in 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S. are for generic drugs.

Wharton professor Patricia Danzon explains that a PBM combined with a drugstore has both the incentive and the power to steer plan members to the pharmacies it chooses, rather than contracting with as many drugstores as possible on the basis of location, convenience, and well-being of its patients. The bottom line is money, and the well-being of humans falls by the wayside.

Drug prices in the U.S. are higher than anywhere else in the world. In the midst of the world’s strongest economy, one in six American adults go without their prescriptions, because they can’t afford to get them filled. Two-thirds of drug research is funded by the government using taxpayer money. The research done to create the drugs were all paid for by American taxpayers. Big Pharma still gouges us nonetheless.

The U. S. really needs to develop price control strategies. Other countries use price ceilings. They simply tell Big Pharma what they are willing to pay for the pills, and the company is then free to decide whether or not they wish to accept the deal. But in America, the large companies are able to use their money and influence through lobbying to prevent regulatory measures of that kind. They gouge the U.S. simply because they can.

Our healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act,  is a great start, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We spend twice as much per capita for our system as compared to other countries with public health care. Now that Trump has sabotaged the Affordable Care Act by defaulting on the federal payments that provided those reimbursements, it’s just going to keep getting worse.

On Tuesday night, the Democratic Party began taking back our country. People have hope again. Democratic victories provided some much-needed vigor and relief to some people who have really deserved it. It’s huge.

The Democrats need to get back into power before we can start to do anything about drug prices or anything else. We’re the only ones who’ve got the plans and skills. We have also got the momentum. Tuesday night, we got the jolt in the arm we’ve been needing. The #BlueWave is now very real.

Moving forward, we’re going to be doing all we can to emphasize the fact that we have got an excellent plan for dealing with these kinds of problems. It’s right there in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Platform. Bernie Sanders was living on a prayer with his Medicare for All plan, and Donald Trump can’t even spell the word “plan”.

We’ve been waiting for years to get around the GOP obstruction that made our plans impossible under President Obama. Now that America has had a chance to see how badly the Republicans have fumbled it, they’ve already started giving us back all the power they can. We are prepared to show them we are worthy of the task.

Trying to draw order from chaos is not easy, but that was our goal in tacking the Big Pharma python head on. There is much we could not cover. It was like wading through thick jungle with a machete, and that is the crux of the problem. It is so complex that even top specialists differ as to what to do about it.

What we’re trying to do with this article is threefold. To get people to realize how complex the problem is, to bring public awareness that the GOP will NEVER be able to handle it, and to get them to realize that the only ones with a plan are us Democrats.

Healthcare has been one of the single most polarizing issues in America for nearly thirty years. It’s past time we fixed that. For our small businesses, and for our people. America is the greatest country in the world. We can do better than this.

Tyranny and Taxation- A Budget Breaking Bad.

The budget plan the Senate just signed off on can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. It’s really more of a tax plot.

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

 

Millennial Midterms- #SpreadTheWord.

The 2018 midterm elections are of huge and fundamental importance. There have never been such high stakes riding on anything. We have got a maniac in office. He just sabotaged our health care system. And he’s the worst possible person on the planet to be handling a nuclear crisis. There’s something we can do about it, though. We can put a Congress in power who is capable of fixing this.

The year after a presidential election is traditionally pretty quiet. Think back on 2001. Try and picture something you remember in between Bush’s inauguration and 9/11, other than My Pet Goat. Not much happening in 2009, either, except for the continuing housing market crash.

Donald Trump’s election altered terribly the usual state of things. Politics didn’t settle down for one day. It’s like the election never even ended. His incompetence and narcissistic tendencies have created a real crisis for the country, and nobody knows quite what to do. The only thing certain is the 2018 midterms, and with it the hope of a Congress that will lift this burden from the people of America.

It’s not certain Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril. What is certain is that he knows most people don’t like him.

