Sunday, February 8, 2015

The case for Medicaid expansion

The Affordable Care Act has had it's major provisions active for over a year now.  Those provisions were slowly phased in since the implementation of the ACA while others were adopted back in 2010 when the law was first signed by President Obama.  As a result, 20 million Americans have gained coverage and the uninsured rate has dropped to  13.4% from 18% prior to enactment.  Those are facts, folks.

"Obamacare" as it's most commonly known, has been perceived as multitude of things depending on who you ask.  For example, it has been heralded as a great piece of legislation by some, a well-intended attempt at reform by others, a complete disappointment for those wanting a single payer, a disaster by many on the right, a waste of tax payer money and a huge tax on Americans by deficit hawks, or it's even been called the worst thing to happen to this country since, well as one 2016 Presidential hopeful stated, "the worst thing since slavery".  The hyperbole of the both sides of the discussion has been downright dizzying for most Americans.  Honestly, I think most of us are just sick of hearing about it. 

Undoubtedly, some Americans have had a good experience; such as those who were denied affordable health insurance due to preexisting conditions, or young adults under 26 years of age who are now covered under their parent's plans, or those who had coverage denied due to lifetime limits, or hard working Americans who just couldn't afford coverage due to the cost and now receive subsidies.  Others, have had a negative experience; such as those who lost coverage because their plans didn’t meet the coverage standards of the new law or those who saw premium increases.  Where do you fall on the spectrum?

One of the main provisions of the ACA was Medicaid expansion.  After the Supreme Court ruling on the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the States were given the choice to set up their own exchanges or go with a Federal exchange.  That ruling has prompted another Supreme Court battle in which millions of Americans may lose their coverage over a wording technicality regarding the funding of Federal exchanges.  The GOP is now scrambling to come up with their own version of ObamaCare in case the Supreme Court rules in their favor.  It will be interesting to see how the CBO scores this version since their previous attempt that was scored by the CBO was terrible. Also during that first Supreme Court ruling, States were given the option or choice of accepting or declining the Medicaid expansion.  As a reminder, Medicaid expansion would be 100% covered by the Federal Government the first three years and 90% covered afterward with the remaining 10% covered by the States budget.  Where did those Federal dollars come from for the expanded Medicaid coverage?  Our Federal tax dollars, folks.  So regardless if your State choose to expand Medicaid, you still paid for it with your tax dollars.  Think about that for a moment.

The Medicaid expansion was designed to cover those who fell within the Medicaid Coverage Gap.  These folks were making too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for subsidies in the exchanges.  See below.

In states that do not expand Medicaid under the ACA, there will be large gaps in coverage available for adults.
Think about that.  These are folks who are either working very low paying full-time jobs with no benefits, part-time jobs and not making enough money or they are folks who are not working at all, but have a member of the household who makes enough that it puts them in the coverage gap.  A great article on the Medicaid Coverage Gap demographic can be found here.

How many Americans fall in this coverage gap?  4.8 million.  Yes, that's a lot of Americans who have no coverage who could be getting coverage if their State choose to expand coverage.  Many of these folks end up going without care or worst yet, wait until their condition gets so bad they need to seek emergency care.  And what happens when those folks get care?  They DO get care and many of the providers/hospitals/clinics end up writing off those costs (at least they should be doing that).  Those write-offs ultimately shift the cost to those who have coverage.  And those with coverage end up paying for it by increases in their premiums. So we all end up paying for those without coverage anyway.

Nebraska is one of those States that chose not to expand Medicaid.  The rationale by the Governor for not expanding Medicaid was "Expanding Medicaid will result in less future funding for state aid to education, special education, early childhood programs, the University of Nebraska, our state college system and our community colleges."  So 54,000 Nebraskans don't deserve coverage because of a potential shortfall in future spending to other programs?  Really?!  What about during the first three years when the Federal Government was covering the cost completely?!?!  Wouldn't the reasonable, responsible and compassionate thing to do for these Nebraskans without coverage is accept the Medicaid Expansion and then assess the financial impact on the State including potential affects on other programs?  How can that be spun to sound like it's a good idea to not accept Medicaid Expansion?  Is this just bipartisan politics that's costing Nebraskans care and maybe even their lives?!

