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Paying for Health Care Reform September 10, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, capitalism, Democrats, economy, health care, Income, Medicare/Medicaid, news, politics, taxes, welfare.
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During one Town Hall meetings, President Obama said people like himself could pay for health care reform. That is, high-income taxpayers can afford high tax rates to help fund universal health care.

Thomas Jefferson held a similar view. He was critical of industrious citizens getting rich while others citizens were going without. He believed the wealthy should assist the less fortunate to achieve a livable income.

The difference between the views of Obama and Jefferson is not apparent. Nevertheless, there is a significant difference in their views. Obama adheres to a form of contemporary liberalism that has embraced the values of humanism, egalitarianism, and welfare socialism. Although Jefferson was more liberal than many of his day, he was nevertheless a rock solid natural law proponent. His values were characterized by traditional moral values, entrepreneurial capitalism, and natural rights equality. Stated more simply, Obama tends towards being a big government socialist while Jefferson was oriented toward being a limited government capitalist.

To Jefferson, the term capitalist meant entrepreneurs of small businesses including farms, repair shops, small manufacturers or craftsmen, merchants, and the like. Today, the term capitalism certainly includes owners of small businesses, but, in practice, most modern politicians favor a big business view. Internationalists, like Obama and most federal politicians, give their allegiance to supporting national, international, and especially Wall Street business. However, Jefferson, as did Adam Smith, opposed big business as a threat to independent “capitalists”. One reason was that they regarded big business as quasi-governmental entities, and so do many financial experts today.

The point is this: Obama, as representative of the Democratic Party, wants the more wealthy to pay for their welfare based benefits program for middle and lower income citizens. The obvious problem is high income citizens live off the productivity of lower income employees, taxpayers, and consumers. This is what early Americans like Thomas Jefferson were critical of. Why? As expressed by John Locke, property and productivity belonged to the property owner and worker. In other words, the means of production belonged to all Americans equal to their need and capacity.

Taxing for the limited functions of government was and is the necessary cost to security property and life as well as to maintain the freedom to pursue as much happiness as possible. Taxing for redistribution from the haves to the have-nots was regarded as robbery just as the low wage living was regarded as slavery.

One could argue that most businesses already pay their employees health care. They also pay into Medicare as well as into group health care. Employees pay a small portion of the health insurance costs. Why pay them higher wages?

The only reason to pay employees higher wages would be for them to pay 100 percent of the cost. This is true of all other government-initiated social safety net programs including social security, welfare, and ESEA (now called No Child Left Behind), and S-CHIP. Without poor wage earners, all of those programs would not be needed and would be more difficult to justify.

Those social safety net programs were all good ideas, but all became means to enlarging federal powers over American lives. Except for Social Security, most of those programs never produced the results that were sold to American citizens. Corporations whose revenues are in the multi-millions and billions often get welfare subsidies. Are not the bank and manufacturer bailouts a form of welfare? After billions of taxpayer funding, the ESEA program still has not closed the educational gap between children of poor families and others; it still has resolved the huge school drop out problem; add it still has not made American children’s globally competitive in math and science. One would think that over 40 years or 3 generations Americans would have achieved this goal. Then there is S-CHIP (State Children Health Insurance Program) that never has been used strictly to help the children of poor families. Why? Because the agenda of liberal bureaucrats always has been to complete the goal of making the middle class welfare dependents or good socialists.

Democrats justify their health care reform based on the millions of Americans without adequate health care. The majority of the uninsured are the working poor. Why are the working poor without health coverage? They are without health coverage for one of four reasons: (1) Their employers cannot afford to pay for heath care. (2) They cannot afford to pay their portion of their employers’ group plan. (3) Their spouse has sufficient family coverage. (4) They simply do not want to give any more money to insurance companies. Yet, every working American does pay into Medicare/Medicaid.

After paying for retirement age health care, the state often takes all of the possessions of those who paid into Medicare for years just for cashing in on the supposed safety net. That seems more like a big brother scam and not a safety net.

Maybe, Bernie Madoff’s real crime was learning and practicing the art of his liberal big brother.

The answer to the health care problem is not the enlargement of government or government run health care. It is reforming the political economy. If as President Obama, Jim Wallis, and others claim, the rich can afford to pay more taxes for health care reform, they could afford to pay better wage rates so that all American could purchase health care they and their families want. The cure for making health care affordable (reducing costs and increasing earned income) would solve many other societal problems tied to America’s political economy.


