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You heard it here first.  More on this later, but first all need to work to make hemp completely legal…  Hemp  is God’s gift to America, and I don’t mean when it goes up in smoke.  I am speaking of  fibers…

Begin educating those who won’t vote for hemp legalization….

The hemp plant is a renewable resource..

Hemp enriches the soil it grows in. …

Hempseeds and hemp oil are highly nutritious and delicious…

Hemp is the only plant that contains all of the essential fatty acids and amino acids required by the human body… (stop over-fishing).

It is an excellent option for vegetarians.

It’s quite high in some essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a very rare nutrient also found in mother’s milk.

Fishermen sprinkle hempseed on the water as an effective bait..

Songbirds will pick it out of the mix as they prefer it over other seeds.

Hemp is becoming a common ingredient in lotions and many other skin, hair, and cosmetic products.. (compared to toxic chemicals).

Hemp is an ideal material for making paper. It regenerates in the field in months (unlike trees which can take 30 years or more to become harvestable after planting.)…

It makes a fine quality paper that is naturally acid free and does not become yellow and brittle or disintegrate over time like conventional paper.

Hemp is also excellent for making rugs and other textiles.  Levi Strauss’ original denim jeans were made of hemp.

Hemp is the traditional rope making fibre due to its flexibility, strength, and resistance to water damage..

Hemp oil can be used to create biofuels to replace gasoline for diesel engines. Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels are renewable and produce less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.  Diesel built his original engine to run on hemp oil.

Alternatives to plastic can be made from hemp… Hemp based materials can replace wood and other materials used to build homes and other structures including foundations, walls, shingles, paneling, pipes, and paint.

Hemp may look like marijuana, however it does not contain the active chemicals that cause mind-altering effects.  Politics have kept this gift from us.  When Dupont made nylon, it influence was used to suppress hemp production….

58,000 tons of hemp seeds were imported into America for paint products in 1935″ — Sherman Williams Paint Co.

Hemp produces the same amount of oxygen while it’s growing that it would use in carbon dioxide if burned as a fuel. Also, due to it’s leaf/root ratio (this can often be 10% roots vs 30% leaves), hemp can produce between 20% – 40% more oxygen than will be polluted.

Thomas Jefferson himself said, “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”

The draft of the Declaration of Independence was made on hemp paper….

The first American Flag was made of hemp.

If hemp cross-pollinates with marijuana, it creates a lower THC marijuana, not a smokable hemp… Illegal growers will not grow near hemp farms because it practically destroys the effectiveness and marketability of their product.

Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun’s UV rays more effectively than other fabrics..

The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies all C. sativa (hemp) varieties as “marijuana.”  Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing governmental interference) in the United States until the 1950s. It was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax on marijuana and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp…

While Congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana…

Because of its low lignin content, hemp can be pulped using less chemicals than with wood…

It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop…

Today it is clear that these beginnings of “the war on drugs” were pushed into being by the newspaper, cotton, and petroleum industries, all of which had much to fear over being competitive with hemp…..

Finally, a word of wisdom from our founding father…. “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” — George Washington 1794

 

 

 

 

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Roosevelt’s Inauguration 3/4/33
Courtesy of CSpan.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Inauguration Day. (It was the last before the 20th Amendment moved it to January 21st.) It is hard for us to see though the old film clips but here are some additional notes from H.W. Brand’s biography of Franklin Roosevelt, titled “Traitor To His Class”….

In 1933, the pervading bitterness was similar to that experienced by today’s Republicans. They had talked themselves into believing Herbert Hoover was a shoo in. Instead it was a rout for Roosevelt. Hoover was not a social person to begin with, and his awkwardness continued though out the inauguration….

It was customary at that time, to have the outgoing president host a dinner for the incoming President. Hoover refused, and instead, settled on an awkward afternoon tea… When Mr. Roosevelt tried to mitigate the awkwardness and offer Hoover an early exit, Hoover aggravated the discomfort. “Mr. President” said Roosevelt. “as you know it is rather difficult for me to move in a hurry. It takes me a little while to get up and I know how busy you must be. So please don’t wait for me.” Hoover stood up and affixed Roosevelt with a glare. “Mr. Roosevelt. After you have been President for a while, you will learn that the President of the United States waits for no one…” and stormed off, leaving his wife to say the goodbyes..

Roosevelt began what later becoming tradition, of spending the morning at a private service, this time at St. John’s Episcopal Church. At 11 o’clock the car swung by the Mayflower Hotel and picked up both Franklin and Eleanor, then swung by the White House to pick up Hoover. Hoover surveyed the White House grounds then climbed in and scarcely looked at the Roosevelts…

As the open car pulled down Pennsylvania Avenue, Franklin politely acted like the cheers were for the actual president at that moment, the outgoing one, and declined to acknowledge them… But within blocks the fiction became unattainable and he began acknowledging the crowd by tipping his silk hat and smiling and the anger radiated by Hoover, intensified stronger.

