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Republicans Have Done Nothing to Address the Economy

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During the 2010 mid-term election the Republican party hit Democrats in Washington hard with a rather simple slogan: “Where are the jobs?”  In what would become a historic rebuff of the 111th Congress the American people overwhelmingly bought the Republican party line that if they were allowed to take the reins of the House of Representatives away from the Democrats they would refocus the federal government’s attention away from stimulus bills and Obamacare and instead concentrate on the stagnant economic and the miserably high rate of unemployment in this country.  The strategy worked and the Democratic majority in the House was sent packing last November, while Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) was elected the 61st speaker of the House in January of this year.

In the ensuing four month period, how many jobs have the Republican House created? How many pieces of legislation has the House passed in an effort to jumpstart the American economy? How many Republican alternatives to the Democrat’s policy of investing in the American middle class have been proposed?  Unfortunately the answers to those questions are: zero, zero and, zero.

The fact is the Republican House majority has spent more time and energy developing a privatization scheme for Medicare and Medicaid, attacking a woman’s right to chose whether she will have a child and opposing President Obama at every turn, rather than doing anything to address the humdrum economic situation.

The first pronouncement by Speaker Boehner relating to jobs was a rather derisive comment. When asked about the federal job-cutting aspects of his party’s budget proposals he said the government can’t afford to keep so many workers and, “…if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it.”  This rather cavalier attitude is diametrically opposite the crisis in employment his party ran and won on last November.  Did the GOP hoodwink the American public?

The other major issue the Republicans used to gain control of the House was health care. Specifically, they brutally attacked the Democrats claim that the legislation they passed, often referred to as Obamacare, would save the country nearly $500 billion in reduced Medicare costs over the next 10 years.  The law was attacked for “cutting Medicare” even though the cuts the Democrats proposed would not have affected Medicare benefits.  The misleading verbal barrage  started 14 months before the midterm elections when Boehner, then the minority leader, said that the Democrats’ “health care bill would cut seniors’ Medicare benefits by $500 billion,” and continued in October of that year when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “We need to strengthen Medicare and preserve it for today’s seniors and future generations, not slash it.” Later that year McConnell wrote that, “Cutting Medicare is not what Americans want.”Even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), then the minority, jumped into the act with both feet, writing, “The huge cuts in Medicare, massive new entitlements and increasing pressure to stop escalating costs would eventually require the rationing of care.”

So what did our friends on the right do when they got control of the House? They overwhelmingly voted in favor of a plan that would cut deep into Medicare benefits and would eventually turn the program over to the private market in ten years, which would have been a financial windfall for an industry which has backed the GOP with millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

In fact the group Americans for Campaign Reform concluded recently that, “Republicans received 57 percent of total healthcare industry contributions while Democrats received 43 percent of industry contributions from 1990-2008.” They also said the industry has contributed over $800 million to candidates for federal office during that time period. And, during the time period, “Annual contributions from the healthcare industry increased sevenfold from $21.9 million in 1990 to nearly $150 million in 2008.”  Is there any wonder there was so much heated opposition to healthcare reform? Thankfully the GOP plan has been shortstopped by many of the same people who voted them into office last fall.  The Republicans have shown their hand. They are not interested in middle class Americans.

I only hope that the American public will remember this episode and take the advice of a well-known rock group and cry out as loudly as they can at the ballot box in 2012 with the refrain that we “Won’t be fooled again!”

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About Ronald W Weathersby

  • Cannonshop

    At this rate, the GOP in congress is likely to lose their majority trying to prevent the Obama Administration from doing what Clinton did so successfully after ’94: that is, ride the wave of good that comes from an oppositional relationship that marginalizes the fringes of both parties.

    i.e. I think it’s a cynical strategy that is doomed to failure. The serious Fiscal Conservatives don’t have enough votes with the entrenched Republicrats to actually get anything into, much less out of, committee, but the Republicrats feel secure enough to turn loose the social dogmatists to generate ridiculous legislative efforts aimed at key hot-button bible-belt pseudo-issues like Abortion and Marriage.

    In short, sir, the GOP has already forgotten what won them the last election, and that forgetting is, frankly, probably deliberate-they’re hoping to LOSE those seats and discredit the Civil Libertarian and Fiscally Conservative newcomers, because they’re a threat to the power-brokers and the deal-makers who’re just as in bed as the Democrats with Big Business, Big Labor, and Big Environmentalism.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Beyond that, Cannon, the Democrats do still control the Senate, so even a very moderate budget proposal like the one put forward by Paul Ryan is doomed, as the Democrats seem to have no interest in making any cuts or reforms whatsoever.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You know what I got from this? WAAAAAA! The guys that aren’t in charge aren’t doing anything!!!

    I just want to make sure I have this straight. It’s bad that republicans get 57% of the insurance industry’s money, but the demoocrats are doing good things with the 43% that they get?

  • Ronald W Weathersby

    Andy: Both sides are feeding from the trough of the Healthcare industry and that is why, in my opinion that the Healthcare Bill was watered down and why the Republican led opposition was so full of lies and innuendo.

    I will say that although they received 43% of the contributions Democrats did attempt to address an issue American Presidents have identified as a major concern for nearly a century.

    Would we have had a system of Universal Healthcare if not for the Republican opposition? I think so.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Well then, I say thank god, if there is one, for republican opposition!

    Name one successful thing the govt runs. Just one!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I live under a govt run healthcare plan every day. I’m retired military.

    I won’t go into why YOU think you should get for free what cost me 20 years of my life.

    Tricare coverage sucks! They try to send us hours away from home and we (my wife and I) live in the largest city in Virginia! The problem is, like many other forms of govt run healthcare, doctors don’t want to accept it anymore.

    Oh yeah, and that really cool provision that the president likes to brag about…you know the one…the one that says that your kids can stay on your healthcare plan until they’re 26…that doesn’t apply to MY healthcare plan. You know why? Because it would’ve made the democrats numbers look even shittier than they did when THEY were lying to the American people!

  • Clavos

    Ronald,

    I second Andy’s point about Republican opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    That piece of legislation has already been seen by any number of experts to be an unmitigated disaster; left to stand, it will greatly exacerbate our already serious economic problems while providing health care inferior to what we have now.

  • Ronald W Weathersby

    Name one successful thing the government does? How about fielding the best armed forces in the world. But that was too easy.

    Let me think of another one. Oh, how about providing medical care to the elderly?

    Boy you have no clue but maybe that’s because you already have government run healthcare which you so richly deserve. But please don’t make this an argument about those of us who have worked all our life versus children or the disabled or the poor.

