July 28, 2009

"Cut health costs by banning divorce?"

Think about it. Yesterday, we were talking about how the government "has ways of changing behavior" to deal with the supposed medical expenses studies attribute to obesity.

If studies show that divorce damages health, then horning into our marriages will become the government's business too. Obviously another blue pill. You expect us to pay for the red pill, when there's a blue pill?

115 comments:

Naked Surfer said...

But, all the best empirical studies show that unmarried maintenance sex has a better 'healthiness' coefficient than married maintenance sex.

More senators than we know are already participating in ongoing clinical trials.

traditionalguy said...

Banning lives without (1)the wisdom of two brains and (2)a backup system for life and(3) a role to play in someone else's life, would indeed cut self destructive acts that are subconscious pleas for love and relationships. I find many older widows/widowers come to see me just for a little attention and meaning in life, and I suspect that many "free" Doctor visits and follow ups for regimens of placebo drugs are for that same reason.

Ralph L said...

Buggery will be Right Out.

Randy said...

The next step would be to ban gay sex as the risk of contracting a life-long and expensive-to-treat chronic illness is exponentially greater than that for the population at-large. That will be an interesting debate when it happens.

Roost on the Moon said...

Whoa, this thawt-jazz is like totally blowing my liberal mind.

If we like, let the GOVERNMENT try to CONTROL crime, and then THE EXPERTS figure out that like, small businesses attract crime, then whats to stop the GOVERNMENT from banning small business?

Open up your braindoors, sheeple. THE TRUTH is just a few wild leaps away.

Naked Surfer said...

Traditionalguy ( 12:01 PM )

Probably. And good points.

But, what’s the real placebo here? – marriage itself? – other variables in a tangled web of social relationships? – does social grooming among grieving bonobos qualify as a visit to the bonobo-therapist? – so we discover empirical grounds for finding a health correlation to justify placebo therapy and the government funds grieving widow trips to counselors-as-proxies, rent-a-husband? -- on cost/benefit analyses?

What’s healthy? – and, healthier? -- and healthiest? -- on the face of the data? -- how to define this?

The question whether government will eventually regulate healthiness factors using carrots and sticks in a system of government health insurance seems predestined and unavoidable.

I’m just wondering whether science itself becomes further the whore for data mining or data-producing findings to fit asserted and uncritical popular morality. Just because moralized placebos “work.”

knox said...

Roost, if you can't differentiate between problems that need to be handled by the government, and ones that don't--and, therefore, shouldn't-- that's a failure of your thawt processes, not ours.

traditionalguy said...

The traditional role played by marriage has not changed. The support system for that as a preferred lifestyle has been thrown out by the Counter-cultural sons and daughters of the 60s. Going back there is not possible without admitting that they were wrong. Ergo all this hype is only about arousing guilt so that a new set of scapegoats can be thrown under the bus for the mob that watches Judge Judy for entertainent and loves watching Judges like Simon Cowell harshly trashing the less than perfect for their vicarious pleasure. It is only more faux reforms by the Government done for our entertainment and distraction.

Joe said...

And what if it's found that men with mistresses are healthier than those without?

Or having sex four times a week is optimal for your health?

It's also well known that teenagers cause life reducing stress. Do we kill them? Put them on farms? Dress them in brown shirts?

Rialby said...

Randy - The next step would be to ban gay sex as the risk of contracting a life-long and expensive-to-treat chronic illness is exponentially greater than that for the population at-large.

You hit the third rail. There are a huge number of lifestyle choices that people make that could get punished through taxation. Unfortunately, many of those choices are not the ones made the "millionaires" - the Dem's favorite revenue target.

PJ said...

In order for ObamaCare to work, we have to find a way to make people die inexpensively before they get old. Trapping folks in their marriages will get a lot of middle-aged and young people killed on the cheap. Count on Congress to exempt its own members from this plan, but that won't put much of a dent in the health-care savings.

TitusItsAHotOneToday,tankys for days said...

I am supportive of this.

garage mahal said...

Me, I prefer insurance accountants getting between me and my doctor. Free markets!

Methadras said...

What are the health costs in Ireland? Because as I understand it, divorce in that country is not only rarer than here.

Jeremy said...

I understand that divorce also increases one's carbon footprint as suddenly there's need for two living spaces, two fridges, two ACs, two heaters, two washing machines, two entertainment centers, etc. Hey, it lowers health costs and lowers energy consumption. If you could figure out how it brings the troops home now or turns around the economy, you'd have an Obama trifecta.

Traditional values: not just for traditionalist anymore.

-The Other Jeremy

Fred4Pres said...

If it applies retroactively, you and Meade will have to work this out with your ex.

You guys seem to get along okay, matching shirts and all.

Juris Dentist said...

Watch out Larry, Annie has divorce on her mind. And her point is so lame that one can only wonder why she is so worried about some completely implausible limit on divorce. Hmmmmmm.

garage mahal said...

LOLOLOLOL

bearbee said...

If the government intends to control our bodies for the sake of fiscal health in health, for the good of the state, then what is the meaning/purpose of life? Merely to live healthy and die quickly? Apparently the 1989 stake through the heart wasn't driven completely through, giving rise to the reteaded religion of Stalinism.

Government creep is caused by creeps in government.

Scott M said...

@Roost on the Moon

Obviously, your sarcasm filter was not working correctly.

Forgetting, for a moment, the general worldview of right and left, and focusing purely on what Obama is trying to cram through recklessly, ask yourself one simple, question grounded firmly in classical liberal thought.

Does this policy (take your pick of the trainwreck de jure) expand liberty or restrict it?

traditionalguy said...

Naked Surfer... You have a good point that Government is offering to become our new religion and priesthood. That is to be expected since men have never lived on bread alone, but on words coming out of the mouth of ...take your pick: God(scriptures),or greek humanism (Jeremy Bentham),or one of the latest false prophets starting up another one of Crack Emcee's cults. They all need a priesthood to accept the mandatory gifts to propitiate their God. The environmentals worshiping at the alter of Gaia have Algore and his UN guys. But American Government's participation has always before stopped at the First Amendment. The Cap and Trade mandatory donation to propitiate the Anti-Carbon God is as clear a violation of that Amendment as can be imagined, and all carefully hidden inside a pretended Science saying that Co2 is a poison.

Big Mike said...

I suspect that getting restricting divorce would increase the murder rate. But dead people use no health care so that's okay. Wait! Dead people pay no taxes. That's not okay!

