Saturday, July 11, 2009

Department of Defensive

Rule #125: A bitter pill to swallow
If the private sector is really the best source for health care, then a competitive government option shouldn't be the end of the world. Often lost in this debate is the word "option," which you think would stir the steamy juices of capitalism. After all, corporations love to talk about "unfettered choice" and "let the market decide," at least until it actually does. Yes, I've heard the criticism: "Government would have an unfair advantage!" Oh, really? Like the insurance companies don't have a much, much worse advantage now? At least the government is accountable to the people, and not just some anonymous penny-pinchers somewhere. And don't tell me some bureaucrat will stand between me and my doctor; that would be an improvement.

The private sector offers government as the enemy because it can't say what it really fears most from a public health care option, lest it be taken the right way: "This would really hurt our ability to suck blood from desperate people." These companies know full well that, to stay in business among a decent public option, that they will have to lower prices, improve coverage and be more accountable overall. You know, actually play by the rules of competitive business. Oh, the horror! If anything, though, the option would only strengthen the marketplace and, in the long run, make all avenues better. And if corporate health care's aim is to help people, that can only fuel its mission further.

If, on the other hand, corporate health care is a massively bureaucratic, bottom-line obsessed, unaccountable, for-profit clusterfuck, then maybe it does have a reason to feel threatened.

Rule #126: B.O. B.S.
Don't refer to Barack Obama as "B.O." or "Hussein," and then defend it by saying, "But that's his name!" Don't pretend it's anything other than childish disrespect and/or an obvious attempt to stoke prejudice. And don't say we do this with past presidents, because JFK's and FDR's initials weren't synonymous with body odor. Just greatness.

Rule #127: Premature flagellation
Obama doesn't have "one last chance" to prove anything. He's been president for six months. That's one-eighth of his first term. In Simpsons terms, he's still a crudely drawn segment on the Tracey Ullman Show. Does anyone remember what George W. Bush was up to in the summer of 2001? Besides nothing? No, and it certainly didn't define his legacy, did it? Nope. If Bush could wreak historic levels of havoc in his last seven years and three months in office, then Obama has plenty of time to at least begin the recovery.

Those calling for Obama's premature political death generally didn't want him to thrive in the first place. Or they're just contrarian/hipster by nature. Either way, give the man a chance.

Rule #128: Giving the man a chance
If Obama isn't giving you what you want right away, wait. It's one thing to grumble that change should occur faster or that the Democrats could be more forceful. Those are valid concerns. But it's another thing altogether to suggest that Obama and Co. don't care and/or are failures because everything they promised (and many things they haven't, for that matter) haven't come to complete fruition just yet.

Reagan/Bush didn't ruin the country in six months, and Obama won't fix it in six months. It takes longer for a 3-minute oil change than some people expected to see sweeping changes on certain issues. Those things will happen; public sentiment is on the right side of gay marriage, public health care, habeas corpus, military overextension, the economy, etc. For what he has on his plate, Obama's doing a good job at least chipping at it. The particulars are worth debating, but eyes are on the prize. And that's more hope than we had over the past several years.

I'm glad my mom didn't give up on me at six months. But she was probably too devastated over the death of John Lennon to think about it much.

Rule #129: Don't Ask, Don't Tell


This is not a real question.

The rest of the rules

70 comments:

herb said...

*sniff sniff* WAAHHHHHHHH quit picking on OBAMA!! Waahhhhhhhhh

Ian McGibboney said...

You must have an exciting life, Herb.

herb said...

Thank god that OH SO IMPORTANT stimulus worked and kept the unemployment rate under 9% like promised...oh wait that was a load of shit like everything else Obama says.

Doesn't it bother you that your heroes one significant piece of legislation is an utter failure any way you look at it?

Ian McGibboney said...

I don't recall Obama, or anyone else, saying that the unemployment rate was going to fall anytime soon. In fact, it's expected to rise to 10 or 11 percent before it falls. No one said the deadline for the stimulus goals was today. Also, the stimulus didn't start with Obama, and I was never a huge fan of it.

Herb, I hope you see how dense you come off when I say something like, "Change takes time," and you chime in with a mocking and whiny, "So where's the change?" Talking to you is like Jeopardy: the answers first, then the questions. Except with the game show, there's intelligence involved.

herb said...

Actually, you shill, Obama's own economic team predicted the unemployment rate would rise to 9% by 2010 without the stimulus, but with the stimulus it would stay below 8%, they were wrong on both counts. He also said the stimulus would *chuckle* "create or save 600,000 jobs by the end of summer!" when in fact we've lost 1.5 million jobs since the stimulus passed, so you think he's going to create or save about 2 million jobs in the next month? I know you think he's magic, but come on. You don't even know what you're talking about or bother to do research to even try to educate yourself.

Ian McGibboney said...

You may very well have me on the stimulus, Herb. I'd have to do research to refute your claims.

