Unwarranted Damage Awaits

Global Media Insights  –  March 23, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 6

Codifying Carnage

H.R. 1628 – American Health Care Act

I find myself, yet again, writing about the Republican health care act.  This ongoing saga just seems to get better and better.  The Congressional Republicans are mostly excited, happy and seemingly content with taking health care coverage away from 24 million people.  Why?  I really DON’T have a good answer for that at all.  As of 7:36 pm PST, the U.S. national debt was approaching $19.9 trillion.  Without the affordable care act, we would be even higher, with no end in site.  One notable aspect of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the beneficial deficit reduction and slower growth of health care spending.  Let’s look at some numbers so you can become better acclimated with the positive impacts:

  • “In 2015, U.S. health care spending increased 5.8 percent to reach $3.2 trillion, or $9,990 per person (Source).”
    • “The slower health care spending also means that the ACA is expected to cost the U.S. government much less than previously estimated. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2010, after the passage of the ACA, that the gross cost of all ACA coverage provisions from 2014 to 2019 would cost $938 billion. That forecast has now dropped to $686 billion in the 2015 forecast, a reduction of 26.9% (Source).”
  • “In 2015, most people (90.9 percent) had health insurance coverage at some point during the calendar year, with more people having private health insurance (67.2 percent) than government coverage (37.1 percent) (Source).”

Now, lets review the negative impacts of the affordable care act:

  • “prescription drug spending in the United States was about $457 billion in 2015, or 16.7 percent of overall personal health care services (Source).”
    • A March 2016 report from the federal government estimated total prescription drug spending in the U.S. at $457 billion in 2015, representing 16.7% of all health care service expenditures. In 2012, by contrast, total drug spending was measured at $367 billion, for 15.4% of all health care service dollars. (Interestingly, in 2009, when $354 billion was spent on prescription drugs, they accounted for 16.7% of all health care spending, the same proportion as in 2015—only overall health spending was much lower in 2009.) Some of the increase in drug spending is attributable simply to population growth, and to more prescriptions per patient being doled out by doctors. But old-fashioned price hikes bear much of the responsibility for higher drug spending (Source).”

  • Premium increases, in some places, up to 145% (Source)

Two things about the “negative” items above.  First, the drug companies are simply out of control.

  • “Americans pay nearly 50% more for comparable prescriptions in the United States than they would in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and a host of other developed nations (Source).”

Did you know that the average cost for medications related to people who are HIV Positive is anywhere from $7,200 – $32,920 per year in the United States  (Source)?  I know a great many people who are HIV Positive and to be honest, this is disgraceful.  Government funded programs mostly support the cost of these life-saving medications; but without them, a lot of my friends would not even be alive today.  When the Pharmaceutical industry is able to rake in almost half-a-trillion dollars in one year alone, it’s time to realize where the real expense is and put better price controls in place to prevent it.  The Medicare Part D Prescription drug plan (PDP) passed December 8, 2003 (Source):

MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG, IMPROVEMENT, AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2003

‘‘(i) NONINTERFERENCE.—In order to promote competition under this part and in carrying out this part, the Secretary— ‘‘(1) may not interfere with the negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and PDP sponsors”

Notice what it say’s in this paragraph?  “NONINTERFERENCE…may not interference with negotiation…”; who the hell in their right mind as an elected official would even vote for this in good conscious?  This is part of the reason health care costs are so high and your deductibles are through the roof.

The other part is the rapid increase in premiums.  But, there is a great misunderstanding about how the premium subsidies even work.  The ACA is short for “Affordable Care Act”.  So, if your purchasing insurance from the private market, your adjusted gross income comes out to be $47,520.  You are single.  This would put you at 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Now, your expected contribution for the year is 9.69% or $4,605 ($383.72 per month).  Let’s assume for a minute you live in Arizona where premiums went up 145% from $6,000 per year to $14,700.  Your contribution is $4,605.  Your subsidy will be $10,095 (the amount you do NOT pay out of your own pocket).

This is the way the ACA is setup.  It’s based on income level which determines how much of a subsidy is provided.  Each state has to receive approval from the Department of Health and Human Services for price increases above a certain threshold.  But, that does not change the fact that you still get a very generous subsidy to cover the increase.  Tell me again what the issue is here?   If anything, the subsidies should be doubled, not eliminated completely (Source).

