This is a another example that shows how deeply broken our healthcare system is. Have you ever been hit with an outrageous medical bill like this?
If Republicans don’t wake up, there is a very real possibility that we could lose control of the House of Representatives in 2018. And if that happens, Donald Trump’s agenda will be dead in the water because the Democrats will use their majority to block everything. Trump’s surprise election victory last November was perhaps the single most galvanizing moment for grassroots Democrats in this generation. Just as the election of Barack Obama gave rise to the Tea Party movement, we are now seeing a tremendous amount of energy among liberals all over the nation. If Republicans cannot match this energy, we are going to be in for quite a shock in November 2018.
There have been times in the past when it has been difficult for the Democrats to find viable candidates to challenge Republican incumbents in the House, but that is definitely not the case this time around. For example, just check out what has already been happening in California…
Eight challengers have lined up to take on Central Valley Republican Jeff Denham. An equal number have jumped into the fray against embattled San Diego-area Rep. Duncan Hunter, the focus of a Justice Department criminal investigation regarding his alleged use of campaign funds to pay for family expenses.
Controversial Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, recently in the headlines for his own dealings with Russia, has seven Democrats contesting his reelection. Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale has six.
And that same Politico article goes on to describe how similar things are happening all over the nation.
One of the big reasons why so many Democrats are stepping forward is because they smell blood. During the first mid-term election of a new presidency, the opposing party almost always picks up seats in the House. In fact, Democratic strategist Garry South says the average number of seats picked up during such elections is 23…
Democratic strategist Garry South, who advised presidential campaigns for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, said the enthusiasm is especially revved-up because “Democrats need only 24 seats nationally to flip to get control of the House’’ — and more than a quarter of those may be in California.
History is on their side, he argues: Over the past 20 cycles in the first term of a presidency, Republican or Democratic, “the average number flipped has been 23 seats.”
Could you imagine the gridlock in D.C. if the Democrats are able to pull this off?
Donald Trump would essentially just be killing time until 2020 because he would be able to get absolutely nothing through Congress.
And that is why it is so frustrating that the Republicans are squandering the opportunity that they have been given right now. The American people gave them control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and they can’t seem to get anything accomplished.
This is a once in a generation opportunity to completely reshape the federal government, and the Republicans are falling flat on their faces. And of course the biggest reason why the Republicans can’t get anything done is because of all the RINOs (Republicans in name only) that are holding up Trump’s agenda.
One of my slogans is “Every RINO needs to go”, and I am encouraging good men and women to step forward all over the nation to challenge the Republican incumbents that have been betraying conservative values over and over again.
But so far Democrats are having a much easier time getting people to run than we are.
Olympic gold medalist and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner is the latest celebrity to reveal she has considered launching a run for Senate, telling radio host John Catsimatidis she is in the process of determining her future in activism and politics.
“I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner, who is a Republican, told Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.
Is that what you want?
In my brand new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”, I discuss why I decided to run for Congress. If you would have asked me in April if I would ever run for public office I probably would have laughed at you, but in May my life turned totally upside down when I was moved in a completely unexpected direction.
I believe that 2018 is going to be the most important mid-term election in modern American history.
We can seize this opportunity and send hundreds of candidates that love liberty and freedom to Washington and to state legislatures all over the nation, or we can apathetically sit back and watch the control freaks take even more control of things.
There has never been a more important time to get involved, and I hope that you will join me in trying to make a difference.
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
I guess by now we should be accustomed to politicians lying to us. For years, Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare if we would just give them control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. We did that, and now they are breaking that promise. Because even if “Obamacare 2.0” miraculously gets through the Senate, most of the essential elements of Obamacare will survive. If you look at the latest Senate bill, most of the Obamacare subsidies are still in there, many of the Obamacare taxes are still in there, and most of the Obamacare regulations are still in there. On top of everything else, the bill would create an absolutely massive health insurance company bailout superfund, and that is something that the Democrats never even dared to do. The bill being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t actually fix much of anything, and it certainly cannot be called a “repeal” of Obamacare.
I have said this before, and I will say it again. The Republicans got a bill to repeal Obamacare through Congress and on to Barack Obama’s desk in early 2016. Obama vetoed that bill, but now the Republicans should take that exact same bill and get it to Donald Trump’s desk.
