Webb: My tribe is American
Our politicians, pundits and so many Americans are busy fighting over impeachment, influence-peddling allegations and issues that don’t affect the person driving down Main Street directly. The effect is a modern form of tribalism that’s not good for the country. So many have gone to their corners without even knowing why they’ve done so.
We’re living in a reality where many on the left see a red cap with four letters, MAGA, as a symbol of hate and a black mask or a hood is seen as a symbol of love. It’s also a reality where canceling the speech of others versus engaging in debate is the primary option for many on the left.
Here are three things that matter to the American people. You won’t see these at the top of a newspaper front page or an online publication. If you’re tired of government not working for you, here’s how it does. Warning, some of it may seem a little wonky, but it may matter to you.
In 2018 President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This established the opportunity zones with the goal of incentivizing investment in forgotten communities across the country. The results have been significant.
The opportunity zone council under Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Executive Director Scott Turner has continued to expand its effectiveness in 8,761 designated communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories. Approximately 35 million Americans live in these opportunity zones.
Poverty rates have declined sharply and continue to get better. Public and private investment combined has begun to grow. Median family income has increased steadily. They’ve launched a website for all to use: www.opportunityzones.gov.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has, under the direction President Trump and the leadership of Administrator Seema Verma, taken on the task of both transparency and a reduction of costs. Medicare open enrollment is an important time for many Americans. Under Trump, Medicare Advantage premiums in 2020 are expected to decline 23 percent from 2018 and at the same time, choices, benefits and enrollment continue to increase.
Medicare in its various parts has seen an increase in enrollment coupled with a decline in cost to the participants. For example, the projected average monthly basic Part D premium of $30 in 2020 is the lowest it has been since 2013. This may not seem like much, but it can matter to those on a fixed income.
Commonsense reforms have been put in place to help some people dealing with chronic illness. Transparency and the ability to compare costs gives the citizen more control of their decision under the redesigned Medicare Plan Finder tool.
Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia attended his first Cabinet meeting on Monday and stepped right onto the path of deregulation set by the Trump administration. In the past two years there have been 29 regulatory actions taken by Department of Labor and there are 19 more in the works. An estimated $10 billion will be saved by the taxpayer as a result.
Two key deregulatory actions were in response to a presidential executive order on Association Health Plans and Association Retirement Plans. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 400,000 people will gain coverage under Association Health Plans from 2019 to 2028.
In the United States some 40 million private sector employees have no access to a workplace 401(k) or other retirement plan through their employers. Under the rule change, Association Retirement Plans could be offered by employers in a city, county or state or multistate metropolitan area or even a particular industry nationally. As 50 percent of U.S. workers are small business employees, this matters to their current situation and their future.
These are broad strokes of how these elements are being deployed by the respective agencies. The good news for anyone reading this is that you can find the details on their websites. Tie just these elements together and we can change the present and the future for millions of Americans.
Opportunity for those that have been left behind all too often. A pro-growth economy that has jobs and good pay available for those who can participate or start a business. And for those in their later years, the ability to have access to care, and as a result, a larger part of our older population can stay productive.
Why do I say my tribe is American? Because it’s a commonality based on the success of the country. Our economic success will help address many of our cultural challenges and lead to greater cultural cohesion. We can only be divided if we allow it to happen.
Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of “Reality Check with David Webb” on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.