You can always count on the fine folks at Alternet to be at the forefront of creating mass hysteria in the public should we elect a Republican President in 2016. They start with the supposition that the House will remain in control of the GOP (highly likely) and also the Senate (also likely, but less so than the House). A recent article by Steve Rosenfeld outlines what he views as the nightmarish scenario that would ensue if there were a Republican President. Without further ado:
1. “Cut health insurance to 27 million people.” I am not so sure where they get the 27 million figure from unless they double count here. According to available statistics, Obamacare now covers 16.5 million people. The remainder, one assumes, is people “denied” health care because of changes to or failure to expand Medicaid. However, one cannot use the Medicaid people in this category because they use them in a separate category. Secondly, of the 16.5 million people covered by Obamacare, one needs to question how many of them lost their existing policy because of Obamacare and were forced into it. If we subtract these people out, we will be considerably under the 16.5 million figure. So not only is 27 million a falsehood, so is the underlying 16.5 million people.
2. “Impoverish health care for the poor.” Here is where their double count above enters the scene because they claim that the GOP would threaten 70 million recipients of Medicaid. The most recently passed Republican budget in the House would not eliminate Medicaid, but reform it by creating block grants to states. The states can then use those funds to assist their citizens as they see fit, not a one-size-fits-all mandate from Washington. The article admits that the program would play out differently in different states. To assert that the GOP wants to eliminate Medicaid is simply false. Secondly, the Left’s definition of the “poor” differs from that of the Right. For example, in New Jersey one can be 400% of the federal poverty level and be eligible for Medicaid. That is household income of about $88,000, which is considerably above the national median income. If $88,000 per year is now considered “poor,” then I am really, really poor.
3. “Privatize and gut senior health care.” OK- they tripled counted. The GOP solution is to create a voucher system for senior health care so that individuals can then purchase their own insurance on the open market. Why is that except in the case of abortion, the word “choice” is a dirty one.
4. “Put Social Security on the chopping block.” The inconsistency in the Left’s argument are on vivid display here. While stating that the system is solvent, they nevertheless claim that it needs increased funding by lifting the payroll cap. Furthermore, any proposal to privatize is an optional program and would not affect current beneficiaries or those nearing retirement. But once again, that concept of choice enters the conversation and it has no place in Leftist lexicon.
5. “Increase hunger for tens of million of the poor.” Two points: (1) What is the Left’s definition of “poor” and what is the Left’s definition of “hunger?” If their definition of the poor is anything like their Medicaid idea, then there are more “poor” people in this country than originally believed. Regarding hunger, by the looks of people using EBT cards at the grocery store, their waist size certainly shows no signs of “hunger.” Its also funny to note that they usually have their EBT card in one hand and iPhone 6 in the other hand. They then call out the recently proposed legislation in Kansas saying (1) it contains lifetime caps (so much for that hand up theory), (2) it requires “harsh” work requirements (to the Left, picking up a book in college is “harsh work), (3) puts limits on what can be purchased and where, and (4) requires drug tests (and the problem with that is?). Perhaps the federal government should copy the Kansas law.
6. “Cut public school programs and funds.” They claim that 46,000 children would be denied access to Head Start- a proven loser of a federal program. If the federal government is to spend money on K-12 education, then it should be cost effective. Given the state of education today, it clearly is not. It is not that the GOP does not view education as an investment in the future, as the article claims, but it is surely true that it is a failed investment in need of serious reforms. Once again, they fight the concept of school choice (oops… there is that word again).
7. “Make college out of reach and more expensive.” What the Left fails to understand is that it is federal policies that make college expensive. The more money pumped into the higher educational complex, the less likely colleges are to reign in tuition costs. And the world needs a few less Gender Studies graduates anyway.
8. “Raise taxes on middle- and working class.” Of course, the old standby: class warfare. They note a few tax credits that would be phased out or scaled back, but fail to mention other tax reform ideas that would lower the tax bill for many middle and working class Americans. At worst, it would be neutral with little change in one’s net pay while at best, middle and working class people would keep more of their hard-earned income.
9. “Postpone needed infrastructure repairs.” I might be willing to support infrastructure repairs and upgrades under two conditions. First, do away with the required environmental impact studies that delay needed projects and drive up costs. Second, do away with Bacon-Davis and competitively bid projects to the lowest bidder regardless of prevailing union wages. The Left would never agree- they’d be selling two key constituencies (environmentalists and unions) down the river.
10. “Turn from vets but boost the Pentagon.” It is not a turning from vets, but turning from an inept Veteran’s Administration. This is the one Obama scandal the media quickly forgot. As for the Pentagon, national defense is the number one priority of the federal government. In the past we learned the hard lessons of peace dividends that did not really pay off. Cutting defense spending to finance Leftist pet projects is a recipe for a future national security disaster.
11. “What’s not happening.” First, they mention immigration reform. To the Left, immigration reform translates into amnesty for law breakers. We have learned from the Reagan reforms that amnesty invites more illegal immigration. We hear very little from the Left about border security which must come first or, at the very least, be benchmarked against other reform efforts. Second, they mention the GOP silence on climate change. Quite frankly, I fail to see the problem here.
12. “A GOP lock on the Supreme Court.” To the Left, John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy are darlings when they side with the liberal wing, but they are then lumped in with the “5-4 conservative majority.” If anything, the Supreme Court is 4-3-2 in favor of the liberals. They claim that a more conservative Court would roll back voting rights. By this, they refer to the Shelby County decision. That decision simply said the formula used to determine VRA covered jurisdictions was out of date and if Congress updated it based on the reality of 2015- NOT 1965- it would likely pass muster. Then there is that old bugaboo of the Left, Citizens United. Not only has the Left adjusted nicely to that decision, they ignore another reality: dollar bills do not vote; citizens do.
What the Republican Party should want and should envision is an America where freedoms are protected and choices and options availed. This means a leaner, more cost-effective and more responsive federal government whose main role is national defense and domestic tranquility. What the Left envisions is the United States of (insert any European country here). If you want to be taken care of cradle to grave and surrender freedoms along the way, by all means vote for Hillary Clinton. But if you are a true American, you will vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton.