This is a rather long lecture by Milton Friedman on the issues of government in medical care. As it is so long I’m not going to write a lot, but you should watch it because, despite being over 3 decades old, every word is still very relevant.
Category Archives: Health Care
So Republicans in typical fashion are trying to shoot themselves in the foot with their “Defund Obamacare push” (hint the liberals want the GOP to win on this one so they don’t have to have Obamacare hanging around their necks in 2014 and 2016, so they can keep the White House and take back Congress just long enough to make sure no one can ever take Obamacare out…if you want to get rid of Obamacare, really, really get rid of it, you need to make people see, and unfortunately feel, the misery they voted for. The point here is to get rid of the idea that government is the answer, not just a temporary reprieve on one horrific law. The Defund Obamacare group is looking to win the battle, possibly at the cost of losing the war). But while this is going on, Democrats are spending billions just to advertise Obamacare (if a law is so bad you have to advertise it, that should tell you something). And to top it all off, a couple days ago Obama made his one of his typically brain less statements. “Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”
Why do I bring all of these different groups up in the same paragraph? Because they’re all idiots. They are all predicated on the idea that the government has to do something (less idiotic for the Republicans, but they seem to have given up the idea of full repeal, the only real answer, because they seem to acknowledge the lie that government needs to provide something). At best this belief is idiotic. At worst it’s just plain evil. (On another side note evil people are very rare, but evil ideas are all too common, and morons have a long history of latching onto evil ideas with the best of intentions. So please understand I’m not calling the people supporting Obamacare evil–unless their name is Harry/Nancy/Barrack/Michelle–merely their idea is). Why is it stupid/evil? Well, let me be as clear as I can possibly be:
YOU DO NOT HAVE A !@#$%^& RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE!!!!
Like the right to property, and the right to pursue happiness, you have the right to earn a living and to use that money as you see fit, perhaps by buying healthcare or healthcare insurance, but you have no natural right to healthcare.
Sorry, Barry, but just because you want something, it’s not a right.
I know I am about to repeat things that I have said before, but I feel I need to. I feel everyone needs to until this country learns that rights are not entitlements, rights are not things given to you but opportunities to be taken care of, and to exercise your rights does not require the acts, intentions, or contribution of anyone else.
A natural right as conceived of in the theory of natural rights and in the Declaration of Independence is something you would have without the presence of government or even society. It’s what does Robinson Crusoe have when he’s on the island before he decides to violate Friday’s natural right to freedom. Well, if you find yourself trapped in a bad episode of “Lost” you have the right to life, liberty, property, and to pursue happiness. A lot of what the original Bill of Rights includes is also there (speech, religion, assembly, arms, and self-incrimination) but notice that if you’re on an island by yourself you don’t have medical care. You have the right to take care of yourself, but islands in the middle of nowhere are not staffed with hospitals and doctors just waiting for you to get sick. So it’s certainly not a natural right.
But we don’t live on an island in the middle of nowhere. The upside to this is that we don’t have to engage in a philosophical war with a black cloud; the downside to this is that we do have to deal with other people. And while most people are rational and good intentioned, there are the random people who don’t respect your rights and try to take what isn’t theirs. Because of these random few who ruin everything, and because, we want complex things that we can’t do without laws and someone being in charge (like roads) we turn to the necessary evil of government. Now good government is a skill and it took us a while to realize that limits need to be put on it because just following the guy who can kill you or the guy with the best bullshit may not have been the best choice in the beginning, even though it’s what historically happened. So we had to come up with a whole new set of rights (quartering, due process, equality under the law). But notice all these other rights limit what the government does. Nowhere have you been given anything. You were either born with your rights, some of which you gave away to ensure protection against stupid people violating your rights, and other “rights” were restrictions placed on the government on top of which your natural rights were completely off-limits. But still no right has been given to you that you already didn’t have. And again, you didn’t have the right to health care if you were stuck in the state of nature.
The right to healthcare is a ridiculous, idiotic and borderline evil idea called a “positive right.” A negative right means something that no one has the right to take away from you–like your life, your liberty, or your property. Those are things you’re entitled to, thus no one has any right to reduce your rights to them. A positive right on the other hand means something that you have a right to expect to be given to you. If you’re reading that last sentence a few times because it seems to make no sense, good, that means you’re sane. Healthcare is a positive right. It is the idea that just because I showed up you have to give me healthcare. Just because you’re alive other people have to give something to you? Well I know that really egocentric people act like this, but to actually portray this as a theory of government is insane. And while virtues of love and charity say that ethically we should give people more than they may deserve, it doesn’t work in the opposite way where you have the right to demand people give you more than you serve—that’s not ethics it’s also insanity.
But more than insane it’s wrong. You can’t give a piece of property or a service without taking it from someone else–i.e. theft or slavery. Now while I believe the capitalist system isn’t a zero-sum game that always creates more and more, theoretically having no limit to how much wealth it can create, the kind of property transfer that the government deals in is a zero-sum for whatever moment it exists in. The government stealing things and giving it to others, transferring wealth from one person to another, not only harms the ability to create more wealth, but given government inefficiency, it actually creates less wealth (especially given the government’s addiction to spending money it doesn’t have). The government can’t just give people drugs without stealing it from drugs companies…if it pays for those drugs then it can only do that by stealing hard earned wealth from the taxpayers. Either way it’s theft. A person can’t be guaranteed healthcare without doctors being forced to treat them. After all either the doctors are paid (and if the government’s involved it’s paid with stolen taxpayer money) or simply forced to work as a slave. And you’ll find most doctors will not want to work in that system which will cause the greatest healthcare system in the world, the US, to become one of the worst when all the doctors leave or simply retire.
But some idiots (Alan Colmes to name one) say that the government has a right to help the people under the actual Constitution. They quote Article I Section 8:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general
Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be
uniform throughout the United States;”
And then they point to the part that says “General welfare” , isn’t providing healthcare promoting the general welfare? Well one that would first depend on the government being able to do anything well, which it can’t, but more importantly it is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning of “general welfare.” Even if you took the most liberal meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written the term general welfare does not mean helping people like our current meaning of welfare–it means providing improvements to the whole of the country that affects everyone (roads, bridges, communication systems, in other words – infrastructure). The key is the word general. It needs to be something that can be used by everyone. I can’t take your doctor prescribed drugs after you’ve taken them, so there is nothing general about a system that helps individuals. (And don’t even give me that bullshit about their being able to provide for society if they were healthy…if they were providing for society they would have a job with which they could afford healthcare).
The government isn’t there to protect you from yourself or from nature. It’s there to protect you from other idiots. Your bad living habits and your genetic disposition toward a disease, while unfortunate, is not the government’s responsibility. But given that the government has stolen and inefficiently used the money that people who might have been able to charitably donate to your healthcare, the government is not only destroying their rights it’s destroying their ability to help you.
The government destroys all it touches–it can’t help it, it’s its nature. Especially when it tries to give you things you don’t have a right to. And you don’t have a right to healthcare!
So this week started out with Paul Ryan stating that he is still planning on the complete repeal of Obamacare. And from what he said before his keynote speech at CPAC…I’m laying even odds that he starts a chorus of “Do You Hear the People Sing” and leads a march to build a barricade around the White House.
But it’s good to know that the crusade to end what is perhaps the worst bill in memory (it’s hard to say it’s the worst bill of all time when you have to compare it to the terrible socialist bills of FDR and LBJ’s presidencies)…still this bill is pretty close to being the straw that broke the camel’s back for this country and it must go before we can fix all the other monstrosities.
But liberals, being the whiny brainless sort that they are will whine “but medical costs are too high. But people have a right to insurance. But people have a right to healthcare!”
Ignoring the simple fact that healthcare isn’t a right by any stretch of the imagination and that if you need healthcare, get a job and earn it, let’s deal with their claim that medical costs are too high.
I would agree medical costs are too high. But, like a bad doctor, liberals want to treat the symptom not the disease. Healthcare costs too much, throw money at it; that should cut the costs.
Conservatives however, like to determine the causes of high costs, which is the disease and treat that. So what are the causes of high costs (hint, it’s not the private sector)?
(Everything that will follow will assume that Obamacare has been justly killed because there is nothing in the bill that should be saved).
So what are the three main costs to medical care: Insurance, doctor’s/hospital bills, and drug costs?
So how do we cut insurance costs?
Tort Reform. Tort Reform. Tort Reform.
Every state that has instituted tort reform has seen medical costs drop, the number of doctors increase, the number of unnecessary procedures drop like a rock and even the number of deaths drop. If the federal government and every state were to institute real and sweeping tort reform you would see every single thing you buy drop in price, but you would probably see the biggest increase in the quality of medicine.
We allow insurance companies to cross state lines. Right now all insurance companies are banned from selling insurance across state lines. Look at any insurance card you have. Farmer’s Insurance of California. Blue Cross of Arizona. There may be a national corporation, but it owns 50 separate corporations in 50 different states. That’s a lot of overhead. It also stifles competition. A smaller company can’t expand beyond its own state because it can’t afford to set up a whole infrastructure to have a multi-state operation. This limits competition, and as anyone knows the less competition the higher the prices. If we remove the federal block against insurance crossing state lines you will see drops in every form of insurance you have: medical, car, house.
Just those two things would easily drop the cost of health insurance to probably 90% of its pre-Obamacare costs, perhaps more.
But why stop there? Doctor’s bills themselves also contribute to a large portion of the costs. So what can we do there?
Well a lot of the initial costs come from the fact that when doctors start their career they are laden with college and med school debt. Obscene levels of debt. So let’s fix that.
The reason why college costs are so high is because the federal government subsidizes them at outrageous prices. Subsidies always increase costs. Always! So cut all tuition subsidies and grants. Within a year you will see college costs drop. Now this won’t have an immediate effect as the doctors without massive debt will be years away from entering the market, but long term this will not only solve part of our medical problem but our massive college debt problem.
But part of the reason why doctors charge so much is because they know that Medicare and Medicaid aren’t going to pay them their full billing price, so to stay in business this has a threefold fix.
Adopt the Ryan Plan which will allow more competition in Medicare and Medicaid, which will both ensure doctors get better payment AND lower the cost to the taxpayer for these costs.
In a second step we need to move as much of Medicare and Medicaid costs to the states as possible. While the private sector does better when done on large scale, government and bureaucracy work in the exact opposite manner. The closer any government program is to the people the more efficient and the lower the cost. Lower costs means that Medicaid and Medicare will be able to get closer to pay 100% of doctors’ asking prices for their services (not to mention more doctors taking Medicare and Medicaid patients) which means they will be able to drop their prices for the rest of us and still make a tidy profit for their practice.
Increase the penalties for Medicaid and Medicare fraud. We’re talking about nearly $500 Billion in fraud every year. $500,000,000,000.00! I’ll let that number wash over you for a second. That’s one of the main reasons why Medicaid and Medicare can’t afford to pay full price to doctors. Now while I generally don’t believe the government should criminalize more things or come up with even stronger punishments, fraud is something even the most libertarian government must prosecute and fraud against the government doubly so. Penalties and enforcement need to be much stronger. If there’s $500 Billion in fraud it means the risk is much, much lower than the reward. Much lower. If we have to get a little Draconian, so be it, we need to make it very clear that the risk is now worth the reward.
