Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Milton Friedman's Response to Obamacare? The "Economics of Medical Care" from 1978 at Mayo

The genius of Milton Friedman is that his economic insights are as powerful as they are timeless. Despite the fact that these comments were made more than thirty years ago in 1978 at the Mayo Clinic, they ring as true today as they did then.  Milton Friedman's six-part video series below on the economics of medical care is especially timely, in light of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obamacare this week and Milton Friedman predicted in this lecture that increased government involvement in health care would lead inevitably to completely socialized medicine.  This Mayo Clinic lecture is also a testament to Milton Friedman's effectiveness at delivering the message of individual liberty and limited government in a convincing and  non-threatening way, as Milton explains diplomatically to an audience of physicians how the "power of organized medicine" led to significant restrictions on entry to their profession through the American Medical Association's control over occupational licensing for physicians, which has contributed to the rising costs of medical care.      

Milton Friedman: "I’m going to talk today about the economics of medical care. This in an area, in which we all know there has been a trend toward ever-greater government involvement. One step in this area inevitably leads to another. We have had an expansion of government involvement in the spending of money – Medicare, Medicaid funds, expenditures by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for other medical purposes have been growing by leaps and bounds. They have gone from a very tiny portion of the total national expenditures on medical care to a substantial portion. If this trend continues, it inevitably leads to completely socialized medicine. I believe that this trend is very much against the interest of patients, physicians, and other health care personnel. And in the brief time I have to today, I want to explain why I believe the trend is so much against their interest, why it has occurred, and what, if anything can be done about it."


202 Comments:

At 7/04/2012 1:43 AM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Costs resulting from "restrictions on entry to [the medical] profession through occupational licensing" are probably quite minimal in relation to other factors that drive up the cost of healthcare.

 
At 7/04/2012 5:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Well here's a list of countries ranked by GDP(PPP) per capita ( the "***" denote the countries without universal access):

Qatar 1 ***
Luxembourg 2
Singapore 3
Norway 4
Brunei 5
Hong Kong 5
United States ***
United Arab Emirates 7
Switzerland 8
Netherlands 9
Austria 10
Kuwait 11
Canada 12
Sweden 13
Australia 14
Ireland 15
Iceland 16
Germany 17
Belgium 18
Taiwan 19
Denmark 20
Finland 21
United Kingdom 22
France 23
Japan 24
South Korea 25

(PPP rank per International Monetary Fund)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Qatar has 1.4 hospital beds per 1000

the US has the highest per capita health care expenditures per person in the world at $7960.

None of the bottom 150 lowest ranked countries by GDP per capita have universal health care.

How could Friedman be so wrong? The most productive countries in the world, all but 2 of them have universal health care.

 
At 7/04/2012 5:59 AM, Blogger hal said...

We should have about 3 million doctors, or more, in the USA. We only have around 700,000. Lack of supply and competition is the principle reason for high prices. Government and special interest have conspired to limit the number of medical schools and doctors graduating each year.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:16 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry says: "the US has the highest per capita health care expenditures per person in the world at $7960."

Government made health care a luxury good. So, what's the solution? More government?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:24 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

well 35 other "govts" did health care for all and their costs are 1/2 of ours.

how can all these other govt's including Singapore and Hong Kong cover all their citizens at 1/2 the cost?

To prove your point about govt, please list the top 3 health care systems in the world that do not involve the govt.

You've got over 200 countries to choose from.

pick 3 that are demonstrably better (you choose the criteria) as a result of having no govt involvement.

Is there a real world analog for better healthcare without govt?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:35 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry says: "how can all these other govt's including Singapore and Hong Kong cover all their citizens at 1/2 the cost?"

Through low quality health care, and they pay too much for the low quality.

It should be noted, foreigners pay the full price for U.S. health care, which adds to U.S. per capita health care costs.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:37 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Through low quality health care, and they pay too much for the low quality"

then it should be even easier to show countries that do it better, right?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:39 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry says: "To prove your point about govt, please list the top 3 health care systems in the world that do not involve the govt."

The U.S. has the best health care in the world, because of less government intervention, e.g. compared to Europe or Canada. Of course, dirt poor countries can't afford much health care or much of anything.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry says: "then it should be even easier to show countries that do it better, right?"

It should be obvious government does it much worse.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

but I thought the problem with the US was too much govt in healthcare - Medicare, MedicAid, EMTALA, etc.

and the solution to it is to get the govt out of healthcare, right?

so I was asking for some examples of countries (rich or poor) that got the govt out of healthcare and as a result have superior private-sector healthcare systems.

No countries do this?

Can you name the countries with the LEAST involvement of govt who do healthcare better?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:46 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

You didn't answer my question:

Government made U.S. health care a luxury good. So, what's the solution? More government?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Government made U.S. health care a luxury good. So, what's the solution? More government?"

sure I answered the question.

I said that I can find no superior systems that do it without govt and asked you to show me so if I overlooked some.

there are no non-govt systems that are better - ergo the better systems are govt.

are there counter examples that disprove this?

 
At 7/04/2012 7:55 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Government is involved in health care in every country, unless it's a dirt poor country.

The U.S. has better health care, because of relatively less government intervention.

Americans are paying way too much for high quality health care, because of government.

So, what's your solution?

 
At 7/04/2012 8:17 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

my solution: what 35 other countries do - successfully - compared to the rest of the countries in the world who do much worse with totally private healthcare systems.

I do not believe the non-govt healthcare countries have better systems.

I see no real world analogs or models to make me believe such systems are possible.

Changing the US system to be more like the countries without govt healthcare seems to be an advocacy to return us to a 3rd world type system.

show me how this is not true.

all the changes that people propose to reduce the govt involvement have no assurance that they work - they are just theories - with no real world analogs.

So we'd return to a 3rd world type health care system in all likelihood.

BUT as I said earlier - if I say an alternative proposal - such that it actually had specifics rather than generic sounding things like "patient-centered" reform - something the CBO could score or for that matter any organization would score as long as it could be validated as legitimate...

I'd not have a problem at all ..

but to change a system based on vague theories is ludicrous.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

my solution?

I'd drop ObamaCare in a New York Minute if I saw a real alternative plan rather than the theories that people so earnestly believe in but we have no real world examples.

I do not believe health care "works" as a private sector "good" because insurance companies will drop however many people it takes in order for them to remain profitable.

their goal is not to cover everyone and not to provide more health care than what a subscriber pays for and if a subscriber uses more - they'll dump him.

Insurance, by it's very nature, is a sharing of risk and benefits but many people would not buy it and many companies would not offer it to people that needed it.


If a state requires people to have auto insurance and requires insurance providers to offer the insurance, you have a large pool.

If the states did not do that, what would happen?

Some people would not buy insurance, and the companies would shed all those but who don't cost them money.

we'd have accident victims going bankrupt because another person with no assets to pay damages crashed into them and caused significant outlays of their own assets to pay for life-time injuries that prevented them from working anymore.

They and their families would fall into destitution with no real way to recover damages.

this is how pure private market insurance would work.

right now, people do not buy health care insurance and rely on going to the ER or doc-in-the-box if they get sick.

But if they get a major illness that requires thousands of dollars of health care - they go right to the ER to get admitted to the hospital and run up thousands of dollars of bills - that then get paid for by cost-shifting where the hospital recoups their losses by charging inflated prices to those who do have insurance.

In order for us to not do this - we'd have to repeal EMTALA.

If we did that, we'd then be like most 3rd world countries where if you have the money or insurance, you get care - if you don't you're out of luck.

How can we change our system as long as EMTALA is the law?

Would YOU support a law that says if a child needs to have their appendix removed but their parents can't afford it that ..too bad.. no money - no care?

would you support such a system?

Tell me how many elected people in the US promise to get rid of EMTALA and refuse care for anyone who cannot afford it?

how realistic is it to advocate for less govt if you will not support repeal of EMTALA?

As long as EMTALA is the core law for health care - there is no hope to go to a non-govt system. EMTALA trumps all other options.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:55 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, government has imposed so many unnecessary costs, that many Americans already aren't getting the health care they need.

The government is killing us in its attempts to help us.

To use your analogy, in Europe, they effectively pay $200 a month for basic auto insurance. When they could pay $100 a month for better auto insurance.

In the U.S., we're paying $500 a month for much better auto insurance, when we could pay $200 for the same auto insurance.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:20 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Larry, if a bunch of people jump off a bridge, would it be a good idea for you to do it?

I'll give you a few other features of those countries you so admire that differentiates them from the United States.

1.) They don't imprison up 2% of their population.

2.) They don't conduct violent raids on peaceful citizens or shoot their pets.

3.) They don't spend a quarter of their GDP on a military industrial complex that would be the envy of the Soviet Union and they don't engage in military adventure all over the world.