Of course repealing Obamacare won’t fix our deeply broken health care system. But it would be a giant step in the right direction.
So why won’t the Republican do it?
Instead, they are trying to “fix” Obamacare, and that is about as futile as trying to “fix” a steaming pile of garbage.
In a recent editorial, Rand Paul explained why he cannot support this bill…
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close.
In fact, the Senate GOP bill codifies and likely expands many aspects of Obamacare.
The Senate Obamacare-lite bill codifies a federal entitlement to insurance. With the Senate GOP bill, Republicans, for the first time, will signal that they favor a key aspect of Obamacare – federal taxpayer funding of private insurance purchases.
The bill will transfer billions of dollars to people who will then transfer billions of dollars to insurance companies. What a great business model – encourage the federal government to use taxpayer money to buy a private company’s product. Great business model, that is, if you are Big Insurance. Remarkable.
The Senate Obamacare-lite bill does what the Democrats forgot to do – appropriate billions for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions, aka subsidies. Really? Republicans are going to fund Obamacare subsidies that the Democrats forgot to fund?
Since it looked like the first version of the bill was destined to fail, Mitch McConnell released a new version of the bill today which includes even more government spending and interference…
Seeking to quell a revolt from more than one-fifth of his conference, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to forego two significant tax cuts for the wealthy and instead pour hundreds of billions of dollars back into the proposal he released two weeks ago. There’s now $45 billion to combat opioid addiction and even more funding to help mitigate higher insurance costs for low-income people and to stabilize the individual markets. An additional $70 billion would go to states to to help drive down premiums, on top of $112 billion that was in the original proposal. McConnell’s target was senators toward the center of the Republican ranks, who represented the largest bloc of opposition to his first legislative draft.
This version is almost certainly destined to fail as well, because Rand Paul and Susan Collins have already come out against it, and McConnell can only afford to lose one more vote.
If a Republican bill cannot get through the Senate, McConnell is already talking about a bipartisan effort that would involve cooperation with the Democrats. And of course the Democrats will want to keep as much of Obamacare as they possibly can.
So at the end of the day it looks like we are going to end up with either “Obamacare”, “Obamacare 2.0” or “a new and improved version of Obamacare”.
Did we really spend all of that time, effort and energy getting Republicans elected for this?
Time after time these professional politicians use labels such as “Republican”, “conservative” and “Pro-Life” to get elected, but then once they get into office they betray our values over and over again.
When are we going to start electing real conservatives instead of placeholders? When the Democrats get power, they aggressively move their agenda forward, but when Republicans get power nothing too significant ever seems to change.
If I get the chance to go to Washington, I plan to be a wrecking ball. Party leaders like Mitch McConnell won’t like that very much, but if we can get enough good people elected in 2018 the Republicans will have entirely new leadership soon enough.
Health care is an issue that deeply affects all of us. So many middle class families have seen their health insurance premiums go up by hundreds of dollars a month, and that can be absolutely crippling for a family budget. At one point a health insurance company tried to double what I was paying per month, and so I can definitely relate to what so many others are going through.
We have got to dramatically lower health care costs. That means that we need substantial legal reform so that the cost of malpractice insurance goes way down, we need to remove as many “paper pushers” from the system as possible, and we need to restore as much competition to the system on every level as possible.
The health care system should be built around doctors and patients. There is way, way too much bureaucracy in the system right now, and lots of people that are never directly involved in providing health care are becoming exceedingly wealthy as a result.
Ronald Reagan once famously said that “government is the problem”, and this is another case where that phrase rings so true.
If you take the shackles off, the free market system actually works extremely well, but these days both parties seem to want to constantly drag us toward socialism.
If we do nothing, they will win, and that is why we need to stand up and fight for what we believe while we still can.
Have you lost your spot in the middle class yet? For years I have been documenting all of the numbers that show that the middle class in America has been steadily shrinking, and we just got another one. According to a report that was produced by researchers at Harvard University, the number of Americans that spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing has more than doubled. In 2001, nearly 16 million Americans couldn’t afford the homes that they were currently living in, but by 2015 that figure had jumped to 38 million.
