Thursday, February 15, 2018

Walker's Legacy Fossil Fuel Energy problem leaves Wisconsin far behind our Neighbors!!!

Scott Walker's whole agenda has been to push tired old policies from the 80's and 90's. Not surprisingly, the manufacturing renaissance didn't happen. On the coal burning energy front, Wisconsinites are paying a higher price for their utility bills because those plants needed to clean up their emissions.

Bullheadedly sticking with legacy fuels and claiming falsely that they are still so much cheaper than alternative fuels has effectively left Wisconsin behind most other states.

Wisconsin has some of the highest electricity prices in the nation, although the average customer spends far less on electricity than in most states (residents aren’t running air conditioners as much as their counterparts in the hot and sticky southern states).

So why are Wisconsin’s rates so high?

“Built-in costs. It’s a combination of legacy infrastructure and legacy business models.”said Gary Radloff, director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute. Utilities have invested heavily in power plants and transmission lines that are paid off over decades through customer rates set by the Public Service Commission.

Those investments also include billions of dollars spent on pollution controls for aging coal plants, some of which are now being replaced with new natural-gas plants, said Tom Content, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, which represents the interests of residential and small businesses.

Content said Wisconsin ratepayers would be better off if utilities had followed those in Minnesota and Iowa by investing sooner in lower-cost natural gas and wind generation. “If you went with natural gas and renewables, you’re not trying to have a cleaner burning cigarette, you’re not smoking,” he said.

Yet the PSC has also approved significant increases in recent years to the flat monthly fee customers pay just to have an account, something consumer advocates argue punishes those who use the least electricity. “We’ve been investing heavily in the supply side,” Content said. “And not in helping customers manage their energy costs.”

Last Chance Revenue and Road Funding Solution?

Guns, Mass Shootings still not the problem...

The Florida school shooting is another unthinkable heart wrenching tragedy made worse by the knowledge no one in the Republican Party will anything about it...again. It's not just the NRA campaign money, but their rationalization that nothing can be done and will be done, or that treating the mentally ill will silence the even louder calls for rational gun control laws. Republicans proactively passed a law giving guns to those with dementia and mental illness.

Former Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida is now openly advocating flipping the House of Representatives. Below is his advice to voters and to Democrats that makes sense. I know, Democrats have been saying this stuff for years, but as Jolly notes, this one is in the hands of the voters-flip the House:   
Jolly: “And so if this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House. Flip the House. Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today. But I would also offer to Democrats, work for incremental wins."

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on the Senate floor that mass shootings are "a consequence of our inaction."
"This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America — this epidemic of mass slaughter. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."
For a guy like Paul Ryan, who would be very happy seeing 26 million Americans lose their health care while cutting Medicare for seniors, this irresponsible and detached response makes it clear who he really represents:

Kind of makes this the argument about how money corrupts your moral and ethical values:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin's potential Republican opponent State Sen. Leah Vukmir would ignore the gun carnage by going after those destructive self-esteem programs:

Vukmir wrote in the post about Columbine: “[O]ur national obsession with the feelings of teenagers has played an enormous but heretofore unrecognized role in what is transpiring nationwide. Unless we change our attitudes and approach to dealing with the normal developmental phase of [the] years known as adolescence, I fear another Columbine is inevitable.”

Vukmir criticized what she said was parents and administrators “coddling” teens’ emotions and making them “self-absorbed” rather than teaching them to roll with the punches. “It is under these circumstances that a despondent teen may find no other recourse but to lose control and act out violently,” she said.
There hasn't been a new federal gun law since 1994, because...we don't have a problem:

Yes, Something Can Be Done: The myth that nothing can be done to stop someone hell bent on committing a mass shooting is the wall Republicans love to stand behind. The facts say otherwise:
Europeans had school shootings, too. Then they did something about it. In Europe, there hasn't been a major high-casualty gun attack on a campus in almost a decade. Meanwhile, Wednesday's shooting in Florida was at least the sixth of its kind in the United States this year — 45 days into 2018.