This is why he’s never stopped holding rallies– still usually referred to as “Campaign” rallies, although he’s been in office nearly a year- to keep in close touch with those who still do.

The whole thing has turned into a great big trip to Jonestown. It’s an unparallelled debacle. It is the absolute apex of disasters. It is so bad, in fact, that it has many people wondering- Does it even really matter much what Democrats do?

The answer to that question lands squarely in the affirmative. No one can afford to take anything for granted at this point. Trump has upended everything.

The key to our next moves will be to emphasize the strength of our economic message. Most everyone who can be convinced that Trump is bad for the country based on his personal characteristics already has been. He has given us all the help we could ever ask for, on that account.

We’ve had multiple wake-up calls. Everyone should be wide awake by now,” said Doug Heye, a former top aide to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Personality politics will only take you so far, and our strategists know this. It’s on us to raise the confidence level of the people. That’s why we’re here.

The trick now, is to look closely at that most progressive of platforms ever assembled, the 2016 Democratic Presidential Platform, and understand that the answers have been there all along. We just have to help others see it.

Developing along these lines, Democratic strategy this year runs the way of positive persuasion and turnout. Black turnout, Latino turnout, and millennial turnout.

Turnout often drops off at midterms, even among those who voted in the presidential election, and the most important question is to how to keep our energy level high and our people united. That’s where we come in.

All this continues amid Trump’s worst decision yet. Although the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to project unity Monday, his recent decision to stab Obamacare in the back has made that impossible.

By defaulting on federal payments that breathe life into millions, Trump has fanned the healthcare wildfires to the point where it’s becoming an inferno. Ironically, he’ll be saving the residents of blue states all kinds of money, while murdering his own core base. This has got to be the stupidest decision ever made by any human being.

In contrast to that hellish spectacle, we will be showing people a plan that isn’t breaking their backs or taking away their health care.

The Republican Party’s fall agenda and midterm elections strategy is nonexistent. Their economic policy remains what it has been since 2009- a diametric opposition to any good the Clintons and Obamas have been able to do. That gives us an opening.

Steve Bannon, who since losing his job has been doing to the Republicans what Bernie Sanders and the WeWillReplaceYou (what a brazen slogan! Ugh!) outfit has been doing to us, has made himself a volatile ingredient to the unlikely mixture of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“I like Steve a lot. Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing,” Trump said while standing next to McConnell. At Millennial Democrats, we think Steve is doing the right thing too, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

All this disarray in the backyard of the GOP places them at risk of alienating further still all those people who are on the margins. People who voted for Trump, but have regrets. This is the group that will decide things for everyone, in the next few years.

No matter what, we have to make sure they do not get 60 seats in the Senate. Fortunately, on that account, we are doing well. For example, a poll just out from Virginia has former 2016 Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine up by 20+ percentage points over various Republican opponents.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight made the following statement, one that we can only pray isn’t a bit of foreshadowing taking place in our story. “Republicans aren’t going to get 60 seats — or even come close — unless there’s a Sept. 11-like event that makes Trump super popular.”

Eerie. Really eerie.

Democratic Dedication in the Age of Trump- A Call For Help.

Living in Donald Trump’s America has been a lot like living in a pressure cooker.

The time leading up to the election was not the worst year in American history, but it may well have been the most stressful. Around 2014, ominous signs began popping up, in strange form and large number, that we had a real problem on our hands. The forces of radicalism are always given a shot in the arm by economic recessions, i.e. the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler. On the left and the right alike, people started getting really out there.

By the time it was widely realized that Bernie Sanders was actually going to not only be taken seriously, but held up as an example and idolized, it’s not hard to think looking back that it was already too late. If I would have started organizing sooner, worked a few more hours, shared to a few more Groups, tried a little harder to reach people, etc. It’s a wistful feeling, looking back on a great battle lost.

It started to become clear that a great many, a terrible many people, were not going to embrace Hillary Clinton as a candidate, no matter how good a President she would be, and she would have been great. The biggest tragedy here is the scale of the missed opportunity.

