Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in March, 2013

From our friends at Economy in Crisis…

We must bring jobs back to the United States. The way to do this is by implementing tax reform. There are solutions available for our government to relieve the suffering of our economy. The most beneficial of these solutions would be the implementation of the Value-Added Tax (VAT). 

 If the United States were to implement a VAT of our own, we could:

  • Reduce our income tax
  • Boost U.S. competitiveness and growth
  • Decrease our deficits
  • Regain the jobs that have been lost to other countries who have used the VAT as a tariff against us
  • Subsidize our exports and negate the foreign exporter’s advantage  

Today the VAT is used by nearly every other nation in the world, giving them an economic advantage and effectively rendering the United States uncompetitive.

 Because the United States does not employ a VAT of our own, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place where international trade is concerned. Many of our trading partners employ the VAT, making it more expensive for U.S. companies to export their goods and subsidizing foreign exporters for their goods entering the United States. In fact, an average of 94 percent of all U.S. exports and imports are subject to a foreign VAT annually. This only further contributes to our massive trade deficits and the outsourcing of U.S. businesses and jobs.

 While implementing a VAT of our own would help grow jobs and reduce our budget deficits, it would also cut income taxes and help to alleviate the tax burdens on average Americans.

 The message is clear. In order for the U.S. to become more competitive in the global market, we must implement our own value-added tax. Until our leaders act on this critical issue, U.S. businesses and taxpayers will continue to suffer

A couple of weeks ago we shared the musical face-off between right-winger Pat Boone and Deep Purple performing the classic Smoke On The Water.  It seems some folks enjoyed that so let’s try it again.Led Zeppelin

This time Pat gives his special touch to Jimi Hendrix The Wind Cries Mary and Van Halen’s Panama.  He tops it off with his version of an all time classic Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

 

Please take a minute to let Blaine Luetkemeyer or your representative know it is time to raise the minimum wage!  Our friends at Credo Mobile have made this action easy and quick.  Thanks for your time and effort.

This week’s audio netcast features an interview with Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter With Kansas and a monthly contributor to Thekansas Atlantic.  He shares his opinion that compromise only allows Dems to win the culture wars while losing on economic issues.

In a seperate interview U.S. Senator Tom Harkin from neighboring Iowa discusses the prospects for raising the minimum wage.  Happy listening and have a great weekend!

One of my new favorite Senators, Elizabeth Warren, asks questions that working people have long wanted to hear in this short video of a Senate hearing on the Minimum Wage.  She points out that if the Minimum Wage had tracked productivity since 1960 it would be $22 an hour. 

Her questions to a restaurant owner on the miniscule effect a raise to $10.10 would have on a McDonalds #11, an increase of four cents from $7.19 to $7.23 have him changing the subject more often than a baby drinking apple juice.

This is what representation of the people looks like!

From Businessweek: Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., gaining ground over Japanese automakers with their most stylish sedans and small cars since the 1970s, are topping Toyota Motor Corp. in customer loyalty, researcher Experian Automotive said.  Of Ford vehicle owners who returned to buy another auto in the fourth quarter, 47.9 percent bought a Ford or Lincoln, Dublin-based Experian said today in a report. GM’s loyalty rate was 47.7 percent, followed by Toyota at 46.9 percent.  After decades of losing car buyers to Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Honda Motor Co., Ford, GM and Chrysler Group LLC are luring back customers with models such as the Fusion sedan. The Detroit automakers’ share of the U.S. small and mid- size car market will grow to 33 percent next year, from 26 percent in 2009, according to researcher LMC Automotive.

Yesterday, the Missouri House of Representatives Rejected Democrats’ Attempt To Save Medicaid Expansion

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House Democrats opened Tuesday’s budget debate by challenging the entire spending plan submitted by the Republican-dominated Budget Committee because it did not include money to expand Medicaid.

On a 47-110 vote, the House turned down an attempt by Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, to send the first bill debated, to pay the public debt, back to the committee. Roorda said he wanted the entire $24.8 billion spending plan sent back for more work.

