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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.
 

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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

Let Them Eat Cake

Jul. 11, 2017 1:30 am
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In an Associated Press photo, protesters demonstrated outside of a dinner attended by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in Elizabethtown, Ky. One held a sign that read, “Healthcare for all! Not tax cuts for the richest 1%.” Another marcher carried a sign that said, “Trumpcare takes from the poor and gives to the rich.”

McConnell has been working hard to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and replace it with a Republican Trumpcare plan. His Senate bill, like one passed by the House, is not really a healthcare plan so much as an enormous tax cut for the rich. Both the Senate and House plans, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would kick millions off of healthcare plans and make massive cuts to Medicaid.

So the Elizabethtown protesters in McConnell’s home state are on to the Republicans, as are constituents around the nation.

As Bernie Sanders has pointed out, the Congressional Republicans out to repeal Obamacare are doing the bidding of the Koch brothers and others in the billionaire donor class.

How these people can say with a straight face that this thinly veiled tax cut for the wealthiest is a healthcare plan is Orwellian. But their callous pursuit of tax cuts for the rich at the expense of vulnerable old people and Appalachian children dependent on Medicaid reminds me of another author.

Charles Dickens, in his great novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” depicts the detachment and flinty-hearted inhumanity of the French aristocracy at the time of the French Revolution. One such depiction sticks in my mind.

In Book 2, Chapter 7, the Marquis St. Evremonde’s carriage is racing recklessly through the streets of Paris when, with a sickening jolt, it strikes and kills a child. The Marquis finds it extraordinary, he tells the people who surround the carriage, “that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children.” He expresses concern that one of his horses may have been injured, and tosses a couple of coins down as if he had broken some common thing. He is contemptuous of the people and orders his driver to “Go on!”

Our modern aristocracy has grown similarly pitiless and arrogant, shamelessly promoting legislation that would remove health coverage for millions whom they seem to view as vermin to be exterminated, much as the Marquis St. Evremonde did.

The rich are already doing better than ever, while wages stagnate for ordinary Americans. In this strange tale of two Americas, it is truly the best of times and the worst of times, depending on your tax bracket.

 
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