Thursday, September 8, 2011
Man-Made Problems: Man-Made Solutions
Last night, the top Republican presidential candidates competed in their 4th in a series of debates. In my opinion, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney—stole the show.
Not only does his state have one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation, but it also has one of the highest poverty rates and more people working for the minimum wage than other states.
In regards to Social Security, he made the claim that, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter and that “it is a monstrous lie, it is a Ponzi scheme.” But as the Social Security Administration points out, Social Security is a major source of income for the elderly, with nine out of ten Americans age 65 and older receiving benefits. This year alone, nearly 55 million Americans are said to receive benefits.
During his tenure as Governor, his state ranked 47th in the country in job creation, according to the Labor Department.
And although his universal healthcare plan in Massachusetts has made the state’s rate of uninsured one of the lowest in the country, it has also failed to rein in costs, resulting in rising health insurance premiums.
But while it did serve as a template for President Obama’s healthcare plan (imposing an individual mandate, subsidies for low-income persons, requirement for employers, etc), RomneyCare is noticeably different in its financing.
As a nationwide plan implemented by the federal government, Obama’s healthcare law was able to reduce healthcare costs in the long-run by reducing wasteful spending in Medicare, closing the prescription drug payment donut hole for seniors, imposing taxes on high-cost healthcare plans, and regulating the entire healthcare industry to remove wasteful spending. The Massachusetts plan does not do any of these things.
Despite the ability of Obama’s healthcare plan to out-finance his state’s own plan, Romney continues to push for its repeal. He also continues to denounce the positive effects of the Recovery Act.
Obama’s New Jobs Plan
Which brings us to President Obama’s speech tonight.
Although Obama’s first stimulus package has prevented another Great Depression (as I discussed in my last blog post “Men Lie, Women Lie, Numbers Don’t”), its funds have waned and we need a second stimulus to further the progress we have made.
Thus, by providing tax cuts for working and middle-class families; giving tax incentives to small businesses that add new workers; aiding state and local governments to hire more teachers and refurbish schools; and investing in infrastructure to create immediate jobs, the American Jobs Act is investing in our greatest asset: the working American middle-class. And by closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to finally pay their fair share, the Jobs Act is fully paid for.
As Obama mentioned, both Democrats and Republicans agree that, “it has been the drive and initiative of our workers and entrepreneurs that has made this economy the engine and envy of the world…[But] there has always been another thread running throughout our history - a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.
President Kennedy once said, "Our problems are man-made - therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants."
Posted by Ashwani Jain