AP: Pro-Trump States Most Affected by His Health Care Decision

The following is an excellent article written by Christina A. Cassidy and Meghan Hoyer of the Associated Press on October 15, 2017 titled “Pro-Trump States Most Affected by his health Care Decision” and I quote:

“Pro-Trump states most affected by his health care decision”

By CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and MEGHAN HOYER
Oct. 15, 2017

President Donald Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was benefiting roughly 6 million Americans helps fulfill a campaign promise, but it also risks harming some of the very people who helped him win the presidency.

Nearly 70 percent of those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states Trump won last November, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The number underscores the political risk for Trump and his party, which could end up owning the blame for increased costs and chaos in the insurance marketplace.

The subsidies are paid to insurers by the federal government to help lower consumers’ deductibles and co-pays. People who benefit will continue receiving the discounts because insurers are obligated by law to provide them. But to make up for the lost federal funding, health insurers will have to raise premiums substantially, potentially putting coverage out of reach for many consumers.

Some insurers may decide to bail out of markets altogether.

“I woke up, really, in horror,” said Alice Thompson, 62, an environmental consultant from the Milwaukee area who purchases insurance on Wisconsin’s federally run health insurance exchange.

Thompson, who spoke with reporters on a call organized by a health care advocacy group, said she expects to pay 30 percent to 50 percent more per year for her monthly premium, potentially more than her mortgage payment. Officials in Wisconsin, a state that went for a Republican presidential candidate for the first time in decades last fall, assumed the federal subsidy would end when they approved premium rate increases averaging 36 percent for the coming year.

An estimated 4 million people were benefiting from the cost-sharing payments in the 30 states Trump carried, according to an analysis of 2017 enrollment data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of the 10 states with the highest percentage of consumers benefiting from cost-sharing, all but one — Massachusetts — went for Trump.

Kentucky embraced former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act under its last governor, a Democrat, and posted some of the largest gains in getting its residents insured. Its new governor, a Republican, favors the GOP stance to replace it with something else.

Roughly half of the estimated 71,000 Kentuckians buying health insurance on the federal exchange were benefiting from the cost-sharing subsidies Trump just ended. Despite the gains from Obama’s law, the state went for Trump last fall even as he vowed to repeal it.

Consumers such as Marsha Clark fear what will happen in the years ahead, as insurers raise premiums on everyone to make up for the end of the federal money that helped lower deductibles and co-pays.

“I’m stressed out about the insurance, stressed out about the overall economy, and I’m very stressed out about our president,” said Clark, a 61-year-old real estate broker who lives in a small town about an hour’s drive south of Louisville. She pays $1,108 a month for health insurance purchased on the exchange.

While she earns too much to benefit from the cost-sharing subsidy, she is worried that monthly premiums will rise so high in the future that it will make insurance unaffordable.

Sherry Riggs has a similar fear. The Fort Pierce, Florida, barber benefits from the deductible and co-pay discounts, as do more than 1 million other Floridians, the highest number of cost-sharing beneficiaries of any state.

She had bypass surgery following a heart attack last year and pays just $10 a visit to see her cardiologist and only a few dollars for the medications she takes twice a day.

Her monthly premium is heavily subsidized by the federal government, but she worries about the cost soaring in the future. Florida, another state that swung for Trump, has approved rate increases averaging 45 percent.

“Probably for some people it would be a death sentence,” she said. “I think it’s kind of a tragic decision on the president’s part. It scares me because I don’t think I’ll be able to afford it next year.”

Rates already were rising in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s decision. Insurance regulators in Arkansas, another state that went for Trump, approved premium increases on Friday ranging from 14 percent to nearly 25 percent for plans offered through the insurance marketplace. Had federal cost-sharing been retained, the premiums would have risen by no more than 10 percent.