In his famous study, “Public Mass Shooters and Firearms: A Cross-National Study of 171 Countries,” University of Alabama criminology professor Adam Lankford found a link between the number of guns and mass shootings that killed four or more people. The data set ranged from 1966 through 2012 ... a decrease in the number of weapons also would probably result in a decrease in shootings. That’s exactly what happened in Australia after the country tightened gun legislation following a mass shooting in 1996. Countries where gun ownership is rare, such as France or Britain, have largely been spared such catastrophic incidents.

Switzerland has one of the world’s highest ratios of firearms per person, Why has there never been a school shooting in Switzerland, despite the Swiss enthusiasm for weapons? Switzerland’s weapons are distributed to citizen soldiers, as they are known. Conscription is mandatory for male Swiss citizens, and conscripts can keep their semiautomatic assault rifles at home even after returning to their nonmilitary careers. (They still have to report for a short annual training). Meanwhile, those who wish to buy weapons themselves need to undergo a weeks-long background check.

Some sociologists say that Switzerland's military service comes close to an extended background check, too, and that the country's education system teaches children early on to search for compromises instead of risking open conflicts. Hence, while almost every home in Switzerland may have a weapon, access is still indirectly regulated. There’s also another crucial difference with the United States: extensive, mandatory health insurance, which allows schools to have direct and immediate access to psychologists and intervention teams. Psychological tests are also standard practice for Germans younger than 25 who want to purchase firearms. Age restrictions were tightened and a national registry of all weapons was created in 2013.
Here's Voldemort wannabe Gov. Rick Scott with the standard issue do-nothing talking points that won't cut it anymore:

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin had this safety suggestion for lawmakers:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wish we all had American Harvest Boxes?

Office of Management and budget director Mick Mulvaney's tea party caucus creds went through the
roof yesterday, when he described the food stamps new food in a box “Blue Apron-type program:”
Mulvaney:“What we do is propose that for folks who are on food stamps, part — not all, part — of their benefits come in the actual sort of, and I don't want to steal somebody's copyright, but a Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of receive the cash. It lowers the cost to us because we can buy [at wholesale prices] whereas they have to buy it at retail. It also makes sure they're getting nutritious food. So we're pretty excited about that.”
Aren't we all. Wait a minute, Republicans refused to negotiate drug prices because it was unfair for the government to contort the market and put private business at a major disadvantage blah, blah, blah...too bad for all those private sector grocery stores:
The proposal is also likely to enrage food retailers — particularly Walmart, Target and Aldi — that stand to lose billions if food stamp benefits are cut, analysts say.

Mulvaney's remarks drew raised eyebrows from some critics, who accuse the Trump administration official of drawing an unfair comparison between the food stamp program, which delivers an average of $1.37 per meal to America's poorest, and a high-end meal kit that runs $10 per serving. Blue Apron found that four in 10 lapsed meal-kit subscribers dropped their service because they were too costly.
Idea who's time...wait, no ones been talking about this:
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement, "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers” ... dubbed “America’s Harvest Box,” all households receiving more than $90 per month in benefits — 81 percent of SNAP households overall — would begin receiving about half their benefits in the form of government-purchased, nonperishable food items.
Right Wing Think Tanks Appalled Too: It's got to be pretty bad when the response from Redstate's Sr. Editor Ben Howe actually sounded like a reasonable common sense liberal:

Big Government Republicans Rube-Goldberg Maze of Safety Net Programs:
Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, described the proposal as a “a Rube-Goldberg designed system of commodity distribution via food boxes. [It] will be administratively costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failur. [And it] will return the country to Depression-era anti-hunger approaches.”

Kevin Nicholson not contacting Parents anymore..."their decision?"

Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson was trained to be a "weapon" and rifleman when he served in the Marines. That fighting mentality changed Nicholson's ideological world view, from Democrat to Republican. Once a Marine, always a Marine, and that's why he's more qualified than Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

My dad was a decorated Marine and survived a round through his chest. I don't remember him saying he was better or more qualified then any other American. That's why I'm skeptical of anyone who brags about serving in the armed forces, expecting a whole bunch of hero worship, and suggesting they're so much better. That's Nicholson. VoteVets wants you to know...