Well, Democrats in Chicago know how to make dead people vote, and Obama is from Chicago, so maybe he can figure out how to make them pay taxes, too. Hmmm.

rhhardin said...

You can get divorced provided you get a dog.

Roost on the Moon said...

Obviously, your sarcasm filter was not working correctly.

What's a sarcasm filter?

Does this policy (take your pick of the trainwreck de jure) expand liberty or restrict it?

Liberty from what?

I haven't read these bills, but I don't doubt that they may do more harm than good. Congress has a way of making hash of good ideas, and I doubt either of us have the knowledge necessary to evaluate whether these will "work". So allow me to set these trainwrecks de jure* aside, and answer an abstract question hypothetically.

Consider an imaginary federal program that provides free, low-level medical care. Nurse/technician stuff. No surgery, but they'll provide physical therapy, xrays, stitches, casts, bandages, braces, ointments, etc... They will triage up to real doctors when they get stuff they can't handle.

This would cost billions, but far less than the current system, in which we use a middle man to pay people who have been through 8 years of school to treat this stuff. Nobody would be forced to use it of course, you could always pay your personal doctor for such care.

Now, if this was paid for by increased tax rates on the wealthy (perhaps by making the tax rate continue to get steeper after $350,000/yr, so that someone with a multi-million dollar salary pays a higher rate than someone who makes $350k), is this a net gain for liberty?

Let's keep it abstract. Who knows whether my proposed NHS would actually be more efficient- whether or not it would be a boondoggle isn't the question at issue. There are good reasons to believe it would be substantially more efficient for routine care. So lets assume it works.

Has liberty expanded?

I'd say in every meaningful sense of the word, yes, without question. Far more people have the means to freely pursue their happiness. Freed from the absurd costs people pay mostly just for routine care, we'd see more investment from a wider socio-economic spectrum, more startup business, and a healthier populace.

In the republican sense of the word, I guess liberty takes a hit on the balance. Because of the higher income tax on a small fraction of the most comfortable. It doesn't matter that a hundred million people and small businesses are freed from the insurance racket. Those making $350,000+ are being ground back down to six-digit net-worth by the heel of big brother.

This is nowhere near as fun as freaking out about how big government is going to ban divorce, I know. But just remember: Freedom is always freedom from something.

*Are false Latin cognates the new Freedom Fries?

rhhardin said...

Milton wrote that the state has an interest in allowing divorce, a mute and spiritless mate being an unworthy bondage.

``No effect of tyranny can sit more heavy on the commonwealth than this household unhappiness on the family. And farewell all hope of true reformation in the state, while such an evil as this lies undiscerned or unregarded in the house: on the redress whereof depends not only the spiritful and orderly life of our grown men, but the willing and careful education of our children.''

Stanley Cavell relates this and marriage to remarriage comedy in film

The idea of the genre is, according to me, that the bond of marriage has become unrecognizeable or invisible (the wedding of the pair is never shown; wedding, if shown, is always parodied, subverted, or interrupted), projecting the idea that what constitutes marriage lies not, as it were, outside of marriage (in church, state, sexual satisfaction, or the promise of children) but in the willingness for marriage itself, for repeating the acknowledgement of the fact of it, as if all genuine marriage were remarriage. In this narrative, the topic of marriage forms an essential argument of the pair that constitutes between them a state of conversation. I take this readiness for exchange as constituting marriage, from John Milton's revolutionary tract on divorce, in which he justifies divorce in terms of a conception of marriage as "a meet and happy conversation."

Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome, p.103-104.

Larry J said...

Now, if this was paid for by increased tax rates on the wealthy (perhaps by making the tax rate continue to get steeper after $350,000/yr, so that someone with a multi-million dollar salary pays a higher rate than someone who makes $350k), is this a net gain for liberty?

The idea that a program that allegedly benefits society as a whole should be paid for by a tiny fraction of society is tyranny. If - and in the case of nationalized health care, this is a big if - such a program is so important, then why shouldn't everyone pay for it? The "eat the rich" scheme follows the theme that Lincoln mentioned during the Lincoln-Dougles debates:

"It is the eternal struggle between two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says 'you toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle." [Lincoln-Douglas debates, 15 October 1858]

Pogo said...

It's fairly simple.

Once the government gains control over your health care, it will over time usurp total control over your person.

By inches, increments, dribs and drabs, its purview will increase. And soon enough, you will no longer own yourself; the government will have controlling interest.

But keep saying it can't happen here. While you're still allowed anyway.

chickenlittle said...

Consider an imaginary federal program that provides free, low-level medical care. Nurse/technician stuff.

That's just ridiculous and morally wrong. Inevitably, certain people, perhaps whole segments, will underpay or not pay at all for the scheme.
Nobody has a right to enjoy someone else working for them for free--that's tantamount to slavery.

garage mahal said...

Pretty funny watching people running doomsday scenarios through their models when nothing, absolutely nothing will come out of congress that isn't signed off by the insurance companies and their employees (congress). In fact just two senators paid off by pharma from two flyover states where nobody lives can determine what health care options are available for millions everywhere else.

chickenlittle said...

In fact just two senators paid off by pharma from two flyover states where nobody lives can determine what health care options are available for millions everywhere else.

It's not gonna happen this time without consequences Garage.

knox said...

Sorry about the doomsday scenarios, garage. Sorry this thread's not about Global Warming/Climate Change.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Consider an imaginary federal program that provides free, low-level medical care. Nurse/technician stuff. No surgery, but they'll provide physical therapy, xrays, stitches, casts, bandages, braces, ointments, etc... They will triage up to real doctors when they get stuff they can't handle.

Gee.... consider that Wal Mart already had this program in effect. Low cost walk in clinics to treat the minor issues for a low fee and then refer you to a specialist if needed.
Clinic Services
All clinics offer essential preventative and routine health services for a standard set of common health aliments and screening needs that can be performed without urgent or emergency care, including:
•Acne •Bladder infections •Blood sugar testing •Camp and school physicals •Cholesterol screening •Common vaccinations •Ear aches •Flu •Insect bites and stings •Minor wounds •Sinus infections •Upper respiratory infections •Wart removal


Of course..the liberals can't allow THIS to happen. After all. Wal Mart isn't unionized and the government can't rape the taxpayers for the program or skew it towards their pet/tame minorities for votes.

Scott M said...

@garage mahal
In fact just two senators paid off by pharma from two flyover states where nobody lives can determine what health care options are available for millions everywhere else.

Despite the fact that you can't point to a single state with zero human population (living or undead, thank you Max Brooks), I'll one-up you on your minimalism.

