Eisenhower would not recognize this Republican Party

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The quote above from the 34th President of the United States from November 8, 1954 provides a glimpse at a point in time when there actually was a Republican Party that could be called moderate. While President Eisenhower believed in the free market, the same free market today’s conservatives constantly lecture us about, he also knew there was a vital role for government in our society. Yes, of course government is there to provide for the common defense of our country. It’s also there to referee the massive economic system we call capitalism.

From time to time though, it becomes necessary for government to do more. Sometimes capitalism is brutal. Sometimes people fall through the cracks. Sometimes people play by the rules and work hard their entire life only to see themselves never getting ahead. This is the reality of capitalism.

And it’s because of this reality that we expect our elected leaders to act. Perhaps no leader understood this more than President Franklin Roosevelt. Out of his administration during the Great Depression came Social Security, unemployment insurance and minimum wage laws. These programs are still with us today. Even though the majority of Republicans were against these programs, pragmatic politicians like Eisenhower knew their importance to everyday Americans and had the good sense to speak out in favor of them.

Where are today’s Eisenhower Republicans? Answer: They don’t exist.

Today’s Republican Party bears no resemblance to the Party of Eisenhower. In fact, were he alive today Dwight Eisenhower would not recognize the party he once belonged to. For example, Republicans would love to dramatically alter Social Security. They would like to privatize it, raise the age limit, alter the way benefits are calculated as well as means test recipients. They like to call these changes ‘entitlement reform.’ What they really are is an assault on a successful social insurance program that has kept millions of elderly and disabled people out of poverty for decades.

Instead of working with the opposition party to try to strengthen the program for generations, Republicans are setting the stage for what they have been wanting to do for generations: nothing less than a full and complete gutting of Social Security and other vital social programs in order to pay for cutting taxes massively for millionaires and billionaires.

This is nothing new of course. They love to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, yet proclaim that it will have no negative effect on the debt or deficit. Then, when Democrats are in charge they claim entitlement programs must be cut in order to bring down those same deficits they were responsible for creating in the first place. Luckily, the Democrats now control at least one branch of government. We’ve dodged a bullet, for now. But, we know the drill. They won’t let up.

At the time of Eisenhower’s quote, Social Security had only been the law of the land for 19 years. It’s importance then, and it’s importance now have not changed. Eisenhower understood it. It started under Democrats and it will be up to Democrats to protect and preserve the program. It’s quite clear the other party is unwilling and unable to stand up to special interests and others that would love nothing better than to destroy the program.

Only when every day Americans begin to vote for their best interests, instead of against them, will things change in Washington, D.C.

Note: I originally posted this article back in April. I’ve updated it to reflect the current makeup of our government. The topic of course, is always relevant. Gutting the social safety net is, and has always been, a goal of the Republican Party.

34 comments

      1. Yes, absolutely true. And the same holds true for corporations. How many corporations actually paid the 35% rate that was in effect before Trump lowered it to 21%? That’s right, very very few. And some know how to take it to zero with all of the damn loopholes Congress has allowed into the tax code. This must change!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that friend, and I do appreciate your contribution and comments. I’m glad you still check it out when you can. Yes, we do disagree on much. But that’s ok because I want to debate those who disagree. Common ground is hard but even you and I have found some on occasion. Thanks again

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brookingslib, I also do invite you to give my blog a read. It is solely moderated, however, I am delighted to discuss the stuff I review. I will be sure to watch my language and keep the comments civil. My only request is that the same courtesy also be extended.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. By the way, if you put forth any comments and ideas and they don’t get an immediate response, it is due to my requiring time to find stuff to review. Due to my blog being solely moderated, I may not always be able to respond immediately to comments that I get.

        As indicated, the introductory post is meant for ideas to be offered. Want to see a hot sauce idea for review, please mention it there.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, Jeff–

    No disagreement at all about Republicans’ incessant push to cut taxes and regulations. But, the following sentiment gives me a little bit of pause,

    They love to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, yet proclaim that it will have no negative effect on the debt or deficit. Then, when Democrats are in charge they claim entitlement programs must be cut in order to bring down those same deficits they were responsible for creating in the first place. Luckily, the Democrats now control at least one branch of government. Weโ€™ve dodged a bullet, for now. But, we know the drill. They wonโ€™t let up.

    As a reminder, it was the Obama Admin that tried for 6 years (after passing the ACA) to strike a “Grand Bargain” with the R’s–cutting taxes and closing tax loopholes, in exchange for slashing Social Security and, to some extent, Medicare. That was the sole purpose of the so-called Catfood Commission (formally, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform), as I recall.