In Mississippi, another state Trump won, an estimated 80 percent of consumers who buy coverage on the insurance exchange benefit from the deductible and co-pay discounts, the highest percentage of any state. Premiums there will increase by 47 percent next year, after regulators assumed Trump would end the cost-sharing payments.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has estimated the loss of the subsidies would result in a 12 percent to 15 percent increase in premiums, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has put the figure at 20 percent. Experts say the political instability over Trump’s effort to undermine Obama’s health care law could prompt more insurers to leave markets, reducing competition and driving up prices.

Trump’s move concerned some Republicans, worried the party will be blamed for the effects on consumers and insurance markets.

“I think the president is ill-advised to take this course of action, because we, at the end of the day, will own this,” Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said Friday on CNN. “We, the Republican Party, will own this.”

Dent is not running for re-election.

In announcing his decision, Trump argued the subsidies were payouts to insurance companies, and the government could not legally continue to make them. The subsidies have been the subject of an ongoing legal battle because the health care law failed to include a congressional appropriation, which is required before federal money can be spent.

The subsidies will cost about $7 billion this year.

Many Republicans praised Trump’s action, saying Obama’s law has led to a spike in insurance costs for those who have to buy policies on the individual market.

Among them is Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a state Trump won. An estimated 78,000 Arizonans were benefiting from the federal subsidies for deductibles and co-pays.

“While his actions do not take the place of real legislative repeal and revitalization of free-market health care, he is doing everything possible to save Americans from crippling health care costs and decreasing quality of care,” Biggs said.

___

Cassidy reported from Atlanta, Georgia. Hoyer, an AP data journalist, reported from Washington, D.C.

___

Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Philip Marcelo in Boston; and Kevin Vineys in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

___

Follow Cassidy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AP_Christina and Hoyer at https://twitter.com/MeghanHoyer .”

(REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS TRYING TO RUN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT LIKE A DICTATORSHIP.  IT’S GOOD TO SEE THAT A LOT OF STATES HAVE THE BACKBONE TO SUE BECAUSE THEY DON’T LIKE THE WAY HE’S RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY SINCE, RIGHT AFTER HE GOT ELECTED HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT OF ALL THE PEOPLE AND IT LOOKS LIKE MILLIONS WILL BE UNINSURED WHICH IS CRIMINAL.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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Yahoo!Finance: Collins Urges Trump to Back Effort to Restore Health Subsidy

The following is an excellent article written by Hope Yen on the AP website on October 15, 2017 which was published on the Yahoo!Finance website on October 16, 2017 titled “Collins Urges Trump to Back Effort to Restore health Subside” and I quote:

“Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidy”

HOPE YEN
Associated Press
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, smiles during a news conference Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Rockland, Maine, after announcing she will remain in the U.S. Senate and not run for governor. (AP Photo/David Sharp)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key moderate Republican urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to back a bipartisan Senate effort to shield consumers from rising premiums after his abrupt decision to halt federal payments to insurers. Sen. Susan Collins called the move “disruptive” and an immediate threat to access to health care.

“What the president is doing is affecting people’s access and the cost of health care right now,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has cast pivotal votes on health care in the narrowly divided Senate. “This is not a bailout of the insurers. What this money is used for is to help low-income people afford their deductibles and their co-pays.”

“Congress needs to step in and I hope that the president will take a look at what we’re doing,” she added.

Her comments reflected an increasing focus Sunday on the bipartisan Senate effort led by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., to at least temporarily reinstate the payments to avoid immediate turmoil in the insurance market, even as Trump signaled he wouldn’t back a deal without getting something he wants in return.

The payments will be stopped beginning this week, with sign-up season for subsidized private insurance set to start Nov. 1.

“The president is not going to continue to throw good money after bad, give $7 billion to insurance companies unless something changes about Obamacare that would justify it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who golfed with Trump Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

“It’s got to be a good deal,” Graham said.

In his decision last week, Trump derided the $7 billion in subsidies as bailouts to insurers and suggested he was trying to get Democrats to negotiate and agree to a broader effort to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, a bid that repeatedly crashed in the GOP-run Senate this summer.