4.) In the vast majority of the countries on the list, the top marginal tax rate on personal income is LOWER than in the United States. UAE levies no taxes. Singapore's top marginal tax rate is something like 18%. Switzerland is much smaller, yet much more decentralized that the U.S. and its cantons compete for people an business by lowering the tax rate to well below the U.S. And many of those countries also don't fan class warfare and stoke hatred and envy of the productive and rich. Switzerland, Singapore, UAE, etc, among them.

5.) They do not tax citizens who live abroad and do not earn their income in the country itself. Your beloved IRS hunts you down where ever you might be in the world. Eritrea is the only country in the world to do that.

6.) The corporate tax rate and often the tax rate on investment is zero or close to zero.

7.) They don't post government goons at airports to sexually assault people to "protect" them from that 1 in 25,000,000 chance they'll die in an airline terrorist attack.

8.) With the exception of Singapore (which has the smartest universal care scheme on the list), the universal care either sucks or is horrendously expensive. Or both. Usually both.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the two government health care schemes are bankrupt and the uninsured have better health care outcomes than people who receive medicaid. And you're dumb enough to want more of that.

Furthermore, you don't understand the first thing about Obamacare, but you favour it because Herr Obama has promised you a free lunch and you are dumb enough to believe that you'll get your free lunch.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:32 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

We should have about 3 million doctors, or more, in the USA. We only have around 700,000. Lack of supply and competition is the principle reason for high prices. Government and special interest have conspired to limit the number of medical schools and doctors graduating each year.

But there doesn't seem to be any limit on law school admissions or political science majors.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:39 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

I see no real world analogs or models to make me believe such systems are possible.

Not too long ago there was no real world analog for cell phone service or the internet. Unfortunately, it is the nature of government to tie its own growth and power to the produce of the free market. Lots of government leaders want their kids and siblings to be honchos in the government/medical complex. Bashar al-Assad is a doctor.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:42 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I'm going to limit how much Larry idiocy I address today because he's a bottomless pit, but I'll touch on this:

But if they get a major illness that requires thousands of dollars of health care - they go right to the ER to get admitted to the hospital and run up thousands of dollars of bills - that then get paid for by cost-shifting where the hospital recoups their losses by charging inflated prices to those who do have insurance.

Nothing magical happens in the ER to drive up costs. A CAT scan in the ER part of the hospital is not naturally more expensive than one on the fifth floor. ER prices are high in part to discourage people from using it.

Of course, Obamacare does absolutely nothing to mitigate this problem. There are too few primary care physicians. Since Obamacare is pushed through these GPs and there aren't enough of them, people will simply go to the emergency room when they are wait listed to see their doctor. That's what happens in the HMO heaven on the Left Coast now.

The overwhelming majority of people in ER wait rooms are people who have insurance.

Furthermore, the cost shifting to the insured and those paying out of pocket does not happen because of some tiny minority of uninsured (who often don't end up needing care or are fully capable of paying out of pocket when they do) it comes from your beloved government-run medicare and medicaid. The government does not reimburse providers enough to cover their costs, so the cost is shifted to private payers. Will that go away if everyone is corralled into a government program? No. If the cost of the services are not sufficiently covered (and that includes the required profit), then the quality and/or quantity of the service will go down. If you want quality medical service, you will have to pay out of pocket. Thus, as in most of the countries on your list, health care will be of exceptionally low quality and quantity for everyone except the really rich. Good work.

There is no free lunch.

If we did that, we'd then be like most 3rd world countries where if you have the money or insurance, you get care - if you don't you're out of luck.

Conversely, you can sit on a year long wait list to (if you live that long) finally start chemo for your aggressive cancerous tumour OR you can pay for it out of pocket. The difference between you and your hypothetical third world guy is third world man wasn't first taxed to death to gain access to the wait list that will kill him, so he would theoretically have more money to spend on care once he got sick.

You're a simpleton, Larry. I envy you sometimes. Simpletons rarely have the ability to assess circumstances accurately and so rarely see the horror of the reality they live in until they realize reality kills. But then you die and you're none the wiser. I think you're a happier group.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:42 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

But there doesn't seem to be any limit on law school admissions or political science majors.

Touche!

 
At 7/04/2012 9:43 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

The government is killing us in its attempts to help us.

Evidence does not suggest that anything government does is to help us. I cannot find any reason to assign such motivation to any of our political clowns.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

There are a number of things we could do immediately that would reduce the cost of health care without compromising care or imposing anyone's will on another or costing taxpayers money.

1) Reduce or eliminate pharmaceutics companies' monopoly on their drugs. Currently, a company has something like a 10 year exclusivity on any drug they make. This jacks up the price of drugs unbelievably. By allowing genetic drugs into the market sooner, prices will be much lower.

2) Reform medical malpractice. Malpractice should be only when there is actual incompetence, not a mistake. Doctors can be sued for just about anything, which means they run unnecessary tests (driving up costs), and must bay hundreds of thousands in malpractice insurance (driving up costs). Through tort reform, we could address those problems quickly.

3) Eliminate the requirement for doctors/nurses/health care workers to have a license. This one is probably my most controversial idea. However, the requirement for licenses is a major part of rising costs. By artificially restricting the number of doctors in America, we are forcing up the price of doctors. By doing away with the license requirement, we would increase the number of doctors in the country, driving down costs. We can still have the AMA license, but it is just not a requirement to practice.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:54 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I also realize my ideas are impracticable as they would require taking on three of the biggest lobbies: AMA, ABA, and Big Medicine.

 
At 7/04/2012 10:15 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon says: "By allowing genetic drugs into the market sooner, prices will be much lower."

How do you know that? The drugs may be much higher initially when patents expire sooner.

 
At 7/04/2012 10:31 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

How do you know that? The drugs may be much higher initially when patents expire sooner.

That certainly is possible, Peak. But the sooner genetic drugs are allowed in, the sooner prices will fall. Is it better to spend an extra $10 per year for 10 years or an extra $15 for 5 years (those numbers are completely made up).

 
At 7/04/2012 10:35 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Malpractice should be only when there is actual incompetence, not a mistake. Doctors can be sued for just about anything

I don't see a difference. If I leave a clamp on your working kidney when I remove your non-working kidney (true story), is that incompetence of a mistake? If I lob cut off the wrong breast (true story)? The real problem is frivolous lawsuits for undesirable outcomes where the provider followed the standard of care (which is also why they won't deviate from prescribed standards even if you unique situation might call for it). It gets even harder. A 38 year old man complains of stomach pain. The doctor diagnoses ulcers without subjecting the patient to an expensive battery of tests because he is far too young to seriously entertain a diagnosis of cancer. Turns out he has cancer and dies at the age of 42 (true story). His widow sues (and loses). The lawsuit is horribly expensive. A man loses consciousness, falls so hard on poured concrete that he splits his skull and brain stem. The probability of survival is miniscule. He dies. The family is suing claiming his death results from the hospital negligence and not from cracking his %@#% skull open. Yep. True story. My cousin was recently sued because the child she was operating on developed a life-threatening infection as a result of the surgery. The parents had to fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions asked if the child has had a cold, flu, or sinus infection in the last two weeks (I don't remember the exact question but it was something like that). The parents answered she hadn't and the truth was that the child had just gotten over a cold a few days ago. It's dangerous to perform the operation if there's any bacteria left in the kids sinuses from the recent illness. It's their fault, but the parents sued anyway (they didn't win, but they cost the malpractice insurance company plenty).


Whether it is negligence or not is decided in court and it is the lawsuits that are so expensive.

I think the only way to solve this problem is to have a loser pays system. The family of the guy who split head open will be reticent to sue (they're just hoping they can suck some money out of the hospital in a settlement, btw). The guy who lost his only remaining kidney because the hospital did not follow procedure to count and recount the instruments and other items (they count every piece of gauze and cotton ball!) used during the operation will win.

 
At 7/04/2012 10:41 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

whew!

all I asked for was a list of countries that did it better without govt involvement!

Jon has some good ideas but they involve govt.

Methinks likes Singapore (and I do too) but Singapore has an individual mandate and a hefty payroll tax - right?

so even Methinks cites a govt-run system as better.

I'd accept ANY list of countries that do health care better using YOUR CRITERIA without the govt involved and which systems embody the free-market systems that we are saying need to be in place.

In the absence of any such list, are we not talking about a theoretical system that has never been done?

Virtually every one of the most prosperous, productive countries on earth (with a variety of good/bad taxing structures) have the best health care outcomes compared to any countries in the world that have pure free market health care systems.

This is not one or two outliers ... this is the entire world that we know.

How do we reconcile that what we are proposing - getting the govt out of health care - has more than 150 countries as analogs and all of them have bad health care systems compared to any of the countries with govt-sanctioned health care?

it just seems incredulous that we'd still continue to insist that a non-govt free market is the right way to go when there seems to be no other countries that meet that spec.