    Healthcare costs to those of us who are insured by the private sector are rising now because there are so many people without healthcare who are overwhelming the system. When they go get acute and emergency care which are not cost effective and cannot pay, WE pay for them in the form of higher taxes and premiums. If there is Universal Care individuals will be able to get preventive care thereby decreasing the staggering demand on emergency rooms and that will lead to some semblance of stabilization of medical costs.

    Oh, one more thing: Where are the jobs?

    By the way, thank you for YOUR service to this great nation.

  • Clavos

    Let me think of another one. Oh, how about providing medical care to the elderly?

    As a Medicare customer (first for many years on behalf of my disabled wife, now deceased and now on my own account) I can tell you from direct experience that it’s dodgy at best; it is rationed (my wife was cut off more than once, even though she was literally dying slowly), and it is incredibly wasteful, allowing fraud on its services to the tune of $60 billion a year; $2 billion annually here in Miami alone.

    So, no, the government doesn’t do that well. Other endeavors it botches: education, the infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) — the list goes on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    Unlike you, I’ve got nothing but GOOD things to say about that “guv’mint-run medical system” called Tricare.

    Why? It’s saved my life and twice saved my wife’s life…and Tricare Standard even covers us overseas. Well over a hundred hospitals in Manila takes Tricare Standard – look on the Tricare Overseas Program website.

    And you know what? If you’re having to drive too far, then get Tricare Standard, too – it’s free for you, as long as you’re willing to pay the 25% co-pay – which can be expensive, but it’s up to you to make the decision as to where you want to live. Furthermore – and unlike most insurance companies – TS will NOT suddenly drop your coverage.

    FYI, most people – if they knew how good Tricare is when compared to nearly any other health insurance system in America – would LEAP at the chance to have it.

    But here’s the really sad thing – every other first-world democracy on Earth already have health care equal to or better than Tricare for ALL their citizens, for significantly LESS than we ALREADY pay in taxpayer dollars per citizen. But I guess to most conservatives, it would be too ‘socialist’ to pay LESS in taxpayer dollars and cover all citizens.

    (and btw – the old “thousands of people come to America for health care meme doesn’t work. Why? Because CNN reported in 2009 that about 6.6 million Americans go outside the country for health care they can’t get or can’t afford here…which I did for dental care – a $16K set of crowns cost me less than $1K)

  • Boeke

    The republicans simply don’t care about jobs for American workers. What they care about is reducing business costs and taxes and increasing their personal yields. That’s never been a good course for a national economy.

    The underlying problem with USA employment is that we have had 60 years of unrelenting productivity increases in the workplace which have not been accompanied by workweek reductions. Instead, we have increased consumption and windfall profits. Consumption will have to fall because of coming shortages, but windfall profits remain a problem.

    What we’ve done with windfall profits is to put them in the hands of people accustomed to handling large amounts of money: financiers and industrialists. We hope that they will be responsible, obey the law, and make good investments. But what they’ve actually done is skim the cream (thereby increasing their personal takeouts extravagantly) and make bad investments in sketchy ‘investment vehicles’, which are really just highly leveraged gambles.

    The financiers, bankers and industrialists write the contracts so they write in huge bonuses and commissions for themselves, which they collect up-front before the other action begins. That way they are assured of winning big bucks. Of course, they also participate in the action winnings, if any, just like the ordinary investors and workers who are at the mercy of that action. But they will not lose if the venture fails.

    We have allowed a situation where productivity rises 3% a year but real wages are falling and the work week is increasing. The gap between worker costs and revenues has been skimmed by management.

    Where do they put that extra money? Highly leveraged secondary investments, derivatives. The USA has some $600 trillion face value in financial paper. Since all the real capital in the USA is worth about $50trillion, we are leveraged out about 12 to 1.

    You know, when the banker tells you that your money market account is in cash or cash equivalents, he’s fibbing. Cash ‘equivalents’ are really only backed by a small fraction of cash or capital.

    When this house of cards collapses it will be a cataclysm.

    But 3 years ago our government backed the irresponsible bets of financiers (because they are financiers themselves) so they will simply throw all your wealth into the pot, along with your future wealth in the form of tax-backed promises to foreigners. And those taxes will be paid by workers, possibly working under conscription, i.e., slavery.

    All the austerity programs, budget cuts, program cuts, etc., can’t even make a dent in the problem.

  • Ronald W Weathersby

    Infrastructure? If the government doesn’t do it who will? Does it need upgrading? Yes! But to say the government has botched the Interstate Highway System or the nation’s air traffic operations, etc. is being less than honest.

    It is unfortunate that you went through so much with your wife’s medical treatments. However, there was a system in place for her.

    I have never and will never argue that the systems in place are infallible but let’s be a little more realistic and give credit where credit is due. Our education system needs work but it is hardly a failure. We are still the most technologically advanced nation in the history of the world and that is a direct result of our nation’s education system. Our biggest problem is that we utilize that mind power on weaponry and not to upgrade the standard of life for our citizens. I believe we can do both.

    Yes we have a lot to do but please give yourself an opportunity to look at what is god about our country. I know you don’t want to give this president and his Administration any credit but our nation works we just have to come together and make it work better.

    When we start thinking like Americans and not Democrats and Republicans we can do just about anything.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Good article, Ronald. The GOP [and its supporters on this site] should be embarrassed to waste time on anti-abortion bills with no chance of becoming law and with no connection whatsoever to helping the economy.

    And if they succeeded in repealing the healthcare law [they won’t], they would have to make up somehow for the fact that repeal would actually increase the budget deficit. No matter what myth some Republicans accept and spread that the bill adds to the deficit.

    Of course, conservatives are in a bind. According to their own cast-in-concrete ideology, the government can’t do anything to spur job creation except cut taxes.

    Since overall federal taxation is at its lowest level in decades, and the deficit is very large, cutting taxes further is nonsensical. Yet they would rather die than raise taxes a dime.

    The idiot extremist Grover Norquist has tied their hands: even getting rid of ruinously ridiculous tax loopholes like the Oil Depletion Allowance must be made up for by lowering tax rates. Heaven forbid it be used to lower the deficit!

  • Cannonshop

    #2 Of course the Democrats aren’t, Dave, but they’re joined by a Republican Establishment that feeds at the same trough and has similar goals. Big Government is Big Government, it doesn’t matter if it’s Big Left or Big…well…Not-as-Left.

    There are VERY few actual conservatives in positions of power in the GOP, and none in the Democratic Party, but at least the Democrats have the decency not to pretend otherwise.

    People like things that are “Real”-as in Genuine, a choice between a phony conservative and a real Liberal is almost always going to wind up with a real liberal in office.

    Hence the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996, and the backlash that put the GOP back in the congressional minority in 2006. (2008 was going to be a Democrat year no matter WHO ran, but the principle holds there too-John McCain was the most Loyal Democrat in the Republican Party during his senate career.)

