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.

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.

Trump Goes After SNAP, Ruins All He Touches- How It Came To This.

Trump in his element

Donald Trump has proposed a grocery list full of bad ideas as legislature since taking office thirteen unlucky months ago. This newest one is actually going after groceries.

The fattest president in the last hundred years of American history is trying to take away half of the people’s food stamps and replace them with a revolting government food box complete with shelved milk.

Another particularly vile specimen we happened to notice recently was that he’s made it legal for hunters to shoot hibernating bears.

Since Trump took over, we’ve been beset on all sides. Every aspect of our rights, needs, and value systems is being systematically discarded and trampled underfoot. Far from getting all the cool free stuff that Bernie Sanders was promising back then- $30 trillion dollars worth– we’re fighting a losing battle on every front, just desperately trying to hold on to what we’ve got.

Things are not improving, and will not improve until the Democrats are back in power. There has never been a time when this wasn’t so during our lifetimes, but it has never been truer than now.

An analysis of the events leading up to these events is provided in the form of this anecdote from one of our contributors, as well as a warning, from a Millennial Democrat who cares. The opinions thus expressed are the views of this contributor, and are not necessarily the views of the organization by and large(although they’re pretty close.)

I never wanted to get involved in politics.

Politics were boring. Plans, charts, talking heads- I couldn’t stand a bit of it. Made my head hurt. I figured that America the Great could take care of itself and did not really need my help.

One day, though, around the year 2000, a filthy animal named Ralph Nader crawled out of a toilet somewhere and burned all that to the ground, at the behest of his Republican masters. Soon after, just when I’d started to think the world wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, that the days of Bush and Reagan were behind us, that maybe we at last were close to making some kind of progress, it was all smashed to bloody bits by 9/11.

After that, everything was different.

Bill Clinton had worked hard for eight years to balance the budget and had even added a surplus to it. That was all squandered in ten months. The feeling of progress and decency that had been growing since the Berlin Wall collapsed was gone. Soon it was the Patriot Act and war with Afghanistan. A completely pointless and random war with Iraq was to follow.

Ever seen the HBO series, Generation Kill? With the American soldiers in Iraq just riding around the country, randomly blowing things up? That is how it was. We had no objective and no clear purpose. We knew perfectly well that democracy was not really threatened by Saddam Hussein. But Bush had sent us over, so there we were. It was really stupid. It messed up a lot of my friends.

After that, nothing was the same. Everyone hated Bush, but he was a Bush, after all, and we were at war. People felt like he would be a good wartime president because his father had resembled The Terminator on a number of different levels. Remember the old legends about the leaders of men being giant lizards, loose under the earth? The alien theorist guys always show a clip of the good old H.W. licking his lips in support of their theory. There can be no doubt he looked reptilian.

Unfortunately, W. was not the equal of his father, who in turn had not been the equal of Ronald Reagan. He bungled it at every turn. No weapons of mass destruction, no Middle Eastern democracy in Iraq, no launching pad for us to slowly take over everything else from. It was all for a great big nothing.

By the time the second Bush was gone, we had a mess to clean up on every corner of the globe. And even though his historical successor Barack Obama proved to be a genius, he couldn’t do more than get the country pointed back in the right direction. No one could have, in eight years. It’s much easier to destroy than create.

At length, Obama succeeded in his Herculean task and reoriented the country toward something decent. ALL WE HAD TO DO, WAS WALK FORWARD TOGETHER.

Telling this part of the story is where I always start to get mad.

There is no way to throw eight years of effort into a few sentences. Suffice it to say, what Obama had achieved was worthwhile, and it should have been stood up for. And of course, those of us who fought hard for Hillary Clinton did do our best to stand up for them. I’m here to tell you, it was not easy.

To you who reads these words- Did you ever try to have a rational debate about policy or legislature with a member of Bernie or Bust? Because I have, and I am here to tell you. It was impossible.

By the time 2015 was drawing to a close, I had a really bad feeling about what the left was up to. Signs of an impending communication breakdown were everywhere.

People who didn’t know a thing about any of it were of a sudden fervently expert in the field. All the mountebanks and pseudo-intellectual theorists in the country crawled out from under the rocks of their coffeehouses.  And the moronic faces of either Trump or Bernie were everywhere you looked.

