Day: April 10, 2011

The Next Doomsday: May 16! Debt Ceiling Extension Crisis!

Now that the government shutdown was averted at the last minute this past Friday, April 8, a much more dangerous deadline is looming: May 16.

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has declared that by that date it is essential that the Congress extend the borrowing limit, the federal debt ceiling, beyond the present $14.25 trillion limit, or face the inability of the government to pay its bonds and debts on time, an action which could trigger world wide economic repercussions, and make it impossible for the US government to borrow money, because of a technical state of bankruptcy!

Geithner has informed Congress that if federal accounts were moved around, the doomsday scenario could be delayed to July 8 at the latest!

For the government to fall into default would be extremely damaging, both short term and long term, and yet there are the Tea Party radicals in the House of Representatives, and lunatics in the Senate such as Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida who are, seemingly, willing to risk the nation’s future in their ideological struggle against the federal government!

With the ability of the Republicans to filibuster in the Senate, and the Tea Party members of the House unwilling to bend, the battle over extension of the debt limit will center around the Obama Health Care plan, the environment, abortion rights, and other GOP demands that the Democrats have been able to avert in the most recent battle over shutting down the government.

So the likelihood of the economic revival going on smoothly seems less likely over the rest of this year, and then the 2012 budget plan presents the next crisis, if we ever resolve the debt limit crisis now facing us in the next month to three months!

The State and Congressional Republicans: A Problem For Presidential “Possibility” Republicans!

The Republican Party, state level and Congressional level, is moving so far to the right of center in American politics that they are presenting a real problem for Presidential “Possibility” Republicans, helping to spur those ambitious for the Presidency to hold back and reassess their chances! It is amazing that no major candidate has yet announced his or her run for the Presidency on the Republican side!

So many of the Republican Presidential field are as loony and dangerous as the state governors, the Tea Party House members, and Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who would wipe out Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, in a mad dash to cut taxes on the wealthy from 35 percent to 25 percent, making the Republican Party the opposite of Robin Hood–stealing from the masses to give more to the wealthy!

At this point, only a few Republican possibilities for President seem able to appeal to independents and the middle class–Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty–but they would need to separate themselves from the hard right move of the GOP toward the lunatic fringe!

And if any of the three above were to separate themselves enough to win the nomination, they would have a massive headache as to how to move ahead as a centrist leader of a party that is far out of the mainstream!

As the GOP moves further to the right, therefore, the likelihood of an Obama win in 2012 grows geometrically, rather than arithmetically!

Florida’s Governor, The Republican Party, And The Attack On The Disabled: A Personal Note!

The author of this blog is now facing the reality of what the Republican Party, the state of Florida, and Governor Rick Scott are perpetrating in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s!

The attack has begun on Medicare and Medicaid, with the proposal of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who proposes privatization of both programs over a ten year period for all under the age of 55, leading to vouchers in the future, which will not provide adequate medical coverage for the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the disabled who benefit from these two programs of the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson!

But meanwhile, in many states controlled by GOP Governors, including the state of Florida in which I live with my younger son, Paul, who is on Social Security, Medicare, and until March 31 of this year on Medicaid, the attack has begun to wipe out those on the Medicaid rolls, as simply too costly for these states!

Rather than raise taxes on the very wealthy and corporations, and certainly NOT lower taxes on these privileged groups, Rick Scott of Florida, along with Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Paul LePage of Maine, and others are rapidly wiping disabled people, such as my son, off of Medicaid, without any justification in writing, any explanation, any concern about what it might do to my son’s health and well being, and that of millions of others in these states!

After nine years on Medicaid, and thank God, not much use, but occasionally having hospital bills because of seizures, my son is now faced with the possibility that future visits to hospitals will result in a massive bill, as a backup to Medicare coverage, that he will not be able to pay at the age of 27, as he does not have the ability to support himself financially, although he works very hard and diligently as a usher at a local movie theatre for the past six years, but only earns about $2,000 a year.

Were it not for the death of his mother six years ago, Paul would not be on Medicare coverage, and would not have any Medicaid coverage now as a result of the decision of Rick Scott’s government in Florida to cut him off from medical benefits! Being unable to pay the bill that Medicaid would have covered, Paul’s small attempt to establish a good credit rating will be destroyed once he has a hospital bill he cannot pay. And, unfortunately, as a retired (at least full time) faculty member in a couple of months, the author will not have the ability or legal responsibility to be able to pay what is likely to be a hefty bill from the hospital in the thousands of dollars, when a hospital admission were to occur!

The author is also concerned at the danger that Paul’s expensive medication for his seizure issues, more than $1,000 a month, might possibly be taken away, and the author’s inability to pay out for that kind of medication out of his own retirement income, even with future part time teaching!

Paul’s situation is just one example of what millions of people across America will be facing with the heartless, aloof, unconcerned attitude that Rick Scott and other Republicans, national, state and local, have on the issue of medical care for those less fortunate.

Paul is fortunate to have a loving father, and in the future, a loving brother, David, who will do whatever they can to insure him as good a life as they can afford, but what about the many people who will not have such fortune, and face being forced out of group homes and off Medicaid, and probably off prescription drugs they need to live and prosper? With Governor Scott’s executive order cutting funding immediately for Medicaid and disabled people, we will be seeing people much more health challenged than my son who will lose assistance in their daily lives, and in many cases, may have no place to live, and therefore, an inability to survive!

There is a need for everyone across the country who believes in human rights and dignity, and recognizes the crime being visited against the most unfortunate among us by Governor Rick Scott and other governors mentioned above, and by the Ryan plan in Congress for the next fiscal year, to organize and fight on this issue, by emails, phone calls, visits to state and congressional offices all over the nation, and marches and demonstrations nonstop to demand that this denial of rights and dignity to the most disabled and unfortunate among us be immediately stopped dead in its tracks, before we have dead people as a result of GOP “death panels” who decide we cannot afford Medicaid, but must make sure every fetus is born, but have no concern for what happens after birth!

For those who are reading this, thank you for your consideration of what I am saying, and know how much I love both my sons, and will continue to fight for them and all other people in this country who deserve nothing less than humane consideration by government at all levels!

The Tea Party Movement and the Republican Party may not care about what happens to the disabled and unfortunate among us, but we must pay them for their callousness with political action to repudiate their despicable, disgraceful message on how to save money at the expense of the needy!