    #12 It’s real simple, Handy- cut the flow of money in, and eventually something HAS to give. Democrats are utterly unwilling to cut any expenditures (or even reduce the rate that they are increasing) outside of the Military-and even there, the only cuts they’re willing to entertain are those that aren’t going to hit big-Democrat states with lots of Electoral Votes and senior enough congress/Senate critters to block it.

    When close to 20% of all persons drawing a paycheque are employed by government (as in Directly), that’s an unsustainable number. Government doesn’t generate wealth (that thing you need to pay bills in the real world).

    A Symbiote that draws too much off the host body’s resources has a different name: Parasite.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As they nearly always are, Cannon, your ‘facts’ are regurgitated bits of ideology you borrow from someone else.

    Private [i.e. non-government] employers have added jobs every month for more than a year now, including 268,000 in April. Federal employment has been flat, and state/local employment has been sharply declining, during the same period.

    The Ryan budget, which Dave hilariously refers to as “moderate,” passed the House with near-unanimous GOP support [and completely unanimous Democratic opposition]. I don’t see how this fits your [quite fictional or imaginary] scenario of there being so few genuine conservatives in Congress.

    The Ryan budget could have been written by Grover Norquist. It slashes both taxes and spending, with ideology its only guiding star. How can anyone claim it’s not ‘genuinely’ conservative?

    PS – “paycheque”? Are you Canadian?

  • Cannonshop

    #14 is that really job creation, Handy, or just people whose unemployment ran out and so they were dropped from the count to pad the numbers?

    Ryan’s budget would have cut, over multiple years, the equivalent of one third of the Federal deficit-spending for the month of March, 2011. Hardly conservative. What actually got through as a continuing resolution was less than half that-about equal to the first two weeks of the same month.

    There are twelve months in the year, Handy, do the math.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    #15 makes no sense and demonstrates a complete lack of facility with both “the numbers” and the news. Educate yourself before spouting off.

  • Cannonshop

    Okay, Handy, I’ll try to explain it to you-though I don’t have any nifty pie-charts in multiple colours.

    Deficit for the Month of March, 2011:
    $188 Billion

    Proposed budget cuts from Ryan’s group (initial)
    $38 Billion

    Time period for the cuts to take effect: over the course of several years.

    Now…that’s the budget deficit for MARCH of 2011, a single month in a single year.

    38 goes into 188 4.947 times. (I stopped at the third decimal).

    Means Ryan’s “Aggressive cutting” is about one quarter of one month’s deficit accumulation-not budget, just the deficit.

    By itself.

    Alone.

    One quarter of a month is roughly a week.

    The compromise cut wound up at around $14 Billion over several YEARS.

    One Year=12 Months of spending.

    Is a light coming on yet, Handy?

    Process 188 Billion times 12 months.

    (12*188)*1000,000,000= 2,256,000,000,000

    Now, subtract 38,000,000,000 from that.

    2218,000,000,000 of deficit spending remains-if you could magically pull that 38 billion dollars off in a lump sum IMMEDIATELY.

    Now, the term “Per Cent” refers to a fraction out of one hundered, for instance, one percent is 1 out of 100.

    One percent of the post-Ryan’s numbers deficit for the year 2011 (if you could magically pull that 38 billion out instantly):

    22,180,000,000

    So it’s about a 1.5% cut…from a SINGLE YEAR’s overages. not the total federal budget for that year, just the deficit generated that year.

    And that’s going with the numbers the Senate REJECTED.

    What passed was cuts totalling less than 1% of a 12 month year’s worth of overspending.

    NOT accounting for inflation.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The Ryan budget plan cuts 4.4 trillion dollars from the deficit over a 10-year period, while also cutting taxes by 1.8 trillion. So all or nearly all the deficit reduction comes from $6 trillion in spending cuts — most of that from domestic programs.

    [The plan also makes ludicrously unrealistic assumptions about growth and employment, accomplished through the magic thinking of tax cuts. And longer term, it envisions the end of Medicare as we know it.]

    I have no idea where the numbers you are throwing around came from, but they are not the Ryan 10-year plan.

    I think maybe you are confusing it with the compromise that prevented the government from shutting down — but that only covers the rest of this fiscal year. It is true that those spending cuts, covering just 6 months, are tiny compared to the deficit. But Paul Ryan is not really the person to thank or blame for those short term tiny cuts.

  • Boeke

    Ryans plan is NOT a jobs plan, and it would be difficult to even pretend that it is.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Glenn – Every other person in this country HAS the opportunity to get Tricare if they want it. Well, okay, not EVERY other person, but every other able bodied person. But they don’t.

    There are even people that comment on here that have said, they’d have health insurance IF the govt mandated it, but they don’t because it’s not required! So now, basically what liberals are saying is that we need to legislate responsibility?

    I have something called Tricare for life. I make co-pays every time I visit a doctor. I also pay a quarterly premium. It’s not that high, but it kinda proves that the govt has already lied to me when they promisied me free healthcare forever if I did 20. I guess it’s supposed to turn into a medicare supplement type of insurance when I get a little older.

    It’s up to me to choose were I live? I live in Virginia Beach, VA. The largest city in VA! Home to the largest group of active and retired military in the US! You’d think this would be a good place for Tricare to operate!

    My wife had to go to a specialist a while back. Tricare sent her the letter that told her where she needed to go. It was in Newport News. Which on a Sunday morning at around 3AM takes about 45 minutes to get to, but any time during the week, takes an hour and a half to get to. I googled the specific type of specialist that she needed and there were 21 of them in Virginia Beach alone. Not to mention the other two dozen or so that were in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth, all cities much closer than Newport News. Most of them were even on the list of physicians that take Tricare! I called them and they were in fact taking new patients, but when I called Tricare, they’d tell me no, your wife has to go where we said! Great fucking plan! It’s not like there’s a shortage of people on that side of the bay that they could send to that one clinic. They’re just fucking lazy and don’t give a shit about the people they’re supposed to be helping.

    After I retired I had a few different types of healthcare plans. They were company mandated, I had no choice but to take them. I’d much rather have had the money. Then I paid no copays. One insurance plan always picked up what the other didn’t. But I ALWAYS used the civilian insurance plan first, because it was better!

    And lastly, I really don’t give a rats ass what the rest of the world has! If it’s so EFFing good in the rest of the world why are MFer’s sneaking into this country all the time???

    You want cheaper healthcare, get the fucking lawyers out of congress and allow someone to write some good tort reform! We’re paying doctors’ malpractice insurance more than anything else. Allow real marketplace practices and let consumers buy insurance from any company they want. And get the govt out of as much of it as possible!

