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GOP whiffs, again.

It seems that it wasn’t just Democrats that were betting on Hillary winning the White House.

Republicans obviously didn’t have a plan to govern.

And they most certainly didn’t count on having someone in the White House who wouldn’t accept gridlock as the status quo.

It’s not that they aren’t trying hard to convert him. In one way or another various members of Congress manage to repeatedly interject the idea that the President just needs to hop on the gravy train, and shut the hell up about making America great again.

What they’ve missed is that America didn’t elect Donald Trump to go along to get along.

There is a lot of talk about Mitch McConnell bribing senators with special funding for their districts to get AHCA legislation on the books, ala the Cornhusker kickback.

Pundits have made a lot out of the President picking Obamacare as his first battle, calling it a mistake. What that decision has accomplished is to show America quickly, well in advance of the 2018 midterms, which elected officials are only protecting their own behinds and which ones actually want to work for the American people.

Note to Republicans.  Voters have long memories and increasingly shorter fuses.

Take the healthcare debacle for instance. For seven long years, Republicans ran a con job on the people, but it’s now obvious they didn’t have anything but campaign speeches.

Hell hath no fury like a voter scorned.

More people are beginning to think the best fix is simply an all-out repeal of Obamacare or failing that, just letting it die on its own.

When they hear elected officials saying that Congress functions only when in crisis mode, the reaction is increasingly “You want a crisis? Great, we’re willing to give you a crisis.”

That doesn’t mean they buy into the Democrats full-on government control of healthcare either.

It’s obvious that government run healthcare doesn’t work even on a limited level.  Turning your personal health decisions completely over to Chuck Schumer, Ezekiel Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi clones should be enough to give every American nightmares.

Republicans are hanging by a very frayed  rope. They may find out just how frayed over the holidays, hopefully in a peaceful way.

There is still a very small window of opportunity for GOP senators to finally make the right moves between now and August,  but it’s closing fast.

Diffusing violence…can we still do it?

That depends a lot on whether we really want to diffuse it.

In yesterday’s post, a man was quoted registering his distaste for the “all politics, all the time” tenor of the healthcare debate.

He wasn’t alone. If every person with something to say on that issue had been quoted, you would still be reading Monday’s piece.

At about the same time the post went live, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 on the so-called travel ban, basically upholding the President’s legal and Constitutional right to regulate who gets into the country, at least over this limited time frame.

Between healthcare and the travel ban, the Twitter-verse lit up like a Roman candle. Nancy Pelosi went on another over-the-top rant, and liberals everywhere blamed Neil Gorsuch, and by association President Trump, for the vote on the travel ban, apparently not noticing that the vote was 9-0. Late night “not-comics” and the left-wing media tried to make it all about Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

At the other end of the spectrum, one  man responded to the SCOTUS decision with just two words…”F-ing A.”

Perhaps it’s just that the rhetoric has never been turned down by either side since the election, but to put it mildly, people are pissed.

The reason the quote was chosen yesterday was because the gentleman sees that we need a way to effect change without triggering real shootouts when people get together to “discuss” their differences.

The left seems to actually want all-out violence.  Either that, or they are just so in love with their own voices that they don’t see the danger.

For those of us who have seen this exact same climate erupt into street warfare in the 1960’s and ’70s, we know that it takes a long time to get basically law-abiding people to decide to answer violence with violence, but once that line is crossed, blood runs in the streets.

Believe it, folks. Liberals bleed real blood too.

We’re not talking about simple disgust with brain-dead has-been actors, no-talent comedians, and stupid politicians here, or a generational clash between youth and the old fogeys.

There is a very real sense that the survival of our representative democracy hangs in the balance.

There are numerous living laboratories illustrating the fallacy of liberal governments ever making things better and we aren’t talking Greece here. There are examples a lot closer to home.

The state of Illinois has long been run by liberals, and they’ve finally run it into the ground. The unthinkable has happened. They’ve run out of Other People’s Money.

Facing almost insurmountable debt and mass exoduses of citizens and businesses, you now have someone suggesting, apparently in total seriousness, that the state should be carved up and awarded to its geographical neighbors.

The column in the Chicago Tribune by John Kass proposes the unthinkable (and probably unworkable) solution for the bankrupt state of dumping the problem on its neighbors. How very liberal of him.

Just throw Illinois away.  Wow. Now there’s a real window into life under liberals.

There is of course another solution for being in the hole. Stop digging.