In the Capitol he watched the swearing in of the Senators, and the Vice President John Nance Garner and watched what would be the last adjournment of a Lame Duck Congress. At one o’clock all moved outdoors and in front of a crowd of 100,000, began the ceremonies. Roosevelt was uncharacteristically serious. Many of his staff were surprised by his somber character…

As you can see in the beginning of the clip above, upon taking the oath of office Franklin took the unusual step of repeating back the entire part read from the Constitution, before saying “I do.”

This is a day of national consecration and I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our nation impels.”

Hoover was standing next to Roosevelt and his dour expression became a grimace as he anticipated another attack upon his administration… But Roosevelt proceeded with words of encouragement and hope.

“This great nation will endure as it has endured, and will revive and prosper. Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.– nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

This line did not resonate as it does now, as the famous line we now know from our study of history. At the time, it was patiently false. Americans did have a lot to fear. Banks were closed. There was massive unemployment. Hunger was widespread, and a financial system could barely get up onto its knees.. If you notice in the clip above, to the line… there is no applause.

More noticed and featured in the following day’s headlines, were these lines assailing “unscrupulous money changers” of Wall Street as those responsible for America’s plight. “Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply”.. “Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankinds’ goods have failed through their own stubbornness and incompetence.” Waxing eloquently, “the money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may not restore that temple to the ancient truths…”

Other applause lines: “our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” This would be accomplished in part by the “direct recruiting of the government itself; treating the task as we would the emergency of war.”

“We must frankly recognize the overabundance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution , endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land.”

He calls for “definite efforts to raise the values of agriculture products” for insistence that the “federal, state, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced”, and he spoke for an “adequate but sound currency”… He set the agenda with this: “The international trade regulations though vastly important, are, in point of time and necessity, secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy.”

If you didn’t get the gist of it, Roosevelt’s words were purposefully vague. They were crafted to inspire confidence that action was forthcoming, without belying that on one yet knew what action or actions would begin to take place. “We must act, and we must act quickly.”

“I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crises– broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

No president, not even Lincoln, had spoken boldly of the power he would require. The American people were demanding much, and they deserved all that government could accomplish for them.

“They asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of their gift….. I take it.

He had an amazing 100 days.

There is a huge irony that on this same date, 80 years later, we are facing our first full day of sequestration; the exact opposite of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran against, won against, and fought against the entire length of his presidency. And his policies would still be in effect today. if it weren’t for the Republicans and the presidency of George W. Bush.

Roosevelt’s Inauguration 3/4/33

It probably hit mass culture with Star Wars. Where, when in a pickle, one made some adjustments to a computer, pushed a button, and one was suddenly in another part of the universe.

Then came the TV show Quantum Leap in the 80’s, where after a certain feat had been changed, one jumped through space and time into a new body, to begin a new episode the following week.  Remember Ziggy?

I was reading one of my earlier pieces that for some random reason yesterday had  caught a flicker of interest, and back then I had used that concept, that of “jumping”, to explain why America was finally settling on Obama as their candidate of choice….

America had been milling around in stagnation and needed a “jump” to move us forward. Clinton and McCain could not engineer that, I proposed and that is why we needed someone new, to “make the jump” forward.

That was written during the campaign of 2008. This summer will be 5 years hence.

America still needs to make that jump.

But just as we almost get there, Republicans sabotage it by pulling the  computer’s plug…

Now you reading this may be a Republican but please don’t take offense. You are actually a big part of the solution which you will see, if you read through to the end.

Let’s look at a few things.

  • Starting in the 80’s the Middle Class has consistently been losing ground against the top 1%. Now the Middle Class has spent their retirement savings just to pay normal expenses , and we are still heading downward.
  • Immigration reform was supposed to be completed and done in Reagan’s time. Thirty years ago. We are just getting serious now.
  • Our interstate system is 50 years old. We haven’t reinvested adequately. 11,000 bridges are held up by paint, and could drop out from under us at any moment.
  • Our tax system is still after 30 years, in disarray. The wealthy get breaks, the poor get pissed on.
  • Our Social Security and Medicare Programs are going bankrupt. They were also supposedly permanently fixed in Reagan’s term, again 30 years ago.
  • We have been at the mercy of oil speculators for the past 13 years. We still are. What did you pay today?
  • Capital investment in America is at an all time low, yet the wealthy have parked $13 trillion in savings. Why no investment?

So America, why are we still stuck in the 1980’s?

Republicans.  That is why.  Conservatives.