The payments seek to lower out-of-pocket costs for insurers, which are required under Obama’s law to reduce poorer people’s expenses — about 6 million people. To recoup the lost money, carriers are likely to raise 2018 premiums for people buying their own health insurance policies.

Alexander and Murray have been seeking a deal that the Tennessee Republican has said would reinstate the payments for two years. In exchange, Alexander said, Republicans want “meaningful flexibility for states” to offer lower-cost insurance policies with less coverage than Obama’s law mandates.

Still, congressional Republicans are divided over that effort. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has suggested that Trump may oppose any agreement unless he gets something he wants — such as a repeal of Obamacare or funding of Trump’s promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described Trump’s demand for a sit-down with congressional Democratic leaders as “a little far down the road.” She noted the bipartisan effort in the Senate and said ultimately it will be up to a Republican-controlled Congress and executive branch whether the federal government can avert a shutdown by year’s end.

The government faces a Dec. 8 deadline on the debt limit and government spending.

“We’re not about closing down government. The Republicans have the majority,” Pelosi said. “In terms of the health care, we’re saying ‘Let’s follow what Sen. Murray and Alexander are doing.”

Collins praised the Senate effort so far, which included public hearings by the Senate health and education committee. Still, she acknowledged a potentially tough road in reaching broader agreement.

“I hope we can proceed, but Democrats will have to step up to the plate and assist us,” said Collins, who is a member of the committee. “It’s a two-way street.”

The scrapping of subsidies would affect millions more consumers in states won by Trump last year, including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, than in states won by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nearly 70 percent of the 6 million who benefit from the cost-sharing subsidies are in states that voted for the Republican.

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said Sunday his state had anticipated that the insurer payments would be halted but not so quickly. He called for the payments to be reinstated right away, describing a hit to Ohio — a state also won by Trump last November — for at least the “first two or three months.”

“Over time, this is going to have a dramatic impact,” Kasich said. “Who gets hurt? People. And it’s just outrageous.”

Nineteen Democratic state attorneys general have announced plans to sue Trump over the stoppage. Attorneys generals from California, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York were among those saying they will file the lawsuit in federal court in California to stop Trump’s attempt “to gut the health and well-being of our country.”

Collins appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pelosi also spoke on ABC, Graham appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and Kasich was on NBC’s “Meet the Press.””

(AFTER READING THIS GREAT STORY ABOUT REPUBLICAN SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS OF MAINE, IT’S GREAT TO SEE THAT THERE ARE REPUBLICANS THAT STILL BELIEVE IN THE PARTY THAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN BUILT AND HOW HE WORKED TO FREE THE SLAVES.  THIS IS TOTALLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS OUT TO DESTROY OBAMACARE, ALONG WITH STEVE BANNON.  PRES TRUMP’S PRESS CONFERENCE ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017 WAS NO MORE THAN A BUNCH OF FAKE NEWS CONDEMNING OUR PAST THREE PRESIDENTS (BARACK OBAMA, GEORGE W BUSH, AND BILL CLINTON) FOR NOT MEASURING UP TO PRES TRUMP’S SO-CALLED HIGH STANDARDS REGARDING FALLEN SOLDIERS RETURNING HOME.   ONE OF FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AIDES  CALLED IT A LIE.  IF PRES TRUMP KEEPS UP THESE TACTICS, MAYBE ONE THE FORMER PRESIDENTS MIGHT SUE HIM JUST LIKE THE 19 STATES THAT ARE SUING HIM OVER OBAMACARE.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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The Hill.com: 18 States Sue Over Trump-Halted ObamaCare Payments

The following is an excellent article written by Rachel Roubein on The Hill.com website on October 13, 2017 titled “18 States Sue Over Trump-Halted ObamaCare Payments” and I quote:

“18 states sue over Trump-halted ObamaCare payments”

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A new multi-state lawsuit has been announced to stop President Trump from halting key ObamaCare payments to insurers.

Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., signed onto the lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in California, according to Sarah Lovenheim, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D).