We’re talking about a person who had on-the-job approval ratings that were through the roof in every job she had. Those are the only kinds of polls that really matter; the others are nothing but a photograph, one second’s popularity contest. Rational people know that. So when it had clearly started falling by the wayside, in favor of emotional considerations poorly expressed and ill-conceived of, it became darkly evident that things were not going to continue managing themselves.

In our lives, when we come up against a wrong too big to be ignored, it forces us to make a choice. We either take a side or turn a blind eye. We are given a voice for a reason. The time had come to use it, for every American. We were, and are, in the midst of facing a major existential crisis, one to set the direction for the entire nation’s paradigm. Simply stated, the question is: Do we want to keep being a democracy?

A terrible shame is self-claimed by anyone who was fortunate enough to grow up in this country, and still attempts to justify answering that question in the negative. The very fact of people being able to run around on the streets spouting off in that manner is in and of itself a tremendous luxury, one that was paid for and made possible by the success of American democracy. In the days of fascism and communism, things were otherwise to a very horrible extent.

Stalin’s gulag system held nearly 3,000 to 100,000 of its citizens at any given time.  Most, like author of the Gulag Archipelago Alexander Solzhenitsyn, were there for speaking out against the government. The Tiananmen Square incident in China was a murderous repression of democratic protesters. It is not yet thirty years old. The Nazis had a whole interior of labor camps, such as Dachau or Mauthausen, reserved exclusively for German “political criminals” until the final days of the war.

There have never been such things in America. We have plenty of prisons, but no concentration camps. Foreign radicalism has never taken deep root over here, because for the most part, people have had the good sense to know how lucky they are to have the chance to participate in this. To risk all that because you are angry is insane. Recessions and depressions are a part of human life on Planet Earth, and that is not going to change to suit anyone.

At this stage in our history, the entire global economy is already deeply interconnected. Wherever you live, they are going to come and go.

If you think that’s a good reason to start down the road toward a second Dark Ages, you might want to read up on the first ones. There are many problems in this country. We are not a perfect nation. But for all our faults, we are the linchpin of the entire global order. Every life in the world will feel it, should the lights go out again.

All through the year of 2016, we heard a great deal about a revolution. Why is it we never heard any of this under Bush, when it was necessary? Back when the world really needed that power, it was found lacking and largely absent. All these brave revolutionaries waited for a kind and tolerant President Obama to come in and start actually making America great again, to start screaming about a revolution. They gambled with the utmost recklessness with the future of the whole human race. Why?

It’s been like this all throughout history. Tightly repressive regimes are rarely overthrown. It’s only after the restrictions are loosened, that the people tend to break levees. We see this all the time, in the Middle East. Its hallmark was all over the place in Syria. It was also this way when the French Revolution felled the monarchy in 1789, and again when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Just as soon as a system starts to mature, it suddenly collapses.

The events of American life since the year 2000 have indeed been nauseating; it’s worth remembering that Hunter S. Thompson took his own life just after the second Bush was reelected. Times have been hard since Bill Clinton left office.

Still, after Obama got elected, and particularly when compared to the past, we had things really good. We suffered for eight years under Bush, but after that things started getting better.

The economy started recovering, we got universal health care in the form of decades worth of work with the Affordable Care Act, and we started getting back to work. We were once again having the time to worry about things other than base survival. To risk that, on the gambler’s promise of some screaming demagogue, was the absolute height of stupidity. How anyone could have been so foolhardy as to risk our tangible, hard-fought gains on a pack of ridiculous pipedreams will never be explainable by any sort of logical standard. Everyone is trying somehow to get to the answer. Yet for all we have learned along the way, the governing dynamic still manages to elude.

As we approach the midterms in 2018, the Republicans have been killing us in terms of small donors. That’s an ugly fact. For Republicans to be outdoing Democrats, on a grassroots level, is the very worst case scenario. They have taken the strategies of the Bernie Sanders campaign and turned them into a juggernaut.