That sounds so simple that one must wonder why we haven’t moved them out of the way?

And that answer, is because for some crazy reason, we keep changing the rules to let them play longer.  Citizen’s versus United is just one case in point.  Allowing one person to fund a candidacy opposing the people’s true choice, obfuscates the entire playing field, and in the fog, makes the minority appear to have far more clout than is endowed to it by the American people.

Voting tallies prove that we have had over the past 24 years, 5 popular vote victories for Democrat presidents, and just 1 for Republicans, and to be fair, that was to a wartime president who barely got re-elected into office. Voting totals are the only non-spin, the only unobfuscated time we ever get to see how America truly feels.

The majority of America want us to jump forward.  They are tired after thirty years of nothing.

Right now, Republicans have killed the America dream.  College grads do not see them using their knowledge in their future jobs.  Retirees see their golden year’s savings swallowed up by profits of gigantic medical corporations.  Everyone is making tremendous amount of money, except 99% of the American people.

The majority want to jump forward.  Yet it is always Republicans holding us back.

Holding us back on Immigration Reform.  Holding us back on higher revenue.  Holding us back on budget cuts.  Holding us back on health care reform.  Holding us back on Chuck Hagel’s nomination….

It is just stupid..   It is done simply to achieve drama, and is only done for dramatic effect; it still is just a stupid waste of time and your money.  It is as if Republican behavior was patterned after that of a six year old child who drags his feet before going to school.  That child  knows he has to go there eventually, but he whines, supines, and acts recalcitrant, just to get attention…. maybe make someone feel “sorry’ for them… Boo hoo.

America is playing the role of the parent to these recalcitrant Republicans and is damn tired of it.

One simply has to look at today’s looming sequestration, which is strictly a problem Republicans created and brought down upon all of us,  and across this great nation, Americans  shake their heads in unison, remembering that if a Republicans had never been elected President  in the year 2000, by 2008 and Obama’s election, our national debt was on track to have hit zero…   Yes,  Democrats would have paid off the entire National Debt by 2008, if we had never had George W. Bush slip into office.

And now, we preparing to slash $86 billion over the next 9 months.  Then do the same over the next 12  years…

Under the Budget Control Act by 2021 discretionary spending will be at 5.5% of GDP which is its lowest level of GDP since 1931.  (We all know what happened in 1932!)   And we propose to cut it lower?

Yet we have $13 trillion in savings owned by the top 1%.  $86 billion of $13 Trillion is…. 0.7th of  one single percent.   If you increased taxes on the wealthy by only one penny per every dollar over $1 million, we would have  yearly budget surplus... just like that.  One penny per dollar over $1 million.  That one penny would even give us an additional 0.3 of one percent extra which could be applied to lowering the deficit…   Unbelievably easy….  If you own trillions, who is going to miss a penny?

But we can’t do it for one single roadblock.  Republicans won’t raise taxes.

America needs to “make a jump”…… and we need to make that jump now.

If this were Hollywood or a television drama, Captain America would pull out his sidearm, kill the insubordinate (spy) officer, and ask his attache to step into his position. We would then,  finally be able to save our ship.

Americans could then dream again about prosperity.  There is only one reason we don’t still  have it today.

Optimism, optimism, optimism…….

There is now hope. One third of the House Republicans joined the House speaker and voted FOR the Fiscal Cliff Legislation along with 174 Democrats, creating a new majority in the House. The Tea Party for now has been marginalized. As long as this group continues to vote for their constituency, which is usually urban, sophisticated, sensible, smart, well endowed, friendly, helpful, intelligent, kind, mathematically inclined, and very, very anti-fundamentalist, they will side on the side of Democrats, who have their own divisions to contend with…

There seems to be a possibility that the log jam that for so long has held up the Tea Party Congress, has been undone. This event comes upon the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly had a million more popular votes for Representatives than did Republicans, portending the only reason Republicans ever got elected, is through careful gerrymandering of their districts.

The Republicans starting tomorrow, will have even less of a majority. It will require fewer Republicans to side with Democrats to get things done.

The optimism in the markets comes from the speculation that we may be beyond the Partisan bickering that was caused by 100% of Republican intransigence. It does not bode well for Progressives. It does not bode well for Tea Party Republicans, but it does bode well for all American people who need things to finally get done….

In the new Congress, there are these sectors…. Blue Dog Democrats are now reduced to 12. The New Democrat Coalition will have 52. The Progressive Coalition will have 73…. leaving 64 unaffiliated…
The Republican split of roughly 1/3 (85) siding with the practical contingent and 2/3 remaining with the Tea Party Conservatives (149). So if we have a flux of moderate Republicans shifting to side with Democrats to push legislation based on reality, and Bluedogs shifting to support some Republican policies of principal, we may have enough movement to get things done….