Nicholson Divides Family over Trumpism: After the news hit the fan about Nicholson's parents donating lots of money to his opponent Senator Tammy Baldwin, Nicholson showed his true colors in a Fox News interview that was not just sad, but revealing; his politics resulted a family split with his liberal parents. It's pretty bad when your own parents can't talk to you anymore. Even worse, Nicholson makes no mention of his parents or childhood at his campaign site.

As he tells it, Kevin Nicholson wife, kids and that Marine Corps experience that ripped away his "illusions," made him a better parent than his own mother and father. Even the Fox host stepped in defending his family, reminding Kevin that they also had life experiences that made them who they are...Democrats. Nicholson's words of wisdom and advice to becoming a Republican?
Nicholson: "If you want to have your illusions ripped away, as a young person, go to war, and you're going to learn a lot about yourself, and you'll learn a lot about the world."
Too bad Donna and Michael Nicholson, who continue to wallow in their world of illusion, missed out on so much. That goes for most of us.


Big Energy's Desperate battle to stop the Future, Renewable Energy!

The Trump tax cut declared a frightening historical moment; big business was in charge.

Among the many examples to long to list here, big energy is trying to save its dying business model by getting their obedient Republican servants to pass unthinkably anti-consumer legislation.  

I also want to note this interesting twist. My Trumpian conservative friend in Milwaukee said he was shocked at the corrupting influence of corporate money in government under Trump. When I reminded him of Citizens United, where the conservative geniuses on the Supreme Court claimed unequivocally that money did not have a corrupting influence...he said they were wrong!!! Yes, things are that bad now.

Fossil Fuels Last Gasp? Here's are just a few examples from the Energy News Service that will demonstrate just how bad and irrational things might get. First up, the Politics of Resentment:
Example 1. If you’ve got solar panels on your roof, Westar Energy wants to create a surcharge on your power bill. The utility insists that if it doesn’t charge you extra, all of its other customers will get stuck with the tab of being ready with electricity when the sun lets you down ... the amount of electricity any individual solar power user produces is unreliable.

Solar power enthusiasts want the Kansas Legislature to outlaw such charges. For the utility power from solar rays is a money-losing proposition. Westar estimates the new charge could increase the bill of a customer with solar panels by as much as 50 percent.

The solar industry in Kansas employs about 500 people ... Colorado has about 6,000 workers in the field.
Good-Bye Energy Saving Programs, Jobs: Republicans never cared about jobs, they cared about their donors and exploiting the public's hunger for more and better paying jobs. But really, eliminating consumer energy star programs and allowing utilities to reward and penalize users without state approval? Hello?
Job gains and the burgeoning solar industry in Iowa could be undone by proposals under consideration in the state and federal governments.
There were more than 800 solar energy jobs in Iowa in 2017, a 45 percent increase over the previous year ... solar jobs in Iowa stands in contrast to the national picture: solar jobs declined 3.8 percent nationally from 2016 to 2017 ... a state solar tax credit has sparked roughly $166 million in capital investment across the state. Iowa is No. 42 in the country in solar jobs per capita, according to the Solar Foundation report. Minnesota has more than 4,000 jobs, an increase of nearly 50 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Iowa state lawmakers are considering a couple of proposals ... One would eliminate the requirement for energy efficiency practices altogether ... another provision would allow utility companies to make revenue-neutral changes to utility rates without approval from the state board that regulates utilities, and another that would eliminate a requirement that utilities not apply rates that discriminate against any class of customer. Solar energy advocates say they fear these proposals would allow utilities to increase the rates for solar customers. Josh Mandelbaum, an attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (in) Chicago (said) “ of the worst pieces of legislation we’ve ever seen.”

