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

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Biggest Myth

Republican politicians have perpetrated the myth that the federal government keeps growing, and wasting your money, by giving your tax dollars to people who don’t deserve it.
Actually, as a share of the economy, we spend less on domestic priorities outside of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, than our government did when Reagan was president.  When Reagan and George W. Bush were president, our deficits got larger.  When Bill Clinton and Obama held the job, deficits got smaller.  Our deficits haven’t grown over the past seven and a half year that Obama has held office.  In fact, the deficit has been cut by almost 75 percent. 
There are fewer families on welfare than in the 1990s.  Funding has been frozen for two decades.  There aren’t giveaways going on.  Aside from our government’s obligation to care for the elderly and those Americans with disabilities, the vast majority of people who get help from the federal government are families, who are working, striving to get back on their feet, and get into the middle class.  Sometimes, their children need temporary help from food stamps when their mothers and fathers are between jobs.  Those families are not what’s holding back the middle class, and neither is it the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law over six years ago. Since then, our businesses have created jobs every month.  It was accomplished at the same time our government was covering 20 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance, thereby ending discrimination against preexisting conditions for everybody, including those who had health insurance, and while dramatically slowing the rate that health care costs were going up.
In the decade before Obamacare, employer-based premiums grew by an average of 8 percent a year.  Ensured Americans were paying that much more every year for health insurance.  Last year, premiums grew by 4 percent.  That’s half as fast as they were growing.  Today, the average family’s health insurance premium is $2,600 less than it would have been if premiums had kept on going up at the pace before Obamacare. 
For the millions of Americans who buy on HealthCare.gov, they get tax credits to help them pay for it.  The average price increase this year has been four dollars a month.  There hasn’t been a double-digit percentage increase.
Misinformation not government spending is squeezing the middle class. 


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