Holding My Nose At The Polls
The New York State gubernatorial election coming up in November is of importance to me since I reside in this state. I’m not entirely satisfied with the platform of Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate. I decided to take a closer look at the Republican/Tea Party Candidate, Carl Paladino. After careful consideration I’ve come to the conclusion that voters in NY have no idea what they’re doing.
To start out with, I have to question his morality. Among my ever growing list of friends who send me funny forwarded emails, not once have I seen any of them that involve hard core pornography, bestiality and racism. Yet, he feels he did nothing wrong, even when one of the recipients of said emails called him out on his demeaning behavior. When told that the recipient was offended, Mr. Paladino responded by saying that he wasn’t “sensitive to ethnic humor”. I couldn’t find any response to the video which shows a woman having sex with an elephant. Apparently we’re supposed to give him credit that there was no child pornography involved.
Even setting this aside, and taking a good look at what he feels needs to happen in this state in order to control spending, I still am not at all impressed.
From Wikipedia, which is, at least in this case, an accurate assessment of his views.
“Paladino says that he plans to use interpretations of the Constitution of the State of New York to declare a fiscal state of emergency, which he will then use to freeze compensation of state, municipal and school employees and cut the state budget by 10 to 20 percent. He proposes closing off welfare services to those who come from out of state to receive benefits, by placing a minimum residency requirement of one year before anyone can claim state benefits. He seeks to cut the state’s Medicaid budget by nearly 30%, or $20 billion ($10 billion from the state’s share, the other $10 billion coming from the county and federal shares) by making significant cuts to benefits, requiring identification, fingerprints and drug testing in order to receive benefits, and training family members to take care of people who would otherwise be in long-term care. He would also rely on the state’s rank and file to target persons “incapable for whatever reason of performing their functions at a cost productive level, and hopes to eliminated 60,000 jobs from the state workforce through these reductions.”
Am I reading this right? No part of his platform contains any ideas on job creation. In a state which has an unemployment rate of 8.3% he proposes putting 60,000 more people out of work? What improvement is made by adding to the unemployment problem? Doesn’t more unemployment mean more people losing their homes and won’t that reduce the tax base for cities and counties which provide necessary services? Like keeping the roads plowed in winter so those of us who have jobs can actually get to work?
Oh, that’s right, he plans on reducing Medicaid to compensate. In the county I live in, 30% of the Medicaid budget is eaten up by Medicaid payments for the elderly, and the program which gives Healthcare to children. My job as a Home Health Aide exists because our economy requires two incomes in order for families to survive. Elderly people who are still capable of living independently need someone to help them with showers and daily tasks that they might not be able to accomplish. It’s cheaper to assist them in their homes, but at some point it creates safety issues. That is when Nursing Homes become necessary.
The monthly bill for long term care can run between $3000 to $6000. Nursing homes take all but $50 of a residents Social Security and the rest is paid by Medicaid if there is no other method of payment. Mr. Paladino plans on reducing that by training family members to care for their loved one at home. I have yet to meet anyone who willingly placed their parent in a nursing home. They did so because they couldn’t quit their jobs to stay home with that parent to start out with. With further cuts he plans to the Medicaid budget, those families will probably have to find a way to pay for the medications and other safety equipment that Medicaid currently pays for.
With everything that I now know, I am in a position that will require me to again go to the polls and vote against someone rather than for someone. I really wish there was a better way to make these decisions. Unfortunately, our political system simply doesn’t allow this.