    And, now, Dems are set to pass–via reconciliation–legislation which will slash the Medicare Part D drug benefit by approximately 2/3’s (referring to the RX formulary). Supposedly, this move will reduce the deficit, to satisfy Manchin and the Administration.

    In addition, approximately 1/2 of this so-called “savings”–made, I would argue, at the expense of stripping seniors of much needed life-saving (brand name) prescription drugs to reduce the Part D program costs–will be used to further extend, with no income limits, expanded ACA premium subsidies. For certain, I have no problem with extending the subsidies beyond the “up to 400% of FPL” metric, but, can’t fathom having absolutely no cap, when this benefit will be funded on the backs of Medicare beneficiaries/seniors.

    Also, fine with setting a cap on co-pay ($2000), or, with smoothing (allowing co-pays to be spread over the calendar year in monthly payments)–obviously, benefits which would actually greatly benefit Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

    But, IMO, it basically amounts to “taking away with one hand, what you give with the other one,” to write the legislation as they’ve written it.

    In other words, “What good does lowering the annual co-pay do, if so many drugs are slashed from the formulary, that seniors won’t be able to access many of the life-saving drugs that are currently available to them?”

    For instance, Mr Blue and I have a CVS/Caremark RX (Part D) Plan which is comprised of 3,450 RX’s.

    According to articles and white papers I’ve read, the VA “national” one-size-fits-all formulary has only approximately 1200 RX’s–which include items other than RX’s, such as diabetic test strips, etc.

    (Not that I don’t want these necessary medical or pharmaceutical items covered–just shouldn’t be counted as a RX, in order to pad the formulary. IMO.)

    Hope people will, at the very least, consider who the folks are that are pushing this so-called Part D drug pricing reform–Dem Party fiscally conservative economists Larry Summers and Brian Deese, Gene Sperling (Grand Bargain negotiator and one of O’s national economic advisors), deficit hawk former US Rep Jane Harman, and, of course, ultra conservative Senator Manchin–just to name a few.

    Phew!

    (I mention these individuals because I’ve heard them on either Cable News, or Sunday Political shows pushing this legislation in the past several months. The problem is that many, if not most of the Dem Party lawmakers, understand what reforms using QALY metrics and/or CEVR reports will do to the average Medicare Part D beneficiary.)

    But, why should they care? After all, they can go through the OAP, or Office of Attending Physician, and get any FDA-approved drugs. IOW, they are insulated from the disastrous effects of this Medicare Part D policy change.

    By the way, my comments are in no way intended to defend the R’s–it’s a given that they would wreck the social safety net.

    But, from what I’ve gleaned, there’s not much difference between them and the D’s. A few (like Sanders) make a lot of noise, but, in the end, go along with whatever the Dem Party Establishment dictates.

    Just look at what Sanders co-sponsored with for Florida US Rep Jeff Miller (and, informally McCain) regarding the privatization of VA services in 2014. Not to mention, the stripping of Civil Service employee protections in the same bill–informally referred to as the VA Choice Act. Which, Mr Blue and I take very seriously, after decades of service.

    Gotta run “Rambo” out before a shower comes through. (thank goodness!) But, will try to drop back by, and post a couple of telling and interesting quotes regarding the proposed drug pricing reform legislation.

    Thanks for re-posting this essay. Now, I can post my comments in a “topic appropriate” essay, instead of always hijacking unrelated essays. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blue

    Postscript: In advance, apologize for typos and clumsy syntax–sorta distracted by my surroundings, this evening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to hear from you Blue. I think you and I will have to agree to disagree with the adage that both parties are pretty much one and the same. There are too many differences for me to list here.
      That said, I was disappointed that Obama was looking to do the grand bargain. He allowed himself to be dragged into the whole ‘bipartisanship’ issue and wanted to show he could work with the other side. It was more political maneuvering than anything else. To his credit, though, he did try to get the public option for Obamacare. He was derailed by a few centrist dems-Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson in particular. Some will say he didn’t fight hard enough. Fair.
      I think what we have to do is look at whether or not this new bill, that Manchin supposedly is now on board with, is going to benefit the country as a whole. I want more, you want more. But in the end, if they can reduce prescription costs, help the environment, give ACA folks some help, and make the corp. pay their fair share, I’m all in. I’m not immersed in the details as much as you Blue. And good on you for that. I want action, though. And I want progress. This new legislation, as it appears to me so far, is progress. In this day and age, you’ve got to take what you can get!
      Take care, we’ll touch base soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Broookingslib, I know what the difference is between a marginal tax rate, an effective tax rate and taxable income. How best would it be explained to people who may not know what it is that a marginal tax rate applies to a dollar amount above a specified threshold, not total income?