Now the cost of drugs is also an issue. So how do we lower the costs of drugs (and liberals throwing money all willy-nilly at research never works).
However there are things we can do.
Allow drug patents to start when the FDA approves the drug. Right now a drug patent (20 years) begins when the drug is patented. So when a drug takes 10-15 years to get FDA approval. This means that the company only has 5-10 years to recoup all of the cost of not only research for that drug, but of all the other drugs that failed. So they have to recoup all of their investment for all R&D in only 5 years. And you wonder why the cost is so high. If we started the 20 year clock when the FDA grants approval they would have more time to recoup costs and thus would not need to charge as much.
Reform the FDA. Right now the FDA prevents human testing of experimental drugs on willing patients with terminal diseases….because the drug might kill them. You know if I have a terminal disease the last thing I care about is if a drug will kill me, because I know for a fact the disease will. A lot of medical costs are in cancer treatment; to allow willing patients to try experimental drugs could not only rapidly speed up research (thus cutting costs to a fraction of their current levels) but actually find some cures and real treatments to one of the biggest costs in the medical industry.
And then there are some other things we could do that could help medical care. Nanny’s in the government like to talk to us a lot about eating healthier which is odd since government programs are designed to make sure we don’t eat healthier.
End all government subsidies, tariffs, and controls for agriculture. We pay people to grow tobacco, we pay them to grow sugar, we pay them to leave ground fallow. We even pay people to grow corn only to be turned into fuel (ironically it takes over a gallon of fuel to produce a gallon of corn ethanol…that’s efficient.) When you subsidize something you get more of it. And you wonder why it’s hard to get healthy food. Yes, ending subsidies and tariffs on sugar would initially drop the price of sugar, but it would also result in less being produced which would again raise the price. It would also leave more ground for producing the fruits and vegetables we’re not getting right now because fresh food is so overpriced.
Suggestion # 10
And while we’re at it, if we want people to eat healthier maybe we could stop regulations on food. Stop sending SWAT teams at raw milk distributors, stop fining people for having their own gardens of fresh food, stop preventing the Amish from taking fresh food across state lines. You know little things like that.
Special Idea #11 Fluoridation
Now I usually hate talking about fluoridation. Why? Because so many wacko conspiracy theorist nuts think it’s some grand government conspiracy to control people. It’s not. It was, as with most government actions, a well meaning but idiotic plan. Let’s put fluoride in the water to strengthen their teeth (we can’t trust people with their own hygiene). Yeah let’s put a substance in the water that causes lower IQ’s, higher cancer rates and drastically lowers the thyroid gland (which might have something to do with obesity). What could possibly go wrong? You know between the expansion of the dental industry, better access to toothpaste, and personal responsibility I think our teeth are fine. Let’s stop fluoridating water.
Special Idea #12
Walmart and other such stores apparently want to get into the healthcare business. I say let them. They want to open small clinics. Honestly what they’re proposing will basically act as a triage center. They will tell all the people with just a cough to just get Sudafed, treat the small wounds, and thus clean up the real traffic at urgent care and the ER. This will almost certainly cut down costs from needless tests.
Notice something about this. With the exception of #6, involving the prosecution of criminals (a proper function of government), each and every one of these calls for less government not more. Why? Because government and regulation are what is causing so many problems.
“”They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton
It’s terrible because it shows us exactly what Obama thinks. He thinks that without an activist government you cannot survive. That without an activist government there is no progress. That without an activist government there is no growth.
Intellectually, factually, morally and ethically he could not be more wrong.
Now some very, very stupid people trying to sound reasonable might say something like:
“Neither private sector nor public sector are sufficient. Both are necessary.”
Now in a grander sense, yes, this is true. The necessary evil of government is necessary to provide a system of laws, a police and military force, and a court system for prosecution of crimes and arbitration of disagreements, a handful of various other services. Not a single Classically Liberal or capitalist philosopher, be it Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, or F.A. Hayek, would ever argue that government is not necessary to a successfully run economy and society. Capitalism is just as opposed to anarchy as it is to socialism and tyranny. But every Classically Liberal and capitalistic philosopher will also point out that government’s function are there to provide rules, protect others from violence and fraud, serve as arbiter, and provide those few services that the private sector cannot easily provide. And also, while many of them hadn’t seen the monster of an overgrown federal government, most would argue that where government does need to step in it should as locally controlled and locally funded as possible.
Now what is an example of a function that only the federal government can do. Well you have the army and navy. You have the post office in the early days of the Republic (although nowadays you could cut the Post Office down to 10% of it’s current size and FedEx, UPS, and local companies could more than pick up the slack at lower prices and higher efficiency). I’m sure a private mail carrier could have made money in the early days of the Republic, but the Founding Fathers realized how useful the committees of correspondence were, and how communication is one of the most deadly tools against tyranny, and thus had to make sure there was always an option for communication that could not go bankrupt (as there exists with any private company)…which is also the reason I advocate drastically cutting the USPS but not completely destroying it.
But is infrastructure something that only the public sector can provide?
No it’s not. And this is a self evident truth. Governments were building infrastructure before they started using dimwitted Keynesian tactics of spending money they didn’t have. Logically this meant that they were getting money from commerce to build infrastructure. Commerce and business predated infrastructure, their success is not dependent on it…it is the reverse that is true, that infrastructure is dependent on business success.
Look at the entirety of U.S. history and you will see this. In terms of transportation, stage coaches, ferries, and even railroads started out as private sector industries that did not have government funding (yes railroads became the transcontinental giants with government help…but they also became inefficient, monopolistic, corrupt and low quality when government money got involved). Most of the infrastructure that raised Britain to an economic powerhouse in the Industrial Revolution was privately built. I recall that a good portion of Hong Kong’s early infrastructure post-WWII was more privately funding by booming business more than by the hands off government of the colony. Even in now uber-liberal California, we should all remember the completely private Red Car system provided efficient and cheap transportation (using it’s own infrastructure) to most of Southern California for nearly 4 decades before being taken over by the state.
Yes the interstate highway system is wonderful and has been a great boon to commerce…of course Ike built it as an easy way to move the military in the Cold War, the economic benefit was secondary so you don’t get to claim that it was built for the purpose of the economy. However even if the highway system should have originally been a federal project to ensure that all states are connected…it no longer needs to be federal—at this point states are more than capable of up keep of their own roads as they need them to stay economically competitive (i.e. they won’t let them just fall apart) and the local control will keep overhead, graft, and inefficiency down (at least it will be far less than what a distant federal government would create). So even the highway system isn’t an argument that Obama has. Yes does the system of roads and bridges need work? Yeah, it does. Of course if it was such an important function why didn’t you get it done in the first 4 years Barry? And why did you saddle the debts with such massive future debts via Obamacare so that they couldn’t deal with the problem themselves?
But maybe we’re not just talking about roads for infrastructure. Electricity maybe? No, that was originally built by private companies…and the modern government controlled national grid is such an unmitigated disaster that even liberal Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went off on what a joke it is in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded.
Communication? No. Private company AT&T built the original infrastructure and controlled it so well that the government felt the need to unjustly break the company into the baby bells…which was really dumb because within only a few years the private built cell phone infrastructure made AT&T’s land-line infrastructure about as important as your appendix.
But the internet! Oh I love this argument. So the military builds a communication network and does nothing for over a decade (beside being a plot point in 2nd rate Matthew Broderick film…Shall we play a game?) and then private industry built on computers (which was also built on computers the government had been working on for years to no avail. Government had silicon chips since the 1960′s but it took a Steve Jobs to create the personal computer.) and suddenly makes use of it. Trust me if the network the military (and Al Gore) built hadn’t been in existence there would have been some genius on par with Gates, Jobs or Ellison, who would have created a network that would have allowed computers to speak to each other easily.
Everyone seems to forget that the empty cities in China or Detroit have lots of infrastructure that does nothing for them. However there are literally hundreds of towns in this nation where a factory was built first and then the infrastructure and growth followed…if you look at the world and the joys of globalization and outsources (which makes life better both for America and the country work is being outsourced to) the examples reach thousands. Business success always precedes infrastructure in a sane system. To say the opposite is to say the cart pulls the horse.
The fact is that business has traditionally built the infrastructure it needs to grow if it is not already present. Private companies wanted to build high speed rail back in the early 90’s but were stopped over and over again by environmental regulators in the government…and unlike the BS high speed rail Obama and California want to put in that doesn’t really go anywhere, the plans in the 90’s were for things like LA to Vegas…you know rail that would have paid for itself and paid for further expansion.
FedEx was stopped by government regulation and bickering from creating a second hub in its distribution infrastructure in the 90’s.
Private airlines where hampered in their growth early on by government regulation (usually taking off from fields that the airlines had built with their own money in the early days).
I could go on.
You would have to be a brainless troll or an idiot of the highest caliber to not see that industry builds the infrastructure it needs with its own money (often cheaper than the government) and has more often has had its growth hampered by government than it has been helped by it.
You can build all the infrastructure you want. It won’t create business. It will help business…but it’s not like the business isn’t paying for that infrastructure (through income, corporate, sales, and a myriad of other taxes). If the government doesn’t provide the infrastructure business will create it themselves or someone else will find some way to provide the service that infrastructure would provide, often at costs less than the inefficient government creation. Government created infrastructure is never NECESSARY for business success. Government laws and protection against harm are necessary, but not infrastructure.
Now some claim that we need government infrastructure to provide things like TVA giving electricity to rural communities…to which I respond, when did electricity become a right? My grandparents lived quite contently in a house until the late 80’s, in California, without public electricity (they had a wind generator that they built)…it didn’t harm them. If there is no economic reason to have electricity in an area, then it probably shouldn’t be there…and if you don’t like it, it’s a free country, move to an area that has those services or create a business that makes it feasible to bring those services out there. Arguing we have to provide things to people where there is no financial reason to provide it to them is the mentality of building bridges to nowhere and repairing roads no one drives on it. It is the mentality of government waste. And that is the kind of infrastructure that Obama is touting…or do you think the man who thought Solyndra was a good idea knows more about infrastructure?
Everyone likes to point to highways, the internet, the advance of the space race….but everyone forgets these were military ventures with military goals, not economic ones (those were merely unintended side effects)—I bring this up because which area of spending do those who tout infrastructure call on most to be cut?* And this leads to the reason why I have repeatedly said one of our biggest mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan was not spending more time on building infrastructure. I wanted the communication and military benefits of modern infrastructure as a counter to the insurgency (which are getting their own benefits provided by other countries). Yes such projects put the cost of a system that would benefit commerce on those countries on the US taxpayer instead of the Iraq or Afghani businessman, but I believed in the long term the military benefit would pay for itself (if you think we’re not going to have to go back to Afghanistan within a generation because we botched it so badly this time, you’re crazy).
But back to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.
In context he is referring to the businesses. But even if you take his reading that it was government provided infrastructure you built your business on and you couldn’t have done it without that infrastructure…it’s still a bullshit statement.