Perhaps the truth is that people think our system is already the best and needs no changes.

right?

 
At 7/04/2012 10:47 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the costs of malpractice

out of the $8000 per capita cost - is there estimate of how much of the 8K would be reduced if we did tort reform?

here's one estimate:

" According to the actuarial consulting firm Towers Perrin, medical malpractice tort costs were $30.4 billion in 2007, the last year for which data are available. We have a more than a $2 trillion health care system. That puts litigation costs and malpractice insurance at 1 to 1.5 percent of total medical costs. "

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/would-tort-reform-lower-health-care-costs/

my point?

that for any "better" alternative should we not have some scoring numbers to show how the suggested reforms reduce costs?

if we had such scoring for alternative systems - it would constitute a legitimate competitive challenge to ObamaCare and indeed the existing current system.

The fact that the alternative systems are couched in vague and non-specific terms seriously weakens those proposals.

Why not put forth a legitimate scored alternative that incorporates the ideas that people speak of?

 
At 7/04/2012 11:09 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:12 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Meicare funding of physician training was supposed to be temporary.

From the New England Journal of Medicine:

"In 1965, when Congress enacted the legislation that created Medicare, it assigned to the program functions that reach well beyond its basic mission of providing health insurance to an eligible population..."

"At the time of enactment, Congress determined that educational activities in teaching hospitals should be regarded as a reimbursable expense by Medicare until “the community [society at large] undertakes to bear such education costs in some other way".


Most physcian residency training persists as an entrenched function of Medicare funding and policy.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:14 AM, Blogger Craig Hearn said...

Can we now compare the quality of care from those without socialized care to those with it? Or did you miss the stories about the member of Canadian Parliment coming to the U.S. for an operation he would not have lived long enough to have in Canada's socialized system? The Brits that travel here due to the wait time or unavailable procedures in their socialized system.
A Cadillac and a Caprice are made by the same company, yet more than most would rather have the Cadillac despite the cost. While far from perfect, we have already seen our healthcare obliterated by the very entity that now has decided to run the entire system to the point of making the patients decisions for the patient without their or their doctors consent!
Personally, after the dismal disasters of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, our education system, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, our present economic and financial predicament, I believe it purely insane to wish or want the same management that gave us these prior disasters, most of which are still costing us ever more with ever less return on investment, to run of all things the single most control empowering system there is!!
The government allowed the insurance companies to install "state-of-residence-only" health insurance MONOPOLIES raising the cost of health insurance to whatever the insurance companies predict they can get!
The government mandates, via fiat, that I at lower middle-class status must pay for my mother, at upper middle-class status, to have mammograms! Raising the cost of health insurance!
The government mandates that ER's treat everyone period. Then they mandate that criminals, pronounced illegal aliens, be allowed into the country to further abuse the system those of us that pay taxes pay! Raising the cost of medical care!
The government allows poisons into our food such as HFCS and the unknown GMO which most of the rest of the world have outlawed! Raising medical costs!
Need I go on!!???

 
At 7/04/2012 11:26 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Methinks likes Singapore (and I do too) but Singapore has an individual mandate and a hefty payroll tax - right?

Wrong. Singapore forces everyone to to open and contribute (pre-tax) to an HSA. Everyone. Of the miniscule income tax Singaporeans pay, about 1% goes to pay for universal health care. Health care expenditure in Singapore is 4.5% of GDP. There are no wait lists and health care outcomes are as good or better than the United States.

Yet, Singapore's health care system was not even examined by our political overlords. Why? Because improving health care is not the purpose of Obamacare. Obamacare accomplishes only the following: jacks up taxes (there are 20 hefty new ones in the statute) and consolidates power in the hands of politicians (so that there is more to sell to cronies, enriching politicians at your expense).

Health care in the United States will get even worse than the hybrid socialized/private shitfest we have now.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Craig Hearn said...

Larry. In case you've been asleep for the past several decades, our healthcare system has always ranked at the top for individual patient care, innovation and success and survivability rates. This, of course, was before the last several rounds of government encroachment into healthcare and health insurance management.
Let us never forget that also, by design, those who mastered and maneurvered this plan into the law of the land, exempted themselves!!!!!
How after my last foray into the foreign land of reality and this juicy little morsel, do you choose to still put your FAITH into those that have managed so much into failure when that that you dismiss, the private sector, has nearly the exactly opposite record!?
You do not have endless rows of products at endless stores due to government. But you do have many and more costly services and needs due to government and government collusion. Granted, if big business was not willing to collude with government there we be none, but since it should be government not colluding with big business AGAINST the people, I call strikes on the government first!!

 
At 7/04/2012 11:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

nothing prevents the opponents of ObamaCare from proposing a Singapore type system (tailored to our circumstances) ....

... except most are opposed to ANY kind of govt-sanctioned health care no matter how "smart" (..." .. 8.) With the exception of Singapore (which has the smartest universal care scheme on the list), ")

.. that's the most inexplicable thing about the issue.

As much as folks hate Obamacare and say that better systems are available, the closest they get is vague references to "patient-centered reform".

Why not put up a legitimate competitive alternative ?

Most folks who support ObamaCare have no particular allegiance to it except it's the only game in town.

I'd certainly jump to a Singapore type plan over ObamaCare but that's not on the table and probably never will be.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:48 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

... but the fundamental issue where Friedman seems to be wrong - is that the reality is the best, most prosperous, most productive countries on earth - ALL of them have some kind of govt-sanctioned health care.

... and the countries that do not, all 200+ of them have abysmal "free-market" health care.

.. one would think that a country with free market health care, much less 200 countries, that at least one of two would rise to the top as good systems that are real free market systems without govt.

...but the reality is that there are none that meet that spec.

zero.NADA. ZIPPO.

so we keep saying that such a system is our goal in this country - like we know it would work ..

but we have no real proposals that could be scored to show they have promise...

all we have are vague suppositions that we should do tort reform, and other un-scored ideas.

why not put a REAL alternative with REAL scoring as a legitimate contender to ObamaCare and/or what we have.

what we're saying here is essentially to experiment with different things to see what works.

but we already have 200 countries doing that and so far not a one has come up with something that 'works'.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:55 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"all I asked for was a list of countries that did it better without govt involvement!"

And it's a stupid, irrelevant request. The fact is the US has the best but expensive health care system in the world. It could be made vastly cheaper by reducing the 3rd party payer conundrum that government inflames. There's really no disputing that.

Further regarding you incessant list demands, we can look within the US: lasik and cosmetic surgery have gotten cheaper over time with no reduction in quality. The reason for this is because there's an actual competitive market that exists because insurance and government are not much involved.

 
At 7/04/2012 11:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"why not put a REAL alternative with REAL scoring as a legitimate contender to ObamaCare and/or what we have."

Here's one, though it's not my choice: we repeal Obamacare and do nothing at all. That would be demonstrably better and cheaper.

 
At 7/04/2012 12:00 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

lasik and cosmetic surgery have gotten cheaper over time with no reduction in quality.

In fact, it's more than a lack of drop in quality. The technology and outcomes continue to improve at a fast pace as price drops.

And, of course, it is precisely price drops that make anything more affordable for the poor. Not government mandates, which are characterized only by forcing people to spend more for less.

 
At 7/04/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " Here's one, though it's not my choice: we repeal Obamacare and do nothing at all. That would be demonstrably better and cheaper."

plus

" And, of course, it is precisely price drops that make anything more affordable for the poor. Not government mandates, which are characterized only by forcing people to spend more for less."

who is going to pay for an 9-year old child with appendicitis if his parents have no insurance?

in a truly free-market system, that child dies - right?

there are two things that we could do to arrive at that point:

1. - repeal EMTALA so that no one gets medical care unless they pay

2.- repeal employer-provided health insurance (or at least tax it as fully as other compensation).

3. - allow anyone to write off 100% of what they spend on health care instead of everything over 7.5% of AGI.

there are others but the point is there is no real alternative proposal that has been scored and so we're essentially saying - go back to the old system - right?

 
At 7/04/2012 12:36 PM, Blogger Craig Hearn said...

Larry. How NOT interesting it is that you ignore not only all aspects of the arguments dispelling your beliefs but can only refer to extremes as a basis for your all for one or none for all position.
Unfortunately ignoring the numbers and facts that disagree with the beliefs you've handcuffed yourself to will not dispel or disprove them.
I sincerely hope you will not honestly force those of us don't want to swim onto your Titanic fairytale.

 
At 7/04/2012 12:45 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon has some good ideas but they involve govt.

In that they require government to remove the restrictions government put on the market in the first place, yes.

 
At 7/04/2012 12:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

craig - make YOUR case!

My basic premise is that most folks will not agree to a system that allows a 6-year to die for lack of treatment but their parents do not have insurance.

this is a key issue.

