Fix health care
I am a social work student at the University of North Texas, and I feel strongly that the United States should implement universal health care coverage. There are many reasons that health care in the United States desperately needs to be reformed for the physical, mental and economic health of the nation.
While many feel that universal health care coverage is not a good choice for the U.S. for economic reasons, it is estimated that those without insurance receive about $86 billion in health services and can pay about $30 billion (Popple and Leighninger, 2015). With such a dramatic deficit, the government is left to cover about $43 billion of those costs (Popple and Leighninger, 2015).
These excessive expenses are caused in part by uninsured Americans being forced to utilize emergency room services, which end up costing the nation billions of dollars that could be saved through universal health care coverage.
I personally feel that quality health care is a human right that everyone deserves, whether someone is a billionaire or is living off of a minimum-wage job.
I'm dumbfounded that the United States has a health care system that leaves many uninsured people forced to choose between seeking out health care services and being able to pay their other bills.
Health care can be reformed. I am no policymaker, and I am not an expert on this issue, but as a social work student, I do know that this needs to change.
This is a response to those who are disrespecting our national flag.
I grew up in a small farming community in Minnesota and graduated from high school in 1949.
At the beginning of World War II, the entire National Guard company in our small town of Appleton was called to active duty. My brother was a member. Nearly all the company, many of them friends of mine, were killed. Fortunately, my brother survived.
After the war, the city renamed most of the streets in honor of those who died. Only a few streets were left and they have since been named for those residents killed in Korea and Vietnam.
I spent four years in the Navy from 1949-53 and I stand during the playing of the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. I feel I am honoring those who served, those currently serving and those who gave their lives to their country.
I respect the rights of those who protest, but wish they would find a different way in the future. They have had their say and I've had mine. Now let's all stand together and get back to work.
The estate and gift tax: If Congress abolishes the estate and gift tax, the only winners will be the estates valued at over $5.49 million. Married couples can shield just shy of $11 million.
Currently heirs to smaller estates (under the above limits) get a bump up in basis when the holder of the estate dies. This means they inherit it at the current market value at the time of death -- a windfall for the smaller estates.
If the estate tax is abolished, then every estate that passes will go over to the heirs at what the decedent paid for it.
An example: Let's say your parents bought a house and farm land in 1950 for $250,000 and at the time of your parents' death it is worth $5 million. Under the current rules, your basis would be $5 million.
This means if you went to sell it, and sold it for $5 million, there would be no capital gain (No tax). If the estate and gift tax is abolished, this same sale would create a $4,750,000 capital gain (lots of tax).
Oppose status quo
I've been a registered Republican since 1973, however, I consider myself an independent voter.
I'm trying to think of a way to communicate my dissatisfaction with the process of making our country safer from guns. I really disagree with single issue/litmus test-voting but this has gone too far.
I'm trying to find a message (like the #MeToo movement) that will show that if you take money from the NRA, I will not vote for you. So far, the best I've got is #NotGonna.
I think it imperative that Republicans and independents get more vocal in their opposition to the status quo.
Free press best hope
Fake news! Dishonest press! At one time, the free press was admired for the information they provided, and newspapers could be relied on to provide the most honest information available. That is still the case.
A free press is still our best hope of maintaining the democracy but is (and has been for some time) under attack by those people who are threatened by the truth.
Growing up I was taught that the press was honest and did a good job presenting facts.
Then came the internet and an absolute deluge of information over which there was no ethical control. Anybody could say anything and make it sound as truthful as their imagination could create.
Just as one bad apple does spoil the barrel, so a few fake news articles taint the entire press. The fake news generators have armies of creators and unlimited funds.
We just have the original free press, which adheres to the original ethical standards.
Now there is an additional weapon on the side of truth and that is the Not Real News section of the DRC.
The Not Real News section allows one to begin to recognize what is likely fake news and what is not. This section of the paper should have a permanent location on the front page.
If allowed, truth will win over tyranny. We just have to point it out whenever possible.