Take the money out of politics.
Put the people first!


When congress increases the military budget, nobody asks "how will we afford it?"

When congress authorizes another 190 billion dollars in emergency defense appropriations, nobody asks, "how will we afford it?"

After 18 years in Afghanistan and several trillion dollars, nobody asks, "when will it end?"

But wasted resources on endless wars is not the most critical issue.

What is critical is the damage to our environment which is rapidly becoming incapable of sustaining human existence.

The Democrats Green New Deal does not even mention the military: perhaps the largest single source of pollution on the planet.

We can't really save the planet without addressing the most environmentally destructive force on the plant: WAR


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Changing the Dialogue of American Politics


  • Latest from the blog

    Affordable Health Care

    People want to choose their doctor. A principle problem for Medicare for all is the fact that it follows in the shadow of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA expanded health care access by increasing tax payer funding: something people refer to as “throwing money at the problem.” There was no cost containment. Taxes increased, and costs continued to increase with a net migration of wealth from the middle class to the upper class. Millions did get improved health care access through medicaid, but the majority saw no benefit, and millions more saw steep rate increases. It is the inequity in the system that makes it untenable to voters. The current Medicare system is already a confusing range of options, supplemental plans, and Medicare advantage. The disadvantage of Medicare Advantage is once again the perplexing problem of choosing a suitable network of providers. The health care industrial complex will certainly game the system as they have done with Medicare Advantage, to the tune of of some $70 billion dollars from 2008 to 2013. Given the lack of meaningful oversight, transparency, and accountability, it’s not surprising that people are suspicious of Medicare for All. People want to choose their doctor. They don’t want to navigate an incomprehensible maze of insurance options, hoping to find a network that includes their doctor. In the end, they still pay out-of-pocket for the the specialist who didn’t happen to be in the network. Creating confusion is a deliberate tactic that prevents the kind of consensus needed for meaningful healthcare reform.
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    Carbon Dividend

    Whenever I hear a presentation on the carbon fee/dividend plan, it comes off sounding like a plan that would provide a Universal Basic Income derived from oil revenues. It is after all a public resource and perhaps citizens should be getting some revenue from that resource much like the Alaska Permanent Fund derived from oil revenues. The fund has paid an annual dividend since 1982 that has been as high as $2,072 per person, or $8,288 for a family of four. Still, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. I started getting suspicious when I heard the big oil companies were supporting a carbon fee/dividend. The plan would add a fee to fossil fuels based on the CO2 equivalent emissions of fossil fuels. Consumers would pay higher costs on virtually everything because energy is a substantial cost of production for most products. The fee would then be distributed to each citizen offsetting the higher cost. Clearly, it’s not a dividend based on revenue like the Alaska plan. It’s more like a sales tax where the consumer gets a rebate at the end of the year. In theory, low wage earners would get a larger dividend than they pay in fees but I’ve yet to see any actual numbers that would substantiate that theory. In global markets, the impact becomes much more complicated. Import fees would be imposed to encourage foreign producers to also implement the carbon fee and discourage companies from migrating to no fee regions. American consumers would still pay higher prices for those fees but there would be no dividend as the fees would remain in the country of origin. Oil exports would receive a rebate. That seems to incentivize exporting U.S. oil and allowing consumers to pay the higher cost for foreign oil. All of this will presumably be balanced out by tariffs and trade agreements. Every product produced would essentially require a carbon fee adjustment in an environment where it may be difficult to determine if it was produced with fossil fuels. I can’t imagine the complexity of that. The fee would affect the real cost of using fossil fuels and should create incentives for greater efficiency, alternative material sourcing, and renewable energy sources but it is not clear that these alternatives can match the economic growth demands of today’s economic models. That goes to the real problem of projected economic growth that exceeds the foreseeable capacity of the planet. That problem is not being addressed by a recirculating tax rebate plan. That brings me to what’s in it for the corporate denizens of wealth. The plan they support which of course is the only plan our congress would possibly adopt was drafted by the Climate Leadership Council, that includes a long list of major oil producers like ExxonMobile and BP as well as many other large corporations like GM and Pepsico. Their proposal provides for a carbon tax in lieu of environmental regulations including EPA’s regulatory authority of CO2 emissions, repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and an end to federal and state tort liability for emitters.” Here the theory goes, that market forces will eliminate the need for these regulations. In an environment of ever-increasing wealth inequality, with congress determining the market forces, I have a pretty clear idea of who the winners and losers will be.
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