For all the ugliness and chaos surrounding his presidency, Trump is getting stronger. And not a day goes by that he doesn’t use that strength to chip away further and further at the bedrock of our democracy. Koch Industries has had an unprecedented opportunity to pass through their long-sought Libertarian agenda. The star of fascism is clearly on the ascendant.

What is it going to take? That’s the question we keep coming back to, ever since November of last year. What can we possibly do, to pull back from this chasm we are heading toward? A disturbing percentage of us are behaving like nuclear powered lemmings. There is no one on the horizon at this time who can do much about any of this, except possibly for Robert Mueller, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our whole drama.

Think as well, about Bob Mueller himself. His good, kind, honest face. How hard he is working, and in his retirement age, no less. All the years he was the director of the FBI, the best one that we ever had. He chose James Comey as his successor. He spent many years training him. He made sure he was the best man to head up the Agency.

Trump threw Comey away like the garbage, and it makes me want to vomit. All the best people in the country right now, are completely excluded from its government, while the worst are getting away with bloody murder. Putin is laughing at us. The Russian media laughs and boasts about the way he’s made a toilet out of Trump. And rock bottom is still nowhere in sight. Surely some revelation is at hand.

In the interim, the author of this article is in Facebook jail, over sharing the articles we recently published regarding the Zapad war games in Russia and the fact of Russian Stuxnet viruses being found in over a hundred American power grids. Facebook Jail is slang for when you get blocked from various Facebook features by its robots, because the Russians and their proxies have figured out how to game its Report as Spam/Abuse buttons.

Sixteen other Democratic activists I know are in jail also. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg does nothing with the greatest of industry. As a good friend and mentor of mine wrote recently, Congress must reform Facebook.

Posting is way down. Russian ads are everywhere. People are scared, and actively exploring other platforms. We are being stopped from participating in the political process of America, as Americans, by foreign agents and agitators who have effectively conquered our entire section of cyberspace, while the people able to handle it have their hands tied behind their backs. The indignance I feel at this state of affairs cannot be adequately expressed by language.

The only clear way forward for us is to get serious about education. Education is the key to it all. That’s why the Kochs and the DeVos’s and all the other Tea Party monsters have been paying so much money to destroy and withhold it. It’s why Betsy DeVos was chosen for the Secretary of Education post. They know knowledge is power, and they don’t want reliably Democratic voters to have any- which includes every single at-risk part of our population, including all persons of color and women.

That’s what this is all about for the opposition. Power, dominance, and money. The Republicans have no actual social agenda. They can only whip up enthusiasm among their supporters by lying about and otherwise savaging ours. It’s become a trench battle, and it threatens every day to break out into another wild fight.

In the end, is it really possible for reason to understand emotion? Because when we analyze the 2016 election, that is the task that faces us. Donald Trump is not something most people wanted, but they chose him all the same, out of desperation.

We’ve got to find a way to address the pain that caused that desperation, because it is severe in the extreme. In the midst of it all, heroin use has gotten so bad that our children are in prison and dying. And Jeff Sessions wants to go back to locking us up for weed. People are looking for a release valve, and if they do not get it, then one should fear wholeheartedly for the future of our beloved, hopeful, wonderful country.

Shortly before he was murdered, Robert Kennedy had these words to say.

“What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis, and that is what has been going on within the United States—the division, the violence, the disenchantment with our society; the divisions, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between poor and more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam-is that we can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country, and a compassionate country.”

Those words are still true, but it’s going away. If we don’t fight for it, with all that we have got, it will be too late before much longer. Millions have lived and died, for the future of a great America. We cannot disgrace our ancestors, and we cannot let down our descendants.