Just one more pro-life justice on the court and abortion could become illegal or severely more restricted than it is now...so what's your point?

@Roost

We've got a basic philosophical difference, then, as I see freedom as the natural state of things before arbitrary man-made society infringes on it.

To take your pie-in-the-sky example even further, remove the middle man completely. Give everyone above-the-line tax credit for all money moved into a health savings account (don't scream rich person's tax shelter because it's easily and transparently controlled) and keep a very small safety net program that will help with catastrophic health needs.

Enact Tort reform that caps damages and punishes incompetence severely, including jail time.

Make the loser pay for malpractice and the doctors will stop practicing defensive medicine.

There are four doctors in my family and one of them is a raving femilib. Even she, once a die-hard singlepayer, agrees with the above.

Scott M said...

Speaking of raving femilibs or liberals of any sort of raving stripe...

I was watching an interview with Harry Stein, whom I admit I've only heard about, not read, about his new book. Stein was a self-identified die-hard liberal from a very left-leaning family and has since become a conservative.

I hear about these sort of books every once and a while, but not once have I heard about a conservative's journey to the left. I'm not speaking in a biased or derogatory way about this as I'm honestly interested to read such a book.

SFC B said...

Consider an imaginary federal program that provides free, low-level medical care. Nurse/technician stuff. No surgery, but they'll provide physical therapy, xrays, stitches, casts, bandages, braces, ointments, etc... They will triage up to real doctors when they get stuff they can't handle.

As pointed out, this is already a service being offered by Wal-Mart, and it is a lot better than the goat rope which is actually being proposed by our elected betters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In fact just two senators paid off by pharma from two flyover states where nobody lives can determine what health care options are available for millions everywhere else.

Typical liberal elitist mind set. No one lives in fly over states...or at least no one of any consequence. You know just a bunch of iggnerent knuckle draggin' butt scratchin' hillbillies so who gives a crap about them and what they think. They don't exist in the surreal sunshine and lollipop world of the coastal left wing snobs. They probably all have funny accents like that Palin chick from Alaska. A bit harder to fly over that state but still full of stupid yokels anyway. yuck yuck yuck.

Yep....no one lives in fly over state. No one at all.

garage mahal said...

Max Baucus is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, who is from a state with less than a million people, yet he will decide the fate of health care for the rest of the 303 million that live here. And he is being paid off by the insurance lobby to stop any reforms that would impact their bottom line. Those numbers are higher than anyone else in congress, it doesn't take a rocket science to figure out what's going on. 2+2=4

downtownlad said...

Question for you Ann? Who has a greater incentive for cutting health care costs?

The government - which relies on voters to get re-elected? Or insurance companies, where each case where they can deny coverage results in increased profits for the insurance company?

The government already pays for the majority of health care in this country. It is called Medicare and Medicaid. Care to point out where the government is denying people medical care for old people because they are obese? Care to point out where the government is pulling the plug on old people in order to reduce costs?

downtownlad said...

And let the record be VERY clear.

Ann favors abolishing Medicare and Medicaid. Either that, or she's a hypocrite.

I'm actually pleased about that. i favor abolishing both as well.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

In fact just two senators paid off by pharma from two flyover states where nobody lives can determine what health care options are available for millions everywhere else.

You make an excellent point showing why we should not allow the government more control over healthcare. Glad you're on our side.

downtownlad said...

I think it's also crystal clear that almost all Republican Senators favor abolishing Medicare and Medicaid as well.

And from yesterday's speech, we certainly know that Palin does.

After all - Medicare and Medicaid are both forms of socialist, government run health care. We also call it tyranny.

I certainly hope that none of Ann's senior citizen commenters use Medicare. That would make them hypocrites. Does Meade use Medicare?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Can't do strike throughs but...here...let me fix this for you..

(Nancy Pelosi) is (Speaker of the House) who is from (the looniest out of touch part of the looniest State in the Union), yet (she) will decide the fate of health care for the rest of the 303 million that live here.

Better?

chickenlittle said...

Does Meade use Medicare?

I think Meade is weeks if not days away from getting on Althouse's plan. And I don't think either of them are seniors.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why does DTL support a health care plan that clearly states (by Obama) that it will not pay for things that don't "make you better".

Since the incidence of AIDS in the gay community is much higher than the general population and there is no cure for AIDS...you are not going to get 'better'...Obama wants you to die. Take a pain pill for crying out loud.

Why do you support someone who wants you to die because your end of life care or maintenance regime is just too expensive?

downtownlad said...

Really? He certainly looks like a senior to me.

Not that 65 is that old.

Anyway, we all agree that socialized medicine is bad. So obviously taking away socialized medicine for seniors is a good thing. Glad we all agree on something.

downtownlad said...

Actually DBQ - I don't favor Obama's plan.

But stop lying about it. It simply stops the government from subsidizing things that don't work.

So if there are two methods of fixing a problem, and solution A is medically proven to be better than solution B, but doctors favor B because it has a bigger profit margin, then the government will only pay for solution A. What's wrong with that?

i don't favor government spending on health care, but if they ARE going to spend money, I prefer they at least be efficient about it.

Your AIDS analysis is bizarre. Many people with HIV and AIDS don't have insurance and they can't get any drugs right now. It's a pre-existing condition and its pretty much IMPOSSIBLE for them to get any insurance once they've been diagnosed. Those people will be vastly better under a government plan, which would eliminate the prohibition on coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

chickenlittle said...

The government already pays for the majority of health care in this country.

That's true and also good reason for not for expanding it.

@DTL: Never mind the youth in Asia, what do you think about euthanasia?

downtownlad said...

And Obama's plan still keeps private insurance around. The main part of his plan is:

1) Universal coverage - this is accomplished through tax increases on the rich.

2) Insurance regulations that will force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, etc. That will also have a cost, also accomplished via tax increases on the rich and by forcing all businesses to provide coverage for their employees. keep in mind that most businesses already provide coverage, and those companies probably favor the law as it will force a level playing field amongst corporations.

3) holding down health care costs - they haven't figured out how to do that yet. one good way to do this though would be to tax health care benefits. I hope that ends up in the legislation.

I see absolutely nothing threatening in this legislation, except to my pocketbook. I happen to be one of the rich people who will be affected. But let's be realistic, 98% of people will not be affected by this tax.

It's not the end of the world. To me it's similar to Medicare. I don't benefit from it and it hits my paycheck.

downtownlad said...

chckenlittle - do you think all gay people are pedophiles? Do you think Ann's son is a pedophile too?

