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Yes WE Did and WE Don't Quit!

By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 21 March 2010

Link from AP. I'm usually a blogger of many words (perhaps too many) but all I can say at this moment as we watch history in the making is...

Fired up and ready to go! Yes WE Can! Yes WE Did and WE Don't Quit!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Summoned to success byPresident Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approvedhistoric legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens ofmillions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance companyabuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for nearuniversal coverage.

Widely viewed as dead twomonths ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote.Republicans were unanimous in opposition, joined by 34 dissidentDemocrats.

Obama watched the vote in theWhite House's Roosevelt Room with Vice President Joe Biden and about 40staff aides. When the long sought 216th vote came in - the magic numberneeded for passage - the room burst into applause and hugs. An exultantpresident exchanged a high-five with his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Asecond, smaller measure - making changes in the first - was lined upfor passage later in the evening. It would then go to the Senate, whereDemocratic leaders said they had the votes to pass it.

Thenonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation awaitingthe president's approval would extend coverage to 32 million Americanswho lack it, ban insurers from denying coverage on the basis ofpre-existing medical conditions and cut deficits by an estimated $138billion over a decade. If realized, the expansion of coverage wouldinclude 95 percent of all eligible individuals under age 65.


Great night for America. Finally!

However; not to be a downer here; but I am going to. Anyone who thinks Democrats should be pat on the back for this is deluding themselves. With Democrats in the White House, and large majorities in both houses of Congress, the Dems should have been able to get this through rather easily. Boo to the Dems for being ineffective; boo to the Republicans for being the party of NO.

Time for a real independent party movement! Just my two cents here.


Now I am ready to call it a night. I have not been this excited in about, oh 1.5 years. The bill is not what I would have expected or desired, but it does make some progress. And I reiterate that I will take some to none every time. Goodnight everybody, and congratulations America!

The President tonight, at the moment the bill passed

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010.


That's great they were in the Roosevelt room--the first president to push for Healthcare coverage.
I'm loving this!!!!

Misty-your button graphic inspired me to change the title of this blog. Thanks!

Well, I am ready to give the Democrats a little more credit. They moved up from:

-the party who gets nothing done even when they have a majority

to the

-party who takes a year to finally get something done when it could have taken a few months.

But hey, they got it done! They still get a passing grade (although as a teacher I had to dock a few points for tardiness!)

It's worth posting David Frum's insightful "Waterloo" article again here. A must read! Hint: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News won't be happy.

...Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.


Misty-your button graphic inspired me to change the title of this blog. Thanks!

You must be a super user... I can't do that.

Email sent tonight from the President;

For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Although messages from the president can't originate directly from his Blackberry, I still get a thrill by realizing that they go from his Blackberry to the DNC who forward them out to those on the "list."

I particularly love this one:

We don't fear the future...We shape it.

Yes Mr. President, you certainly did. 

I have never been more proud to be a Republican for Obama than I am tonight.

This is what change looks like.

Question for those who still consider themselves Republicans (if there are any still here):

How does the healthcare bill that passed tonight advance the following principles? 

"We believe that government should have minimal interference in the personal lives of citizens." 

"We believe that the conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, personal freedom and a limited, efficient government are what is best for all individuals and for our nation as a whole."


"(if there are any still here)"?

Kind of backhanded, no?

We can't keep doing nothing Brandon and some of us don't know what to fear more - government influence or private business-for-profit influence. They both seem one and the same lately, but to me this is one small victory to get more people covered who have "pre-existing conditions". It's not perfect, but if we waited for it to be perfect we'd probably have to wait at the very least 15 years when we last tried in '94 but even then there would be flaws from politicians. 

I was never a Republican though, so i'll let those here, speak for themselves. Tom said it pretty well in the other thread about being an anti-Republican Republican these days with their actions. 

Brandon, that was pretty snide. Just because we don't embrace the far right wing talking points doesn't mean we're not Republicans. Oh Wait!! By today's brand of Republicanism, we aren't...but we want to take our party back to some semblance of a party that stands for something besides greed and thinly veiled racism.