Seriously? "Their intent is to foster new programs and services for customers more quickly, not to raise rates on any customers, including those who use solar energy ... to make rates fairer."
21st Century Technology Energy Savings...but will Utilities Cooperate? It's not all Doom and Gloom. I thought this was a fascinating look at what we'll need to do in the future, if only big energy can get on board and change their business model dramatically. Note-Many utilities do welcome change and are trying to adapt:
For Indiana businesses and residents, a few cutbacks during peak energy times could save the state between $448 million and $2.3 billion over 10 years, a new report from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) said, a national association of business leaders dedicated to making the global energy system more secure, clean and affordable, released the report, “Potential for Peak Demand Reduction in Indiana.”

The report focused on three main strategies: (1) curtailing commercial and industrial electricity demand, (2) installing more smart thermostats across Indiana’s residential sector, and (3) deploying energy storage technologies.
 Check this out:
Demand for electricity can spike for just a few hours each year ... 10 percent of a state’s electric system’s capacity is built to meet demand in just 1 percent of hours during the year, creating significant costs to consumers. One proven tool to reduce peak demand is demand response (DR) which enables grid operators and electric utilities to relieve stress on the electricity distribution system ... using connected thermostats, where utility companies would have the ability to cycle air conditioning or heaters off and on, could produce a $300 million savings.

“In a residential unit, utility companies would be able to cycle on and off a water heater, for instance. But also, in a big box store cycle off an air conditioner for 20 minutes, and no one in the store would even notice it. The businesses and residential customers would see savings on their utility bills as well.” In one scenario where 214,000 smart thermostats were utilized throughout the state, net benefits of $73 million over 10 years were estimated.

The report identified some emerging technology surrounding energy storage that could potentially save the state money, as well. Being able to store some of the power generated by the state’s wind turbine farms and solar panels would provide the state with energy to use during peak usage times.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Scott Walker loses Foxconn Bragging Trump!

Grifting Governor Scott Walker lost his one big campaign talking point, Foxconn, thanks to narcissist Trump. And Walker groveled like the spineless weasle we saw during the 2011 protests, when he had to hide away from the public:
While Wisconsin badly needs funds to help fix crumbling roads, the president stole some of Walker’s thunder. He took credit for bringing the company to the United States.
Trump : “It’s a fantastic thing and everyone wanted Foxconn. Frankly, they weren't going to come to this country. I hate to say it, if I didn't get elected they wouldn't be in this country. I think you (Walker) know that very well."
 Check out WKOW's report containing a clip that should be included in almost every Democratic challengers campaign ad till November, where our balding wannabe nods in agreement, that yes, Trump gave us Foxconn:

Speaking of our supposed "Unintimidated" governor, the wholly created myth that he stood up to over 100,000 protesters gathered around the Capitol like the U.S. stood up against ISIS, is now part of his ad campaign. Think about the picture below; it's amazing to think that working, taxpaying Wisconsin voters, participating in their own government, is a bad thing...breathtaking?  MAL Contends:

Still Scared after All These Years: And like every other Republican, Walker measures his political success by the size of his security, and how dangerous he's made his own life pushing his unpopular authoritarian agenda:
Gov. Scott Walker has repeatedly been criticized for not being accessible to the general public. In 2016, we rated as True a narrower statement from state Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire, that Walker's "listening sessions" were "invite-only and excluding the press." As he traveled Wisconsin to meet with residents, Walker asked various people, including Democratic lawmakers, for suggestions on who to invite to his listening sessions. But these events -- held by Walker, rather than him attending events staged by others -- were not open to the public or to the press, only to people who were invited.

It’s pretty clear that access to Walker is limited. His schedule is generally not made public ahead of time, making it difficult for people to go to events he attends. There are events that are open to the public, such as holiday ceremonies,

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Walker's Foxconnsin!!!

Again, Goodbye Local Control: Republican state authority is taking over...
And it wouldn’t be a trip to America’s Dairyland if we didn’t check in on the Foxconn project. Apparently, they’re going to get their own Amtrak stop. From Urban Milwaukee
The board will also take this proposal up as an opportunity to discuss the need for transit service to the Foxconn development in Pleasant Prairie. The Public Transportation Review Board will also hear about a proposed bill (Assembly Bill 918) in the state Legislature that would prohibit city governments from regulating taxicab companies. Under the proposed legislation, the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Services would be the sole regulator of taxicab companies, maintaining control of all licensing for companies and their drivers.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Walker's not-so-fiscally-conservative Voter Bribes and Corporate Tax Credits Spending Spree

Scott Walker groundbreaking reelection campaign spending tactic is a doozy; give away the store. And even crazier, Wisconsin taxpayers will be on the hook, actually paying companies to stay in our state with their own hard earned wages. Gross mismanagement, comic genius, or breathtaking desperation?

