1. ACA and the Republican "Refuse to Enroll" Campaign
Conservative organizations like the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom and the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity are trying another tactic in their attempt to derail the ACA. They are actively targeting uninsured Americans in states like Ohio--where government leadership has chosen not to set up their own exchange programs--with TV and print ads as well as anti-ACA rants by radio commentators like Twila Brase, all urging people to refuse to sign up for health care benefits guaranteed to them by the health care law.
what eye thynk: There can be only one reason why one group of people would encourage another group of people to go without health insurance, and that reason is plain and simple: morally-bankrupt spite.
The Koch brothers are certainly wealthy enough to be able to afford excellent health care and Twila Brase, an RN who heads the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom and is on the board of the Patient Safety Institute, is also undoubtedly covered by a good health care plan. Their callous attempts to deny the same safety net to millions of Americans demonstrates how the conservative passion for spite has moved beyond reason. There is no positive side to their argument. Encouraging the uninsured to remain uninsured benefits no one.
One columnist summarized it this way: "After nearly a century of politicians talking about the problem, President Obama...signed the Affordable Care Act into law...throwing a life preserver to the uninsured. Now, Republicans aren't just actively trying to sabotage the law, they're telling struggling Americans it's better to drown than accept the life preserver."
This is spitefulness in its basest form.
2. GOP says "No" to Lower Corporate Tax Rates and Job Creation
On Tuesday, President Obama spoke in Tennessee and made an offer that included lowering corporate tax rates and using a one-time fee payable on deferred foreign earnings to invest in infrastructure and manufacturing jobs: "Here's the bottom line: I'm willing to work with Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs. That's the deal."
what eye thynk: It's a deal that Washington Republicans should be jumping over each other to accept. They have been screaming about lowering the corporate tax rate and the need to create jobs for five years now; but, no, they hate the idea.
Their reasons are mind boggling.
- John Boehner's office said that the President didn't tell him about the plan first. (The President says Mr. Boehner's office did not return his phone call).
While it might be politic to let the Speaker of the House know about a new offer before announcing it publicly, I don't see what that has to do with the substance of the offer. And, really, where is it written that the President of the United States must vet his speeches through the Speaker's office? This whole objection is just plain childish.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) responded to the President's offer by saying that it would hurt small business and that the plan is not bi-partisan.
How lower corporate tax rates would hurt small business is beyond me. Mr. McConnell declined to explain his statement. And the idea that lower corporate tax rates is not a bi-partisan idea just flies in the face of logic. I mean, Republicans have been calling for lower corporate tax rates for years and now the Democratic President is saying he would go along with it. That seems to pass the smell test for bi-partisanship in my world.
- Some Republicans are saying they will not accept partial concessions on tax rates. They insist that lower tax rates for the wealthy must also be included in the offer.
The art of compromise is reaching mummified status on the red side of the aisle.
- Other Republicans are arguing that any changes in corporate tax rates must be revenue neutral. In other words, if an agreement can be reached on lower corporate tax rates, the results should not generate any revenue that might be used for any other purpose.
I don't know how else to interpret this but as an argument AGAINST job creation.
And so goes life with the modern Republican Party. They say they want the government out of our personal lives--but continue to pass law after law aimed at governing the female reproductive system. The say they support small government--but pass laws defining religion, families and marriage rights. They say they want a safer America--but they refuse to pass gun safety regulations while at the same time passing laws that make it easier for anyone to carry a firearm anytime, anywhere.
They say they want to create jobs, but when the President gives them the perfect opportunity to do just that, they reject the idea because the announcement a) hurt the Speaker's feelings, b) doesn't follow their interpretation of bi-partisanship and c) doesn't do anything for the rich.
Keep it up, boys. Keep it up.