Of course we will have to watch tomorrow’s vote to see if John Boehner can make it past Cantor. If the cliff vote is any indication, 85 shall side with Boehnor, and perhaps 152 side with Cantor. Of course these are rough estimates.

If Cantor wins, expect tomorrows markets to crash; investors knowing full well, stalemate of the protracted fight that will be coming up in two months.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Today the White House issued this Executive Order.

“Should the debt ceiling not be lifted in time by May 16, in order to prevent the Treasury from running out of funds, I am hereby using the emergency powers given to the Chief Executive by the Constitution, to temporarily suspend the Bush Tax Cuts until: 1) either we can legally borrow the funds to continue paying on our commitments, or 2) we bring our debt down to the 2008 level by having much more tax revenue pour in.

This is in effect, immediately, and I have instructed the IRS to recalculate all 2010 tax forms over the level of $2 million dollars, and asses those individuals and companies, for the differences.

We must take this action because Republicans want to pay politics with your lives. As Chief Executive, I am responsible to you, not them. I won’t let that happen.

With these tax cuts out of the way, and with our austerity programs already in effect, that windfall of profit the Treasury will receive, will be entirely funneled towards the paying off our debt.

This policy will continue until Republicans can act reasonably and in a productive fashion.

Barack Obama.

Historians will one day call it the reign of the Middle Class. That period stretching from the end of WWII to the beginning of 2001, will probably be hailed as America’s evolutionary peak. Those living in 2111 who look back, will mark 2001 as the turning point where this nation began its long decline.

Today someone will probably comment that the US is not dead yet. That is true, but then again, neither is the United Kingdom; but few would say the UK still has the clout it did in international politics during these same numbered years, a hundred years ago (1911)….

Alas, the UK never recovered from WWI… The USA, it appears, may never recover from the Republican Party.

To fully appreciate what is happening today, you really need to be familiar with American history from 1870 up to the first world war… That time frame wasn’t very nice to the middle class; in fact, during those times, the wealthy and government together conspired to do everything they could to prevent the middle class from growing (see Mr. Potters argument in “It’s a Wonderful Life“.)

…What’d you say just a minute ago?…They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that they…Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about…they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?

Labor unions are the vehicle on which middle class arrived… . Prior to their inception, a worker had no option but to work for nothing if he wished to stay alive.

Basically, somewhere back in the 1890’s, the question began to be raised: why should the wealthy be gambling for sport and playing around with money needed by others for basic food and shelter? And, to any impartial observer, that is a compelling question.. Why should they?

Now if they used that excess money to insure the creation of jobs, to give merit raises to good workers, or in other words, provide something back that has at least some remote worth to the economy, then I would say more power to them.

But, they don’t. They don’t. They simply gamble it away. “Let’s buy this company, hoping we can sell it later at a higher price. Sorry, you’re jobs are gone.

No, the middle class thrives on having money rise through them to the top, then, circulate back to the bottom to rise again.

The Reagan model actually preached this.. The “trickle down theory” was supposed to work. It was supposed to happen like this. As the rich got richer, they were “supposed” to build new plants, “supposed” to invest in great works that would create jobs…

The Bush years were the republican party’s glorious attempt at making that happen. Everything they preached for, they got…

America waited for the results. …. and waited…… and waited……

When the results came in, it became rather obvious that facts and reality, don’t fit in with the Republican model hypothesis: that wealth trickles down benefiting all. It doesn’t.

For Republicans, it’s a shock.

It’s like stating that God created earth in 6 days, then finding geological evidence that it took 5 billion years………. But just like the creationists that support them, these republicans keep harping their obsolete values, simply because they have nothing left. Facts have proved them wrong, so the only thing left, ….. is chutzpa.

The eight years of Republican politics, cost this economy a net loss of American jobs. Now, at the end of those 8 years, the top 1% of America’s population, currently holds 43% of this nation’s wealth; the next 19% holds 50% of this nations wealth (combined 93% in the top 20%), the next two 20%, or what should be called the middle class, holds a paltry 6% of the wealth, which dwarfs the bottom 40%, who combined barely total 1%…..

Wealth Distrubution in the USA
Chart courtesy of The Big Picture

or for those not used to being behind bars, or in honor of the upcoming Pi day (3.14) , … a pi chart……

American Wealth Distribution
Courtesy of G. William Dumhoff

Obviously reality hasn’t come to most Americans yet. We saw that during the mid-term elections.

“A number of people I know consider themselves middle-class based on their substantial income–but they own very few financial/liquid assets, and if they lose their jobs then their health coverage vanishes.

It is time our hick population faces reality. The middle class of China, fares much better than us. The middle class of France (despite our changing the name for their fries), are fairing better than us. The middle class of Norway, are faring better than us. The middle class of Dubai, are fairing better than us. Holy shit! The middle class in Brazil, even fares better than us.

