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Updated: April 28, 2013 6:16AM
New pope’s name should inspire us to forego meat
I was delighted to learn the newly elected pope chose for himself the name of St. Francis of Assisi, generally known as patron saint of the animals.
On one of his nature walks, Francis reportedly preached to the birds and is often portrayed with a bird in his hand. On another occasion, Francis concluded a pact with a ferocious wolf that was terrorizing local townsfolk, whereby the wolf would quit preying on the town’s sheep in exchange for being fed regularly. He even persuaded local dogs to stop harassing the wolf. He freed a rabbit from a trap, returned caught fish to their stream, and fed half-frozen bees in winter.
I hope Pope Francis will inspire Catholics and all people of goodwill to show animals the respect and compassion they so richly deserve, particularly when it comes to subsidizing their abuse and slaughter for food at the checkout counter. Joining the Meatless Mondays trend may be a good start.
Expanding Medicaid would create more jobs in state
A March 13 article in the Post-Tribune talked about Gov. Mike Pence’s push for a 10 percent cut in the state income tax rates. Such a cut would pump $500 million into the economy.
There is another program, which Pence and super majorities in both houses of the Indiana legislature oppose, that would, according to a financial impact report prepared for the state legislature, pump $2.7 billion per year into the Hoosier economy and create between 20,000 and 33,000 jobs. It would also provide health insurance to more than 400,000 uninsured Hoosiers. And it would prevent more than 400 unnecessary Hoosier deaths per year.
This other program is Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), states may, if they wish, expand Medicaid to cover people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The federal government provides lavish assistance to states choosing to do so. The state must pay some administrative costs (estimated to be $124 million per year for Indiana). In turn, the federal government pays the first three years 100 percent of actual medical costs and at least 90 percent in years thereafter; $2.7 billion per year in exchange for an investment of $124 million.
GOP needs just three steps to kill any jobs legislation
1) Give a state government the authority to take over all local governments in financial trouble.
2) To keep the local governments in trouble, set up a smoke screen and spread fear about the deficit to give yourself an excuse to kill any jobs bill.
3) If Step 1 proves popular in other states, repeat Step 1 and march into other large cities like Detroit.
Michael J. McGregor