Disturbing Distractions

What seems to be an ongoing and pervasive approach in the current Republican Congress is making people “think” they are being hurt, when in fact they are not.  The entire motive behind the repeal bill is to cut taxes.  That’s it, it’s not because of all the creative and colorful talking points about how people are struggling.  On the contrary, the majority of people are doing better than they have in years, maybe even decades. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll was conducted that asked:

“As you may know, a health reform bill was signed into law in 2010. Given what you know about the health reform law, do you have a generally favorable or generally unfavorable opinion of it? (Source)”

As of March, 2017:

  • Age 18 – 29 have a 58% favorable (34% unfavorable) response
  • Age 30 – 49 have a 48% favorable (46% unfavorable) response
  • Age 50 – 64 have a 44% favorable (50% unfavorable) response

The population of each age group just mentioned above is as follows:

  • Age 18 – 29; 65,000,000 (U.S. Census Est.)
    • [37.7 million have favorable opinion]
    • [22.1 million have unfavorable opinion]
  • Age 30 – 49; 84,000,000 (U.S. Census Est.)
    • [40.32 million have favorable opinion]
    • [38.64 million have unfavorable opinion]
  • Age 50 – 64; 59,000,000 (U.S. Census Est.)
    • [25.96 million have favorable opinion]
    • [29.5 million have unfavorable opinion]

TOTAL FAVORABLE – 103.98 million

TOTAL UNFAVORABLE – 90.24 million

Here’s my argument, if you have more people viewing something favorable than unfavorable, wouldn’t that be enough indication that you should be working on increasing the favorable rating instead of creating more unfavorable ones?

Health Bill

Let me preface this part by saying that yes, I did read the entire “PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HEALTH-RELATED PORTIONS OF THE HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2010 (Read It Here).”   I did it knowing that this would likely be the most contentious piece of legislation of my generation.  Thus far that is proving to be true.

The affordable care act was a fantastic starting point.  Unfortunately with years of obstruction to undermine the viability of the law, its no wonder we have a number of issues with it.  I can assure you, the new proposal doesn’t even come CLOSE to addressing the underlying issues.  Let me just show you the first 2 page’s of the legislation:

Untitled Extract Pages_Page_1

Untitled Extract Pages_Page_2.jpg

The word “Repeal” appears on the FIRST two pages 19 different times.  That’s because they are literally repealing every single possible structure established by the health care law passed in 2010.  This is NOT what a serious piece of legislation looks like.  President Barack Obama won two terms in the White House; his agenda was decided, and now the Republicans want to essentially wipe out settled policy.  We are not living in a country where this can or should be tolerated.

Men v. Women

For the life of me I just can’t fully understand why men continue to try and dictate what a woman can do with her own body.  Let’s regulate Viagra and see the outrage from men.  I say this because the Republican health care law has a provision tucked away:

“SEC. 103. FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO STATES. (b) DEFINITIONS.—In this section: (1) PROHIBITED ENTITY. (ii) is an essential community provider described in section 156.235 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act), that is primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health, and related medical care; and (iii) provides for abortions, other than an abortion—(I) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or (II) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself”

Here’s a recent photo of lawmakers deciding women’s health care options (Source):

landscape-1490303342-white

Does ANYONE else have a problem with this?  I am truly and utterly disgusted by the deliberate attack on the right of women to make their own, individual, personal health care choices.  I can’t really say this in any other way except for the way I’m about to; if you can’t even keep your dick in your pants, why the fuck should women listen to you at all?

I’m truly beyond a place of respect for the current Congress.  Between the language in the bill and the picture above, it just makes me downright sad, angry and dismayed to see such blatant disregard for everyone, but especially for women.

Conclusion

The United States spends more on health care than any other country on the planet (Source):

Squires_OECD_exhibit_01

What we need to do is provide people with universal health care coverage that is affordable, fully equipped to handle any and all potential issues and at a zero deductible or co-payment.

The current law is a disgrace, it undermines 7 years of progress and success stories.  We cannot and should not allow this to pass.  Not only because of the lack of morality associated with it, but also because of the incomprehensible results that will come from this bill.

Here’s one last thought I will leave you with:

Things More Popular Than Congress

1. Zombies

2. Witches

3. Dog Poop

4. Potholes

5. Toenail Fungus

6. Hemorrhoids

7. Lice

(Source)

It would seem, pretty clearly, Congress doesn’t understand just how unpopular they really are.  This is a pretty good indication and should be a wake up call for the entire Republican Party to rationalize and NOT repeal the Affordable Care Act.  They are LITERALLY less popular than dog shit.  Give them credit, they worked very hard to get such low ratings.