With only a small exception in education, everyone has equal access to the benefits of infrastructure. Everyone has access to the roads. Everyone has access to the electric system and all the other utilities. From the things that only government can provide (police, courts, health control, an income safety net**) to those things that government and the private sector and justifiably provide (roads, schools, post service, electricity and water) to those things which the only private sector should be providing but the government can’t keep it’s stupid hands out (green energy, wifi, medical services) everybody pretty much has equal access to all of these benefits and all of this infrastructure. And yet some build great businesses and some don’t. Because some had the intelligence and the work ethic and the drive to succeed and some didn’t. Because some people built that for themselves. This is why there is that quote at the beginning about standing on the shoulders of giants…everyone is standing on the same giant but some choose to see further and some don’t. Now success for many may not be building a business but doing something else…but it is because of their drive, their intelligence, their work, and their choices that makes them successful or not, not because of government.
Now I did bring up that education is not always equal. Its not. And education can be a greater equalizer in terms of access to opportunity than any road or Internet hub…and our system of education in America is screwed up. But notice also in this most important of things the government provides it is Obama preventing growth, preventing change, preventing charters and vouchers and experimentation, and wholeheartedly backing the vile teacher’s union which seeks to maintain the status quo. So in the one thing he could really affect to help give people more opportunity to build their own lives, he doesn’t actually want to improve that system.
Nothing in infrastructure determined who would succeed and who wouldn’t (except for education) it is will, intelligence, and work that does.
It is those things which build infrastructure.
And it is those things which Barack Obama is most opposed to and most wants to destroy.
*Not that that I don’t think the military couldn’t lose quite a bit of fat from its budget…however much of its waste is in Congressional pork projects that can’t be cut without Congressional approval…if you just cut the military’s budget the DOD doesn’t have the authority to cut those pork projects, only needed things like troops and body armor.
**Even Friedman and Hayek believed you need some form of income safety net, and they were right, you do…they were also right it needs to be for the lowest of the low (like the bottom 5%) not the for a third of the nation.
So Julia is someone made it through childhood, adolescence and out of college (after 7 years) and has been working at web design for 9 years. You’d think she would be doing well…but not our Julia. No she still needs Obama to wipe certain things for her because she’s too inept to do that herself.
Wow, Julia is such a great web designer that not only is she apparently working for the crappiest web design company on Earth (since it appears they pick an insurance plan that doesn’t cover contraception)…and Julia apparently has such marketable skills that she can’t get hired anywhere else. So what does she need, she needs the divine Philosopher King and Imperator Obama to make sure that all insurance plans cover birth control. And you know Julia is also working for the worst web design company on Earth because they don’t obviously pay her much…after all generic birth control is only $9 a month at Target or Walmart (assuming Obama hasn’t shut those down in his 24 year reign). Clearly they’re paying her so little that an extra $9 a month is the choice between LIFE AND DEATH! Great Obama economy you got there.
But what if she needs birth control for something other than contraception? She needs Obama to pay for the particular kind of birth control she needs…not really if it’s for medical issues and her doctor says so, then even insurance plans that don’t cover birth control will still cover it.
But what if her psycho employer fires her for using birth control….well long before Obama came to power through the junta that established in his position for over 2 decades, there was this law called HIPPA. HIPPA is a law that protects the privacy of your medical records and means your employer can’t know your medical history. So if Julia’s employer fires her for using birth control, the lawsuit Julia will win against them for the HIPPA violation will leave her with money for life! And she would win. Imagine, she had protections before Obama the Great took power.
Meanwhile those mean Romney and Ryan bastards want to allow insurance policies to charge women more than men. To think! I think the 50% number is a bit silly, but yes women pay more for insurance. Maybe because women have more medical costs than men…apparently testes take up far less medical expertise and have far fewer problems than a uterus. This is mind blowing information I just found out about today. Who knew? But you see those medical insurance companies aren’t charging women more because they’re sexists bastards, they’re doing it because the actuarial tables say that it will cost more to insure women. Did you want to also complain about the fact that women pay lower car insurance, lower life insurance, and I’m sure low just about every other kind of insurance (because aside from medical issues, women are typically a safer bet, according to the actuarial tables). Did you want to raise all your other insurance rates to counter the rise in men’s health insurance rates (and make no mistake, if the insurance companies can’t discriminate based on the actuarial tables, then they’re just going to raise rates, not cut them anywhere).
Or you know I could have sworn a second ago Obama was demanding equal pay for equal work. But now when women require more work he wants equal pay. So because I never will need an OBGYN, I still have to pay for the coverage….yeah, that makes sense.
Or how about this, let’s introduce Romney and Ryan plans into health care which will introduce competition and drive down costs across the board. And maybe introduce tort reform and thus ensure that your OBGYN is not paying the GDP of a third world nation every month in liability insurance costs…I think that may lower the astounding cost disparity caused from this particular specialty.
God help us all, she’s spawning!
Because none of that existed before Obamacare. Before Obamacare a woman’s only option was to take care of herself for 9 months and then squat wherever she stood and give birth to the child right there, only because of Obamacare were the fields of gynecology and obstetrics created. And if you repeal Obamacare then we will go back to the days where OBGYN’s could only operate out of dark alleys as their field was one punishable by death! Death I tell you! Death!
This has to be my favorite slide because it is the most detached from reality. Name for me an insurance plan that didn’t already cover all of that. Guess what, you could repeal every line of Obamacare and all those things promised to Julia will still be there.
Also I hate to tell you this Barry, but Mitt Romney might not get a chance to overturn Obamacare, even though he is planning to send such a bill to Congress on his first day in office…Why might he not get a chance to overturn it? Because odds are in favor of somewhere between 5 to 7 thumbs down from the Supreme Court, who, if nothing else, would like to remind you, O Great God King, that you are the weakest branch of the federal government.
On a side note, exactly how did she get pregnant? I mean if there is a guy in her life, married or not, you would expect him to shoulder a great deal of the burden of the costs for medical care of pregnancy and raising the child…certainly he should be paying long before I or any taxpayer should have to. And if she is gay and she and her wife decided to have a child, or even if she’s single and decided she just wanted to have a child on her own, I’m confused by the fact because artificial insemination ain’t cheap (or am I as a taxpayer footing that bill too now for anyone who wants that service?) Or is it, given that up to this point in Julia’s life I’ve never seen her with another human being that Julia magically reproduces asexually? I’m going to deviate a little from just the life of Julia, but legally you have a right to have children without anyone telling you that you can’t…but ethically you are a piece of shit if you have a child when you do not have the money to provide for them. You have a responsibility to any children you bring into the world to provide for them until they are adults and can provide for themselves, and shame on you if the only way you can provide for a child is by living off the government teat and the labor of others. As a parent you are supposed to provide not only materially for your children but also by showing them the right way to live…and starting their whole life by showing them how to mooch off others is beyond disgraceful.
(Oh and the hair is again, inexplicably, back to that bizarre blue color).
Arroyo: Now you’ve conceded that you can’t win the majority of the delegates, right?
Rick Santorum: No. I haven’t conceded that at all. I think we can win the majority of the delegates. That’s phony Romney math.
You think you can win the majority of the delegates Rick, but you and your ignorant followers are the only ones. You’ve been averaging 25% of the delegates and you need 70% of those left. Even Don Quixote would look at you and say “I said impossible dream, not incredibly stupid denial of reality and all existence drug induced delusion.”
I don’t usually listen to talk radio, but I do have some respect for Laura Ingram…but whoever this idiot is sitting in for her gives hacks a bad name by letting Santorum, who is running for the position of Ayatollah of America, get away with so many idiotic statements and outright lies.
Where to begin?
“I would say just the opposite. I think what people don’t realize is as soon as we get a nominee, the Obama Administration, the Obama campaign—as well as all of the national media—will turn its guns on whoever our nominee is. And those guns will be trained on someone who will basically be out of money, having just gotten out of these primaries. Let’s assume that tomorrow everybody drops out and we have one nominee. Starting the next day the media will train all of their guns, as well as President Obama, on whoever that nominee is. Right now they can’t focus on anybody. I make this argument, I’ve made this argument from the beginning: The longer this argument goes the better it is for us because there’s less opportunity for the media to pound the heck out of our nominee.”
So his argument is that as long as there isn’t a nominee Obama has no one to attack. So either he’s mentally impaired and hasn’t actually caught onto the fact that Obama is already running attack ads against Romney, and doing everything to help Santorum become the nominee or he’s just a pathological liar. (Actually it’s option 3: Both). Rick is a moron’s moron. Rather than only having Obama attacking Romney, a fight we all know Obama is going to lose…but Obama, Santorum and Newt attacking Romney is better than just Obama attacking him? Strategic thinking like this would make for fascinating foreign policy “We can’t support Britain during the Blitz because that would only encourage Germany to attack them.” “We can’t continue to give Taiwan military support because siding with them will only encourage China to invade.” “We can’t back Israel because as long as we turn our back on them Iran will not do anything.”
Rick do you know why they’re attacking Romney now and not attacking you? Because if you were the nominee it would take roughly, I don’t, 48 hours to have the majority of the public demanding your head on a pike. They just have to play the “Protestants are the servants of Satan clip” and “if my daughter was raped, the child would be a gift from God” speeches. You have said, perhaps some of the dumbest things in the history of politics. They’re not targeting you because they know that while most of us could get liquored up and vote for McCain, we would need a few shot of tequila beyond fatal alcohol poisoning before we could be dumb enough to vote for you, someone who wants big government in the social arena and big government in economics.
I also love how he says a long campaign will drain the candidates’ resources financially….but a long primary won’t? Do you really want to trust the budget to a man who doesn’t understand that money spent in a primary is the same money you’d be spending in a general election. Of course one could reasonably mention that in a general election you aren’t splitting the Republican fundraising between three candidates, but again that bit of blindingly obvious reasoning would once again show Santorum to be a stupid jackass.
He also mentions that he thinks he can win, and I’ll deal with his, to put it politely, shit-for-brains plan to win the convention later, but did you also notice how he says he plans to make sure that Romney “hobbles into the convention, having lost a bunch of the last primary states and not shown his ability close the deal.” So he’s a weak candidate because he won’t be able to close the deal…but you’re a strong candidate because you can’t get anywhere near that mark. I’m very confused. Oh by the way those last primary states Romney is going to lose according to Santorum include California (Romney +20), New Jersey (Romney +5), Montana (Ron Paul might do well, but Santorum’s big government certainly won’t), New Mexico (I hope Ricky goes there and tells them they all have to learn English too, it will be fun to watch that reaction at the polls) and the last primary before the convention…Utah. Who thinks Romney is going to lose Utah? Ignoring religion, Romney is the man who made the Olympics bring their state millions of dollars and allowed their scandal over that thing to be forgotten. Yeah I’m sure he’s going to have a real hard fight to win Utah. One must wonder how much LSD Santorum is taking on a daily basis.
But in the mean time he’s looking to the next two races…
He’s heading to Puerto Rico…
To tell a territory that has voted 4 times not to become a state that if they want to become a state they have to learn English. And what does he do when he finds out they don’t want to be a state? He doubles down and tells them they still need to learn English… I’m all for English only here in the 50 states…but I don’t go down to Mexico and tell them they need to learn English there. Oh it will be a Happy St. Patrick’s Day for the Team Romney.
He’s heading To Louisiana…
One it’s a closed primary, so there goes a third of his voters. Two…well, I have problems spending money on anything, and I mean ANYTHING, at the federal level…but if it’s a choice between the bridge to nowhere (Sarah Palin’s pet project) or sending said money to Katrina victims. Oooh tough call.
