Fitzsimon File

Fitzsimon File

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Monday numbers

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“9 million kids get health insurance under CHIP. Congress just let it expire,” Washington Post, October 1, 2017) 14—percentage of children in the ...
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An ominous evening for Republicans in North Carolina

That loud sound you heard Tuesday night was Republicans in North Carolina gulping nervously as the election returns from across the state and across the country came in.

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Monday numbers

549,158---number of North Carolinians who signed up last year for health care coverage under the Affordable Act for 2017 (Kaiser Family Foundation)

90—estimated percentage of people in North Carolina signing up for health care coverage under the Affordable Act eligible for subsidies to reduce the cost of monthly premiums (“Have you signed up for the ACA? Here’s why you shouldn’t wait and what you need to know,” News & Observer, October 30, 2017)

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Why are legislative leaders so afraid of fairer elections?

The latest news from the federal courts about the unconstitutional racially gerrymandered General Assembly districts and the response to it from legislative leaders makes one thing clearer than ever.

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Monday numbers

31.2—percentage growth in GDP from 2006-2016 in the nine states with no broad-based personal income tax (“Trickle-Down Dries Up: States without personal income taxes lag behind states with the highest top tax rates,” Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, October 2017)

32.9---percentage growth in GDP from 2006-2016 in the nine states with highest personal income tax rates (Ibid)

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Monday numbers

20---amount in dollars of the average federal tax cuts in 2027 for households with children earning less than $75,000 under GOP tax framework released in late September (“Republican Plans to Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Leave Most Children Worse Off, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 18, 2017)

230,000---amount in dollars of the average tax cuts in 2027 for households with children earning $1 million or more under GOP tax framework released in late September (Ibid)

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A new low in the dismantling of democracy

The folks running the General Assembly reached a new low this week in their efforts to dismantle our democracy----and that is no small feat given their actions in the last few years. Senate Rules Chair Bill Rabon filed legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to shorten the terms of all judges in the state to two years and end every current judge’s term at the end of 2018. They would all have to run for reelection this fall and every two years after that. That would literally turn judges into partisan politicians spending as much time much raising money and campaigning as they do hearing cases. There are currently 403 judges serving, when you add up district court, superior court, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

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Monday numbers

4---number of days since The Trump administration announced its decision to halt cost-sharing subsidies that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage under the Affordable Care Act (“White House’s decision to stop ACA cost-sharing subsidies triggers strong opposition, Washington Post, October 13, 2017)

25---percentage increase projected by the Congressional Budget Office...

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Lawmakers want increased competition in elections, except their own

Hypocrisy in politics is hardly a new phenomenon but rarely is it as boldly on display as it was last week from Republican legislative leaders during the latest of the now monthly special sessions of the General Assembly.

The House and Senate passed legislation called the “Electoral Freedom Act,” first introduced by Senator Andrew Brock in this year’s regular legislative session that sought to make it easier for unaffiliated candidates and new political parties to appear on the general election ballot.

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Monday numbers

4.4---percentage of the world’s population that lives in the United States (“Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and chart, Vox, October 2, 2017)

42---percentage of the civilian-owned guns in the world in the United States (Ibid)

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The Follies (of the latest absurd special session)

Wednesday evening as a House committee met on the first day of yet another special session to consider a so-called budget technical corrections bill filled with policy and funding provisions that very few people had seen, House Budget Chair Nelson Dollar told Rep. David Lewis to present the bill to the committee “if you're finished being apprised of what's in the bill.”

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Drinking water safety at stake in the latest absurd special session

Here we go again. Another special session of the General Assembly begins Wednesday at noon and no one other than a handful of legislative leaders is exactly sure what lawmakers will be discussing. That’s the way the legislature ...
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Monday numbers

5---number of days since the White House and Republican Congressional leadership released the outline of their major tax reform proposal (“GOP tax plan would provide major gains for richest 1%, uneven benefits for the middle class, report says, Washington Post, September 29. 2017)

30---percentage of taxpayers with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 who would see a tax increase under the plan (Ibid)

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Monday numbers

5---number of years since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) was created by President Obama to provide work permits and deportation relief for young undocumented immigrants (“DACA has shielded nearly 790,000 young unauthorized immigrants from deportation,” Pew Research Center, September 1, 2017)

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New health care bill is a now familiar old pernicious plot

The latest effort in Washington to repeal and not actually replace the Affordable Care Act has a different name, the Cassidy-Graham plan, but it should look familiar.

It is essentially a proposal like the ones that came before it this year to make massive cuts in Medicaid, end subsidies that make it possible for low-income families to afford coverage and give insurance companies the ability to both charge people with pre-existing conditions more and offer sketchy policies that don’t cover essential benefits.

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Monday numbers

5---number of days since Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham unveiled a new proposal to repeal and allegedly replace the Affordable Care Act that would dramatically cut federal funding for health care over the next ten years (Louisiana Advocate, September 15, 2017)

12---number of days until the September 30 deadline to pass ACA repeal and replace legislation on a simple-majority vote under the Senate procedure known as reconciliation (Ibid)

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