Maguro said...

garage - Until the house passes a bill, I don't see how you can blame the Senate - let alone Max Baucus personally - for "stopping" Obamacare. It hasn't even started until the house acts.

Maybe you should blame the CBO for demonstrating that Obama's numbers are bullshit.

chickenlittle said...

@DTL I happen to not be rich and see two threats to me and my family in the bill's provisions:

First: a de facto elimination of HSA's and second, a de facto elimination of high deductable insurance.

chickenlittle said...

chckenlittle - do you think all gay people are pedophiles? Do you think Ann's son is a pedophile too?

WTF? I was only talking about you!

downtownlad said...

Tell me chickenlittle - why should the government be SUBSIDIZING your insurance. Both HSA's and high-quality insurance are subsidized, via their tax deductibility.

That's socialism. That's tyranny. I favor the free market. Buying health care should be treated no differently than going on vacation. Neither should be subsidized.

chickenlittle said...

Tell me chickenlittle - why should the government be SUBSIDIZING your insurance. Both HSA's and high-quality insurance are subsidized, via their tax deductibility.

I actually moved from a plan where I was even more subsidized via my employer to the currect one. I'd love to be rich like you and dispense with the whole business, but alas.

Besides, there's a philosophical argument behind whether taxes not levied are indeed subsidies.

Jeremy said...

So if there are two methods of fixing a problem, and solution A is medically proven to be better than solution B, but doctors favor B because it has a bigger profit margin, then the government will only pay for solution A. What's wrong with that?


What if B has 85% success rate and A has 80% but B costs 100% more? B is therefore "better" but more expensive. The incremental improvements in quality come at significant increases in cost. How would you propose a Public Option deal with that reality?

Or in another scenario, both A and B have <30% success rate. Is it worth it to attempt either one?

-The Other Jeremy

Ralph L said...

It's also well known that teenagers cause life reducing stress
Legalize post-natal abortions, up to age 18. Subsidize clinic advertisements where all the youts hang out.

I favor the free market
I can see that.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But stop lying about it. It simply stops the government from subsidizing things that don't work.

That is exactly what I said. The Government isn't going to pay for things that won't make you well.

" Obama stated, "They will have to give up treatments that will not make them well."

Since there is no cure for AIDS and many other diseases. The government is not going to include treatment for those things that will not make you well. Someone tell that to Michael Fox.

Who gets to decide what will make you well? Make me well? Who decides that that last 3 years of life for the AIDS patient just isn't worth it due to the cost benefit analysis of some actuary in the government accounting office.

So if there are two methods of fixing a problem, and solution A is medically proven to be better than solution B, but doctors favor B because it has a bigger profit margin, then the government will only pay for solution A. What's wrong with that?


Who is going to pay for solution B since we are only going to get one option? In your scenario the wealthy get a choice and the rest of us get the government option chosen for us by Sally Stachelbottom the health industry equivilant of the local DMV clerk.

In the free market place I get to chose what level of coverage I want to pay for or not pay for.

So your friends who don't have insurance, a personal choice to not insure by the way, and now are ill can't get the drugs they need to extend life or be comfortable. Had they insured or planned ahead there would be no problem. Under the government option they have no choices AT ALL.

Obama wants you to die.

Bruce Hayden said...

1) Universal coverage - this is accomplished through tax increases on the rich.

Not sure why this is important, except that by aggregating all of the uninsured, it makes the problem look much worse than it is.

But also keep in mind that it isn't the rich that are going to be taxed. It is people with high taxable incomes. Big difference. The rich, like a lot of the rich in Congress (Kennedy, Rockefeller, Heinz-Kerry, et al.), are not going to get hit with that.

Also keep in mind that this is precisely the demographic already getting hit the hardest with the expiration of of Bush's tax cuts and the demographic that creates the most jobs. So, what is there natural response to this tax increase, to over 50% BEFORE STATE TAXES? Their rational response is to not work as hard, and/or not hire as many people. IN A RECESSION.

So, not only is this counterproductive in a recession, the income isn't going to materialize. We go through this every time the liberals try to raise taxes on the "rich". The scoring being done is called "static analysis". It doesn't work. You can't just multiply the increase in tax rates by the amount of taxable income, because there is a serious disincentive effect in the tax increase. Indeed, often you find less tax raised, instead of more, when you raise the marginal rates like this on this tax demographic.

2) Insurance regulations that will force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, etc. That will also have a cost, also accomplished via tax increases on the rich and by forcing all businesses to provide coverage for their employees.

Some more taxing the guy behind the tree, with the same problem that the guy behind the tree is climbing it to get out of your sights. Besides, there just isn't that much money there.

Also, keep in mind that one of the problems with covering pre-existing conditions is the incentive to not carry insurance, or carry the absolute minimum (or pay the fine, etc.) until you have a major health care issue, and then switch into the high benefits policy. And, remember, they can only double the premiums if you are sick, old, etc. as compared to everyone else.

Indeed, I would ask why any of those you know who cannot get health insurance because of preexisting conditions were not carrying health care insurance at the time that they developed that condition?

So, no, it isn't going to just be the "rich" paying. It will also be the young and the healthy.

3) holding down health care costs - they haven't figured out how to do that yet. one good way to do this though would be to tax health care benefits. I hope that ends up in the legislation.

Never mind that the runaway costs of government health care programs is probably the biggest justification for this entire boondoggle in the first place. And that they don't have a clue how to actually save money in real life.

Lem said...

Obama will most likely make it retroactive.. leaving me single for life.

Alex said...

Question to lefties:

Why are you so upset that it's going to take a long while to enact health-care bill? Why the mad rush?

Bruce Hayden said...

Tell me chickenlittle - why should the government be SUBSIDIZING your insurance. Both HSA's and high-quality insurance are subsidized, via their tax deductibility.

You are presupposing that the money belongs to the government, and that we are only temporary custodians of it. But the government didn't create that wealth, and so why should they own it? To some extent, I think this comes back to those lines in the Declaration of Independence - whether or not you believe that government is justified by the consent of the governed and that we have certain inalienable rights.

Yes, employer paid health insurance premiums are deductible, and individual paid premiums have less deductibility. But that is a remnant I think dating from WWII, and the better solution is to make all health insurance premiums similarly deductible - unless, as I asked before, you truly believe that the government owns the fruits of our labors.

Alex said...

Bruce:

You are presupposing that the money belongs to the government, and that we are only temporary custodians of it. But the government didn't create that wealth, and so why should they own it?

The standard line is that government infrastructure programs like highways, utilities and other research helped enrich you. Since you are higher up on the utilization curve, you should pay more in tax.