 House rules require budget amendments that increase spending to be offset by amendments cutting another program. Medicaid expansion would be paid in full for the first three years by federal funds, but the rules do not make distinctions between amendments spending state tax revenue and those addressing federal aid.
Of course, legislators enjoying health insurance paid  by the citizens of Missouri would want all residents to have health insurance right?  This party of self-professed patriots will find a way to fulfill the state’s motto/mission statement – The Welfare Of The People Shall Be The Supreme Law.
 
Given Missouri Republicans willingness to take bad ideas from other states such as cutting income taxes/school funding from Kansas, I am worried they may start looking southward at our Right-to-Work for less neighbor Tennessee.
 
Since his heart failure last August, since the insertion of a defibrillator and pacemaker to monitor each beat of his heart, doctors tell Dann Osborn to avoid stress.Stress can trigger another episode, setting off the defibrillator to try to keep him alive.But at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dann punches a number — 1-866-358-3230 — into his wife’s cellphone. He gets a busy signal. He calls again, this time reaching only silence.

Dann, 57, gets up from a black metal chair and paces the small patio in his backyard. He tries the number again. Another busy signal from the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Another chance lost to get a coveted application to apply for TennCare’s standard spend-down program, which would cover his monthly medication and hospital bills.

If Missouri Republicans join their brothers in bad ideas from Tennessee we all could be one bad break away from trying our luck at the healthcare lottery.

 
 

Thom Hartmann tells the story of when and how the Republican Party became the party of the rich.  Yes, there was a time, long ago, when they weren’t.

Bill Moyers interviews economist Richard Wolff in this segment of Moyers and Company.  A very interesting discussion in which Richard describes his solutions to the student loan debt crisis and it’s one-two punch.  He also shares his reasoning that worker directed enterprises are the key to saving capitalism.  Americans value democracy so why do we allow most workplaces to be anti-democratic?  Richard believes everyone affected by an enterprise should have a say.  On unemployment, you won’t believe one option offered to the unemployed in Italy.  

Theory meets reality with his example of a real life cooperative that works with Microsoft and General Motors that has proven this model can be successful.  One rule of this cooperative – no one can make more than six times what the lowest paid co-worker earns.  Inequality solved. 

This video lasts about 30 minutes and is worth every one.

 

Check out this story from ABC News about CVS Pharmacies new policy that requires employees to provide vital health information or pay a finethCA33Z3BR to obtain health insurance.

A new policy by CVS Pharmacy requires every one of its nearly 200,000 employees who use its health plan to submit their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals or pay a monthly fine.

Employees who agree to this testing will see no change in their health insurance rates, but those who refuse will have to pay an extra $50 per month — or $600 per year — for the company’s health insurance program. All employees have until May 1, 2014, to make an appointment with a doctor and record their vitals.

Would you do it? Do questions of protection from search and seizure or just the plain old right to privacy flash across your mind” 

“The approach they’re taking is based on the assumption that somehow these people need a whip, they need to be penalized in order to make themselves healthy,” Patient Privacy Rights founder Dr. Deborah Peel said.

Critics are calling the policy coercion, and worrying that CVS or any other company might start firing sick workers.

“It’s technology-enhanced discrimination on steroids,” Peel said.

Is this legal?

Brad Seff, a former Broward County, Fla.,  employee, learned the hard way that it is legal, according to one court. Seff sued the county in April 2011 after it charged him an extra $40 per month for health insurance after he refused health screenings.

In the suit, Seff said the wellness program violated the Americans With Disabilities Act because the county was making medical inquires of its employees. Seff lost his suit.

“I’m so disgusted. I moved. I left the state,”

Losing good employees is one consequence of this policy.  How could it have been avoided?

Encouraging, but not fining, employees to take advantage of the no-cost wellness visits mandated by the Affordable Care Act and then trusting people, the same people you trust with your business, to make the best decisions for their situation.

A union contract that protects workers from this kind of policy is another.  Hopefully, just as provisions in union contracts that raised wages and expanded benefits for both union and non-union workers as employers adopted these standards or risked losing their best employees this invasion of privacy could be modified or eliminated.

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