When I write about “economic collapse”, I am writing about a process that has been unfolding for decades in this country. Back in the early 1970s, well over 60 percent of all Americans were considered to be “middle class”, but now that number has fallen below 50 percent. Never before in our history has the middle class been a minority of the population, but that is where we are at now, and the middle class continues to get even smaller with each passing day.
So these new numbers saddened me, but they didn’t exactly surprise me. The following comes from NBC News…
Over 38 million American households can’t afford their housing, an increase of 146 percent in the past 16 years, according to a recent Harvard housing report.
Under federal guidelines, households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs are considered “cost burdened” and will have difficulty affording basic necessities like food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
But the number of Americans struggling with their housing costs has risen from almost 16 million in 2001 to 38 million in 2015, according to the Census data crunched in the report. That’s more than double.
Sometimes people try to convince me that the economy is doing “well”, but when I ask them how they are doing personally the news is almost always dreary. I know so many people that are working for close to minimum wage that used to be solidly in the middle class.
One of the biggest reasons why the middle class is shrinking is because paychecks are staying about the same while the cost of living continues to rise steadily. Of course one of the biggest factors in the rise of the cost of living is health insurance.
There are many people out there that have seen their health insurance premiums double since Obamacare went into effect. And one health insurance company actually tried to do this to me and my family too, and so at that time I immediately switched carriers.
But even though virtually every single Republican in Congress campaigned on repealing Obamacare, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen. In fact, on Sunday Senator John McCain told Face the Nation that the effort to repeal Obamacare is “probably going to be dead”…
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is “probably going to be dead.”
“My view is that it’s probably going to be dead,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Support for the bill has been eroding over the July 4th recess, and McCain said he believes Republicans should work with Democrats to craft health care legislation.
As a voter, this greatly frustrates me. The Republicans got a bill to repeal Obamacare through the House and through the Senate and on to Barack Obama’s desk in early 2016. So why can’t they get that exact same bill to Donald Trump’s desk now?
We worked really hard to give the Republicans control of the White House, the Senate and the House, and now they are stabbing us in the back once again.
This is just one example of why I intend to be a “wrecking ball” if I get the chance to go to Washington.
We have got to lower health care costs on the middle class. There is no other option. Millions of families all over the country are being absolutely suffocated by rising health insurance premiums. Sometimes I get so frustrated with these RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) that I want to scream.
So many families are living on the edge right now. Various surveys have discovered that somewhere around two-thirds of the entire nation is living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and one study found that 69 percent of all Americans do not have an adequate emergency fund.
But when you are living on the edge, there is always a danger that you could go over.
Every month, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty. Even during this so-called “economic recovery”, we are seeing alarming spikes in poverty all over the nation. For example, the number of homeless people living on the street in New York City has increased by 39 percent over the past year…
Street homelessness in New York increased by 39 percent in 2017, according to the latest annual survey by the Department of Homeless Services.
There were 3,892 homeless and unsheltered people on the night of February 6, 2017, up from 2,794 people at the same time last year, said the report, which is conducted on one night of the year. This is the highest increase since 2005, when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.
And bankruptcies continue to rise as well. Consumer bankruptcies were up once again last month, and commercial bankruptcies continue their very disturbing climb…
Commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcies – an effort to restructure the business, rather than liquidating it – jumped 16% year-over-year in June to 581 filings across the US. Total commercial bankruptcies of all types, by large corporations to tiny sole proprietorships, rose 2% year-over-year to 3,385 filings, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. This was up 39% from June 2015 and up 18% from June 2014.
Since the end of the last recession, the middle class has continued to get smaller and smaller in this country, and now it appears that another economic downturn is upon us.
Are we just going to stand aside and do nothing as the middle class in America dies?
The Democrats don’t seem to care.
The Republicans don’t seem to care.
If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, we are going to continue to get the same results.
In other words, unless we start doing things differently the middle class in America is going to continue to be systematically eviscerated.
Wake up America. The middle class is dying and if we want to save it we have to take action now.
