When my three children were toddlers and in the early grades of elementary school, my wife and I would read to them before bedtime. My middle child was three years younger than her older sister and one year older than my youngest, so this was no small task. My wife would generally read to the oldest, or the oldest would read to her, depending on the difficulty of the story. I would read to the two youngest, and then say good night to my eldest daughter.
Eventually, my youngest daughters started reading to me.
I was investing in my children’s future. The nighttime reading ritual is considered one of the most important actions you can do help your children learn to read.
My disappointment with Republican policies keeps escalating as per Pres. Trump’s skinny budget; they fail to invest in America’s future. At first I thought it was that they keep ignoring facts and science. Climate change is happening, and they continue to deny it. If you want to decrease abortions, then start teaching comprehensive sex education. Some Republicans still insist on abstinence-only sex education even though it has been proven that comprehensive sex education reduces unplanned teen-pregnancy rates.
When Republicans refuse to invest in America, it is as if they are failing to read to their kids at night.
According to Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., “Pollster Allan Rivlin has been offering a compelling presentation to Democrats, arguing that they lack a clear, comprehensible and convincing economic message. He’s right. It’s time they got one.”
Let me second, third and fourth that. Democrats have not been getting their message out for a long time. This has caused the Democrats to lose big in the 2010 and 2014 midterms, and to lose the most recent presidential election in the Electoral College. In contrast, the unified messages provided by the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2016 have contributed to his wins.
Republicans have been saying for many years that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, needs to be repealed and replaced with something better. Medicare-for-all is that something better.
Unfortunately for Republicans and the rest of us, after six years of complaining, they still have no idea of how to replace Obamacare. Their latest proposal is to repeal Obamacare, then delay the repeal for two to three years in the hope that they can force Democrats to negotiate a replacement.
Republicans argue falsely that the current problems in our health care system have been exacerbated by Obamacare. In fact Obamacare has mitigated some of the worst problems by reducing the number of uninsured by about 12.5 million and allowing people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance.
However, even Obamacare has not been able to fix the systemic problems that cause the United States to have the most expensive health care system in the world with some of the worst health outcomes of any developed nation. We pay for a yacht, but get a dinghy.
For every year since 2016, I list actions that need to taken to improve lives of citizens and to improve our country. The list for 2016 can be found here.
The economic news has been contradictory in the last few weeks. Bad news started the cycle with real gross domestic product decreasing at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. Good news followed with solid job growth and the lowest unemployment in five years, 6.1 percent.
Regardless of whether the economic news is good or bad overall, many people think the economy is stuck in low gear. While people at the upper end of economic ladder have seen their incomes substantially increase, those in the lower- and middle-class have seen their incomes stagnate for the last several decades.
If we want robust economic growth for both the short- and long-term, then a bold plan is needed that combines stimulus with investment in physical and human capital. The right plan would lift everybody, especially those people who have not seen economic benefit for decades.
The country anxiously awaits leadership that will provide such a plan. Neither party has produced this.