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LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
LetMyPeopleVote's Journal
September 19, 2019

Buttigieg tells Medicare-for-all proponents to show their cards

Against my better instincts, I am slowly beginning to like Mayor Pete.

Now, I’d like to get more detail on those “cost savings” and the “corporate tax reform” (and why aren’t Democrats promising to raise the capital gains tax rate to equal or nearly equal the rates for salary income, a much bigger revenue-generator?). Buttigieg also promises “additional plans to address issues such as drug pricing, innovation and health equity,” which will need to come with funding mechanisms.

Nevertheless, Buttigieg has a compelling argument: Candidates are obligated to offer bold ideas that are doable. He argues, “Rather than flipping a switch and kicking almost 160 million Americans off their private insurance, including 20 million seniors already choosing private plans within Medicare, my plan lets Americans keep a private plan if they want to.” The latter is a reference to Medicare
Advantage, which would go away under a strictly single-payer system.

The approach favored by Buttigieg, Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and other moderates would be cheaper and allow people to gradually migrate to Medicare (if that is what they want). Moreover, if Democrats want to accomplish anything, it likely will require a Democratic majority in the Senate and use of reconciliation; they would at least need a majority. There is not, as we speak, a majority of Democrats in both houses who support Medicare-for-all.

Part of the problem with this discussion is that the Medicare-for-all advocates are adept at deflecting pesky questions about cost, logistics and political feasibility. They shouldn’t be allowed to skate by on ad hominem attacks (That’s a Republican talking point!) or non sequiturs (Let me tell you how great Medicare-for-all is!) or platitudes (We’re going to fight!).
September 18, 2019

Bolton Unloads on Trump at Private Lunch

This will be fun to watch https://politicalwire.com/2019/09/18/bolton-unloads-on-trump-at-private-lunch/

John Bolton harshly criticized President Trump’s foreign policy on Wednesday at a private lunch, saying inviting the Taliban to Camp David sent a “terrible signal” and that it was “disrespectful” to the victims of 9/11 because the Taliban had harbored al Qaeda, Politico reports.

Bolton also said that any negotiations with North Korea and Iran were “doomed to failure,” according to two attendees.
September 18, 2019

How long will Warren dodge on health care and taxes?


None other than late-night host Stephen Colbert made it painfully clear that Warren is ducking. He asked twice about whether taxes will go up and practically begged her to level with voters. “I’ve listened to these answers a few times before," he said, "and I just want to make a parallel suggestion to you that you might defend the taxes, perhaps, you’re not mentioning in your sentence: ‘Isn’t Medicare for All like public school? There might be taxes for it, but you save money sending your kids to school, and do you want to live in a world where your kids aren’t educated? Do you want to live in a world where your fellow Americans are dying?’”

Let’s be clear: If Colbert and debate moderators can figure this out, her opponents in the primary and, more important, the Republicans in the general election will hit her again and again.

It is not simply a matter of the viability of her health-care plan. It goes to her core critique of the moderates: They are too timid and too scared to do the big things. Well, perhaps they have figured out what the big things cost and don’t see they are economically or politically viable.

Warren’s brand is truth-telling about the rich and powerful, but you simply cannot get the rich and big corporations to pay for all of it. The Medicare-for-all plan introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is presumably the basis for Warren’s idea — despite all her other plans, she has little specifics on health care. Sanders’s plan posits a number of funding sources and specifies a premium for families (“a typical family of four earning $50,000, after taking the standard deduction, would pay a 4 percent income-based premium to fund Medicare for All — just $844 a year — saving that family over $4,400 a year. Because of the standard deduction, families of four making less than $29,000 a year would not pay this premium”). Now, there are a lot of people who consider themselves middle-class who might have to pay more, but at least Sanders makes some effort to spell out the costs and the savings.
September 18, 2019

Democratic senators quietly hope Biden wins over rivals


There’s a growing sense among members of the Senate Democratic Conference that life would be easier if Joe Biden wins the party’s presidential nomination instead of his two closest competitors, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Most Democratic senators are staying neutral in a presidential race that includes six sitting senators along with Biden, who served for decades in the Senate before becoming former President Obama’s vice president.….

