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borhoi posted a topic in Online News & BlogsPresident Trump Addresses the Media Outside the Whitehouse on Thursday (Leah Mills/Reuters) Commentary: Trump's Ukraine Dilemma Deepens Ryan D. Price Well, he's really gone and done it. On Thursday, President Donald Trump spoke to the media outside the White House and basically admitted to everything House Democrats hoped to prove in their impeachment inquiry. "I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens." That quote came shortly after the President exclaimed, out of the blue, that China should also investigate the Bidens. It's important to note here that he at no time during his ever-familiar stream-of-consciousness ranting admitted that he himself had already put pressure on either Ukraine or China to investigate. He simply said he'd recommend they do so. However, Trump's bold attitude about this whole thing isn't surprising. House Democrats can move to impeach and bring the case before the Republican-led Senate who will not convict. With the latest Gallup poll showing 87% job approval for Trump among GOP voters, it'd be political suicide for any GOP senator to vote to convict the President. In the meantime, the entire impeachment process can be spun easily as a "witch hunt" by the Trump Administration - a tactic they're already putting to use. By spending the entirety of his first campaign and first term in office lashing out at the media, Trump's solidified among his base a complete distrust for basically any news story that doesn't come out of his mouth (or from his fingers on Twitter). What Democrats hope will shine a damaging light on alleged corruption and harm the President's reelection bid might just end up rallying the President's base more than ever. But is any of this real? Did Trump use or attempt to use his office to pressure Ukranian President Zelensky into investigating his political rival's family? A round of text messages released by the House Intelligence Committee seems to at least add a bit of credence to the notion. These texts between US diplomats aren't just bad optics. They're downright damning. Bill Taylor, the US's top diplomat in Ukraine, expressed his opinion that it was "crazy" to withhold military aid in an attempt to benefit Trump's reelection. Taylor has served under four administrations as US Ambassador to Ukraine. Gordon Sondland, who quickly replied to the text (shown in the picture above), is the US Ambassador to the European Union, and also a Trump megadonor. Sondland put more than one million dollars towards Trump's campaign in 2016 before being appointed to his current position. Particularly suspicious is his insistence that the conversation be taken offline, away from text messages. As President Trump's public persona becomes more erratic than ever in the face of an impeachment inquiry it's hard to look at the mounting evidence and not see something unsettling. The oath the President took upon inauguration was this: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." If Trump is indeed abusing the power of his office to pressure foreign leaders into helping his reelection bid, as the texts seem to show, it's hard to say he is faithfully executing the Office. MORE FROM SAINTS [Saints Radio] Missed Our Interview With Chief Hughes? [Saints News] Opinion: Is "Medicare For All" A Good Idea? [Saints News] DRESS TO IMPRESS (Night-Out Wear) Saints News
borhoi posted a topic in Online News & BlogsBernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont, Presidential Candidate, and Vocal Proponent of "Medicare for All" [New York Times] Opinion: Is "Medicare for All" A Good Idea? Ryan D Price Vermont is one of the wealthiest (per capita) and smallest states in the Union. It’s also the state that Democratic Socialist darling Bernie Sanders has represented in Congress for the past twenty-eight years. In the small, wealthy state of Vermont, a bill was passed by its State Legislature in 2011. It was called H 202, or “Single-Payer and Unified Health System”. This law, which was enacted in the state, creating “Green Mountain Care”. This taxpayer-funded healthcare pool was meant to provide universal healthcare coverage for all of Vermont’s citizens. The kicker was that it was also expected to reduce healthcare costs. It all sounded wonderful. Fast forward to 2013. Under the provisions of the law, Vermont was supposed to have, by this time, figured out how to fund the thing. They hadn’t. An 11% payroll tax hike was proposed, but this was - naturally - determined to be unfair and even crippling to small businesses in the state. By 2014 the state had still not figured out how to fund the law with the $2 billion in additional state spending it required. The law was abandoned by the state. What happened? Two-thirds of Vermont’s citizens agreed that even if it meant a tax-hike, they wanted universal healthcare. The people felt ready to pay up for the collective good of their state. Reality set in though. That’s what happened. A line touted by opponents of single-payer healthcare is simple - nothing is actually free. This is important, especially today, as we hear the terms “free healthcare” and “free college” being thrown around. It’s easy to say that we can tax the rich to Hell to pay for these things. It feels good. It feels like the right thing to do. However, it’s just not how things work. A national “Medicare for all” plan, like the plans touted by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, would establish a costly and ineffective government bureaucracy overseeing all aspects of our healthcare system. Let’s take a second to think about that. The Federal Government, along with its low approval ratings and generally accepted inability to govern effectively, would be in full control of the entirety of our healthcare system. That doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, and you can take a quick look at the failures of the Veteran’s Affair’s healthcare system for reference. Then comes the other issue. How do we fund this? “Medicare for all” would cost the Fed over $32 trillion in its first ten years. Let’s take a shot in the dark here. Let’s say we doubled the corporate tax rate as well as the individual income tax rate. Obviously a 100% increase in taxing would cover this, right? No. It’d fail to cover the expense of this program. These programs don’t work on the state level once the invoice hits the desk. They’re great to think about, and well-intentioned. But the reality of the situation is that they can’t feasibly be funded in the United States - whether it be at the State or Federal level - without crippling our economy. If a doubling of corporate and individual income tax - something I think most voters would not get behind - can’t cover something, then the writing is on the wall. “Medicare for all” is a dud that would never be enacted even if it passed in the house and senate and was signed into law. Just like Vermont, the cost would come in, and the plan would fail. Focusing on other common sense ways to reduce already existing healthcare costs is the way to go here - not a wholesale handover to the Federal Government with all of us expected to foot the bill. The opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect those of Saints News as a whole, but those of its author Ryan D. Price. Saints News