The nation is celebrating the 56th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, a time to salute President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society of the 1960s.
It is impossible to imagine how much worse off this nation would be if Johnson had not used his powers of “Wheeling and Dealing” to accomplish the health care legislation which has saved millions of American lives in the past half century, and made the lives of the elderly, the disabled, and the poor far better.
Government is not there just for the wealthy to get tax breaks, but also to serve the needs of the American people, and it is soothing to know how much Medicare and Medicaid have changed the lives of the American people.
Along with Social Security, passed into law under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in 1935, Medicare and Medicaid have transformed lives over the decades, despite the naysayers, mostly conservatives and Republicans, who love to call these laws “Socialism”!
If these transformational legislative achievements are “Socialism”, so be it!
Norman Ornstein, Congressional scholar, political scientist and resident scholar of the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, has never said or published what most people who are employed by that interest group usually produce.
He has long been condemnatory of how the Congress has deteriorated in its approach to its responsibilities. He has been bitterly critical of the extremism that has taken over both the House of Representatives and US Senate. He is known for blistering critiques of Congress and how it operates.
It is a disgrace how both bodies of Congress operate, but the US Senate is particularly a train wreck under Republican control, promoting mismanagement and corruption, and now in the process of passing a disastrous tax bill that will make the wealthy wealthier, and harm everyone else, and add dramatically to the national debt.
Mitch McConnell and his party in the Senate, along with Paul Ryan and his party in the House, have abused their power, and are voting on legislation without full knowledge of what is in it, and changing details to please certain party members, without an understanding of the short and long range effect on the American economy.
The Republican Party has become the party of evil, deserving of massive repudiation by the voters in 2018 and 2020, but the question is whether those who vote for the Republican Party without a clue or knowledge of their agenda will finally understand that the voting for the GOP is a bargain with the devil, voting for people with no principles except their own self aggrandizement without conscience of what it is doing to millions of senior citizens, disabled and sick, and struggling middle class and poor people, in the name of greed and selfishness.
Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” of corporate people having influence on government, and this is the first of his pledges that has been totally ignored.
His Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin); Secretary of Commerce (Wilbur Ross); Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson); and Chief Strategist (Stephen K. Bannon) are all from Wall Street or from a leading corporation in the case of Tillerson (Exxon Mobil).
Additionally, he has more military people, including those who are not retired for long, and require special legislative approval to serve—Secretary of Defense (James Mattis); Secretary of Homeland Security (John Kelly); and National Security Adviser (Michael Flynn).
So this is more than ever the “Military-Industrial Complex” that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against in his Farewell Address in January 1961.
This is a danger to American democracy, as the wealthy one percent not only dominate this administration, but also, more than ever, members of Congress, who are overall wealthier than any previous Congress in American history.
Where is the concern for the average middle class or poor American?