Indiana- Louise Cohoon was at home when her 80-year-old mother called in a panic from Terre Haute: The $97 monthly Medicaid payment she relied on to supplement her $600-a-month income had been cut without warning by a private company that had taken over the state's welfare system. (1)Hold that thought.
The Globe and Mail has recently revealed that after losing the last election, Tim Hudak visited members of the American far-right to help prepare his current platform.
We already knew that his mathematically challenged Million Jobs plan, was created with the help of Republican Benjamin Zycher, king of offensive Tea Party rants, like:
“Now, let me be blunt: Michelle Obama, the product of lifelong affirmative-action coddling, is an intellectual lightweight who fancies herself a serious thinker. Just read her Princeton senior thesis, an intermittently coherent stream-of-consciousness pile of leftist jargon, campus pseudo-seriousness, and racial-identity babble. Can there be any doubt that the Princeton administrators accepted it only because of her skin color?”(The National Review, August 17, 2009)or
“And so I have a question for my legal-beagle colleagues: Are whites not entitled to equivalent treatment under the 14th Amendment? If so, does that mean that education about the history of slavery would become illegal, as it would depict whites negatively? Would it be illegal to point out that most modern-day terrorist acts are perpetrated by Muslims? Anything about black crime, illegal immigration by Hispanics, ad infinitum? Can air brushing of photos be far behind?”(National Review, April 24, 2006)That's why the Tea Party loves him, but why Tim Hudak? Because he is with the American Enterprise Institute, and that's always been enough for Canada's Neoconservatives, but more on that later.
Tim Hudak claims that he wants to model Ontario after Indiana under former governor, Mitch Daniels, the man who supposedly saved his state from rack and ruin.
Before he arrived, Indiana had a deficit and after he left, a surplus. Sounds good, right? That's what was said about Mike Harris, except that he only left us with more debt and a 5.6 billion deficit. The only reason Harris looked good on paper was because of increased U.S. exports as a result of NAFTA and a devalued Canadian dollar.
To help balance the books, Mitch Daniels leased the Indiana toll road through 2081, which meant a short term gain but seventy-five years of lost revenue.
Mike Harris leased Ontario's toll road for 100 years, and it sickens me when I think of the money Ontarians have lost. But like Daniels, Harris needed to balance the books before an upcoming election, and a huge lump sum payment did just that.
According to the Washington Post:
“I think that it’s going to turn out to be a bit of smoke and mirrors for Indiana over the longer haul. I feel like he’s been very skilled at selling Hoosiers -- and quite frankly the country -- a bill of goods, and it’s really disappointing,” said Betty Cockrum, the president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana who clashed with Daniels in 2011 after he signed a law cutting off public funds to the organization because it provides abortions.And as it turned out she was right. Daniels lost track of $556 million in tax money, borrowed $2 billion to shore up Indiana's bankrupt unemployment insurance fund and took billions in federal relief money, while denouncing the practice. He also left many of his key projects unfunded.
Cockrum, who ran the state budget for former Democratic Gov. Frank O’Bannon, said Daniels relied on tricks to make the state’s books look good just like any other governor, but he rarely gets called on it because of his national reputation.
But the rich got richer and his friends a bit friendlier. Further to the story of the 80-year-old woman who lost her Medicaid:
Cohoon's mother, now suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was one of thousands of Indiana residents who abruptly and erroneously lost their welfare, Medicaid or food stamp benefits after Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels privatized the state's public assistance program — the result of an efficiency plan that went awry from the very beginning, the state now admits.
Though the $1.37-billion project proved disastrous for many of the state's poor, elderly and disabled, it was a financial bonanza for a handful of firms with ties to Daniels and his political allies, which landed state contracts worth millions.(2)
Harris also made a complete mess of things when his government tried to privatize many aspects of our welfare system. It ended up costing taxpayers 4 to 1, what it would have cost had they just left well enough alone.
Hudak wants to privatize Ontario's public service, with the same goal in mind. More money in the pockets of those already having trouble keeping their pants up.
If It's Good Enough For Stephen Harper
In the Globe abd Mail article, they list the people and institutions that Hudak visited during his Tea Party romp, most with affilation to the Harper government.
Grover Norquist - Jason Kenney headed up the Canadian Taxpayers Fedeartion, the Canadian spin-off of Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
Cato Institute - Part of the network of think tanks that helped to define the Reform movement and boost the fortunes of Stephen Harper.
Heritage Foundation - Worked with Stephen Harper and the National Citizens Coalition. The late Paul Weyrich, when he headed up the HF, helped Stephen Harper in 2006, by instructing the American Right not to talk to Canadian reporters, for fear they would scare off Canadian voters.
David Frum - Not only a former speechwriter of George W. Bush, but was activly involved with the Unite the Right campaign's hostile takeover of Canada's legitimate Progressive Conservatives. He also introduced Stephen Harper to Rupert Murdoch, enabling him to bring his version of Fox News to Canada. His sister, Linda, is one of Harper's senators.
American Enterprise Institute - has also placed members in the Harper Government, including Alykhan Velshi .
So as Canadians sleepwalk toward the next federal election, no doubt unaware of just how much the American far-right has taken over our country, Ontarians need to lead way.
Mike Harris allowed them to write his Common Sense Revolution and now Hudak has allowed them to write his Million Jobs Plan. We need to say enough is enough. The Tea Party in the United States is slowly losing momentum. We have to stop ours before it destroys us, in the same way that they have destroyed politics in the United States.
Oh and by the way, Mitch Daniels' job creation plan? Wrought with mathematical errors and mostly just made up stuff.
1.Indiana a Changed State After Mitch Daliel's 8 Years, Washington Post, January 2, 2013
2. Indiana's bumpy road to privatization,Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2011