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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:

I think it is possible there are good Gov. programs and Depts. out there but how do we know they even exist?
Every new program like health care makes me think how much I didn't like big Gov programs in the past no matter how well intended they seemed
....
My friends and I have the best medical plan for our workers you could ask for. We fly them out in expensive air ambulances and pay an island doctor to stay with an injured person for days in city private hospital.
Once again not one wasted cent. They make money for us, we take care of them, gov please leave us be, we are all OK here.
...


Hey Keycocker - I don't mean to lecture, but I think your feelings about health care are simply not based on fact.

The Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 (wrongly called Obamacare, he didn't write the law) is not a government program, it is law.

The law was necessary because with rising unemployment and healthy people opting out, the pool of the insured was becoming too small to sustain the insurance model.

The core of the law is that everyone has to pay for health care upfront in order to maintain our medical system. If you do not pay for health care, you will be taxed for it, since otherwise it is your fellow taxpayer, who then has to bail out the providers of health care services who cannot collect payment from the uninsured.

The plan is fair. It is going to save lives. It is going to keep people from becoming homeless. It is leveling the playing field, so employers like you and your friends who take care of their employees can compete with others who do not.

What exactly do you disagree with?

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13266

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:
Iso has decided it is of no value to understand socialism.


What does understanding socialism have to do with this thread?
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
keycocker wrote:
Iso has decided it is of no value to understand socialism.


What does understanding socialism have to do with this thread?


I think that brief warm and fuzzy phase, during which Isobars posted links to classical music and his writing bordered on introspective - that phase is OVER!

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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5435

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I said earlier that cutting government programs isn't going to work, that's not to say that I'm against targeting cuts in many areas. I'm quite sure that reforming our system of farm subsidies would be an important area to consider, particularly when it's the large corporate farming interests that are benefiting. But do you think that the folks in all those red states who are heavily involved in farming are going to stand up and demand that their representatives in Congress cut off their subsidies?

How about ending all oil and ethanol subsidies? I'm quite sure that the adamant Republicans representatives from the pro-oil states like Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Alaska would scream holy hell if that one would gain any momentum.

The federal government is hugely deep into funding states for education, infrastructure and many other varied programs. It's been pretty clear to me that every state in the union is looking for some of their tax revenues back to help fund projects and programs in their state. Are these new angry Republicans in Congress that are boldly demanding a smaller government going to insist on ending all federal funding to their states? Hardly.

If the truth be told, those demanding a smaller government would much prefer to cut off funding to folks in poverty, the unemployed, or anyone else that they happen to look down on as less than deserving. But what happens to the fabric and character of our nation if that's done? We all know that the divide between the rich and the poor has been moving in the wrong direction for some time. The middle class is shrinking and steadily losing ground, and that fact doesn't abode well for the nation. We see it all over the world where large populations can't adequately feed themselves and maintain basic infrastructure requirements like water and sanitation. Most of us are painfully aware of the growing homelessness in our communities. Do we ultimately want to grow the problem into large shanty towns adjacent to our communities, and watch crime and health problems grow?

And how about the big Republican push for cutting regulations and letting corporations do what they please without reasonable oversight. From what we've learned from the past, we know things can get out of hand pretty quickly. Hell, we're not even close to resolving the cleanup of past pollution problems and the devastation to our environment. Are we looking for more untoward problems in our future?

The country is still very painfully aware of our multiple financial meltdowns in recent times. How will cutting regulations protect us from the next financial disaster? Do I blindly trust corporations enough to turn my back and assume that they will act responsibility? Being honest, I have to say no I can't, and I think most responsible citizens feel similarly.

Finally, do you think that we can simply eliminate Social Security and Medicare like some of these tea party folks want to do? I feel that the slash and burn mentality coming out of the right is downright scary. And why do they want to do it? It's actually very simple when you get to the heart of it. It's greed. Almost nothing is worth their tax dollars, even if it's simply to pay down our expansive debt. I can't believe the big stink coming from the right about letting the temporary Bush Tax Cuts expire. We know that they didn't work to improve the economy, especially given the fact that the economy did just fine during the Clinton Administration with higher tax rates. And what are we really talking about? Not even a 4% increase for the richest Americans.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3327
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

or How about Chris Christie in NJ canning the NYC -Jersey commute tunnel, because he says NJ shouldnt have to spend money they dont have. Now , the Feds want $350mm back from NJ, money that has already been allocated to the $8.5B construction project.I wonder how thats gonna fly with the people, of one of the most indebted states in the country. Its tough tough tough to cut , it is going to be very interesting watching all the budget chicken hawks trying to cut grannys medicare in the next two years.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4648