If you truly believe that we should have a total non-govt market-driven system AND you ACCEPT and AGREE that 6 year olds will die - then I'd congratulate you for solid and consistent philosophy.

But if you blink - then you've agreed that we really don't want a pure market-driven system and you do want some kind of govt involvement.

Is that a fair appraisal?

 
At 7/04/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger polskababe said...

I've read this blog for years and have scratched my head in amazement when trying to understand how a brain like Larry's works. I have wanted to respond SO MANY TIMES to his various inaccuracies but have left it to the Methinks of the blog world. Kudos to you all who try to educate Larry. I've come to the conclusion that he's beyond hope.

 
At 7/04/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

larry g proving yet again his grasp of history is less than nil whines the following: "there are no non-govt systems that are better - ergo the better systems are govt.

are there counter examples that disprove this?
"...

Well right here in the US prior to the introduction of the medicare/medicaid scam...

"who is going to pay for an 9-year old child with appendicitis if his parents have no insurance?"...

Well larry g if YOU think its important you'll pay for the brat's operation, right?

"They and their families would fall into destitution with no real way to recover damages"...

So what's it to you?

Geez! You're so full of hypocritical BS that it boggles the mind...

 
At 7/04/2012 1:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"My basic premise is that most folks will not agree to a system that allows a 6-year to die for lack of treatment but their parents do not have insurance"...

Well then the solution is simple enough larry g, let those alledged 'most folks' reach into their own wallet and pay for the brat's medical care...

I would say that you're overthinking this supposed problem but that would be crazy talk...

 
At 7/04/2012 1:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Well larry g if YOU think its important you'll pay for the brat's operation, right?"

no. no.

I'm saying that the folks who don't want ObamaCare nor care for the current system and instead say they want a true market-driven system that this is a question to them.

And if they answer "yes", let the kid die - then I'd congratulate them for sticking to their principles.

but if they "blink" and want some sort of a way to keep that kid from dying - then they are opting for a govt involvement.

can we agree on that?

re: polskababe

if that's all you got ...just shuffle on down the trail...

 
At 7/04/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

who is going to pay for an 9-year old child with appendicitis if his parents have no insurance?

Who the hell do you think pays under Obamacare? Or do you think that Obamacare is a rain dance that makes the clouds release money from heaven?

 
At 7/04/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger Paul said...

So I respond to Larry's dumb challenges, and then he proceeds to move the goal posts to "no government at all." Shame on me for engaging his stupidity yet again. But here I go again:

"who is going to pay for an 9-year old child with appendicitis if his parents have no insurance?"

The same saps who are already paying for it. We could reduce the freeloader advantage by providing tax credits to responsible people who buy insurance or can prove they can pay out-of-pocket. No Obama mandates that infringe on our freedom.

"but if they "blink" and want some sort of a way to keep that kid from dying - then they are opting for a govt involvement."

Not necessarily. Ever hear of charity, nimrod?

 
At 7/04/2012 3:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Not necessarily. Ever hear of charity, nimrod?

Or payment plans. But, as you said, Paul, this is what happens when we follow Larry down the rabbit hole.

 
At 7/04/2012 3:27 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I'm saying that the folks who don't want ObamaCare nor care for the current system and instead say they want a true market-driven system that this is a question to them"...

Well larry g what does it matter what they might think of your strawman argument...

Those people who want market drivent health care have already told you their answer...

"but if they "blink" and want some sort of a way to keep that kid from dying - then they are opting for a govt involvement.

can we agree on that?
"...

Nope!

If any of these poeple 'blink' its due to the crap floating around on the 4th of July...

 
At 7/04/2012 3:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Well here's a list of countries ranked by GDP(PPP) per capita ( the "***" denote the countries without universal access):"

What possible meaning were you hoping to squeeze out of that list?

Is there some correlation you would like to call cause and effect?

 
At 7/04/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"all the changes that people propose to reduce the govt involvement have no assurance that they work - they are just theories - with no real world analogs."

As Peak has patiently pointed out to you, government is involved in health care in all developed countries, and countries without government involvement are dirt poor, and can't afford it.

The "real world analog" you keep ignoring is the comparison of healthcare delivery to the delivery of food which is arguably as important.

Governments in most developed countries don't provide "universal food coverage", or force people to pay for a "food plan". Individual choice and competition for consumer dollars allow that important human need to be available to all at ever lower costs.

If you believe that healthcare is best provided by or managed by government, then why don't you recommend that government should also provide food in the same way?

Oh. I forgot. You *do* believe government provides better outcomes than free markets in food. Never mind.

Some cases where government oversight didn't work so well would be former Soviet Russia and Mao's China in which as many as 60 million people starved while government applied obviously superior and more efficient central planning to food production.

 
At 7/04/2012 4:28 PM, Blogger Ken said...

but if they "blink" and want some sort of a way to keep that kid from dying - then they are opting for a govt involvement.

can we agree on that?


No. Ever heard of charity? Before government crowded out private charity, these same people you claim to care about were served just as well as the government "serves" them probably better. And it cost a lot less than the corrupt system imposed from the top down.

The problem with you and the other fools on the left is the ignorant assumption that if the government didn't do it no one would. This is proven wrong over and over and over and over and... well you get the point.

 
At 7/04/2012 4:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"So we'd return to a 3rd world type health care system in all likelihood."

As usual, another baseless offering of opinion, merely something pulled out of your ass.

"I do not believe health care "works" as a private sector "good" because insurance companies will drop however many people it takes in order for them to remain profitable."

Actually the private sector provided good healthcare at reasonable costs before government got involved with it.

Why do you seem to believe that healthcare is somehow connected with insurance?

 
At 7/04/2012 4:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If a state requires people to have auto insurance and requires insurance providers to offer the insurance, you have a large pool."

A state may require people to show proof of financial responsibility - usually in the form of insurance - if they wish to drive a car on public streets and highways, so that someone who is damaged by their actions can be compensated for their loss. There is no requirement that you insure your own car against damage, or insure yourself against injury.

The only similarity to requiring medical insurance is that the concept of pooled risk is involved in both cases.

Insurance companies are not required to provide auto insurance.

 
At 7/04/2012 4:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"this is how pure private market insurance would work."

LOL

Says the expert. You have no clue. Read some history.

"If we did that, we'd then be like most 3rd world countries where if you have the money or insurance, you get care - if you don't you're out of luck."

Again, you have no clue. Read some history.

 
At 7/04/2012 4:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks

"Larry, if a bunch of people jump off a bridge, would it be a good idea for you to do it?"

Well, of course it would. They must know what's best. :)

Thanks for a great comment. I hope it will be included in your book. :)

"Furthermore, you don't understand the first thing about Obamacare, but you favour it because Herr Obama has promised you a free lunch and you are dumb enough to believe that you'll get your free lunch."

I believe there is also a pony.

 
At 7/04/2012 5:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Evidence does not suggest that anything government does is to help us. I cannot find any reason to assign such motivation to any of our political clowns."

You just aren't listening closely enough to their words. It's important to ignore their actions and just listen to their words.

 
At 7/04/2012 6:10 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Is there some correlation you would like to call cause and effect?

I believe you're looking for a level of complexity in Larry's argument that doesn't exist, Ron H. In fact, it's the argument every child has foisted upon their parents at least 10 times before the age of 18 since the beginning of time: "Buuuuuut, all the OTHER kids are doing it!!"

 
At 7/04/2012 6:21 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You just aren't listening closely enough to their words. It's important to ignore their actions and just listen to their words.

You listen to the words and tell me if you understand what he's saying. Here's who votes for whatever that was.

 
At 7/04/2012 6:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Here's more from what the left describes as the embodiment of eloquence. Yet, he and the fool before him managed to throttle us with Obamacare and the Patriot Act. I remind that Obama was shitting a brick over the suspension of Habeas Corpus right until the moment he won the election. And, suddenly, the leftist have forgotten all about it.

 
At 7/04/2012 7:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think the only way to solve this problem is to have a loser pays system."

Bingo! And not just medical lawsuits.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Jon has some good ideas but they involve govt."

The first of Jon's ideas is a reduction in government regulation. It is always OK for government to reduce it's influence.

The second, if it was a move to a "loser pays" system, would align the US with most other countries in the world which have such a system. Having a system like most other countries seems to be something you favor.

The third is also a reduction in government regulation. Those are *good things*

So yes, they are GREAT ideas. Less government regulation = GOOD.

 
At 7/04/2012 8:48 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"In the absence of any such list, are we not talking about a theoretical system that has never been done?"

No Larry, we are talking about a system that worked very well before government intruded in the market. Suggesting a return to market based medical care is no more theoretical than the notion that food, or clothing or shelter can be provided without central planning.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M:

"Reduce or eliminate pharmaceutics companies' monopoly on their drugs. Currently, a company has something like a 10 year exclusivity on any drug they make. This jacks up the price of drugs unbelievably. By allowing genetic drugs into the market sooner, prices will be much lower."