But you're forgetting two things: 1) nothing in this blog post is about the stimulus and 2) I never defended the stimulus in the first place. You seem to think that my call for giving Obama the benefit of the doubt is the same as endorsing everything he does. It isn't. But I voted for him and think he has the intellect and clout to do the right thing in most situations. I don't need instant gratification to validate that. And I don't share your view that the stimulus is the end-all be-all of Obama's term. Like with most conservative criticism I get, it has nothing to do with anything I've written and is nothing more than a loaded diversion. Bill O'Reilly would be proud.

Got anything to say about what I actually wrote in this blog? Anything constructive?

herb said...

Really, him allocating nearly 800 billion dollars of taxpayer money to bullshit pet projects and "shovel ready" jobs that never materialized won't be seen as a significant part of his term? Him pissing away 18 million of that "stimulus" to redesign his stupid fucking recovery.gov website (that was just launched 3 months ago!) doesn't seem maybe a little wasteful or ill advised to you? How does his supposed "intellect" enter into that shit? You have no problem with him pissing away your money on shit that never materializes or does any "stimulating"? Maybe you could get your head out of his anus for once and maybe research some of the crap you blindly parrot as the greatest thing ever. But I guess that might take time away from you swiping dated a Bill Maher "New Rules" format and using it to post "rule" after "rule" that people should stop being so critical of your Messiah.

Ian McGibboney said...

If I said that my support of Obama was tied to the stimulus, you'd have a point. But I didn't. And I've already said so twice.

If you want to debate the stimulus, fine. I can play devil's advocate, but it might take some time. It will involve research, and not the kind that comes as readily as right-wing talking points.

But that's beside the point. If you were really interested in engaging me, you wouldn't be so insulting towards me and judging me against connections that exist only in your mind. As your writing suggests, you're no different than all the other cowardly, anonymous trolls who infect this site. What a shame.

musing said...

Gee, Herb (or Teej; the style is remarkably similar). Funny that you're so up in arms about wasteful spending on Obama's watch. Where were you the last eight years when your man Bush used up the surplus Clinton left him and got us into more debt than all of his predecessors combined?

If the government is going to be handing out bucketsful of billions, I had far and away rather they be spent here at home on roads and bridges and shit like that which people can actually use than hand them over to unqualified Republican interns in unmarked, uncounted bricks and then conveniently lost in Iraq.

Ian McGibboney said...

Musing, it's all false outrage with these people. I could easily rebut Herb, even though I have my own reservations about the stimulus, but he's mainly here to insult.

And yes, Herb does sound much like Teej, but Teej cut and run the nanosecond I began moderating comments. And Herb at least has numbers, cooked as they might be,

herb said...

When did I ever say Bush was "my man"? I didn't vote for him.

The "where were you when X was doing it!?" is about the most lame, cop-out argument in the liberal play book.

And Ian, how can you call my numbers "cooked" when you can't even refute them?

Ian McGibboney said...

It's a cop-out to say, "But Clinton didn't capture bin Laden either."

It's not a cop-out to suggest that those now protesting government spending were eerily silent when Bush was the one doing the spending.

We're supposed to believe that the people who cheered tax cuts for the super-wealthy, bottomless (and often unaccounted for) military spending and historic expansion of federal bureaucracy are suddenly indignant? What changed, besides a real tax cut for the middle class? Oh, the president. Right.

As for your numbers, I find them curious because you cite no sources and I've never heard about them until now. And I read hundreds of news articles a day and have dozens of die-hard GOP friends who surely would have rubbed these figures in my face by now. If you're going to tell me with a straight face that the government spent $18 million on a Web site, you need to document that.

herb said...

Jesus, I know you have no idea how to do any type of research, but even a 5 year old can use Google: http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/07/18m-being-spent-to-redesign-recoverygov-web-site.html

TJENKINS said...

I didn't "cut and run" you douchebag, it's called vacation to Italy for a week and maybe if you made more than $10 an hour you could take one some day.

Nice to see you've enacted new "don't be mean to the liberal" rules though, your blog is getting more and more like an Obama press conference everyday.

Ian McGibboney said...

Herb, when I wrote research papers in grad school, the burden was on me to provide my sources; it wasn't something to punt to my classmates or professors. If you're so sure about your figures, this shouldn't have been such a big deal to you.

As for the Web site: yeah, that seems pretty expensive, but the money is to keep it functional through 2014, and it's supposed to show all government expenditures. At least this project is out to serve some purpose, unlike the useless Iraq War, missile defense or for-profit health care, all of which cost us billions and serve zero purpose.

Teej, I enjoyed your vacation too. I make well over $10 an hour, but there's no way I can afford that. Maybe one day I'll grow up and be JUST LIKE YOU! A real American.

herb said...

What purpose does this stimulus serve? It certainly isn't doing anything to either create jobs or stimulate the economy, it's 2 main purposes. Where are these "shovel ready" jobs they told us would materialize as soon as this crap bucket passed in February? How can you even pretend to support this waste of your money? Oh right, it was passed by Democrats so you are sworn to stand by it no matter how hard it fucks you in the ass.