Bite the bullet and admit that for the foreseeable future, the state MUST redefine necessity and allocate all of its discretionary revenues toward paying it’s overdue pension and vendor bills, and not to trying to create Utopia.

Even California has had to admit that they have no way of paying for universal government owned healthcare even for their own state.

The proof of the impracticality of central government planning is all around us, if we care to examine it.

It’s getting the left to accept the evidence in front of their faces that’s the real problem. To them, there is always more money out there somewhere, if they can just manage to corral enough of it.

Unfortunately, at some point there just isn’t any more OPM money. Liberals and conservatives alike need to heed that truism.

At some point the government trough will run dry, if the country proceeds with the policies of the last two or more decades.

That brings us to the current universal healthcare debate. No one wants to be “mean”  but Medicaid was never designed to be a national insurance plan.

At some point, the economy is supposed to improve enough that most of the able-bodied people on expanded Medicaid can earn enough to pay for health insurance that they want and that fills their needs.

By any of the ordinary laws of finance, that should free up more money for those that really need help without increasing the amount of money by a few dozen billion a year.

Obamacare and indeed any mandatory coverage program takes that choice away. That’s the crux of the argument over “essential” benefits.

Not everyone needs ob-gyn services. In fact, more than half the population doesn’t need them, based on age and gender alone. They should be available, but not mandatory.

On the right is the idea that if you need more services due to age or physical condition, that is somehow always your fault. Thus you get people paying five times more than their younger counterparts because they can’t escape the inevitable consequences of aging.

Another factor is the mismanagement of government giveaway programs like college loans. Many of our younger population can’t even afford their student loan payments, much less pay for any more than the most basic catastrophic health insurance coverage.

That situation was almost solely created by the left, and bought into by the right in an effort not to be “mean.”

Between educational elitism that teaches that there are only a relative handful of expensive colleges worth attending, pushing degrees that have no relationship to earning money  in the real world, and creating a national entitlement mindset, two entire generations have all but lost their real-life survival skills.

That’s regrettable, but it doesn’t mean that the situation can or should continue.

In so many ways, a lot of the divisions that are tearing the fabric of our society apart were created by people that didn’t want to be “mean.” Their intentions were good, but woefully shortsighted.

The left equates common sense with meanness. The right thinks that what’s really mean is creating an artificial world that cannot forever repeal the laws of survival.

That’s a huge chasm to bridge, and money alone won’t build that bridge. That reality is breeding a state of frustration that will or perhaps already has already ignited a national fuse, and a short one at that.

Hopefully someone finds a way to pull the fuse, i.e. the inflammatory rhetoric,  before it reaches the blasting cap, but time is short.

Untangling the Obamacare hype.

Lofty headline, isn’t it? If only doing it was as easy as writing it.

Admittedly, nothing real could be nearly as exciting (crazy?) as Elizabeth Warren hollering her head off about blood money and dead Americans, but the facts are interesting too. Not easy to ferret out, but interesting.

So what’s behind all the hate speech and the almost panic-stricken sound bites?

One vitally important thing to keep in mind is that Obamacare was designed to fail.  It was only supposed to be a pathway, an on-ramp if you will,  to single-payer, government controlled, European-style socialist healthcare.

This admission was made by the chief Obamacare architect, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, back in March of this year. Once you understand that, then you can look objectively at the hysterical rhetoric.

Hillary Clinton was supposed to make sure that happened.

When the wheel fell off that strategy, it triggered a mass panic attack on the left.

Incidentally, if you want to read the draft version of the Senate’s health insurance bill, you can access it here.

Separating fact from fiction.

The other thing to note is that at least 8 million people still do not have insurance of any kind, primarily because they can’t afford it. These are people willing to pay the penalties instead of being forced onto the government-chosen insurance plans that actually do not cover at least the first $5,000 to $12,000 in expenditures, and that can cost an equal amount or more in premiums.

Without further ado, let’s look at the claim that at least 25 to 30 million Americans are going to die without total government control of healthcare.

First of all, it’s tough to find unbiased reporting. For the purposes of this post, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports were used for illustrations.  Second, some of the numbers reported make assumptions or try to extrapolate missing numbers from such data as does exist. Third, some of the statistical information presented in interactive maps is obscured by the graphics. For the raw data, click on the links below each map.

For instance, the much reported claim that the “vast majority” of ACA enrollees are receiving benefits under Medicaid programs, a claim attributed to Rand Paul, but widely taken as fact by many.