This is the purpose of Millennial Democrats. This is the task that lies before us. It is largely up to us now. We have to get our peers to see the light and get active in their own fates and futures. Remember when we were kids, and we all watched the NeverEnding Story on the big screen? It is like when the Nothing came. It has eaten everything, and the last glowing seed held by the Empress is ours to blow life into. We must somehow find the courage to dare what we dream.

 

How the GOP Grew Gangrenous- From Lincoln to Trump, Part One.

Today’s Republican Party has become a stifling and corrosive institution. Their conduct on the health care issue alone proves them morally repugnant from top to bottom. Trying to work around this, and get anything done in spite of it, is the unpleasant and Herculean task assigned to the Democratic Party.

It is a commonly held belief that the extremist elements of political parties are most directly to blame for the polarization of a given nation’s atmosphere. This is workable as a general rule, but in America the blame is tremendously disproportionate.

Over here, the far-left has certainly done its best to make itself obnoxious, but they don’t have the resources or the party apparatus to be anything more than a nuisance. It is our position that for many decades now, the GOP itself has been largely to blame for the difficulty of making positive changes in America.

Ever since last November, a look at a newspaper headline, on any given day, has been enough to make a sane person sick. The last week has been no different, as the GOP is preparing once again to try and leave 23 million people uninsured by 2026.

In a particularly petty attempt to punish blue states for doing well and caring for their people, the new Graham-Cassidy bill would pillage California and New York of combined $114 billion over four years- roughly half the total cuts. Both are heavily Democratic states that opted to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Their plan was to rob Peter to pay Paul, by taking money from the sensible and prosperous blue states, and giving it  to the poverty stricken red states. It would have devastated California to the tune of 139 billion dollars. The Trump voters were all to eat lunch on us. We were to foot the bill for their survival, so that they could continue wearing ill-fitting Hillary for Prison shirts and voting for Trump. All thanks to the fact that the liberals they so despise are capable of producing income, where they are not.

On May 4, the House of Representatives bulled through the American Health Care Act, a bill which did nothing but cut taxes for the rich and slash Medicaid to the bone. Several more horrendous attempts to replace Barack Obama’s signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, came and went, including the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act.

The second was as bad as the first, but the Republicans did not care. They tried to force it through just the same, and ultimately it took John McCain getting brain cancer in one of the most dramatic votes in Senate history to save it.

It should be noted that it is looking like John McCain has saved us from Graham-Cassidy, too. The new bill is said to be on its last legs, thanks to his opposition to it.

It was the second time in three months the 81-year-old Arizona Republican has emerged as the savior of millions, and the destroyer of his party’s sickening plot to deprive those millions of the basic care needed to live.

“John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!” Trump tweeted angrily.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that those tweets honor the venerable old senator almost as highly as his war decorations. When it comes to Republican competence and benevolence, John McCain is the Last of the Mohicans. He will be sorely missed.

The GOP has reached desperate times, and Trump has been their desperate measure. They were lacking leadership, and they knew it.  And they knew full well that Hillary Clinton was the best person to lead this country. But rather than see a female Democrat be President, regardless of ability, they chose to ally themselves with a man whom they knew full well to be foolish, corrupt, and incompetent- and through him, with Russia, our most hostile and implacable foe.

They did not care about what was best for the country one iota. Gone are the days when arch-conservative Hamilton and ultra-liberal Jefferson join forces to keep the criminal Aaron Burr out of the White House. In last year’s drama, Hamilton rolled the carpet out for Burr, across Jefferson’s body.

The Republicans are not friends to the best interests of the country. That much is clear. In the next section, we will be looking closer at the reasons why. Things have reached a point now, where it seems like all they want to do, is take our health care away and kill a bunch of us, and sell us out to the Russians. Their cronyism has run rampant and their morals don’t even exist. We’re tired of these new Republicans. How did it come to this?

Dangerous Distraction- Bernie’s Health Care Gamble, GOP’s Repeal Plot.