    But hey, I’m glad Tricare works so well for you and yours…

  • Boeke

    Tort reform doesn’t yeild any substantial savings and it’s a burden on damaged patients.

  • Boeke

    One way to fix the economy is to back out all the Bush changes: rescind the rich mans tax breaks, get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, rescind the trillion dollar pharmaceutical giveaway, re-regulate de-regulated industries, etc.

    Return to those Halcyon pre-Bush years.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And how could you possibly know that? You got crystal balls or something?

    What is a doctors number one expense to practice medicine? Malpractice insurance. And you say that doing something to change how much is awarded in a malpractice suit will do nothing?

    Like you liberals like to say…got anything to back that statement up?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It may be a factor, Andy, but it’s not the only factor or the biggest factor. The cost of healthcare doesn’t consist entirely of individual doctors’ fees; there are the extremely expensive imaging and lab tests [both necessary and unnecessary], hospital fees, and pharmaceuticals [both necessary and unnecessary].

    Some of those tests, indeed, are ordered ‘defensively’ by doctors. But just how much that raises the overall cost of health care is still open to debate.

    And, further, if a member of your own family died or was severely injured or disabled due to malpractice, you might not agree with, say, a $250,000 cap on damages, as Texas has instituted.

  • Clavos

    Tort reform doesn’t yeild any substantial savings and it’s a burden on damaged patients.

    It’ll stop (or at least reduce) the unnecessary and superfluous tests and procedures currently being ordered with an eye on the lawyers.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    And lastly, I really don’t give a rats ass what the rest of the world has! If it’s so EFFing good in the rest of the world why are MFer’s sneaking into this country all the time???

    Did you read what I posted?

    “(and btw – the old “thousands of people come to America for health care meme doesn’t work. Why? Because CNN reported in 2009 that about 6.6 million Americans go outside the country for health care they can’t get or can’t afford here…which I did for dental care – a $16K set of crowns cost me less than $1K)”

    If you’ll need, I can dig up the link…but it’s obvious that for every person who comes to America for the very best health care in the world (AND who can afford it), there are HUNDREDS of Americans who are going OUT of the country to get health care they can’t get or can’t afford here.

    I’ve done it…and a nurse that worked with us who couldn’t get surgery in order to have children here went to Thailand…and now she has a four year-old boy.

    Andy, it’s a vast mistake to think that we’ve got the best of everything like we used to back in the 1960’s. We sat on our laurels…and much of the rest of the world is passing us by – INCLUDING in the matter of providing health care for ALL their citizens.

    It’s not a fluke that AMERICA is the ONLY first-world democracy where someone goes bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills….

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Glenn – I DID read what you said and my response was to this But here’s the really sad thing – every other first-world democracy on Earth already have health care equal to or better than Tricare for ALL their citizens. And yeah, people go outside this country for some alternative forms of medicine, because some republicans are morons. But I hear more stories of people coming TO this country for the best medical treatment, then the other way around.

    Glenn, if you have Tricare then you EARNED it. What gives anyone else the right to it for free?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Handy – I never said it was the only factor. I also bought up being able to buy insurance from whoever you want to buy it from, not just those approved to do business in your state because they greased the right palms.

    And ordering tests “defensively”, like some doctors do, has to increase the costs. Along with the high cost of malpractice insurance, couldn’t both things be addressed with reforms in the legal system?

    And yeah, I probably wouldn’t be happy with $250,000, but holy christ, there’s gotta be a limit!

  • Clavos

    there’s gotta be a limit!

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Boeke

    Malpractice Insurance, like ALL insurance, should be federally regulated, but some old 1945 law prohibits federal regulation of insurance, so only the weak state insurance agencies can regulate them. And you see the mess that produces with overpriced insurance premiums and evasion of payoffs by the companies.

    The reason Doctors malpractice rates are so high is because the insurance monopolies are weakly regulated and can charge too much.

    The solution is to regulate over-charging insurance companies, NOT reduce compensation to damaged patients.

  • Baronius

    Let’s be honest. The President thought he was addressing the economy with his stimulus and health care reform. The Republican House thinks it’s addressing the economy with its budget negotiations. It doesn’t matter if you agree with what they’ve done; they did something.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Another approach, rather than focusing on punishing trial lawyers, a favorite target of conservatives for, oh, eons, would be setting up treatment standards with legal protections built in. This approach is called ‘safe harbor’ — as long as a doc followed the generally accepted procedure, he can’t be sued for that particular treatment.

    This would require boards of experts with authority to decide what treatments and tests really work and which ones are wasteful. Versions of these boards are indeed part of the Obama health plan and were caricatured as “death panels” in the 2009-10 yelling match that passed for a debate on the issue.

  • Clavos

    Another idea would be to limit the speciously questionable (at least in their practice) “pain and suffering” awards — not eliminate — limit.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    #31: The really honest thing would be for both sides to give ground: substantial budget cuts combined with select tax increases, which is how Bush I and Clinton moved us toward a balanced budget. Yes, they were helped by the dot-com bubble. We could use a few boom years right about now…

    The GOP’s stubborn head-in-the-sand posture on revenues is indefensible.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    Glenn – I DID read what you said and my response was to this But here’s the really sad thing – every other first-world democracy on Earth already have health care equal to or better than Tricare for ALL their citizens. And yeah, people go outside this country for some alternative forms of medicine, because some republicans are morons. But I hear more stories of people coming TO this country for the best medical treatment, then the other way around.

    First off, we’re NOT talking about ‘just’ alternative forms of treatment. Read again what I said – I got $16K worth of dental work for less than $1K (using a dentist registered with the ADA)…and getting a set of crowns is NOT “alternative”.

    Nor was the surgery that allowed my friend to have a child. Her insurance here wouldn’t cover it, and she couldn’t afford it out-of-pocket. But she could afford it in a third-world country (Thailand).

    Again, Andy, while we DO have the very best care, it’s ONLY for those who can afford it, who have access to it…and there are tens of millions of Americans who simply don’t have access not only to the best health care, but have no access to any health care insurance at all, whether because they cannot afford it or – if due to preexisting conditions as is the case with my oldest son – can’t have it.

    Think about that, Andy – here we are, the richest nation on earth, the richest nation in the history of mankind, yet we are the ONLY first-world democracy where:

    – people go bankrupt because of health care costs (which is the case for more than half our bankruptcies)
    – people don’t have access to even basic health insurance (which is the case with tens of millions of Americans)
    – people may MORE for medicine manufactured within the country than for the SAME medicine bought across the border

    Yes, Andy, we DO have the very best medical care – IF you are rich enough to afford it. Otherwise, our health care system – if you can call it that – is a national shame.

