Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cory Gardner is a red flag for Colorado's political and income middle

Cory Gardner is a red flag for Colorado’s political and income middle. 

Cory Gardner, opposing Democratic Senator Mark Udall in Colorado, is ranked as the 10th most conservative member of Congress.  Colorado is hardly the 10th most conservative state in the union.  Gardner sounds and looks moderate, but his legislative positions were, are, and would align closely to his Tea Party House colleagues.  This election is also about electing a senator for the next six years who will represent your views and will be voting to determine Supreme Court vacancy  replacements.

Gardner’s and Udall’s visions of freedom are very different.  Udall promotes freedom for individuals from an intrusive government, a maverick leader in the Senate against overreaching NSA surveillance.  He is a strong advocate for the ability for women and men to choose their reproduction schedules and whom they marry.  Freedom for Udall also means freedom from worry about affording health care and college for their kids.

 Gardner’s vision of freedom is to gut environmental laws and favor tax policies for business while supporting greater government interference in choices individuals can make.  His position on reproductive rights and marriage equality are the most extreme of any, even criminalizing abortions and doctors, opposes birth control practices that interfere with his belief that life begins at conception.

The U.S. unemployment rate is now back to pre-crash levels and in Colorado it is below the national average. The deficit has been cut in half and the national economy is growing at 3%.  Colorado has the highest economic growth in the nation which is not only due to an improving national economy, but to a booming energy sector.  Science denier Gardner is not even sure humans cause global warming. Mark Udall prizes a balanced approach to natural resource development and Colorado’s growth is evidence that approach can work.

Gardner, unlike Udall, has voted in Congress to make it even more difficult for the middle income earners to recover from the Great Recession. He has voted to cut Pell grants and opposed decreasing interest rates on student loans or refinancing student loans to lower rates.   Most Colorado families depend upon women working, but Gardner has voted against raising the minimum wage or furthering equal pay for women in the workforce.

One of the most underrated boosts to middle income earners is the ACA (Obamacare), which both the GOP and Gardner still want to repeal.  Gardner offers no alternative, no fixes no workable way to pay for covering preexisting conditions. He has no viable plans to make health insurance affordable for 30 million Americans, mostly middle income, who once again would have to choose between losing their home or health care treatment because they could not qualify for or afford insurance. 

 No traditional Medicare coverage was lost due to the ACA (contrary to a very misleading Gardner ad), and the ACA added 14 years to the life of Medicare.  Gardner supports changing the efficiently administered Medicare program to provide a voucher system and block grants to states that upends a system that now guarantees coverage that keeps up with costs and gives stability to co-pays.

A version of this appeared in the October 30 2014

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