Wake up!

In fact, you have to go to Africa to find another country other than the United States, where losing one’s job can kill you, if you simply have the misfortune to get sick and have no free United Nation’s health clinic in your town to save your butt…….

” There’s no way I’m worse off than some Arab!… ” blabs Joe the Plumber. ” I got my Ford. It’s sticker is almost $40,000…. I got my house; it’s a mansion worth $120,000 on the Ohio market…. No way am I worse off than some commie socialist..”

“Hey Joe! How much would you get for that car if you traded it in right now?”

“Uhh,… Blue book says its worth $18,000 retail right now…”

“Hey, Joe! How much is wholesale?”

“Uhh, …. Somewhere between $13,000 and $14,000…..

“How much do you still have on the 7 year loan you took out?”

“Uhh, ….. $16,574 as of March 15th… ”

“Ha, Ha, Joe….. You realize if someone wreaked into your car, your insurance would cover only $13,000 of that? You’re in the hole $3574….. You don’t own that car. Your loan company does! Same with your house…. So Joe, what do you own, that you are not making payments on?”

“Uhh, …… this shovel…..”

“Hey Joe, … better dig your own grave, before they figure out how to charge you for that, ha, ha….”

I can remember back when a union scale coal miner could buy a Datsun 240Z and pay for it with cash.

In the 1950’s over one third of all cars in America, were paid for with cash….

“So Joe, … is the middle class better off than we were 60 years ago?

Truth in Graphs: Americanism vrs Capitalism
Courtesy of CBO

I call this chart: Before Reagan; After Reagan.

It shows the growth per quintile during a period of “Big Government” (green), high taxation, and lower spending, versus the era of Republicans who are to blame for “Big Deficits (red), lower taxation, and higher spending”

During the post world war period, when the top marginal rate of taxes WERE quite high, we see the rich get richer! And we also see the poor getting richer too…. Hallelujah!

But, the idea that wealth trickles down on its own, we see, is really nothing but an illusion. It sure didn’t in Pottersville….

If you want to get angry, just look at the graph above and see the red graph at the top 1%: imagine if that money were instead, evenly split between all five quintiles?….

It’s no wonder our nation is in crises. What we have done economically, is the equivalent of having a father, the head of household, eat all the family’s food and whatever else he couldn’t stomach, he then allows to be ingested by his starving wife and children!

We would be aghast if such a household story were to rise from the projects and hit the local news. Likewise, we should equally be aghast that this is exactly what is happening to our economy, involving the middle class as we speak!

So……. when America’s most notorious bank robber was once asked why he robbed banks…… He allegedly replied, … “That’s where the money is…”

Likewise, if you want to balance state budgets, you should be doing so by robbing (it is essentially what taxation is) “where the money is….”

Currently Delaware’s top marginal tax rate is 6.95% on incomes over $60,000... If your income is between $40,000 and $60,000, your rate is only…. only 5.5%…. Compare that to the Red State of Georgia.. where you’re top rate of 6%…. starts and applies to all incomes over $7000! Everyone in Georgia, a state that brags it is a low tax state, pays a hell of a lot more in state income taxes than Delaware, up to the $60,000 level….

For 63% of Delawareans, our state taxes are lower than Georgia’s……

More random facts: Delaware’s 6.95% starts at $60,000. South Carolina’s 7% starts at $13,800…

Our neighbors: A person at $60,000 pays 3.07% in PA, 5.5% in NJ, and 4.75% in Maryland… all under Delaware’s rate for that income level… However those making over $500,000 pay a rate of 8.97% in New Jersey, 3.07 in PA, (they legislated a flat rate), and 5.5% in Maryland. Putting Delaware near the top in of the Mid Atlantic states.

Hawaii has a top rate of 11% that starts at $200,000. Oregon has a top rate of 11% that starts at $250,000…. California has a top rate of 10.3% that starts at $1 million…. Next is Iowa… Iowa? Yes, Iowa has an 8.98% starting at $64,755… Then New Jersey and New York tie at 8.95% but that doesn’t start until $500,000…..

So in real terms, Delaware has the option of at least tying Iowa… In percent that is an additional 2.3% to the top echelon. Now, it makes sense not to do as Iowans do and start our top rate at the level of $65,000… Rather it makes sense to put in a tax increase that will be sunset in two years, for a top rate of 8%, starting at incomes of over $1 million dollars…

Delaware has 16,763 households worth more than $1 million this year, representing 4.93 percent of all households. In 2008, Delaware ranked 11th with 18,322 millionaire households, or 5.47 percent. Delaware was No. 7 in 2007 with 20,274 millionaire households, or 6.08 percent.

