Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why Republicans Might Shut Down the Government

Follow Liberal is Logical on Twitter: @JeffDFreeman

It might seem crazy that Republicans might be willing to shut the government down and risk a potential backlash that could lose them their control over the House of Representatives? But the reality is they might lose their majority anyway, so this isn't as bad a gamble as it seems. Since the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed in 2010, it has been the biggest political liability for Democrats and the greatest asset to Republicans. But on October 1st, more than a year before the next congressional elections, Obamacare will take full effect for most Americans. 

There have been all kinds of scare tactics and predictions about what Obamacare will look like once it's fully implemented, but Americans will have lots of experience with Obamacare before the next national vote. As most projections have shown, state insurance exchanges will likely open with premiums much lower than what are currently on the market for similar types of coverage, and that’s with the addition of a plethora of new services covered without copays, removal of lifetime caps in payouts, and coverage for all people regardless of age, gender or pre-existing conditions. So when Americans see that costs are actually lower, when they enjoy a full year of a laundry list of essential medical services with no copay, as people continue to receive rebate checks in the mail thanks to the 85/15 rule in Obamacare, and when those that already have insurance see that their existing plans continue to exist, what was once the Democrat’s biggest liability will become their biggest strength, and the metal bat Republicans have used since 2010 to beat on the president will seem more like a Nerf toy.

Friday, December 14, 2012

You Can't Blame It On Crazy

How many more people must die before our nation is finally willing to have an honest discussion on the issues related to gun violence.  You can only blame it on 'crazy' so many times.  At some point we must move towards preventing the next tragedy....

Blog Post coming soon on the issues of gun violence, mental health, crime and prevention.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gay Marriage Goes Supreme

Source: This is What Marriage Equality Looks Like
Follow Liberal is Logical on Twitter:@JeffDFreeman

In what could turn out to be one of the brightest or darkest days for civil rights in American history, the United States Supreme Court has decided to rule on the issue of gay marriage.  The Court announced Friday afternoon it will hear two cases challenging state and federal laws pertaining to marriage equality.  The challenges include Proposition 8, a controversial ban on gay marriage in California, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton.  Though President Clinton has since changed his position and called for repeal of DOMA, the fact the law was passed by both political parties gives some indication of how far we've come since 1996.  On the other hand, Proposition 8 was actually passed in California through popular vote in 2008 when President Obama swept into office; which had to be one of the most conflicting days for civil rights activists in modern history as the nation elects its first black president and simultaneously bans gay marriage in one of the most liberal states in the union.  However, it would appear after the most recent election the tides have officially turned in favor of equality.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Price Of Life In America Is About To Go Up

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Occupy Wall Street Protests, Source: Occupy WallStreet
Many conservatives are calling Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the rich class warfare, but if there is a war going on, the rich are winning it hands down.  And if you happen to be one of the many Americans who oppose tax increases, even on the rich, then ask yourself what that position really means for your pocket book.  The answer may give you cause to reconsider your position.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Obama Says Tax The Rich, GOP Counter With The Working Poor

Image Source: The Age, Rich Getting Richer, 11/07/2010
Follow Liberal is Logical on Twitter: @JeffDFreeman

Obama asks the rich to pay a bit more and to no one's surprise Republicans counter with increased taxes on the middle class and working poor.  Obama's opening proposal in the fiscal cliff talks was in line with his promises on the campaign trail as they called for increasing tax revenue by allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top income bracket to expire.  Republicans scoffed at Obama's first offer and countered with their own proposal calling for extending the Bush tax cuts for all earners, including the top bracket, and raising revenue instead by allowing payroll tax cuts to expire; a truly inspired proposal given that 82% of working households pay more in payroll taxes than they do income taxes.[1]  Politics aside, at the end of the day, tax rates matter far less than a person's actual tax liability; in other words, what matters most is what people have actually paid after filing their taxes.  The answer to who pays what might surprise you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who Are The Most Underrepresented People In America?

New members of Congress, Capital Hill, Washington D.C.
Republicans in the newly elected House of Representatives recently selected committee chairs for the 113th Congress and in spite of the most diverse voting population in U.S. history all 19 chairs selected were white and male.  After intense criticism, the GOP revised their committee chair selections from 19 white male chairmen to 18 white male chairmen with one white female as chair of the House Administration Committee, a committee on which she did not serve in the 112th Congress.  Aside from being morally questionable, such an overt and deliberate lack of diversity has much larger implications.  The United States is a representative democracy, but if its representatives fail to reflect the diversity of the nation, then it will inevitably fail in its primary goal of being a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  This central question of diversity and representation in Congress deserves deeper examination.  So who are the most underrepresented people in America?  The answer might surprise you.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Biggest Lie In America Today

grover norquist
Grover Norquist, Source: Business Insider, November 2012
Grover Norquist, a conservative lobbyist and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, has made a career by trumpeting the biggest lie in American politics.  The problem is most people don't know it's a lie.  By continuing to push the idea that Americans are overtaxed, Mr. Norquist has added to a growing misconception about taxation in the US.  The New York Times Reports that in 1944 when the US was engaged in World War II, in spite of historically high income tax rates, including a 94% tax rate on the highest earners, roughly 90% of all Americans believed their tax rates were fair.  Yet today, as the US remains entrenched in an eleven year war in Afghanistan and with historically low income tax rates including roughly half the country having no income tax liability at all, a shrinking number of Americans still believe their rates are fair.  In fact, it was the perceived threat of higher taxes that eventually gave birth to the conservative Tea Party movement, a group whose very name is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already.