Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Truth Is


In 2010, Congressional scholar, Norm Ornstein said that the 111st. Congress had a greater level of productivity than any Congress in the last 40 years.  That record was posted yesterday.

From 2008 until Jan. 2010, the Democratic Party had a majority in both Houses of Congress.  According to Ornstein those majorities enabled President Obama to have greater legislative success than Lyndon Johnson or Ronald Reagan.

When, Obama took office, we we’re in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  America had lost 650,000 jobs in December 2008.  An additional 700,000 jobs were lost in January, the month Obama was sworn in.  On February 13, 2009, twenty-four days after Obama took office the Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, without a single Republican vote in the House and only 3 Republican votes in the Senate.  By doing so, they prevented the worst financial crisis from getting worse and turned the economy from contraction to expansion.

Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, that protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies.  Coverage won’t be revoked, premiums won’t be arbitrarily raised and insurance companies won’t be allowed to use a pre-existing condition to deny coverage.

Medicare was strengthened by cracking down on fraud and waste and keeping it solvent for decades to come.  Most importantly, it protects guaranteed benefits, eligibility and the right to keep your doctor for all seniors.

According to the Congressional Budget Office health care reform should cut the deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years, and as much as $1.3 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades. 

Obama signed the Consumer Protection Act, which cracks down on corporate fraud and holds big banks accountable for reckless, risky behavior.  The financial crisis taught us that the look-the-other way, hands-off deregulatory policies of the recent past can jeopardize not only private investments, but our entire economy.

That legislation will reform Wall Street by creating a consumer financial protection bureau to regulate the trading of derivatives, one of the root causes of the current meltdown, while allowing small businesses to continue using them to mitigate risk.  It will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street institutions by establishing a new authority to wind down failing mega-firms outside of bankruptcy, so shareholders and creditors pick up the cost, not taxpayers.  

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