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

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President Trumps Adverse Budget Proposal

Global Media Insights  –  March 20, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 5

Pernicious Approach

Preposterous Future Awaits – American First Budget Proposal

President Trump has proposed what could easily be considered one of the most misguided budget proposals in a century.  First, let’s look at what isn’t being cut then review the items that are.

  • The Department of Defense (DOD) is slated to receive an almost 10% increase to $639 billion.  Between 2000 and 2014 the DOD “base budget increased by 31 percent (Source)”.  Each military soldier has an annual cost of around $1 million (Source).
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also getting a boost of almost 7% to over $44 billion.
  • The Department of the Interior also gets a budget increase of over 12% to more than $11 billion.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is getting a budget increase of 6% to $78 billion.

That’s it, there are no other areas in the budget proposal receiving an increase.  In fact, the proposal calls for eliminating the following:

  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs and summer programs
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds research including clean energy
  • African Development Foundation
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Community Development Block Grant, which in part funds Meals on Wheels
  • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants, under Treasury
  • Community Services Block Grant, under HHS
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Denali Commission
  • Economic Development Administration
  • Essential Air Service program
  • Global Climate Change Initiative
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding, and other regional programs under EPA.
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, all under HUD
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • US Trade and Development Agency
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
  • Minority Business Development Agency, under Commerce
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • NASA’s Office of Education
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • State Energy Program
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, the second-largest program feds have used to influence local education
  • TIGER transportation grants
  • United States Institute of Peace
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

(Source For List Above)

Likely the most concerning budgetary reduction is the Department of Education.  President Trumps proposal calls for a 13% reduction ($9 billion) from FY 2017 spending levels.

This Budget Impacts Everyone

I’m truly and utterly perplexed at the proposal from President Trump.  It’s literally the far right wings dream come true.  Increase all the things we don’t need for future growth and decrease all the things we depend on.

49764-home-figure1

 

The DOD budget is literally the last agency that should be receiving anymore funding.  Since 1996, $8,500,000,000,000 (trillion) is unaccounted for at the DOD.  That’s $26,655 per person in the United States (based on U.S. Census Data from 2014, population of 318.9 million).

 

In addition to the reductions in education, there will also be an almost 18% cut to the Department of Health and Human Services.  But the underlying and biggest chunk of this reduction is coming from the National Institute of Health (NIH).  With a reduction of almost $6 billion, the agency that supports research into finding new cures and extending life expectancy is essentially going to be on life support itself.  Another shell shocking and almost mind-blowing cut is to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The proposal eliminates this entirely.  It’s really disturbing that anyone would be even the slightest bit accepting of such a policy position.  Thousands of families, seniors and disabled American citizens depend on this very important program.  By eliminating the program all together, you are literally going to kill people who can’t afford to keep themselves warm in the winter.

Environment Death Blow

For some reason, the current administration seems to be under the impression that climate change is “unsettled science”.  This position is pretty much reflected in the budgetary proposal, especially in two areas in particular.

DOI

One line in particular caught my attention the most as it relates to the Department of the Interior which, the President states that his budget proposal for this agency would “allow DOI to streamline permitting processes and provide industry with access to the energy resources America needs, while ensuring taxpayers receive a fair return from the development of these public resources (Source).”

Interpretation:  Drilling, digging, destroying public lands in the search for oil, coal and other poisonous energy sources that are contributing to climate change.  Don’t take my word for it, thousands of scientists already conducted a study proving this exact point.  Such a proposal is not only dangerous but also deadly.  President Trump has made it clear in his budget that he will allow oil companies to drill in places that were previously off-limits.

Another agency that is receiving a very abrupt reduction is the Environmental Protection Agency.  With a 31% reduction, the agency that is tasked “to protect human health and the environment (Source)” will have a very difficult time doing so with a massive reduction in funding.  In particular, climate change funding is being zeroed out completely.  The administration’s budget director made a statement that:

“We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”

Just for some context, here is a chart of just how much the climate has changed in the last 100 years:

Global

If you really think for a second that whats happening to the planet is normal, there’s nothing to study, we shouldn’t be funding what is conceivably the biggest threat to humanity, then please, take some time and read the report put out by the worlds most reputable scientists  (Click Here for the Source).  This isn’t a liberal thing, this is a humanity issue.  Each and every passing day that we ignore the facts of climate change we get closer and closer to the beginning of the end of this planet.  Unless you know another one that is close by we could go to, I would highly recommend paying attention more and realizing what is going to happen without substantial changes and action.