18 mil to run a website for 5 years is a joke. BTW we already have a body that's purpose is to "show all government expenditures", it's called the GAO they already have a website and 400 million dollar budget, maybe we could just use them instead? Joe Biden says "people are already getting ripped off" by the stimulus, and sadly it's the American taxpayer.

NOLA Progressive said...

Herb or Teej or disgruntled republican/conservative number 3,261, you are bending and perverting information to suit your desire to perpetuate anti-Obama/Democrat sentiment here.

1. You are right on the money when it comes to Obama's unemployment projection at 8 percent. The thing that boggles me is why would you be railing against the stimulus package. Many economists spoke out against the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment being far too small. That is to say not enough stimulus. In face Krugman has done quite a few interviews lately restating this point. So if Obama being wrong about how high unemployment would rise is what you want to stick on then have at it, but don't blast stimulus for it. The stimulus plan has saved jobs, just not enough. Some examples.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/jun/19/jobs-saved-stimulus-plans-impact-tough-measure/

http://www.news-record.com/content/2009/07/14/article/stimulus_money_saves_school_jobs

Those are just two examples of targeted impacts. I can also speak for Louisiana education. The stimulus money that was allocated to our state has been distrubuted to individual parishes, and in my parish of employment has created numerous new position and made it uneccessary to cut jobs as well. It is the same in every parish across the state, and also in counties across the country. So again I say, the Stimulus plan has saved and created jobs, just not enough.

As far as shovel ready projects, they are being undertaken all across the nation. See stimulus watch.org to look at projects by state. There was a local news report in New Orleans this past week about a huge housing project that has been funded and begun, paid for by stimulus dollars.

Also a huge factor is the way in which the states are using the money. Many governors and legilatures are plugging seriouis budget deficits with the stimulus money. My assumption here is if a large arm of a state was forced to operate at a deficit (say education or transportation) that it would result in layoffs. Wouldn't you think that plugging those deficits stops jobs from being cut?

Now I've heard a lot of talk about government spending not being what will help rather tax cuts and small and corporate business being the key. Well Sanford missed two huge corporate invites to discuss expansion in his state while he was out getting laid in another country. In addtion Bobby Jindal has spent more time in other states fundraising for his pac than worrying about growth here in LA.

Bottome line myself and my colleagues' jobs are safe and new collegues are joining us because of stimulus dollars.

Could it be refined and improved? Sure, but don't say it hasn't had an impact because it certainly has.

Ian McGibboney said...

NOLA, thanks for that. I wonder if the disgruntled will put equal thought into their responses.

herb said...

Many governors and legilatures are plugging seriouis budget deficits with the stimulus money.

Oooo, short term spending, how far thinking of them. I guess it's not important to worry about actually fixing the problem when you can just throw money at it and hope it fixes it! Much easier to throw a band aid over their huge governmental mismanaging that led them down this path in the first place than work on a way to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Your anecdotal evidence about people miraculously getting their jobs saved by Captain Stimulus and his Free Money Brigade is a nice story and all, but the rising unemployment rate, currently at it's highest in 26 years, and projected to rise to possibly 11% by the end of the year, shows that it's insignificant when looked at on a national level. All the while Obama looks impotent and can only yammer on about carbon emissions and adding even more to the national debt by implementing a costly and destructive government health care takeover. The US is in for a Japanese-style Lost Decade and Obama's short sightedness will only make it worse.

NOLA Progressive said...

There is nothing anecdotal about the evidence. You asked for information and I provided it. I stated in my comment that I wish it was a larger impact, but a large portion of the stimulus is yet to be disseminated. This band aid bologna and short sightedness crapola mentality makes for wonderful "look-at-me Mr. toughguy conservative" arguments, but I've heard Obama say nothing but this situation wasn't created overnight nor will it be fixed overnight.

So a few months down the road you think saying look it hasn't worked yet is a legitimate argument? This is exactly the mentality Ian has been addressing in recent posts. This is going to be drawn out and will take time. Quite a few economic indicators have bottomed out and are beginning to show progress, but they are still quite regressed. They will grow in time, but just as with the new deal without government intervention they could be and could still get much much worse.

What's up with the "miraculous captain stimulus" snark anyway. The government gave states money, they used it to fund departments and works projects. This created and saved jobs. It's not up for debate. It happened. I state in the preceding comment it is not on as large a scale as it should be and that economists suggest a much larger stimulus package should have been and still should be applied, and just ignore that part of the comment and harp on the very facts that I addressed.

Also there is nothing short term about building high speed rail and housing. These are items which take significant time to complete, generate revenues and will continue to pay the nation back.

Don't even begin to bring healthcare into this discussion if you want to discuss short sightedness. Your usage of the word takeover is highly innacurate and incendiary as well. Especially since a top CIGNA executive just recently went on record stating that the mafia never had anything on the murder by spreadsheet insurance industry. They are bilking the tax payers on absolutely unprecedented levels and murdering tens of thousands a year. Nothing stimulative there.

Finally cap and trade would generate quite a bit of revenue. Entergy Corp. which is a huge private energy provider is highly in favor of cap and trade for being the only viable way to reduce carbon emissions and bring other nations in line as well. That's a non government run giant stating that it would make a significant positive impact.

herb said...

