Question for Rep. Tom Price: Do you Support Donald Trump?

I would like to ask our Georgia 6th District Congressional Representative Tom Price if he supports Donald Trump.  Last I read or heard he was supporting Trump.  My question to Rep Tom Price today is: does he continue to support Trump?

I would hope that he comes out and tells his district if Trump is tapping into the George Wallace voters.   I think Trump is, but we need an honest view of what is going on.

Morning Joe Host Joe Scarborough Says Trickle Down Economics is a Lie!

Joe Scarborough said on Tuesday that the working poor love Trump because Republicans have lied to their constituents for the last thirty years that wealth will trickle down to them if we help the wealthy by cutting taxes.

This is not the first time Scarborough as said something similar.  Check out this video at https://grabien.com/file.php?id=44198.

Of course we don’t need Scarborough to tell us this.  Just look at the chart below.

This is called the “Wealth Gap.” Click Here for another example of the  wealth gap.   As the chart shows the wealth gap has continued to widen over the last three decades, resulting in the top 1 percent owning more the nation’s wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population combined.

Scarborough said.

“The problem with the Republican Party over the past 30 years is they haven’t — and I’ll say, we haven’t — developed a message that appeals to the working class Americans economically in a way that Donald Trump’s does,”

“We talk about cutting capital gains taxes that the 10,000 people that in the crowd cheering for Donald Trump, they are never going to get a capital gains cut because it doesn’t apply. We talk about getting rid of the death tax. The death tax is not going to impact the 10,000 people in the crowd for Donald Trump. We talk about how great free trade deals are. Those free trade deals never trickle down to those 10,000 people in Donald Trump’s rallies.”

And then he comes right out and says it doesn’t work.

“But herein lies the problem with the Republican Party. It never trickles down! Those people in Trump’s crowds, those are all the ones that lost the jobs when they get moved to Mexico and elsewhere. The Republican donor class are the ones that got rich off of it because their capital moved overseas and they made higher profits…What we’re finding this year is, they’ll even support a guy who says Planned Parenthood is good if he comes with an economic approach that they feel could actually help them more in the future.”

Here’s the video via YouTube:

Of course, Scarborough is right on target.

Trickle down economics is a failed economic policy.  Period.  End of sentence.

As long as the Plutocracy controls the levers of power they will continue to manage the system so they get more wealth.  Just as in a poker game, wealth will eventually accumulate in fewer and fewer hands, so to will wealth accumulate in fewer and fewer hands in a totally free market.

What is Wrong with the GOP “Pro-Growth Agenda.”

On February 4, 2016 House Republican leaders announced the formation of six committee-led task forces charged with developing a bold, pro-growth agenda. (For updates, visit speaker.gov/confidentamerica.)

In and of itself, putting forth a pro-growth agenda is a great thing.  Congress should always be working on a pro-growth agenda.  But, the question becomes is this the right pro-growth agenda for the 6th District.

Supposedly, President Obama hasn’t done anything to save Americas economy. It’s like the past seven years never happened for Republicans. And House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) says he has a “bold, pro-growth agenda” for 2016. In his weekly address Saturday, Ryan laid out the “mission statement” of that agenda:

“We want to save the American Idea for the vast majority of Americans who believe it’s just not there for them anymore. We want America to lead again. We want America to be confident again. That is our mission.

“By giving the people a clear choice in 2016, we will seek a mandate to do big things in 2017 and beyond.”

Watch Courtesy of Speaker Ryan’s Press Office:

Here is their plan.

These discussions will focus on five areas.

First, national security. How do we go about building a 21st-century military? What do we need to do to make sure we’re equipped to defeat ISIS and the threat posed by radical Islamic terror? How do we make sure we are secure here at home?

Next, jobs and economic growth. Our economy is far from its potential. Wages are still stagnant. Families are suffering. How do we fix our tax code? How do we rein in our regulatory state? How do we maximize our energy potential?

Third, health care. Obamacare has driven up premiums, limited choices, and taken away access. These are not the signs of success – they’re the signs of failure. If and when we repeal Obamacare, what solutions will lead to lower costs and a truly patient-centered health care system?

Fourth, poverty and opportunity. There are 46 million Americans living in poverty today, and a big part of the reason is we have a safety net that catches people falling into poverty. How do we lift people up, bring them back into the workforce, and restore upward mobility?