In summary, this budget is a disgrace to who we are, the values we represent and the future viability of our country.  There is absolutely no reasonable path forward with a budget that essentially dismantles every possible program to help the most vulnerable in our society while giving defense contractors, big oil and private charter schools a massive handout of taxpayer money.  The malicious proposals in this budget are not going to make this country better in any way.  We will have an increase in poverty, disease, death, homelessness, oil spills, water contamination, less worker protections and higher rates of illiteracy if this passes into law.

Everyone should be outraged, and we should all make it known that we are.  We are better than this.  It doesn’t matter if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green Party, Libertarian or no political affiliation at all, this budget does not represent America and is reflective of a radical ideology which will cause pain and suffering across the entire United States.

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

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Health Care For Who?

Global Media Insights  –  March 13, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 4

Inimical Outcome

Barbaric Health Care Proposal – American Health Care Act

Without taking a political position, let me just say that this proposed health care bill is barbarically disturbing.  The notion that somehow this brings about more “choice” is pretty much the obscenest statement being made about this legislation.  Regardless of individual party affiliation, you need to pay more attention.  I’m going to cover a few different components of the bill that are most puzzling.

Repeal of the individual mandate—Repeal of the Medicaid—Genetic testing—Actual economic cost

Uninsured_graph-01Congressional Budget Office Report
“CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million in 2026 relative to current law.”

 

 

Individual Mandate

When the health care law was enacted, it relied on a very simple, yet controversial provision that mandated everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a penalty.  Can’t say that I disagree with this notion, the only way to drive costs down is for everyone to participate equally, right?  Let’s look at a few areas that have mandates associated with them:

Driver’s License & Car Insurance—Homeowners Insurance—File Taxes—Obtain a passport to travel out of the country—Send your kids to school—Wear cloths in public—Follow the law

The argument that government shouldn’t be telling people what to do is a bit of an odd one.  You can’t just go around killing people randomly, I suppose that impedes on homicidal maniacs right to choose, doesn’t it?  Let’s also repeal the laws against murder to also protect them from government overreach.  The concept here is simple, everyone pays into the health insurance market, everyone gets equal coverage.  Not even sure why we are arguing about something so clearly important.  Instead of complaining about the mandate, they should be working on lowering costs.  Deregulating the market so they can sell the lowest quality plans for a cheap rate is not beneficial for anyone, and in fact, is dangerous to even pursue this as an option.

In summary, the individual mandate is not government intrusion.  It’s a mechanism to ensure market stability.  Without it, we will see a complete and total collapse of the entire marketplace because of lack of funding streams.

Genetic Testing?

This part is a really perplexing component of this newly drafted health care legislation.” The ACA allowed them to charge employees 30 percent, and possibly 50 percent, more for health insurance if they declined to participate in the “voluntary” programs, which typically include cholesterol and other screenings; health questionnaires that ask about personal habits, including plans to get pregnant; and sometimes weight loss and smoking cessation classes. And in rules that Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last year, a workplace wellness program counts as “voluntary” even if workers have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums and deductibles if they don’t participate (STATNEWS).”  This pretty much speaks for itself.  Frankly, this would likely be considered illegal search and seizure under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Medicaid Repeal

As of December 2016, a total of 74,165,854 United States citizens were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). I have never seen so much excitement from an elected official to literally dismantle, take away and hurt millions of people by ending this program as we know it.  Dismantling the Medicaid system would be detrimental to tens of millions of American citizens.  Make no mistake, people will die because of this.  Elected officials have an obligation to protect its citizens.  Instead of doing their jobs, they seem inept on playing politics with the lives of millions of vulnerable people.  There is absolutely no reason in the world why we need to dismantle this program.  House Speaker Paul Ryan is cherry picking pieces from the CBO report to justify such a radical change to the program; just because it reduces the deficit by roughly $337 billion over ten years is not a good enough reason to end the program. From 2005 – 2015 (10-year time-frame) the United States spending on defense along was $7.061 trillion.  This so-called deficit reduction is 4.7% of the last ten years of defense costs.

In summary, if you want to find ways to reduce the deficit, start by cutting defense spending, not health care coverage for millions of Americans.

USconstitutionWeThePeople.jpgU.S. Constitution, Fourth Amendment

“The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government.  It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.”