So at what point in time can we accurately hold Obama and his failing stimulus to blame for not correcting the problem? A year? 2? I'd like a return on my 787 billion dollar investment that doesn't include double digit unemployment rates for the next couple years, California being foreclosed and sold off to China to pay for shitty healthcare that includes rationing and months long waits to see a dwindling supply of able doctors.

NOLA Progressive said...

I'm not sure. It took Reagan and the Bush Dynasty a couple decades to get us here, so I think we can give Obama more than 12 months to work on it.

Also please don't talk about rationing and the quality of healthcare as if those things are not done exactly that way under our current for profit healthcare system. I think Ian's point holds here. If the government can't do anything right and provide a service that anyone wants, then what is the threat from a OPTION for a government run plan?

herb said...

Curious how you skipped over the 8 years of Clinton there, but anyway...

If the government can't do anything right and provide a service that anyone wants, then what is the threat from a OPTION for a government run plan?

Because as it's currently planned it won't be an option. Per the bill in the House you are REQUIRED to have some type of health insurance and if you choose not to, you are taxed, either 2.5% of your income or the actual cost of an insurance plan. Giving an OPTION by gun barrel isn't an option, it's blackmail.

But anyway, it's not the "threat of an option" that worries people, it's the cost of that option. Besides the aforementioned blackmailing the CBO estimates this crap sandwich will cost AT LEAST 1.5 TRILLION dollars, and we all know how close to reality government estimates are, this thing will end up costing 3-4 Trillion by 2020. If we are "out of money" as Obama often jokes(!) how does he plan to pay for this? Do you really think "the rich" are going to stick around as their incomes are taxed upwards of 50%+ once the Bush tax cuts expire next year? They already don't like paying what they pay now, they'll flee in droves or concoct more tax shelters. This, and his cap and tax bill...which by the way, will die a glorious death in the Senate, are designed to do nothing but transfer wealth and protect his old union pals. If this health care takeover somehow passes I can guarantee once mid terms are over he will quietly look for ways to raise taxes on the middle class, his "no one making less than 250k will be taxed" promise comes with an expiration date like all his other promises. If you think Obama and his Democrat pals are any less corrupt than the Bush admin you are fooling yourself.

Ian McGibboney said...

Herb: "Do you really think 'the rich' are going to stick around as their incomes are taxed upwards of 50%+ once the Bush tax cuts expire next year?"

Really, Herb? Is our noble rich echelon going to Go Galt on us if their tax levels rise back to 2001 levels? Do you mind if I laugh just like you guys laughed at anyone who said they'd move to Canada or France if Bush won? They're both equally ridiculous threats.

You know, I somehow doubt that people will balk at having to have medical insurance. Is there anyone in America who doesn't want it? I think it's a great thing. A decent government option would put a sharp halt to the current price gouging of private insurers, who would have to adapt to stay alive. It might hurt the price-gouging firms in the short term, but it will help everyone in the long term. You know, free-market competition and all that.

And even if the price you cite is correct, that's still a good deal. As it is, we spend millions every year on those who can't afford medical care, and our care is very stratified in quality. Leveling the playing field for a necessity is a great use of funds. Definitely better than that stupid war we started over oil and machismo.

herb said...

Really, Herb? Is our noble rich echelon going to Go Galt on us if their tax levels rise back to 2001 levels?

I'm not sure what ass you pulled your numbers from, but they are a bit off. The highest marginal tax rate in 2001 was 39.1%, with this health care/soak the rich bill it will raise to at least 45% and will most likely increase north of 50% once the Bush cuts lapse. You really need to do research before you talk, or leave the talking to your surrogates as I see you're wont to do.

A decent government option would put a sharp halt to the current price gouging of private insurers, who would have to adapt to stay alive.

Stay alive against an entity that gets to set the rules in their own favor, that certainly sounds fair and I'm sure the government, never one to gouge or screw over it's citizens will surely play it straight and be on their best behavior this time, surely. Let me ask you this Ian; When the government runs Medicaid and Medicare so ineptly I have to wonder what you see in them that makes you think they'll do better with an even larger budget and user base? How many times must they fail horribly before you see they are not the answer to everything?

And even if the price you cite is correct, that's still a good deal.

Really? 4 times the current national debt is a good price? How do you plan to pay for all that, because I can tell you even if you soak the top 1% at 55% it will only generate about 45 billion a year and it will be a diminishing return at that once people find ways around paying portions of it, where is the rest coming from? I can answer that, the middle class. And you can bring up the Iraq war all you want, but in 8 years it still hasn't cost us as much as Obama did with his failed stimulus.

Ian McGibboney said...

Herb: "With this health care/soak the rich bill it will raise to at least 45% and will most likely increase north of 50% once the Bush cuts lapse."

OK, so they'll be at 1980 levels, not 2001 levels. My mistake.

"How many times must they fail horribly before you see they are not the answer to everything?"