WHEN that greed interferes with the ability of citizens to receive medical care, and when the opposition is expressed by using racial slurs, it is time for the government to be for we the people.

What's that you say?  That those who slung the insults at the black congressmen were exception to the rule? How about this...

Newt Gingrich said that if the Dems passed hcr “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” .  Hmmm, what did LBJ do?  Oh yea, that's right...passed Civil Rights Legislation and Medicare. 

As for any fiscal costs of the bill, the CBO gave it a clean bill of health (pun intended).   But I know the right wing only agrees with and quotes the CBO when it agrees with them. 

Brandon, you're gonna have to give me a break on ""We believe that government should have minimal interference in the personal lives of citizens."

Seriously.  The hard-core Republicans want to be in everyone's bedroom, so you really can't make that statement with a straight face.  Oh yeah, and they want to be able to listen in on my phone calls and see my phone records.  Oh, and if I was raped and got pregnant, they would want to tell me what to do then.

The Republican party is now only PRETENDING to want to have minimal interference in the personal lives of citizens.

"We believe that government should have minimal interference in the personal lives of citizens." 

"We believe that the conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, personal freedom and a limited, efficient government are what is best for all individuals and for our nation as a whole."

Those two principles are from the Lincoln Coalition.  A group of people who I thought had the goal of trying to be part of returning the Republican Party back to its traditional values and beliefs.

I think we all know that the current GOP does not embrace those principles. I think we also all know that the current GOP does not do enough to distance itself from extremist elements including racists.  I also think that we all know that the Republican Party today is not embracing a "big tent" approach.

I think you know I'm clear on those points.  But you didn't answer my question as to how the healthcare bill passed last night advances the Lincoln Coalition ideas.

I never asserted that the health insurance reform bill did advance the Lincoln Coalition ideas.

Though one could construe the fact that everyone is required to have health insurance to be seen as requiring everyone to be responsible for him or herself which I would say is a Republican stance.

And the Lincoln Coalition is what, 4 people?  So there is a time to be realistic...

I know very well where those principles came from..I helped write them.  We do hold out hope of returning the party to traditional values, BUT....You see how successful we were in that endeavor.  It appears that very few are interested in returning to a reasonable, moderate Republican party.

So, in order to reach that lofty goal, we must first understand why they hate helping We the People so much, while  there is never a limit on helping the corporatocracy or the already wealthy.  Let's face it Brandon...Big Money owns the GOP lock, stock and barrel..and have convinced average Americans to vote against their own interests, using fear tactics. 

Idealism about the party is nice, but the reality is ugly. No amount of wanting the party to be the one described at TLC will make it so.  The first step in changing this lies in getting rid of those who pander to the far right, Rush and the Tea Party crowd.  Supporting, in any way, those in DC who pander to them only entrenches their agenda.  As a REAL Republican, I refuse to have any part of it.

TLC has no "purity test" as does the GOP, so quoting our mission statement as a rebuke is wasted.  If you really want the party described at TLC, work to rid the party of those who refuse to be statesmen, choosing instead to obstruct and feed the flames of hate and division.

Amen, Suzi!

I understand the reality of the current GOP and it saddens me that so few seem interested in returning the Republican Party to its traditional values, reach out to moderates or condemn those who engage in hatred, racism and division.

But if we agree that the principles you helped write at the TLC are a good summary of what Republican values should be, then all legislation proposed by the President or Congress should be examined by us to see if they advance those principles.

My question remains, how does this healthcare bill advance these values that we believe are the right ones for our country.

Because to me it sounds like you are saying that we should support legislation simply because if the nasty side of the GOP, tea partiers. Rush etc. are against it than it must be worth supporting.


No, you're not hearing what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that the nasty side of the GOP is in Washington ...did you hear Boehner last night? (Spokesman for the insurance industry) What I'm saying is that there is nothing against my values in this helps Americans, will eventually loosen the stranglehold of insurance companies on the American public, and does it all in a fiscally responsible way, according to the CBO.