The last piece of this agenda – and it’s so critical to all the others – is restoring the Constitution. The president’s executive overreach has undermined the Constitution and damaged the people’s trust. What needs to be done to restore the separation of powers and protect our constitutional liberties?

I disagree that this is the best “pro-growth” agenda.

First, while national security is important, it should not be first on the list. Unless it is assumed the way to grow the country is to grow the military-industrial complex.  This is where we might need some more discussion.  But, assuming that one believes that by growing the military-industrial complex we grow the economy, is the GOP saying the way to grow the economy is for the government to spend more money?  That seems a lot like Keynesian of them.  And since I don’t think they follow Keynesian economics, I suspect they are thinking something different here.

I am in favor of national security.  As I am in favor of financial security and personal security.  And I want to defeat ISIS and all religious fundamentalists that want to force their ancient world view on others.  But, to make sure we are “secure here at home” as they say, we need to also focus on right wing Nationalist that threaten our security here at home.  We also need to talk about how to keep guns out of the hands of Islamic, and White Nationalists hands in order to be more secure here at home.

Second, I agree our economy is far from its potential.  I agree that wages are stagnant and families are suffering.  But, I don’t agree that taxes and our “regulatory State” is most to blame, if at all.  I think the reason wages are stagnant is that Globalization and improved manufacturing and transportation technologies are driving wages down  It is now cheaper to ship a widget from Vietnam to Los Angeles than to ship from Detroit to Los Angeles.  And since a worker in Vietnam makes an average of under $200 dollars a month there is no reason for a US Company to pay their workers more.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this problem.  So, while I am happy to have this on the agenda for growth, let’s not fool ourselves that simply reducing taxes and eliminating regulations will have the effect we all want – Higher wages.

Third, I agree that health care belongs on this list.  And I would like to see changes made to Obamacare.  But, I don’t want the requirement for “pre-existing” conditions to go away.  And I don’t believe simply saying we should go to a “truly patient-centered health care system” without full transparency to the outcomes of the service providers with result in a better health care delivery system.  My personal belief is we need to go to a “Kaiser” model.

Fourth, the statement that the way to solve poverty is to eliminate the safety net is ludicrous on its face.  Unless I’m wrong, poverty has been around for a long time.  If I am not mistaken, the Bible even talks about poor people.  And, how do you eliminate poverty while at the same fighting to eliminate the minimum wage.  The question I would ask is what does the GOP think is a annual salary of a full time that would eliminate poverty?  And if so, what are they doing to ensure someone that works full time achieves that wage.  As I said in #2 above, I think giving all our money to multinational corporations who ship jobs overseas and put all that money into un-taxable foreign bank accounts, is to blame? The GOP seems to assume that you’re poor its because you want to be poor. They seem to think that the best to eliminate poverty is to just give all that money to rich people and corporations, because they’ll share some of it.

Lastly, the GOP seems to think that putting the Constitution first will grow the economy.  This made me laugh.  This is the party that assumed, when they won a majority in Congress, that Obama’s re-election was inconsequential, that it was the Republican who had been given a mandate by the people, and that the president had to do precisely what they say. They are the ones who have violated the Constitution again and again to legislate religion, to stab the president in the back in the area of foreign policy. Executive overreach? How about legislative overreach?

Ryan is certainly using the right language, pretending to have learned the valuable lesson of the years he pretends never happened:

“To do that, we can’t just be an opposition party. We have to be a proposition party. If we do not like the direction the country is going in – and we do not – then we have an obligation to offer an alternative.”

The big problem with Ryan’s agenda is that as Robert Reich has demonstrated, that alternative has already been tried, and look where it got us in 2008.

Ryan closes by saying,

“We see it as our duty here in the people’s house to offer real ideas, to tackle the real issues head on. We want a confident America. Now it’s time to get to work.”

I agree we need to tackle the real issues. But, I don’t consider repealing Obamacare for the seventieth time without a clear plan to 1) cover pre-existing conditions and 2) prevent families from bankrupt in order to save a family member as the best way to grow America.

Pay Attention 6th District. Just because they say they’re going to fix things does not mean that it will actually fix things.