Many red states are now deciding to expand Medicaid after years of opposition and lots of pressure from Hospital Associations, constituents and insurers.   Even a former GOP State Legislator, Tim Johnson, from the deep red State of Mississippi recently changed parties due to his former party's continued opposition to the Medicaid expansion.  It just doesn't make sense to Tim Johnson, and it doesn't make sense to me either.  Why would our great State of Nebraska decline expansion of coverage to those in need?  Our new Governor is a Christian man, but is holding back the expansion of Medicaid to those in need a Christ-like act?  How is this justifiable?  WWJD? 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Power to the lobbyist

News came out yesterday that Governor Ricketts has hired a longtime political operative and a private sector employee to help with official State business and policy.  Governor Ricketts has hired Jessica Moenning and is personally paying for her services.  Mrs. Moenning ran Governor Ricketts unsuccessful 2006 Senate campaign and is also the former Executive Director for the Nebraska Republican Party.  She is also a former lobbyist for a public relations firm, Ls2Group that has been pro-pipeline in other Midwest states which set off "red flags" for those communities.  Mrs. Moenning was also a lobbyist for a pro-Keystone XL "independent group" called Nebraskans for Jobs & Energy Independence that continues to lobby for the KXL. The article by also reveals that Mrs. Moenning helped write the State of the State address which included pro-KXL language.

In my opinion, the main concern with this situation is accountability.  Our State officials are accountable to the public for their conduct.  We have oversight and hold them accountable to do what's best for Nebraskans.  A private employee there is no oversight by the public and they're likely to do what's best for whomever pays them.  Her oversight is by Governor Ricketts who states Mrs. Moenning will be accountable to him.  Do you think a former lobbyist for special interests connections who's being privately financed should play such a vital role in policy?  Is this ethical?

Another example of this type of situation is our neighbors to the south.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's Budget Director Shawn Sullivan sent the state budget proposal to top officials as well as two lobbyist using a private email account three weeks prior to sharing it with Kansas policy makers.  All but one individual that email was sent to, had it sent on a non-government email.  Again, lack of accountability.  That definitely raised some eyebrows.

Is lobbying corrupt?  I heard a great quote the other day, "You Americans call it lobbying.  We call it corruption in my country."  I'm sure some of the lobbying done in the United States is corrupt, but we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Lobbyists can serve in the public's best interest for dissenting voices and opinions.  Besides, lobbying is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.  And even the current administration; which promised more transparency and restrictions for former lobbyists in Government positions; has rolled back some of those changes

Has lobbying in the United States gotten out of hand?  I believe it has.  It's a pervasive part of the political process in DC and throughout State and local government.  It not only affects policy, but also elections.  And former elected officials often find cushy lobbying jobs after their time in office.  This happens on both sides of the political system.  Back before 1980 if a former elected official got a job as a lobbyist, that would raise some eyebrows.  Now it's completely acceptable.  What has changed?

I believe the political clout and financial power of lobbying has drown out the voices of the average American voter.  We need stricter lobbying regulations which includes a broader provision regarding hiring former lobbyists to help with policy to ensure specials interests don't wield unfair influence in government.  What are your thoughts? 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Who wins when the ACA fails?

You've probably heard about the recent failure of CoOpportunity Health.   The non-profit insurer was created by the Affordable Care Act to help insure the anticipated thousands of uninsured Iowans and Nebraskans once they hit the ACA market exchanges.  This was one of the 23 non-profit insurance co-ops created around the country.  CoOpportunity was the second largest co-op insurer in the country.  One estimate is around 100,000 Iowans and Nebraskans were insured by CoOpportunity.  With the failure and liquidation of CoOpportunity, thousands of Nebraskans and Iowans have been dropped from coverage and are left scrambling to find a replacement.  So what happened?  Why did CoOpportunity fail? 

The ACA created a Risk Corridor program that was designed to help the new insurers succeed in the first few years of existence.  Like many small businesses, a loss is expected in the first few years.  Especially with the influx of uninsured Americans who may have gone without coverage for years.  The first few years, they will have a lot of claims as they catch up on their neglected health needs. 

