Friday, March 24, 2017

Epic GOP fail: TrumpDon'tCare

Health care? Who needs it?
After winning the House, the Senate and the presidency, and, after whining for seven years about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Republicans showed today how they would fix health care once and for all.

They did nothing.

Not even a floor vote.

No repeal. No replacement. No nothing.

Don "The Con" Trump, said last year that “from day one I’ve been talking about we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare from day one, we’re going to do it.”

Sixty-four days after "day one," he couldn't even get close to making a deal with fellow Republicans.

Call it "The Fart of the Deal."

What a stinker.

House Speaker Paul Ryan shoulders much of the blame, but Oregon's 2nd District congressman, Greg Walden, did his part to show how ineffective he can be.

The Republican House caucus is so diverse that it contains the tea-bagging faction and those slightly less extreme.

Such comity.

One side said the plan went too far and the other said it didn't go far enough.

In other words, the GOP bill didn't enrich the wealthy enough and it didn't screw over everyone else enough either.

Apparently, only 17 percent of Americans thought the GOP's R&R effort was worthwhile before Republicans decided not to vote on it.

What is truly shocking is that even with a huge tax cut for the rich included in the bill, Republicans still couldn't stomach it. They entered a Twilight Zone of their own creation.

Over the past half-dozen years, House Republicans spent their majority in Congress by voting more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare. They knew full well that their votes wouldn't matter because President Obama would never sign their bills.

Now that their votes matter, they said, "uh, nevermind, we were just kidding."

That is called Republican governance.

GOPers don't believe in the federal government and they run for office to prove it.

Meanwhile, they collect their paychecks and enjoy their deluxe health care coverage.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Don't throw money down OSU-Cascades' pits

OSU-Cascades aims to make its campus inaccessible to most students
Now that OSU-Cascades owns the former pumice pit next to its micro 10-acre campus and is on the verge of taking over a former demolition landfill, it now wants taxpayers to cough up $70 million to fill these holes in the ground.

That request doesn't include any buildings, professors or parking places.

The ex-pumice mine needs massive infill to make the land stable for building. The ex-landfill needs $50 million just for reclamation.

Oh, and the state budget deficit is approximately $1.6 billion for the current biennium, due mostly to health care and about 20 percent to the public employees retirement system.

Unlike the federal government, Oregon has to balance its budget every two years.

And, of course, raising taxes is impossible. There is no greater evil on the planet, according to Republicans.

So, most programs, agencies and services face varying degrees of cutbacks.

In this environment, of a booming state economy and the inability to raise taxes, the brain trust at OSU-C expects $70 million in non-existent state dollars to fill in holes in the ground.

Actually, they need to fill the holes in their heads first before begging others for money.

As noted before, OSU-C decided to build their campus without a master plan in the most expensive area of Bend, where there is no affordable housing for even OSU-C professors, let alone students.

The school was given land at Juniper Ridge where $70 million could go a long way towards fixing the traffic problems that a university would create on Bend's north end.

No, OSU-C wanted a 10-acre university where even students who are lucky enough to live on campus, can't park their cars on campus. The nearest the school wants students to park is about 3/4 miles away in an industrial area.

OSU-C better set aside a huge sum of money to build student housing on the edge of town and bus the students to school.

In essence, OSU-C doesn't really want students since they built the campus in the most inaccessible area of Bend and Central Oregon. Like most entities today, from Netflix to Amazon, they just want the student's, or their parent's, credit card number.

Stay home, just pay us, the university brain trust says. We want to live, work and play on the west side, and we want you to pay for it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Trumpcare: Only losers get sick

Trumpcare for all
With the numbers showing that 24 million Americans will lose health coverage under the new Republican health plan called Trumpcare, many rational Americans may think this isn't so great.

To Rep. Paul Ryan, though, they would be wrong. 

Ryan, one of the architects of Trumpcare, said "I'm pretty encouraged by it (the CBO report). It actually exceeded my expectations."

Yes, 24 million is a low number to Ryan. He expected more to lose health insurance.

That's the point. 

Instead of having to pay for comprehensive coverage, Americans won't have to pay any for health insurance at all. They'll be free to go bankrupt from unpaid hospital bills.

According to Ryan and other Republicans, the freedom to not have what he and other lawmakers have is the beauty of this country. 

Central Oregon's Republican representative in Congress, Greg Walden, is one of the authors of Trumpcare.

He said, "Unlike Obamacare, we will not mandate Americans buy insurance plans they don't want and can't afford."

Walden is quite aware that many in his sprawling rural district will bear the brunt of cuts to health care coverage under Trumpcare. He's also fully aware that they'll still vote for him even if they're on their death beds from having no health care.

An added benefit to freeing people from health care coverage is the estimated savings of $337 billion over the next 10 years. With that dough, we can pay for about a third of the wall on the Mexico border. That's assuming Mexico won't pay for the entire wall, which if it does, means the tax cut for the 1 percent in this country can be even greater.

Of course, if there is too much blowback over Trumpcare, Republicans may just do what they've threatened over the past seven years and just repeal Obamacare with no replacement.

That's what the diehard Obama-haters have always wanted anyway. 

The only legislation that Republicans care about passing is cutting taxes to their donor class. 

With Republicans controlling the entire federal government, they should be able to cut taxes early and often.

Afterall, deficits don't matter when Republicans are in charge.