GOP hates ACA Cuz Pres Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig
When we board a plane what is the first thing Flight Attendants demonstrating passenger safety instructions, tell us to do in case of emergency? “…an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you… secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” That’s Rational Self Interest.
With the exception of religious cultists who abdicate control over their own being, we as INDIVIDUALS instinctively strive for SELF-PRESERVATION especially when our life is threatened. It’s an existential article of faith. And nothing crystalizes this fact more readily than when we NEED healthcare to prevent or cure illness.
Rational Self-Interest in economics is when a person “makes economic decisions that benefit them the most.” Is that not what we’ve been told real capitalism is supposed to be about? Marketplaces, competition, and consumers making choices based on what is best for them? So why do the GOP and their wealthy backers hate PBO for enacting this model of capitalism?
He is exposing them for their fake capitalism. Jig is up.
In the perverse Ayn Randian philosophy that the likes of the Koch brothers espouse, there’s talk of pursuing one’s own interests only. But in actuality what they have told their rubes is that they must sacrifice their economic interests in service of ideology. In other words 1%ers preach cultural adherence and ideological purity to their followers while they themselves siphon every public asset and good to themselves. It’s a faith-based heist of the commonweal.
President Obama co-opted Ayn Rand’s idea of rational self-interest, turned it on its head, and the Republican Kochsters HATE him for it. The ACA challenges the ability of the Bircher puppetmasters and their corporate ilk to control their rubes over the single most important and intimate aspect of their lives; healthcare. But worse for them it has electoral implications, at least in the near term. Kochsters know it, we know it, and ordinary Americans will soon know it too. As VP Biden said, it’s a BFD, positively for ordinary Americans, and negatively for the Kochsters.
Healthcare is ground zero. It’s a singular necessity of life in which no one can live vicariously through another person’s. In an airplane emergency if your oxygen mask IS working you hold on to yours for dear life regardless of whether the passenger in seat 53G’s mask is working or not. That’s Rational Self-Interest. You can’t bullshit people about what they are getting or not getting. Healthcare is personal. Too intimate. No one ever forgets what that experience is like or costs. The impact is visceral. The numbers don’t lie. People know that they paid $1500 out of pocket last year for an MRI and now it is covered under ACA.
Earlier this year I paid copay as I have done for every mammogram since turning forty. Last month I got a refund check. I shouldn’t have been charged because of Obamacare. Can’t fudge or massage that fact. And that is what Republicans fear. Cruz called it a “sugar high”. We call it OBJECTIVE REALITY, or as Colbert says “Reality has a well-known liberal bias”. That is why the 1%ers see the Affordable Care Act as the “Most Dangerous” legislation ever. If people LIKE it, the Kochsters can’t take it away from them, Evah!
As President Obama said yesterday, Americans have every right to act for their own benefit and nobody else’s when it comes to healthcare. He said:
“Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself”
Simple but a very profound affront to the Kochsters manner of continuing the trick that President Andrew Jackson pulled on non-propertied whites in the mid 19th century in which he convinced them to trade in their economic interests for the empty veneer of racial superiority and cultural solidarity.
It’s worked for decades, where over and over again the very constituencies who should be picking up pitchforks against corporate greed and callousness of the 1%ers, instead align themselves with those very interests detrimental to their own economic welfare.
The ACA is pivotal to the entire house of deceptive cards crumbling, in which the tiny minority that is the wealthy class in this country, has successfully hoodwinked the majority of White working class to consistently defend the interests of the rich minority. Pres Obama peeled open the nugget yesterday when he asked:
“Now do you think if you get sick or if you get hurt and you get stuck with a massive bill, these same folks, they are going to help you out? Or are they gonna pay for your healthcare?”
(Only the relevant 55 seconds plays)
When my son heard PBO ask that question, as we were driving back from his oral surgery yesterday, he sneeringly said without my prompting, “Why, they think we’re stoooopid?” Exactly Pres Obama’s point. My son belongs to the very demographic that those creepy Koch ads are aimed at. He asked why the billionaires are wasting money on TV ads which neither he nor his peers watch, and certainly not the You Tube versions which they routinely “skip.” But he liked the healthcare.gov prompts that show the biker injured from a fall, and even the quirky Adorable Care Act posters. Apart from savvily wrapping the ACA in the blanket of rational self interest, the Obama admin is honing HOW to deliver that message to the target audience. Kochsters are throwing away money at a lost cause.
President Obama pinpointed a very important FACT during his speech in Largo, MD, yesterday, whose significance no one, not Republicans, or even the media dared touch. He said:
“What are they afraid of? They’re afraid people are gonna try it, and like it“
President Obama’s entire array of economic, social and even foreign policies have all revolved around one core belief: that ordinary people can and must be empowered to advance themselves, using the galvanizing power of government as catalyst ONLY. Their extent of success is determined by the level and innovation of skill, dexterity of execution of ideas, the hunger to keep perfecting those ideas, and the flexibility to adapt to rapid change. Sounds simple but to the wealthy classes, their hold on power is only tenable if ordinary people are NOT empowered. It’s a zero sum game to them.
Voting Against One’s Economic Self-Interest
The conversation between President Obama and Joe the Plumber in the run up to the 2008 elections was exactly about that idea of government providing the even playing field through progressive taxation, for ordinary people to be able to compete in the attainment of their OWN economic rational self interest in the classic capitalist sense.
Sadly Joe the Plumber was so wedded to his fantasies of belonging to the 1%er class that he failed to see Pres Obama’s point. So he lost out. Where is he now after dancing along as the GOP puppets yanked him every which way? That’s what ideology is intended to do: stop the rubes from ever rising up from their induced crouch.