By the time 2016 came around, it had become frightfully obvious to me that things were NOT going to simply continue to take care of themselves.

People were going nuts. Free college, free healthcare, free everything. To listen to these guys tell the story, money itself would soon be obsolete in the brave new Bernieverse. In fact, previous success in the financial world was enough to disqualify your entry.

Within these circles, reality became more and more distant from the discourse as the year went by. And by the time I realized that having started out fresh after New Year’s of ’16 was not going to be able to do much more than scratch the surface, that I had started out too late, it was too late everywhere. The schism in the Democratic Party was a fait accompli, and Trump went on to win because of it.

Jill Stein, the leader of the Green Party for that election cycle, proved a worthy successor to the legacy of Nader. Once again, the loony left stole just enough crucial swing state votes to cost us the election.

The Libertarian Party won out big, taking more third-party votes than any candidate has since 1996.

And the Republicans took control of every part of the government.

Nor was that the end. Even the ultimate disaster of Trump being elected was not enough to bring those people around. They’re out there even now, knives in their teeth, savaging people at the local level. They go by lofty-sounding names like Our Revolution and the Justice Democrats, but they’re just as noisy and insolent as when they were Bernie or Bust. They’re not fooling anybody.

Thanks in large part to them, every American on every side of the conflict got screwed. Putin was victorious. The way things are now, we can’t even agree to keep the air clean, since Trump pulled us out of the Paris Accord.

We’ve got a babbling baboon, strutting around like an obese rooster, with people calling him Mr. President. They will never get the stink out of the showers.

Every bathroom in the White House will have to be redone, at the taxpayers’ expense.

They’re all running wild in there, beating their wives and molesting one another like chimpanzees. And me? The guy who wanted nothing to do with politics? It looks like I’m in it for the long haul. Because until the day comes when things calm down again, and politics go back to being boring, I don’t have a choice.

This is about my future. It’s about the future of my children, who I don’t want having to join the Trump Youth. It’s about the future of my parents, who they want to throw out in the cold by snatching Medicare away. These things are not just important. They are life and death. See you in the trenches.

Berniecrats Forget Who To Fight, Attack Democrat J.B. Pritzker in IL Governor Race.

We're with J.B. Pritzker and all real Democrats.

So-called progressives are getting together all over the country, hijacking local chapters of the Democratic Party. They are attacking our candidates everywhere.

There has never been a set of midterms so crucial. Everyone on every side knows this. The best chance we’ve got of getting rid of Donald Trump before 2020, except maybe for the 25th Amendment, is to turn the Congress blue. The guys we’ve got in there now would never have impeached Nixon. We need Democrats in the legislative branch to impeach Trump. Period.

Our electoral road to success is an uphill battle. Twenty-five Senate Democrats are up for reelection this year, for example, as opposed to only eight of the reds. A plausible path to control of the Senate has arisen since Doug Jones’ stunning upset of the perverse Roy Moore, but it’s still going to be very hard.

In spite of all this, there’s a certain element in the party that refuses to care about any of this, and instead insist on fighting their own people.

I saw a good point in an article today about progressive energy at the local level; awesome. It takes us all. Working together, and not against each other. It’s not about rejecting progressive ideas; we’re all progressives. The 2016 platform was progressive to a magnificent degree. Time to start focusing on the positives and putting the past to bed.

It’s insane to have a primary where Democrats are fighting each other in a year when every cent is needed so desperately to fight the real enemy. Anyone who is forcing us to waste time and money thus, and worsening the interparty divide in the process, should be viewed as extremely suspect.

Take the Justice Democrats, for example. They were the first ones to howl for Al Franken’s blood.

