The National Popular Vote compact is the best thing I've seen short of a Constitutional Amendment getting rid of the Electoral College, which will be next to impossible to pass.
I think about this in the simplest way possible - is the Electoral College fair? The answer is a resounding and unequivocal no. Your zip code determines whether your vote means anything or not. It's pretty much the most undemocratic way to select a leader there is.
And this system has very real consequences. Four current Supreme Court Justices were nominated by a President that wasn't chosen by the people. We'd be living in a very, VERY different country if Presidents were chosen by the people and not the Electoral College.
J.K.Logic Wrote:Good info.
Do you know when the next enrollment windows are, in case someone misses these?
I'm pretty sure that people will have to wait until the next open enrollment if they missed singing up during the set period. If someone misses the window then they will have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
To be clear, there is no window to sign up for Medicare. This is only for current Medicare users who are interested in changing (or signing up for) their Medicare Advantage or Part-D plans.
bryce28 Wrote: 4. Payroll tax earnings cap increases by $4800. To combat raising the maximum payouts on higher earners, SSA is raising the tax window on payroll taxes on earned income. It was 12.4% payroll tax on earned income up to $132,900 but in 2020 that cap will raise to $137,700. If an employer paid you, you will only have to pay half of that, but for self-employed workers, they will foot the entire 12.4% payroll tax. The increase could be as much as $595.20 for self employed workers, or $297.60 more for everyone else.
For all the talk about the Social Security trust fund depleting at an alarming rate, the government sure doesn't seem to be willing to do the obvious and dramatically raise the payroll tax earnings cap. To be clear, I'm not advocating an increase of the 12.4% payroll tax, but an increase in the $132,900 yearly maximum of taxable income per person.
I don't really know what the right number is, but a cap of $132,900 in a country with 18,614,000 millionaires just seems terribly low, especially when Social Security benefits are the difference between keeping a roof over your head and living on the street for millions of lower-income seniors.
It just seems like we can and should do more.
Democrats have a unique way of allocating delegates in each state and because of that we should all expect a long and grueling primary season that likely won't be over quickly. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing because it (hopefully) weeds out the weakest candidates and forces the stronger candidates to make their case to more than a handful of states.
The Democratic Party's rules mandate that delegates, the people chosen to go to the national convention and officially nominate the candidate for President on the Democratic ticket, must be doled out proportionally based off the percentage of votes each candidate wins (so long as they reach what is called the 15% threshold). So a candidate can "win" a primary with 35% of the vote, but instead of getting 100% of the delegates (as they would in many Republican primaries), they will only get 35% of the delegates.
This type of delegate allocation also dilutes the power of "big" states like California, New York, and Texas because, while they have more delegates, they will be divvied up proportionally in the same way as every other state. That will only wind up hurting lesser known candidates because it makes it more difficult to focus on one big state that they can use as a springboard.
Many lesser known candidates will undoubtedly drop out of the race, but don't be surprised if Biden, Warren, Sanders, and one or two more go deep into the primary season. The rules virtually guarantee that they will.
Medicare Open Enrollment season is among us yet again, with this years enrollment period lasting from October 15, 2019, to December 7, 2019. During this period you can sign on to Medicare.gov to review your current plan and make changes to it if you wish to. You can also add Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) during the enrollment period, as well.
During the Medicare open enrollment period, you can:
- Sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
- Change your Medicare Part D plan
- Drop your Medicare Part D coverage
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa
If you are happy with your current coverage then you don't have to do anything at all as long as your plan continues to be available in 2020.
There was also a major change made in 2019 for individuals who already have coverage under a Medicare Advantage plan. Your open enrollment period runs from January 1 to March 31, during which time you will be able to switch back to original Medicare or switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
In short - if you are already signed up for Medicare and are happy with your plan then you don't have to do anything (assuming the plan is still available in 2020). If you want to shop your options and are not enrolled in Medicare Advantage already then you have until December 7, 2019 to make any changes. And if you are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage and want to shop your options then your open enrollment period is from January 1 to March 31, 2020.
If the top 4 candidates stay as is right now - Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg - I suspect that Buttigieg will do surprisingly well in Iowa. He might not win it over the other three, but I think it'll be a lot closer than most would think. Nationally Pete is polling about 7-8%, but in Iowa he is outpacing Sanders at the moment, getting 15.8% of the vote.
In Iowa right now its:
Warren - 22.5%That's more or less a dead heat. I wonder what that will do for each campaign if those 4 all end up splitting Iowa or close to it. Perception of any one of the 4 could change quite a bit if they end up with a surprising win; could sway voters that didn't give Sanders or Mayor Pete a chance to take them more serious.