There are no easy answers, in the acrimonious American health care struggle, but that has never stopped Bernie Sanders from claiming he’s got them. He is going around the country this week attempting to drum up support for his beloved “Medicare for All” bill, in the same week that the Republicans are quietly gathering votes for one last effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The timing on this is terrible. It’s a dangerous distraction.

Because Bernie doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Even in his own home state of Vermont, with the entire Democratic political establishment behind him, he was not able to pass a single-payer plan. The plan he introduced in his 2016 presidential platform was criticized heavily for being wasteful and impractical.

It was just this type of financial recklessness that caused Vermont’s Burlington College to shutter its doors last year, thanks to the policies of Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife. College leaders announced in May 2016 that the college had buckled under “the crushing weight of debt.”

Bernie ran for president on a promise of revolution. A really expensive one. According to a report done at the time by the Tax Policy Center, Sanders’ taxation-and-spending plans would add $18 trillion to the national debt over a decade, plus $3 trillion in interest costs. The center’s Howard Gleckman called it an “unprecedented increase in government borrowing.”

But he never had an answer as to where any of this money would come from. He said that the reviled and terrible “1%” would be paying their fair share, which seemed to imply that would cover it, but even if the government seized every penny currently held as assets by the 1%, we would still come up short.

Hillary Clinton said in her new book that it was challenging to have a straightforward argument with Bernie about health care. “He would say, ‘Oh we’re gonna, you know, do single-payer.’ And I would say, “How you gonna do it?” And ‘Uhh’- he wouldn’t know.”

Bernie has yet to provide details on just how the nation would go about making the shift to ‘Medicare for All’ and how the program’s specifics are to function. Unanswered questions include whether health care providers would accept severe cuts in payments, and how medical costs would be contained if they do. Unease about these kinds of uncertainty is why Bernie’s 2013 bill for a single-payer Medicare-for-all system failed to gain a single adherent.

The point here is not the varying merits of of single-payer systems themselves. That question is for the specialists- and for the individual- to answer. The point is three decades of hard work bitter struggle over public health care being placed at risk, over Bernie’s irresponsible attempts to focus resources wastefully.

We just finished winning a gigantic fight on health care. And it isn’t over, either. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) are quietly preparing one final repeal attempt. They held a Senate GOP lunch on Thursday, in which they gathered votes behind closed doors, and nobody is talking about it. And Trump is still fuming. Look for him to sabotage Obamacare, any way he can.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that cannot possibly be a good idea to ignore this, while Bernie runs around the country spouting off about single payer. The Affordable Care Act is still standing. We came out ahead. It’s time to consolidate our gains and move on to more pressing fights.

Having raised that basic objection, however, one thing must be conceded to Bernie and the other adherents of a single- payer health care system. They managed to raise nationwide interest in their idea. A recent poll did indicate that a slight majority of Americans are at least for having the discussion, and for this reason, a discussion will be had. This is a democracy, and we are Democrats. We will do what we can to accommodate the hopes of the people of the country. But Bernie is not the man to be in charge of it.

It is for that reason that some Democrats have signed on with this idea. If a single-payer health care system is going to be planned for then professionals need to be on board. And we are the only ones who’ve got them, thanks to the experience our party has gained over three decades of fighting the health care battle. Either way it goes, the situation will require competent management. That’s what Democrats provide.

Moving forward, it will be necessary to keep a close eye on reality and to remain well-grounded in our thinking. This needs to be a process not of revolution, but of evolution. If it gets screwed up, it could really hurt a lot of people. That fact should never be lost sight of.

Trump is huffing and puffing and hopping up and down, screaming that single payer is a “curse on the nation”. Bernie is screaming in the opposite direction just as loudly, and the whole thing has turned into a political pro wrestling match. If the climate worsens much more, America may miss it entirely when the new ACA repeal comes up for vote again before the end of the month. If this isn’t handled right, Medicare for All might turn into Medicare for None. That would be a tragic joke of the darkest order. It cannot be allowed.