Marketplace enrollment (non-Medicaid, non-employer) is reported as 12.7 million people in 2017, with the rest of the Obamacare population covered largely through expanded Medicaid.

Politifact says they did the research, but their figures are only through the end of 2014.  Their conclusion is that Paul’s quote is “half-true”.  They verify that more than half (53%) of the newly covered people lumped in under the total Obamacare enrollment numbers do get their insurance benefits solely through expanded Medicaid, but not the “vast” majority.

Some of the people enrolled in Medicaid since Obamacare’s passage would have been eligible under original Medicaid income limits anyway.

Apples and Oranges

Speaking of Medicaid and SCHIP income eligibility limits, usually expressed as a percentage at or above the Federal poverty level, it is a fallacy that this is a single rate.  Each state is allowed to use their own income limit calculations, as noted in this KFF report.

For the majority of states, the limit is 200% of the Federal poverty level for SCHIP eligibility, and 138% for single adults to qualify for Medicaid..

Another fallacy is that income qualifiers for premium subsidies under the ACA are the same as they are for Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility. Premium subsidy income eligibility guidelines are much more generous than they are for the government programs, by almost double.

When you figure in Obamacare, the picture gets even murkier, as noted in this paragraph from the first KFF link above : (Underlining added.)

In 12 of the states with a State-based Marketplace (SBM), there is one system that determines eligibility for Medicaid and Marketplace coverage. The remaining 39 states transfer data back and forth with the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), HealthCare.gov, to coordinate eligibility decisions.”

What changes the mathematically eligible enrollment figure is the ACA poverty level limit. Those limits as of January 2017, as reported by The Department of Health and Human Services are $12,060 for a single adult, $20,420 for a family of three,  and $24,600 for a family of four.

In contrast, the HHS limit for single persons in 2008 was reported at $10,400 and for a family of four, $21,200 for Medcaid..

In should be noted that these figures are reached AFTER application of modifying factors such as the consumer price index. Thus they may differ substantially from raw income figures.

More current figures (through March,  2016) are presented by these graphic maps from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), but they acknowledge that even their figures involve some guesswork, and the maps do not include actual enrollment numbers and breakdowns for their “by-state” reporting. For that you need to click on the link below each map to view the raw data.

They are at least useful for determining which states did not offer expanded Medicaid.

Eighteen states were sufficiently suspicious of the longevity and reliability of Federal help to decide not to offer expanded eligibility. Thirty-one states do offer expanded Medicaid eligibility. North Dakota is not included, since it doesn’t report data to CMS, nor is the District of Columbia, because it is not a state.

Using the KFF data in this model, we can see that in the 31 expansion states, total Medicaid enrollees number 73,421,500.  Of that figure, 14,409,600 are enrolled through expanded Medicaid, while 3,266,900 new enrollees were eligible under the “old” rules.

Going to the problem with syncing up the data, another KFF spreadsheet shows the 50-state April 2017 total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment for the nation as 74,531,002, a 29% growth rate since the ACA went into effect.

Regardless of the million or so difference, when Dems say that under any new plan as currently presented, “everyone” will lose their Medicaid coverage and die, they are cherry picking and massaging the facts. None of the 18 non-expansion states should be affected by the change. At worst, that’s just under 14.5 million, and acute emergency care is still required to be covered for anyone. In addition anyone who would have qualified under the pre-expansion guidelines keeps or is eligible for coverage.

To  be sure, 14.5 million is a lot of people. Still, it’s just 19.4% of everyone on Medicaid.

That’s hardly “everyone.”

It also doesn’t take into account the money the Federal government will pass back to the states (after taking out  their average 10% handling fee on taxes collected, of course.) Instead it just assumes states will not change their individual requirements to cover some of the expansion enrollees.

Neither do Dems note that as people are able to find work, they would drop off the rolls anyway, possibly to be covered by employer plans, or able to now purchase coverage on their own.

On the GOP side, it’s not widely advertised, but most states are going to have to start collecting a new tax or maybe two or three taxes to pay for what the Feds will no longer fund if demand for Medicaid coverage exceeds funding.

Some states, like California and New York won’t have a problem with that.  It fits right into their world view of government confiscation and redistribution of funds. Besides a payroll tax, it’s likely that most of those new taxes are going to target the 1%, probably with some sort of  state income tax surcharge and increased so-called luxury and “sin” taxes.  Some taxes could also hit things like gasoline and fossil fuel created energy, which we all use or benefit from.

