REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT YOU TO VOTE:

  • In Ohio, they’ve reduced early voting and eliminated same-day registration.
  • In Wisconsin, they’ve reduced early voting and eliminated weekends.
  • In North Carolina, they’ve chopped early voting by 40% and chopped same-day registration, among much else.
  • In Kansas, they’ve implemented unnecessary proof of citizenship requirements.
  • In Texas, their new voter ID law will impact an estimated 600,000 residents who lack the specified ID.
  • In Kentucky, they’re mailing potential voters misleading  threats.
  • In Georgia, they’ve kept tens of thousands of new registrants in limbo  and have joined an effort to purge minority voters from the rolls in 27 states.

BUT YOU SHOULD ANYWAY, BECAUSE THE ECONOMY DOES BETTER UNDER DEMOCRATS

Look at this graph.  The red line shows how he economy did in years when Republicans controlled both Congress and the Presidency (rotten!); the green: how it did in years of divided government (better!); the blue: how it did with just Democrats (great!).

There’s no magic to this.  Democrats are expansive and invest in the future; Republicans favor austerity, except for the best off.  (Whom they mistakenly consider “the job creators.”)

The irony is that it is the Republicans who have wrecked our national balance sheet since 1980 . . . and only the Democrats who have twice, under Presidents Clinton and Obama, reversed the expansion of our National Debt relative to the economy as a whole.

(It’s fine to have debt; you just don’t want it growing faster than the economy.  In most years, you want it growing slower.  President Bush handed President Obama a $1.5 trillion deficit and a shrinking economy.  Today the debt is once again growing slower than the economy.)

Republicans want to cut taxes for the rich — for example, cut the estate tax on billionheirs to zero.

Democrats want to raise the minimum wage.

(The further irony is that raising the minimum wage would help the rich along with everyone else.  As I’ve argued before: higher wages = greater demand = stronger economy = greater job growth = higher tax receipts and lower safety-net payouts = lower deficits = virtuous cycle.)

Invested in the S&P 500 only during Republican administrations since 1929, and excluding dividends, $10,000 would have grown to only about $12,000.  Compare that to about $595,000 under Democrats (if I’ve updated the numbers right).

Here’s a different but similarly compelling representation of the contrast.

AND WE’LL BE HEALTHIER

It may seem an odd time to say this, in the middle of an all-consuming Ebola pandemic that has already claimed the lives of . . . zero . . . Americans.  But not only will voting for Democrats tomorrow help to make us better off financially, it will be better for our health.

Already, healthy care inflation is falling even as 10 million more people have coverage, after just a single open-enrollment period.  (The next one starts starts November 15 and runs through February 15.)  And no one with, or who might someday develop, a “pre-existing condition” — which is to say all of us — need ever again worry about losing or being denied coverage.  And insurers can no longer keep more than 15% or 20% of the premium dollars they collect — the rest has to go to actual health care.

Check this out to see who’s benefited the most so far . . . and to read how the Affordable Care Act “isn’t just expanding health insurance. It’s reducing inequality.”  Which is another one of those things that are actually good for everybody, not just the least advantaged. Whatever psychological and social damage it may do, inequality — when it becomes too extreme — also stunts economic growth.  It’s better when the pie is expanding for most people, not just those buying $35 million pieds-a-terre.

Republicans oppose on principle making health care affordable and accessible to everyone.  They fought to keep from covering more kids . . . and then to keep from extending Mitt Romney’s health insurance success nationwide (labeling it, “Obamacare”) . . . and then, once the Affordable Care Act did pass, voted 52 times to repeal it . . . have declined tens of billions in federal Medicaid expansion money . . . all the while spending, according to a study cited by Politico$418 million on 880,000 negative advertising spots to be sure the voting public would think it’s a bad thing.

Just as Michael Grunwald’s The NEW New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era laid out the rather glorious details of President Obama’s $800 billion 2009 Recovery Act (“Even Republicans should read it.” — The Economist) — good news on almost every page that to this day almost no one knows about . . .

. . . so does Zeke Emanuel’s wonderfully readable new Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System now lay out the health care bill so few know much about.

The news is good.  If we act sensibly to keep the Act on course, the quality of our care will improve even as inflation and waste are further wrung out of the system and we gradually lessen our disadvantage versus competitor nations that enjoy health care outcomes as good as ours but at dramatically lower cost.

Our Republican friends hope to begin unraveling all that by winning control of the Senate win tomorrow.

 

 

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