Take also this situation with J.B. Pritzker. He’s the Illinois billionaire who’s running as a Democrat against Bruce Rauner down there. Someone dug up old audio on him, talking to Rod Blagojevich ten years ago about who the best guy to fill Obama’s Senate seat would be.
He made some very unpleasant, stupid, racist, ugly remarks about black folks. There is no doubt his comments were repugnant. It always sucks when people sound off like morons and get themselves into trouble.
But- Let’s face it! A lot of guys have talked that way behind closed doors. You can’t chase all the Democrats who ever talked like a pig out of office, without handing over the reins of power to a much worse set of swine. As soon as Bernie Sanders resigns for his essays on rape fantasy, then we’ll talk.
Bernie Sanders, of course, is the name constantly invoked by finger-waggling naysayers, who are now all crowing like roosters at the dirt that has been dug up. Pritzker’s primary opponents are standing right alongside the governor, Bruce Rauner, who is a truly despicable human being. They are adding their attacks as fuel to the fire, even though they know they are doing no good to anyone except Bruce Rauner. 
This sort of blind attachment to unrealistic purity standards has left to a rift in the Democratic Party.
Accusations of an “inevitable” candidate. Accusations of a rigged primary. Opponents who lack any hope of defeating the absolute villain who’ll be stinking up the seat of power adding their fuel to his fire, attacking the one person who can, the Democratic candidate.

The Illinois Democratic primary for governor sounds a lot like Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential primary campaign, which didn’t end up well for us, or for the country, or for the entire human race.

Evoking Sen. Bernie Sanders, Pritzker’s top competitors whine that they’ve been elbowed out at every turn by party insiders.

“The establishment that’s supporting Pritzker wants us to not worry about Pritzker’s electability” in a general election, said Sen. Daniel Biss.

A great rebuttal was offered at a meeting of Sangamon County Democrats last week, Bill Houlihan, who is an elected member of the Democratic State Central Committee, said he wanted Biss to quit giving fodder to Republicans as he criticizes a rival.

“Dan Biss has been sending out some emails that I think are hurtful to the Democratic Party and J.B.Pritzker, and I think we need to shut that down as soon as possible,” Houlihan said.

J.B. Pritzker is funding his own campaign. He’s been on an apology tour for the last week. He’s been going all over the place, taking accountability for the awful words of his mouth, and showing people his plans to make up for it with concrete plans and actions. Why is it up to anyone else, to relentlessly savage him for that?

The Black Women of Illinois Forum accepted his request to allow him to come there and speak. If it’s good enough for them, it ought to be good enough for everybody.

But this is typical. It’s been going on all over the country with increasing frequency. And the pattern is always the same. Unknown candidates from the far left joining forces with Republicans to slander our candidates and when possible, gathering and attacking like hyenas to eliminate and replace them.

One noteworthy example is Howard Katz, a former Riverside County Democratic Party chairman who was sneakily voted out of the top leadership spot by Bernie Sanders supporters this last October. He moved across town, and they lied and said the rules said they could not call for another election.

Many who cast votes against Katz did so to deliver up a victory for the Sanders wing of the party.

His replacement, one Steve Ruth, made the following statement after his election.

“I think there’s room for everyone — for the people who’ve been around a long time and the Democratic structure,” he said. “But we also need to open our arms to the new people, many of whom are ‘Berniecrats.’”

Berniecrats have been gathering secretly in packs, then making sneaky moves to co-opt us at the local levels. It’s enough to make you sick, especially considering how often Bernie’s chosen candidates have lost since that terrible November.

In order for progressive ideas to be realized, we’ve got to be in power. Nobody’s talking about Medicare for All these days. They’re holding onto Obamacare for dear life.

Millennial Democrats have no use whatsoever for radicals who get in the way of their own causes through stubbornness and irascibility. We also have no use for those who turn their backs when the going gets tough. We see right through the hijacking attempt that’s going on and we’re speaking up about it. And we are asking for your help to raise awareness.

This is not the first time that the far right has used the far left to manipulate the national dialectic. But if Trump and Putin get their way, it may very well be the last. We’re going to have to stand for a lot worse, before it’s all been said and done.

We realize that our leaders are not perfect. We expect Mr. Pritzker to do better in the future, and we will not speak on his behalf in this matter again. In the name of coalition, however, and for the good of the country, we think it best to forgive him and move forward. Should we refuse, it will only be the enemy who benefits.

Just the same, J.B., you’d better hustle on that apology tour. Not cool, man.

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.

Rex Tillerson- Icon of Lesser Evil.

Discord between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his chief diplomat, is reportedly at an all-time high. It’s been spilling all over the public view in recent days. It was crowned with a NBC News report released Wednesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” in a Pentagon meeting.