William said...

One enters into a bad marriage the way one enters McDonald's: in a spirit of base hunger and sudden impulse. The nutrients of a bad marriage and a Happy Meal are not enough to grow on, but they are enough to subsist on. Sometimes they suppress need. And sometimes they express the need for self destructive behavior. Whatever. There is no rational solution to the irrational problems of man. Obesity, addiction, nightshade spouses are not pathologies but the very blossoms of our fungal existence....I hope these insights are of some use in the ongoing health care debate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The standard line is that government infrastructure programs like highways, utilities and other research helped enrich you. Since you are higher up on the utilization curve, you should pay more in tax.

So those that are lower on the utilization curve, like the Amish, Mormons, Christian Scientists etc should get taxed less? Wealthy people who excercise and maintain their weight are also on the lower end of the curve so they also should be taxed less. And their premiums should be much lower since the utilization of benefits is going to be less. Right?

Unfortunately, this isn't the Obama way.

The Obama way is to punish the successful and "spread the wealth".

Alex said...

William - the fact that we engage in thought is proof enough we are more then just "fungal organisms". Give humanity more credit!

Alex said...

DBQ - it's true that the wealthy tend to use the health care system less due to improved fitness. However one could argue the point of what % of their wealth is attributable to publicly created infrastructure. After all, without publicly built highways no products get delivered. It's not as simple as you would believe. OTOH, that is not a carte blanche to engage in redistribution policies.

The fairest solution might be to keep a progressive consumption tax, and use the money for repairing infrastructure and building new ones like nuclear power plants. I think 90% of Republicans would agree to it instantly.

Bruce Hayden said...

Why are you so upset that it's going to take a long while to enact health-care bill? Why the mad rush?

The mad rush is because the size of the Democratic majority in an anomaly. Some 49 Democratic Representatives were elected from districts that went for McCain in 2008, and probably half again as many, if not more, from districts that went for Bush in 2004. These are mostly fairly moderate (often "Blue Dog") Democrats. On the other hand, Pelosi and her major committee chairs are almost all hard, hard, left. They are that way because the Democrats in the House award committee chairmanships through seniority, and they all come from the most secure Democratic districts.

Pelosi, and her minions, know that this is their only chance to get their wish list of ultra-liberal agenda items through. Even if the Republicans don't retake the House, the Democrats at best are going to be back where they were after the 2006 elections (and likely worse off than that).

So, what they are doing is sacrificing all those freshman and 2nd term Democratic seats to get their agenda passed. They know that this is probably their last chance of their lifetimes to do so. And, hence, their hurry.

Alex said...

There is a diminishing return on "taxing the top 2%" because of the presence of tax loopholes and shelters. If the Democrats are willing to go HARD after eliminating those shelters, I'll believe they're serious. Otherwise it's just pandering to their base.

chickenlittle said...

The Obama way is to punish the successful and "spread the wealth".

I think it's "hit up the ones that got it." But as Bruce Hayden points out, a certain class of rich will not even be affected.

Obama should be honest and point that out at least, lest people get behind this based on class envy.

Alex said...

Robert Reich is serious about going after the wealthy:

http://tinyurl.com/l3pslj

Will Obama & Pelosi start the drumbeat: "eliminate tax shelters and fund health care!"

Bruce Hayden said...

The standard line is that government infrastructure programs like highways, utilities and other research helped enrich you. Since you are higher up on the utilization curve, you should pay more in tax.

I don't think that anyone really wants to follow that argument that far. Because if they do, then all we need to do is graph income taxation against what people get, and all of a sudden, we note that there are a lot of people who don't pay any income taxes whatsoever, but benefit quite a bit from all that infrastructure. And, even for all those who do pay income taxes, it is hard to make an argument that the utilization of public resources goes up anywhere as fast as the tax burden does.

Alex said...

Bruce:

I agree. If we cut out massive welfare programs, then the return on taxation for tax-payers would be a lot more since it would go to infrastructure and the military, things that benefit everyone. Also it's just the more moral thing to do.

Cedarford said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Tell me chickenlittle - why should the government be SUBSIDIZING your insurance. Both HSA's and high-quality insurance are subsidized, via their tax deductibility.

You are presupposing that the money belongs to the government, and that we are only temporary custodians of it. But the government didn't create that wealth, and so why should they own it?"
=============
The people COLLECTIVELY ARE the government.
They created the conditions in America where most people have a good standard of living. They create and enforce the laws, build the infrastructure, protect the homeland, fund the R&D without which wealth creation would be orders of magnitude more difficult.

(See the tale of immigrants who come here because their abilities have them going nowhere in other countries.)

In short, Hayden, the People collectively known as the "duly elected government" do have a moral and legal claim to a portion of your wealth. That is our social contract.

The libertarian fantasy that all wealth is purely a function of individual drive and skill and anything you get is 100% yours and anything taken from that is "stolen" is ludicrous. And untenable.
All libertarian fantasies seem to hold that somehow, all the laws and protection and free schools and roads would still exist for them and they got "all their money free and clear."
Or devolve into fantasies that roads, food supply, water, electricity would be privately controlled by fair-minded entrepreneurs....and the rest safeguarded by a rugged individual with his always ready firearm..

Bruce Hayden said...

There is a diminishing return on "taxing the top 2%" because of the presence of tax loopholes and shelters.

This is also the tax demographic that has the most leeway in how much they make (and how much they invest in job creation). Again though, "tax loopholes" implies that the government owns the fruits of their labors. It doesn't. And tax shelters were pretty much eliminated under the Reagan tax cuts.

Nevertheless, the effect is somewhat similar - there is a point of rapidly diminishing, or even negative, returns, from raising tax rates on high earners. And, we are most likely right there (though the higher the tax rate, the worse this is).

Alex said...

Cedarford - the problem is that while I believe there is a social contract, I disagree with you on how much "the poor" are should get. I think LBJ's "great society" is a dismal failure amounting to trillions of dollars. All one needs to do is look at the burned-out husk of Detroit for the evidence.

rhhardin said...

The Laffer Curve is actually a Laffer argument, and quite easy.

If you tax at 0%, you get no revenue.

If you tax at 100%, you get no revenue, because such taxable activity simply no longer happens.

Therefore, somewhere between 0% and 100% is a place that offers maximum tax revenue.

If that is so, and here's the point, then when you're taxing at that rate or higher already, raising the tax rate further must the reduce revenue received.

Alex said...

The Laffer Curve is actually a Laffer argument, and quite easy.