“Gov. Romney, for example, right now he’s spending very little money in Mississippi and Alabama.” Santorum said that Tuesday morning. You can hear him yourself say that. Notice however that Tuesday night he said he won in spite of all the money Romney spent. Yes you could point to the fact that Santorum goes into discussion of SuperPACS…but doesn’t he have his own SuperPAC…can’t they spend as much? No? You mean Santorum can’t get anyone with money to back him? You think if they despise him now they’re suddenly going to show up in August to back his pro-union, pro-loop hole, pro-spending economic plan? No I didn’t think so either.
“Mitt Romney has raised about as much money as he ever thought he could raise.” That would of course be several time the amount that you’ve raised Ricky.
Oh but wait. Let’s not forget that Santorum actually thinks he can win and that we’re lying when we say Romney is inevitable. Of course that is because we’re using, in your words, “phony Romney math.” That would be the math that says 2+2=4. I know your special pixy dust power Obama/Santorum math comes out differently. But trust me Ricky, Romney has this in the bag and you would need an act of God to support you…and I hate to tell you this, God is not the close-minded, bigoted, evil and stupid person you are (he probably loves you, no accounting for taste, but I doubt he’s going to pull out a miracle for you).
And then there is how he views the convention. “Iowa we finished with 25% of the vote; we’re probably going to get three times that number of delegates [from Iowa].” He is right that Iowa is a nonbinding caucus and thus it could happen…although Iowa has 28 delegates, so that’s what 21 delegates. According to RealClearPolitics there are 368 delegates from non-binding states…let’s say he got them all, even in states we haven’t yet had a vote…then that would give him a grand total (combined with what he’s won already) around 508 delegates, still, you know, less than half of what he needs. Wow. He would still need to win 50% of the remaining delegates and he’s been averaging about 25%…and he’s behind in almost every winner-take-all state (if you assume Romney picks up the winner-take-all states he’s currently ahead in, then Santorum needs to win about 75% of those delegates in proportional state…) But here’s the problem, those non-binding people are Republican Party delegates, i.e. they’re politicians and businessmen. The average GOP delegate is 54 years old, college educated, and makes over $100,000 all groups Romney kills Santorum in EVERY exit poll. Also 30% of delegates are women and 30% are Catholic, groups Santorum repeatedly loses. Santorum talks a nice game, but the reality is that those unbound delegates are actually his enemy not his friend. Also in his little warped mind he thinks that if he can stop Romney from getting the 1144 delegates needed (most projections now have Romney going in with 1200-1500, so dream on Ricky) he thinks that he can win on a second ballot. That would mean that all of the delegates Romney has selected in states where he had to submit slates of delegates he would have to have (after 4 years of planning) picked people in a rush without vetting them who might betray him. Unlikely. It’s far more likely that Santorum who can’t even find enough people to submit in states as his delegates picked some who will defect. Not to mention that I think Ron Paul delegates will have a much deeper hatred of Santorum than of Romney…and Newt supporters that defect are just as likely to hate Santorum more than Romney. So even if the mathematically unlikely happened and this did go to a second or third ballot, it’s actually stacked against Ayatollah Santorum.
I also like how he said he would protest Arizona and Florida for making their votes winner take all. It makes it sound like this will end up giving him more delegates. It won’t. Arizona and Florida have already been penalized by this move and had half their delegates (all of which went for Romney), so they are already playing by the rules since this was the penalty they knew about and it has been enforced. But let’s say he does go forward and challenges this, for two states where Romney won big and Santorum did very badly…under a full delegate count and proportional distribution Romney gets EVEN MORE delegates! Way to go Rick, that’s some real good planning you have there. Is your policy to stop Iran to ship them refined uranium? Maybe your plan to stop hunger is to burn crops? The obscene stupidity of this man is just endless.
Oh speaking of obscene…don’t forget Rick will be making banning ALL internet porn a hallmark of his administration…because there weren’t any other issues we needed to worry about.
But the real question is who is the True Conservative?
And notice how Rick Santorum judges if you’re a conservative or not. On social issues and ONLY social issues…I’m convinced if you could find a quote of Marx stating he was against abortion and gays, Rick would declare Karl a great conservative hero.
He votes for a bill to spend tax payer money to Planned Parenthood (and votes for it so that all of his unethical earmarks can get through as well) and justifies it with other corrupt politicians doing the same thing. So in Rick’s mind voting to spend tax payer dollars on something he doesn’t agree with is fine so long as he gets taxpayer dollars for what he wants to spend it on…increasing the size of government everywhere.
Romney gives his personal money to charity (I know making personal donations to charity is a rather odd concept to Santorum as he rarely does it) but says that we’re going to end federal funding to the very same organization he makes private donations to. Thus limiting the size and scope of government.
Santorum big government. Romney small government. Remind me again which ones conservatives like. And remind me again by saying you’re a conservative.
“He gave his own personal money. I voted for a large big appropriation bill.” It’s sad he thinks the offensive idea in this is money given to Planned Parenthood…where a real conservative would find the words “large big appropriation bill” to be the offensive part. Rick finds it okay to give your money to someone that he abhors as long as he gets his. But making a personal donation with one’s own earned money (a concept that likely eludes Rick as all of his money comes from corruption) offends Rick to no end. After all it should be the government, under it’s religious leader Rick Santorum, which gets to decide what charities exist and which don’t. I’m Rick but giving my money to an organization that I oppose without my consent is far, far worse than someone else giving their money to that organization. And the fact that you don’t see that difference is beyond disgusting and beyond reason to making me fear what your administration would hold.
And the worst part is he actually says that he thinks Romney’s attack is accusing him of being “pro-choice.” He doesn’t even get it’s an attack on his spending of taxpayer money. He has no conception whatsoever of fiscal conservatism. All that matters to him is abortion. Abortion and gays. Gotta outlaw them all ‘cause Jesus had whole sermons on the evil gays and abortion (at least it appears there were whole sermons on that in Santorum’s special edition in the Bible which no other Catholic has ever seen, but a few crazy Evangelicals in Westboro also seem to have that copy).
To Santorum all that matters is whether you are willing to make gay marriage illegal in all 50 states, make abortion and birth control illegal, everywhere, and of course making porn illegal. Because those are the things that are most important to Rick Santorum and his social conservatives. It does not matter that he believes in heavy government interference in the economy…he doesn’t oppose Obama because Obama is getting involved in the economy, he opposes Obama because he believes Obama isn’t getting involved in the right places.
Which makes him all the more the hypocrite by saying Romney had a government take over of healthcare…when in fact Romneycare was designed to prevent that. Santorum then goes on to say that Romney raised taxes by a billion dollars. That’s doubly a lie, first because it was $740 Million, but accuracy in numbers was never Rick’s strong suit. And second he didn’t raise taxes. He first closed a lot of loopholes in the Massachusetts’ tax system…which last time I checked was what we wanted to do at the federal level…oh wait those loopholes are designed to help pick winners and losers in the economy, a favorite thing for a socialist like Ricky. And he raised fees on a lot of services in Massachusetts…so instead of tax payers paying for services they didn’t use only the people who used those services paid for them. My God, how terribly capitalistic. I’m sure Rick’s grandfather, the one Rick speaks with endless praise of, the Communist Party Leader, is just spinning in his grave hearing how someone brought conservative capitalist reform that worked to increase revenue and treat everyone fairly to a blue state. So he didn’t raise taxes Rick, he just stopped the system from being rigged. Once again you have a hard time opening your mouth without lying or saying something stupid.
I also love “I never voted to increase spending.” This from the earmark king. And then he goes over all the other lies of Romney’s flip flops. I’ve dealt with all of those before. Oh and he lies about Romney supporting Obamacare, he never did. But if Rick Santorum has ever said a truthful word about Romney I’d be damned surprised.
“this is one of the most liberal guys we have ever had and for him to go out there and attack me as being a moderate is just truly laughable.” Sadly it’s not laughable that you, Rick, can consider your big government, pro-union, big spending total control of the economy ideas conservative. It’s not laughable, it’s disgusting. At least with most social conservatives they come with the virtue of wanting less government in the economy so they make decent allies in the fight of what is the biggest problem facing the nation right now. But you want government in every aspect of our lives. In our religion. In our homes, our beds, our work, our shopping. I would say that your mentality is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party, (but I can’t because, as I said usually, I get small government economics even in the worse aspects of the GOP)…your mentality, Rick, is everything that is wrong with Iran and Saudi Arabia, a perverse mix of fanatic and intolerant religion with socialist economics. Every evil belief in the world can be found in the words of Rick Santorum.
I could go on. Every single thing this man says boils down into one of three categories (1) lies (2) stupidity (3) evil, usually in some Venn-Diagram level crossover. But really what’s the point. You can listen to it all on your own. Unlike Santorum who feels he should make all your decisions for you, I trust you can see the utter hypocrisy and despicableness of this petty excuse for a human being.
Any physician worth their degree will tell you that it is better to prevent disease than to treat disease. Better to treat the cause rather than the symptoms. You only do the latter when you have no other choice. And any doctor not looking to get their license revoked would never argue that you should have more of what is causing your problems.
ObamaCare however is the exact opposite of all this sound medical advice.
For instance this photo has made it to my facebook pages several times in the last few days via several of my friends.
Here is the thinking. She had a major medical problem (although tumors is actually a very wide medical term ranging from benign growth to stage 4 terminal cancer…I can assume this was somewhere in between as it appeared she had time to wait for the passage of ObamaCare) and the solution to that was medical care. The problem with medical care was that it cost too much out of pocket. Her solution, pass a massive government intrusion into multiple private industries to help her pay for costs. This was treating the symptom: The cost is too high, someone pay for the cost.
Did anyone bother to ask what caused those high prices? Well first she couldn’t afford medical insurance (so we assume…her house/apartment looks nice, her glasses look newish and her clothes also appear to have not been bought at Goodwill. These are assumptions I will admit…but I wonder could she have scrimped somewhere and bought private insurance? In which case why do I have to pay through my tax dollars because she didn’t want to sacrifice any of her creature comforts…but let’s assume she was living month to month and honestly couldn’t afford insurance. So what caused insurance costs to be high? First that would be because the federal government passed laws that says insurance companies can’t cross state lines. If you removed those barriers overhead for insurance companies would drop right away since they would not need 50 different corporate offices in 50 different states. Second their prices would continue to drop as they would have massive new amounts of competition from each other. (Remember how Freakanomics detailed how life insurance costs dropped just when people had information to compare costs, think about how much those costs would drop when you add competition into the mix). Of course, Democrats wouldn’t even consider this cost cutting measure…why? Oh that’s right they’re in the pocket of insurance lobbyists. (I can’t blame the insurance companies playing the game politicians set up, I can blame the politicians for playing this game where they unconstitutionally interfere with the economy and prevent competition).
So the high costs are partly caused by government interference. But I’m sure this was a one time thing, more government interference will make things better.
Why else are the costs high?