Another factor is the race for the Senate. Some Democrats think it will be easier to win races in conservative-leaning states such as Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia if Biden is their nominee and not Warren or Sanders.

One Democratic senator who requested anonymity to discuss the race said a number of senators neutral in the race are more aligned with Biden.

“Ideologically, they’re definitely more with Biden,” said the Democratic senator, who described colleagues as having doubts about Warren’s and Sanders’s boldest proposals.
September 18, 2019

Speaker Pelosi-There's no need to reinvent health care -- just improve Obamacare

I agree with Speaker Pelosi https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/17/nancy-pelosi-no-need-to-reinvent-health-care-improve-obamacare.html?__source=sharebar|twitter&par=sharebar

Democrats should focus on making improvements to Obamacare instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with “Medicare for All,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

“God bless” 2020 Democratic presidential candidates putting forth Medicare for All proposals, Pelosi said in an interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “But know what that entails.”

Pelosi’s thoughts on how to improve the nation’s health-care laws appear to align with those of former Vice President Joe Biden, who in his 2020 presidential bid is calling for building on provisions of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

“I believe the path to ‘health care for all’ is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told Cramer. “Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector.”
September 17, 2019

Sanders campaign wracked by dissension

From the daughter of one of DU's posters

Some of Bernie Sanders’ fiercest supporters are sounding the alarm that the campaign is bogged down by disorganization, personality clashes, and poor communication between state operations and national headquarters.

After a pair of setbacks this week — the acrimonious shakeup of his staff in New Hampshire on Sunday and loss of the Working Families Party's endorsement to Elizabeth Warren a day later — Sanders’ allies and former aides are worried that recent disappointments are not one-off stumbles but rather emblematic of larger problems in his bid for the White House. The concerns are particularly acute in New Hampshire.

“Seeing the campaign not be able to outshine Warren with WFP progressives doesn’t have me questioning WFP’s process,” said Rafael Shimunov, a former national creative director for WFP and 2016 Sanders volunteer. “It has me questioning where the Bernie campaign could have done better, because I want to make sure the strongest candidate unmasks Biden and unseats Trump.”

The worries come as the campaign enters a critical, more urgent phase. After Labor Day, more voters typically tune into the election and begin to make up their minds. Expectations for Sanders are sky-high, especially in New Hampshire, where he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 22 percentage points.
September 17, 2019

The hardest job for the next president may be fixing Trump's mess

This is one of the reasons why I think that Joe Biden is the best candidate. Who ever is the nominee will have to be prepared to fix all of the damage that trump has done to our government.

Perhaps the most straightforward and least complicated undertaking, since it would be entirely within the next president’s purview, is rebuilding the executive branch from the corrupted ruin Trump will leave behind.

One of the most underreported stories about the Trump administration is its basic incompetence. Perhaps Trump’s biggest con of all was convincing his supporters that he was some sort of business wizard with a genius for management. In truth, the Trump Organization was a mom-and-pop family business that he repeatedly micromanaged to the brink of collapse. He is doing exactly the same with the government of the United States.

The White House itself is less like “The West Wing” than “Game of Thrones.” Courtiers vie for the favor of the Mad King, unable or unwilling to perform normal duties for fear of risking Trump’s ire. Usually, the White House is a place where information from outside sources is synthesized and digested so the president can make the best possible decisions. Under Trump, the flow is reversed — his whims, however ill-informed or contradictory or just plain loopy, are tweeted out and must be made into policy.

Agencies vital to our national security — including the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency — lumber along, month after month, without permanent leadership. “It’s easier to make moves when they’re acting,” Trump has said, but really the situation reflects his own insecurity. By keeping his underlings weak and beholden only to him, he limits their power — and thus hamstrings the departments they nominally lead.

Joe Biden is the best candidate to repair the damage done by trump. I think that the repair of this damage will keep the next Democratic President very busy.

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