    Lastly, do you not realize that under our present ‘system’, YOU are paying nearly TWICE the taxes per person than you would be if we had a comprehensive system like ALL the other first-world democracies have? Or are you so afraid of the word “socialist” that you’re willing to pay twice the price just so tens of millions can’t be covered and you don’t have to accept the word “socialist”?

  • Clavos

    …using a dentist registered with the ADA…

    Means nothing in terms of his/her competence; the ADA, like the AMA, is a combination trade union and lobby, any dentist (or physician, in the case of the AMA) can join simply by paying the membership dues.

  • Clavos

    …here we are, the richest nation on earth, the richest nation in the history of mankind…

    Not anymore; them days are history.

  • Clavos

    …under our present ‘system’, YOU are paying nearly TWICE the taxes per person than you would be if we had a comprehensive system

    Prove it — with links to unbiased, objective credible sources.

  • Baronius

    Handy, the idea of compromise makes sense from your point of view, but consider it from the Republicans’ perspective. It’s not like a little from column A and a little fro column B. They believe that the rate increase will make things worse. If one person wants to drink apple juice, and the other wants to drink antifreeze, you wouldn’t mix them together as a compromise.

    Typically, when marginal tax rates go down, the economy grows. Typically, when the government takes in more money, it increases spending to more than offset the increased revenue. However you want to interpret that, it just doesn’t make sense for Republicans to support a compromise that they think will be bad for the country.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There are counterexamples to the “lower taxes, spur growth” magic formula, and you know it. It’s just tunnel-vision inflexibility, and it’s destructive.

    JFK and Reagan tax cuts led to good economic outcomes. So did Bush Sr/Clinton tax increases. Bush II tax cuts led to stagnant job growth and stagnation of the middle class.

    I think this is because the rates are lower than they need to be — especially with the wartime spending of the last 10 years. If FDR had tried to fund WWII without raising taxes….well, we might have gotten into the same fix we are in now.

  • STM

    Glenn,

    Are you in your “new” country yet?? I will be there soon for a week working. I’m in the capital two days, the rest up in the mountains, including a trip out to the rice terraces.

    A few days up in the Cordillera too.

  • STM

    Andy: “If it’s so EFFing good in the rest of the world why are MFer’s sneaking into this country all the time???”

    Mate, you think you’ve got it bad over there. Arrivals both legal and illegal in the US tend to be genuine immigrants from the upper socio-economic strata, real refugees, and at the other end, workers from Latin America (who a lot of the time aren’t there forever and do the jobs white Americans don’t want and serve the economy that way) looking to earn a decent quid, which they can’t always do at home.

    Here, we take a lot professional migrants from the UK and Europe. A large percentage of new arrivals are from Asia (mainly China, but elsewhere too), the Pacific Islands, and the Indian sub-continent, while asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Sr Lanka, Iran, etc, are spending their life savings to get to places like Indonesia where they wait for criminal gangs to smuggle them to Australia on leaky, rickety boats.

    The reason it’s so attractive to illegal arrivals, non-professionals or non-skilled workers: The Australian government pays out huge amounts in welfare payments and support for many new Australians and a large proportion of asylum seekers and refugees are still living solely on welfare dollars(big payments, too; enough to live quite comfortably, not like in the US where it sensibly tails off at a certain point and people are encouraged to get work) years after they arrive. They are being supported by my tax dollar. While I don’t mind up to a point for people geuinely fleeing their countries because of the risk to their lives, I object when it’s just about money and coming here because economic circumstances are better. Not objecting to people coming just for that, but for expecting that I’ll pay for them to achieve that end.

    A lot of the money to bring people here illegally emanates from this continent in the first place, through family and friends already here.

    “Come to Oz, land of milk and honey” … we’ve become a soft touch and it gives me the sh.ts that there’s a level of expectation about the support that will be given.

    The reason: Once people get here, they know they are going to have free, first-world health care, a free education for their kids, and more than enough help to keep going indefinitely without actually going off to look for a job.

    More needs to be done to integrate new arrivals into the community and the Australian way of life. Not much point being here if you’re going to congregate together and form middle-class ghettos.

    The bleeding hearts tell me that’s what I should support but I don’t buy it.

    While I wouldn’t in a million years swap our health care systems (why swap one set of problems for another, government bureacracy for corporate bureacracy), perhaps it’s true that in the US, the one thing that encourages people to go and work legally and pay taxes is that they have to look after their own health care needs if they want decent care.

    Somewhere between the two extremes might be good for everyone seeking to move to the West … something with a bit of compassion that also encourages people to get out and work for a buck, because that’s the only way people end of becoming part of the country they have moved to.

    I’m not sure that what we do here – taxpayer support to the hilt for refugees and asylum seekers – is necessarily the right way to go.

    Time to get the kid gloves off.

    No need for iron ones either … nice pair of wooly mitts might be the go.

    Why not invest money in encouraging people to get off welfare (and that’s not just for migrants, either, as plenty of native-born Aussies are on payments).

    That way, they pay taxes and are ultimately paying for their “free” healthcare, and their state educations, and all that taxpayer-funded infrastructure they get to use, just like the rest of us.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    …under our present ‘system’, YOU are paying nearly TWICE the taxes per person than you would be if we had a comprehensive system

    Prove it — with links to unbiased, objective credible sources.

    Again? Have we not gone over this before, ad infinitum, ad nauseum? And you STILL don’t think it’s true? Okay. Here. And here. And here.

    And HERE is a great reference, one that shows what our deficit would look like if we spent the same amount per capita as the other first-world democracy of your choice. “The Calculator lets you see what projected U.S. budget deficits would be if we had the same per person health care costs as any of the countries listed below, all of which enjoy longer life expectancies than the U.S. (Life expectancies are listed in parentheses.)” If you think you’re a deficit hawk, Clavos, use this reference.

    Clavos, I could go on all day providing references. We DO pay nearly twice as much in taxpayer dollars per capita than does any other first-world democracy. But why can’t we have single-payer health care like the rest – you know, a system that allows ALL the American people to have health insurance?

    Simple. The conservative FEAR of the ‘s’ word…socialism. Conservatives are effectively insisting that we pay twice what anyone else does for a system where tens of millions of Americans have zero health insurance…all so we aren’t tarnished by *gasp* socialism!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    My wife and youngest son fly out next Monday, and I’ll be staying behind for the next 18 months in order to make sure we’re okay financially. Funny thing is, my son is very enthusiastic, almost giddy about going there. What’s surprising is that this is despite the fact that he’s getting no summer vacation like here in the states since school starts there in June.

    Clavos once asked my why it is I’d want to move to the Philippines when it’s not at all a “nanny state” like America is. I wrote this article in reply. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  • Baronius

    Handy, actually, Bush Sr’s tax cuts led to a recession. And Reagan’s tax cuts included a lot of tax hikes.