Why are you against that? Why do you think you can pick and choose where government is allowed to step into private lives?  Why do you support the huge shift in the distribution of wealth that the current version of the GOP has managed to accomplish while keeping us riled up about abortion, other's sex lives and otherwise dividing the American people?  Take the blinders off my friend, and see what our party has really become. Believing in principles till you draw your last breath won't change that.

"Why are you against that?"

3 reasons:

1.  Despite what you say about the CBO, the healthcare bill is a $3.5 trillion dollar new entitlement the country simply can't afford when the economy is still underperforming and we already have two entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicare) headed for insolvency.

2.  The bill creates over 100 new federal bureaucracies and has 18 new tax increases not to mention the various special deals given to certain members of Congress in order to get their support.

3.  The bill requires someone to buy health insurance or be fined by the federal government.  A requirement of citizenship is the government can force me to buy a product from a private business that I may not want to purchase?

 The supporters of this bill say it will increase access to healthcare, but how do you do that when we already face a huge shortage of primary care physicians. Some doctors say they will be forced to leave the profession and already most doctors don't take Medicaid.  You can't give someone "healthcare" if there are no medical professionals available to treat them.

Most people, myself included, realize the country can't continue with the healthcare status quo, but the answers to our problems are not solved with this bill.  


That's a good point, Central TX Mom. I meant to bring that up to Brandon regarding his reaction to the whole Stupak speech/baby killer shout-out. Stupak thankfully backed down on his abortion provision which would not allow women to use their own money to have a legal abortion. Now that's government interference in it's most obvious, intrusive form. Please tell me you don't support that language, Brandon. I guess that's our point-seeing the hyprocrisy of these leaders. A woman can't control her body but we can't allow government help for basic health care?

I'm not sure I agree 100% with the Lincoln Coalition goal of less government (go ahead tell me to change parties.) I would amend that to say "more smart, efficient government involvement." I don't agree with spending tax payer money unwisely (giving massive tax cuts to the rich, or throwing money at ineffective educational programs, for example) But  I happen to believe the government needed to get involved when we had the whole Wall Street collapse, for example. None of us liked the bail out, especially when we saw that the fat cats still didn't get it and kept giving out bonuses, etc. but if it were not for the government help, we would have seen a chain reaction of banks failures here and in other countries that would have led to massive job loss/breakdown of the financial system and another possible depression. I'd say (and many experts agree) the bail out helped put us in the positive growth territory we now see economically. And now most of the money has been returned, some with gains as I understand it. That sounds like smart investment to me (not that we had much of a choice.) Do you really think the government should have stayed out of that, done nothing? Should Bush have ensured strings/rules were attached to the money? Yes-that was a big mistake.

Sometimes government involvement is needed and not a bad thing. The across the board (except military and tax cuts I'm sure) spending freeze McCain had in mind might have felt good but that, minus a stimulus bill, would have been sure disaster and we'd probably be well above 10% unemployment.

All those Reagan concetps I used to believe in have betrayed me and the American people for far too long. He told us that tax cuts lead to economic growth and more hiring, higher salaries and preached trickle down economics, etc. It's all been a fairy tale thanks to corporate greed and letting Captialism "work" with little regulation.

Go ahead and tell me I am drinking too much kool-aid but it feels like this president cares about the middle and lower class much more than the rich guys and it's a strange, but welcome, concept to grasp. He may be spending money (health care, education) but it seems to be wise spending that will save us money in the long-run and he seems interested in paying for it, unlike some other presidents. Who supports Pay-Go and a debt commission? Hint: Rhymes with Sobama.

"He told us that tax cuts lead to economic growth"

Reagan was 100% right about that concept.

Kennedy gave the nation a huge tax cut in 1962 resulting in a GNP growth of 4.5% higher that the 2.4% growth before the tax cut.  Investment grew at an annual rate of 6.1%, far higher than the 3% of 1959-1962 and the 2.3% rate after 1969 when the JFK tax reforms were repealed.

