“Ever wonder why all those folks in rural, “red” America still vote in droves for the same Republicans who brag about gutting the very social programs keeping them alive? How someone like Matt Bevin can run a winning campaign in Kentucky based on cutting people’s access to affordable health care? How Republican governors can get away with refusing free Medicaid for their own citizens? Every election it seems that Democrats end up shaking their heads in dismay as yet another mean-spirited red-state Republican manages to defeat the Democrat by essentially promising to make his own constituents’ lives more miserable. Afterwards we all intone the familiar refrain which boils down to “these people don’t know any better.” If only the Democrats had a more effective “message” on the issues, we could surely reach those people who by all strands of logic ought to vote blue, and convince them that Republicans don’t have their interests at heart.
In one of the more insightful articles ever written about what motivates the rural poor to vote Republican, Alec MacGillis, who covers politics for ProPublica, took a tour through deep red America, asking the same questions. In an Op-Ed for today’s New York Times, MacGillis explains that it’s not all about guns and abortion that drives people in economically-depressed areas to vote Republican. In fact it’s something very basic to human nature, which the GOP exploits at every turn. And Democrats ignore it at their peril. ”
One thing that is not talked about is how our government policies treat marriage.
I worked in the income tax preparation business for quite a few years and I saw firsthand how our tax policies actually favor being a single parent vs married couple. Without fail, during tax season there would be numerous phone calls into the office to inquire what the maximum income cap was that year for the single parent to claim earned income credit and the child tax credit amount.
You see – even though the parents of these kids both live in the same house, if they are LEGALLY not married, then the one with the lowest income can file as a single and he/she is the one to claim the kids – which comes to a pretty hefty income tax refund check. I’ve seen this scenario play out so many times.
It also angered me because both my grown kids got married and then had their kids and they/their spouses work full time – because it takes two paychecks now to just survive.
My grown kids get the child tax credit but never the earned income credit – because their combined income is way above the maximum cap.
BTW – the last year I worked the income tax business – that maximum income level was at $34,000/year.
Who the hell in Kansas makes $34,000/year on an average job now? Especially when we are talking about people with high school diplomas – if that much.
My daughter attended community college at nights, worked a full time job and a part time job. She was single and no kids. The college financial counselor told my daughter to go out and get pregnant, then you would get your college for free because there are programs to help.
But yet these Republicans – who hate the lazy leeches – think that GAY MARRIAGE is the biggest threat?
Not from where I stand….
Also – I knew of a lesbian couple who had one of their male friends help one of them to get pregnant by donating his sperm. Okay – the woman had triplets. There were medical problems with the triplets and since the lesbian couple was not married, the mother of the triplets went on Medicaid and all three of the kids were on every program and even the mother was helped because she could not work due to her having to take care of the triplets.
Hmmm……and yet this lesbian couple wanted to get married – which would have disqualified them for most of those programs because the breadwinner in that couple made a very good salary – way above the $34,000/yr income cap.
Oh – but THANK GOD these two did not get married…….big eye roll
One more thing – this is nothing new.
I remember when my son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. The hospital social worker told me and my husband to get a divorce and then I would qualify for government help – and both my kids (the older girl was not sick) would qualify for health care and other benefits until they reached the legal age of 18.
This social worker even said – you can still live together, just don’t ever get married again.
Did I mention this was in 1986 and REAGAN had been in office for a long time?
Flash forward to the year 2007 – when I was diagnosed with colon cancer and faced months of chemotheraphy after a 29-day stay in the hospital. The hospital billing department was harassing me to pay my portion of this huge bill.
I was told by the financial rep to quit my part time job, divorce my husband and then I would get Medicaid so that the hospital would be paid for past bills AND for all future health care bills.
This time it was a little different – I was being told to get a divorce from the rep of the Catholic-owned hospital. I thought Catholics were anti divorce?
But – in both cases – it was about the M-O-N-E-Y
Sad to say – I think things are worse now.
Does anyone else remember when it was reported that Todd Tiarht was asked by a woman what she was going to do because she was sick and she did not have health insurance.
Tiarht actually told this woman – go on Medicaid.
Oh……and then Republicans want to get rid of Medicaid because they are all leeches??
Tiartht also claimed so Loud-N-Proud that he was such a Compassionate Christian.
Hey – George W. Bush also made that claim and we all saw what he was all about – WAR, WAR and more damn WAR
This is a “comment,” not a “reply.” And I need help; so it is also a request.
Today, a letter in the ‘Public Forum’ of our local newspaper made this statement in writing: “There has never been a tax cut that has not increased the revenue taken in by the government.” How can that be true?
If tax cuts increased revenue – then Kansas should be drowning in money.
I would take issue when the writer used the word ‘never’.
Let’s take a tax cut given to corporations and those corporations turned around and actually hired more people – then there would be more revenue for the government because people are working – payroll taxes, sales taxes being paid on products/services bought.
But as we have all seen way too many times – these corporations get the tax cuts and then take their increased revenue and hide it in safe haven bank accounts overseas.
How the hell is that increasing the revenue for the government – or helping anybody else, for that matter.
It isn’t true, Bob. As Indy pointed out — Kansas is an example. People say a lot of silly things. Some say what they want to believe and state it as fact, some others fall for it. [shaking head]
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