Biden - 18.8%
Buttigieg - 15.8%
Sanders - 15.3%
The Iowa poll you shared is interesting. It (mostly) reinforces my opinion that Iowa isn't really emblematic of the Democratic Party as a whole, but that's mostly because Buttegieg is polling exponentially better in Iowa than he is in generic polls. On the other hand, generic polls are as worthless as a $3 bill because we don't have a national primary. So maybe Buttegieg is on to something and I'm making the same mistake I did with writing off Bernie back in 2016.
J.K.Logic Wrote: But that will all be deceiving as once the SC primary rolls around my guess is Biden comes out very well there. The polling in SC is much more dramatically different right now than the national poll, and quite a bit different from Iowa:
Biden - 35%
Warren - 15.5%
Harris - 7%
Steyer - 4.5%
Buttigieg - 4%
Pretty massive difference between the two states. Like I said, Iowa results could change this a lot down the stretch. But I don't think anyone can beat Biden in SC regardless, unless something really bad happens in his campaign between now and then.
This poll only surprises me because Harris is polling under 10%. In the same breath, I should probably check myself and not automatically assume African Americans will vote for her just because she's black.
What will be really interesting is when/if Warren or Sanders bows out, which is eventually inevitable. With proportional representation, they will likely split the progressive votes in each primary, which will undoubtedly help Biden. If one of them bows out then things could get really interesting.
Iowa may be first, but the fourth state to vote in the 2020 Primary season is likely the most important, at least for the top tier candidates in the Democratic field. That's because South Carolina is the first state to vote in the primaries that has a large African American population, a significant voting bloc in the Democratic Party.
Whoever wins the Iowa caucus will undoubtedly get major news coverage for a number of days, but Iowa isn't really emblematic of the nation as a whole considering the state is overwhelmingly Caucasian, older, and more conservative than the rest of the country. South Carolina, on the other hand, is far more reflective of a changing nation *and* of a changing Democratic Party. Whoever can get a majority in their primary would, at least in my opinion, be able to claim that they are the candidate who has the best chance to build a winning coalition to take back the White House in 2020.
No matter what happens, I have a strong feeling that the Democratic field will be down to four or five candidates max after voters head to the polls in South Carolina. And that's when the real race to the finish line will begin.
J.K.Logic Wrote: Does seem like Sanders understands that unfortunately his campaign is nearing an end. This debate will be very telling. Sanders could surprise us all and come out swinging against everyone, even Warren. But it's more likely he doesn't.
Yea, it just seems like the writing is on the wall for 10 of the 12 "major" candidates.
I may be wrong, but I have a strong feeling it's going to be a two person race in the next 3-4 months. A number of candidates will inevitably stick around until the first few primaries are over, but fast forward five months from now and I think we're going to be watching Biden and Warren dueling it out.
However, I've been very (very) wrong before, so take my prediction with a big grain of salt.
He has universal name recognition, a die-hard loyal following, and widely popular policy proposals (at least within the Democratic Party), so why is Bernie continuously polling a distant third in every major national poll for the past number of months?
I have a rather strong personal opinion about Bernie, but I'm going to try to lay that to rest for this thread and focus more on why I think the electorate has moved on from him even if they are favorable to many of his proposals. For starters - 2020 is the exact opposite of 2016. Where 2016 brought us one major candidate with no major rivals until Bernie stepped to the plate, 2020 is anything but. You can call the Democratic Primary many things this year, but lacking a variety of candidates isn't one of them. Not just that, but where 2016 was largely a race of one centrist versus one populist, 2020 is a race of multiple centrists (to varying degrees) versus multiple populists (to varying degrees). Voters now have more options than Hillary or Bernie and that doesn't bode well for him, especially due to the fact that Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally in each state.
I've never been a betting man, but I have a strong feeling that Bernie's time has passed and that we will eventually see a two person race between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. In many ways it will be similar to 2016 with a centrist and progressive going toe-to-toe, but in others it will be quite different. Either way, I have a strong feeling that Bernie's ship has sailed.
What do you think? Am I woefully underestimating the level of support Bernie has in this country or do you agree that Bernie's time has come and gone?
I'm really happy to see Pennsylvania doing something, especially with its status as a perennial "swing state" that can make or break an election, but unless the entire state adopts an auditing system that has a paper backup then they can throw billions at "election security" and it will all be for naught because hackers have proven that they can break into pretty much any machine they want.
As much as I love technology, I'm a firm proponent of a paper ballot for all Federal elections. It's the only way to guarantee a fair election free of foreign tampering.