Senior Citizens Left Off Government’s Swine-Flu Vaccination Priority List August 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Democrats, economy, ethics, euthanasia, health care, legislation, medicine, news, politics, senior citizens, socialism, taxes.
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Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize suffering and death from influenza, the Health and Human Services Department says on its Web site.

But some senior citizens complain they’ve been left off the list of people who will be first in line to get the swine flu vaccination, when it is ready. One CNSNews.com reader suggested the omission is in line with the Obama’s administration’s plan to “minimize” health care for the elderly, as the reader put it.

On its Flu.gov Web page, HHS says the government is working to produce enough vaccine for the entire population, but there will be shortages when a vaccine first becomes available – probably in mid-October.

That means the “limited supply” will have to be “prioritized for distribution and administration.”

On July 29, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – a group that advises the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — recommended that novel H1N1 flu vaccine be made available first to the following five groups:

— Pregnant women
— Health care workers and emergency medical responders
— People caring for infants under 6 months of age
— Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years
— People aged 25 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)

Nothing is said about people over the age of 64, with or without underlying medical conditions.

HHS admits that its vaccination plans have changed as swine flu has spread:

“Now that an actual flu pandemic has arrived, we must be flexible and adjust our response based on the nature of the actual virus that has emerged, is circulating and causing disease around the world,” Flu.gov says.

“Based on what we know now about the novel H1N1 virus and the most vulnerable groups that are being affected most by this virus and those most likely to encounter it —younger people, pregnant women, healthcare personnel, and people who have underlying health conditions—it is necessary to revise and refine our vaccine prioritization guidance based on real world events.”

HHS says it already has invested more than $1 billion to produce a bulk supply of vaccine and to prepare pilot lots of potential vaccine for use in clinical studies.

In addition Congress passed and President Obama recently signed a supplemental appropriation for $7.5 billion to cover the costs of preparing for H1N1, including a vaccination campaign.

Commentary: In addition to the absence of any consideration for the very large and vulnerable senior population, the paternal health care of the federal bureaucrats costs taxpayers another $7.5 billion.

My question then is why do we need the bureaucrats in Washington funding our health care? Are not the big drug companies and their university labs not capable of funding their own profit-making drugs?

Maybe it is merely how health care works in a socialists system. We pay government, insurance companies, co-pays to doctors and drug companies, and then more through inflation to all of them. When the socialist bureaucrats Americans keep electing to rip them off of their income get their health care reform, Americans will spend even more of the money on health care and more time in line waiting to get health care. If you happen to be elderly, you might as well lessen the financial burden of all others by dying.

That appears to be the Democrats formula for compassionate euthanasia. Such has been the life long goal of Senator Sir Edward Kennedy.

News Source: CNSNews.com, July 31, 2009

Health care bill “would include Planned Parenthood clinics” July 27, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in abortion, Congress, health care, legislation, Planned Parenthood, socialism, taxes.
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Health care bill “would include Planned Parenthood clinics”
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) recently questioned Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) about the Kennedy health reform bill—and whether a new provision would include abortion providers—in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Sen. Mikulski confirmed that the bill “would include Planned Parenthood clinics” and “any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.”

We all know what Sen. Mikulski is talking about: Taxpayer-funded abortions. This provision to include abortion providers in the health care bill passed 12-11 in committee, meaning we are now one step closer to our tax dollars being used to fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. And now the pro-abortion movement is gaining ground on the House end, too.

H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, is currently on its third day getting a markup (i.e. getting debated, amended, and rewritten) in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Late last week, in the House Ways and Means Committee, Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) offered life-related amendments to the Democrats’ health care bill. Rep. Johnson’s would have explicitly excluded abortion from the minimum benefits and mandates provided for in the bill. It failed by a vote of 18-23. Rep. Cantor’s would have prevented taxpayers from being forced to subsidize abortions. It failed by a vote of 19-22.

All Americans should oppose H.R. 3200 for the following reasons:

1) It would include abortion providers like Planned Parenthood in the government health plan, forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions.

2) It would impose $1.5 trillion dollars in new taxes on the American people.

3) It would put the government in control of health care—marginalizing consumer choice and eventually putting private insurers out of business as employers opt for the cheaper (but inferior) government plan.

Let’s make sure our Congressional representatives know we do not support a government takeover of health care.