There are good arguments both for and against this, and for me this one the most controversial of your suggestions. On the one hand I'm entirely against such monopoly protection, but I don't have a good response to the argument that major drugs are very expensive to produce - Blame most of that on the FDA - and without some guarantee of future reward, few companies would commit the time and treasure to develop them.

Outstanding avatar by the way. I thought NH was cool, but you've outdone yourself. :)

 
At 7/04/2012 9:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"it just seems incredulous that we'd still continue to insist that a non-govt free market is the right way to go when there seems to be no other countries that meet that spec."

Then you would answer "yes" to Methinks's question about 50 people jumping off a bridge?

If they all do it, it must be good, so you are in favor of doing it also?

By the way incredulous may not be the word you want in that sentence.

Although correct use of the language certainly won't allow you to be taken seriously, you might at least try not to make things worse than they already are.

 
At 7/04/2012 9:55 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes, but Ron, notice he's never screaming that we should emulate the lower tax rates, incarceration rates and dial back the gestapo.

You just never see Larry writing long rambling posts in favour of those things.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:56 AM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Jon Murphy (9:45)

"Reduce or eliminate pharmaceutical companies' monopoly on their drugs. Currently, a company has something like a 10 year exclusivity on any drug they make".
_________________

Even assuming if you could get the Congress and the President to go along with this, there would be a high price to be paid for doing it.

A drug can cost a billion dollars to develop and fully test.

Who, exactly, do you think is going to pay for that?

 
At 7/05/2012 2:37 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Is that a fair appraisal?"

No.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:40 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"who is going to pay for an 9-year old child with appendicitis if his parents have no insurance?"

Probably the same people who will pay for his food, clothing and shelter until he grows up.

"in a truly free-market system, that child dies - right?"

No.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:47 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

polskababe:

"I've read this blog for years and have scratched my head in amazement when trying to understand how a brain like Larry's works."

So has everyone else.

"I have wanted to respond SO MANY TIMES to his various inaccuracies but have left it to the Methinks of the blog world. Kudos to you all who try to educate Larry."

Jump right in, it's fun, and good practice for those times when actual meaningful discussion is called for.

"I've come to the conclusion that he's beyond hope."

so has everyone else.

 
At 7/05/2012 3:37 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You listen to the words and tell me if you understand what he's saying."

Other than the herky jerky delivery, I thought that made as much sense as any Obama speech I've ever heard, although I must confess I seldom listen to more than 20 sec of any political speech. I'm an old guy, and don't want to waste my remaining time adjusting the volume on my bullshit protector

"Here's who votes for whatever that was."

While rather frightening, that makes perfect sense. Those people are unaware of any politicians by name and only remember the name Obama because they've been forced to chant it for hours on end. That one gal even had to print it on her T-shirt so she could match it to a name printed on her ballot.

If thousands of screaming fans yelled PELOSI! PELOSI! PELOSI! for a few hours they would probably know that name also.

 
At 7/05/2012 3:39 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Well larry g if YOU think its important you'll pay for the brat's operation, right?"

no. no.
"

Of course not. Your nephew won't get any help from you.

 
At 7/05/2012 3:44 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks

"I believe you're looking for a level of complexity in Larry's argument that doesn't exist"

You're right as usual, darn it. :)

 
At 7/05/2012 5:46 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: who pays to keep a child from dying?

the question was to folks who say they support free-market health care.

It was not a strawman or rhetorical question to engender support for govt involvement to "save" the kid.

How many people would support a free market health care system where an uninsured child would die without charity ?

to me this is not a strawman at all but a key question in terms of what the realistic chances are for this country to transition to a market-based health care system.

My view is that a large majority of Americans would not support that kind of health care.

I was posing that question to folks in a forum who are mostly self-avowed Libertarians in terms of their own opinions as to whether or not they would actually support a system that did allow 6yr olds to die - because I suspect that some here, they answered truthfully would not support a pure free market system that allowed that to happen.

I'm not at all surprised that folks like Juandos and a few others answer that question in the affirmative.

In order for that to actually happen, it seems to me the first step would be to repeal EMTALA, the law that basically requires hospitals to treat the indigent and then lets them cost-shift the charity care to those who have insurance.

That's not charity. Agree?

That's the govt telling us that we will pay for the 6yr whether we agree or not.

that's the reason why health care keeps going up in this country, at least in part.

so my view was - the first step to moving to a more free market system and away from ObamaCare would be to repeal ObamaCare and then repeal EMTALA.

So how likely is it that there is sufficient political will in the country to kill EMTALA?

I think there is a snowball chance in hell. (I know of not a single elected official who supports that).

how about you?

 
At 7/05/2012 6:03 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" No Larry, we are talking about a system that worked very well before government intruded in the market. Suggesting a return to market based medical care is no more theoretical than the notion that food, or clothing or shelter can be provided without central planning. "

how realistic is it?

I'll admit that we did have a system like that prior to MedicAid and EMTALA (and Medicare).

How realistic is it that the country would politically choose that kind of system?

But my open question remains the same which is that all countries currently with UHC ALSO at one point had the option of sticking with a free market system and did not.

And I would assert that any/all 3rd world / developing world countries also have that option and in fact without existing govt do have a much closer version of free market health care and in those countries that start moving up the economic ladder, it appears that most of them willingly choose to get the govt involved in health care.

What I asked for was examples of countries that actually chose to NOT go to a govt health care system - on the premise that at least one country out of 200+ actually did believe that govt involved in HC is bad, not good, as endlessly stated here in CD.

I just don't see any examples of any countries that work this way and I think the chances of the US returning to a true free market system has a snowball in hell chance.

I was NOT advocating anything.

I was asking questions about the realistic chances of such a free market system either existing natively in a 3rd world or developing world system that actually did produce a lower cost health care market that was affordable to more people that could serve as a model or real world analog for the US to move towards that kind of system rather than reverting back to a system where there was no EMTALA and people WERE turned away.

It was meant to be a pragmatic assessment of the likelihood of actually moving to a more free-market-like system and what such a system might look like (perhaps like Singapore)

and it was a challenge to what Friedman advocated since the world as we know it does not work the way he would assert it should.

But I was basically looking for some folks to cite countries that had more free-market style health care and it was "working".

Most of the 150 or so countries that do not have UHC also do not have EMTALA.

They are more like what the US was before EMTALA.

there are apparently no examples of any country that does not have an EMTALA law that does have some kind of a true free-market system that DOES provide lower cost insurance that is more affordable to more people - which is the claim of those who want the US system to do.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

But my open question remains the same which is that all countries currently with UHC ALSO at one point had the option of sticking with a free market system and did not.

It's not an open question of yours, it's the ramblings of an ignorant lunatic. First, there couldn't be a bigger difference between the UAE and Denmark. All of those countries are different and came by their varying policies differently. All of their health care systems are slightly different and the only way to avoid wait lists is to pay out of pocket. Second, Larry is thoroughly ignorant of what the health care systems are, how those countries came by them, how they are run, how they have changed and how much they cost. In other words, it's tough to find someone less informed on the subject than Larry.

Yet, Larry grins like the simpering idiot that he is, releases a little drool to trickle down your chin and says "I wanna be jus' like alla dem. Duh. An' Obamacare gonna be free medicine fur all. Duh." I often cannot believe that Larry is a grown man.

He clearly know ^&%# all about
"the third world". The first clue is that he thinks there's an undifferentiated "third world". There are things the third world has in common - poverty, for instance. Modern medicine is plain unavailable in some countries. Yet, here our Larry thinks that if they just switched to socialism they'd magically get some - like we here in Obamacareland expect to. Of course, being an idiot and having no desire to overcome his monstrous ignorance, Larry doesn't know that most governments in the third world are brutal and authoritarian and engage in a large amount of central planning, often with the help of "development teams" from the World Bank and IMF. Of course, someone as fascinated with authority as Larry will probably excuse the enormous self-serving waste because he always defers to strongmen and their ex spurts.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yet, in other third world countries the story is different. In Egypt, for example, one can get very good health care quite cheaply paying out of pocket. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, people can buy access to real western medicine for the first time.

In the Soviet Union, we all had a "right" to health care and that worked okay if you needed headache powder (cut with chalk) or a bandage. But, if you became seriously ill, as I did for four years, you had to pay the doctor or he would refuse to treat you. The ambulance arrived and extracted bribes from desperate parents as their child suffocated on the bed in front of them. When what the parents had on hand didn't satisfy them fully, the EMTs took it out on the child by delivering the adrenaline shot with unnecessary force in order to cause unnecessary pain to the suffering child so that the parents would learn for next time. No Russian had access to elite hospitals that were more or less equipped with modern-ish medical appliances - not without connections. The hospitals ordinary Russians were relegated to had one toilet per 76 patients and they backed up regularly, covering the floor with a couple of inches of sewage. Hospitals in more rural communities usually didn't have hot water. Roofs regularly leaked. Patients were sometimes allowed to administer shots to other patients. Anesthesia was rationed and it was not uncommon for it to begin wearing off during surgery (that happened to me). There was no more to be had. Now, Russians still have to pay for medicine,but they get actual real medicine.