The Risk Corridor program helped ensure the insurers success by linking the success of all the co-ops together.  Insurance co-ops would calculate what their expected insurance pools would cost (total of claims) and if they turned out better than expected, the companies would pay into the Risk Corridor program.  If they turn out worse than expected, then companies would be paid by the program.  If the sum of the loses was greater than the gains, the Federal Government would fill that gap.  Sounds reasonable. 

Unfortunately during the December CRomnibus spending bill, the House Republicans inserted language that indicated the Risk Corridor program had to be revenue neutral (no Federal funding to fill a potential gap).  As a result, the Risk Corridor had to have enough money coming in from those doing well in order to cover the losses of the insurers who lost money.  This really hit CoOpportunity hard because they couldn't count on the Risk Corridor to cover their expected losses during the first few years of the ACA.  So the Iowa Insurance Commissioner had to shut them down because they paid too many claims in the first year and couldn't remain solvent without the funding from the Risk Corridor program on which they were counting on.

Another possible reason for the failure is CoOpportunity may have undercut competitors by under-pricing their policies since they knew they would be rescued by the Risk Corridor.  They also had sicker patients than expected and therefore, more claims paid.  All of this ended up being too much for them to bear once the Risk Corridor was required to be revenue neutral. 

You may think, making programs revenue neutral is what should be done, right?  Not in this case.  The ACA was designed with the intent of rescuing the co-op insurers in the first few years of the exchanges with the Risk Corridor program.  The GOP knew this and added the language to the CRomnibus in order to get a political victory by damaging the ACA.  And that victory was at the cost of thousands of Iowans and Nebraskans healthcare coverage.  Of course this will be used as an opportunity to say the ACA is a failure, but who really won?

Now the next battle in the ACA legacy will go to the Supreme Court.  This is a battle over the wording in the ACA which could leave millions of Americans without insurance or greatly increased cost of their insurance.  The battle is over if states that refused to set up their own exchanges (34 states in total including Nebraska) and then went with the Federal Exchange, if Americans can accept the Federal subsidies in those Federally run exchanges.  The ACA states the subsidies are for State-run exchanges (only 16 states set up their own exchanges).  When the law was written it was assumed each state would have their own state-run exchange.  Everyone knows the intention of the ACA, but the GOP have found a possible chink in the armor and are going for the jugular. 

Back in the first Supreme Court ruling on the ACA, the Supreme Court ruled that states could choose whether to set up their own exchange or go with a Federal exchange system and also gave them the ability to reject the Medicaid expansion (23 GOP controlled states that effect 4 million people without insurance).  Take note on how many Red states are now considering expansion or are outright accepting the Medicaid expansion

What will the Supreme Court decide on this latest challenge to the ACA and what will happen if they rule against it?  If they determine only Americans who purchased insurance through state run exchanges qualify for subsidies, it will be a political victory for the GOP against the ACA, but at what cost?  Millions of Americans will lose their subsidies and will either need to pay in dearly for their coverage or drop coverage and go without insurance.  The Republicans are scrambling to find a solution if the Supreme Court rules against the subsidies for the states that choose to go with the Federal exchanges.

This battle is over politics and the next election, not the healthcare of millions of Americans.  At what cost are Politicians willing to get a political victory?  Do you think this is right, fair, honest and compassionate? 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lots of noes and not many ideas.

Recently on CBS News with Scott Pelley, a portion of an interview for 60 Minutes was aired in which Scott Pelley spoke to House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY regarding the President's proposed agenda in the State of the Union Address.  The clip can be viewed here.  The full interview was aired last night. 

Now after watching their responses to Pelley's questions, I'm left scratching my head.  Their answers seem empty, insubstantial, and really didn't make a lot of sense.  Their answers didn't appear be to based on any solid statistics, facts or historical trends.  Their answers seemed like empty rhetoric and the same old talking points from the right.

Below is the transcript (in italics) interjected with my thoughts in between the transcribed portions of the interview.

Raise taxes on the wealthy  – GOP response John Boehner, R-OH

Boehner, “Why we wanna raise taxes on people? There’s no free lunch and, and uh, the President wants to raise taxes because he wants to increase Washington spending.”

Pelley, “I’ll take that as a dead.”

Boehner,  “Dead.  Real Dead.”