    I’m not arguing the Republican position, which these days doesn’t distinguish between the impacts of different taxes. I’m stating that, from the Republican position, compromise can’t be justified.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Glenn – Dental is extra. It’s not part of regular Tricare.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    So handy, I guess William Shakespeare was a republican? You say that lawyers are a favorite target of republicans, but didn’t Shakespeare say, “Kill all the Lawyers”? Apparently, they’ve been hated for quite sometime now!!!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Glenn – It’s NOT only for people that can afford it. I got it, you got it! I can’t afford it. I FUCKING EARNED IT!!!!!!! And I’m really fucking tired of people in this country with their hands out not willing to do shit for anything that gets given to them for absolutely nothing!!!!!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    “Compromise can’t be justified” is an ideological position, not a practical one designed to solve problems. It’s all about that despicable Grover Norquist pledge.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Sure, Andy, that’s what I was saying. Gimme a break.

    Shakespeare wrote plays, not political policy statements. And “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” is a deliberately over-the-top laugh line spoken by a comic villain, a killer named Dick the Butcher, in Henry VI, Part II.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m sure you’re absolutely right Handy. Old Bill just pulled that sentiment out of thin air. I’m absolutely sure it had nothing to do with events of his time.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Handy, actually, Bush Sr’s tax cuts led to a recession.

    Bush Sr’s tax hikes – remember his ‘no new taxes’ pledge that he had the courage to back down on? – enabled the growth we saw in the Clinton years. Personally, I do hold Bush Sr. as a decent president (except for his involvement in Irna-Contra), because he had the courage to do what needed to be done even though GOP party doctrine said otherwise.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    You really don’t get my point, do you? Yes, you DID earn your coverage under Tricare (as did I)…and no, Tricare does not cover dental – don’t you think I know that?

    My point was, Andy, is that there is NOTHING WRONG with enabling ALL American citizens to have the coverage that you and I already have IF – repeat, IF – it can be done spending LESS taxpayer dollars than we’re already spending on health care!

    And that’s the reason I posted several links above showing that it CAN be done with spending fewer taxpayer dollars…because it IS being done already by every other first-world democracy on Earth.

    One last thing, Andy – these are YOUR taxpayer dollars I’m talking about. Yours and mine and everyone else’s who pays taxes. And whether you know it or not, if someone doesn’t have health coverage, you wind up paying for it anyway! Why? Because when – not if, but WHEN – they go to the emergency room for this or that and can’t afford the treatment they get anyway, YOU pay for it, at three times the non-emergency price. When they declare bankruptcy because they can’t afford their health care, that hurts all taxpayers in the community – property values fall, etc.

    So it’s a “pay me now or pay me later” kind of thing, Andy. You and I and all taxpayers WILL pay for their health care. The ONLY choice is whether to pay less money for the health care ahead of time, or MORE money when the health problems become too serious to ignore.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Andy –

    concerning using aliases and pseudonyms, it’s not fun watching some jerk who doesn’t like you post your public-domain personal information on a forum – including your address, phone number, mortgage balance, and now – thanks to Google Earth – photos of where you and your family live.

    That happened to me (before Google Earth came about, thank goodness), so that’s why I strongly think it is much wiser to use a pseudonym. It’s said that an intelligent person learns from his mistakes, and a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. Me, I’m intelligent – which is why I now use a pseudonym – but it’s a lot better to be wise. Learn from my mistake, please.

  • Costello

    Quite the Shakespeare scholar. You must think Bill is pro-murder considering what Lady MacBeth was up to

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    Your links, all of them, indicate we spend more dollars per patient than other countries; the tables presented are showing total dollars spent; in this country at least they are not all necessarily tax dollars.

    But in any case, some points about what we spend:

    Yes, we spend more than other countries on medicine; for which we get better medicine (even you admit that) than the others — it makes sense it will cost more. A BMW costs more than a VW, and is a better car.

    But, we not only spend more on medicine, we spend more on practically everything: especially the Big Three necessities: Food, clothing, shelter — and again, we get better goods in all three of those than practically all the other countries.

    We spend more on cars, yachts, private aircraft, even wars.

    Why? Because we can; because American workers are among the highest paid in the world when total compensation (including benefits) is measured.

    I know how enamored you are of FACTS (you never write it lower case) is well known by all of us. But, as many of us have said, facts alone — without consideration of the circumstances and mitigating factors surrounding them — are nearly meaningless.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    1 – Whether we spend the money through taxes or out-of-pocket, we still pay the money.

    2 – Yes, we do have the best health care in the world, but only for those who can afford it and have access to it. In other words, Clavos, many people in America have access to great care…but nearly as many people have access to little or NO care.

    You compare it to BMW’s versus VW’s…but a good VW is a heck of a lot better than no car at all. In other words, good medical insurance – as opposed to great – is a heck of a lot better than little or no medical insurance at all.

    3 – If our health care system is so much better here, then why is it that America is the ONLY first-world democracy where people go bankrupt due to health care costs?

    4 – When you say that American workers are among the highest paid in the world after total compensation is accounted for, that, Clavos is a false argument. Why? Because (1) you should compare not to the rest of the world, but only to other first-world democracies; (2) all other first-world democracies provide universal health care, whereas in America health insurance is considered a great benefit if – IF – it is offered by the company…and many – perhaps most – small businesses do not; and (3) what other compensation are you referring to? Retirement? If you haven’t noticed, a lot of companies don’t offer that anymore…

    …and then there’s a little something called Enron that should make you think twice about trusting your money to the oh-so-reliable private sector….

  • Clavos

    …) all other first-world democracies provide universal health care…

    Which, for the most part, as I said before, is inferior to ours. And you’re completely off base with this statement: “but nearly as many people have access to little or NO care.” Because, by law, NO ONE can be turned away from at least one hospital in EVERY city, irrespective of their ability to pay. Illegals take advantage of this FACT on a daily basis. What about 50 million people (according to the administration) lack is health insurance, not access. And even they, if poor enough (and many, if not most, of the uninsured are) can get medical insurance through Medicaid. The real number (of uninsured) is considerably below what you Dems whine about.

    And I stand by my point about the relative pay levels of American workers vis-a-vis the workers actually in first world countries: when full compensation packages are taken into account, the americans are far better off. For proof, just look around you: even people on welfare in this country have cars, TVs, air conditioning — items that are unattainable dreams to the poor of other lands, elven those in the first world.

    .and then there’s a little something called Enron that should make you think twice about trusting your money to the oh-so-reliable private sector…

    Your lack of logic in that bizarre remark is risible. Because of Enron, you dismiss the entire private sector of what was once the richest, most industrious country in the world? I’ll have some of what you’re smoking as soon as I’m through calling my broker…

    our health care system is so much better here, then why is it that America is the ONLY first-world democracy where people go bankrupt due to health care costs?