On Thursday night, Trump announced he would stop making the payments, which led to an outcry from critics saying he was sabotaging the health-care law.

The complaint will seek a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction requiring the cost-sharing reduction payments be made.

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The administration, on a monthly basis, had been funding cost-sharing reduction subsidies, which compensate insurers for lowering the out-of-pocket costs of certain ObamaCare enrollees.

Trump has repeatedly signaled he might cut them off, while insurers have been pleading for long-term certainty that they would continue.

“Without the Affordable Care Act [ACA] and its subsidies for these families, millions more would be left in the cold without coverage. California isn’t about to turn its back on hardworking families who are fighting to hold onto their ACA health insurance. We’ve taken the Trump administration to court before and won, and we’re ready to do it again if necessary,” Becerra said in a statement Thursday night, before the lawsuit was officially announced.

Additionally, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said he anticipates proceeding with litigation on a case that’s currently been on hold.

The House sued the Obama administration, arguing the White House was illegally funding cost-sharing reduction subsidies payments to insurers.

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that a coalition of attorneys general — including Schneiderman and Becerra — can defend the payments.

“The fast track for initial relief will be in the case we’re filing in California,” Schneiderman said, referring to the new lawsuit.

Updated: 8 p.m.”

(THIS IS DEFINITELY TELLING REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP THAT WE DON’T WANT TO GET RID OF OBAMACARE.  IT’S A MUCH, MUCH BETTER THAN THE ONE THE REPUBLICANS ARE PRESENTING.  IF PRES TRUMP CNA’T UNDERSTAND WHAT 18 STATES ARE TRYING TO TELL HIM, THEN MAYBE THE NEXT STEP THAT CONGRESS SHOULD IMPEACH PRES TRUMP.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

 

 

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Simon & Schuster: The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives

The following is an excellent review of the book “THE CHICKENSHIT CLUB: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives” by Simon & Schuster who published Jesse Eisinger’s book and I quote:

“The Chickenshit Club”

From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, “a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission…It is a book of superheroes” (San Franscisco Review of Books).

Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why in “an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism…a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy” (Bloomberg Businessweek).”

(I’M WONDERING IF SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS DIDN’T READ THIS BOOK BEFORE HE DECIDED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AGAINST DEMOCRAT HILLARY CLINTON.  HE KEPT REPEATING IN THE DEBATES OVER AND OVER AGAIN HOW CORRUPT THE FIVE BIG INVESTMENT BANKS WERE AS WELL AS WALL STREET.  HE DID LOSE BUT BOY, HE SURE CAME CLOSE AND THAT’S BECAUSE PEOPLE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran
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Salon.com: President Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice,’ Could Be Impeached: Report

The following is an excellent article written by Taylor Link on the Salon.com website on October 10, 2017 titled “President Trump ‘Likely Obstructed Justice,’ Could Be Impeached: Report” and I quote:

“President Trump “likely obstructed justice,” could be impeached: report”

A Brookings report lays out analysis similar to that undertaken by special counsel Robert Mueller

Taylor Link10.10.20178:44 AM

While special counsel Robert Mueller investigates whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, legal experts and scholars at the Brookings Institute have determined that the president likely broke the law by firing former FBI director James Comey and, as a result, could be impeached by Congress.

A new report from Brookings analysts Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen found that Trump “likely obstructed justice” when he impeded the investigations of Michael Flynn and Russia’s election interference by firing Comey.

“Attempts to stop an investigation represent a common form of obstruction. Demanding the loyalty of an individual involved in an investigation, requesting that individual’s help to end the investigation, and then ultimately firing that person to accomplish that goal are the type of acts that have frequently resulted in obstruction convictions,” the analysis said.

In May Trump gave an interview with NBC News in which he admitted to wanting to fire Comey because “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” Multiple times, the president said that he had urged Comey to not pursue an investigation into Flynn. During Comey’s testimony to Congress, Comey revealed that Trump told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Although the president had the authority to fire Comey, the analysis asserted that Trump’s intent was material to an obstruction of justice charge.