The reality is the President's proposals will help ensure the wealthy are paying their fair share and the working poor and middle class can get a leg ahead in the modern era of growing inequality.  It's based on a progressive tax principal which has been incorporated into the American tax code since Abraham Lincoln signed it into law in 1862.  What is a progressive tax?

The progressive tax theory has been around for a couple a hundred of years.  It taxes designated level of incomes at different rates.  For example, the 2014 income tax rates (brackets) for Americans are:

As the level of income increases through each income range, the amount of tax paid on that income is increased.  This is referred to as a marginal tax rate.

For example, if I made $35,000 per year in income, I pay same amount of taxes on that $35,000 (15%) as does Warren Buffett, even though Mr. Buffett makes around $100,000 per year in salary (per his 2012 salary).  Now the income over $37,451 and through $90,750, Mr. Buffett would pay 25%, and his income over $90,751 Mr. Buffett would pay 28%.  Now Mr. Buffett makes a whole more than $100,000 per year and most of that money is off his capital gains (investments).  Capital gains are taxed at 0% to 20% depending on which tax bracket your highest income lands.  Even the highest capital gains tax is relatively low compared to the top marginal rate (20% vs. 39.6%).  This is why Warren Buffett was able to pay less effective tax than his Secretary.  Mr. Buffett knows the system is rigged and he and many other top earners have publicly stated that they should pay more.  That's why the President proposed the Buffett Rule in 2011 as part of his tax plan.  Unfortunately, this proposal went nowhere in Congress.

How much do you pay for varying levels of income?  A great tool to use to determine how much tax is taken from each level of income is here.  You should check it out using different levels of income and be certain to look at the effective tax rate (the percentage of total taxes paid on all revenues).

The President's new tax proposal mentioned in the SOTU address and what Speaker Boehner called, "Dead." would increase the capital gains/dividends tax on wealthy Americans.  Specifically it would raise the capital-gains tax for Americans earning $500,000 or more from 23.8 to 28 percent.

Why is that proposal "Dead."?  What is Speaker Boehner's strategy for helping middle class Americans and alleviating the growing inequality in America?  We hear a lot of criticisms, but very little ideas.  

Back to the interview...

Make Community College free of charge – GOP response Mitch McConnell, R-KY

Pelley, “Dead or alive?”

McConnell, “We’ve added more debt during the Obama years than all the Presidents from George Washington down to George Bush. The last thing we need to do to these young people is add more debt and giving away free tuition strikes me as something we can’t afford.”

Pelley, “I’ll put that down as dead as well.”

Ironically, today we just found out that the deficit is the lowest it's been since 2007 (before the Great Recession).  How did that deficit get so bloated?  President George W. Bush's tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and the bailouts.  Of course, the current President gets blamed for the bailouts.  Even though the bailouts worked and the kept banks and automakers afloat and only cost the US taxpayer about $32 billion. 

Deficit or debt?  Now there is a huge difference between deficit and debt.  The deficit is the difference between revenue and expenses every year for the Federal Government.  The United States has been running a deficit since the end of the Clinton years.  The last time the US had a surplus was under Bill Clinton.  Yes, that's right folks.  Bill Clinton balanced the budget, had a surplus AND was paying down the federal debt.  And the Clinton years were pretty good for a lot of Americans, not just the wealthy.

The Federal debt is the total amount of money the Government owes to various entities over the course of the country's existence.  Where is all that money going?  You can see it all (revenue and various expenses) broken down here

The GOP have been making quite a ruckus about the deficit and the debt.  They even cut benefits to jobless Americans over deficit fears, but their hypocrisy over the deficit is appalling.  They were so worked up about it they even shut the government down in 2013.  Of course that was a terrible idea because it ended up costing the Federal Government lots of revenue and lost productivity which in turn increased the annual deficit that year and the overall debt!  Awesome work, GOP!  Even the rank and file Republicans were upset at Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX over the shutdown.  This demonstrated the power of the tea party extremists.

So how can Senator McConnell say we can't afford it?  Especially when investments in higher education pay dividends, which the statistics prove.  What is Senator McConnell basing his opinion on?  What are his answers to helping the middle class and educating our workforce? 

Back to the interview....

Increasing Federal Minimum wage – GOP response John Boehner, R-OH

Boehner, “Bad idea.”

Pelley, “Dead.”