Other states, particularly those in the bottom third for per capita income, will not be able to soak much more out of the people than they do already, and under the new plan they won’t have the benefit of using only FICA tax money from other states to smooth out the funding problems.

That’s where the cheese will get binding. Those are the states that may well find people’s access to care seriously impacted.

Further, there is no guarantee that the Feds won’t simply quit funding Medicaid in any form, reserving the money instead for Medicare, and turning both the people and the financing over to the states at some time in the future.

The only thing all of this noise does prove is that once you create a government program, it isn’t EVER going away. Sorry, Senator Paul, but Obamacare, or at least the premise behind it,  is another “forever” entitlement program and at least in some form it will probably stay.

Also important to remember is even after the complete destruction of the private healthcare insurance market as we knew it, as envisioned by Dr. Emanuel, “pure” Obamacare still only covers 3.9% of the entire population of the United States, not 30%. Even adding in those with expanded Medicaid benefits, Obamacare (non-employer) marketplaces only cover 8.4% of all of us.

Of course that’s going to fail financially. That’s why the coercive and punitive penalties, along with medical device taxes, were imposed on employer and individual plans, and people are required to carry coverage (essential benefits) that has no value for them.

Unintended consequences.

The people who are actually going to have to live under whatever finally happens note with increasing disgust that the discussion is all about the “political fallout” if this does or doesn’t pass.

That disgust with both parties is starting to take on a far more strident tone, with calls for strict and short term limits beginning to rise to the surface again.  There have been several organizations[1] working since the early 1990’s for meaningful Article Five voting to take place.  There are also grassroots calls for these groups to get together in a nonpartisan, national joint campaign to put teeth into the movement.

Incidentally, that movement will merit a post of its own in the future.

One man pretty much spoke for an increasing number of Americans when he said:

“Look. I’m fed up to my eyeballs with this country only being run for the politicians and their mouthpieces, the media. I don’t give a f— whether any of them get re-elected. It’s time to change this “Washington first, last and always” mentality.  Doing it at the polls by changing presidential parties obviously didn’t work. I’m getting older, but by God, I am ready to do something to clean up government, and if that means a human wall blocking the polls so nobody gets elected until we get an Article 5 term limit law passed, I’ll volunteer. We have to do something constructive, before you have lots of people shooting at each other, not just one crazy guy in Virginia.

It’s a damned crime that anyone is in power for 30 or 40 years, from either party. I went to war outside the country to defend it, and I would sure as hell work hard to defend it within the borders if that’s what it takes. Just show me where to sign up!”

Chilling out

Was all this histrionic political hyperbole and uncounted hours of legislative time-wasting over the last decade worth it?  It’s hard to see how, if the net sum is the end of the U.S. as we have known it.

Of course, until we see a reconciled, finished bill that has passed both houses of Congress,  all of this is supposition, a giant game of “what if”  anyway.

Under the Senate draft bill, the changes would not take effect until at least 2021, giving states and insurers at least four years to adjust if the final bill becomes law this year.

Still, even this very abbreviated explanation (well, as abbreviated as it can be, given the complexity of the subject) should convince you to tune out all the claptrap and put the hype on “ignore” for the time being.

Go play with your kids, have a beer, go fishing, or do whatever else you do to unwind, and tune back in later, when there is actually something real to discuss.

[1] http://www.wtamu.edu/~jrausch/tlgroup.htm (list of groups);  Caution: NOT an all-inclusive list, and it may be out of date.

 

TGIF – June 23, 2017

More tidbits you may have missed.

Congressional Black Caucus posts a miss, again.

After apparently running out of real reasons not to meet with President Trump, the CBC refused his invitation for a meeting and cited as the reason, the way Omarosa Manigault signed her name.

Specifically, they whined that she was not “entitled” to use the words “The Honorable” when signing her name.

OMG…can you say petty?

In a strict grammatical sense, they may be right. This is the guidance from one etiquette maven:

“In the United States the Honorable is a courtesy title used with current and retired high-ranking federal and state officials and judges, and with some local officials. As a general rule, those appointed by the President of the United States (and approved by the United States Senate) and anyone elected to public office are entitled to be addressed as the Honorable for life.”

Although Ms. Manigault was appointed to her advisory post by  President Trump, that position does not have to be approved by the Senate. Her official title is “Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison.”