The exchange between Pres Obama & Wurzelbacher illustrates how successfully Kochsters have deluded sections of the working class. It’s worth revisiting at length:
Joe: I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes about $250,000 … $270-$280,000 a year.
Obama: All right.
Joe: Your new tax plan’s gonna tax me more, isn’t it?
Obama: Well, here’s what’s gonna happen. If you’re a small business which you would qualify as, first of all, you’d get a 50 percent tax credit, so you get a cut on taxes for your health care costs. So you would actually get a tax cut on that front. If your revenue is above $250,000, then from $250,000 down, your taxes are gonna stay the same. It is true that for … say, from $250,000 up, from $250,000 to $300,000 or so …
Joe: Well, the reason why I ask you about the American Dream I mean, I work hard. I’m a plumber, I work 10-12 hours a day …
Joe: … and I’m, you know, buying this company and I’m gonna continue to work that way. Now, if I buy another truck and adding something else to it and, you know, build the company, you know, I’m getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American Dream.
Obama: Well, here’s a way of thinking about it. How long have you been a plumber? How long have you been working?
Joe: Fifteen years.
Obama: Okay. So, over the last 15 years, when you weren’t making $250,000, you would have been getting a tax cut from me. So you’d actually have more money, which means you would have saved more, which means that you would have gotten to the point where you could build your small business quicker than under the current tax code. So there are two ways of looking at it. I mean, one way of looking at it is, now that you’ve become more successful …
Joe: Through hard work.
Obama: … through hard work, you don’t want to be taxed as much.
Obama: Which I understand. But another way of looking at it is, 95 percent of folks who are making less than $250,000, they may be working hard, too, but they’re being taxed at a higher rate than they would be under mine. So what I’m doing is … you know, put yourself back 10 years ago when you were only making whatever — $60,000 or $70,000. Under my tax plan, you would be keeping more of your paycheck, you’d be spending lower taxes, which means that you would have saved and gotten to the point where you are faster. …We haven’t given a break to folks who make less and, as a consequence, the average wage and income for just ordinary folks, the vast majority of Americans, has actually gone down over the last eight years. So all I want to do is … I’ve got a tax cut. The only thing that changes is, I’m going to cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need, and for the 5 percent of the folks who are doing very well, even though they’ve been working hard … and I understand that; I appreciate that … I just want to make sure that they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect your disagreement, but I just want you to be clear. It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success, too.
Joe: It seems like you’d be welcome to a flat tax then.
Obama: You know, I would be open to it except for … here’s the problem with the flat tax. If you actually put a flat tax together, you’d probably … in order for it to work and replace all the revenue that we’ve got, you’d probably end up having to make it like about a 40 percent sales tax. I mean, the value added, making it up. Now, some people say 23 or 25, but, in truth, when you add up all the revenue that would need to be raised, you’d have to slap on a whole bunch of sales taxes on it. And I do believe that for folks like me who are, you know, have worked hard but, frankly, also been lucky, I don’t mind paying just a little bit more than the waitress who I just met over there, who’s … things are slow and she can barely make the rent. Because my attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody…
That is why the GOP paymasters find PBO exceptionally threatening. Many on the far left have said President Obama has done nothing remotely “liberal” to warrant the “socialist/communist” moniker that the rightwing has given him. That’s precisely what makes him dangerous; He is reorienting CAPITALISM from the perverted morass it has been in over the last 40 years, into a freight train for empowering ordinary people. He’s exposed the status quo economic order as simply a façade for a kleptocracy masquerading as capitalism, and stifling innovation. Scandalous! How dare he?
Sure, the economic turnaround notwithstanding, GOP and corporate stenographers repeatedly lob the silly insult at PBO for not having any business experience. Romney took that point to absurd levels even as his own campaign was run as an abysmal business failure.
President Obama snatched Ayn Rand’s wig in that he is redefining those functions that Libertarians allow government to perform, most notably DEFENCE. He is rudely substituting Healthcare for that without an iota of apology. In PBO’s redefinition a strong nation state is one filled with HEALTHY people maximizing their potential in pursuit of their rational interests, not fancy munitions. Secondly whereas Rand’s binary thinking led her to see “community” as anathema to individual interests, PBO sees it instead as both lifeblood and dynamic marketplace that enables said individual to achieve anything at all. Healthcare is the test ground for his cooptation of Randian self-interest.
ACA:The 3rd Revolutionary Safety Net
An important distinction to note is that the earlier 2 pillars of the social safety net, Social Security & Medicare, were severely limited in scope at their inception because FDR & LBJ had to make concessions to Dixiecrats, segregationists who did not want certain populations benefiting from those laws. So SS initially excluded coverage to majority of those professions that happened to be filled mostly by people of color, immigrants. Pegging Medicare’s eligibility age at 65 similarly cutout groups who had much lower life expectancy.
But the ACA is the first law that does NOT limit access demographically, right out of the gate. Think about that. No one is excluded from participating, not by race, ethnicity, region, profession, or income. Taxation-wise it is the most progressive, unlike SS or Medicare taxes that absolve the wealthy from paying more. The wealthy pony up for the ACA, and they hate it.
The ACA also breaks the stranglehold of employers on workers, who until now have hung onto miserable jobs for dear life cuz of healthcare, and have traded real wages for “benefit packages” whose worth start depreciating the very moment you start clocking into work. Paltry salaries will be revealed for what they truly are.
The boon will be for those raring to strike out on their own but have dared not take the risk because of healthcare security their employer provides, and the fear of illness bankrupting them should they leave.
Signing up or preserving option to sign up for ACA is the fundamental pursuit of FREEDOM
ACA is freedom