If you think the West is so much better, the British NHS saves money by not washing sheets between patients. They just turn them over. Hospital infection rates are much higher in Britain than in the U.S. People beyond a certain age are denied dialysis and annual mammograms (even though breast cancer is most positively correlated with age). There are long wait lists for non-elective surgery and chemotherapy. Everything is rationed. Don't get into a car accident at the end of the month because the hospital will likely be out of the necessary pain medication. Health care outcomes in the scariest disease are much worse than in the U.S. If you want real, timely medicine, you must pay out of pocket - the exact thing Obamacare promises we'll avoid. But, in retaliation, the ever compassionate government inflicted a rule that if you pay out of pocket for any procedure in curing your illness, you must pay out of pocket for all of it. Despite the fact that you've already been taxed to death to pay for the NHS.

These are the models Larry holds up as ideals to follow.

And Obamacare doesn't even rise to their level. But, the way Obamacare is rolled out, the decay will take years. By the time Americans realize the expensive swamp of shit they've waded into, nobody will even remember how comparatively good this inefficient hybrid system was. They will twist in this system and it will be a normal part of a smaller and more miserable life.

 
At 7/05/2012 8:03 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" But my open question remains the same which is that all countries currently with UHC ALSO at one point had the option of sticking with a free market system and did not."

re: ignorant ramblings

I asked questions.

they are apparently concise enough that along with your condescension and insults (like some of your fellow mealy mouths)..

you CHOOSE to NOT IGNORE those ignorant ramblings but to offer your thoughts ...

WTF? are you so bound up that you cannot ignore posts that you think are ignorant ramblings ?

and why do you bother to then offer your thoughts anyhow?

I did and do ask provocative questions and yes.. you may well know more about some things that add to the dialogue but why must you be such an idiot in your responses?

I can play this name-calling game with you and others as long as you wish.

I ask questions, make observations and seek opinions - in a polite way.

why can you and some others not?

" undifferentiated "third world". There are things the third world has in common - poverty, for instance. Modern medicine is plain unavailable in some countries. Yet, here our Larry thinks that if they just switched to socialism they'd magically get some "

I INCLUDE developing countries and if you are saying that EVERYONE is poor and No ONE can afford ANY KIND of medical care and there are no doctors and no market.. I think you are clearly wrong so why do you make such a claim in the first place?

3rd world and developing world countries DO have markets in medical care.

SOME ever offer Medical Tourism.

Why can we not discuss the various merits and aspects of this without you being such an idiot?

if you really thought what I say is nothing worth responding to why do you do it and do it with insults?

I'm not the only one you do this to so it's sorta like you're showing off to your fellow mean-spirited cohorts.

As I said.. I can play this game as long as you want to and I'll return the insults as long as you give them.

How idiotic is it of you to engage that way in the first place?

If you REALLY think what I say is not worth responding to - have the backbone to follow up with your actions - move the cursor to the next post.

 
At 7/05/2012 9:11 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"I was NOT advocating anything."

Oh, bullshit. You don't fool anyone.

 
At 7/05/2012 9:14 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry G,

It was not a strawman or rhetorical question to engender support for govt involvement to "save" the kid.

How many people would support a free market health care system where an uninsured child would die without charity ?


This is indeed a strawman because you're assuming that with government intervention this kid would not die and without government intervention the kid would die. There is a lot of evidence that if a child would have died in a free market system, he most likely would die with government intervention. Merely wanting to do good isn't the same thing as actually doing good. In fact, wanting to do good using government coercion usually leads to the very opposite of doing good.

What you seem to be forgetting is that government intervention is zero-sum. Free markets are positive-sum. Meaning that for every kid "saved" using government intervention, another is not.

 
At 7/05/2012 9:20 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"If you REALLY think what I say is not worth responding to - have the backbone to follow up with your actions - move the cursor to the next post"

Heh, even though it's a futile endeavor, I do enjoy reading Methink's responses. I know I always learn something.

Yours, not so much.

 
At 7/05/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger praxeology said...

>>>>Larry wrote: "the best, most prosperous, most productive countries on earth - ALL of them have some kind of govt-sanctioned health care"

Huh? Luxembourg is one of the most productive countries on earth? Brunei? Denmark? Kuwait? "Productivity" . . . measured HOW? GDP aggregates prices of finished products; it doesn't measure productivity.

Denmark has a lower life-expectancy than other developed countries and a higher cancer-mortality rate because the Danes wait and wait for doctor appointments and treatments (I looked it up). Additionally, the majority of the Danish workforce (not just in healthcare) is employed by their government, making them, in essence, civil servants. I don't understand why you think that would be an attractive model for the US to emulate.

The life-blood of healthcare is INNOVATION, most of which, at present coming from the U.S. Download the CATO policy report on medical innovation by country at this site:

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/bending-productivity-curve-why-america-leads-world-medical-innovation

The US is embarrassingly over-represented in Nobel prizes in medicine compared to all of Europe combined; over-represented in new medical devices; over-represented in new surgical techniques; over-represented in new pharmaceuticals.

That will dry up as more healthcare professionals become civil servants of the federal government. Thanks for supporting such a system, Larry, you're a genius. Your idea of Utopia: the sick of tomorrow shall be treated with the technologies of yesterday.

 
At 7/05/2012 9:49 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

and why do you bother to then offer your thoughts anyhow?

Mostly for sport and for anyone who might read what you wrote and, without thinking deeply, think you have a point.


I did and do ask provocative questions and yes.

You ask stupid questions (mostly, not always) and make even dumber assertions. When they are answered, you ignore the answers and hammer away at an agenda you deny you have. I'd say you would be a good politician, but your inartful rambling would be too transparent.


I INCLUDE developing countries and if you are saying that EVERYONE is poor and No ONE can afford ANY KIND of medical care and there are no doctors and no market.. I think you are clearly wrong so why do you make such a claim in the first place?

3rd world and developing world countries DO have markets in medical care.

SOME ever offer Medical Tourism.


The last irrelevancy is my favourite. That's supposed to mean something. Cubans can't get aspirin in the store, but Chavez can get treated for whatever he's hopefully dying of and Larry is performing mental gymnastics worthy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice to create the illusion that medical tourism is somehow connected in any way to Cuba's medical system.

Reading Larry's comments is like watching someone tangled in an unraveling ball of yarn.

Thank God he votes, eh?

 
At 7/05/2012 9:58 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

Evidently there is something like 315 million potential patients living in the US. Do we need all of them enrolled in a mandatory government sickness plan in order to prove its viability? If there's a big number of folks that are all for free medical care why don't they all just get together, voluntarily, and set one up? Why does everybody but the US Congress have to be a part of it? If the government approach is better, wouldn't we be able to see that and change our minds and jump on the bandwagon? Why does it have to be mandatory for everyone? Why is it impossible for the feds to convince so many people that this is the best way to go? Couldn't the government have its own heavily-regulated system and, at the same time, allow a completely unregulated sickness alleviation system to exist and then a few years down the road point out to us how much better their centrally planned one worked? Of course, that question answers itself.

 
At 7/05/2012 11:31 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

so much for the free-market folks who blather endlessly about how fascist the govt is until they encounter ideas and thoughts they disagree with then they assume their own very special 3rd grade dialogue mode.

the ideas that I express here are fairly common ones espoused by a wide variety of people in various ways.

if I truly was ranting nonsense you'd not even bother to answer and justifiable so but the fact that what is said riles you then you get to revert to your 3rd grade persona for giggles and grins.

so much for free market in speech, eh?

 
At 7/05/2012 11:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The last irrelevancy is my favourite. That's supposed to mean something. Cubans can't get aspirin in the store, but Chavez can get treated for whatever he's hopefully dying of and Larry is performing mental gymnastics worthy of a Supreme Court Chief Justice to create the illusion that medical tourism is somehow connected in any way to Cuba's medical system."

true - but you are ignoring more than 150 other countries "conveniently" so you can continue to evade the fundamental question and pretend what you wish to believe ....

you're about as open-minded as a clogged toilet my dear.

 
At 7/05/2012 12:35 PM, Blogger Paul said...

This: "so much for the free-market folks who blather endlessly about how fascist the govt is until they encounter ideas and thoughts they disagree with.."

Completely contradicts this:"I was NOT advocating anything."


And you wonder why you get shit here, Larry. This "pragmatism" stuff is the game liberals love to play to cloak their freedom stealing agendas. Obama does it all the time.

