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How are you going to do that?

February 4, 2016

Ahead of New Hampshire, voters are already past the catchy sound bite stage of the 2015 election season. They don’t want to hear what candidates want to do or did 20 years ago. Voters want to know how they will do it now, and it better make sense.

Take James for instance. James, a self-employed mechanic, stepped off a curb wrong, tore his ACL and needs surgery. Unfortunately, he has the bronze Obamacare plan, and having had a similar operation six years ago, he knows the bill will be at least $10,000 including rehab.

Six years ago James had a job, a 80-20 employer health plan with a $1,000 deductible, and 100% coverage for the first $2K of emergency room care. This time, he has a bill for $4,000 just for the emergency room. He isn’t getting the more extensive surgery any time soon.

He  wants to know exactly what comes after Obamacare is repealed, if it is. By exactly he means types of plans, cost estimates, availability for the self-employed and a timeline for it to be fully operational.

Having been badly burned by misleading campaign rhetoric in 2008 and 2012, saying that voters are more cynical today is a monumental understatement.

Many GOP voters, while they may be in sync with Trump’s emotional message, are beginning to expect substance over sound bites. He can’t be King Trump, so they want to know that he understands the process well enough to deliver on his vision. So far, he hasn’t shown that he won’t spend all of his time trying things that simply can’t work. In fact many doubt that he has even thought about that in any great depth.

GOP supporters have the same beef with other candidates, especially the current front running four or five behind Trump, like Cruz, Rubio and Carson. Too much trivial talk and adolescent playground posturing, not enough action.

People are starting to ask questions that demand answers, not tweets.

You say you’re going to fix the VA. How? Will you fire a substantial number of people in your first 100 days? Open veteran’s care to an already overburdened private health care system?

You say want to control the budget. Are you going to take on the public employees union and make it easier to fire someone for gross negligence and/or incompetency?

If you lower the corporate tax rate, are you going to demand that they expand or preserve U.S jobs before they pay off the shareholders?

What are you going to do with that increased military budget?  Are you going to be proactive when some two-bit psycho dictator threatens us, or just provide cushy contracts to the defense industry?

If you lower income taxes, what will you have to raise to make up for it?

Democrats have their own questions.

If you suspend all student debt, where will the money come from to pay off the existing $1.1 trillion dollars of taxpayer money already owed?

If you give out free college, what’s to prevent the colleges from raising tuition even higher just because the taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for it?

How can you provide quality single payer system  healthcare when Medicare, Medicaid and the VA are so ineffective and corrupt? Have you had your plan scored by the CBO?

Once you’ve gotten all the money from the 1%, what about the rest of us?  Will you raise taxes on everyone because the 1% are out of money?

It’s just about 150 days until both parties have to select their standard bearers. That’s far too close to campaign in 140 characters.

From → op-ed

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