As a minimal base line, if we raised the rate 2%, and assuming these are annual income figures and not statements of worth, 16,763 times $1,000,000, times 2% …. yields a gain of revenues amounting $335,260,000…..

Obviously we don’t have to go as far as Iowa to balance our budget. We can tweak those rates downward as necessary. Just this theoretical teeny tiny increase, putting us on the same level as another agriculture state, Iowa, and levying it only against 4.93% of Delaware’s households, all of which are pulling in over 1 million a year, can almost completely fund the entire health and benefit plan for the entire state of Delaware ($358 million) for an entire year!

“Today a $30,000 per year State of Delaware employee pays 7.4% of his gross pay ($2216.00) toward his family health care plan, not counting deductibles and co-pays (eg. $25.00 for specialist visits-hope the kids stay healthy) and an additional $810.00 toward his/her pension, (that is over 10% of his/her gross)”

So if you have to rob someone, who’s it going to be? The poor? or those motherf’ers with all the money?

Duh…

Yesterday the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from the head of Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Berwick.

It began with a series of questioning from a paper he had written in 1996…

1996? Wtf? In it, Dr Berwick described the benefits of the NHS Health Service in Britain. In Gestapo interrogative fashion, Chairman Camp sharply asked if he still believed those thoughts today… “Do you believe the single payer plan is the best plan for health care?” “Did you not say the British Health Service was the ideal form of medical care?” “Did you not wax enthusiasm over this “socialized” medical program?”

To these answers, Dr. Berwick, head of Medicare and Medicaid consistently answered: “each country has their own unique solution to healthcare; our best solution is in the Affordable Health Care Act”.

Fortunately one of the questions asked by Chairman Camp, was incomprehensible… The chamber, spectators, and witness all thought Mr. Camp had suffered a stroke.. Despite the Chairman’s repeated entreaties to answer his question, Dr. Berwick couldn’t. It hadn’t been framed logically. He couldn’t understand it. No one could. Chairman Camp was reading off some incomplete notes, which apparently made sense to him, but, without that aid in front of anyone else, his question was, if politely put, incomprehensible. A page quickly showed up and handed the chairman a sheaf of papers, and Chairman Camp continued: ” your words, you wrote this” and then he mentioned the title, “and it was written by you in 1996….”

1996? You have got to be kidding.. Gee, how long is that? Fifteen years? What even was the beltway’s thought processes at that time. From a medical point of view, we had just come off from the Clinton’s health care debate over reform, one that was squelched by insurance advertising. Dole was campaigning against Clinton, who beat the Republicans rather handily. Back then, I was hauling around the neighborhood children like a soccer mom; now, they’re driving me. This whole idea of tainting people with something said way back in time, with no context involved, is the most stupid of all idiotic attempts to appear smart. It is ridiculous and embarrassing to defame the halls of Congress with it’s tripe. There needs to be a statute of limitations on evidence brought up in Congressional hearings of at least five years, especially if it is being used to damage the credibility of a witness. If anything is over that time frame, the peers of that person need to call him out publicly on his public demonstration of his own stupidity, for even thinking that something said fifteen years ago, even makes an iota of a difference…

So we learned early off, that the Republican debates are not going to be about substance. The rest of the Republican questioning turned out to be nothing more than the repetition of rumors, supposedly told to them by their constituents, all of which were put to rest by the diplomatic Dr. Berwick. So lets define the illogical frame of argument being used by Republicans to overturn all hope for affordable healthcare…. The Republicans send dire predictions out to their constituents about the implications of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Those predictions were hand written by lobbyists for large medical corporations. The citizens then comment on these writings, telling their Congressman if it’s true, then they are afraid of this new Health Care Act, (at functions where only other Republicans are invited), and Republicans bring that back as a mandate to repeal Healthcare…

Another observation: Congress is broken.

Being naive, perhaps I assumed that Congressmen would at least listen to both sides, thereby when voting time came, they could make a balanced decision. What I witnessed was to the contrary. Instead, I saw all the Republican Congressmen walk in, sit down, get called on to speak, ask questions for 4 minutes, then when time had expired, collect their stuff and shuffle down the hall to another meeting…

The House and Ways Committee was practically empty through most of this very important hearing. So how do they vote? Do they read the bills? No! There minds are made up before hand. Nothing said or done within these halls, matters one iota.

Unless of course, America is watching. Then, we need to understand what a menace removing the healthcare act is, and express to each of our representatives, that they too need to understand this, or be unemployed the next term.

Here are the facts.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, seniors who received a $250 dollar check in 2010 to cover prescription costs… will have to pay it back!

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, seniors who would have received a check this year, won’t, and will pay over $500 more for their prescription costs than if Republicans had left the bill alone.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, college students up to 26, who use medical coverage since the bills passage, may have to reimburse that amount back!