You have no credibility with an ad-hominem attack. You obviously can't debunk the Laffer Curve with one tiny little paragraph.

chickenlittle said...

That is our social contract.

All contracts have limits Cedarford and that's what this debate is about.

The further intrusion of government into healthcare to the point of exclusivity for most of us is what's at stake here, despite what the President is mouthing about "If you like your health insurance you can keep it." It's already clear that I won't be able to keep mine, and so I'm feeling a bit like a canary in a coal mine.

Alex said...

Basically the "social contract" the way the lefties want is "we'll take 100% from the earners". That's why we are having this discussion - the Blue Dogs aren't biting.

Bruce Hayden said...

The people COLLECTIVELY ARE the government.
They created the conditions in America where most people have a good standard of living. They create and enforce the laws, build the infrastructure, protect the homeland, fund the R&D without which wealth creation would be orders of magnitude more difficult
.

Don't know where to start here. Yes, the justification for the government is consent of the governed. But, no, the people are not the government. They merely empower the government. But you also bring up the problem of the tyranny of the majority - that the majority apparently in your view have the moral authority to take the fruits of the labors of the minority, just because they can.

And, no, the "people" don't fund the R&D, but rather the productive sector of this country do - i.e. those paying taxes (because they have the income to be taxed, and not because they are paying the taxes).

In short, Hayden, the People collectively known as the "duly elected government" do have a moral and legal claim to a portion of your wealth. That is our social contract.

Only part of the social contract. You are forgetting the problem of the tyranny of the majority that I mentioned earlier (and which take up much of the Federalist Papers).

The libertarian fantasy that all wealth is purely a function of individual drive and skill and anything you get is 100% yours and anything taken from that is "stolen" is ludicrous. And untenable.

More tenable than the alternative hypothesis, that all that wealth magically appears, without anyone working hard or taking risks.

Alex said...

The messy reality is that wealth is a combination of hard work and collective decisions about infrastructure. What is the % of each? How do we decide in a fair manner? Those are valid points to ponder.

William said...

Thanatos is a powerful god. Some light a cigarette or bring forth platters of fried food to honor his presence. Such acts are mere genuflections. True acolytes make themselves the burnt offerings. They marry strippers on meth or celebrate cirrhosis with three day binges. But the true high priests are the government bureaucrats. I'm not just referring to the Manhattan Project types--although they are part of the cult. No, I mean those cardinals of crud who design the endless mazes of puke green corridors that baffle and defeat any soul that stuggles for the light. Only someone with an intimate knowledge of Shiva could subordinate vitality to a government program.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, I quite agree with rhardin about the curve of taxation. The issue is where along the curve do we begin to get deminishing returns. The Democrats seem to think never.

There is also the issue of those who pay no taxes voting in benefits for themselves.

Personally, I'm for a 10% or even 15% across the board flat tax. That way everyone has some 'skin in the game'. I also think we should completely dispense with captial gains taxation as the velocity of money would be ratched up to beyond ludicrious speed....we would go to plaid!!

Instead of using the tax system to punish people who work, benefit those who don't and create class warfare, we should just take an even and fair shair from everyone. And I do mean everyone.

Bruce Hayden said...

You have no credibility with an ad-hominem attack. You obviously can't debunk the Laffer Curve with one tiny little paragraph.

I don't think that this was an ad hominem attack. Rather, he is right, that there at 0% and 100% no income tax will be raised (though at 100%, it won't quite be zero), and that there is a place somewhere in between where the amount of revenue raised will be maximized.

chickenlittle said...

@Cedarford: In the interest of discussing the fairness of taxes.
We bought our house in CA about 9 years ago for a fair price. Because of Prop 13, our property taxes remained reasonable despite outlandish speculative valuation of our house in the ensuing years. In 2005, our neighbors bought their house for twice the money (and less space). Their property taxes are twice ours for the same level of municipal services (and they don't even have kids!) How to remedy this inequity: (1) raise our taxes to meet theirs or lower theirs to reflect meet ours?

Bruce Hayden said...

There is also the issue of those who pay no taxes voting in benefits for themselves.

Cedarford apparently thinks that this is just fine. I don't. After all, according to him, the government is the people, and so whatever the people want, they should have (with the "people" defined as a majority of the voters).

What is scary is that we are rapidly approaching the point where there will be more net takers than net providers in this country, if you look at who is paying taxes and who is getting direct benefits.

Alex said...

DBQ - the problem is a flat 10-15% tax won't solve the massive deficit problem if you don't reign in the welfare state. Reagan-style "starve the beast" isn't viable anymore.

Alex said...

Bruce - do you honestly think Cedarford has put in the full thought process of where is socialism leads? He thinks more socialism = more utopia. He can't fathom is leads to the Soviet Union.

Bruce Hayden said...

Part of the problem with his theory that the people are the government is that they aren't. Rather, as I noted, they morally justify it.

But what the government is, is a bunch of people who take advantage of their insider position to make themselves comfortable, if not rich. This always happens in a socialist system. And what makes it worse here, is that the more power you give the government, the more opportunity there is for rent seeking, and the more opportunity there is for rent seeking, the richer the insiders get.

We saw that with the Soviet Union before its fall. There was a parallel economy. There was the socialist workers paradise for 99% of the people who lived in poverty and often faced bare shelves when they shopped, and then there were the party and government leaders who lived quite well, thank you, shopping at stores with western merchandise and having Black Sea vacation homes.

Alex said...

We saw that with the Soviet Union before its fall. There was a parallel economy. There was the socialist workers paradise for 99% of the people who lived in poverty and often faced bare shelves when they shopped, and then there were the party and government leaders who lived quite well, thank you, shopping at stores with western merchandise and having Black Sea vacation homes.

All lies! You capitalist pigs will make up anything to prop up your eeeeeevil capitalist system! Why in the USSR the people were very happy! It wasn't until that Reagan-lover Gorbachev ruined everything with his stupid reforms!

Alex said...

BTW for those who thought Gorby was as real reformer, here' a quote:

I am a Communist, a convinced Communist! For some that may be a fantasy. But to me it is my main goal.

Alex said...

More about Gorbachev:

http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/pblctns/cmmntr/cm03-eng.asp

In the Leninist sense, he is a reformer, not a genuine revolutionary-he wants to improve things, not to overturn the existing order. From the viewpoint of world history, he is simply a modernizer who has finally given up on the Marxist-Leninist formula for modernization in favour of the Western liberal- democratic welfare-state market-capitalism.

br549 said...

chickenlittle, give your neighbor back the difference out of your own pocket.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the problem is a flat 10-15% tax won't solve the massive deficit problem if you don't reign in the welfare state. Reagan-style "starve the beast" isn't viable anymore.