The longest peacetime economic expansion in history was after the Reagan tax cuts of 1982.  



Just wondering.  How many Republicans here are about to, or have already, use this altered quote by Ronald Reagan:  "I didn't leave the Republican party.  The Republican party left me."

"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug." -- Mark Knopfler

Although I maintain my registration, the Republcan party has left me so far behind that I am choking on the dust!

Maybe you should read Paul Krugman's article from The New York Times before you make a final judgement on how great Reagan policies were.

(Krugman is critical of Obama for praising Reagan in this article)

...For it did fail. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.

When the inevitable recession arrived, people felt betrayed — a sense of betrayal that Mr. Clinton was able to ride into the White House.

Given that reality, what was Mr. Obama talking about? Some good things did eventually happen to the U.S. economy — but not on Reagan’s watch.

For example, I’m not sure what “dynamism” means, but if it means productivity growth, there wasn’t any resurgence in the Reagan years. Eventually productivity did take off — but even the Bush administration’s own Council of Economic Advisers dates the beginning of that takeoff to 1995.

Similarly, if a sense of entrepreneurship means having confidence in the talents of American business leaders, that didn’t happen in the 1980s, when all the business books seemed to have samurai warriors on their covers. Like productivity, American business prestige didn’t stage a comeback until the mid-1990s, when the U.S. began to reassert its technological and economic leadership.

I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)

But why would a self-proclaimed progressive say anything that lends credibility to this rewriting of history — particularly right now, when Reaganomics has just failed all over again?

I read somewhere else that he expanded government by 90% but I guess since it centered on defense, that's okay? Didn't he actually propose and implement some of the largest tax increases in our history? But, hey, these are just facts-don't let that get in the way of what the conservatives dream to be true.

First, consider tax cuts. The narrative firmly anchors the Gipper as a tax cutter. And, in fact, the Reagan tax cuts are properly credited with igniting the economic boon that led to millions of new jobs and impressive economic growth.But in 1982, Reagan also signed into law the largest tax increase in American history, until that time.

Reagan the tax-raiser often never makes it into the narrative.

What about government spending and deficits?  Today, Reagan is an icon of limited government. Indeed, candidate Reagan railed against the prolificacy of the Carter administration and congressional Democrats, and a deficit of $70 billion. 

But, despite the Reagan administration's rhetorical support for spending restraint, government expansion continued to increase at a faster pace that the increase in revenues created by the tax cuts during his presidency.  As a result, government spending and Reagan deficits were, numerically, the largest in history at that time.

In addition, while Reagan the private citizen and activist had long been a critic of Social Security as a government entitlement, it was President Reagan who cut the deal with House Speaker Tip O'Neill in 1983 to keep the program solvent in its current form. They did so by raising the payroll tax and the eligibility age for Social Security. This ironically made the most conservative President since Calvin Coolidge the guarantor of liberalism's most cherished achievement.

Today, Reagan is an icon for social conservatives and particularly for the pro-life movement.

Indeed, in 1980, Reagan ran as a pro-life candidate and supported  the strong pro-life plank in the GOP platform. He had very strong support from social conservatives who supported the GOP's traditional values agenda. 

But Reagan's position on life, and support from social conservatives, came despite the fact that he had signed into law one of the most liberal abortion bills in the country as governor of California.


Paul Krugman's credibility in this area is lacking.

Krugman wrote in 1982 that inflation was going to increase by 5 percent.  Under Reagan it actually declined by 5 percent.

Here's a better rebuttal to Paul Krugman's nonsense about Reagan than I can write:

Reagan was the best president of my lifetime, but he wasn't perfect.  He did sign the most liberal abortion law while governor of California, but he later became very pro life.  

Defense spending was very important in those days and because of it, we won the Cold War.  Because of Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II's fight against communism, the world is a better place.