Actual Economic Cost

Economic cost is very difficult to determine over longer periods of time.  Most of the variables that could or would impact the analysis are literally determined by political party control.  When we look at the destructive legislation currently being debated, the unseen economic impact of 24 million people losing health coverage is ten-times higher than the deficit savings.  Premiums are expected to rise an average of 750% for a large segment of Americans who need health care the most.  What do you think will happen when people must pay more for premiums and less for everything else?

The average cost increase if the bill was enacted today would be $1,542 more per year in premium costs.  In 2020, that cost goes up to $2,409 annually.

So, $37 billion would be pulled out of circulation from the consumer markets in 2018; and another $57 billion in 2020; all told, lets average the two together for the years in the middle; over five years, $188 billion would be pulled out of circulation from the economy to pay for insurance premium increases under the new health care law.  That’s the real economic impact we should be discussing.

Cold Hard Facts

The health care law proposed by the GOP is a disaster.  We cannot, and should not allow such a destructive and dangerous piece of legislation to make it through Congress.  President Trump promised health care for all at a lower cost.  He needs to be held to this promise.  This doesn’t include deregulation of the insurance industry nor does it include dismantling Medicaid.  Republican Governor’s all around the country have realized the positive impact the Affordable Care Act has on their State economies.  Taking this away will have far reaching, long term economic consequences.  If you want to start cutting spending and reducing the deficit, start by looking at the explosive defense budget.  Just remember, the Army doesn’t have an accurate account of “$6.5 trillion” from an Audit conducted in 2015.  Before you start complaining about costs, let’s look at where the hell our taxpayer money is going and then discuss “costs”.

Look at U.S. defense spending compared to other countries

0053_defense-comparison-full

One last thought….

The CBO Scored the ObamaCare Repeal and Replace, and it is Generally What One Would Expect

Image_005.png

The CBO scored the ObamaCare repeal and replace plan (American Health Care Act), it reduces the deficit by $337 billion over the decade and increases the uninsured by 24 million by 2026 (OBAMACARE FACTS).

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

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References:

Congressional Budget Office, American Health Care Act, March 13, 2017; https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, December 2016; https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/program-information/medicaid-and-chip-enrollment-data/report-highlights/index.html

U.S. Government Publishing Office, Budget FY 2015; https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?granuleId=BUDGET-2015-TAB-5-1&packageId=BUDGET-2015-TAB&fromBrowse=true

Peter G. Peterson Foundation, U.S. Defense Spending Compared To Other Countries; April 2016; http://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0053_defense-comparison

STAT News – Politics, House Republicans would let employers demand workers’ genetic test results, March 10, 2017; https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/10/workplace-wellness-genetic-testing/

Vox, Analysis: GOP plan to cost Obamacare enrollees $1,542 more a year , March 7, 2017; http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/3/7/14843632/aca-republican-health-care-plan-premiums-cost-price

CNN Politics, Audit reveals Army’s trillion-dollar accounting gaffes, August 23, 2016; http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/23/politics/us-army-audit-accounting-errors/

OBAMACARE FACTS, The ObamaCare Replacement (American Health Care Act) Scored By CBO, March 13, 2017; http://obamacarefacts.com/2017/03/13/the-obamacare-replacement-american-health-care-act-scored-by-cbo/

Truth In Dignity

Global Media Insights  –  February 22, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 3

I wake up wondering each and every day what unbelievable statements will be made by people from all walks of life.  It’s not until recently that I started waking up wondering what unbelievable statements the President of the United States  would make on a daily basis.  Each and every time the President makes a factually untrue statement, I wonder just how it is he can still be expected to have support from anyone.  Without taking too much of a position here, I will say, the media is not our enemy.  In fact, they are most of the time our most important source for information that’s available.  President Trump has gone above and beyond in calling the media outlets “dishonest”.  That they “don’t tell the truth”.

Dictators say such things, not leaders of the free world.  To imply the people do not benefit from a free press are the words of a dictator.  Russian President Vladimir Putin is what you would call one of those dictators.  For some context, “34 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 2000.”  “in the same time period, two journalists were murdered in China, while three were killed in the United States (including the on-air deaths of two television reporters in Virginia this year).”

If President Trump could he would likely do the same thing Russia is doing.  Kill anyone and everyone who disagrees with him or doesn’t sell his story.  There is no truth in dignity without a free press.  We must have it to keep politicians in check, people informed and our government exposed.

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

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How Did We Get Here?