 

Tom Price is Wrong About Why You’re Struggling to Make a Good Living – It’s not High Taxes; It’s Automation and International Competition

Our Representative, Tom Price, is wrong about why you’re struggling to make a good living.  It is not High Taxes, as he thinks.  You’re struggling because Automation and International Competition have driven down real wages.

Here is what Tom Price says in his latest email blast.

“Millions of Americans are still struggling in an economy that is underperforming by historical standards because the president’s economic policies of higher taxes and burdensome regulations build barriers to growth, diminish opportunity and impede increases in wages.”

He thinks high taxes and burdensome regulations are stopping companies from paying you more money.   Sorry, Tom, but, with all due respect, you’re wrong.  The reason the middle class is struggling is because employers can get away with suppressing your wages.  “Higher Taxes” and “Burdensome Regulations” and not impeding increases in your wages, free market economies 101 is impeding your wages.

Because of Super Container Ships, it is now cheaper to ship stuff from Vietnam or China or Indonesia to the US than to ship stuff within the US.   Because of these reduced transportation costs, to be competitive, companies have to pay American workers the same as foreign workers.  Your wages are being suppressed, not because of high taxes and burdensome regulations as Tom Prices says, but because of simple free market economics.

From a statistical perspective it is called “Regression Toward the Mean.”  When it is cheaper to ship a toy from Vietnam on giant container ships than to ship it within the US, than there is no reason to pay a US worker much more than a Vietnam worker.  Hence, there is huge pressure to “impede increases in wages” from the marketplace.

Adding to the suppression of wages is massive automation of manufacturing.  With automation, an unskilled worker in Vietnam can make equally good stuff with workers in the US.

It is not high taxes or burdensome regulations stomping all over your wages, it is global free markets and manufacturing automation.

Bottom line is that companies are trying to pay their workers the least the worker will accept, rather than pay them the most the company can afford.  Companies are driven by their investment class to maximize profits.  And to maximize profits in an global marketplace you simply find the cheapest workers and get them to make your stuff.

Of course the problem is that with suppressed wages, you don’t have to the money to buy the stuff that these international corporate giants are making, but that is ok, because, just as your wages are suppressed, the foreign workers wages are going up, so they will buy the stuff they make.

Now, I could be wrong, and I would love to discuss this more.  Please join our 6th District Learning Community so we can work together to figure out what is impeding your wages and what we can do about it.

Tom Price Being Considered for Top GOP Post

The Speaker of the House John Boehner is retiring. As a direct result, a waterfall of House leadership positions open up.

The current Majority Leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is being promoted as a slam dunk for the Speakership.  If McCarthy becomes Speaker, the Majority Leader position will be open.

What is interesting is that Rep Tom Price,  our Ga 6th District Representative, is being mentioned for the potentially vacated Majority Leader slot.

I’ve not heard Rep Price say specifically he will run for the position, but I keep hearing his name mentioned. (Georgia has not had a representative in House leadership since Newt Gingrich resigned following the 1998 elections; as the leadership races begin to unfold, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on Price’s career.)

Since being elected to the U.S. House, Price has joined several House Caucuses with varying focuses. He is a member of the anti-VAT caucus, Immigration Reform caucus, the Tea Party caucus, Republican Israel Caucus,  and was Chair of the Republican Study Committee for a time where he is still a member.

Of great interest to our Learning Community is that Price is a member of the Congressional Health Care Caucus and the GOP Doctors Caucus founded by one of his former fellow Georgia representatives, Phil Gingrey. The caucus’ aim is to “play an effective role in shaping health care policy.” Price is one of the few GOP reps to offer an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare -here is the link – restoring_the_trust_7.14.15.

Our Ga 6th District Learning Community is spending a lot of effort on analyzing that plan – for a link to that discussion click here.

It is interesting to note that while, Price has long been considered a conservative member of the House but as hard-line conservatives refuse to make compromises, Price has come under some fire in his role as Chairman of the Budget Committee.

Price has remained pretty quiet on the leadership campaign but was respectful and complimentary of Boehner as he resigns. “Speaker John Boehner has served the House of Representatives with honor. He has served at a time of tremendous challenges, and he has always maintained an admirable and healthy sense of purpose and perspective. I thank John and his family for that service, and wish them well in the days ahead,” said Price in a statement.