Walker Showers Tax Credit Gifts All Around: Walker's supposed "market driven" reinsurance plan using taxpayer money to support ObamaCare was the big tip-off. Now Kimberly-Clark tax credits are free market "catalytic things." Foxconn fever is here:

Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he'd be open to offering other paper companies Foxconn-style tax credits just days after he floated the suggestion for consumer products giant Kimberly-Clark. "We'd be willing to match for keeping these jobs at Kimberly-Clark and for that matter other major paper companies in the state if you're talking about significant opportunities to keep and grow jobs in the state."

Walker was asked whether the state would run the risk of other companies seeking similar tax breaks. "You do, but for us, what we try to do is say these are catalytic things," Walker said.
Walker's Reelection Year Bribe-New and Improved: This is so shamelessly a voter bribe that it has to be illegal, especially after the proposed yearly $100 tax rebate for every child was limited to just the midterm election, with the added bonus of sales tax holiday. Seriously?
The proposal would cost an estimated $172 million over the current biennium, drawing down about 45 percent of an expected $385 million budget surplus.
The weird Republican idea that surplus revenues are just excess cash, and should be given back instead of being used for rebuilding our states infrastructure, roads, education funding, mass transit, renewable energy investments...etc. is not just bizarre, but leaves that bill to our kids and their kids:
"As I promised, when we have a surplus, we will give it back to you. It’s your money," Walker said in a statement announcing the deal.
 Like Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said:
(It's) "an election year bribe. The governor might as well save money on postage and just hand these checks out at polling places in November. For seven years, Governor Walker has handed out favors to his donors and corporations to stay in power. Now, he’s trying to do the same with voters, but they’re not going to fall for it."
Walker Won't Budge, Won't Build Roads: After Trump stuck-it to the states by forcing them to pay for most his massive national infrastructure plan, Wisconsin Republicans and Walker are headed for a stalemate:
The state Senate's top Republican says Wisconsin needs to add toll roads if it wants to qualify for a possible influx of federal transportation funds. "I think it forces our hand," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said. Trump's plan would offer states a chance at increased federal funding for infrastructure projects as long as states put up most of the funding themselves. That could be difficult in Wisconsin, where Republicans who run state government have been unable to reach an agreement to raise the gas tax or vehicle registration fees.

Fitzgerald said, "A nickel, a dime on a gas tax? That is not going to fill the pot that's going to be able to match those federal dollars at this point." The state was on the cusp of adding its first ever toll roads last year before the idea was rejected by Walker. The budget that Fitzgerald said would have resulted in Wisconsin being chosen by the federal government to add toll roads. Walker vetoed the study. "We cut the deal already. The deal was in the budget. I mean it was there."

Asked about Fitzgerald's comments, Walker said Wednesday he was not opposed to tolling, but he stressed that he was not ready to support it. "We're not even going to think about it unless we can reduce taxes somewhere else in an equal or greater margin," Walker said.

Nebraska says Wind not Renewable..."Not Nebraska Nice" and "a Scam and isn't green energy by any definition of the term."

If anything describes the state of the Republican Party today, this mind-bending idea is it. Who votes for these people anyway, my god...still, I just love this story:
Yes, this is a real ad on his site!
Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer (R) has proposed a new bill that would restrict wind power development in the state and end the designation of wind power as “renewable.”