Medicare and Medicaid are relatively efficient as a whole. More reliable than my Greek-speaking private provider, for sure. It sounds to me like you think the government will make unfair rules regarding competition. I already addressed this. What a government option will do is force private providers to compete. That might hurt their bottom line, but that isn't an unfair playing field. That's making the playing field honest.

"Really? 4 times the current national debt is a good price?"

Assuming your numbers are even correct, I'd say it's a fair price for 11 years' worth of work to create a lasting system of health care that helps every citizen in the long run. The middle class are already getting soaked on health care costs, so spare us that "taxes are all bad" mantra. And I'm pretty sure NOLA (who is no surrogate, by the way, just someone who hates BS) has already debunked your tired stimulus talking points.

herb said...

Nice job at replying to me and not addressing anything I said. You're like Obama, all you can do is go on and on about how noble and great healthcare takeover is without offering specifics. I cite specific numbers and ask questions about how shortfalls will be covered and you retort with basically a "yeah yeah shut up it's great and you are wrong" hollow reply with no substance, and then you wonder why you attract trolls.

NOLA Progressive said...

Bottom line. Obama let's the Bush tax cuts expire then he proposes tax rates that are 10% lower than they were under Reagan.

Second bottom line. Private industry can flourish in competition with government run industry. If what Herb says were true then FedEx, UPS, DHL et al wouldn't exist let alone be extremely profitable. On the other side of the coin the United States Post Office is extremely efficient and keeps it costs way under the private competitors. They have some budget issues currently as I'm sure Herb will be quick to point out, but that is simply because they endeavor to keep prices as low as possible.

Health insurance isn't something that gets to be discussed as if it were a commodity. We aren't talking about trading stocks or cattle here. These are human being's lives which are plugged into a spreadsheet. If they cause that spreadsheet to tilt into a negative axis in the eyes of wall street then these companies have said bluntly that they have no problem allowing the individual to die. Americans as a majority are sick of this crap. They are sick of lies about how horrible universal health care is in other countries, and they are certainly sick of people maintaining the status quo so as to reap absolutely obscene profits margins off of their illnesses and loss.

Also on some of these "numbers". The CBO estimated the health care bill without a public option and about 1 trillion dollars over ten years. They then reduced that number to around 647 billion with the public option included. This is a far, far cry from what Herb is touting here. Basically this will prove to be a means to insure every American for what we are currently paying now. That's not a bad start.

Ian McGibboney said...

I'm like Obama? Thanks!

Of course, I know you meant that as an insult, which is exactly the problem here. You and your troll friends are incapable of seeing anything other than from your own skewed perspective.

The reason I'm not crunching your numbers is because I don't need to. You've already made up your mind that Obama is going to fail and you bombard this thread with numbers that you think back it up. I think NOLA made a strong case against your statistics, if that's what you want. I'm addressing your (false?) outrage over Obama's spending on health care, because I see that to be a good investment. You don't. Your fear of government clearly overrides any concerns you might have over our profit-driven system, and clouds everything you say.

In the meantime, you have no answer, and neither does your party (or side, if you want to be one of those pains-in-the-ass that claims to not be Republican but apes them in every possible way). If you have an idea on what you would do, I'd love to hear it. In your own words.

herb said...

Bottom line. Obama let's the Bush tax cuts expire then he proposes tax rates that are 10% lower than they were under Reagan.

For most of Reagan's term the MTR cap was 50%, Once this healthcare takeover passes it will be at 45% (from 39.1%), and will raise to over 50% once the Bush tax cuts expire. I'm not sure how math works where you're from, 50% is not 10% less than 50%. This doesn't even take into account state taxes like those in liberal bastions such as NY, which will surely raise to combat the recession since that's the only trick Democrats know, so "the rich" in those states may wind up losing 60% of their income to the government. For a side that whines about "fairness" an awful lot you sure have no problem letting a small percentage pay over half the collected taxes in the nation.

Americans as a majority are sick of this crap.

According to the polls the only thing they are sick of a possible healthcare takeover, it's support has dropped 5 points in 2 weeks and is currently at 46% for and 49% against. And it's projected to keep falling as more tidbits are released, like the aforementioned blackmail and the elderly not getting the care they need later in life.

They then reduced that number to around 647 billion with the public option included.

Umm where? Because I'm looking at reports from today, July 15th, that have no mention of this supposed reduction, the CBO website doesn't mention it either.

If you have an idea on what you would do, I'd love to hear it. In your own words.

I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain it wouldn't include raping one segment of society because they dared make money legitimately.

Ian McGibboney said...

Herb: "I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain it wouldn't include raping one segment of society because they dared make money legitimately."

Really, Herb? Do only the richest people make money legitimately? That's news to me. It may shock you, but I have a full-time job with benefits. I pay taxes and have jumped through the health care hoops when necessary. I've never drawn unemployment and I don't draw government assistance. I'm solidly middle class, and I don't need to be told who makes their money legitimately and who doesn't, especially in the face of all these corporate crooks going to jail and trust-fund suckers who are filthy rich at the moment of conception.

They don't care about you, Herb. Why do you care so much about them? Maybe you should ask Bill Gates Sr. or Lee Iacocca what they think about Bush's tax cuts. You might be surprised.

