LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Draining the safety net ensures poor get poorer

Why is the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill passed by the House still being promoted on TV in spite of the fact that the Senate announced they would have to work on repealing and replacing this dysfunctional House bill? The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, could have had its wrinkles ironed out if it were not for the Grover Norquist pledge. Grover Norquist is a political advocate, and the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases.

He has been successful in securing signed pledges from most of the Republican Congress to never raise taxes. This pledge all but ensures that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, CHIP, and other social programs will be subject to an agonizing death spiral.

It is abundantly clear that the approximately 45 million Americans living below, or just above, the poverty line could be subject to being cast away without a lifeline. Add to [this,] the fact that recently proposed tax reductions for the rich have never resulted in the past for meaningful pay raises for the working class. This trickle-down supply-side economics was called “voodoo economics” by George Bush Sr.

Ayn Rand, a late author, and a hero of many Congressional Republicans, considered altruistic acts such as safety nets for the poor an evil because she believed it enabled the less-fortunate among us not to learn to fend for themselves. Never mind that the majority of the poorest among us grew up under repressive government regimes here and abroad, denying them equal opportunities to climb the ladder to success.

Nevertheless, Rand’s philosophy in her novels and essays was “to oppose all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, and support for the poor and lower middle class, regulation of industry, and government provisions for roads or other infrastructure.” “Taxation should be purely voluntary.” Source: AlterNet, April 20, 2011, titled “The Truth about GOP Hero Ayn Rand.”

Paul Ryan, the architect of the GOP’s anti-tax-raise budget plan, cited Rand as his primary inspiration for entering public service. The House bill that was rejected by the Senate and the majority of Americans is very similar to Ayn Rand’s, Grover Norquist’s and Paul Ryan’s philosophy. It appears to be very much the economic equivalent of “draining the safety net.” The banana republic may not be far away.

The rich continue to get richer, and the poor, poorer.

Bill Clemens

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