    More utter illogic. People going bankrupt paying for their medical bills has virtually nothing to do with the quality of the health care.

    One last point, Glenn: all those countries that actually ARE first world (unlike the US, which no longer is) are going broke paying for their medical distribution systems, and are frantically cutting them back!! Read the newspapers, Glenn.

  • Boeke

    We The People spend about $2.5trillion per year for our privatized healthcare system (and we don’t cover everyone), but if we could capture the percapita cost of European systems we would save about $600-$800billion of that per year. That’s the entire budget of the Department of Defense.

    It costs us at least $600billion (and about 40,000 lives) every year to prop up the fiction of a privatized system. Actually, it is just an oligopoly, a collection of monopolies.

    Nobody outside the USA is fooled by the fiction. Nobody wants our system.

    If we nationalized just the insurance system we could achieve Ryans $4trillion savings easily.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    You can’t go bankrupt from medical expenses in England or France or Canada, Clavos. Even someone with insurance in the US can be financially ruined just by getting sick. This is just peachy OK with you?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’m sure Mr. Shakespeare, a master of showbiz, wrote that laugh line about lawyers because they were indeed unpopular then. I wasn’t even defending lawyers; they are easy to hold in contempt — but not because of their politics.

    Some conservative boilerplate is quite tedious and off-base. And “it’s all the fault of the trial lawyers, and the Dems enable them” is one of those sad, boring memes.

  • Clavos

    This is just peachy OK with you?

    NOTHING is “just peachy OK” with me, handy.

    The bankruptcy laws in this country are so lenient that I don’t really pay any attention to that whole phenomenon. I personally know people who have been in bankruptcy; it didn’t seem to even slow them down, and seven years later it was all wiped clean.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Clavos – I would be one of those people you know! About 8 years ago now. Never lost my clearance, my house, my truck, never lost anything except a pocket full of maxed out CC’s.! The credit card companies gave me no choice. I was paying my bills on time and always more than the minimums and they started cranking on my interest rates. Worse than a loan shark in the city! I called and asked, why are you raising my interest rates? They said, you’re over extended. I said, you MFer’s over extended me! Then I called a lawyer, paid $750 and spent 15 minutes in court. It was done in a matter of weeks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    So…bankruptcy is no big deal to you, huh? “It didn’t even slow them down”, you say – which is the same sort of silly argument made against the pro-choice supporters, that bankruptcy – like abortion – is somehow done on a lark! “Let’s all go down and declare bankruptcy, no problem!”

    …) all other first-world democracies provide universal health care…

    Which, for the most part, as I said before, is inferior to ours.

    Which is why we’re what, FORTY-SEVENTH on the list of countries by life expectancy? Having the very best health care is NOT a matter of simply having that really good health care, but a matter of making it available to more than just those who can afford it! Do you not get that?

    And you’re completely off base with this statement: “but nearly as many people have access to little or NO care.” Because, by law, NO ONE can be turned away from at least one hospital in EVERY city, irrespective of their ability to pay. Illegals take advantage of this FACT on a daily basis.

    Of course! That’s why ONE OUT OF SEVEN of all health care claims were DENIED by the top health care insurance companies, right? And when an illegal, say, gets cancer, what does the doctor at the emergency room say? “I’m sorry, but the emergency room doesn’t provide chemotherapy.” Yes, our emergency rooms provide care for everyone (at three times the cost, which is passed to the taxpayer when the patient can’t pay), but they do NOT provide long-term care.

    What about 50 million people (according to the administration) lack is health insurance, not access.

    And those health insurance companies never deny claims, do they? And they never deny coverage, do they? And they never drop coverage after a ‘lifetime cap’, do they? And they never suddenly decide that “we don’t cover that anymore”, do they? YES THEY DO…and we’ve got a president whose own mother had to fight with the insurance company to pay for her treatment while she was dying of cancer!

    And even they, if poor enough (and many, if not most, of the uninsured are) can get medical insurance through Medicaid.

    Ah, so THAT’S the solution! All those who are not in poverty who can’t get health insurance CAN be covered! All they have to do is to become really poor so they can get insurance! Brilliant plan, Clavos!

    The real number (of uninsured) is considerably below what you Dems whine about.

    I’ve heard the number from 50M at the high end to 30M at the LOW end…so let’s pretend that it’s ‘only’ 30 million Americans who lack health insurance! So if it’s ‘only’ 30M, then it’s no big deal and no reason to stress about it, huh?

    And I stand by my point about the relative pay levels of American workers vis-a-vis the workers actually in first world countries: when full compensation packages are taken into account, the americans are far better off. For proof, just look around you: even people on welfare in this country have cars, TVs, air conditioning — items that are unattainable dreams to the poor of other lands, elven those in the first world.

    Ah, the poor in Australia, France, England, Canada, they don’t have cars, TV’s, or air conditioning?????? Can I please have some of what you’re smoking? I say that because my family in THIRD-WORLD Philippines IS quite poor compared to the ‘poor’ in the first world, yet they have all these things!

    If you want to continue that argument, Clavos, I suggest you educate yourself – because other first-world nations DO have much larger safety nets! Tell you what – how about you go to Canada (like I do every now and then) and look to see how many homeless people there are. On my last trip to Vancouver B.C. – the largest city north of the San Francisco metro area – I saw two – TWO – people who appeared to be homeless, and that’s it!

    .and then there’s a little something called Enron that should make you think twice about trusting your money to the oh-so-reliable private sector…

    Your lack of logic in that bizarre remark is risible. Because of Enron, you dismiss the entire private sector of what was once the richest, most industrious country in the world? I’ll have some of what you’re smoking as soon as I’m through calling my broker…

    Why did I point out Enron? How many people have lost their entire savings as part of Social Security? In the seventy years that we’ve had Social Security, ZERO! How many lost their life savings because they trusted Enron? Thousands. And the same thing happens with other corporations, too. It doesn’t happen all the time, no…but the times that it does happen are FAR more often than the ZERO times that it’s happened under Social Security.

    our health care system is so much better here, then why is it that America is the ONLY first-world democracy where people go bankrupt due to health care costs?

    More utter illogic. People going bankrupt paying for their medical bills has virtually nothing to do with the quality of the health care.

    Except that the people are having to choose between paying the rent/mortgage and paying their health insurance. But I guess in your view nobody ever has to face a choice like that, huh?

    One last point, Glenn: all those countries that actually ARE first world (unlike the US, which no longer is) are going broke paying for their medical distribution systems, and are frantically cutting them back!! Read the newspapers, Glenn.

