Policies have switched from the price-stability (low and consistent inflation) focus to a focus on full employment. Republicans tried a payroll tax cut in the early 2020s, but that led to lesser funding for the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust and the Social Security Trust, leading to the Medicare HI Trust to run out of money and restrict operations by 2023 and the Social Security Trust is expected to cut payouts across-the-board by over 20% by 2032.
Unemployment is still high, rarely dipping below 10%. The recovery after the Corona Depression started out rocky, what with spikes of reinfections continuing through 2021 and 2022, pushed further by anti-vaccination movements.
Republicans have taken a hold on the Senate as more people move South to more consistent climates, away from northern states. Low-population states keep their lower population, so more representation in the Senate than in the House. Southern states, with their higher population, are moving closer to becoming swing states. Georgia and Texas are both Republican-leaning swing states. Florida is still a mess (some things never change). Democrats have moved to more Democratic areas, ensuring that the House has more Democratic Party members, but it's still close considering the partisan gerrymandering.
We have a burgeoning labor movement which looks like it's really gaining a foothold. Neoliberal centrism is trying to keep its stranglehold on politics, but the parties are differentiating themselves from the middle.
We're seeing a greater push for more government healthcare, especially variations on Medicare-for-All (ol' reliable). I have my doubts about it happening, what with Republicans attempting austerity by freezing healthcare spending. M4A keeps stalling out. If it ever gets a vote, it might pass the House but the Senate won't ever touch it.
A carbon tax was passed recently, $50/tonne. All the revenues are going to a revival of the Civilian Conservation Corp from the Great Depression. We're trying to rebuild California after all the ongoing wildfires and help Australia get over its decade-long stagnating recovery from the wildfires that hit just before the Coronavirus hit. I really hope reviving the CCC helps get people jobs and gets more money flowing through the economy to stabilize things.
Ol' reliable got a vote. Didn't pass. The Senate actually took it up and it was filibustered to death. After that died, some vaguely bipartisan committee was setup to look at a public option, a Medicare expansion, a few different Medicaid expansion options, and making CHIP universal.
- The Public Option was seen as the best option, with politicians stating that it could "do a lot of good for a lot of really, really sick people." The old wisdom seems to be true, that the insurance companies would just push the sick people they couldn't profit from onto the Public Option.
- The Medicaid expansions worked like this:
- When people were fired, instead of keeping their employer's plan, they would have the option of getting into their state's Medicaid when they're also getting their Unemployment benefits. Not widely liked amongst the donor class because health insurance executives really wanted people to keep paying their premiums to the insurance companies through COBRA.
- Make the Obamacare expansion permanent and mandatory for all states, increased from 138% of the Federal Poverty Level to either 150% or 200%. The 150% option was preferred because it's cheaper.
- The Medicare expansion would have expanded Medicare coverage to everyone age 55 and over. Republicans seemed fine expanding Medicare Advantage buy-ins at age 55, but not the regular government-run Medicare that everyone wants.
- Universal Children's Health Insurance Program was attacked by centrists because they, "didn't think the kids of wealthy parents need healthcare on our dime when their parents could just buy it for them like they do already."
Republicans are fighting against unions, but with Mitch McConnell no longer at the helm (leaving the Senate when his health began to decline from age in 2032), they're not fighting as effectively as they could be. Union membership is roughly double what it was 20 years ago (about 20%), but major firms like Amazon are still so strongly against unionization that membership rates have stalled over the past few years. Antitrust actions have gotten serious but tend to settle out of court more often than not. I guess that's what happens when these massive corporate entities hire more lawyers at higher salaries than the Justice Department. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
We did have a small form of a wealth tax to cover the cost of sending IRS tax assessors out to tally up the values of massive estates that would be hit by the Estate Tax.
This blog's author became President in 2048 and, as was his major campaign promise, has used NASA's asteroid capture program to bring in a few asteroids to demolish the Earth #GiantMeteor2048