Auros (auros) wrote,

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You may've seen this in Xta's journal already...

On Saturday evening we were invited to a small event in the city for Gabrielle Giffords, with Special Guest Detective Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

Auros, Special Guest Detective Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Xta

Xta, Gabby Giffords, Auros

It was a great deal of fun. I discussed the pros and cons of H1B visas* with Gabby, who is intensely interested in both immigration and tech issues, and got to ask Bob Reich a couple questions about healthcare funding**. Reich apparently has known Gabby for a long time -- he was her professor at some point in the murky past. He heaped absolutely glowing praise on her, including predicting that she'll be the first female president. (If she gets another couple terms in Congress, then a term as AZ governor, she'd be a great VP pick in 2016, and she could run at age 54, in 2024...)

Any of you who live in the Tucson area (hint, hint) should sign up to work for her campaign!

* She favors having more of them, but weakening the individual employer's control over an employee's visa status.

** He thinks Paul Krugman has gone a little loopy on his critiques of Obama, which have most recently focused on the idea that while Obama's plan to make the tax system significantly more progressive is nice, it may leave too little money to do a good job on healthcare. Reich's take is that the Bush tax cuts expiring and Obama plans to not extend them; and we can wind down involvement in Iraq; and there's an opportunity to re-jigger or completely re-invent the Medicare drug benefit which Bush put in place with no option to negotiate prices, and to wipe out the "Medicare plus" subsidized private plans, for a total savings of $50-100B; so there will be at least $300B/yr available, probably more. Obama's giving up something like $70B overall in his tax plans, and devoting another chunk to reduce the deficit, but that would still leave at least $120B for healthcare. I take no responsibility if these numbers are slightly inaccurate -- it's not like I wrote them down at the time. In any case, he made a pretty compelling case.

ETA: Re: the pic with Bob Reich, the reason we're all grinning is that instead of saying "cheese," Bob said "Gingrich!"

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