Even so, this smacks of such childishness, you can only hope the voters in their districts will vote for people with a mental age somewhat above their shoe size the next time around.

These people teach our children?

In yet another display of “free speech” another college professor is getting grief for his call to “end” the white race.

The subject of “white genocide” has cropped up, mostly on social media, much more often in the past year or so. And it isn’t just black professors, so this is not something that can be laid solely at the feet of black America.

In true American fashion, these haters cross all racial lines.

At Christmas last year, a white professor at Drexel reportedly posted a rant on the subject online, although he later said he did it as a joke. Some joke.

And of course there is the Yale dean, of Asian heritage, who just lost her job over proclaiming similar sentiments.

There are hundreds of these liberal  teachers and professors throughout the American educational system.

These are not people you want in positions where they can influence our young men and women.

Much ado about Nancy

Pelosi, that is.  OK, she’s made a career out of being a witch, at least publically.  She may be a very nice person in the privacy of her own home, but she doesn’t bother anyone but her closest friends and relatives there.

Once again, this is a case of Democrats looking past the dollars at their feet to pick up pennies.

There is no shortage of dislikeable people on the left. As many pundits have noted, when the Democratic party at large draws scathing criticism from Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi is the least of their problems.

She’s a big girl, with decades of political wisdom behind her and as tough as nails.  Chances are that if she goes anywhere, it will be because it’s her idea.

Besides, she knows where most of the political skeletons are buried.

Residency does not equal citizenship.

Much ado is being made about the California University Board of Regents call to cap non-resident student populations at 18%., thus allowing 82% of the student population to take advantage of lower tuition costs.

If that was all there was to it, the policy, known as Policy 2109, would actually be a good thing.  After all, state-funded universities should cater to in-state students.

Where the flap occurs is in the specific exemption of persons in the country illegally, making them exempt from the cap.

Caught in the middle, again, are the so-called dreamers. Many, but not all, were brought here as small children and had no say in where they wound up living.

Technically and legally many of these people are still residents of whatever country they came from originally, and in theory should be subject to the nonresident caps.

Hard right conservatives notwithstanding, this is a problem that needs solving, but this policy of exemption from existing law isn’t the answer.

As a matter of actual practice, the Board of Regents is equating physical location, i.e. residency, with citizenship.

In most cases, legal residency is defined in part by your eligibility to vote in state and national elections. That right presumes and sometimes requires legal status as a native-born or naturalized citizen.

Thus, children of military families for instance, who have been stationed in California for three years or more, but maintain a legal voting address in another state are not considered residents  of the state for voting purposes, even though they may have purchased a home or made other moves that show they have an attachment to the state where they physically reside.

If press reports and anecdotal evidence have any validity, California has already adopted a completely different metric even for that basic requirement.

For all practical purposes if you live there long enough, you have the same rights as any legally defined citizen. That has an impact not just on benefits related to legal status, but on the whole framework of laws and enforcement of laws within the state.

If it was as easy as declaring that all people brought to this country by their parents could have limited duration and conditional legal resident status, the chances are that if put to vote (and many argue that it should be) not many  would deny that specific group at least a shot at legitimacy.

The problem is, once you turn 18, you are presumed to have free agency.

The obvious solution for the dreamers at present is to register with immigration and begin the process of becoming naturalized citizens. Even though President Trump’s ramped up deportation emphasis exempts them, that’s hard to do if you know that your still-illegal parents might be subject to deportation because you stepped out of the shadows.

Not all dreamers were smuggled in by their parents. Sometimes it was a older sibling or other relative, or even a coyote paid to funnel children in as sex slaves, etc. Short of producing the parents and verifying parentage via DNA, the whole question gets very sticky, very quickly.

Still, as long as the dreamers exist, granting them all the privileges but none of the responsibilities that go with being a citizen or legal resident is not the answer.

While California may think it is being compassionate, in reality all the state is doing is compounding the problem. What are these college students to do once they graduate? Where can they work that won’t require proof of legal residence status?

The answer is, exactly where they can work now, and they don’t need a college diploma to do that. In the meantime, someone that can make use of the education may be denied a chance to obtain it.

The law is the law. The answer is to change the law, not ignore it.

President Trump has signaled that he sees the problem and is open to pursuing a solution. For that he was trashed by both sides of the aisle. That’s hardly the way to enter into thoughtful discourse, especially with this President.