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, anyone who got a screening without paying a deductible, could be billed for all amounts charged them had the act never been passed.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, anyone who had a pre-existing medical condition and got treatment under the new law in 2010, may be required to reimburse their provider, if that provider could justify they would not have received coverage under the new law.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, the national deficit will take a $575 billion increase by 2019, because the cuts that were to go into effect, will not.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, everyone’s insurance premiums are estimated to jump 20%, supposedly to cover the private insurers losses this past year.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, considerable numbers of people will not be diagnosed early enough for diabetes, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, or any of the other diseases, where early detection can lead to cheap procedures that prevent far more expensive ones down the road, and whatever happens in 2019… won’t matter to them anyway.

If the Affordable Health Care Act is repealed this year, over half our children in public schools, will not see a doctor, they could have easily afforded it were the law to stay intact.

Guess what else I learned?

Despite Republicans saying the Affordable Health Care Act is the worst law ever created…. people are voting for it with their feet.

People signing up for the Medicare Options are up by 6%. Their numbers were predicted to go down by the actuaries.

Costs are down by 5%. They were predicted to go up by the actuaries.

Apparently, at least based on the feet of Americans, the Affordable Health Care Act is working. In trying hard to find some merit in the Republican antagonism for this great piece of legislation. ( Remember Republicans were against Truman’s Healthcare, were against Johnson’s Medicare, Newt Gingrich boasted Medicare would wither on the vine, were against Clinton’s medical reform, for the record, Republicans have always been trying to kill it) the only explanation I could get from any of them, was philosophical: it was government run.

Puts them in this position: “I don’t care if it saves you money, I don’t care if it decreases the deficit, I don’t care if it provide better health care, I don’t care if it drops costs, i don’t care if it saves more lives, ….. it has the government behind it and for that reason alone, it must be repealed…….”

Yep, that about sums up their argument…. (Of course none of them are willing to give up their own Federal Employee Health Insurance, which carries a subsidy paid for by the Federal Government, which is larger than that paid for any Medicare recipient….. )

So what was to be a tour de force, … as to why affordable health care should be abolished, turned into just the opposite. The more we learned, the more it makes sense….

Here’s hoping they have a lot more hearings on the Affordable Health Care Act. 🙂

Video and Transcript

Coons: Yes I think climate change is real, I think human activity has contributed significantly to it, and I think that the short and long term consequences of failing to act both by United States and many of the other industrial nations of the world could be tragic. I would act to make sure we make appropriate progress in reducing our emissions and in moving our economy to one that has less of a long term negative environmental impact. But I also believe we have to balance that, that obligation to act in the long term interest of our community, our country and our children, with not, in the short term shackling American businesses and American industry, because if our major competitors around the world do not make comparable steps, we could simply deepen the recession and put American companies at a greater disadvantage, So I would move to end what I think is the impasse on cap and trade or on climate change and vote for us to move forward. but I’d be sensitive and move to try to amend the legislation that’s up in the Senate in a way that doesn’t disadvantage American businesses..

Carney: Climate change is real I think the science on that is pretty clear and well accepted, so the challenge for us is what are we going to do about it. Obviously the first step is to come up with global agreements, it’s one of those very difficult problems that is many years out in the future but we have to start doing things today:. with global agreements , national policy, and individual action. I agree with our senate candidate with respect to the framework for that. particularly keeping our eye on the ball with respect to businesses here and their impact on employment and that’s why I strongly support investments in tax credits and incentives for green energy technology, particularly for establishing manufacturing facilities here in the United states and in the state of Delaware. We have tremendous opportunity, but we are falling behind. We are falling behind the Chinese, we’re falling behind the Europeans, because we are not making that commitment that we need.

Urquhart: Climate has been changing; it has been changing for eons, getting colder, getting warmer. Right now, we’re in a period where science says we are getting colder. I don’t think there is any settled science according to David Legates, the Delaware State climatologist, there is no relationship that is documented between human activity and climate change, as is say right now it is getting colder. But the essential issue is what, what can we do something about. I mean, I support the reduction of pollutants like mercury and things like that, but carbon dioxide it not a pollutant…We have a Cap ant Trade bill that will cost Delawareans each about $2000 a year if it passes. It has massive penalties in it and it doesn’t affect the rest of the world. It simply is another bailout of billionaires; its a bailout for Goldman Sachs, for Al Gore, and for lots of people who are exploiting it. But those businesses will move to China; the jet stream brings carbon dioxide this direction just as well, and until we address this globally, there isn’t a solution, and we shouldn’t penalize American jobs…

Compare and Contrast:

Is their a current Global warming crises that is the result of human activity?

Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….

Will you act to reduce Carbon Dioxide?

Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….

Will you support incentives to move America to cleaner, greener energy?

Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….

Will you support Cap and Trade as it is in the Senate?

Coons: No…. Carney: No…. Urquhart: No….

Do you support Global Agreements to control global pollution?

Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: Yes….

Is carbon dioxide a pollutant?

Coons: Yes…. Carney: Yes…. Urquhart: No….

Fact Check…

Your choice on this issue will depend on whether believe what you see: that Global warming is real, or believe what someone wants you to believe so they can still keep receiving their paycheck… Here is reality…

Urquhart's Downfall:  basing policy on false premises
Courtesy of NASA

If you believe in thermometers, global warming is real. If you don’t, only you can subscribe to the notion that Al Gore made it up and it has nothing, nothing to do with the constant removal of carbon from inside the earth and belching it back out into the atmosphere…

Urquhart emphatically says the world is getting colder…. And this was just day’s after the news that we have just experience the 2nd hottest summer ever!

Here is real data with accomplishing grafts.

Data from 1891 till now
Courtesy of NOAA

Imagine pulling up to your private home and seeing thick black smoke pouring out of the roof of your house… Chris Coons is standing outside, and tells you “your house is on fire and you should call 911.” John Carney rushes over and tells you “your house is on fire, and hands you his phone.” Urquhart strolls up and tells you to “wait, there is no conclusive proof yet that your house is on fire. In fact, what you are seeing is condensation… because your house is actually getting cooler… He tells you David Legates said so.” You then get a call from your old Realtor that says someone with a hard to pronounce name, just put a super low bid roughly 10% of its worth, on your property…

Would you trust a broker who didn’t pay attention to the stock market? No?
Would you trust your child’s education to a teacher who couldn’t read? No?
Would you trust your life to a doctor who practiced witchcraft? No?
Would you trust a scientist who made up results out of nothing? No?

Then how can we trust someone to do what is right, when they won’t look at facts?
How can we trust to be represented by our leadership when they lie to our face?
How can we put someone into office who refuses to accept the truth?

Bottom line: you can’t.

It’s clear as day.

When you have no engine in your car, you have to put one in… When banks aren’t lending, when the private sector is incapable of spending, the government has to..

It is called deficit spending. It’s been done before. Whereas we suffered a horrible Great Depression, Sweden emerged from theirs in 1934 by using just such a Keynesian approach towards deficit spending. While America suffered through dust bowls, “Grapes of Wrath”, Hoovervilles, soup kitchens, and one out of every four workers unemployed, Sweden was thriving and its citizens were living quite comfortably.

America finally… five years later, had no choice but to follow suit after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We too spent money we didn’t have and guess what? From 1939 to 1941, U.S. manufacturing shot up a phenomenal 50 percent!

So what happens to those people who have no choice but to work, when the government gives them a job? They spend…. soon,… more people have to work… who spend… so even more people have to work,… who spend … so even more people than the more people spending money previously, have to work. … and they spend.

Republicans clamor we need more jobs… Mike Castle even hands out a giant check he voted against! LOL.. But they are all lined up against the very engine that brought us out of The Great Depression… How silly is that?

They say… we’ll owe sooooooooooooooo much money… Hello…Excuse me? Uhhh, have you ever bought a … house? Don’t you personally owe soooooooooooooooo much money? A $200,000 dollar house cost over $455,000 by the time the last payment is made. But…… how long would it take you, forced to spend more than you currently make just to live, to save $200,000 cash just to buy that house outright?

Right…. you couldn’t…

The same principal applies to economics. If you need to spend money for jobs right now…. and don’t have it… when and where will those jobs come from?

They won’t. Duh.

Therefore when Bonini says “Delaware spends more per person than any other state, excluding Alaska and Hawaii…” and that “the No. 1 employer in Delaware is the state itself, and the number of people employed by the state has doubled in the past 12 years” … right now we should be grateful… not troubled. Because we too are making some of that money those people are spending.

When he says…. “Tough economic times have prompted people to get involved in the political process,” it’s hilarious…. Especially when you look at this… on the Republican side… THEY ARE ALMOST ALL MILLIONAIRES…. (C’mon… It’s Delaware… Even if you’re Republican you gotta laugh)…

But, when he says … “The fact that people are making tough economic decisions in their personal family lives is bringing attention to the fact that the government is not,” it shows he doesn’t understand government’s role in the economy. It unfortunately shows us all that he doesn’t either read, or understand, American history.

And… that is what makes him a dangerous person to put in as our State Treasurer. He’s a great guy, and I certainly wish him well, but now is just not right time for someone who does not understand deficit spending to be running our state’s Treasury. Thirty years from now… based on my best estimates…that will be his time.