“The fact that the president has lawful authority to take a particular course of action does not immunize him if he takes that action with the unlawful intent of obstructing a proceeding for an improper purpose,” the report said. “There is already evidence that his acts may have been done with an improper intent to prevent the investigation from uncovering damaging information about Trump, his campaign, his family, or his top aides.”

If Mueller were to move forward with a criminal case against Trump, the U.S. House would have to determine whether to impeach the president. Impeachment proceedings are entirely at the discretion of Congress, so the country would have to rely on Republicans to hold Trump accountable.

“Should that conclusion be borne out, we believe he will be held to account under one or another of the vehicles we have outlined, for no one is above the law in our system,” they added. “Accountability will have significant consequences for the functioning of our democracy. We offer this paper as a framework to evaluate the facts and the investigation as they develop, and to help prepare for the turbulence that may well lie ahead.””

(REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SHOULD BE IMPEACHED BECAUSE OF HIS RECKLESS COMMENTS ON TWITTER.  UP TO NOW, HIS CABINET HAS BEEN ABLE TO KEEP THE WAR FROM GETTING WORSE IN NORTH KOREA BUT THE WAY PRES TRUMP IS ACTING WITH IRAN, HE SOON WILL HAVE THAT SITUATION AS BAD AS NORTH KOREA.  HE’S UNABLE TO AN ALL AROUND CONCENTRATED PLAN LIKE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT DID IN THE PBS SERIES PRESENTLY BEING SHOWN ON TUESDAY NIGHTS AT 8:00 P.M. WISCONSIN TIME.  WELL WORTH YOUR TIME TO WATCH TITLED “THE ROOSEVELTS.”

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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Nation of Change: How Our Banking System Destroys the Free Market

The following is an excellent article written by Chris Kanthan on the Nation of Change website on October 8, 2017 titled “How Our Banking System Destroys the Free Market” and I quote:

“How our banking system destroys the free market”

The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market then it doesn’t matter how complex and a giant system we build.

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SOURCENationofChange

It will be shocking to many Americans that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. Many people understand that we have crony capitalism that creates loopholes to benefit those at the top. The financial crisis of 2008 and the following bailouts also exposed the rotten financial system and the rigged Wall Street. But there’s something else that’s even more significant and innate in the corruption of our economy: the Federal Reserve Bank. This is an arcane issue that puts most people to sleep, so let’s make it easy and fun by story-telling. It’s about a small town called Murika.

Prosperous Murika

Once upon a time, there was a big town called Murika. It was a simple town based on simple principles of economics. Every able person contributed to Murika through their labor, whether it was at home, farm, industry or the office. Murika used a simple philosophy: money was created only through labor or natural resources. If you worked on a farm and harvested 100 apples, you got some money. If you harvested 200 apples, you got twice the money. Gold and silver also acted as currencies.

Murika had a bank where people deposited their money. The bank gave them a nice return on those deposits, and it was able to do it because it also loaned the same money to other people at a slightly higher interest rate. The bank could not create any money, it simply managed Murika’s money. It was not easy to get a loan, but this also ensured that most Murikans lived debt-free. The government was also debt-free and always balanced its budget. Murika was prosperous and growing, but the growth was slow and steady.

Janet the Fairy Godmother

And then one fateful day, Murika changed forever! That’s when a woman named Janet came to Murika and told the people she had an amazing solution to bring unimaginable prosperity. She talked in really complex jargons that nobody understood, which only convinced them that she was really smart. They agreed to turn over their banks and money to Janet.

Janet’s miracle was a money-printing machine! She told Murikans that nobody will stop them from their dreams. You want to buy a house or a car? Janet will give you the money you want! Want to start a restaurant or even a factory? Come to Janet. Forget the old, cranky bankers. This is the new and improved Murika!

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People were simply ecstatic! Well, of course, every dollar she printed was a debt and Murikans had to pay it back, but this is what a free enterprise was all about. For a while, everything was great. Business and the economy were booming, and people couldn’t believe anything could go wrong.