Something interesting I see in this....Note that the 2 of the lowest inflation periods, the 1920s and the 2000s, were both followed by stock market crashes. Not so for the 1950s. I wonder what the differing factor could be?

OK-you are going to critque me for using Krugman (who cites good sources and seems to have facts straight according to fact checks I've done) then use the National Review as a rebuttal?

Defense spending was very important in those days and because of it, we won the Cold War.  Because of Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II's fight against communism, the world is a better place.

Again the hyprocrisy is amazing. Either you are for government spending or you are against it. This is what we've been trying to tell you. Sometimes spending is necessary and has positive outcomes. I can say the exact same thing you just said but substitute defense spending with domestic spending. Because of increased spending on domestic issues like health care, our nation will be better because of it and unlike some defense spending, this health care bill actually makes fiscal sense.

You're also going to tell me you don't want government control over anything, yet you probably think it's fine for the governor of Virginia (who pretended to be a moderate) to create an executive order replacing an old law that will now allow companies to fire someone because they are gay or for the federal government to create laws against gay marriage and continue unfair Don't Ask, Don't Tell policies. You'll tell me the government should disallow women to use their own private money for an abortion or, worse, make abortion illegal. This is the problem with conservatives. They say they want to cut spending or reduce the role of government UNLESS it's for Military/Defense spending or tax cuts. They say the government should stay out of our business UNLESS abortion is involved or one's private sexual prefences don't go along with their definition of "normal." They pretend they don't believe in big government health care programs, yet they use Medicare (big government) cuts to scare seniors about the current bill. Give me a break. Sorry, you just can't have it both ways.

I actually have respect for Ronald Reagan as a person and think he was a good president. But I just don't buy into the "perfect legacy" people like Palin, Hannity, and Rush try to attach to his policies. I have studied actual facts about him. I still think he was a great man and the reason he was a good president is because he rejected everything the conservative movement has turned into. He was a man of soft tone, compassion, and trying to unify, not divide the nation. He would be appalled that some on the right have gone off the deep end, claiming Obama wasn't born here or his health plan is a communist plot. He was known to have a beer with the "opposite side" on a regular basis and put politics aside.

You can't just write off a source because it is from National Review.  There are credible publications and think tanks on both sides of the political spectrum. National Review and the American Spectator would be examples on the right and The Nation and New Republic would be examples on the left of periodicals that while they have a partisan viewpoint offer intellectual discussions on various issues.

I'm not being hypocritical at all and I have never advocated an anarchist viewpoint that believes in no government spending at all.  Sometimes spending is necessary. The most important spending role the federal government has is to protect the homeland and I believe that Reagan's defense spending was necessary for this purpose.

I do not think this healthcare bill makes fiscal sense.  I think the facts are not on the side of those who claim it does.  I'm in desperate need of Mary Moo to back me up on this one, LOL.

I really wish NoMcSame would come back and tell us their opinion on the bill that passed.  They were so passionate about this issue and I miss their viewpoint on the subject. 

I think you know that I personally find abortion to be morally reprehensible and that I don't think gay marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage.  I think I've also said several times that abortion should be left to the states and what relationship two consenting adults wish to enter is none of my business.

I agree with you 100% on your last paragraph about President Reagan.  Every single word of what you wrote is 100% true. 

I'm not being hypocritical at all and I have never advocated an anarchist viewpoint that believes in no government spending at all. Sometimes spending is necessary. The most important spending role the federal government has is to protect the homeland and I believe that Reagan's defense spending was necessary for this purpose.

So spending on wars-which destroys life-is more important that spending on health care-which saves lives? This doesn't sound very pro-life to me. Obviously, I'm being a little sarcastic to make a point. I, too, understand that some wars/defense spending in our history was necessary. But how can we-in the USA-turn our backs on our neediest citizens? It does not make sense to this "Pro-Life" woman.

I have to ask about the inflation claim again after seeing Misty's graph. 

There is a difference in spending money on war and spending it on national defense to deter war.  

I don't know of anyone who is advocating that we "turn our backs on our neediest citizen."