Also, "you're about as open-minded as a clogged toilet my dear," makes no sense.

 
At 7/05/2012 12:49 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Completely contradicts this:"I was NOT advocating anything."

no it does not. If I ask questions - and you think it is advocacy for something - you've erred big time.

"And you wonder why you get shit here, Larry. This "pragmatism" stuff is the game liberals love to play to cloak their freedom stealing agendas. Obama does it all the time."

I get "shit" because you disagree with my OPINION.

if ALL of your dialog here was "shit" that occurred because you disagreed with others...the whole blog would be "shit".

"Also, "you're about as open-minded as a clogged toilet my dear," makes no sense."

it does when Methinks denigrates ideas she disagrees with rather than give a principled rebuttal.

It's a 3rd grade mentality that seems popular in CD ....

If you disagree.. rebut

if you think the comment is really off the wall.. ignore it and move on.

spending your time dissing is infantile and a waste of everyone's time.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:08 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

the ideas that I express here are fairly common ones espoused by a wide variety of people in various ways.

Yes, unfortunately, lots of people blather endlessly around what they're not sure they're thinking claiming to have an idea and then denying they have and idea. On and on and on and on.

You post an idiotic list that says nothing more than some countries have some version of UHC like that list is supposed to tell us something. Then, you flip flop around as people try to understand WTF you're crapping your pants about this time. "How could Friedman be so wrong?", you whine. He's NOT wrong. You're just too stupid to understand what's on that list you've posted. And you are too stupid to understand it when people inform you.

If you're not too stupid, I see no evidence of it. There's not even so much as a glimmer of understanding in any of your responses.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:14 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I get "shit" because you disagree with my OPINION.

Yes, that's right. In part, you get shit because your opinion is that we should do it because everybody else has done it. I guess if everyone else had slaves (which historically everyone did), the abolitionists in should have been told that no civilized country on earth doesn't so we should do it too, so shaddap. Your argument that all the other kids are doing is worthy of six year olds, but not grown men.

Moreover, I've told you a million times already that all of those countries do it differently. Denmark's and Switzerland's looks little like each other's and NOTHING like Singapore's. I can get behind Singapore's, for instance, but not the others. You know &%@# about anyone. WTF are you ACTUALLY whining and opining on? You're like a buzzing fly.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

If you disagree.. rebut

Everyone has tried. You're just too....[insert obvious adjective here]...to understand.

Here's a rebuttal you should be familiar with:

No, Larry. Just because the other kids are doing it, doesn't mean it's a good idea for you to do it.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:21 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Yes, unfortunately, lots of people blather endlessly around what they're not sure they're thinking claiming to have an idea and then denying they have and idea. On and on and on and on."

and you include all of Congress and many folks who have opinions?

"You post an idiotic list that says nothing more than some countries have some version of UHC like that list is supposed to tell us something. Then, you flip flop around as people try to understand WTF you're crapping your pants about this time. "How could Friedman be so wrong?", you whine. He's NOT wrong. You're just too stupid to understand what's on that list you've posted. And you are too stupid to understand it when people inform you."

the list I provided was not a list I created Nimrod.

Are you calling the people who compiled the list "idiots"?

I ask some pretty simple questions of those who say we should have a free market.

Out of 150 countries that do not have govt-controlled health care - I ask if any have a free market in HC.

When I ask that question - which is a perfectly legitimate question you guys get hemmroids.

I did not advocate anything. I merely asked the question and ya'll act like someone cut your testicles off.


If you're not too stupid, I see no evidence of it. There's not even so much as a glimmer of understanding in any of your responses.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:24 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" No, Larry. Just because the other kids are doing it, doesn't mean it's a good idea for you to do it. "

You can divide up the world into countries that have UHC and countries that do not.

When I ask you about the countries that do not have UHC and in theory could have a market-based economy you go to 3rd grade insult mode.

Nope. the problem is not mine Methinks.

It's you and your fellow partners in crime who cannot handle challenges to your views and so you become 3rd graders in your dialog.

fess up. You diss those who don't agree with your views.

seen it often here my dear.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How many people would support a free market health care system where an uninsured child would die without charity ?"

Almost everyone but you, Larry.

You fail to understand that few people would allow a child to die, but would pitch in to help save them if necessary. This includes people in the medical profession.

Unless you would allow a child in your community to die for lack of necessary treatment, It's not clear why you think others would be any less generous.

Children in the US, whether covered by some type of plan or not, don't die for lack of treatment for appendicitis, so yes, you have created a strawman.

If you believe that most people would allow a child to die, then you must believe that only a minority are willing to help, and that a minority should be able to force that majority to help.

If you think a majority would help if needed, then why do you think they must be forced?

The part about insurance is bogus, unless you believe children starve if they lack food insurance.

 
At 7/05/2012 1:44 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Almost everyone but you, Larry."

ha ha ha

What percent of American would?

are you serious guy?

do you just ignore the realities?

 
At 7/05/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paul

"Heh, even though it's a futile endeavor, I do enjoy reading Methink's responses. I know I always learn something.

Yours, not so much.
"

Ditto.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:29 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Are you calling the people who compiled the list "idiots"?

Really? This is your response. No. I'm diagnosing you with severe idiocy.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Out of 150 countries that do not have govt-controlled health care - I ask if any have a free market in HC.

When I ask that question - which is a perfectly legitimate question you guys get hemmroids.


You got answers. You didn't understand them. What are we to conclude from this?

In fact, I'll blow your last non-functioning bran cell: almost every single one of the countries ON your list have a free market in health care. Gum that for a bit.

 
At 7/05/2012 2:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Right there is where I stopped deciphering the drool oozing from you. You either have no ability to think or you have no ability to articulate what you're thinking, but going 'round and 'round with you has bored me into a stupor."

uh huh.

Do you think the average American will sign on to your idea of healthcare that allows children to die?

that's what you are advocating here and it has a snowball chance in hell of going anywhere - not because of me - but because of the realities

and yet you blather on as if you actually are grounded in reality..

what planet do you live on Methinks?

do you really think what you believe has any chance at all of being adopted?

 
At 7/05/2012 2:39 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Really? This is your response. No. I'm diagnosing you with severe idiocy. "

more 3rd grade behavior?

are you really a one-trick pony who hurls insults at those you disagree with?

and you are "admired" for this?

ha ha ha

 
At 7/05/2012 2:41 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" In fact, I'll blow your last non-functioning bran cell: almost every single one of the countries ON your list have a free market in health care. Gum that for a bit. "

you bet !

keep going.... this is entertaining....

 
At 7/05/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"so much for free market in speech, eh?"

Have you been kept from speaking?

 
At 7/05/2012 4:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I get "shit" because you disagree with my OPINION. "

But you don't have an opinion. you just ask questions.

 
At 7/05/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

"Do you think the average American will sign on to your idea of healthcare that allows children to die?"

And you deny you're advocating anything with that kind of crap argument. Your "what about the children!" misdirection has been addressed, but you continue on as if it hasn't. You're a buffoon.

 
At 7/05/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Have you been kept from speaking?

not for a lack of trying - the behavior for some here is to attack those they disagree with.

the SOP here for some of you is to rain down insults and pejoratives on those you disagree with - yes.

you really have two options:

1. - skip the post if you really think it's worth nothing or the guy is talking "gibberish" or is downright ignorant - just move your cursor and let it be.

2. - ENGAGE politely LIKE SOME OF YOU DO here...

the 3rd option which some here like you seem to favor is back-handed insults, "lectures" on "learning", pejoratives, Ad Hominems and sly personal attacks.

3rd grade type behavior...coming from folks masquerading as an adult.

ya'll do this for "sport" ... which say reams about you..in my book.

 
At 7/05/2012 5:12 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: you're a buffoon.

yup... more 3rd grade dialog ..ongoing...

the question I put to you is the same one most Americans would ask and if you're selling "free market" health care that allows people and their kids without insurance to die - it's thoroughly rejected by a country of "buffoons".

your idea of "free market" goes nowhere - yet you spout your rhetoric from LA LA Land.

 
At 7/05/2012 5:13 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"ya'll do this for "sport" ... which say reams about you..in my book."

So? What's that got to do with you being an idiot?

 
At 7/05/2012 5:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Paul - it's more a reflection on your own brand of idiocy - you fool.

 
At 7/05/2012 5:33 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The question I put to you is the same one most Americans would ask and if you're selling "free market" health care that allows people and their kids without insurance to die "

Yeah, I'm sure the "would you support a system that kill children?" question would poll badly. So of course jagoffs like you and Obama pump such nonsense for all it's worth.

"your idea of "free market" goes nowhere "

Pretty much true so far. Meanwhile, the liberal long game has bankrupted the country. As Methinks pointed out, too many morons like you think you can get a free lunch.

