First, two key points drive my observations here.  First, Donald Trump lies.  That point has been exhaustively demonstrated, and it needs no further comment here.  Second, a group of good, honest, hard-working people voted for Donald Trump because they believed those lies.

Donald Trump has now demonstrated to those people that he was lying about the very things that caused those good people to vote for him.  There are many things that he lied about that have been exhaustively catalogued elsewhere.  “Putin is our friend” and “China is a currency manipulator” are on that list.

The two lies that most betray the working people who voted for him have now come starkly clear, not by mere words but by his deeds.  Trump promised those people that he would replace Obamacare with an insurance program that 1) insured everyone, 2) cost less, and 3) covered more procedures.  The program presented by Paul Ryan, and endorsed by Donald Trump, does exactly the opposite of all three points.  It insures fewer people, costs more, and covers less.  Don’t take my word for this.  Listen to how Ryan presents it, and listen to how Trump lies about it.  For instance, Trump said recently that Ryan’s plan preserves the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.  The most recent version of the proposal allows states to increase rates for people with pre-existing conditions, which will make it impossible for those people to afford the plan.  Trump and Ryan make it sound like the program covers everyone by saying that the plan provides “access” for all to insurance.  That is the same as saying that we all have access to purchasing jet planes.

Trump’s second lie may be even worse than the first.  He promised those hard-working people that he would reform the tax laws and, by doing so, give a huge boost to jobs and to the economy.  “You’re going to win so much you’re going to get sick of winning,” he said.  Now the “tax plan” has arrived.  It provides enormous tax breaks.  The problem is that you have to have an income in excess of a million dollars a year to see any of it.  Worse, the gigantic tax breaks he gives himself and others of his income level will cause the national debt to skyrocket, and that will lead to the biggest economic collapse this country has ever seen.

Neither one of these plans will succeed, because a number of reasonable conservatives have, so far, rejected Trump’s efforts to put these things in place.  Whether they can continue to do so remains to be seen.  What should be clear to those who were swindled into voting for Trump is that he lied to them about the things that most mattered to them — income and health care for their families.

We will likely have Trump for three and a half more years.  He will continue to damage both the substance and the image of America throughout that time.  On these two issues, however, if he and Ryan and their cronies succeed, America will not be the place into which you were born.










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At the very beginning of the Obama administration, in fact on the evening of his inauguration, the Republican leaders got together and decided that the best way for them to deal with the new president was to oppose absolutely everything he did.  So thorough going was their commitment to this approach that, when the new president endorsed a bill proposed by the Republicans, those very Republicans voted their own bill down.  That was a stupid, selfish, purely political policy, and it deeply wounded the American people and wasted eight years of what could have been an astounding advance in the peace and progress of this nation.

It would, therefore, be just as repugnant to take the same approach to the new Republican administration and Congress.  We need, rather, to rationally analyze the Republican proposals and endorse or oppose them on the merits.

The first act of the new Republican leaders is to announce that they will repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a health care program that will solve the failings that these leaders see in that act.  It was never quite clear what those failings were, but the Republicans have listed them for us.  We should hail them for announcing what those failures are and for promising to fix them.

First, the Republican leaders, most notably Vice-President-elect Michael Pence, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House majority leader Paul Ryan, have announced that the premiums for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are too high.  We should, therefore, eagerly await a reduction in insurance premiums under Republican leadership.

Second, Republican leaders have announced that deductibles in the Affordable Care Act are too high.  We should, therefore, look forward to reduced deductibles along with reduced premiums.

Third, Republican leaders have pointed out that the Affordable Care Act did not allow the insureds to pick their own doctor or pick their own insurer.  We should be comforted by the fact that, under the new Republican leadership, we will be able to do both.

Finally, Republican leaders have complained that the Affordable Care Act did not accomplish its goal of providing insurance for everyone in America.  This is the heart of the matter, since, for various reasons, accomplishing universal health care will result in enormous savings both in the delivery of health care and in the administration of health insurance.  This will be a truly great accomplishment by the Republican administration, and it would show that the Republican leadership cares more about the needs of the people than it does about political power.

If these things are accomplished by the new Republican leadership, we should all congratulate them on their dedication to the American people.  They have the reins now, and they have made clear what they want to accomplish for us.  We will hold them to these promises, and we will give them every bit of recognition they deserve for what they accomplish.