Misty's graph is accurate.  Reagan's economic policies have resulted in inflation not being an issue over the last 25+ years.

"Kennedy gave the nation a huge tax cut in 1962 resulting in a GNP growth of 4.5% higher that the 2.4% growth before the tax cut. Investment grew at an annual rate of 6.1%, far higher than the 3% of 1959-1962 and the 2.3% rate after 1969 when the JFK tax reforms were repealed."

Actually, this is slightly incorrect.  The economic growth that happened after JFK enacted a tax cut on the wealthy was not caused by the tax cuts themselve but the simulataneous closing of tax loopholes which in effect created a tax (revenue) increase!


The drop in investment rate after 1969 yes, can be seen because of the repeal of JFK's tax reforms, in other words the reopening of loopholes, not an increase in tax rate.  Furthermore, the resulting economic problems of the mid to late 70's really were the cause of the bills of the Vietnam War coming due. 


And to your second point,  the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. History was not after the tax cuts of 1982.  It was after the policies enacted by FDR, which was then hampered a few years by WWII (WWII actually hindered the economic recovery not caused it as many insist), and then lasted until the "trickle down" economics and free-trade policies of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, & Bush the sequel.  During that period, even when taking into account the recession in the 70's (again, economic consequences of Vietnam War being the largest driver of the problems even though the people had forgotten it by then, and now) America and particularly it's Middle Class, enjoyed the longest period of stability, in it's banking systems (because of regulations enacted) & infrastructure (because of government investment), and economic growth.  Furthermore, any economic growth in the 80's had more to do with Paul Volcker's higher interest rates, to break inflation, as Chair of the Fed than with Reagan's tax cuts.  




Finally, Democrats grow a spine and act like Republicans (passing anything they want without giving a rats ass what the minority opposition party thinks.)

I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw it in the comment section of a DIGG link on the healthcare passing.


Democrats: "We need health care reform"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Give us a majority and we'll do it better"
Democrats: "Done, you have majority of both houses"

12 years later, health care is irrefutably worse in every respect for every single person in the United States

Democrats: "We need health care reform"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Americans are tired of partisan politics!"
Democrats: "OK, let's compromise"
Republicans: "OK, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done. Time to end debate"
Republicans: "Too liberal, we need more debate, we will filibuster to prevent you from voting"
Democrats: "OK, we'll vote--sorry guys, debate is ended. It's time to vote on the bill"
Republicans: "Too liberal, we vote no"
Democrats: "OK, it passed anyway--sorry guys."

One month later

Republicans: "Wait--wait, OK, we have less of a minority now so we can filibuster forever."
Democrats: "Sorry, the bill already passed, we need it to pass the House now"
Republicans: "But we have enough to filibuster"
Democrats: "Sorry, the bill already passed, we need it to pass the House now"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You haven't listened to our ideas! You've shut us out of this whole process!"
Democrats: "Sorry, show us your proposal"
Republicans: "Smaller government"
Democrats: "That's not very specific"
Republicans: "OK, here's our detailed proposal--It's our common-sense ideas we spent 12 years not enacting"
Democrats: "OK, we'll add a bunch more of your ideas"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You included all these back-room deals"
Democrats: "OK, we'll get rid of the back-room deals"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You're using obscure procedural tricks to eliminate the back-room deals!"
Democrats: "No, we're using reconciliation, which both parties have used dozens of times for much larger bills"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You're pressuring Congressmen to vote for your bill! Scandal!"
Democrats: "It's called 'whipping', it's been done since 1789"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Can't you see the American people don't want this?"
Democrats: "This bill is mildly unpopular (40-50%), doing nothing (your proposal) is extraordinarily unpopular (4-6%)"
Republicans: "We need to start over! We need to start over!"
Democrats: "We should really consider voting--"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Start over! Clean slate! Common-sense! America!"

They forgot to add:

Republicans: We'll sue or repeal this liberal, fascist thing!