Given the obdurate and short-sighted bi-coastal “resist” movement, it’s unlikely there will be constructive progress any time soon.

That being the case, it would behoove California taxpayers to question how the state uses their tax dollars.

Then there is the question of so-called “private” money..

For instance, how far toward a solution would all the California money going to support Democrats in losing elections outside of the state, take the state toward real progress?

It’s your money Californians, but it seems as though you could spend it more wisely.

 

Trump’s coat tails, or smart voters?

Georgia, or at parts of four counties, is still red.

The national media wants to make it all about the Trump effect.   Oh yes, and the rain. Apparently Democrats, never ones to accept reality, are blaming the rain.

Of course the Atlanta area averages 49.72 inches of rain a year, but hey, any excuse in a pinch.

Maybe it did have a little bit to do with the President.

Voter preferences, their approval if you will, for President Trump have actually increased from the total on the day before the November  election according to some polls.

According to Gallup, 35% of voters were solidly for Trump then. A recent Pew poll shows that  number to be 39% now.  Not great, but not a loss in backing either.

Of course you have to remember, these are the same pollsters who predicted a Clinton win, but as they say, ya gotta start somewhere.

It also might not have had anything to do with President Trump.

It could be that Georgia District Six is just smarter than your average Hollywood actor or DNC hack.

After all, why would they want to elect someone who owes his allegiance to funders that don’t even live near the district?

Of course Mr. Ossoff didn’t live there either, although he was raised in the district. A small bump in the road that may have become a roadblock.

To his credit, he made a race out of it late, by dropping the “we exist to hate Trump” line and attempting to convince voters that he actually cared about them.

The DNC on the other hand failed to notice that this is a local race. By trying to make it a national statement about far-left California and New York values, they fell back on the same failed messaging that cost them the election in 2016.

Given the nonstop attempts to discredit the President, you have to wonder how large the margin would have been if all the negative garbage wasn’t clogging the drains.

It would be wrong to place too much national import on this special election.  Ultimately, voters will decide if they like what the President has accomplished by November 2018, and whether they think electing or retaining their members of Congress will help or hinder the agenda.

Still, given the attitude of Tom Perez, you have to wonder why Democrats are so dead set against the voters they claim to love.

 

Dems can’t learn.

So, Chuck Schumer objects to the “secrecy surrounding the Senate Republican’s health care reform bill.”

Hey, Chuckie, do you remember these immortal words from Nancy Pelosi?   “We have to pass the bill first, so we can all see what’s in it.”

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

It’s just amazing how short the Democrat’s collective memory is, given that it’s only been six months.

For instance, remember what happened when the GOP members of Congress decided to be the “party of no”?  The press crucified them as irresponsible party hacks. Now you hear nothing. Nada. Crickets.

Actually short term memory loss,  besides being one of the warning signs of dementia, is a common affliction among politicians.

Which brings many to ask…is it time to end or at least diminish the power of both political parties?

Certainly the system is no longer working for Americans at large.

It’s all about power. Whose side is going to get the most seats is not just a logistical tactic, it’s their entire reason for being.

That would be fine, if it bettered the American way of life, but it doesn’t.

Various theories have been advanced, including having longer, but nonrenewable terms in Congress, forcing election winners to resign from their parties while serving,  setting minimum standards of performance and even setting party spending limits nationally and locally.

Lots of talk, not much action.  Boringly repetitive, and so far 100% ineffective.

In terms of priorities, consider this.

In Georgia, a state where the average per capita income is just $25,615 as of 2015, the two parties have spent at least $30 MILLION  leading up to today’s voting for one House seat that will be up for grabs again in 2018.

And it’s not even a swing vote seat.  Unlike the Senate, the loss of one seat would not substantially change the voting in the lower house of Congress.

No, it’s all about optics.  It’s about which party will win and keep their place at the public trough in 2018.

Meanwhile Obamacare isn’t fixed, tax reform probably won’t pass both houses in the remaining 65 legislative days in 2017, and oh yes, people are being shot based solely on their party membership profiles.

No one has a real answer to all this.  Splinter groups will try to form outlier parties, similar to the Tea Party and the Bernie voters, who are apparently all leaning toward a socialist model.

The 2016 election for all contests set records for amount of money spent, at $6.8 billion. That record will surely fall in 2020.

Maybe before we worry about who we elect, perhaps we should investigate why we are  electing them.