That is one step to end the current Washington political chaos and stalemate in our federal government.
But it’s time for the people to come together and set aside the labels and blind loyalties that have created a series of divisions.
I wish we could break up the current national Democrat and Republican Parties and start over.
See most Americans can find more in common than those parties are willing to admit.
A few issues to demonstrate:
Health Care. It was an issue that was on the back burner for decades until Obamacare was passed in 2010. The premise and promise was that if you liked your plan, you could keep your current health insurance plan and the same with your doctor.
That was the mantra that was repeated over and over and over again in the selling of the Affordable Care Act. Turned out to be a lie.
Many of us liked the idea of making health care affordable. There was a few years in my 30’s that I had no health insurance. I took a job with a decent wage that offered no benefits and I worked that job for two years. Any medical expenses for our family we had to pay ourselves. We were fortunate. Nothing big happened.
I also had 9 months in my 50’s that I had to buy private health insurance for myself and my wife and it was the same monthly cost as what I was paying out of pocket from my previous employer. That was a surprise.
My original objections to the passage of the Affordable Care Act was that it was not under the Federal Government’s authority to create a nationwide health insurance plan that was mandatory. You might remember that one of the selling points is that this was RomneyCare on a national level. It was modeled after the statewide healthcare plan that was implemented under Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
And then my objection was that it didn’t go far enough.
I know that contradicts what I just said about state versus federal government authority, but so be it. If we were going to have a nationwide healthcare plan, I wanted it modeled after the Social Security retirement model that was passed last century somehow.
Social Security is a safety net. It is not the only way Americans are allowed to plan for income when they retire but it provides a bare bones, baseline income when you qualify due to age or other disability related circumstances.
My wife took early retirement with Social Security and continues to work on occasion. I have a friend in his 70’s who has both his retirement income from Social Security and continues to work.
A basic universal policy for every citizen of the United States that would destroy the current health insurance model would be great. No, it’s not free. But replace my health insurance premiums with taxes to run this program and don’t fill it with loopholes and I’m fine with it. A huge chunk of Americans would be too.
The current health insurance industry would reinvent themselves to provide policy’s that expand on the basics. Just like the Financial Planning/Retirement industry offers plenty of ways to have income besides a monthly social security check.
Another issue is Tax Reform. Like the debate over Health Care is polluted by special interests lobbying our elected officials, so is the taxation debate.
I like the idea of a consumption tax instead of an income tax. Pretty simple and fair. When you buy something there is a federal sales tax. Rich people buy expensive stuff, middle class people buy according to their income and the poor buy what they can afford. With a flat consumption tax, the loopholes are gone and everyone pays the same rate. Fair? Yes.
There is an argument that the poor will be hurt by this because the cost of the stuff they are already buying will go up with the additional national sales tax and they are at a poverty level right now that they are not paying income tax, so the net is they lose money. That could happen. But it also might free up companies to be able to pay higher wages to increase those poverty wages to a better standard of living. I’d like to see and explore this further.
But right now, these couple of issues are stuck in partisan debates and sub-partisan debates.
The way the Republicans argue in the Senate about the alternative health care plans, some say the plans are too liberal, others say they are too conservative, and I get the feeling they are just as motivated by their own re-election than their principles…
We saw the same sub-partisan debates in the Democratic Party between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
We need non-partisan conversations instead.
As Americans, nearly everyone wants to pursue their version of an American Dream.
Freedom to be yourself, to be ambitious, to be free of stupid discrimination based on nearly anything. An even playing field isn’t possible simply because of learned biases and culture, but with each successive generation, we can become less intolerant and better friends and neighbors can’t we?
Most of us are somewhere in the middle, not like the lunatic fringes that make the headlines.
Seek others who have different views than yours and talk, listen and learn why they are passionate.
We all become better and that’s where we can start.