Boehner,  “It’s a bad idea. I’ve had every kind of rotten job you can imagine growing up and getting myself through school, and , and I woudn’t of had a chance at half those jobs if the Federal Government had kept imposing higher minimum wage. Low income jobs help people get skills and they climb the economic ladder.”

I'm not really sure what to say about Speaker Boehner's answer.  These are tired old GOP talking points about wages in America.  Get the facts here and debunk the myths on minimum wages.

Does Speaker Boehner know the facts on minimum wage?  And if not, why doesn't he?  What is he basing his opinion and legislative agenda on regarding the minimum wage?  Doesn't he know that most Americans support the raise of the minimum wage?  Even in Nebraska, a deep red state, the minimum wage won easily.

Back to the interview....

Tripling the child care tax credit for working families – GOP response John Boehner, R-OH

Boehner, “We’re all for helping, uh, working class families around America.  I think we’ll take a look at this one, do the budget up. It’s something we can look at in the overall context of simplifying our tax code and bringing rates down for everyone.

Pelley, “Possible area of compromise here between the Democrats and Republicans on the child care tax credit.”

Boeher, “It’s certainly something we’d look at.”

Oh my good gravy!  We finally have something they agree upon!  But wait a minute.  If something is too good to be true, it probably is.

The GOP have been pushing for a regressive tax policy for years.  In fact, Congressmen Paul Ryan's budget proposal in which a "simplified the tax code" would be incorporated would be a huge tax cut to the wealthy and shift more taxes to the middle earners including the middle class.  The GOP has been clever to strategically call it a way to "simply the tax code", but they know what it is.  A gift to the wealthy.  So keep your eye on this area of compromise.  The GOP will likely use this child care tax credit as leverage to "simplify the tax code".

It's clearly apparent who the GOP are working for these days.  The Koch brothers held a summit for GOP Presidential hopefuls this past weekend.  And they're poised to spend almost a billion dollars on campaigns in the 2016 election cycle.  I'm not making this up, folks.  This is really happening in our country.  This is why we desperately need Campaign Finance Reform.

Do you feel it's fair that two individuals can spend a billion dollars on an election cycle?  How will average Americans be able to have their voices heard over a billion dollars?  What other great things could be done with that money to help Americans in need? 

What will you do to have your voice heard?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Dark Money!

On Wednesday, the Citizens United ruling had it's fifth anniversary.  Five years ago marked a historic point in our country's history.  It fundamentally changed the way campaigns are run and subsequently how elections are won. The ruling has opened the flood gates to massive amounts of special interest money as well as dark money (undisclosed funding source prior to the election) and it has also sparked the growth of PACs and Super PACs. The ruling by the Supreme Court was based on the assumption that transparency and full disclosure would also take place after the ruling, but unfortunately that never happen.  So now huge sums of special interest money can fund the campaigns of any and all elections.   Do you think that is what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they crafted the Article II of the Constitution?

The 2014 Election Cycle saw the average American take a backseat to the MegaDonor and PACs/SuperPACs.  How much was spent and who spent what?  The Center for Responsive Politics breaks it all down here.  So why does this matter?

Special interests now wield huge political influence in our elections and then once candidates are elected, that influence extends to the legislative agendas of the States and the United States Congress as well.  The folks with the most money, end up having the biggest influence.  The power of the vote has been diluted by the power of the dollar. 

Make no mistake, both parties are guilty of taking advantage of the weak campaign finance laws.  It reminds me of a political nuclear arms race.  Both sides know it's a bad idea, but do it anyway because if they don't the other side will likely be the victor.  It's a race to the ethical and moral bottom. 

So what can we do about it?

Get informed of who is funding your candidates and talk to your Representatives and demand Campaign Finance Reform at both a State and National level.  This is first step in taking back our political system from the fringe of both parties. We need sensible, logical and rational policy makers that aren't beholden to special interests.  Our votes should matter.  And once a candidate is elected, our interests should be represented, not the interests of the almighty dollar. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Science of denial

Yesterday on the Senate floor, a historic vote took place.  An amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act; which can be read in full on the dot gov website here; forced a "Yes" or "No" vote on whether each Senator believed Climate Change to be "real and not a hoax".  By the way, if you're a GOPer they call it the Keystone "Jobs" bill which is another topic for debate since 42,100 temporary jobs versus 2,000 temporary jobs is a ludicrous disparity.