Brandon-I am an American first, before my "Republican" title and as an American I feel this piece of legislation will do so much good and will be improved more and more each year. After seeing the racist, gay-bashing,  baby-killer yelling week-end inspired by my great Republican leaders, I guess I am drifting farther away.

It seems you just don't believe the CBO score. What mystifies me is that the CBO said that the Medicare Part D would increase the deficit and was not paid for, unlike this bill, but the Republicans had no issue with that back then and even voted for it. If I am reading this correctly from The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the CBO actually overestimated the potential deficit result/spending of Medicare Part D-although it still greatly hurt us economically. So if that happens here, we will  save even more money and decrease the deficit even more.

What About the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit?

One of the major domestic initiatives of the Bush Administration was enactment of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (known informally as the Medicare Modernization Act, or MMA). The MMA created a new prescription-drug benefit in Medicare, known as Medicare Part D. This legislation was only partly paid for, and it added significantly to the deficit that President Obama inherited. Why is it absent from this analysis?

The Congressional Budget Office initially estimated that the MMA would add to the deficit by $395 billion over its first decade, spanning the years between 2004 and 2013. (Medicare’s chief actuary pegged the net cost significantly higher — at $534 billion over that period.) CBO’s estimate consisted of $552 billion in net spending — new benefits, partially offset by premiums and by receipts from the states — for the new Medicare drug benefit itself, minus $157 billion in savings in Medicaid and other federal programs. Although that “headline” estimate spanned ten years, costs were negligible in the first two years, because the new benefit took effect in January 2006.

Part D outlays are coming in somewhat lower than CBO and the Medicare actuary expected, but it is not possible to update the original price tag for the entire MMA. CBO now expects the net cost of Medicare Part D over that initial 2004-2013 period to be about $370 billion (as compared to the original $552 billion figure). But, it is not possible to tell whether the savings in Medicaid and other programs have deviated from CBO’s original estimate of $157 billion. While Part D is a new, identifiable account in the federal budget, those other effects represent relatively small changes in large, ongoing programs.

In short, we did not include the costs of the prescription-drug program in this analysis because we could not estimate those net costs with the same confidence that we could estimate costs, based on CBO analyses, for other Bush-era policies — namely, the tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the 2009-2019 period that is this paper’s focus, CBO now expects net outlays for Part D to total approximately $840 billion (over $120 billion in 2019 alone), but some fraction of that will be offset by savings in Medicaid and other programs that we are not able to estimate. Nevertheless, it is clear that, as noted above, enactment of the prescription-drug program added materially to the deficit that the current administration inherited.



Many of you know I have a great friend who is a Catholic priest. We often have fun "blogging" on email with one another. Health care reform has been a big topic. He actually supports single payer and has pulled me closer to the benefits of such an option, although we both know it is a far-fetched dream if we can't even get a public option. He is very much into "social justice" work and has visited many countries, many with vast health care needs (so Glenn Beck would tell us to stay away from him as he will lead us into socialism! Those darn Catholic priests!) Anyway, I had to share his comments in regard to the Republican over-the-top presentations this week-end. Looks like the party who claims to be for Christian values is turning off even the most religious out there.

...and in the other big news, some real blog worthy stuff is happening huh!?  I was watching some of the proceedings last night on TV, and I must say, that Republican Minority leaders continued use of the the word "hell"(at least three times) turned me off. It brought me back to the "Fight, Fight, Fight" of the presidential election debates.  It seemed to me both signs that they had lost and knew it and the only way to save face was to swear and start yelling loudly. I was surprised at the number of contradictory things that were said even at the last moment.  While I remain, under-informed on the complexities of this bill, I long for politicians that can intelligently argue their point.  Argue in the sense of backing up their argument with facts and actualities-instead of sweeping unsupported generalizations.  I think that even the simplest of voters must be able to tell the difference between that. I am relieved that this has passed and hope as they say "that the proof will be in the pudding".  A much need reform, so that there can be more trust and less fear. That's my hope.