I also agree with this as well. We need to do both. Cut the pork, fraud and excesses in the welfare system AND go to a more fair flat tax that will encourage instead of discourage people to be creative and work. The flat tax also will tend to give some accountability to those who are the 100% takers right now.

Pogo said...

Modernity on Endless Trial
by Leszek KoĊ‚akowski - 1997

"This is what the utopian mentality refuses to admit and what makes the utopias fundamentally and incurably "utopian" (in the everyday sense). A feasible utopian world must presuppose that people have lost their creativity and freedom, that the variety of human life forms and thus personal life have been destroyed, and that all people have achieved perfect satisfaction of their needs and accepted a perpetual deadly stagnation as their normal condition. Such a world would mark the end of the human race as we know it and as we define it. Stagnation is an inescapable condition of the utopian happiness; those changes which we used to call progress or enrichment in whatever area of life — in technology, science, art, institutionalized forms of social communication- are all responses to dissatisfaction, to suffering, to a challenge.” (p. 138).


More:
"He warned in his Tanner lectures on Human Values that 'the victory of the utopian dreams would lead us to a totalitarian nightmare and the utter downfall of civilization."
(The Philosophy of Utopia, by Barbara Goodwin, p.56).

Methadras said...

bearbee said...
If the government intends to control our bodies for the sake of fiscal health in health, for the good of the state, then what is the meaning/purpose of life? Merely to live healthy and die quickly? Apparently the 1989 stake through the heart wasn't driven completely through, giving rise to the reteaded religion of Stalinism.
Government creep is caused by creeps in government.


It's to make you more valuable to the state. In labor for paying your taxes, in health to keep paying your taxes for a longer period of time until you die, so they can swoop in and take over half of the totality of your estate beyond that. Government wants you to be the ultimate volunteer like Daddy Obama wants you to be. To give and give and give and give and give and give and give and give and give and give and keep on giving even after your dead.

Bruce Hayden said...

Pogo,

I am not sure that I would go that far. Rather, my view is that Utopians (and socialists are Utopians) believe either that man is good, if not perfect, or at least is perfectable. The Communists believed that their totalitarian regime was essential until man had become perfect, at which time the state would wither away.

Capitalists believe that man is greedy, and plan accordingly.

I would characterize the two views as wishful thinking versus reality. Which is why it is always so humorous for leftists to claim to be part of the reality based community, since almost their entire political and economic philosophy derive from wishful thinking.

Methadras said...

Alex said...
DBQ - the problem is a flat 10-15% tax won't solve the massive deficit problem if you don't reign in the welfare state. Reagan-style "starve the beast" isn't viable anymore.


Alex, what a flat tax does do is a couple of things. The first is provide instant relief from erroneous taxation, eliminates double taxation, eliminates the entire tax code and all of the bullshit that come with it and so on. The second thing it does is force government to know and understand how much money they will most likely be dealing with and curtail their spending to suit. You will essentially, over time, if not immediately, pork dwindle off, idiotic legislation for the sake of just making legislation, go away for the most part. You will probably see rules changes in the house and senate to reflect a more utilitarian way of promoting important legislation to coincide with that 10% - 15% revenue without the fat and ultimately and hopefully it will diminish the size of government from the fat, bloated, obese pig it is now to a leaner and more responsive government we all hope for in the future.

There is no doubt that government has a role in it's citizens lives, but having a tax code based on a flat tax, in my opinion, curtails the excesses that government tends to want to have in favor of promoting a larger tax base to increase more a larger paying citizenry. All you hear now is a giant sucking sound originating from DC without a return in sight. Just my 2 cents.

Alex said...

Methadras - the flat tax will never happen because the welfare state & social security lobbies will make sure we never scrap progressive taxation. Let me clarify further, I think a majority of Americans favor the social-welfare system we currently have.

Alex said...

The fact is we are closer to adopting single-payer health care then scraping the welfare state. Sure the Blue Dogs are resisting for the moment, but I have this awful feeling that RahmBo will come up with the right bribes to peel off enough of them to pass this bill. Until proven otherwise.

Alex said...

Henry Waxman met with Blue Dog to no avail:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25507.html

The part that worried me the most:

Public option must negotiate rates with providers, provide greater clarity on opt out, compete on a level playing field and be available as a fallback.

I don't want ANY public option, as I consider it a threat to private health care!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What a flat tax does do is a couple of things. The first is provide instant relief from erroneous taxation, eliminates double taxation, eliminates the entire tax code and all of the bullshit that come with it and so on

Understand that when I am advocating for a flat tax, I am advocating COMPLETELY against my own best interests. My occupation as a financial planner and CFP is to help people navigate through the fever swamp of tax laws.

A flat tax would kill my business. However, I think it would be better for the country. Economically and spiritually.

Either that or a big honking bomb dropped on the Capitol Building.

Methadras said...

Alex said...

Methadras - the flat tax will never happen because the welfare state & social security lobbies will make sure we never scrap progressive taxation. Let me clarify further, I think a majority of Americans favor the social-welfare system we currently have.


Oh, I don't disagree with you. 60 plus years of outcome based education more or less promotes the social welfare/entitlement ideology. It's multi-generational and is racially neutral. Anyone who would dispute that is a liar, cognitively dissonant, willfully ignorant, and an would be an utter fool. You can see the influence of the social welfare class has had on government and how it entices those to come and suckle on the public tit, while punishing the responsible, vilifying the productive, while at the same time rewarding those that are irresponsible, lazy, illegal, lawless, criminal, unproductive, and willing to come to government to acquire their subsistence from and remain a captive for life. They will vote for that daily.

Methadras said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Understand that when I am advocating for a flat tax, I am advocating COMPLETELY against my own best interests. My occupation as a financial planner and CFP is to help people navigate through the fever swamp of tax laws.


Oh, I understand perfectly well what you are advocating.

A flat tax would kill my business. However, I think it would be better for the country. Economically and spiritually.

Either that or a big honking bomb dropped on the Capitol Building.


My CPA said nearly the same thing. Then he gave me the bill. I wasn't laughing. :D

Ralph L said...

With a flat tax, politicians couldn't sell tax breaks or protection from losing tax breaks. Not going to happen.

Cedarford said...

Alex said...
"Cedarford - the problem is that while I believe there is a social contract, I disagree with you on how much "the poor" are should get. I think LBJ's "great society" is a dismal failure amounting to trillions of dollars. All one needs to do is look at the burned-out husk of Detroit for the evidence."