NOLA Progressive said...

Feel free to pour through these two links.

http://dodd.senate.gov/?q=node/5096

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10430/House_Tri-Committee-Rangel.pdf

I will state that the 647 billion reduction takes into account the surtax on the wealthy and savings. However, estimates are that it will indeed cover 97% of the population if you do not count the undocumented and not inflate the budget. Basically when can spend what we are spending or less and cover the vast majority of the nation. That's tough to argue with, although I'm sure you will.

NOLA Progressive said...

One last point to address since we are trying to hash out facts here, and that is public opinion. Herb you were indicating that public opinion was waning and overall low on the public healthcare option.

Here's a link showing 69 percent support: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/07/01/1984293.aspx

MSNBC too liberal a source for you? Here's a poll showing 72% support.

Even Repubs weigh-in pretty firmly in favor: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/public-opinion-strongly-favors-public-plan.php

herb said...

Really, a MSNBC poll and a month old NY Times poll...posted on ultraliberal Matt Yglesias' website no less, yes NOLA, seems very unbiased!

I was referring to this Rasmussen poll, one that isn't skewed by ideology.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/healthcare/july_2009/49_oppose_health_care_reform_plan_46_favor_it

Ian McGibboney said...

"This Rasmussen poll, one that isn't skewed by ideology."

Isn't Rasmussen Fox News' poll of choice? Oh, my sides ache!

NOLA Progressive said...

Exactly. Rasmussen is traditionally slanted with a conservative bent, but if you don't like the two polls I used as samples, simply use the old Google. You will find numerous polls from cbs, ny times, rasmussen, gallup, nbc, fox, and many others which show very similar stats.

herb said...

Hooray for guilt by association!

Do you have some proof that their polls aren't accurate? Or is this just another example of the typical trollish behavior you claim to abhor?

musing said...

Sorry, herb, but you're full of fail (as usual). By your, um, argument, the rich should've all deserted to the Caymans a couple of generations ago when the top marginal tax rate was 92%. Care to guess who was responsible for that rate? (Hint: It wasn't a Democrat. Think Supreme Commander, Allied Forces Europe.)

It was a Democrat, however (LBJ), who reduced that rate to 77% in 1964, and then again to 70% in 1965. It was none other than Tricky Dicky who raised it back to 77% in 1969.

--Michael

Pete said...

I have to laugh when I hear liberals extol the greatness of the public option because "well hey it's competition and if companies can't compete then oh well!" but at the same time they get all full of nerd rage when a Walmart wants to move into a town and they cry about all those "mom n pop" stores that will go under. Just another example of liberal hypocrisy.

Ian McGibboney said...

It seems to me that conservatives are up in arms because they think government will be the Wal-Mart of health care, driving the private insurers out of business due to an unlevel playing field. But it's OK when the business in question is private (Wal-Mart) and the same thing happens.

More anti-government bile from sore losers.

Pete said...

I'm liking that "sore loser" remark, especially from an entrenched member of the BUSH=HITLER crowd. Rock on Mr. Hypocrisy.

Ian McGibboney said...

Ha ha! Is that what they teach you to say at the teabagger rallies?

Pete said...

Is that the type of comebacks they teach you to say at your monthly Marxist Anonymous meeting?

Ian McGibboney said...

They tell me I have a lot to learn, because I'm a lame Marxist.

NOLA Progressive said...

I don't whine about Wal Mart. I realize it's potential negative effects and for the vast majority of instances choose to shop locally, farmers markets, organics, thrift, etc... Actually this is becoming much more common across the country. I simply make a choice. Hmm. Go figure that.

NOLA Progressive said...

Also thank you Muse for pointing out the taxation statistic. Marginal tax rate have been much much higher under Repubs up until the great rich person orgy that W ushered in.

herb said...

couple of generations ago when the top marginal tax rate was 92%.

Funny how you focus on the 8 years Eisenhower had the MTR at 91-92% and totally ignore the preceding 20 years where 2 Democrats raised it from a low of 25% allllllll the way up to 94%. Funny how you miss that. Maybe you should have actually study the chart before throwing it up as some sort of coup de gras.

Marginal tax rate have been much much higher under Repubs

If you actually looked at that chart you would see that excluding the Eisenhower anomaly the MTR steadily DECREASED from highs imposed by the previous Democrat admin the longer a Republican was in charge.

NOLA Progressive said...

and continued to stay well above 50%. In fact were there during every repub and conservatives demi-god Regan's administration. Hell, even if Obama and Congress get the health bill through with the surtax attached to it, the tope marginal tax rate will be about 10%points lower than Reagan.

Go sell crazy somewhere else Herb. I'm all stocked up here.

herb said...

the tope marginal tax rate will be about 10%points lower than Reagan.

Why do you keep saying this when I already proved you are very wrong? 50& is not 10% less than 50%, it's not even 10% less than the very conservative estimate of 45%! Why do you keep bringing up Reagan anyway? Who the fuck is even talking about him besides you? Plus, since when are his tax policies the standard all other should be judged by?