    Like

  3. Hi, Jeff–

    Mr Blue is going to allow me a little more breathing room for a day or two–we’re working diligently on our move to SA (South America)–so that I can try to shine some light on the detrimental effects that the reconciliation bill will have on Medicare Part D.

    It will be a daunting task–only the community and organizations that advocate for persons with disabilities still have the guts to stand up against it (since the rationing greatly affects both disabled and elderly people), and, unfortunately, their voices have been drastically muted.

    Anyhoo, after I finish a vet “chat” regarding Rambo’s medical condition (revealed by recent biopsy), I plan to swing back by and post info from the National Council On Disability (NCD) regarding the toxicity of the QALY metrics.

    Correction to previous comment: should read “ICER Reports,” not CEVR reports. As I said, I was working under pretty distracting circumstances at the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jeff, I hope that my previous comment did come across as belligerent and/or insulting. It wasn’t intended that way. Guess it was the frustration that I feel (coming through) as I watch every so-called progressive institution, organization, and political party sell out seniors in order to cut the deficit and/or redirect funding to other pet projects.

    So, if in any way posting on this topic is not to your liking, please, just let me know. As I explained when I first showed up here, I’m from what I consider to be the true left, and, honestly, have little use for either legacy party.

    But, it is important (to me) for the unvarnished truth to be told about any so-called “reforms” to our social safety net.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised, at all, if a “Grand Bargain” between the R’s and D’s is struck with this Administration. I knew that McConnell and Harry Reid were good buds (after reading a CNN article), but, it wasn’t until recently, when I heard a portion of a McConnell and Biden podcast, that I found out that they are also big buddies.

    I only caught the tail end of the recording when it played on XM Radio several weeks ago. But, did a quick search, and found that C-Span has an almost 10-minute recording of them “toasting” one another. I didn’t bother to listen after I read the summary. But, if anyone is interested, let me know, and I’ll post a link to the podcast in this thread.

    What we have in DC is indeed a “Uniparty.” (IMO)

    snip

    BTW, our Part D PBM, CVS/Caremark, began utilizing QALY metrics in 2018–this year, we had a new “Prior Authorization” category.

    It reads:

    PA if 70 years and older

    snip

    Convenient,, eh?

    Think about it–a RX formulary/plan for the elderly, which systematically restricts drug usage for almost all plan beneficiaries based upon age!

    Unfortunately, since this type of info is mostly paywalled, I didn’t know about it until I stumbled across a Forbes Economic Forum video, featuring the Texas billionaire who’s the primary funder of this deficit cutting measure. OTOH, it was a couple years ago, or so, that I found out that the VA had adopted the use of QALY metrics–in 2017, IIRC.

    Getting reedy to call the AARP and register my complaint with them, regarding their support–for what good it will do. The only reason we have a membership, is that it was required several years ago, when we enrolled in an UnitedHealthcare Part D drug plan. Our membership will not be renewed.

    BTW, it has been Pelosi who’s led the fight to bolster the ACA premium subsidy funding, by taking a large chunk of the “savings” from drug pricing reform.

    Also, the Dem Party included in their “2020 Party Platform” a pledge NOT TO use QALY metrics (for the disabled). Now, instead, they’ll legislating it for seniors. Will post the excerpt and a link when I swing back by.

    Later. Mr Blue just got in with “din-din.” Been on a pizza binge, off and on, past week. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blue

    Postscript: In advance, please excuse typos and clumsy syntax. Not an especially good typing day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear you Blue. I know the bill doesn’t go far enough. Or does it help seniors like it should. By the way, there’s no way we can be 100% sure this bill will pass. We don’t even know how Sinema is going to vote. She could kill it all by herself.
      That said, there’s a lot in there that I can be happy about. The climate stuff is very important to me. No, again, it doesn’t go nearly as far as I’d like. But here’s the thing. We have a 50/50 Senate. And a few of those 50 on the Dem side are moderate to conservative in their ideology.
      So with those political realities, Democrats must compromise. If not, absolutely nothing gets done and we’ll get the unAmerican/tyrannical/anti-everything party in power again. Frankly, I think that would be a disaster.
      So, while I certainly appreciate that you’re a true blue progressive, I’m going to err on the side of getting stuff done. The only way that changes is to elect several, and I mean several, progressive Democrats to Congress.
      I’m sure you realize that major pieces of legislation last century-namely those signed into law by LBJ and FDR were the result of massive Dem majorities in Congress, if I’m not mistaken.
      How in the hell we do that, namely, getting more progressives elected, is beyond me. We’re so divided in this country these days. The days of mega majorities are probably gone for a long time-if not forever. And yes, the stupid and outdated filibuster always looms.
      So Blue, while I appreciate your skepticism and warnings as to how bad this is, I’m going to support it, if it becomes law. Give and take and compromise are all we can hope for right now. And keep chipping away, little by little, to get what we want.
      I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’m not able to devote as much time to the blog these days so it may take a few days. Just an FYI.
      Thanks again for all your excellent insights. Hope you have a great rest of your week and weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. After posted above comment, heard that Schumer and Manchin have negotiated an expanded deal. Sounds as though it may include a tax on corporations, etc. That would be great.