I want no LBJ Great Society II.
My point is the George Bush II taunt to America that "It's Your Money, Not the Governments" (meaning his Pioneer and Ranger donors) is as finished as Dubya was.
My arguments for national health care are many:

1. We pay 50% more than any other nation per capita, yet we have 42 million uninsured and another 50 underinsured (no dental, no catastrophic, people barred from care of certain pre-existing conditions, bankruptcy likely for being diagnosed with certain long-term conditions if family doesn't help.)

2. Unlike our other major systems which where designed as a coherent whole plan - electric, roads, military - or soon had to be to work (railroads, elimination of incompatable cellular systems) - medical care was created haphazardly, with inertia carrying it on - despite huge waste and America now crippled in ability to export because unlike other nations, health care is added to each product. Fine in days when we had technological edge and looked after our own domestic market. Now nearly suicidal - as watching American leaders nearly licking the boots of the Chinese and Japanese bankers shows.

3. THere should be basic lifelines - it is not a question of "rewarding" the poor. It is about reducing killer costs like free ER visits in return for regular care as much as it is about social justice. We consent to other things being available to all through our collective ability to pay....public schools, public roads, state and national parks open to all. Bare maintenace food and shelter and utilities. Nursing homes and medicare for the elderly, the profoundly retarded or physically disabled.
Every other advanced nation believes health care belongs in that bundle.

4. There is "unfairness" inherent in the system. Free care to welfare mommas, prisoners and illegals with no penalty, lavish executive health care and "fitness" memberships tax-subsidized. No tax subsidy for the working poor or retired buying "private supplemental", working poor hounded for repayment after a major illness even with bankruptcy declared...but the welfare momma can walk away from a 380,000 bill for a premiee caused by her drug and alcohol abuse without a care in the world.

5. For those covered, for employers - even conservatives - there is a growing recognition that private and employer and gov't healthcare costs have exploded, and are unsustainable without major structural reform ---or should we say, putting the 1st real national plan in place..

William said...

Pogo: I would define dystopia as a state where malpractice attorneys not only make more money than physicians but feel that they serve a higher human calling. Ditto squared with regulators of health care...Here is how I would define the relationship between health and government. First and foremost the government should permit a society in which people find life more interesting than death......Many years back the President of Tanzania, (Nyere I think) banned the import of women's cosmetics. What, he thought, could be more unnecessary and wasteful than spending hard earned currency on such frivolity? Well, here's how cosmetics makes for a more productive economy. Women want to be beautiful and will work hard for the withal to be so. Men want to attract the attention of beautiful women and will work hard to make enough money to do so. The pinwheel is sometimes the windmill that drives all the other gears.....Likewise with divorce, big Macs, and heavy drinking. They may not extend life, but they make it more interesting. Judging a life by its length is like judging a meal by its fiber content.

Eric said...

What is scary is that we are rapidly approaching the point where there will be more net takers than net providers in this country, if you look at who is paying taxes and who is getting direct benefits.

If you include public sector employees in the "takers", we're already past that point. It's not going to end well - look at what's happening in Britain. That's us in a generation or so.

RLB_IV said...

DTL@
I see absolutely nothing threatening in this legislation, except to my pocketbook. I happen to be one of the rich people who will be affected. But let's be realistic, 98% of people will not be affected by this tax.

The constant rhetoric about the rich is an evil ploy to get those who are not rich to agree to being "nailed". You will be screwed. The so called rich include a family of four with a combined income of 250,000. If you live in Alaska (heh), California or the East Coast you are middle class. I cannot imagine someone in Brooklyn making $250,000 and being considered rich. If you make less you are lower class in economic terms.

Upper middle class in this category
would include an income up to about $1,500,000. Upper class would run from $1,600,000 to about $25,000,000, at which point you could have a private jet and an estate if you like massive debt. In SoCal you are looking at a minimum of $50,000 a year for water if you have an acre or more of grounds.

The Uber rich live in a different world as they are citizens of the world. They can go anywhere at anytime and get the health care they desire, just like our congress critters who will not be on the new health care plan but won't have to leave town.

Does this give you any ideas?

You voted for the Congress, Herr Obama and will get what you deserve.

kentuckyliz said...

Roost, the plan you propose already exists, and not just at Wal-Mart, but also at the free public health departments.

Even with "free" health, dental, and vision care, why do poor people NOT utilize it? It amazes me...they don't know the value of what they have.

-------------

Here's my solution.

1. Only taxpayers get to vote.

2. Election day is moved to April 16.

3. Flat tax/fair tax.

4. I'd like to see some gutsy national leadership that zeroes out EVERYTHING and all budgets are zero-based and nonrecurring. Meaning, all those government programs and employees and budgets have to justify their existence and try to get renewed. It's all soft money. Easy to cut the fluff.

5. With the flat/fair tax proceeds, the revenue comes one year before the spending of it, and it is the balance in the checkbook, and there is no overdraft protection. That's it. Start running your budget like every responsible household among your citizenry.

The rent seeking hoors and the congresscritters with their finger on the money printing press power button, are ruining this country.

You all should throw your bums out (while I vote to keep ours because they have seniority and that's good for our state). See what I mean?!?!?!

bearbee said...

If you are in a Blue Dog District, please contact your representative and tell them to vote NO to any health care bill that provides a government plan

Blue Dog Dems

Dudley Do-right said...

This is why things have been fairly quiet on the 2nd amendment front for awhile. Once healthcare is passed, guns and ammo will be declared health hazards and taxed....taxed or confiscated.

How neatly the "greater good" trumps freedom and liberty. The left will have a field day.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is why things have been fairly quiet on the 2nd amendment front for awhile. Once healthcare is passed, guns and ammo will be declared health hazards and taxed....taxed or confiscated.

With Heller on the books, that is going to be a bit hard, at least harder than it was before. The liberals are going to have to replace some of the conservatives on the court, not just liberals, before you can expect effective reversal.

chickenlittle said...

chickenlittle, give your neighbor back the difference out of your own pocket.

half the difference maybe; the whole difference would be unfair.

Eric said...

1. Only taxpayers get to vote.

This is something I'd like to see. People who don't pay taxes aren't weighing the benefits of taxes vs. services. To them every program is free, no matter how stupid and wasteful, and there's no limit to the demand for free services.

Everyone should pay taxes, even if the amount is token in the greater scheme of things. A good start would be a small national sales tax, with corresponding decreases in the income tax.