Nicaragua’s Wave of Protests Is Ending — For Now

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Nicaragua’s government is gaining the upper hand over a 3-month-old protest movement, but demonstrations could flare up again as President Daniel Ortega tries to cement his rule.
  • Because renewed protests would further strain Nicaragua’s economy, thereby inserting a wedge between Ortega and the country’s business elites, the president will try to draw as many allies to his side by distributing benefits to them.
  • Nicaragua will pursue a more authoritarian path if protests continue but fail to unseat Ortega.
  • Though ending the protests will temporarily reduce business risks in Nicaragua, the specter of U.S. sanctions against Ortega and his allies will loom.

(MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)

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How to Run a Medicare Surplus Without Raising Taxes or Cutting Benefits

By Chuck Bolotin – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The numbers are hard to ignore.

According to the 2016 report from the Boards of Trustees, Medicare Part A will run out of money in less than 11 years. As a country, the United States is experiencing “deer caught in the headlights syndrome”; We’ve been alerted to a grave impending danger, but we’re frozen into inaction.

Whether we choose to accept it or not, something has to give. The truck is barreling down the road, and if we don’t do something soon, we’ll all be roadkill. Why don’t our leaders act? Because they can’t come up with a solution that doesn’t either cut Medicare benefits or raise taxes, or both, and what politician wants to run on a platform of cutting benefits and / or raising taxes?

I am proposing a third solution, one that will not only eliminate the Medicare funding deficit without raising taxes, but will do so without cutting benefits: Provide Medicare recipients with a voucher for 75% of what Medicare would pay for their procedure in the U.S. and then let them receive their healthcare services anywhere in the world they choose.

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