    Will check it out, and post links (mentioned above) tomorrow.

    Blue

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Jeff–

        Thank you so much for the replies. And, of course, for the well wishes for Kaity–a/k/a “Rambo” due to her rough and tumble ways and sheer brute force. ๐Ÿ™‚

        My plans for posting this evening have been derailed, but look forward to replying to your comments over the weekend. Your points are all well-taken. I agree with you about the need for compromise on many issues The exception (for me) might be the drastic cutting of our Medicare Part D formularies.

        (having said that, “agree to disagree,” since no two people agree on everything. most certainly, I much appreciate that you kindly allow me a venue to so openly express my views, even when they may go against the grain of most the folks in the Community. will do my best to do a lot less editorializing and griping, and, present more posting of the info via links and excerpts, from here on)

        Will catch up with you later. Hope you and yours have a nice weekend, as well. BTW, hope you avoid the heat wave that’s hitting some in the Pacific Northwest (from what I hear). It’s been seasonably hot, here, but, luckily for us, not much worse than that. That’s bad enough–high 80’s to low 90’s.

        Blue

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Blue! Luckily, in my corner of the Pacific Northwest, we are escaping all of that heat. I’m on the coast. Hi temp today? 63 and partly sunny. I’ll take it!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And INLAND, we sweat at 100ยฐ plus. ๐Ÿฅต Not to mention, our A/C is on the fritz. What makes it even MORE upsetting is it was “supposedly” repaired ($$$$) on Wednesday … and then started blowing warm air Thursday afternoon! As Jill would say … Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! (Thank goodness for our motorhome!)

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I read your post, Nan. Wow, what an ordeal! Glad you finally have the unit working. That had to be a nightmare. Btw, you live in Oregon, right? I seem to remember you talking about that.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thought so. We golfed yesterday down here and again, a cool 67. I’ll take it! Good luck and I hope you have no more AC issues!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Saturday, July 31st

    Hola, Jeff & OTFV’ers–

    Just checking in, to say that I’ll be somewhat delayed in posting the links and excerpts. It’s for a good reason, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, got a new laptop, and I’ve got to set it up–Bitdefender, Proton VPN & Mail, etc. (it came with very few loaded programs, which suits us, frankly)

    Also, gotta transfer my bookmarks to a thumb drive, or, hassle with going back and forth between laptops.

    Actually, we bought the laptop a while back (from a local computer business we’ve traded with for years–made a phone payment, since we still avoid going in most retail stores), but, didn’t get around to picking it up until this week. Glad we did–it’s much lighter than my older model, which I appreciate since I often post sitting in an easy chair, instead of sitting at a table or desk. And, the display is excellent–super hi-def. Three or four years ago, we decided to purchase a refurbished laptop, for a change, and, it was so “like new,” we’ve continued that practice. (The warranty is excellent, and, only once have we ever had to use it.)

    We’re adding RAM to the older laptop which Mr Blue will mostly use to run finance programs. He’s planning to re-watch what I suppose was a TV Series, at one time, called “Ozark.” I have little time for watching anything, but, when I get a chance to do so, have found Ozark to be quite compelling in regards to the storyline, as well as most of the actors’ performances. Especially, Julia Garner–she nails the part of Ruth Langmore, for sure. Whoah!

    I dug out our third oldest laptop, and, even though the OS is no longer supported, I’m hoping to be able to retrieve several photos and screenshots from it to post here. (not sure I can, but, will give it a shot–fingers crossed!)

    Later.

    Blue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blue, I just started watching Ozark (off and on) a couple of weeks ago. I agree, it’s quite a compelling series! Some of it is a bit over my head as I’m definitely not a $$$$$ person. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve considered getting VPN but haven’t made up my mind — plus there are so many out there to choose from! I’m going to look into the plan you have.

      I can identify with the laptop setup as we just recently bought a new one as well.

      (Sorry for going so far off-topic, Jeff.)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ozark? OMG, my wife and I loved that show. We saw every episode and was amazed at the storylines and performances. All top-notch. I was sad that they ended it. But, maybe they wanted to go out on top. And yes, Julia Garner is simply awesome. One of the best actresses we have today.
      Good luck with the laptop Blue!

      Like

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