Now, 5000 year old Phyllis Schlafly is drawing the lines between the two political parties.  One party is the Party of Life and one is the Party of Death.  Give me a flippin' break.

I heard a Washington observer state last night that polarization in Washington is at it's highest level since Reconstruction.  That says a lot to me.....

I noticed Anf Cao cast a "NO" vote all three times; on the Senate bill, on sending it back to committee, and on deleting unwanted items to send to the Senate. I guess the GOP leadership read him the riot act because of his previous vote.

I think (know would be a better word to use) that most of his district would be in favor of HCR, and his two main concerns with the bill (no federal funding for abortions, and not adding to the federal defecit over time) were apparently satisfied. He abandoned his constituents.

He will likely not have a seat in the next Congress. 

I am disappointed in Cao. This is now 100% Democratic bill. So when people feel the positive effects, which party will get credit? Democrats say "Yes We Can" and Republicans-all of them-say "No We Can't." That should be the campaign we see Demcorats run over the next 7 months. I'm sure this vote will haunt some Democrats in conservative districts but I still think the GOP is crazy to think they have a chance at taking over the House or Senate. They will see modest gains if anything, espcially if they run on repealing this. When you run on just saying no and no real ideas, how can you get people fired up to vote? Oh, yeah, scare them to death. They've always got the death panel card in their pocket.

Ummm, I think what the Republican's actually said was.... Hell NO!!  ;-D

I have never been so happy to be so wrong.

Yes, the Dems did it. Super props to the Prez and Speaker Pelosi who did not flinch an inch when whatzisbutt won the Massachusetts Senate seat. She stayed hard left or as hard left as she could.

I never would have believed that Stupack would turn after he upped the ante. I don't blame the conservatives for reviling him; he led the charge into the battle field and switched sides at the last minute. I am glad he did, but I don't see where he gets a constituency from now.

I still don't quite understand why the Pres could not muster all this drive earlier since he does NOT have enough time to totally obliterate this as a summer and campaign issue, but I am grateful (if not complacent) for where we are. 

Rumor has it that Rahm pushed hard to change the approach after Massachusetts to "smaller, incremental reform" that would have GOP support but both Pelosi and Obama would have none of it and refused to go that route. Now that's backbone!

Just when I thought there was a sane Republican out there, now Cao is comparing the abortion language to slavery. Huh? Is this the same guy I complimented so many times? 

Romney is screaming about Obama betraying his oath of office (when the plan almost matches Romney's own Mass. plan) and I've heard comparisons to Russia,  and things so over the top even the most extreme Tea Partier is scratching his head. Not to mention there are 12 AG's threatening to sue over this (now I'm sure with state budgets in disarray, that's exactly where taxpayers want to see money spent!) McCain is pouting and saying the GOP won't work with Obama on anything else this year. Nah, nah, nah, nah nah nah (sticking his tongue out.) Talk about sore losers! Seriously, this is the GOP plan? They really should listen to David Frum before it's too late. They look ridiculous.

This is definetely what "CHANGE" looks like!

They did not build a house, but they laid a solid, strong foundation with this legislation.  And I am deeply grateful to the Dems for it.

I stayed up until 1am last night watching all the coverage.

I agree with others who felt the excitement of election night~

Our president definitely believes in persistence.  His style is not aggessive, mean spirited or underhanded.

But make not mistake,

The Republicans underestimate him at their Peril. 


"Peace Cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding."

Albert Einstein

Stupack slammed conservatives today on Anderson 360 for trashing the executive order; these are the same people who applauded Bush's executive order on limits to stem cell research. He also compared "Baby Killer" guy with "You Lie" guy and called on Republican congressional leaders to get their members to behave themelves. Wow... am starting to warm up to this guy. Whoda thunnk it?
I'm starting to warm up to Stupak, too. He is the most hated man in the Pro-Life movement right now-how ironic! But I think he just earned points with Democrats and might even be elected again if he keeps this tone. I thought Maddow would go a little easier on him last night, but she is not yet ready to forgive. LOL!

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