A Blog on Politics, Principles, and Uncovering the Narrative

Month: March 2017

Truth Has a Liberal Bias

The Columbia Journalism Review has just published a thorough study of media polarization. The takeaway: conservatives are more polarized than liberals.

Not that this should be a surprise to anyone who has paid attention, but it does show up one of the most pervasive false equivalencies of recent times: that liberals and conservatives are equally partisan, and each shares the blame for the current political divide.

That simply isn’t true, and it is definitely untrue in how the divide formed in the first place. Where liberals have diverged, they have done so in *reaction* to what conservatives were doing, not in concert with them. Conservatives formed the split in the media; conservatives created the hyper-partisan atmosphere in D.C. All those stories about how “divisive” Obama was were baloney; if you reach out in cooperation and the other person hits you over the head, the divisiveness is not equally shared. It takes two to tango, but the dance can be broken by just one party.

To this day, even in reaction to the madness of right-wing intransigence and the existence of a president like Trump, liberals still cling to the traditional mainstream sources of information which adhere to strict standards of objectivity and fact—while conservatives are, as the common perception quite rightly holds, tightly clustered around deeply partisan nodes of information such as Breitbart and InfoWars, cesspools of such breathtakingly insane fiction that it beggars the imagination.

In short, it is not a conceit that liberals are more fact-based and conservatives cling to their bubble. It is an objectively observable fact.

Let’s Kill 464,000 Americans to Cut Taxes for the Rich

So, let’s see: the Republican “health care” plan would cut $880 billion from health care for the poorest Americans, but only save $337 billion from the budget; it would destroy coverage for 24 million Americans and savagely cost people in their 50s and 60’s thousands of dollars a year extra in premiums, but give wealthy people and corporations $600 billion in tax cuts.

Someone please explain to me: how is this a “health care” plan? Of course, it’s not. It’s illness and death for the poor and the middle class plus a cash bonus for the wealthy.

The takeaways:

1. 24 million cut from health care means approximately 52,000 Americans would die each year who would not if the Republicans let the ACA alone. Going by the number of people kicked off their coverage over time (17 million by 2018, 21 million by 2020, and 24 million by 2026), that comes out to roughly 464,000 Americans dead over the next ten years, and more than half a million dead Americans every decade after that.

2. Poor people could see their premiums rise by as much as $13,000 a year, one reason why so many would lose coverage; those who maintain coverage would still be financially devastated, depressing their spending power and thus the economy.

3. The budget would be cut by no more than $34 billion per year, a fraction of what the deficit totals. Trump plans to hike the already bloated military budget by $54 billion. If Trump raised that by only $20 billion instead, the relative cost of the ACA would be covered.

4. Rich people get rewarded. I am not sure exactly how this fits into a health care plan. An alternative way to pay for the ACA would be to hike their taxes by only half of what Republicans want to cut from them.

This isn’t a health care plan. It’s an abattoir for the poor which profits the rich. It is a design by someone with literally no human conscience. It is, literally, malevolent.

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