Well partly, it costs a lot to pay surgeons. They have years and years of training where they’re earning next to nothing and gaining more and more school and personal debt, they have to get paid enough to make that worthwhile. So why do they have high debt? Well because the government artificially inflated the cost of their college tuition through college loans and artificially inflated the cost of their house through their idiocy in messing around with loans and Freddie and Fannie and they artificially inflated the prices of most of the things you buy through tariffs and subsidies and whatnot. Yeah sure, if the government got out of the economy and the housing market and the school loan business prices across the board would drop and doctors would be able to maintain their standard of living with much lower costs. (Now I want a liberal to come back and say that doctors should just charge less and get used to a lower standard of living…yeah, I’m sure everyone gives up 4 years of college, 4 years of grad school, 4 years of residency, and another couple of years in training to be a specialist—pretty much giving up their 20’s and most of their 30’s to live at only a lower middle class standard of living…I’m sure you’re going to find lots of people rushing to be doctors then. And if you have fewer doctors then the law of supply and demand tells me prices are going to go up again). Oh hey and if the government got out of the economy, housing, and college, then doctors wouldn’t have to charge insurance companies so much, so insurance would be cheaper. But that’s only two ways government helped drive up the cost medical procedures, I’m sure those are the ONLY two ways; more government is clearly the answer.
So why else are costs of medical care so high? Well partly because the doctors, the anesthesiologists, the pharmacists, the nurses, and the hospitals are all paying astronomical costs to their own insurance companies in case some one sues them. Why do they need to pay such high premiums? Because people are sue happy and people sue their doctors not just for legitimate malpractice (oh by the way most states don’t have legitimate ways of reviewing doctors who have numerous claims of malpractice because they’re in the pockets of medical associations…if states did a better job making sure the people who hold medical licenses are not quacks, you know an actual legitimate function of government, medical costs would go down). Now if we had federal tort reform, it would stop a lot of the frivolous cases, drop doctor’s insurance premiums and thus drop doctor’s costs, which makes them drop their bills which makes it cheaper to get medical treatment (oh and the insurance companies will have to pay less so they can then charge less). But the Democrats stop tort reform at every chance they get because only the SEIU, AFLCIO and NEA have a stronger grip on the collective gonads of the DNC.
But only those three, it has to only be those three ways government drives up costs of medical care and medical insurance. Surely it’s only those three ways and those are the exceptions…more government will solve the problem.
A lot of costs for hospitals, medical suppliers and doctors comes from Medicaid and Medicare insurance. Like stores that need to raise their prices to account for what is lost through shoplifting, the medical industry needs to raise theirs. Medicare fraud is $60 Billion a year. Medicaid is about the same. So over $100 Billion A YEAR! We could put in higher levels of fraud control, pray that government could be more efficient, and lower it…but the fact is that these programs waste more money than they do good (because that’s just fraud, let’s not even talk about wasted government overhead). So again government drives the costs up. Do you know why a lot of doctors don’t take Medicaid or Medicare? Because those two wonderful programs refuse to pay full price. So if something costs $50 and those programs only pay $40…where is that doctor going to make up the difference? By charging insurance companies and paying customers that $10. That’s right, you pay for Medicaid and Medicare and what they don’t pay for…and your own bill. You think if we scraped these worthless programs, letting states come up with a leaner version (or heaven forbid telling people that they are actually responsible for their own lives and health) that costs might go down. Yes, yes. . (Oh, and while were on the subject of government paid for healthcare…do you remember every month or so hearing about the hospitals that have to close down because they’re broke from treating so many illegal immigrants who never pay…gee I wonder if the government could institute some kind of sane border control and immigration policy).
Okay that’s another way that government interference drove the cost up. But that has to be the last one. Right? Clearly after that more government interference will certainly help.
Oh wait, another reason that costs are so high is because of agencies like the FDA. Which calls for endless upon endless trials of drugs and procedures. Why is it that new drugs and procedures come to Europe and Canada before they come to the U.S.? Because even these socialist nations understand that, hey, pharmacology to some degree is a bit of a crap shoot. You can test for years and years and years and never find out that if you mix drug A with drug B for a person with condition C then it causes D (for death). Yes we need testing, but not the near decades long insanity. A near decades long process that can drive the costs of R&D up higher than it should be and limit the amount of time a company has the patent for that drug, thus they have to recoup not just the R&D for that drug in a few years, but the R&D for all the failed drugs, being sued by class action ambulance chasers because the drug had an unforeseeable side effect (but there is that tort reform thing again) plus enough profit to attract new investors. Yes don’t forget that if there isn’t profit there aren’t investors—and if there aren’t investors then there are no new drugs, no new cures, no treatments, no progress. If the government reduced regulation and bureaucracy to put our testing on par with the rest of the industrialized world thus reducing costs across the board. Since this would cut a few years off testing just to be safe let’s just put the following on every single prescription bottle “(warning just about any drug can KILL you given the right circumstances. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist and tell them what conditions you have and what you’re taking. It’s a crap shoot, but you wouldn’t be taking it if the benefits didn’t outweigh the risks.” Of course my favorite thing is when the FDA forbids terminal patients from willingly trying experimental drugs or treatments because there could be unforeseen risks….um….they’re terminal, what’s a bigger risk than death? Learning what does and doesn’t work? Yes, yes, we understand that you want to do this, you know the risks, and quite frankly there is no way this can harm you since you’re already effectively dead…but you can’t do it because we’re the government and know more about what’s good for you than you do.
But that’s the last way that government drives up the costs of medical care…right?
Um…well there is the fact that a lot of those hospital costs come from corrupt unionization of nurses and other hospitals staff. Unions like the SEIU come in, bully, harass and threaten employees to vote to join a union and they are never, ever, ever given a choice to take another vote to disband the union. EVER. Because unlike any other contract, going union isn’t joining an organization it’s selling your soul apparently. And this is all done under the auspiciousness of the federal government. And then you will immediately find that employee costs go up and productivity goes down (which means you have to hire more people to pick up the slack). And those costs are passed onto you the person who needs medical attention or to insurance companies who then have to up their premiums.
But that’s the last one right?
Well…if you don’t count that Americans are the most generous people on Earth. In fact there are numerous charitable organizations that give money to people who can’t afford surgeries (in fact a lot of doctors lower or waive their fees when a patient can’t afford to pay)…I wonder if she tried looking to private charities before she looked to Obama to help her? But what would get more people to donate more money to charities? Well having more money. Basic common sense is that people give to charity when they have more money (in fact percentage wise the richer you are the more likely you are to give to charity and the more likely you are to give a higher percentage of your income, as shown in Arthur Brooks’ book Who Really Cares) so what hurts people having money? Well, first taxes (income, water, property, sales, phone, electricity, gas, I could go on) there are dozens upon dozens of ways the government is bilking you. Then of course there is their constant economic interference (like ObamaCare) which retards recovery or growth.
Okay, but just because the government drives up the costs of medical care through trade barriers, interference with the housing and college market, the lack of tort reform, insane FDA regulation, being beholden to unions, messing with the economy and having high taxes…that doesn’t mean that more government won’t help us get out of the problem government created. After all it works so well in Canada (no, really watch this one…it’s 20 minutes but it’s worth it) and Britain.
Or maybe, just maybe, if the government got out of the economy, passed tort reform, removed the barriers and let the free market work, costs for both paying out of pocket and your insurance costs would be at a level that everyone could afford.
So let’s see, government causes medical and insurance costs to be so high in at least 7 ways…but the solution is more government? That’s like going to a doctor and being diagnosed with arsenic poisoning and being prescribed a massive quantity of arsenic. Huh? I don’t think I’ve ever even seen the House try something that crazy…but that’s exactly the solution that Obama, the Democrats and their supporters want. More of the disease will cure the disease. Of course.
I love Paul Ryan …
He doesn’t go over all of these issues but this is what we need to make this election, and every election at every level about:
Here is your choice
The Individual or the group?
Low Taxes or the government saying it knows more about spending money than you do?
Small Government or a welfare state?
Opportunity with the possibility of failure or stagnation and equality in misery?
Economic Liberalism/Economic Freedom/Capitalism (which always works) or Keynesianism/Krugman/Marx (which has never worked)?
Rules or loopholes?
Inequality of joys or equality of suffering?
Do you have the right to do with your body and your life what you want so long as it harms no one or does the government get to say what you can say, do and think?
The right to live your life or being merely safe at a subsistence level?
The right to fail and learn or to be taken care of like a child?
The personal responsibility to help yourself and others or the letting someone else do it for you?
Is the Constitution the highest law of the land or just more of guidelines?
The national responsibility to defend the weak from tyranny or letting others fall and say it’s not our problem?
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness or existence, control, and the guarantee of subsistence?
I’m not saying that one or any of the current GOP candidates fits this bill perfectly, although some come closers than others (*cough*Bachmann*cough*…that will sound better on the podcast)…but these are principles of America vs. those of the what now passes for Europe (although the UK might just pull out and join us in principle, God bless David Cameron). Every time, every election, every level. We are at a cross roads and we cannot afford to choose anything but America.
Laws for the GOP to pass…rework the entire bureaucracy…and by rework I mean fire just about everyone
We’re winding down weekly law blogs. Next week will be the last one that will be published every week…not that I won’t have any more law blogs but they just won’t be on a weekly basis.
So what am I going to suggest this week? Well I have suggested a few departments be disbanded. Now if you noticed the theme, I would argue that most of the departments should just be disbanded, with their few useful functions either handed to the remaining departments, given to the states, or simply privatized. Now we’ve covered Transportation , Education , HUD , the Post Office , the TSA and the USDA.
But that still doesn’t cover a lot. Why doesn’t it cover a lot? Well take a look at the current U.S. Executive Branch.
This would be the definition of madness. And technically one man controls all of that. I don’t care it if it’s Obama, Bush or George Washington risen from the grave. No one can possibly lead all of that or should be trusted with all of that.
So I suggest we just get rid of most of it. The federal government should be there to protect our Constitutional rights, police crimes that cross borders, defend the national borders, resolves conflicts between states and a few other things that are too big for individual states to do. Most of what’s on that list does not fall into the area of things states can’t be trusted to do.
In fact Congress should make it its job to make this look more like this:
You’ll notice that only the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice and Homeland are left. And quite frankly if I had my way Justice would be all the legal ins and out and Homeland would have the FBI and all other federal police forces (ATF, DEA, ICE, etc) all rolled into that large FBI–it frightens me that numerous organizations are out there with the same purpose to catch criminals which results in numerous overlaps, wasteful spending and of course turf wars. Also can we please change the name of Homeland Security? It’s the dumbest name ever. It’s sounds like Fatherland or Motherland (remind me which two countries referred to their nations that way). How about Department of Internal Security. That way you have a federal police force (Internal Security) and a federal prosecutor (Justice) without the two being the same department (you know how every city, county and state does it).
But as to the Departments I will be getting rid of, I will be brief (If you would like a full justification of why just about everything in that Department needs to be destroyed, I will be more than happy to write a whole blog for each request).
Scrap the Department of Transportation: Last week I had a blog saying infrastructure needs to be handed over to the state, that’s most of the Department there…the only thing that’s left and of value is the FFA and that can be regulated by Internal Security but mainly it just needs to be privatized
The Department of Energy serves no useful federal function other the fact that they hold all the nuclear stuff. Defense and Internal Security can handle those.