The evidence that the middle class in America is dying continues to mount. As you will see below, nearly half the country would be unable “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”, and about two-thirds of the population lives paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. Of course the economy has not been doing that well overall in recent years. Barack Obama was the only president in all of U.S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and U.S. GDP growth during the first quarter of 2017 was an anemic 0.7 percent. During the Obama era, it is true that wealthy enclaves in New York, northern California and Washington D.C. did thrive, but meanwhile most of the rest of the country has been left behind.
Today, there are approximately 205 million working age Americans, and close to half of them have no financial cushion whatsoever. In fact, a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve has found that 44 percent of Americans do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”…
Nearly eight years into an economic recovery, nearly half of Americans didn’t have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Specifically, the survey found that, in line with what the Fed had disclosed in previous years, 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it.
Not only that, the same survey discovered that 23 percent of U.S. adults will not be able to pay their bills this month…
Just as concerning were other findings from the study: just under one-fourth of adults, or 23%, are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being grossly unprepared, indicating they had no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.
But just because you can pay your bills does not mean that you are doing well. Tens of millions of Americans barely scrape by from paycheck to paycheck each and every month.
In fact, a survey by CareerBuilder discovered that 75 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time…
Three-quarters of Americans (75 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet, according to a survey from CareerBuilder. Thirty-eight percent of employees said they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 15 percent said they usually do and 23 percent said they always do. While making ends meet is a struggle for many post-recession, those with minimum wage jobs continue to be hit the hardest. Of workers who currently have a minimum wage job or have held one in the past, 66 percent said they couldn’t make ends meet and 50 percent said they had to work more than one job to make it work.
So please don’t be fooled into thinking that the U.S. economy is doing well because the stock market has been hitting new record highs.
The stock market was soaring just before the financial crisis of 2008 too, and we remember how that turned out.
The truth is that the long-term trends that have been eating away at the foundations of the U.S. economy continue to accelerate, and the real economy is in substantially worse shape this year than it was last year.
Just about everywhere you look, businesses are struggling and stores are shutting down. Yes, there are a few wealthy enclaves where everything seems wonderful for the moment, but for most of the country it seems like the last recession never ended.
In a desperate attempt to stay afloat, a lot of families have been turning to debt to make ends meet. U.S. household debt has just hit a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 trillion dollars, but we are starting to see an alarming rise in auto loan defaults and consumer bankruptcies. This is precisely what we would expect to see if the U.S. economy was moving into another major recession.
In fact, we are seeing all sorts of signs that point to a major economic slowdown right now. Just check out the following from Wolf Richter’s latest article…
Over the past five decades, each time commercial and industrial loan balances at US banks shrank or stalled as companies cut back or as banks tightened their lending standards in reaction to the economy they found themselves in, a recession was either already in progress or would start soon. There has been no exception since the 1960s. Last time this happened was during the Financial Crisis.
Now it’s happening again – with a 1990/91 recession twist.
Commercial and industrial loans outstanding fell to $2.095 trillion on May 10, according to the Fed’s Board of Governors weekly report on Friday. That’s down 4.5% from the peak on November 16, 2016. It’s below the level of outstanding C&I loans on October 19. And it marks the 30th week in a row of no growth in C&I loans.
Perhaps we will be very fortunate and break this pattern that has held up all the way back to the 1960s.
But I wouldn’t count on it. Here is what Zero Hedge has to say about this alarming contraction in commercial and industrial loans…
Here’s the bottom line: unless there is a sharp rebound in loan growth in the next 3-6 months – whether due to greater demand or easier supply – this most accurate of leading economic indicators guarantees that a recession is now inevitable.
As Americans, we tend to have such short memories. Every time a new financial bubble starts forming, a lot of people out there start behaving as if it can last indefinitely.
But of course no financial bubble is going to last forever. They all burst eventually, and now the biggest one in U.S. history is about to end in spectacular fashion.
Trump will get a lot of the blame since he is the current occupant of the White House, but the truth is that the conditions for the next crisis have been building up for many years, and the horrors that the U.S. economy is heading for were entirely predictable.
It is not easy to name a member of Congress — or any GOP elected official — who has not run on repealing Obamacare. Certainly every House Republican worth his or her salt is already on record voting for a full repeal — that is, back when there was no danger of those bills seeing daylight. As one member recently phrased it: “We’re playing with live rounds this time.”