John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with President Donald Trump on Wednesday so he could try to contain his boss’s fury. and manage the fallout, according to six senior administration officials. It’s enough to make a sane man sick, watching these animals and their incompetence drag this venerable American through the mud this way. Forcing a four-star general to manage a kindergarten full of nitwit monstrosities is nothing short of a crime.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was still basking in the glow of being the keynote speaker at the Koch network’s upcoming convention, is basking no longer. This latest chaos is said to have had Pence fuming during his recent travel to Phoenix, seven officials told NBC News. He and Tillerson spoke on the phone before the secretary’s public appearance on Wednesday morning, and one can imagine how that conversation went.

There’s no doubt it is very satisfying to see yet another Trump pick go up in smoke. Bearing witness to the discomfiture of a smug oil tycoon arch-polluter like Tillerson has also been worth the price of admission. However, as tempting as it might be to see Trump’s White House even further on the rocks, it isn’t what’s best for the country.

In this madhouse of a White House, Rex Tillerson is one of the few sane voices left.

Nobody knows where all this is going. That has been true all along. Ever since the sickening theft of the presidency last November, we have seen things get worse and worse. Blood in the streets was predicted last year on election night. That’s exactly what we’ve gotten, at Charlottesville.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Trump didn’t think he had a chance, any more than most of us did. The Trump campaign headquarters were all but silent, the night of the election, right up until he won. The tens of supporters present did their best to kick up a big roar, but there were more cops and drug dogs there than actual people, which will put a damper on just about anything. As the night rolled on, and the districts kept coming back red, they were just as shocked as the rest of us.

Since then, the collective hope of the country has flickered badly. Robert Mueller alone represents our ability to get rid of Trump, there’s a new disaster daily in the news, and we’re stuck in the mud completely in terms of getting anything done. On the contrary, we find ourselves and our value system completely under assault.

Trump chips away at something fundamental every day. Our system has never had to withstand the test of such a concerted and thorough attack on our foundations before. Its unusual potency arises because it is spearheaded by the very man charged with its leadership and upkeep. Today, he managed to scrap part of Obamacare relating to Planned Parenthood, under the grounds of religious freedom.

There’s no doubt at all that a guy like Rex Tillerson being anywhere near a Presidential cabinet  would be a travesty, under normal conditions. It sickens one to look back on the 1989 oil spill of Exxon- Valdez. Tillerson became general manager of the central production division of Exxon USA this same year, and as such, bears personal responsibility for that environmental disaster.

Six years later, he replaced Lee Raymond as the CEO of the company. The reckless and cavalier attitude of the fossil fuel industry is well known. It was a darkly ironic travesty, that someone in charge of the company responsible for the second worst man-made climate disaster was made the overseer of United States diplomacy on climate change.

While all of this is true, and while it certainly makes Rex Tillerson an unpalatable occupant of a presidential Cabinet, he is still part of the bedrock. He’s a solid American, if nothing else. He is also one of the last members of the civilian world to have any voice in the Trump White House, which is well on its way to being another wing of the Pentagon.

We are grateful beyond words for the Pentagon’s role in holding up our country out of the muck this past year, but we can’t stress enough the paramount importance of civilians continuing to govern civilian life. Both are necessary. They provide stability, check, and balance to the other. Every part of our American society helps to achieve a certain balance.

For Tillerson’s part, anyway, he has announced an unequivocal intent to remain at his post. For this reason, Kelly, Tillerson, and their ally Defense Secretary James Mattis had an emergency meeting at the White House to discuss a path forward, according to three administration officials.

However, it is said that Trump was beyond enraged that Tillerson refused to disavow having called him an idiot on TV, which is not surprising. He was telling the world he meant exactly what he said. I’m sure Trump was enraged.

It seems likely that if it were not for the military men who have become Trump’s inner circle, Tillerson would have been gone long ago.

Trump has grown resentful of what he considers Tillerson’s high- handed manner of deciding policy issues. He feels his secretary of state to be overly dismissive at times. Trump is insecure above all else, and a plain-spoken old timer like the Secretary of State is not likely to have much patience for the tender ego of a seventy year old billionaire man-child.  People willing to speak up to this large orange tyrant is what this country needs.

Going forward, it is necessary to realize that until next year when we Democrats take back the Congress- #RiseAndOrganize– there are no good choices, when it comes to Trump’s personnel. Only less bad ones. Rex Tillerson has become the walking embodiment, of the lesser evil.