Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You . . .

Usually we stick to our California knitting but I penned the following after learning to my repugnance about some well-to-do Americans making plans to flee the country out of displeasure with our political situation. They should listen to John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address — especially the parts about paying any price, bearing any burden, and asking what they can do for their country — and then consider a less selfish journey such as I lay out here.

Listed below are the largest donors to US Representative Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from Silicon Valley who chairs the House Health Subcommittee:

These are the largest donors to Michael Burgess, a Republican from North Texas who is the Ranking Member of the same committee:

Notice anything? The top funders are the same special interests. Notice anything else? it’s not that much money. Fewer than 100 donors contributing the legal maximum ($5600 per election cycle) could help free Eshoo and Burgess to consider the general interest on a committee that regulates $4 trillion of annual healthcare spending. Like prison guards in California who contribute less than $1 million a year to state politicians who grant them $10 billion a year in compensation and benefits, Health Services company DaVita Corporation contributes less than $1 million to Members of Congress who regulate an industry (dialysis) from which DaVita reaps more than $10 billion a year in revenues. Like the prison guards, DaVita is party agnostic:

And ideology is no barrier:

Someone needs to form a GFC-like organization to provide persistent funding of Members of Congress who serve the general interest. In a country of 330 million people with >$20 trillion per year of GDP, surely there’s a network of donors who can contribute no more than $5600 per election cycle per Member in cumulative amounts that can free lawmakers to serve the general interest. I’d be happy to join any such serious effort that’s run with the same ruthless persistence as special interest conduct their affairs. Instead of packing, potential expats should get busy bundling for legislators who serve the general interest. They owe it to their country.

*All figures from Open Secrets.

Originally posted on Medium, 10/13/20.