As noted here yesterday, Andrew Bales is one of my opponents in the May 5 primary for United States House of Representatives in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. Candidates who take stands on issues risk voter “backlash.”
Candidates - usually “front-runners” if not in others’ at least in their own minds - are safer to keep promises vague and to use bland phrases that harken to “mom, apple pie and the girl next door” and simpler times (that never existed).
Mr. Bales is more specific on more issues than other GOP candidates. On his website he warns “Nation and our Constitution is under assault by the Left! Join me to Protect our Freedoms!” Mr Bales fails to specify areas of our Nation or provisions of the Constitution the Left assaults.
Mr Bales does not identify what societal forces make up “the Left.” He views Socialism as so much of a threat that it keeps him “awake at night. I cherish the freedoms our Constitution guarantees us as United States citizens, and I will fight to protect those freedoms!”
Yesterday, I explained that the concept of socialism is complex, difficult to define, and usually explained in context of comparison to capitalism. For 99% of Americans outside the uber elite, capitalism sucks.
Socialism involves government control of capital, equal treatment of people, and distribution of goods based upon needs of people who use those goods instead of the profits for the people or corporations that, in capitalism, control those goods.
In capitalism, concerns for profit supersede concerns for people. A myth of capitalism is that it fosters competition and, through that competition, the marketplace benefits.
Given basic economic forces, socialism should not be feared. It makes sense. Basic dynamics of economics boil down to “stuff.” People need it, there only are so many ways to make it, and the more people that control it, the better.
Also, a country’s economic system does not have to be one hundred percent (100%) purely socialist. Parts can function on principles of socialism. Socialism has been part of the USA’s system for a long time.
After this country’s experiences in the late 1800s and during the Great Depression, Federal measures were taken to protect people and included Social Security and the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
Social Security protects people who are old or disabled and is part of our social “safety net.” The FDIC was created to protect the non-rich from the effects of bank failures. (See: “It’s a Wonderful Life”)
Before and during the Great Depression, people lost their life savings when the bank they used folded. Old people were supposed to just “make do.” As many times as people have predicted the imminent collapse of Social Security, it’s still running.
As far as competition goes, when lots of money is required to build something, it makes more sense for government to control. Our Interstates - a system that arose under Republican President Eisenhower - involved a lot of money and government control.
Prisons, hospitals, and air traffic control involve capital and coordination, as well as substantive matters (i.e., what they do) best run by government. Prisons run privately and for profit are a prime example of why those institutions should be run by the public.
On specific issues, Mr. Bales is inconsistent because he wants more control by the Federal government it serves his needs. People pay taxes into the Federal government, yet he would cut funding to cities that provide sanctuary to immigrants.
For the economy he suggests he would work to improve our Gross National Product (GDP), but does not say how. If he seeks to do so with assistance to any businesses, but especially large ones, that inherently is anti-free market and, many would say, socialistic.
On health care, Mr Bales bashes the ACA (a program first originated by then-Massachusetts Governor (and Republican) Mitt Romney and instead suggests, in part, that we “lower the cost of prescription drugs and hospital care through a National Fee Schedule...”
A national fee schedule would not work without enforcement. If that enforcement is “national” it necessarily means the Federal government - read “The Summer of 1787" and why the Articles of Confederation were replaced.
Mr Bales also suggests a system of national health care would bankrupt America. As I wrote before, our current healthcare system has been effective at bankrupting people. A study last February found 66.5% of bankruptcies were tied to medical issues. 109 Amer J Public Health No. 3, p. 411, 02/06/19.
The report notes the numbers are similar to those pre-ACA. A lot of us believed ACA did not go far enough. These debts would have been off people’s shoulders if the USA had single payor.
If “socialized” health care is bad, then the USA’s health care system should be at the top. It is not. In a March, 2019, paper, for quality of health care, we were ranked 37th.
Okay, but if socialized medicine is so bad, there should be few, if any, countries, ranked ahead of us in which socialized medicine is a large component or an entire system that we would call “socialized.”
Of the 36 countries ahead of us in those rankings, only two are considered either to not have socialized medicine or a large component of its system socialized. Norway, ranked 11th, has a deductible of equivalent of $200. Morocco has mixed mandatory and private insurance.
Finally, Mr. Bales criticizes the current occupant of the Oval Office on one issue: national debt. I am the only candidate in the GOP primary to say we should cut our military budget in half. That will make us more secure and get us on the road to restore our economy.
I am a different kind of Republican, one that lately has been rare. I am pro-choice and anti-war. We need to get ignorance and bigotry out of our politics. Two steps that direction: 1) remove an illegal President from the WH and 2) have rational people in charge of the GOP.
I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am proud to be a progressive. We need to do the obvious and reign in several fiscal policies: tax cuts for the very rich and idiotic military spending. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.