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, but that is one of the silver linings. While I strongly support investing in infrastructure that makes sense, I am not convinced that high speed rail makes economic or environmental sense. And in California, the Democrats that are in are neither fiscally responsible, nor independent enough, to stand up to the pro-fail unions.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3015

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"What exactly do you disagree with?"
Nothing in the intent of the law. It was also intended to reduce costs with the public option.This was the essential idea at one time- to reduce spiraling costs with competition. They dropped that key feature already. That gives me the sense that this could work out like Medicare.It was also a great idea to reduce the costs of health care. Now that the cost cutting features of Medicare are defunct, we are try to fix that ,too.
Will we have some more laws later on to fix the Health Care Bill?
Then some laws to fix that law as the whole thing gets bogged down and costs spiral out of control?
Tell me your favorite big program/law that has shown how successful our Gov. is at big programs? Highways maybe?
Seen all those guys standing around out there?
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1385

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:
"What exactly do you disagree with?"
Nothing in the intent of the law. It was also intended to reduce costs with the public option.This was the essential idea at one time- to reduce spiraling costs with competition. They dropped that key feature already. That gives me the sense that this could work out like Medicare.It was also a great idea to reduce the costs of health care. Now that the cost cutting features of Medicare are defunct, we are try to fix that ,too.
Will we have some more laws later on to fix the Health Care Bill?
Then some laws to fix that law as the whole thing gets bogged down and costs spiral out of control?
Tell me your favorite big program/law that has shown how successful our Gov. is at big programs? Highways maybe?
Seen all those guys standing around out there?


Social Security works. Medicare works. NASA's space ships fly. The first amendment works.

You cannot point out a few fellows who're leaning onto their shovels on the side of the road and claim systemic failure of Government.

You're right, there is waste and abuse. This is largely a function of size and oversight - in the private as much as in the public sector.

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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 3600

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Ah, but that is one of the silver linings. While I strongly support investing in infrastructure that makes sense, I am not convinced that high speed rail makes economic or environmental sense. And in California, the Democrats that are in are neither fiscally responsible, nor independent enough, to stand up to the pro-fail unions.


Mac, I finally agree with you! The question is, do you admit that tearing up millions of acres of chaparal and desert for solar and windmills make sense as a cure for global warming?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4648

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

little stevie, pay attention. Global warming is real, and it will cost us trillions--not billions--to cope with it. We should have started with a modest carbon tax about 15 to 30 years ago to invest in improved technology--and efficiency. Right now, improving efficiency is the most cost-effective thing to do. A small carbon tax would not impede economic growth--particularly if it is revenue neutral, and will let the market do what the market does more efficiently than government--find ways to be more efficient and save energy costs. That has been going on since the oil embargo during Carter's administration, and the economy uses about 1/3 the amount of energy per unit of GDP than it did then.

Unfortunately, the GOP, which doesn't actually seem to be able to think beyond a two year election cycle--opposed any such increase in gasoline taxes. Successfully. Panicked, the Democrats concoted a cap and trade system, which seems to have worked for air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin, despite the greater administrative cost. With stalemate assured in Congress, the subsidies for continued use of oil and coal continued. So if you are actually interested in markets, you should want to see those subsidies eliminated.

The problem with high speed rail is that it is not going to save you any carbon emissions unless it is really full. The population densities are not high enough to support it. In a higher density urban corridor it would be more efficient than air travel. Right now it is not, for most of the proposed routes. It probably eventually will be, but there are much better transportation options, and improved energy efficiency options, than rail.

The question of market efficiency meets the GOP becomes, who do you think is going to pay for all the public costs to adapt to warming and sea level rise? For the most part, the public. But less efficiently. It's almost directly analagous to not changing your oil and filter periodically. You can pay me now, or you can pay me much more later. The one guy who had this right was Jimmy Carter, although he was an overall disaster.

Remember, many of the people in this country thought George Bush was a leader! He was really just a dry drunk.
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