A recent facebook debate with some Tea Party sympathizers sparked my reaction to their claims that Paul Ryan’s budget is sensible. They argue that Obama’s healthcare plan would end decent healthcare in this country, and that Obama’s plans will not balance the national budget. I decided to interview my friend and comrade Andy who has been an active fighter for true Democracy in this country for over 50 years. Aug. 12th, 2012
1. How will universal single-payer healthcare reduce the debt?
To begin with, it will result in everybody paying half of what they pay now. Taxes will go up but insurance costs will be eliminated. In terms of medical costs, when hospital fees, doctor fees and pharmaceuticals are brought under control, the overall cost of medical care will precipitously fall to levels achieved by other civilized western democracies. It should be noted that our healthcare statistics put us near the bottom of worldwide metrics, for example child mortality rates are high in this country. Under government provided healthcare, preventative care will greatly assist in improving our worldwide ranking. Currently, people forgo checkups and other preventative care due to its high costs and thus end up in the emergency room at a huge cost.
As far as Canada goes, many people cross the border in order to get healthcare and buy pharmaceuticals that they can’t afford here in the U.S. The Canadians I’ve talked to, love their universal/single-payer healthcare system so I would suggest that we franchise our healthcare system to Canada.
As far as national debt goes, the government was bringing in as much as it was spending during the Clinton administration and beginning to draw down the incredible debt that Reagan had run up. The 2nd Bush administration reversed all that by slashing taxes on the wealthy & corporations while simultaneously launching two unfunded and unjustifiable wars. At the same time, regulations put in place during the Great Depression to prevent the financial industry from running amuck, were stripped away. Thus the banks were able to gamble with the assets of their depositors and borrowers and lose it all in the Big Casino they had created i.e. the Stock Market.
The resulting crash and Depression has put millions out of work. The first priority of government now should be creating jobs which will help restart the economy and increase tax revenues.
So, overall the reckless running up of debt and removal of government oversight and regulation has destroyed our national economy & prosperity. And now the people who’ve benefitted from this by putting money in their wallets that should’ve raised the wealth of the middle class has instead impoverished that class. Now they’re spending that money on propaganda and legal bribes to legislators to make sure they can keep doing what they’ve been doing, and furthermore to help pay for the agenda of the Tea Party which they secretly helped write.
2. So universal healthcare comparable to that of all other civilized countries (ours is the only western nation that does not have it) is one way to reduce debt but what are some other ways?
Many of our international allies are prospering because they do not have to assume the expense of the military burdens that our country pays for–a billion bucks a year for Egypt under Mubarek, a billion bucks a year for Israel. Throw in all of our other Middle-Eastern clients plus NATO, make them pay their way and that will run our debt down real fast, by commensurately running down our military budget and foreign military aid.
3. What about taxing the super-rich?
The wealthy individuals and corporations have had their taxes slashed and the result has not been an increase in wealth for the middle class but instead has impoverished the 99%. The truth is that wealth trickles up, not down.
4. Obama’s attempts to establish single-payer healthcare and also to tax the wealthy have been hindered by the Republicans and Tea Party in the Congress. It seems that unless the Democrats can gain a majority in the Congress and Senate then Obama will continue to be blocked or kept from making much progress as he has been over the last four years. So should the Occupy Movement vote for Obama and other liberal candidates? Or what do you think is the next step here?
We’ve got to get the right-wingers who are in the pockets of Big Money out of Congress and make sure that control goes to the liberal Democrats in the Senate–which is only 3 senators away from Republican control. Legislation has to be put in place to stop massive legalized bribery of Congress.
More than vote, we have to vote and get out the vote. We’ve got to occupy this election Hit the streets. Expose the lies and defeat the Tea Party Congressional candidates which now include the vice president.
5. So we’ve got to Occupy this Election! Thank you Andy for your time.