March 16, 2016

Wondering on Wednesday (v50)

Ever thought about why the Democrats have so many delegates compared to the Republicans? I've been meaning to do some research on that and was going to do that tonight, but I got sidelined watching the news when I saw the graphic of how many delegates His Hairness has gotten so far. Did you see the number? 666. That's right. 666.  I'll leave you to your own wondering on that one.

House.gov graphic
Today the House released their annual propaganda budget. The document comes with this notice: 
House Republicans have a plan to tackle our nation's challenges with positive solutions that will balance the budget, grow the economy, save and strengthen vital programs, and ensure our national security.
How are they going to do that, you might ask? Well, they're going to balance the budget "in less than ten years" by "bringing spending in line with revenues so that Washington starts living within its means." I don't have a problem with that, in principle - after all, it's our money they're spending. 

But I have to wonder this: why do they bother projecting spending and revenue and the benefits of, say, killing the Affordable Care Act without any plan to replace it, against a 10-year schedule? I mean, if they think what they're doing in this year's budget isn't going to get us where we need to be for 10 years, should they try harder?

And if this budget is going to give us all these benefits in 10 years, why bother doing another one next year, and the year after, and the year after? Wouldn't it be more honest to tell us what the one year benefit is, since that's all it's likely to last?

I saw something on a friend's social media page today that got me wondering about things. Sometimes she posts things that are designed to prompt conversation, from both sides, and a lot of the time it does. Today's post was about the 'diaper gap'  - something I had no idea existed. Here's a bit of background:
Roughly 1 in 3 families find it hard to afford to buy diapers for their babies, according to a White House blog post. And they aren't covered by federal assistance programs such as WIC, SNAP, or Medicaid. The post put it simply: "When you have a baby, diapers are a necessity. They are not optional." Many low-income families are at a disadvantage because they aren't able to buy diapers in bulk, which is cheaper, since they can't get to big-box stores or have Internet access. 
Through the program, coordinated by diaper company Jet.com, which makes Cuties diapers, will 
help non-profits buy and get diapers quickly with free two-day shipping. Jet.com won't make a profit off the diapers.  The (company) have designed simpler packaging, which will cut the costs of making the diapers - a savings that gets passed on to non-profits.
As presented in the article on my friend's page, this was shown as a hand-out to welfare recipients, and made to look like an us-against-them kind of thing. Not surprisingly, there were comments that fell in line with that thinking. One person noted that perhaps people who couldn't afford disposable diapers switch to cloth diapers, and wash them the way folks used to do in the old days. Cheaper, and also greener.

While that certainly could be an option for folks who are meant to benefit from the new program, I wonder why that wouldn't be the case for folks who can afford disposable diapers?  Isn't 'green' for the less fortunate just as 'green' for the folks who have more 'green' to spend?

Seems that all of the things that would benefit the poor, such as dictating they eat more economically, or eat more fruits and vegetables, or don't eat nice cuts of red meat, or even that they should use cloth diapers, would also benefit people who can afford to do otherwise.  It's the same environment, and it's the same heart disease and obesity, and it's the same diaper rash.

And yet, I wonder why when things like that are suggested or regulated for everyone, it's a nanny state and an intrusion, and when they're suggested for the poor (many of whom are working poor) it's a great idea.

What are you wondering about?