Weekend Open Thread: Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Make Mexico Pay for Our Health Care!


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Little Red Rooster Parts.  Used for purposes of political commentary.  (Do buy the author’s book, though!)

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!  And Happy Lunar New Year in several other East Asian languages that we aren’t going to look up.

This is the year of the loud, crowing, preening, vain, promiscuous, tiny-brained, and hand-deficient animal that is the only member of its class on the Chinese zodiac, having qualified for such neither by its experience in the mammalian kingdom nor by service as a reptile: the Rooster, also known as the Cockerel or, when it has been castrated early on, the Capon.  The meat of the cockerel is highly disfavored compared to that of the hen, but as for capons ” heir meat more tender and fatty.”  You betcha!

What is that thing on the Rooster’s head called, you may wonder?  It’s the “Comb.”  What are those things on the lower part of its face?  The “Wattles.”   The largest feathers nearest the neck?  “The Hackles.”  The largest feathers furthest back on its tail?  “The Sickles.”  When you look at a rooster walking away from you, what do you see below the tail?  “The Fluff” and “the Vent.”

What is the Rooster’s theme song?

Congratulations!  You are now ready both for the Chinese New Year celebration and for the Trump Administration!

(Note: OJB would like to recruit some East Asian writers.  Seriously.)

More importantly, in today’s post we raise the question: “How will we pay for our health care?”  And, only on Orange Juice Blog will you get the answer that seems to have evaded everyone else:  “We will make Mexico pay for it!”

Now, before we get our beloved Latino readers upset — or, more properly, just after we get them what will hopefully be only fleetingly upset — we want to make one thing clear: “Making Mexico pay for our health insurance” DOES NOT involve actually making Mexico pay for our health insurance!  For God’s sake, that would be crazy!  Rather, we’re stealing a financing trick here from our Little Red/Yellow President Rooster.

President Hackle-and-Sickles, as you may have heard, wants Mexico to pay for his Great Wall of Ego-Defense across the Mexican-American border.  His plans to Make Mexico Pay Again, though, have been accurately determined by a crack-team of third graders, in under twenty seconds, to be completely bird-brained.  Even if you could accurately place a tariff on imported Mexican products — and good luck with that! — that tariff would be paid by the buyers of those products.  In other words, the buyers of Mexican products — disproportionately Californian, non-incidentally — would be the ones who “pay for the Wall.”

Of course, if any of them had the presence of mind to order from a front organization like a tin-shack in El Salvador that will send “made in Salvador” stickers and provide a return address along with their “Mexican” products, it’s not exactly clear how they could be made to pay.  Well, perhaps that works for vegetables, you might say, but what about cars manufactured in Mexico.  No problemo, as they say in Huntington Beach — we’ve figured that one out long ago.  If they just don’t complete the assembly process in Mexico, then the product is unfinished when it arrives.  A car mostly build in Hermosillo could cross the border at Nogales and have its gas cap screwed on in Tucson, at which point it becomes “Assembled in America.”

But if you’re impressed by these two ideas just generated by OJB’s panel of fifth-graders (who graduated from our third-grader academy), or the hundreds of more feints and jukes that the actual pros could come up with, then the joke is on you!  Trump doesn’t actually need to collect the money from anyone: he just needs to be able to bill them!

That’s right: his position is that because he wants to get started on building the wall before he has to work all the kinks out of his financing proposal, the Treasury should simply front the money for the Great Wall.  We’ll just keep billing Mexico until they pay — which they may well be willing to do once Russia or China annexes Mexico in exchange for the right to build military bases on the Sea of Cortez.  (Hey, what do they care about keeping the U.S. happy anymore — THEY’LL BE PROTECTED FROM LAND INVASION BY A WALL!)  So, again, YOU pay for the Wall!

It’s a fiendishly brilliant plan: but the best thing about it is that it can be used for anything!  For example, let’s say that we want Single-Payer Health Insurance — but skeptics are concerned about the cost.  What can we do to bring all sides together?

SIMPLE: MAKE MEXICO PAY FOR OUR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH INSURANCE!

We follow the same procedure that President Capon is following here: have the Treasury front the money for a Single-Payer health insurance plan — and Mexico will be ordered to reimburse it when it has the money.  (Although, if we credit them for the savings of a Single-Payer plan, they may end up justifiably demanding a rebate!)

But how can we be sure that we’ll save money with Single-Payer Health Insurance?  That’s easy, too!  HAVE CANADA RUN IT!

This is your somewhat satirical Weekend Open Thread.  Talk about that, or whatever else you’d like, within reasonable bounds of discretion, decency, and decorum.  And, seriously, Happy New Year to our Lunar-oriented friends!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)