If healthcare debate tells us anything…

… it’s that our country is not owned by its people.

By Jack E. Lohman

We live in a plutocracy, a society controlled by a small elite group. In this case given to them in exchange for campaign contributions that help keep politicians in office. The people have no vote in how our country is run.

Why do we allow our politicians to sell our country to the highest bidder? Why do our values not demand honesty in politics?  A corrupt government is no more sustainable in the US than in Somalia.

Get this: the crash of the world’s economy is 100% due to America’s corrupt political system. Blame the politicians that lifted banking regulations in 1999 and then rode to victory on the expansion of risky home loans that turned into massive foreclosures and financial ruin for many.

And blame the politicians who take a hands-off corporate policy with regard to CEO pay and regulations to protect shareholders and the public. And helping the bankers leverage money they didn’t have, all while sleeping with the oil speculators that drove gas to $4.00 per gallon.

And the politicians who have allowed corporate cash to drive taxpayer-funded subsidies and no-bid contracts, defense over-spending, and massive outsourcing. And those who voted to benefit their own investments, a form of insider trading the average citizen would be jailed for.

Add their failure to enact meaningful healthcare reform, which would have helped to keep jobs in the US.

And blame the politicians who are helping the health insurance industry in their bid for a financial windfall equal only to the massive Medicare drug giveaway in 2003. Any congress member who votes for a bill with mandates should be voted out of office.

ALL of this due to the campaign cash they received from the special interests seeking government favors. CASH dollars have corrupted our nation’s and state’s board of directors. But politicians are very good at snow jobs.

Most politicians enter office with good intentions, but then reality sets in. They must stay in office, so the fund-raising begins. Half their paid time is spent raising cash for the next term and the other half satisfying their funders from the last term. It’s corrupt, but our current form of funding elections demands it.

The Fix?  Public funding of campaigns.

Yea, you’ve heard it before but now we are at a tipping point. Right wingers are protesting high taxes and left wingers a fix to the health care system. Guns are being carried to the protests, and the Pittsburgh police called out its weaponry.  It’s only a matter of time before bullets begin to fly, and it is not going to get any better.

Both problems are caused by the same thing — corrupt politicians — but both factions concentrate on the effect rather than the cause.

They MUST pass solid campaign reform, or they must be voted out of office. Next year, not later.

==== >>>>  At the state level

Attend these meetings in Wisconsin and contact your state representatives on the Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform:  Jeff Smith (Chair)  James Soletski (Vice-Chair)  Frederick Kessler   Annette Polly Williams   Kelda Helen Roys   Jeff Stone   Donald Pridemore    Jim Ott

Upcoming Wisconsin Hearings (thanks to wisdc.org for the alert)

==== >>>>  At the national level

A public funding proposal is seeking co-signers. Please contact your federal senators and  representative and ask that they sign on to S752 (Durbin-Specter) and HR1826 (Larson-Jones).

Do not fall for the excuse that public funding of campaigns violates free speech, as Jim Sensenbrenner claims. It does not. It is OPTIONAL. Candidates can opt in or opt out. They can take public money or continue taking private money. They will only answer to the voters, not the attorneys.

All other states check Public Campaign



My message to Senators Kohl and Feingold…

– Kill whatever health care proposals are now in congress

– Sponsor or support a bill to allow corporations or individuals to opt into Medicare at cost

– Provide up to a 100% subsidy to individuals who are uninsured or underinsured

– Work to pass HR676 and SB703 single-payer

I’m sure that some people will prefer anything to nothing, but I feel just the opposite. I think a bad bill is worse than no bill at all. What we are now seeing are bills that mandate coverage… a gigantic transfer of wealth to the insurance companies eclipsed only by the 2003 Medicare Drug bill.


4 Responses to If healthcare debate tells us anything…

  1. marcys says:

    “Any congress member who votes for a bill with mandates should be voted out of office.”

    Amen! And I like your proposal.

    I have to admit, tho, I’ve never checked the box on my taxes to give a dollar to campaigns–I figure why should I pay for their crazy games? I just can’t seem to wrap my head around public campaign finance.

  2. Thanks Marcy. Frankly, I often forget to check the box because my wife does the taxes and I just sign, as all obedient husbands tend to do.

    But public funding of campaigns is vital. If our politicians are to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the public.

    Importantly, we taxpayers ALREADY ARE paying for the campaigns, when companies add their political costs to the price of their product and we reimburse them at the cash register. And worse, we pay $400 billion to $1 trillion per year for all of the government spending that results from politicians being owned by special interests. For $2 billion per year we could fund the campaigns and substantially reduce the $400 billion.

    Update: That’s about $6 per taxpayer per year for congress, and less than $5 per taxpayer at the legislative level. And in Arizona it’s not even the taxpayers who pay, it’s a surcharge on criminal fines. If you don’t want to contribute, don’t speed.

    For more on this see WICleanElections.org and wisdc.org

  3. ezag says:

    My interviews with a few small business owners tell me that the insurance companies are mistaken. Small business will drop health coverage and take the 8% hit. That is substantially cheaper than paying the health insurance mandates.

    Those people stripped of their insurance will move willingly into the government option, because private insurance premiums will rapidly accelerate. Your dream of single payer will arrive quicker than you think.

    Whether you will like it remains to be seen. The corruption of tax and spend will continue. Will public insurance fraud decline…or escalate?

    In light of the corruption of our tax and spend regime, why are you so sure that govt sponsored campaigns are immune to corruption?

  4. MoneyedPoliticians says:

    You are assuming that there will be a meaningful public option, and I doubt that our politicians (who are bought and paid for by the industry) will allow that to happen. It will probably be limited to only poverty-level workers or the unemployed (with taxpayer-funded subsidies). A vast giveaway to the insurance industry eclipsed only by the 2003 Medicare Drug program (which was a $780 billion giveaway to the drug lords).

    But yes, if I were still a business owner I’d choose 8% over my (then) current 15% of wages. But gutting the public option (as above) will prevent that.

    Aren’t corrupt politicians just great?

    But know that politicians have spent 50 years without gutting Medicare because seniors are a strong voting block. Expand that to 100% of the public and it’ll remain safe.

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