Ian McGibboney said...

The point is, Herb, that you and your ilk think Obama is taking us to Marxist levels of taxation, when Obama isn't even approaching the top levels that this country had in the Reagan era and earlier. If Obama's a socialist, then so was every president between Eisenhower and Clinton. And that's not an argument I'd run with.

Incidentally, why are you so concerned about what the richest in America pay? Are you Bill Gates? You must be, because otherwise chances are very high that Obama's policies are helping you as well.

NOLA Progressive said...

45% is a very generous estimate Herb, and you haven't proven anything sir. You've spouted off every talking point I've seen from Glen Beck and Sean Hannity the last few days, but proven nothing.

Also, I find it extremely rich for a conservative to belittle using Reagan as a standard for anything. He is every conservatives favority golden standard for just about everything.

What you have failed to point out is that the surtax you are getting all bend out of shape about doesn't hit it's cap out point until over $1 million dollars of earned income. Also, this would eliminate the need for large amounts of Medicaid and Medicare taxes that are currently being paid. Also those income levels aren't paying anyting in SS tax after 90,000 grand.

Not to mention that at that level of wealth typically individuals earn far more than their marginally taxable income by means of capital gains, dividends etc... You're miracle number of 50% is accurate only in very very limited cases, and overall erroneous.

This also brings up a good point to tie into Ian's more recent post on racism. Where the hell were all the teabaggin nutjobs when the rates were much higher and under Republicans? Nah, the venemous opposition to Obama has nothing to do with race. Certainly not. Please.

musing said...

herb, herb, you poor thing. Did you learn nothing in school. Let's stop and think for a minute about what was going on during those "...preceding 20 years where 2 Democrats raised it from a low of 25% allllllll the way up to 94%." You've maybe heard of the Great Depression and the Second World War? Except that back in the days when sane people were in charge in this country, we actually paid off our debts--instead of passing them on to our great-grandchildren's children the way you oh-so-fiscally conservative Republicans do when you're running things (and then bitch about how irresponsibly the Democrats are behaving when they do something even a tenth as foolhardy as what their Republican predecessors in office did). Deficit spending only seems to annoy you people when it's done by someone who doesn't have an R after their name.

You people have been pushing this Reaganite supply-side bullshit for the last generation. It didn't work in the '80s, it hasn't worked at any time since the '80s, and it won't work at any time, ever. Give it up already, wouldja, and try to find a new schtick. This one was old when it was brand new. It hasn't improved any with age. Or the hypocrisy with which it is constantly served up.

--Michael

TJENKINS said...

"Americans as a majority are sick of this crap. "

Yep they sure are, oh wait no they aren't and you have no idea what you're talking about:

"By a 50-42 margin, Americans oppose the House of Representatives' bill introduced July 14,"

Key survey findings included that 84 percent of those who are currently insured are satisfied with their health care.

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1722

you reek of bullshit.

Ian McGibboney said...

Teej, I was going to say how your poll was conducted by Zogby, another conservative mouthpiece, ONLINE, and how its results are irrelevant to the necessity of a government option, (i.e., people who are satisfied with their health care wouldn't have to change, because the point is to help those not insured or burdened by costs have a workable choice). But then I bothered to click the link. And you've selectively quoted, if I may so:

"Key survey findings included that 84 percent of those who are currently insured are satisfied with their health care. For those without insurance, only 46 percent had some level of satisfaction with their health care. Almost 80 percent agreed that rising healthcare costs are hurting American businesses. An expanded role for government in health care is opposed by 48 percent of Americans, while 44 percent support it. Forty-six percent of respondents agreed that a public plan is needed to "keep insurance companies honest."

Thanks for the rope, Teej.

TJENKINS said...

Yeah so? I still don't see a majority supporting Obama's socialist healthcare in all that you quoted. You will find that people don't take too kindly to having their taxes raised, no matter how noble you liberals think the cause being.

Ian McGibboney said...

One poll never tells the whole story, and even within a poll you don't always get an accurate picture (for example, how the question is phrased can strongly affect the answer).

In any case, your tax=evil equation is old and tired. Get over yourself.

TJENKINS said...

FYI: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/healthcare/july_2009/50_oppose_government_health_insurance_company

"Just 35% of U.S. voters now support the creation of a government health insurance company to compete with private health insurers.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% of voters oppose setting up a government health insurance company as President Obama and congressional Democrats are now proposing in their health care reform plan."

sinking...sinking....sinking

Ian McGibboney said...

You know, Teej, for someone who constantly attacks me for supposedly aping talking points, you rely a lot on right-leaning polls to do your talking for you.

I await the day when you actually have a proposal of your own rather than echoing whatever numbers Fox News uses to broadly criticize anything and everything the Democrats do.

TJENKINS said...

Ah yes, every poll except the ones you agree with are biased, got it. How's the light in that hole you've got your head buried in?

Ian McGibboney said...

I don't use polls to justify my views; I make my own cases.

Still, you could at least TRY to defend your figures...I guess making fun of me is easier?

TJENKINS said...

