When I’m King

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Dental care is medical care. Whether you have private or employer-paid medical insurance (or Obamacare, Medicaid, or Medicare), dental care should be included, along with vision and hearing. That’s how it should be, and it’s crazy that it isn’t. But I gotta ask: since when does anyone, child or adult, get fillings in a surgery center with IV anesthesia?

When I’m king, you’ll have full single-payer health coverage, including dental, hearing, and vision. But when it comes to fillings, you’re still gonna have to settle for novocaine. In the chair at the dentist’s office.

Another thing on my kingly agenda: national ID.

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p.s. Why gray out the first tweeter’s name and not these? Because these two guys make their living expressing opinions.

As Mr. Bouie says, pass all the voter ID laws you want, but give free voter ID to all eligible voters, which is every adult American citizen. They won’t, because the purpose of Republican voter ID laws is to take the right to vote away from brown and black people.

But that brings me back to my kingly agenda, which definitely includes national ID, available free to every living American citizen and issued free to every new American citizen at birth. I’ve pitched the idea before. More than once, in fact. Done right, say a credit card-sized ID made of durable plastic with an embedded chip that could be updated as required by federal and state agencies, it would be your personal ID card. At 18, it would automatically become your voter ID. It would double as birth certificate, proof of citizenship, Social Security card, and Medicare ID (supplanted by Universal Medicare ID once I take the throne). Your passport could be on it. There’d be plenty of room on the chip for things like drivers licenses, military discharge certificates, and vaccination records. If you legally change your name or gender it could be updated with that as well.

All this is stuff we have to have now, in the form of multiple ID cards, certificates, and legal documents. None of these requirements are new. I, for one, would love to have them all stored on one wallet-sized card. But what I really want is a racism-proof voter ID that’ll cut Republicans off at the knees.

Of course there are some things my Majesty will decree that will not please all subjects. Two years’ national and/or state service for high school graduates, with free college or vocational training afterward for those who want it. A flat tax for individuals and corporations (more for the latter) and an end to tax exemptions (except for Amazon, but only if it agrees to produce seasons 7-9 of “The Expanse”). No more federal subsidies to big oil and other major polluters. High speed rail and renewable energy. A North American Union with open borders. Replacement of Mexican, American, and Canadian currency with a new unit I’ll call the “Amero.” Oh wait, I didn’t mean to share the last part.

Hey, a fella can dream, can’t he?

© 2022, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “When I’m King

  • Forget about high-speed rail, at least as far as Wyoming is concerned. When I moved to Laramie in 1957, from Portland, we had high speed rail, courtesy of Union Pacific. I timed travel between mileposts at a rate of 1 per every 30 seconds between Green River and Laramie. We had a comfortable compartment for the 2 adults, 2 kids, and 1 dog, with our own bathroom. Laramie had at least five passenger trains per day, each direction. Do you remember the City of Portland streamliner?

    When Amtrak took over, all (well at least most) of the good passenger train equipment was moved to the East Coast corridor. UP did keep some equipment for excursions. Later Amtrak moved their service to the much slower Colorado route for East-West travel. It remains so today, with Wyoming being one of two states with no passenger rail service. My daughters did get to make a trip from Laramie to Denver and back just before service to Denver ceased. Amtrak had poor equipment then, with no dining facilities, and air conditioning for our dome car was inoperative.

    UP roadbed continues to be the best, most comfortable and safe roadbed in the country, and other railroads purchase their ballast from UP, which produces it at Granite, between Laramie and Cheyenne.

    While flying over the area, you can still see the footings for the Dale Creek trestle, which was located on the original transcontinental roadbed West of Ames Monument. It is now private land, and visiting the site is restricted. I have visited a long stretch of the original roadbed NW of Laramie where it has an intersection with the “Two Rivers” road at the Biddick ranch. The roadbed has a long, straight, path there that leads toward Elk Mountain. It seems like it will be years before fast travel over Wyoming’s distances will be available, either by electric cars (needing recharge), or Amtrak trains.

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