By Josh Mesker, Policy Analyst at Arkansas Family Council

Cantor, Obama, and Economic Stimulus Problems June 9, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Bailout, Barak Obama, Constitution, debt, deficit spending, economic stimulus, economy, federal government, politics, taxes.
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In a recent press release, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) issued the following statement after President Obama and Vice President Biden announced a ramp up in ‘stimulus’ spending:

“One hundred and eleven days later, over 2 million jobs lost, and an unprecedented debt in our wake, it seems late for the Administration to announce a targeted ramp up in ‘stimulus’ spending. This winter, the President made the case that immediate stimulus funds were needed to produce jobs and turn the economy, yet as workers continue to lose their jobs, Americans are beginning to wonder what it is that we paid for.

The polls support this declining confidence in Obama’s seemingly failed stimulus plans. Last week, Ramussen reported that a majority of Americans fear that the federal government stimulus plan will do more damage than good. One way they see harm being done is the feds bailout of automakers. Leter, Gallup reported that 55 percent of Americans polled disapproved of the way Obama was handling both the federal spending and the budget deficit. I interpret this to mean most Americans do not like Obama’s bailout of Wall Street, banks, automakers, states, foreign governments, and the concomitant ballooning of the federal debt.

Remember, our current economic recession began with the bursting of several ballooning financial markets.

In his press release, Cantor went on to say:

“This is President Obama’s economy, and his Administration must provide results and specifics, rather than vague descriptions of success that seem to change by the week. The Administration looks dramatically out of touch as they highlight the creation of temporary summer employment in the face of job losses unseen in decades, record unemployment, and massive deficits.

As Democrats criticized GW Bush’s increases in spending, it is only fair that Republicans criticize Obama for the same. Nevertheless, I disagree with Cantor that the problem is Obama’s. Actually, the problem is, at least in part, the creation of Congressional Democrats, their Committees on Financial Services lead by the new media gay star Representative Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd. They refused to deal with problems that Bush and his economist repeatedly addressed as well as some critical European bankers.

Yet, Cantor seems to blame blamed party leaders Pelosi and Reid for the deepening of the recession. For Cantor concluded his press release by saying,

“House Republicans have laid out a serious and substantive plan to create twice as many jobs, but instead America got a partisan spending bill that Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid rammed through Congress and the President signed into law. The American people know what success is, what is real job creation and what is DC spin.”

Here, Cantor missed the opportunity to indicate the real problem that must be fixed to stop our nation’s spiral into economic oblivion. It is not fixing the immediate problem of continuing loss of jobs. It is not just deficit spending or balancing the budget. The underlying problem is a system and those who preside over it no longer abide by the rule of law. The economic system as it is structured today is itself a breach of the Constitution. Because it is, the problems addressed during the Constitutional Conventions continue to plague us.

The War On Capitalism Continues May 8, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in capitalism, Constitution, economy, Federal Reserve, news, politics, taxes, war.

According to financial adviser Bill Bonner, the U.S. government via the Federal Reserve has been at war against capitalism for over 50 years. An example of how the feds wage their dirty campaign is as follows:

“Instead of permitting willing lenders and borrowers to set the price of credit, for example, the Federal Reserve imposed its own short-term rates many times over the last 50 years. Eleven times during that period, capitalism tried to correct the “borrow and spend” economy. Each time, the feds rushed in with more credit on even easier terms. By the recession of 2001-2002, the feds were intervening with such heavy hands that it set off the bubble in housing prices in the 2002-2007 period. When the bubble [finally] exploded, the fed’s dirty campaign turned into a major war with huge pitched battles…and millions of casualties.”

Anyone listening to the news heard about the bank stress testing results. The poor stress out banks that failied the test included Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC, and Citi. They all need billions of more taxpayer money to become strong and healthy players in the feds campaign.

“If capitalism had its way,” wrote Bonner, “it would sort out the banks quickly. Banks that couldn’t raise the money they needed would go out of business. Their assets would be bought up by the solid banks. Life would go on.”

As Bonner points out, “the feds’ war against capitalism prevents this kind of simple resolution. Instead, weak, mismanaged institutions are kept alive with taxpayers’ money.”

How are we the privileged taxpayer going to pay for the feds’ war against capitalism? We will have to sacrifice the cause by accepting less funding of health care, education, highway repairs, and other non-essential government services and/or welcome higher taxes.

At one point in his commentary, Bonner made a very troubling statement.

“This year, the U.S. stopped being the United States of America. Yesterday, it was reported that the states now get most of their money from the feds.”

This is certainly the ever increasing trend. As Democrats attempt to take-over government all levels, it will become fully true.

And “[t]hat’s the end of the federal system…the end of the system announced in the U.S. Constitution…which was a union of sovereign states. Now, it’s a fully centralized system…a popular democracy of the worse sort…in which celebrity hacks are elected and rule without any real shame or limit. Even Louis 14th, France’s Sun King…an absolute monarch…knew he was subject as well as monarch. He was God’s man on the throne of France. Now, America’s leaders answer to no one…except the mob of TV-addled voters.”