The polls don't justify my views, but they certainly show I'm within the mainstream, while you steadily sink further into fringe whacko land with the rest of your DU pals.

herb said...

Nah, the venemous opposition to Obama has nothing to do with race. Certainly not. Please.

This reminds me of a funny story. A few months ago me and my wife were in Hawaii on vacation and being Obama country every other corner had "Obama Tees" and Obama bobbleheads for sale. I turned to my wife and said "jesus christ I can't even escape that fucks face when I'm on vacation" to which she replied "oh shut up, you only don't like him because you're racist". We both got a good laugh out of that, you see it's a running joke between me and her BECAUSE MY WIFE IS BLACK, get it? lol.

In other words, fuck you moron.

Ian McGibboney said...

You're mainstream, huh, Teej? Is that what your favorite leading polls tell you today? I can't wait to see how fast you abandon the polls when they show a 1 percent uptick in the other direction. Then, polls will be a fickle, flavor-of-the-moment cop-out, won't they? There's a reason I don't quote polls when I write. One, I make my own arguments. Two, polls are notoriously unreliable. They're a fair gauge of public opinion taken as a whole, but unreliable as a primary barometer.

Herb, does your wife know you parade her race as a justification for your hateful rhetoric?

In any case, it doesn't change the fact that plenty of people oppose Sotomayor and Obama for reasons other than issues. They're not stupid people, I seriously doubt most conservatives actually think they're racist/socialist and neither of them say or do anything that hasn't been done many times before. So what is the difference this time? Enlighten me.

herb said...

What "hateful" rhetoric? Please, make up some shit and tell me how racist I am even though my wife of 8 years is a fine ebony princess.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, "fuck you, moron" comes quickly to mind.

And I don't recall saying specifically, "Herb is a racist for disliking Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor." It's not all about you, you know. But thanks for the defensiveness. Just one fewer intelligent tidbit I have to debate.

herb said...

Well when someone labels me as a racist without even knowing me merely because I oppose their Dear Leader's choices, I think a "fuck you moron" is appropriate, and to answer your question I'm fairly certain my wife would have no issue with me telling him such.

Ian McGibboney said...

You know, Herb, if I'm wrong, tell me why I'm wrong. Tell me why it's wrong to say that race may be a factor in all of this when it isn't a question of competence or even ideology. Explain it to me. After all, I am a moron.

And again, I never said you were a racist. Just that you are quick to defend yourself over something you think I said about you.

herb said...

First off, my response was to NOLA Progressive, I assumed by quoting his words just before I posted mine you would have made the connection, but as you say, you're a moron so I guess you didn't understand.

And secondly how can you say opposition to Obama by MOST Republicans "isn't a question of competence or even ideology" when it is! Almost everyone I read disagrees with him in both those areas totally. That's not to say there aren't some stupid, toothless inbreds from Louisiana that hate him because he's black, because I'm sure there is, but they are inconsequential to the national stage. Normal people don't like him because he's shown himself to flail around and come off as way out of his league (incompetent) and they think his policies are insane and destructive (ideology). But labeling their opponents racist is a time honored liberal tradition, so keep it up and you'll continue on towards another liberal tradition, becoming a comedy routine by midterms.

Ian McGibboney said...

Somehow, I don't think you care who your answer was directed to. If it mattered that much, you would have cleared the air long before this.

Republicans have been trying to smear Obama as long as he's been running for president. They did this by propagating the weakest, stupidest, most transparently racist lies that they could pull out of their collective flabby ass. Why they did this is beyond me, because it seems to me Obama gave them enough to oppose just on the issues. But no, everything's "socialism" this or "birth certificate" that. And the recent appointment of a woman to the Young Republicans who was caught laughing at racist jokes on Facebook, as well as the multiple GOP staffers and campaign workers caught passing along racist caricatures and/or blaming self-mutilation on black Obama supporters, does not help that perception.

The ongoing row over Sotomayor is an extension of this. All the criticism over her boils down to her "loyalties" and her "empathy," which is really a socially acceptable way of saying that she, as a Hispanic, is Not One Of Us. Not only is she more qualified for the SCOTUS than any nominee in recent memory, but she's being castigated for things that Samuel Alito said even more acutely than she did, viz personal experience affecting decisions.

So, yes, I do think it's about race. Maybe not for you, Herb, but for many detractors. And until someone can post solid, factual criticism of the issues (or, even better, solutions that don't involve more of the same or otherwise merely condemn liberal ideas), then I will continue to see race as the driving force behind this vehement opposition.

NOLA Progressive said...

This also brings up a good point to tie into Ian's more recent post on racism. Where the hell were all the teabaggin nutjobs when the rates were much higher and under Republicans? Nah, the venemous opposition to Obama has nothing to do with race. Certainly not. Please.

That was my full quote Herb. If you want to quote me at least do it in context. I understand that Fox News is incapable of this skill, but I think you can handle it in such a small venue. Unless you consider yourself a tea baggin nutjob then this doesn't really apply to you, but rather to the group that I was discussing. Your wife's ethnicity has nothing to do with my point.