The Census Bureau has just released a study that shows that you are more likely not to have health insurance if you live in a state that generally votes Republican. These states (Texas is the worst, surprise, surprise) send people to Congress who oppose health care reform, and their legislatures are stingier in providing child health coverage and Medicaid. None of this should come as a surprise, given the overheated rhetoric we’ve been treated to recently. Still, I’ve often wondered why we Americans are so easily persuaded to vote against our own best interests. How is it that we continue to elect people who make policies that harm us? We put people in power whose true constituency is not the voters in their districts, but the lobbyists for big business and Wall Street. If the Roberts Court, as seems inevitable, grants corporations even more rights, this trend will only worsen.
In an unrelated matter, the head of the California Supreme Court recently noted that his state’s government is totally dysfunction, not because of the partisan divide, but because the referendum process has gotten so out of hand that the state’s constitution is now a mass of impossibly conflicting mandates. Colorado is not far behind, and supporters of our horribly destructive TABOR amendment, which has done such a good job of crippling our budget, continue to push it elsewhere as a model for tax reform. I suppose the citizens of most nations think their countries are nuts, but I’m beginning to think that we’re the craziest of all.