The Department of Commerce is entirely unconstitutional right now, but the commerce clause needs to be clarified so even a liberal can understand it only applies to commerce that crosses state borders. Its only useful parts are the Census Bureau and Patent Office (which can just be operated as independent federal offices), and NOAA which can be privatized.
Health and Human Services is not the concern of the federal government (FDA can be privatized, CDC over to the Department of Internal Defense)
Department of Interior…utterly useless…especially Indian Affairs. The states can clearly handle all of this.
Department of sucking up to unions…I mean the Dept of Labor…does nothing relevant, kill it.
The Department of Veterans Affairs can be rolled back into Defense. I think people in the Pentagon will care a hell of a lot more for veterans than bureaucrats in an office.
And then of course there are a lot of independent agencies I’m getting rid of. I’m not going into all of them but here are a few highlights.
- Kill the Peace Corp…if we didn’t send them all to Iraq and Afghanistan to help rebuild those places why the hell do we have them? They serve no legitimate function.
- Kill NASA and let the private sector take over. We’ll be on Mars before the next generation if we let the private sector take over…we’ll never get anywhere if we let government continue to handle this.
- Kill the African Development Foundation…really, does it look like we know what we’re doing with this?
- Kill the Foundation on the arts and humanities…again this is a private concern.
- Privatize Amtrak
- Kill the National Science Foundation…again this should be a private concern. Not to mention that this thing has become a liberal propaganda wing.
- Kill OSHA…Two or three times just to be safe, and burn the buildings…I think all the employees should be put in jail (solitary for life) just to be safe, and probably have the bodies burned after they die to make sure they don’t come back. No government office is as harmful to business, worker happiness and safety as this office which had to have been imagined in the 10th level of hell.
- Office of Government Ethics…Huh? Try not laugh when reading that.
- Selective Service System…yeah we have a volunteer system now…and if it wasn’t too hard to set up in WWII it won’t be too difficult to set up again if we need it.
- Small Business Administration…you know how best to help Small Businesses? Stop having an administration that constantly gets in their way. Kill this thing too.
- Social Security…I think I’ve been clear that we need to phase that out completely.
- Why is the TVA still around?
- US Commission on Civil Rights…if there is a real civil rights violation then that’s the domain of the Justice Department so you don’t need this redundant excuse.
- Office of Drug Control Policy…uh-huh, and that’s worked so well…
Yes there are legitimate functions of the federal government. But right now it is overstepping those functions, usually at the price of those functions. The states and the private sector can handle a lot of these things more efficiently, cheaper, with less corruption, less paperwork and at a greater benefit to the public.
All of these Other 99% and Occupy Wall Street, in between blaming the Jews for every problem in their lives (and probably fantasizing about furnaces), they’re complaining about bank bailouts and their college loan debt. It’s an odd combination. The Tea Party complained about bank bailouts because they were in support of to good old fashioned Hayek/Friedman capitalism policy. They complained about the size of government because it was against capitalism. They complained about health care because the idea of positive rights is against capitalism. They complained about taxes, regulation, too big to fail all because of one basic reason–all of it’s against capitalism.
The Occupy Wall Street people however are complaining about banks getting bailouts (even though I remember these were the very people who supported Obama…you will recall the right started grumbling during that bullshit that was TARP) because they hate capitalism. So why are they complaining about having debt…oh because they hate capitalism because they didn’t get a bailout themselves. It’s not that they’re opposed on principle to people having money…they’re just opposed to people who aren’t, you know…them, having money. And you wonder why I constantly refer to them as a bunch of whiners.
But let’s deal with their claim that their debt is a problem, a problem the government should fix. Well, technically, they might have a point there if they took the line of argument I made that the government CAUSED the problem by offering loans, grants, and subsidies in the first place. The government caused a bubble in college tuition. It’s their fault. Now if they wanted to end ALL government grants, loans, subsidies and scholarships which would burst the bubble on the cost of college tuition and after and only after ending all the BS forgive all outstanding debt over say $10,000 (because THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAUSED IT TO BE THAT HIGH) as a mea culpa for truly f!@#ing the system up, I could understand and be in favor of that. However that’s not what Obama is proposing. He’s proposing just forgiving some of that debt. Do you know what that will do? It will make colleges think they can bilk even more in tuition because, hey, it’s not like the kids will ever have to pay it back. Just forgiving debt will drive costs higher, will cause more debt in the long run, and it will even further ruin the educational opportunities of students looking to go to college and put future graduates even more behind.
Everything this administration does boggles the mind. They’re either idiots or evil geniuses. There is no in between. Either they know absolutely nothing about economics, because EVERYTHING they do is the wrong thing (bailouts, corporate takeovers, more regulation, health care, backing unions, everything) or he sincerely wants to destroy this economy . I personally believe Obama and his team to just be the dumbest idiots in the world, but who knows I may be proven wrong.
But let’s not just focus on forgiving debts and bailouts of losers in this country, because this form of insanity is becoming an international pastime.
Greece is once again about to default on its debt so let’s bail them out again. But this time it’s not just the EU and the IMF (read U.S. money) now we’re adding China. You know how in crime movies they always describe that one loan shark you do not want to owe even a single nickel to because if you do you will never pay it off and you will always be in their pocket. Yeah, China. But more importantly is the simple fact that this is never going to work. Never. Greece is a total entitlement state that spends more than it can possibly take in. And they have shown no inclination to make the massive cuts required (you know kind of like how this country should have started making massive cuts right around the time Enron and Arthur Anderson went under…but Bush knowing nothing about economics, yet still more than Obama, didn’t). But let’s be honest here, Greece is beyond help. They’re going to default. Even if they went for true austerity measures, stopped all socialist policy and instituted Hong Kong style capitalism the economy will not grow fast enough to stop them from going into default. This is just a fact. They passed the point of no return a long time ago. All we can do now is choose whether that default is going to be big, as it is now (we could have made it much smaller had we let them default years ago, but that time is past) or we can choose for that default to be unbelievably massive as another round of bailout after bailout will make it. Greece will default. That is a fact, the only question is now how big do we want to make that disaster and how many of us should go down with her.
But no. Like a the crazy idiot who can’t pay their bills Greece is just going to take out another credit card and put all their new debt on that one. I’m sure that plan will work.
The unfortunate fact is that people, whether it’s the EU or the Occupy Wall Street idiots, don’t want to deal with the facts of debt. Debt is an agreement to pay back what you have borrowed. To socialists who don’t hold property and contract law as sacrosanct this may come as a bit of a perplexing issue, but for the rest of us we understand. In any loan agreement there are two parties. The loaner who agrees to take a risk and loan you money which you will pay back with interest as payment for having the money up front when you needed it but didn’t have it. This person knows they are taking a risk and if they’re smart will not loan out more than they can afford to lose (banks and governments should take a hint). And there is the loanee who thinks that they will do better by taking out the loan and buying something now rather than waiting to have the money and buy it later. It’s a capitalistic act. Both parties make out better. The loaner gets interest on their loan, the loanee gets the benefit of buying something that will benefit them. Each party is supposed to be better off than before (remember capitalism is a win-win system). Now the loaner takes a risk, and they should know it’s a risk, and with any risk you should not throw good money after bad, you should not loan out more money just to get your original investment back. It never works. For the loanee you take on an ethical requirement to pay that money back (and for college students out there, it’s a good investment because you will make more money with a college degree and spend less time unemployed…unless you study Sociology or Modernist Literature, in which case you will rightfully be unemployed and have all day to just sit around and bitch about how life is unfair with other idiots at Occupy Wall Street). If you can’t pay the money back (i.e. Greece, idiots who buy houses they can never afford, U.S. Congress) DON’T TAKE THE MONEY. You’re an idiot to loan money when you can’t afford to, and you’re an idiot to take money when you can’t pay it back. And you’re an idiot and an unethical bastard to say someone else should pay back the loans you should never have taken. But more than just that it ignores that while capitalism is a win-win system where everyone does better on every capitalist transaction, it is also a system about profit and loss. You may do better off of every transaction because you always get what you want; however, what you want may not be in your best long term interest, and if you’re an idiot and make stupid choices based on immediate wants that will lead to your own failure with no one to blame but yourself.
If we bailout people who took out loans on houses they couldn’t afford you encourage more bad home loans. If you bail out people who can’t get a job with their stupid liberal arts degree you encourage more useless degrees. If you bailout banks with bad loan programs you encourage more bad loans. If you bailout businesses with bad growth policies you encourage more bad business decisions. If you bailout countries with unsustainable socialist policies you encourage more socialist policies. Stop bailing out and supporting losers. Every dollar spent on bad policies form the individual to country level is a dollar not going to policies that work, a dollar that encourages more bad choices and less good ones. Stop the bailout and loans by governments which seem to always encourage the worst. Get out of the loaning system, leave it up to the banks, which, as they are convened with profit will only subsidize good choices, and thus subsidize economic growth, and which will be better for everyone. Stop doing encouraging all the things that ruin people’s lives and let them live their lives…not everyone will make it to the top, but it will because of their own choices, not because a government got in the way.
Worrying about people’s debts, especially people who have made bad choices and can’t pay off those debts, worries only helps those about people who have made bad choices allowing them to make more bad choices..and it hurts everyone else. The government seems to have no ability to look at people suffering and subsidize their bad choices…so it needs to leave because all it is doing is encouraging more bad choices. Will this have consequences? Yes. Lots of loans from the personal level to the international level will have to be defaulted on. But the effects of this will be lower prices in numerous fields and capital will be freed up to be given to people who will repay their loans, to people who will invest in education that will lead to a job, to businesses that will grow an economy.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been doing this series of laws since the November election of last year. One a week. You come up with 48 individual laws on a wide range of subjects. I’m ending this at 52 laws. Just FYI.
This week we’re going to cover copyright and patent law. And this, believe it or not is a case where I will say that the government having been bought by corporations is to blame. Yes I’m actually going to attack corporations.
First a word on what copyright and patent law is. It says I created something, thus I am entitled to any profits that come from that idea. If I write a book, I have to get paid for the selling of that book. If I create a new microchip, I get to get paid for any sales of that piece of technology. I get make money on the ideas I come up with (Communists, having no respect for the human mind call this profit “surplus value” and think the creator has no right to it, but as we all know communists and socialists are stupid…and if you listen to people who have to work on Wall Street, they smell too).
Congress is empowered by the Constitution to come up with laws to govern this. Why? Because the Founders were smart enough to know that if there is no incentive to invent, no profit in it, there would be no one who invented things. However, as with all things just because one extreme (no protection) the other extreme (eternal protection) isn’t valid either. If ideas stay in under copyright or patent forever (especially for technology) stagnation begins to occur. You need incentive to make things, but you need the freedom to use what other people have done.
For instance Shakespeare, while motivated by his urge to decry the unjust treatment of Catholics in his plays, he also was heavily motivated by profit. However, if we still had to pay some distant descendent of his every time a book was published, a play was staged, a movie was made do you think Shakespeare would have the opportunity to reach as many people? Probably not.
Same with technology. How much would have been produced if we still had to pay the Watt family for every engine (as everything was derivative off the steam engine).