I guess it takes an objective viewer from London to see it.

Credit for the title and most of the content of this post belongs to The Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner, which is published by Agora Financial.

Are States Really Hurting for Money? April 28, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in news, politics, research, taxes.
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Stateline.org recently reported that the severe recession is producing budget shortfalls in most states. In January, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) projected overall budget deficits of state would be around $85 billion for 2010. Since then, NCSL has increased its estimates to $121 billion. The National Governors Association estimates budget gaps could grow to $230 billion by 2010, according to Stateline staff writer Pamela Prah.

States officials are proposing all sorts of tax hikes and service fee supposedly to balance their respective state budgets.

The multi-billion dollar question is whether state governments are really hurting for budget balancing cash.

According to chief economist for Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Raymond Keating, the short answer is no. States are not actually hurting for money, and here’s why.

In a April 2 SBEC article, Keating wrote:

The U.S. Census Bureau just released data for state tax collections in fiscal year 2008. For the U.S. overall, state government tax collections increased by 3.2 percent versus the prior year. That was ahead of the inflation rate.

Even more important is to look at these numbers over a longer period of time.

Let’s take a look at the 2000 to 2008 period, for example. During that timeframe, inflation rose by 22.4 percent, based on the GDP price deflator.

At the same time, state government tax collections jumped by 45 percent.

So, state government tax collections raced ahead at twice the rate of inflation.

Factor in population growth, and per capita state tax collections still grew by 35 percent. Again, that was well ahead of inflation – in fact, 56 percent faster than inflation.

Consider one glaring example. New York state lawmakers just agreed to a package of enormous tax increases that will do some real damage to the state’s economy. The reason put forth was that the state faced a big budget deficit. From 2000 to 2008, however, New York’s per capita state tax collections increased by 53 percent. By the way, while lawmakers were hiking taxes, they also were still increasing spending.

In the end, the budget woes confronting many states are not just about the current recession. They’re more about politicians refusing to plan properly. They are about elected officials who take a shortsighted view of their jobs, by spending more and more with little regard to what might happen in a tough economy.

What I take away from the above is this: Let the spend thrifts in our state capitals cut their spending to balance their budgets or resign.
Taxpayers should stop believing the bull of their elected and unelected tyrants and start forcing them to serve the citizen-taxpayers rather than special interests that pad their pockets or swell their egoistical status. If they don’t like it, tax-paying and voting citizens should fire them and their administrative personnel who actual provide them with their special-interest-laden plans.

Taxpaying citizens can always find better managers of their collective affairs.

My Budget Runneth Over April 6, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Congress, deficit spending, economy, federal budget, taxes.
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On February 26, 2009, nine days after he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and one day after Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act—that Barack Obama would go on to sign—Obama said, “[W]hile we must add to our deficits in the short term to provide immediate relief to families and get our economy moving, it is only by restoring fiscal discipline over the long run that we can produce sustained growth and shared prosperity.” When does this “fiscal discipline” start? “This is a process that will take some time,” the President said, “but in the last 30 days alone, we have already identified $2 trillion in deficit reductions that will help us cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term.” That should make up for what he has spent in the first 60 days of his term.

Here is the citizens’ part: “But we’ll also have to do something more—we will, each and every one of us, have to compromise on certain things we care about, but which we simply cannot afford right now. That’s a sacrifice we’re going to have to make.” Where is the government’s sacrifice? In the thousands of earmarks on the Omnibus bill that President Obama signed into law—earmarks that, according to the President’s campaign—should never have been passed? Or maybe in President Obama’s new budget?

U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) argued at a Conservative Bloggers Briefing that the government’s sacrifice is either non-existent or extremely minimal. He said that President Obama could surpass the debt of all other presidents combined by the end of his term if he does not end his reckless “government spending spree.” He used California as an example of what the country could end up as. In five words, Nunes summed up California’s situation: “California is done.” He said, “It’s over.” He asserted that the problem stems from the Californian government’s willingness and eagerness to give “everything to everyone.” He said that “what you have in California is a very dangerous, dangerous situation where the government is essentially insolvent. There’s no way they’re going to be able to come out of this hole without serious reforms.”

Nunes argued, “[I]f you continue to have inaction or—even worse yet—things like this new Obama budget…you’re going to end up with exactly what you have in California, which is a complete meltdown.”

By Heather Latham

Source: Accuracy in Media, April 2, 2009