Long story short; after a bunch of clever political wordsmithing, part of the language of that amendment was removed which would have required the Senators to also declare if "human activity significantly contributes to climate change".  Ultimately, the Senate voted 98-1 that Climate Change is real, but the removal of the link to human activity pretty much gives the Senate a "get out of jail free card".  So in essence, all that the Republican Senators were agreeing to is that the climate is indeed changing.  It was political mastery at it's finest.  The spin on this vote is elementary and the internets including social media is already being filled with denialists proclaiming that, "Of course the climate is changing.  It has been changing since the being of the planet.".  Yep.  The GOP just hit a home run.

Even though this was a deflated "gotcha" attempt by the believers of Climate Change science, it was still a historic vote in my mind.  It marks a big step in getting closer to overcoming the denial of science and the opening of debate of how science affects policy in our country. 

Most readers here probably believe in the science of Climate Change, so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.  It's been a well researched and established theory while the scientific dissidents have been largely funded by the fossil fuel industry which is a monumental conflict of interest.  As we continue to collect data on the climate and continue to see the devastating effects of Climate Change on our country, planet and it's population, the next chapter in Climate Change research should be directed to the science of Climate Change denialism.  Because after all, that's the next big challenge.  Getting otherwise rational, logical and intelligent people to deal with uncomfortable truths which go against deep rooted ideological beliefs.  And the polarization of our political system makes this task that much more challenging. 

Let's face it, it is not going to be easy to overcome Climate Change denialism.  But it must be done in order to preserve our planet, not just for the shortsighted cannibalic human species, but for all species of this planet; because after all, we're all in this together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Not lame.

I'm sitting down on Tuesday night to write this post prior to tonight's State of the Union address and the GOP response.  This will be outdated, but I wanted to get my thoughts down prior to the big show.  Most of the main talking points have been divulged over the past couple of weeks.  The President has been giving us teasers of what is expected in the address tonight.  I'm sure a few pundit's heads will explode after the President outlines his strategic plan, legislative agenda and executive actions for the next year.  The gloves are off and President Obama isn't being all that lame in his lame duck session. 

One of the center pieces of the address, and likely the most controversial, is a tax increase on the wealthy.  Let me say that again, the wealthy.  You know, like Mitt Romney who only paid a 14% effective tax rate in 2011; which is way less than you and I likely paid.  Specially targeted for the President's tax increases are; capital gains/dividend tax rates, a fee on the liabilities of big financial institutions, and the tax on inherited money.

Ok, so why the tax increases?  Isn't the economy finally in recovery?  Will this attenuate any additional economic gains and cause another recession?

Inequality is why.  Since the Great Recession began in late 2007, most (and by most, I mean pretty much all) of the economic gains have gone to the richest of the rich; the top 1%.  So is that bad?  Yes, inequality hurts us all in a myriad of ways.  The data backs this up.  This isn't a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, folks.  

The GOP will likely counter with that tax increases will kill jobs and redistribution of wealth is an un-American principle.  Well, that's interesting because that's what the President is trying to correct; create jobs and prevent the continuing redistribution of wealth to the top.  Think about that.  The wealth of the middle class has largely been redistributed to the wealthy in the past 20 years.  So the GOP is against it, except when they're for it.  Just like the deficit crisis.

More money in the hands of the middle class drives the economy because they spend most of their earnings.  That spending on goods and services increases demand and therefore creates jobs.  As the middle class goes, the economy goes.  This too has also been proven with historical data.  The middle class and the economy was the most stable during times of low inequality.  Stability is a good thing in the economy. 

Based on all the historic data and the current direction of inequality, isn't it time to do something?  After all, the ultra rich are doing pretty darn well right now.  Even some of the wealthiest Billionaires in the United States agree.

Think about the fundamental principle of any proposed change; regardless of who proposes it.  Who does it benefit?  Who does it hurt?  Is it just, fair and compassionate? 

It's time for a change in our tax burden.  The country needs tax reform that benefits all; because we're all in this together.

Today's suggested things to view (currently on Netflix): INEQUALITY FOR ALL