Then, some of the newspapers started noticing that Janet’s families and friends seemed to have more access to money than others. For example, Janet’s cousin had just opened up a newspaper – Murika Times – in a flashy, new building and was paying journalists way more than the fair rate; Janet’s golf buddy simply bought two of the most successful restaurants for an undisclosed sum (rumors were that it was an offer that nobody could refuse).

Soon, Murika Times (MT) became the #1 newspaper. All the big factories were spending their advertisement money on MT because, let’s face it, they didn’t want to offend Janet. Also, MT would write really nice, fluff pieces on all the advertisers. It was a win-win deal. Independent media was slowly dying in Murika and they kept trying to warn Murikans, but to no avail.

One of the unintended consequences of Janet’s miracle was that prices of things kept going up, as more and more money flooded the town. Back in the old days, this never happened – prices used to be very stable, even for decades. But people were assured that their wealth was growing faster than the rise in cost of living.

From a Fairy to a Witch

Then one day, Janet had a very bad news for Murika. She said that a lot of Murikans were falling behind in their debt payments and she has stopped the printing machine for a few months. Of course, this meant that many businesses were in trouble as new projects depended on monthly debt to continue. Janet also raised the interest rate on many of the old loans. Soon there was a tragic recession in Murika. Factories, shops and restaurants were shut down and homes were mired in foreclosures. Unemployment and poverty soared to levels that Murikans had never seen before.

That’s when Janet announced that she had assembled a team of patriots aptly named “Save Murika.” These patriots were willing to risk their money to rebuild Murika. People were so desperate that they accepted this deal. Soon, Save Murika bought all the foreclosed homes and the shuttered factories. To face the tough economic challenges, all the workers accepted cuts in salaries and wages. People were allowed to go back to their homes, but as renters.

Some Murikans wondered aloud where Save Murika had gotten its money from. The source was none other than Janet’s printing machine, but Janet refused to get audited.

After Save Murika had completed their acquisition spree, Janet started printing money for the regular folks, but the interest rates were much higher. She said that she had to do it in order to avoid the past mistakes.

Murika after the recession was like a ghost town – people were working harder and longer for less pay, homeowners had become renters, most Murikans were stuck with high-interest loans, and Save Murika owned most of the profitable factories and businesses.

Murika now felt like a land of serfdom.

Murika to America

Although a simple story, it has all the truth we need to understand what exactly happened in America over the last 100 years since the Federal Reserve Bank was founded. It’s a private organization, in spite of its name. It has shareholders and, as Alan Greenspan admitted, no other agency of the government can overrule the Fed! From the Great Depression to Dot Com bubble to real estate bubble to stock market bubble, it’s the same, elementary principle at work – easy money and low-interest rates. The bursting of all these bubbles is also child’s play. Just like Murika, every business sector in America is now dominated by mega-corporations and oligopoly. This is why the top 0.1% of America now has almost as much wealth as the “bottom” 90%.

In addition to the Fed, there are numerous ways in which Wall Street manipulates the prices of everything from oil to coffee to interest rates by using the opaque financial tool called Derivatives. That topic deserves a separate article.

The concept of “money as debt” also creates an inherently unstable Ponzi system. To pay off $100 of debt, you need $105. But where is that extra $5 going to come from? More debt!

The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market (that is based on supply, demand and honesty), then it doesn’t matter how complex and a giant system we build. The entire system will remain fake, unfair and unstable.”