Global Media Insights  –  February 14, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 2

Election 2016

We all remember in the months, weeks and days leading up to the Presidential election last year that Hillary Clinton seemed to be the winner.  What a shock when most of us woke up the next day and realized Donald Trump was just elected instead.  Two things happened during the 2016 election season that resulted in Donald Trumps victory:

  1. Senator Bernie Sanders maintained a strong lead over Donald Trump during the primaries and even was seen more favorably to win the Presidency if the Democratic Party picked him as the candidate instead of Clinton.  Estimates put his win at around 54% of the total vote (Source: Click Here) with Donald Trump at 44%.  It’s evident that due to the fact that Sanders supporters were disappointed with Clinton, they either didn’t vote, or voted for a 3rd party candidate instead.
  2. Donald Trump managed to reach rural voters and feed them exactly what they wanted to hear.  Clinton didn’t tap into this voting block like Trump did and was able to feed on the anger of being left by the Democratic party (Source: Click Here).

Senate 2008

Looking back on the historic election of our first African-American President, Barack Obama, it wasn’t even a few hours that had gone by before the Republican Party was already planning how to block his agenda before it could even be officially laid out.  The night of President Obama’s inauguration the GOP was meeting and planning how to obstruct every single proposal he would come up with.  Now, the Senate has always been a pretty tumultuous place to conduct business (no matter how non-contentious it might seem); but this was different, it was a turning point in United States politics, this was flat out vicious.

Planning obstruction before the newly elected President even gets a chance to finish unpacking boxes at the White House or hiring a staff is an odd approach to take, right after  a harsh referendum against the very party who was voted out of power.  Congressional blockades did become the new norm after President Obama took office.  This heartless and disingenuous lack of representation for the people they are suppose to serve continues even today.  Two figures who are the biggest driver behind this ongoing failure to really get any work done are as follows:

  1. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi represents establishment politics at its worst.  She has been a power hungry, desperate and ineffective leader since losing the House of Representatives in 2011.  Her role as a leader is over.  It has been since she failed to maintain a Democratic House Majority after handing it over to the Republicans.  So long as Pelosi is around, we will continue to see Democrats in the minority.
  2. Senator Mitch McConnell likely is the most corrupt, evil, sadistic and power hungry politician the world has ever seen (in the running with Ted Cruz).  He demands attention, speaks as if he runs the world and reflects everything wrong in politics today.  If he continues his seemingly never ending career as a Senator, we will only endure more and more blatant disregard for the wishes of voters.

These are the two individuals that I see as holding up progress in this country.  Not to mention, we have a real character in the White House, but that’s another story all together.  Until we recognize the root cause of dysfunction and get rid of it, this country will continue to be divided.  Getting rid of Pelosi and McConnell would be a great starting point (yeah let’s throw Ted Cruz in there too); but more is needed to ensure a new head doesn’t grow on the snake in the future.  The only way to ensure this happens is for people to wake up, recognize the issue and band together to demand leadership that provides the support we need without the bickering we don’t want.

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

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Global Media Insights is a registered trade name of Ryan Starzyk Holdings, LLC

Truth In Politics

Global Media Insights  –  February 13, 2017 – Volume 1, Edition 1

American politics seems to have anything but truth behind it over the last fifty years it would seem.  We have a system of utter dysfunction, absurd spending levels on defense, lack of funding in education and a tax system that has become a complex web of loop holes.  Without a doubt, our current political climate is one of great divide.  My goal in this blog is to dig through the inaccuracies and bring forth some sort of truth, dignity and rational basis from the epidemic of fiction plaguing our political system.  There  is no such thing as “alternative facts” there are just facts.

Each blog entry I produce will be well thought out, constructive and most importantly, factual.  I may not personally like the direction the issue being discussed goes but I will absolutely distinguish between an opinion and a cold hard fact.  That’s my goal, to keep the opinions to a minimum while explaining some of the more complex issues we face in American politics today.

It may come across that my posts have the emanation of liberal leaning politics.  Certainty from an ideological standpoint, I do have a more left leaning position on most issues.  From a practical standpoint I do realize that there is a moderate balance that must be realized in order for this country to reach its fullest potential.  Hence why I plan to keep as much as possible, my personal ideology out of the equation.

Do enjoy my postings, insight and factual based arguments as it relates to American politics.

Thank you in advance for stopping by!

Ryan A. Starzyk, Author

This publication has been brought to you by:

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Global Media Insights is a registered trade name of Ryan Starzyk Holdings, LLC