The bill would undo provisions the state has enacted in recent years to streamline wind power development ... provisions that have enabled the state to attract companies like Facebook with the promise of low-cost 100 percent renewable wind power.
If this doesn't make your head explode, nothing will:

It's just that easy...?
“Wind energy is not Nebraska Nice,” Brewer wrote in an opinion piece last October. “Wind energy is a scam that hurts people and animals, wastes billions in tax dollars, and isn’t ‘green’ energy by any definition of the term.”
The truth is a lot less crazy:
In fact, wind power is one of the least polluting power sources available today — and thanks to smart government policies, it has become so cheap that building new wind farms with battery storage is now cheaper than running existing coal plants.
Republicans "Jobs" Myth: It's never been about creating jobs, it's been about some twisted out-of-limits ideological dystopia that...heck, I can't come up with anything else.
The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) opposed Brewer’s bill noting the strategy of offering companies 100 percent renewable power had landed “a lot of national and international companies in the pipeline” for local job-creating projects.

Republican Policies are Killing Us...Lowering Life Expectancy in U.S.

 Life expectancy in the U.S. is down for again...
...for the second year in a row, thanks to a combination of drug and alcohol use and suicides, according to a new report released Wednesday by the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal.
You want to know why? 
By far, the report found it's a rural issue more than an urban one. "The problem is concentrated in rural, largely white counties that have often struggled for many years with stagnant wages, unemployment, poverty and the loss of major industries that fueled local economies."
An Rural Problem: Hey that's not what Wisconsin Republicans have been saying for years. Let's reflect back to Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger), who died in 2017. His GOP colleagues said they would miss his booming rhetoric...shaved head...a true champion and advocate of the conservative movement...candor and principled conviction." They also miss Gannon blaming black urban neighborhoods for our states problems. Here's the proof for resentful rural Republicans:
Gannon recently accused Democrats of blaming Republicans for "every malady known by man." Gannon focused on problems with unemployment and crime in Milwaukee's African American population, and said the city is "the anchor holding back the ship of state as far as jobs is concerned."

In his statement titled "Murder, Mayhem and Jobs," Gannon noted the state's job creation numbers would significantly improve "if only our largest city would clean up the murder and mayhem on their streets. Milwaukee leads in murders and mayhem per capita, with a large number of these crimes occurring in mainly black neighborhoods ... What employer will build or expand when they fear muggings, car jackings, attempted murder, or other serious criminal threats to their employees?"
Scott Walker Plays Rural Resentment Card: The shorter U.S. life expectancy report oddly and unintentionally pointed to Republican policies that rural conservatives can't seem to get enough of. And yet it's killing their communities and shortening their lives:  

Steven Woolf at Virginia Commonwealth University, a co-author of the latest report said that "the root causes argue for policy solutions, especially those directed at strengthening the middle class that are not getting sufficiently prioritized by elected officials. The problem is concentrated in rural, largely white counties that have often struggled for many years with stagnant wages, unemployment, poverty and the loss of major industries that fueled local economies."
Yup, it's those rural "small government, low tax" communities that are always feeling forgotten where life expectancy rates have decreased. It's not terrorism, it's not illegal immigrants. It's GOP policies. The decline really took off during the Reagan years:
In 1960, Americans had the highest life expectancy, 2.4 years higher than the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the US started losing ground in the 1980s.
Big surprise, huh? Now after the total abdication of the middle class and Republicans serving business only, Americans are dying sooner:
The idea of the "American Dream" is increasingly out of reach as social mobility declines and fewer children face a better future than their parents, Woolf said.

Life expectancy in the U.S. is now 1.5 years lower than a group of 35 nations known as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom among others.

The report found:

1. Americans have poorer health than other nations in many areas, including birth outcomes, injuries, homicides, adolescent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
2. Americans also engage in unhealthy or risky behaviors — such as high calorie intake, drug abuse, and firearm ownership — live in cities designed for cars rather than pedestrians or cyclists, have weaker social welfare supports and lack universal health insurance.

3. Not only more deaths and illness, but also escalating health care costs, a sicker workforce, and a less competitive economy. Future generations may pay the greatest price," the report concludes. 
As for what to do about it, Woolf said that "the root causes argue for policy solutions, especially those directed at strengthening the middle class that are not getting sufficiently prioritized by elected officials."