(WHEN THE BIG, UNREGULATED INVESTMENT BANKS AND WALL STREET GET SO GREEDY ,CONSISTING OF APPROXIMATELY 1% WHO ARE BILLIONAIRES, THEY WILL RUIN FREE ENTERPRISE BECAUSE THEY HAVE EXPLOITED THE 99% SO BAD THAT WE WILL BE UNABLE TO BUY THE PRODUCTS THAT THE ELITIST 1% ARE PRODUCING AND TRYING TO SELL TO THE CONSUMERS.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class  Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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Washington Post: AP-NORC Poll: Trump Fares Poorly in Public’s View

The following is an excellent article written by Julie Pace and Emily Swanson of the Associated Press on the Washington Post website on October 7, 2017 titled “AP-NORC Poll: Trump Fares Poorly in Public’s View” and I quote:

“AP-NORC Poll: Trump fares poorly in public’s view”


FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters. Just 24 percent of Americans say the country is heading in the right direction after a tumultuous stretch for Trump. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (Richard Drew, File/Associated Press)
October 7
WASHINGTON — Just 24 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction after a tumultuous stretch for President Donald Trump that included the threat of war with North Korea, stormy complaints about hurricane relief and Trump’s equivocating about white supremacists. That’s a 10-point drop since June, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The decline in optimism about the nation’s trajectory is particularly pronounced among Republicans. In June, 60 percent of Republicans said the country was headed in the right direction; now it’s just 44 percent.

The broader picture for the president is grim, too. Nearly 70 percent of Americans say Trump isn’t level-headed, and majorities say he’s not honest or a strong leader. More than 60 percent disapprove of how he is handling race relations, foreign policy and immigration, among other issues.

Overall, 67 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Trump is doing in office, including about one-third of Republicans.

Tracy Huelsman, a 40-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, is among them. A self-described moderate Republican, Huelsman said she’s particularly concerned about the “divisiveness” she feels the president promotes on social media.

“It’s scary in 2017 that we are in what seems like a worse place in terms of division,” said Huelsman, who did not vote for Trump in last year’s election.

The assessments come after a turbulent summer for Trump that included a major White House shake-up, bringing the departure of his chief of staff, top strategist and press secretary. While the installment of retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as chief of staff has ushered in more day-to-day order in the West Wing, the president has still stirred up numerous controversies, including when he blamed “both sides” for the clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump has also raised the specter of a military conflict with North Korea over its nuclear provocations. He’s derided North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, as “rocket man,” including during a speech at the United Nations, and has downplayed the prospects that diplomatic negotiations with Kim could yield results.

Despite his electoral success, Trump struggled as both a candidate and now as president to broaden his base of support beyond his ardent supporters. The loyalty of his core backers has been enough to keep Republican lawmakers largely in line, but party operatives are closely watching Trump’s support among GOP and independent voters ahead of next year’s midterm elections, when the balance of power in Congress will be at stake.

To be sure, lawmakers have their own problems to worry about. Americans have even less esteem for Congress than Trump, with just 18 percent saying they approve of the job being done by the House and the Senate.

Republicans took another hit last month when they failed — for a second time this year — to pass an overhaul of the nation’s health care law. GOP leaders tried to rush votes on the complicated legislation, leaving many voters unsure of what was in the package.

“They never seemed to present a bill to people that you could actually look at the details of and the pluses and minuses of it,” said Dennis Cronin, a 67-year-old independent from Wenham, Massachusetts.

The GOP failure on health care has irritated Trump, who promised voters that repealing “Obamacare” would be easy. Americans aren’t happy with his progress on health care either; 68 percent disapprove of his handling of the issue.

Of all the issues surveyed by the AP-NORC poll, the president performs slightly better on the economy. But even there, 56 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing and just 42 percent say they approve.

On Friday, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. shed 33,000 jobs in September because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which closed thousands of businesses in Texas and Florida and forced widespread evacuations. It marked the first monthly hiring drop in nearly seven years.

Ninety-two percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents say Trump understands the problems of people like them not very or not at all well. Even among Republicans, only 42 percent say he understands them very well, while 32 percent say he does moderately well.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,150 adults was conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.”

(IF THE NUMBERS ARE DOWN TO 24%, YOU CAN’T SAY THAT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THE VOTERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.  I HOPE THE DEMOCRATS STICK TO THEIR GUNS AND GET US BACK ON TRACK.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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