Now in 1976 copyright was extended to life of the creator plus 50 years (because you do have the right to leave something to your kids for a while). Creations of corporations had a 75 year shelf life under copyright. (And honestly I think 50 years was a bit much…25? 30? Sounds much nicer—50 years just sounds like it’s not just your children living off of your inventions but also your grandchildren…which I don’t know seems a bit much).
However, while this law was a major advancement (it got rid of the rather silly requirements of having to register to have copyright rights and having to renew every couple of years) it apparently wasn’t enough for some companies. Because in the late 90’s one corporation in particular started plastering both houses of Congress with money to get an even further extension to the copyright law. And they won, getting up to 120 years for corporations and life +75 years for individuals (and I’m sorry but I won’t ever really know my great grandchildren, why should people I don’t know personally benefit from my creation?) Can you guess which corporation lobbied for this rather insane law? If you said Disney, you’re right. That’s right, Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse Cartoon (the one where he whistles Turkey in the Screw). I like Disney. I even understand why they would want keep the rights to that cartoon, Mickey is a trademark (which doesn’t expire), but that still doesn’t mean they won’t lose a lot of rights the minute that cartoon enters the public domain. From a business perspective it makes sense, they probably spent less money than they would have lost if it entered into public domain. But a 120 years? Are you insane?
For better or for worse copyright law needs to go back to the 1976 levels (again I wouldn’t mind cutting it back to life +25…and I’m an author). Overly long copyright laws stifle creativity and originality. (Why is Hollywood remaking so many movies? Because they want to get as much as they can out of the copyrights they have while they still own them…don’t believe me that expiring copyright motivates companies and individuals to do strange things with their works do some research into the copyright surround Superman, it makes Finnegan’s Wake look like an easy read.)
Conversely patent law, which covers technology and invention, is often, but not always too short. The worst case is of course patents on pharmaceuticals. Remember when you pay for an expensive drug you’re not really paying for the research that went into that drug, you’re paying for all the failed research that didn’t pan out. If patents lasted longer, companies wouldn’t have to gouge you as much because they would have a steadier source of income. But, people say, they make huge profits. Yeah they do. Because so many drug companies go out of business. You have to have a huge incentive to go into a business that is almost guaranteed to fail. And you have to pay people huge salaries to justify learning something so mind blowing boring as biochemistry at a Ph.D. level. If you had lower incentives you would have far fewer new drugs.
I would go as far as to say that patents need to be put on complete par with copyright…after all why is a book or movie worth more protection than a pill or microchip. Both are the creation of the mind, both can only be done by a relatively small group of people (I’d argue more people have the potential, but few live up to that potential). And all patents need to have the same length, none of this drugs have different rules than technology, have different rules from other fields. An idea is an idea. Are you really going to trust government to say that ideas in this field are better than ideas in that field? No.
Extending patent law would help create a new environment for growth and innovation as there would be more incentives. This in turn would spur more economic growth.
Now two other things need to happen, and this is a little more difficult. First this needs to be an international thing. A lot of countries don’t uphold copyright and patent law. China has grown rich on it. It’s just amazing what you can accomplish when you steal all the technology you use and have a massive slave labor force. If China had to pay for every patent and copyright they have stolen and grown fat on, the U.S. Debt (and that includes the debt of all 50 states) could be paid off and still have some money left over. All countries need to uphold these laws (and I realize this will be almost impossible to do, but we need to keep trying to move toward this).
The 2nd point is I think China should pay for all its violations. And until it does I don’t think we owe them anything.
So I was in the grocery store the other day looking at whole grain/fruit bars for snacks when I realized something. Most of the bars like this are small and cheap and they seem to have a lot of calories for their size. I’ve seen them have the full amount of protein, fiber, vitamins, calories, what have you. Theoretically you should be able to easily put a whole day’s dietary needs in three or four bars (probably at an incredibly cheap cost). This was coupled with watching someone buy steak (and it looked like a very good steak—thick, nice marbling, even a good strip of fat on the side, and I didn’t see the actual sticker but I would have judged it to be a porterhouse cut) at the checkout line with food stamps…I however had cheapest hamburger and a big bag of rice. I’ve also seen lots of other things bought with food stamps: soda, candy, cigarettes, booze, chips. I have a job and have to keep on budget in my eating habits…yet some of the idiots who exist purely off of my taxes immorally taken out of my paycheck that I earned are eating better than I am, and what did they do to earn this…nothing. Oh by the way just a kicker the worthless ass buying steak was about my height but probably had a hundred pounds on me.
You know I’m right. The food stamp program is grossly abused to buy hardly anything but necessities. It keeps the welfare brats not only well fed, but over fed. (Honestly have you ever seen pictures of people at a welfare office who looked emaciated from lack of eating…no it’s usually quite the opposite). So rather than keeping these lazy excuses for human beings buying food that is A.) a waste of my money B.) unhealthy and C.) a waste of my money again when they want me to pay their medical bills for their bad choices that led to lung cancer, heart problems, and preventable diabetes, I suggest we replace the food stamp program with something more practical.
As I said there should be a way to create a health food bar that includes a quarter of everything you need (FDA recommended levels of protein, fiber, vitamins) for a 2,000 calorie diet (I could actually live if we lowered that as 2,000 is for an active life style). At the beginning of every month instead of getting food stamps each person will get 4 bars for every day in the month. Thus insuring we are not leaving those without an income to starve, but also insuring that our money is not wasted. Given how much those stamps are clearly being wasted, even creating this a new government run business would be cheaper.
The bars should probably come in wonderful flavors like cardboard, tofu, rice cake, and seaweed (actually that last one can taste pretty good). Don’t like it? Well then I have some advice. Go to your iPod (which I may add welfare person buying steak had one, it was better than the one I own) and pull up an Offspring song called “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” No one is stopping you from improving your life…I however should not be required to work for my living and be allowed only enough that I can live a lifestyle worse than yours that you did not work for. I can see an argument that society should not let people starve (although I really think that said programs should be run by the city, at most, the county, but never at the federal level), I cannot see an argument that you have a right be to kept in comfort. It should be a safety net, preferably one that is unpleasant enough to make them find a way out as quickly as they can.
This may sound bitter. But with our constant increase in entitlement and welfare spending we have to take a hard line and turn this whole system around if we want to save this country. People need encouragement to get to work not further extension on long term benefits. People need to be kept alive, not just given the ability to buy luxuries usually out of the range of their working lower-middle class counterparts. Good food, spacious living, vacations, entertainment, leisure, health care…these are things you have to earn.
I’m not going to have a law of the week this week. Rather I’m going to talk about what I want to hear out of Obama’s mouth this week when he brings out his “jobs plan.”
He states that his new plan will create jobs. This is a fascinating concept as the government has never been able to do such a thing except for a short period of time and always at a detriment to the overall economy and not to its benefit. Always at an increase to our debt. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to stimulate the economy to recover…although, and I know no one wants to hear this but it’s true, that before we hit a recovery we need one last dip in the economy (the stock market, the housing market, all other commodities markets will probably take a hit and we’ll see another rise in inflation and unemployment) and we need to get through it but our only options are either bring on the next dip now and get through it as quickly as possible or to delay this last dip and every day we delay it means it will be longer, deeper, and hit more people when it comes. I’ll take the shorter pain now than the worse pain later, thank you.
So what I do I need to hear from Obama if he was A) intelligent enough to know how to improve the economy and B) willing to actually do it?
First ObamaCare has to go. It must be overturned in its entirety. There is not a single line worth keeping. This will allay a lot of fear about hiring new employees and get businesses to start planning to grow again. Further it will keep health cost down. With this needs to come laws that will allow insurance companies to cross state lines (and not just medical insurance, I mean every kind of insurance). This will drastically and immediately lower the costs of insurance across the board. Not only will this reduce the overhead of all major insurance companies (meaning they can charge less and still make a profit) the added competition will drive down the prices even further and all companies that offer insurance to their employees will quickly be paying less for every employee which will make expansion even easier.
The U.S. government needs to cut income tax, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes by at least 5% across the board. Further the death tax and marriage penalties need to be permanently eliminated. To accompany these cuts ALL loopholes will be removed from ALL tax codes (yes that means GE will finally have to pay some taxes). I’d really love to see a flat tax, or even better switching to all sales tax, but I’m willing to take a baby step in this area. The sudden influx of money to both personal and business bank accounts will help spur further economic growth and expansion.
Federal money for unemployment benefits needs to be ended for anyone who has been out of work for more than six months. To avoid some unnecessary pain we can of course give them a 90 day notice, but this perpetual dole needs to end.
Everyone employed by the federal government (except the military) is taking a 10% pay cut. You’re overpaid sons of bitches deal with it. (Elected officials can take a 100% pay cut).
In addition to the 2.4 trillion we have already agreed to cut as part of the debt ceiling agreement, for every dollar of tax revenue that we are no longer taking in because we lower the tax rates the federal government will cut $100 dollars of spending from its budget. Not only will that keep us solvent, it will improve our credit rating, reduce the debt, strengthen the dollar and improve the economy.
The law needs to be passed that within the next 10 years the Federal Reserve will raise the prime interest rate to 6% and then never touch it without the express permission of congress and the President and only then for a limited period of time. No industry can grow with the interest rate being this low; it discourages all investment and risk taking. Yes we’ll have some inflation but it will also stimulate growth that should outpace the inflation.
Alaska and the Gulf Coast are open for full drilling, but any environmental damage will come with a fine equal to 10 times the cost of the clean up (that will ensure the oil companies quadruple check every safety measure), which will lower energy prices and thus offset most if not all the inflation caused by the raising of the interest rate.
All the insane regulations that stop the construction and running of oil refineries. Right now it is next to impossible to build an oil refinery and all the regulation is based on horrendous my of global warming. Yes there do need to be a lot of regulations about running oil refineries because they deal with a lot of chemical that could be very harmful to the environment if released…sadly about 10% of the regulations we have in place. The rest is BS. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of oil refineries, did you know that every state requires different blends of gasoline. This is insane because it requires the refineries to refine 50 different kinds of oil. We need to come up with one national set of requirements, it can’t be done by federal law, but it needs to be done by the states on their own because it will drop the price of gas by several cents.
The Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, HUD, HHS, Edu, Transportation, Interior and Labor will cut their staff by at least half (although I’d prefer firing just about everyone in these useless sinkholes of red tape and tax payer money).
The EEOC, National Labor Board, and EPA will undergo a full review of their powers and have most of their authority stripped.
A Constitutional Amendment which will guarantee nationwide “open shops” for all businesses will be proposed. Also all unions for federal employees need to be disbanded. (Also I wouldn’t mind if the heads of the teacher’s unions were brought up on treason charges as their continual actions to destroy the U.S. education system is at best treason—crime against humanity might be more accurate.)
A Constitutional Amendment redefining the Commerce Clause as applicable only to commerce that actually moves across state lines will be proposed. Further the defined commerce clause will limit the scope of the federal government to acting in ways only to prevent impediments to the free commerce and economic activity between states, not to put up new barriers of its own.
All U.S. trade tariffs will be abolished. Tariffs only hurt the consumer and protect failing businesses.
All government regulations will be up for review (I’d say put Rand Paul and Michele Bachman in charge of this committee) with the purpose of reducing all federal red tape by at least half if not more.
Tort Reform Laws must be passed immediately.
