Progressive Sweeping XXVI

I’d didn’t think I could make it through the week without another catch up article and, albeit destined to still be incomplete, here it is.

Inequity Even In A Progressive Program

Social Security is one of the greatest programs in American history (thank you FDR!). Even it is inequitable to a significant degree. As of 2023 the ceiling on its taxation is earnings of $160,200. After that you are exempt from the payroll tax. If you earn the average income of $31,133 you pay the tax on 100% of your income. If you have a good job and make $100,000 a year you still pay the tax on every penny you earn. If you happen to make $1,000,000 – and over 1.5 million Americans do – you pay the tax on less than 17% of your earnings; in many cases a lot less. Think about that for a bit.

The Gun Problem Is A Mental Health Problem

The right wing likes to explain away mass shootings (in 2023 America we are averaging well over 1 per day) by saying that the shooter had mental issues. I’m willing to accept that most mass shooters are what we would commonly call crazy. However, isn’t it just as insane to put guns in their hands? Look at the gun laws Republican state legislators are proposing (and in too many cases passing) in your state. Makes you want to hum a Patsy Cline song, doesn’t it?

It’s Easy

It’s easy to be a core MAGA Republican these days. No thinking is required. In fact, it is discouraged. The playbook is simple: If Joe Biden is for it and/or it makes him look good we are against it. It’s really that simple.

What A Class

It appears that the Congressman commonly known as George Santos is not alone in his relationship with the truth. Fellow GOP freshman Andy Ogles of Tennessee apparently also has issues with things like where he went to school. However, this is not an affliction exclusive to 118th Congress House GOP freshmen. It was well into his first campaign for the Senate when North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis finally “remembered” what college he graduated from and it didn’t sound as good as his lie did. Perhaps the Republican campaign motto should be: If it sounds good, say it. With people like Santos (or whatever his name really is) and Ogles making up his slim majority aren’t you feeling at least a bit sorry for Kevin McCarthy?

It Just Get Worse For Them

Norfolk Southern appears to be attempting to pull a fast one. They want to move the train cars blocking the track in East Palestine, Ohio and then not make them available to investigators for another two days. I have more than enough capitalist in me to understand the desire to unblock the tracks. I also understand why, in that process, the rail cars need to be moved to another location. I understand Norfolk Southern’s desire for two days of “hiding” but I have to hold my nose on that aspect!

It’s Happening

Many things move agonizingly slow in America. The downward cost of prescription drugs is certainly one of them. Among his many achievements Joe Biden led the charge to get the monthly out-of-pocket cost of insulin reduced to $35 for many Americans. His “scope of immediate influence” was limited to people covered by a few health care plans. (Another reason we need single payer, cradle to grave, health care in America but that is another issue for another article(s)).

Wednesday morning, we saw the first “spin off” when Eli Lily and Company announced it would make price reductions whose ultimate impact would be to lower the out-of-pocket cost of its insulin to $35 a month for all.

Biden’s not perfect and the wait is agonizing but at least he and the Democrats are trying to help poor, working- and middle-class Americans and their families and it’s working.

Bad People Vs. Common Sense Policy

Politico reported that Joe Manchin and the Senate Republicans are trying to rollback a Biden administration policy that enables investment mangers to consider climate change and social goals in their investment advice. Investing while considering the social values of an entity is something I certainly endorse but I can see where an investment advisor may not be up to speed on that. However, in 2023 any investment advisor -especially for longer term investments – who wasn’t considering the impact of climate change isn’t worth employing!

I could go on but alas some things will just find the cutting room floor is their permanent resting place.

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