Category: The Democratic Perspective

 

Posts by members of the Stafford County Democratic Committee on important public issues.  These posts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Leadership is About Forging a Path to a Better Life

Joe Biden (left), former vice president and Democratic presidential front-runner, and Donald Trump, president of the United States
(Los Angeles Times)

By Richard Coleman, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member

While eating breakfast this morning I was reading my local paper. One of the Letters to the Editor was a commentary on the failure of a local medical center. An elderly patient had been to the facility several times in the last few weeks and had made multiple requests to be tested for the Coronavirus. He was not given a test because the staff determined that he did not meet the guidelines for testing. But it turned out that he was infected, and it proved to be fatal. Objectively, we all must accept that, because of limited testing capacity, every medical facility must set a stringent standard for who gets tested.

Later in the afternoon while browsing news articles on various websites, I read a piece on Trump’s decision to speak at the West Point commencement. Like most other colleges, West Point had sent students home, and they were completing course work online. So, to satisfy Trump’s fragile ego, and his need to speak in person to the West Point class of 2020, about 1,000 cadets will be summoned from across the country and tested for the Coronavirus. I wonder how many lives those tests could save if they were available for soldiers living in close quarters of barracks, or in medical facilities facing limited testing capacity. I am sure we do not have to accept a President who puts his ego ahead of the lives of others. Trump seems to think leadership is about standing in front of crowds. In November we must replace him with someone who recognizes that leadership is about forging a path to a better life for everyone.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Federal Help for the States

According to the nonprofit Tax Foundation, many of Republican-leaning states rely more heavily on federal aid that Democratic-leaning states.

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

A few years ago, during the 2012 campaign, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney derisively used the terms “makers” and “takers” when referring to people who supposedly added value to the economy and those who depended on welfare or other government aid. Well, President Trump and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell seem to be using the same idea when they refer to states. State governments are running out of money due to the costs associated with the Coronavirus. They must pay unemployment insurance and other costs while revenues from sales and other taxes are dropping rapidly. States must balance their budgets, while the federal government does not. States have been asking Congress for help to support their citizens, but Trump claims that such help would only go to “poorly run” Democratic-led states. He said, “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” McConnell claimed that it would be a “Blue State bailout” for places like New York and New Jersey. In other words, Democratic-run states who needed federal funds were “takers” and thus, Republican-run states were the “makers”.

Since Republicans seem to like the “maker” and “taker” terminology, let’s see which states fall into which categories.  It seems that ruby red Kentucky is the greatest “taker” state in the Union. In 2018 Kentucky received more than $148 billion more than it paid in taxes to the federal government. Meanwhile, New York sent $116 billion more to the federal government than it received. New Jersey sent $71 billion more to Washington than it received back. In fact, of the top ten “taker” states, Red Republican states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Alaska, Mississippi, Alabama, and Maine take six of the spots. Virginia, Maryland and Hawaii are on the list, but their presence is due to the high concentration of federal government installations, contractors and workers in those states.

So, don’t let the overblown rhetoric, and outright lies, of Trump and McConnell blind us to the fact that all states, red and blue, need federal funds to weather the Coronavirus storm. Red states probably even more than blue.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Trump to Blame for Fredericksburg COVID-19 Deaths

By Bill Johnson-Miles, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member

There have been two confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Fredericksburg area, and I put the blame squarely on Trump and his administration. The first victim is a 20-year retired Army veteran. According to his daughters, Christopher Hall tried repeatedly to get tested for the virus. They did not find out until after he died that he had the deadly coronavirus. This is how we treat our Veterans. The second victim is 10-year Navy veteran Peter Armatis. 

Had Trump reacted immediately after being warned by his intelligence organizations in early January and ordered tests at that time, maybe the two veterans would still be alive. Maybe the nearly 6,000 deaths in N.Y. (as of April 7) would be a much smaller number. Experts are now expecting up to 240,000 deaths across our country.

The COVID-19 outbreak was identified in South Korea and in the U.S. on the same day, Jan. 19, and the U.S. is reporting 15 times more confirmed cases and deaths than South Korea, despite having only about six times the population. Experts say the disparity is due to South Korea ramping up testing more quickly and implementing preventive measures much earlier.

Instead of downplaying the deadly COVID-19 for political reasons, had Trump matched South Korea’s effort, we might be doing so much better. And that includes the economy. Millions who have lost their jobs are now trying to sign up for unemployment. How long before the soup lines start forming?

On March 6 Trump said: “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test…. They have the tests, and the tests are beautiful.” Tell that to retired Sergeant First Class Hall who died without being tested. His daughter took him to the hospital a third time on March 29 but could not stay with him because visitors are not allowed. “That was the last time we saw my dad alive,” said Hall’s daughter.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.

Public Servants Deserve Our Respect

Prior to this past legislative session, Virginia was one of just three states that bans public sector collective bargaining.

By Michael Spragins, Stafford County Democratic Committee Issues Committee Chair

One thing that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought to the fore is the essential nature of public service. A highlight of Republican rhetoric, particularly in the Trump era, has been the denigration of government and public servants. However, it will be the actions of dedicated workers at all levels of government that will help us overcome this devastating illness.

It was the intelligence community who first informed us about the outbreak of a new illness in China. Their warnings were not heeded by the president. It has been Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has corrected the dangerous misinformation being voiced by the president. It has been the Army Corps of Engineers who have been building temporary hospitals in New York City and around the country. It has been informed governors, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Gavin Newsome of California, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and others, mostly Democratic, who have led the way in beginning social distancing that has, hopefully, started flattening the curve of virus infections. It has been the National Guard who have been used in many varied functions to help local and state officials meet this crisis.

I remember a past president who said, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” And so began the systematic destruction of respect for civil servants and the institutions of government at all levels. I also remember a president who said, “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” Public servants have believed that and have come to work for all of us. It’s past time to give them the respect they are due; our lives may depend on them.

This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.