The federal government needs to A) stop forcing banks to make subprime loans (which means the Community Reinvestment Act needs to be scrapped) and B) it needs to stop suing banks for making those loans.
Finally those wastes of space and volume known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to stop being quasi government organizations. Either the federal government needs to buy up all private shares or it needs to sell its own stake in the company. Either way right after that the entire assets of Fannie and Freddie need to be liquidated at Fire Sale prices and the organizations disbanded. Yes this will cause housing prices to drop once again, but it will also provide stability to the market, make houses affordable, and encourage banks to finally loan money again. And to everyone who bought a house for more than it was worth…I don’t care, you bought a house when all the signs were there that the market would collapse, you bought a house when it was stupid to do so, you did not think, time to face the consequences of not thinking ahead.
Now if Obama did all of that you would have three things happen. First, the country would be back to 2% or less unemployment within 5 years. Second, the economy would grow like never before and this growth would actually permeate the entire world and even Europe’s financial problems would be nearly gone in a little over a decade. And third, I would actually vote for Obama in 2012.
But we know that Obama isn’t bright enough to know what will actually fix an economy.
Nope, I predict what we will hear is more of the same. Stimulus. ‘Cause that’s always worked before (at least in the delusion fantasy world that liberals live in).
So I got sent a recent article that basically said that despite all the whining, Obama had done nothing at all to ruin the economy, Republicans could point to nothing Obama had done to ruin the economy…and implicitly that it was all the fault of Bush and Republicans that the economy was in the trouble it was.
Now I will not completely defend the Republicans here. Bush was an idiot who backstabbed his party by applying the name NeoCon to the most ill planned non-neocon foreign policy action imaginable and a complete bastard in passing TARP (this is one of those moments I regret not believing in Hell, because Bush deserves to go there for his betrayal of capitalism…remind me, in the traditional model, where do traitors go?). Republicans for the last decade have been nothing but Democrats-lite, so there is a bunch of blame to go around.
However Obama has done more than his fair share of ruining the economy. If Bush was an idiot farmer who let a pasture go fallow for no reason, Obama dropped Napalm on that field and called it fertilizer.
Let’s take a look at some of the things this man has done to capitalism.
And we start our look with:
Yes, Obamacare the wonderful little bill that could. Problem is exactly what it could do. It could bankrupt the entire medical insurance industry. Did I say could…I meant will. At which point we will all have to go onto government healthcare. Yes the people who can’t do anything right…you trust them to handle your medical practice don’t you. Just ignore all those doctors and nurses saying they’ll quit if Obamacare is put into practice. Just ignore all the drug companies saying they will no longer be able to make a profit. Just ignore the high standards set by British and Canadian healthcare (you know the health care where if you have the money you go to the US because you don’t trust government provided healthcare). So, hmmm, this will also cause most companies to drop medical care because the few remaining private policies will be too expensive to provide to employees and stay afloat. Yes that’s right your single largest benefit in your salary package and you’ll have to pay the government out of what you’re being paid now. That will do wonders for your bank account I’m sure.
Oh and did I forget that with Obamacare, the government can now demand you buy things even if you don’t want to? What happens next? Since GE is so chummy with Obama and the Democrats will we have to buy new washers and dryers? New green technology whether we want it or not. If my history serves there are only a few cases where a supposedly Liberal country made people buy a product from a particular company. The company was the East India Trading company, and it was a British government desperate for funds that thought to force the company’s wares on some people, namely tea…I think we know how well that plan worked out for the British economy.
But Obamacare hasn’t gone into effect you whine. Yes, it hasn’t, but the fear of it has. Ever ask why a lot of companies aren’t hiring…maybe for fear of what it will soon cost to insure new employees. Ever wonder why so many companies are desperate to get Obamacare waivers, maybe because they know if they don’t it will destroy them.
Then we have the Obama Administration’s support of Unions!
From pushing the unethical, unconstitutional, and certainly blatantly immoral card check plan which would allow unions near absolute power to unionize any and every business they wanted. The fact of the matter is that unions are now more corrupt, more violent, and more in bed with politicians than the robber-barons they were created to opposed. Hmmm…unions with more power. Unions with more ability to bully and intimidate employees to vote for unions…if they know what’s good for them. After all why should you have the right to a secret ballot…what good do does that do…it’s not like we felt it important enough a right to create a Constitutional amendment to guarantee it. And it’s not like unions have ever been known to rely heavily on physical intimidation and violence. And it’s not like the Obama union protected SEIU thugs from assault charges for beating a Tea Partier so badly he nearly died. Not at all.
I can’t see how supporting an organization which have literally hastened the fall of and destroyed America’s manufacturing and educational industry is a bad thing. (Manufacturing would have eventually fallen without unions; they just made it happen decades ahead of when it would have happened without them.).
Or how about the Obama’s appointees at the SEC giving Unions the power to replace any management they find opposed to their destructive takeovers. How could that possibly be bad for business? I’m sure that must have stimulated the economy lots.
And it’s not like that massive union the SEIU is being charged for criminal acts under RICO. Fine upstanding people I understand completely why Obama would support them with his last breath.
Cap and Trade
Then there’s that cap and trade BS he keeps pushing. I’m sure destroying the entire power industry and what remained of industry would be great for the American economy.
Pushing Sub-Prime Loans
Oh and look Obama is once again threatening to sue banks if they don’t offer subprime loans! That did wonders for the economy last time. I’m sure that another round of having people get loans they can’t afford, ruining the value of the banking system, and plummeting the prices of house one more time will be great for the U.S. economy.
How about Obama’s energy policy?
You know, banning almost all offshore drilling and not allowing more exploration (while at the same time praising South American companies for doing the very things he has forbidden U.S. companies from doing), I’m sure that has nothing to do with the rise in fuel costs which in turn has caused inflation of almost everything across the board. Nothing at all.
Oh and dare we mention the panic and instability that he caused to the markets by releasing oil from strategic reserves for no reason other than to cause panic. No harm there I’m sure.
Executive orders for review of red tape…
And then there are czars, and firing the heads of private companies, and piles upon piles of regulations and executive orders. Billions of dollars in red tape alone, red tape that not only costs us as taxpayers, but red tape that literally destroys companies and absolutely prevents the growth of businesses. You know, those people who hire people.
Then there was the fact that he didn’t push or back his own debt commission’s recommendations which, while not perfect, would have solved a lot of problems.
Then you have the clear impression that Obama is letting every single agency ride rough shod over everyone their petty bureaucratic hands can get to. IRS agents harassing everyone…4 million dollar fines selling a few bunnies (and then demanding that the person who sold those rabbits must relinquish all his rights as a citizen to petition the government if he wants to get out of that fine…)…or arresting the Amish and hippies for selling unpasteurized milk. Can’t imagine why businesses wouldn’t be growing in a climate where the government’s attitude to anything that even resembles a capitalistic venture or exchange by free individuals as a criminal act that must be stopped, fined, and punished. True Obama isn’t ordering these abuses of power himself, but the buck stops somewhere, and he doesn’t appear to be stopping them either.
One might look to the highly immoral Frank-Dodd bill which does nothing to stop any of the financial problems that started this recession, but gives cover to the worst offenders and encourages more of that bad behavior. Maybe that has something to do with the lack of growth…I mean when you set up a system that is absolutely going to fail, I can’t imagine why no one wants to buy in.
The destruction of the fastest growing industry, the internet, through corrupt and socialist Net Neutrality rules.
And how about this crappy debt deal he engineered.
And then there is just the general state of fear caused by this man. The attacks on free speech by forcing cigarette companies to advertise the government’s party line. The attack upon major news outlets like a two-bit banana republic dictator when they don’t agree with him and worship the ground he walks on. The public support of violent racist groups like the Black Panthers and La Raza. The illegal collusions with companies like Google and Media Matters to raise cash for his reelection campaign. The extortion of campaign money for Obamacare waivers. All of this creates a state of fear and terror where no one wants to invest in the future because they’re not sure if there is going to be one. Frankly the last man to preach this much hope and provide this much terror was Robespierre.
Have I glossed over some of these points? Yes. This blog was getting long and my point was merely that Obama has acted directly to destroy the economy and has destroyed the economy through an equal amount of inaction. He is the worst of all possibilities. The question shouldn’t be “What has he done to hurt the economy?” because I think I have more than enough examples of that…the question should be “Has he done a single F!@#$%^ thing to help the economy? One thing. One.”
Again I know I glossed over some of this, and will elaborate more on any of these points if anyone makes such a request.
The two single greatest expenditures of the federal government are Medicaid and Medicare. Now I have gone over in other places about how the government has absolutely no right, no authority, no logical reason, and no Constitutional power to provide these so called services which just encourage learned helplessness, lack of responsibility, fraud, waste and lower quality health care service.
Now I also admit that these evil programs have become so entrenched in American society that you just can’t kill them in one fell swoop (as much as that idea makes me smile)—they need to be hacked to pieces with a machete and left to bleed out and die over the course of a decade or so. The first move needs to be completely overturning Obamacare, Bush’s prescription drug benefit, and an across the board 10% reduction in all payments. Increased penalties for Medicaid and Medicare fraud (maybe life without parole) couldn’t hurt either.
But the next requirement that needs to be made is as follows: If you receive government paid for medical care then you MUST follow the orders of your doctor. If your doctor tells you to give something up you must. If your doctor orders you to take something, you MUST. If your doctor orders you to exercise, meditate, relax you MUST. Failure to comply with a doctor’s orders will mean you are booted out of the system for five years.
I can already hear the whiners at the ACLU, people have the liberty to choose not accept their doctor’s instructions; you can’t mandate that they follow it, people have liberty. Yes people, more accurately, adults have liberty. But if you want to act like a child and say you are not responsible for your own bills and expenses, that someone else should foot the bill, then you’re no more mature than any teenager (although I find teenagers more reasonable). So just as your parents said before you left, as long as I the taxpayer am footing the bills, you will follow whatever rules I dictate. Don’t like it, don’t take the money.
This includes but should not be limited to the usual order:
Don’t take any drug the doctor didn’t prescribe you
Avoid red meat
Don’t eat fast food
Reduce your portion size
(Most of us get told to work less by our doctors, but I somehow feel this isn’t an issue for the welfare brats on Medicaid and Medicare). If your doctor reports that you are not following instructions to your Medicaid or Medicare provider, you’re off the roles for five years. I encourage all doctors to find their inner Greg House.
Don’t want to give up that stuff? Don’t take federal money. No one forced you to take it.
If I am going to be stuck paying for your lazy asses medical problems for at least another decade (probably more) then by God I will not be paying for medical problems that could have been avoided by you just living with some modicum of common sense.
Am I a hypocrite because I enjoy some of those things on that list and don’t feel I should have to give them up? Nope. The freedom to choose what to do with my life comes with actually working and providing for myself and not demanding that someone else must support me. I’ve earned my choices. If you’re on my dime, you’ve earned nothing. You still have freedom; the freedom not to go on the dole, but understand that using my money comes with conditions.
Not only should this save us billions in not treating perfectly preventable diseases that were not prevented, but it will get the people who have no desire to help themselves get off of our dime—by even a conservative estimate this will be a healthy chunk of the people who are bleeding us dry from their Medicare and Medicaid benefits.