    Yeah, why don’t you talk to STM about how bad it is in Australia? And I suggest YOU read the newspapers – because it was NOT the health care system that drove Greece to economic disaster, but their early retirement system…and France’s troubles – which were NOT nearly so severe as ours – stemmed from the SAME cause. Iceland’s near-bankruptcy stemmed from rampant deregulation of their financial markets. England’s just raised prices on their educational systems.

    And I know all this off the top of my head because I DO pay attention…and because of that, I don’t need to make wrong assumptions that Europe (much less Australia or New Zealand or Japan) is going broke because of their health care system!

    But I’m not going to change your mind…because no matter how much better single-payer is for the American people AND for YOUR business, you will reject it and you will search for any excuse you can to reject it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Two things Glenn – First, why your friend couldn’t afford to have a baby in this country is beyond me. I have a 6 month old granddaughter, the most beautiful woman in the world btw, who was born on Medicaid…because you know, that keep your kids on your insurance until they’re 26 is working out for my daughters and I so well. One is 24 and the other is 21.

    And B, there IS something wrong with giving people in this country something for nothing. They never appreciate shit they get for nothing. NEVER! Look at the abuse of almost EVERY govt handout there is…

  • Boeke

    The MOST abused government handouts are the ones we give to Private Companies; just look at the abusive bonuses handed out to corrupt and broke bankers and financiers. At least the abuse of poor people may go to pay for food, rent, etc., whereas handouts to the rich go for luxuries and waste.

  • Clavos

    Glenn, your entire #64 might as well have been written in gobbledygook, for all the sense it made.

    “Full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing”

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’d like someone to do a comparison for me…I know it’s not gonna happen, but I really would like to know the answer to this one.

    I DO NOT get a govt handout. Military retirement is NOT a govt handout. That being said, I drive a 1998 Dodge Dakota and I have NO flatscreen TV’s in my house. I’d like to know how many people living on govt subsistance have a newer model car than I do and how many of them have at least one bigscreen flat panel TV.

    You know why I don’t have any of those things? Because I can’t afford them! I want them! I want them bad! But, unfortunately for me, my wife is a responsible adult and won’t let me have them!!!

    I know all you liberals are gonna piss and moan about this, but I’d really like to see the answer to that question. I bet the numbers are STAGGERING!!!

  • Boeke

    Do your own research.

    What are you? Some kind of deadbeat who expects someone else to do everything for them?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Now that was funny!

  • Clavos

    It was…

  • Cannonshop

    …and Boeke gets the laugh-line.

    There likely aren’t studies on how many people on public assistance own large, flat-screen teevees, or nice cars, or expensive clothing purchased new. Andy’s accusation’s likely one of those non-proveable, possibly even non-testable assertions. Tracking the origin of those goods is also likely to be virtually impossible at any scale that would have meaning in this discussion.

    I have known people who work the system-for a while, in my twenties, I ran with a couple who, just out of the Navy (both of ‘em) were carrying disability ratings equal to 80% of their in-service, at-grade, pay…and not a fucking thing wrong with either of them that would actually keep them out of a real job.

    I’ve called the hotline on neighbours who’ve worked the “Work three months, out for six on L&I” before. But I have also had neighbours who really, truly needed it and were NOT working the system.

    The problem isn’t entirely the system, so much as the fact that it is scaled to a point where it’s subject to abuse by the less-than-ethical types who basically take money and aid away from those that need it…and do not need it themselves.

    Standards and enforcement are pretty much impossible above a certain scale-the more clients in the system, the harder it is to keep track of abuse or potential abuse, and public aid in various forms is a HUGE system (or set of systems).

    Contrarian made an interesting point a few articles ago about the raw federal dollars expended on a state-by-state basis. At the time, I wasn’t prepared (gee, go figure) to respond with anything remotely intelligent.

    His point was that the “Red” states (vote primarily GOP) of the west were among the biggest recipients of federal spending.

    A check of a map shows that most of those areas, also have the largest concentration of Federally Controlled lands-often more land under Federal jurisdiction than state or private. (Particularly notable west of the Mississippi and in the rocky mountain states). Now, I’m not sure how much the BLM and Forest Service pull down from the federal budget on a yearly basis, but it’s probably not much of a hitch on the National budget…but…

    I have this idea, someone mentioned tongue-in-cheek the idea of witdrawing federal spending from those areas that vote primarily GOP, and raising taxes in areas that vote primarily Democrat-thus, policy applying to those places that (through their vote) have indicated their preference.

    Not knowing the law on this, it seems reasonable to me that raising taxes in New York, California and Illinois while eliminating Federal management of lands in the West (or just limiting it to a fixed percentage and letting/making the locals take responsiblity for those lands) might be a point where some serious, actual compromise that moves forward on repairing the economy and reducing the debt could come from.

    Kind of a “Oh, you want higher taxes? pay higher taxes! and if you want less government spending on you, well, the government will oblige!”

    Kind of an “everyone wins” scenario, I guess. Probably too idealistic…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Now come on, I never made any accusations! Sort of…Kind of…

    I simply asked a question!

    I’ll keep my truck. I just put a new transmission it! But I really really wanna flat screen. Just a 37″! That way I don’t have to replace the entertainment center too!

    Anyone care to redistribute a little wealth my way???

    (crickets chirping)

    Yeah, that’s what I thought…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford to have a baby – she couldn’t get the surgery she needed to have the baby. Do you see the difference?

    That, and with her husband being a cop and she a nurse, they made too much money to be on Medicaid, but their insurance would not pay for her surgery and she couldn’t afford it out-of-pocket.

  • Cannonshop

    #74 wait…her husband’s a cop, and she’s a nurse…obviously one or the other of ‘em belong to a union that can’t negotiate its way out of a paper bag, or doesn’t represent their membership adequately-possibly from spending all those dues on campaigns in other states…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    To satisfy your curiosity, look at this list so you can see the list of states by federal taxes paid versus federal taxes received…

    …and you will see that YES, generally speaking, red states DO receive more in federal funding than they pay out in taxes, and blue states DO pay out more federal taxes than they receive in federal funding.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Glenn, your entire #64 might as well have been written in gobbledygook, for all the sense it made.

    I guess your reply is what I can expect when you see that your reasoning cannot stand.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    But I really really wanna flat screen. Just a 37″!

    We got ours for a song when Circuit City went to the wall. Consumer Reports top rated, too.

    Who says a sucky economy is bad? :-)

  • Clavos

    I guess your reply is what I can expect when you see that your reasoning cannot stand.

    Sure, Glenn, whatever floats your carrier, swabbie.

  • Clavos

    Circuit City went to the wall long before the economy went south.

    Idiots running it…