In the end, Obamacare will not be in place 5 years from now. Either we will roll it back and then work on the other exploding entitlements and failed liberal programs, or it's Thunderdome. All those mythical children in need of appendectomies are going to be shit out of luck then.

 
At 7/05/2012 5:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Thunderdome...

yep.. I was afraid you're as loony as I feared.

I dunno about ObamaCare but rolling back guaranteed coverage and denial of pre-existing conditions won't play well...

It's one thing to promise repeal - lets see how many get elected promising to cut 26yr old, kill Medicare, and go back to pre-existing conditions ....

You know, Germany has had UHC for decades..so has Japan, Belgium, UK, New Zealand.

How come they've not had Thunderball or whatever you call it?

I see though we do have a need for a strong Homeland Security for our domestic loons.

 
At 7/05/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"yep.. I was afraid you're as loony as I feared."

Yeah, that's right, Larry. Every taxpayer currently owes $139,000 in federal debt. Interest payments on the fed debt alone is almost $400 billion annually even though finance rates are at record lows. There's no reason to think people like you can't just keep adding free stuff to the pile. It can go on forever.

 
At 7/05/2012 6:15 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Yeah, that's right, Larry. Every taxpayer currently owes $139,000 in federal debt. Interest payments on the fed debt alone is almost $400 billion annually even though finance rates are at record lows. There's no reason to think people like you can't just keep adding free stuff to the pile. It can go on forever. "

Well Paul - the essentially TRIPLED the DOD budget from 2000 til now.

how much of the 139K do you think is due to the DOD and Homeland Security budget?

remember we had a balanced budget in 2000 and were starting to buy down the debt and then what happened?

we had all sorts of reasons why we had no choice but to spend money we did not have - rather than pay for the extra money we were spending.

Now - 10+ years later with a humongous DOD budget - we have "no choice" but to wipe out health care so we can balance the budget.

only problem is - you could ZERO fund the entitlements and we'd STILL have about a 500 billion deficit.

I'm all for balancing the budget.

I'm all for boosting Medicare premiums to 400 a month/or make cuts if that is what it takes to keep it solvent but we simply cannot get there without cuts to DOD.

Don't forget also - that when you cut entitlements and DOD - youre' cutting jobs - people will be laid off when the budget is cut.

People without jobs don't pay taxes.

Less taxes coming in means even more cuts have to be made and more people laid off.

 
At 7/05/2012 6:23 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Larry,

In the other thread you just said, "the real immutable law here is that if we don't do something about health care costs - it will destroy our economy and that's not my opinion, it's the judgement of quite a few folks."

In other words, Thunderdome. I thought this was loony talk? You want to deal with the government created problem by other government "experts" rationing care.

 
At 7/05/2012 6:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" In the other thread you just said, "the real immutable law here is that if we don't do something about health care costs - it will destroy our economy and that's not my opinion, it's the judgement of quite a few folks."

In other words, Thunderdome. I thought this was loony talk? You want to deal with the government created problem by other government "experts" rationing care. "

No Paul. The loony talk is assuming it won't be delt with and will result in Thunderfart.

I know you're "rooting" for this as the outcome but it ain't gonna happen guy.

I won't say it's inconceivable.

If a meteorite smashes into earth, bad stuff will likely happen.

but no... there is no Thunderboom in Greece... it's had riots and other lawlessness but Mad Maxx is not running around loose....with an armored tank truck...

 
At 7/05/2012 6:40 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"remember we had a balanced budget in 2000 and were starting to buy down the debt and then what happened?"

That's actually a myth, an accounting gimmick. The federal debt rose every yr of Clinton's presidency.

Also, the tech/Y2k bubble burst in March of 2000, while Clinton was still President. He left Bush a mess.
http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16/

"Don't forget also - that when you cut entitlements and DOD - youre' cutting jobs - people will be laid off when the budget is cut.

People without jobs don't pay taxes."

People who work for the government don't pay taxes, their entire income IS taxes, other peoples' taxes. But pro-growth policies should be easily able to absorb those people into the private sector as we downsize. James Pethokoukis commented, "In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month."

Obama will never come close to matching those numbers as long as he continues his war on the private sector that he thinks is "doing fine."

 
At 7/05/2012 6:44 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"but no... there is no Thunderboom in Greece."

The Greek tragedy hasn't played out yet, Larry. Eventually, they will exit from the Euro and have dramatically lower living standards. That's what eventually awaits us if the parasites have actually tipped the balance and win in November.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:01 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"you could ZERO fund the entitlements and we'd STILL have about a 500 billion deficit."

Where do you get your numbers? Medicare/Medicaid: $800 billion. Social Security: $739 billion.

That would be more than enough.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Social Security: $739 billion

that's FICA money not the budget.

You're advocating collecting FICA taxes and spending it on the Fed budget.

Cutting SS does nothing.

If you cut SS benefits, all it does is build up a surplus in the trust funds.

none of that money flows to the budget.

Even Medicare Part B is 1/4 paid for with premiums.

You could boost premiums and reduce benefits to balance Medicare.

That leaves MedicAid - about 500 billion.

you could zero fund it and still have a billion in deficit.

Clinton may not have had a balanced budget but he clearly did not triple the DOD budget (without paying for it) and he clearly did not create Part C/D and not pay for it.

Cutting SS has no effect on the budget.

SS will automatically cut benefits by law to not spend anymore than FICA brings in.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:34 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"If you cut SS benefits, all it does is build up a surplus in the trust funds."

That is utter nonsense. My FICA taxes come out of the same pocket as my income taxes. Both end up down the same federal rat hole.

'Clinton may not have had a balanced budget but he clearly did not triple the DOD budget (without paying for it) and he clearly did not create Part C/D and not pay for it."

He certainly created the political pressure for Medicare part D. He was one of the first to advocate a prescription drug benefit that could be paid for with that phony surplus. However, Bush did piss too much money away on failed liberal programs, I agree with that much. Then Obama came to town and made Bush look like Scrooge McDuck.

 
At 7/05/2012 7:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"If you cut SS benefits, all it does is build up a surplus in the trust funds."

That is utter nonsense. My FICA taxes come out of the same pocket as my income taxes. Both end up down the same federal rat hole.

Nope. It pays retirement benefits to people who have paid into their whole life. It also pays Medicare Part A benefits and disability.

You can believe what you want but if you believe that even the hardest right GOP is going to balance the budget by taking FICA - you're back to loony land.

you ought to at least try to stay in the realm of what is conceivable.

there is no way in hades that FICA will be taken to pay down the deficit.

'Clinton may not have had a balanced budget but he clearly did not triple the DOD budget (without paying for it) and he clearly did not create Part C/D and not pay for it."

He certainly created the political pressure for Medicare part D. He was one of the first to advocate a prescription drug benefit that could be paid for with that phony surplus. However, Bush did piss too much money away on failed liberal programs, I agree with that much. Then Obama came to town and made Bush look like Scrooge McDuck.

Geeze Paul ... He also advocated for Hillary Care and what happened?

Bush spent more than he took in and made excuses for doing it.

he was not alone - the GOP Congress approved it.

In terms of Obama spending - Obama cannot spend unless Congress approves it.

Most of the accruing deficit comes from things like the Congressional-approved tripling of the DOD budget.

Every year, that adds to the deficit and debt no matter what Obama does.

Congress DID approve a limited stimulus that Obama requested and it went for two years but it goes away - unlike the continuing DOD spending which goes on year after year and continues to add to the deficit.

Congress also approved a 2% reduction in FICA but that has no effect on the budget and they approved longer unemployment benefits and more food stamps.



Conservatively, we are spending 600 billion more a year on DOD than we did under Clinton and none of it was requested by Obama ..it just carried over from the Bush years because Congress only ever increased it and never cut it.

there is no way to balance the budget without cutting DOD OR increasing taxes to pay for it.

What happened to Bush was he took us to some serious deficit spending and then the economy crashed at the worst possible time.

 
At 7/05/2012 8:24 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Nope. It pays retirement benefits to people who have paid into their whole life. It also pays Medicare Part A benefits and disability."

A) So what, it's a pay-as-you-go system.
B) That in no way disputes what I said, or vindicates your absurd claim that cutting social security wouldn't affect the budget. Obama even threatened to withold SS checks if Congress didn't do his bidding. He couldn't do that if SS sprouted from anywhere other than the federal budget after first being lifted from out of my pocket.

"You can believe what you want but if you believe that even the hardest right GOP is going to balance the budget by taking FICA - you're back to loony land."

I never said that. I said SS accounts for $739 out of the federal budget. And you actually dispute that.

"there is no way in hades that FICA will be taken to pay down the deficit"

Could be. Greedy geezers like you think it should be done by taking more out of my paycheck. Or they figure "who cares" since they will probably be debt when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will.

"Most of the accruing deficit comes from things like the Congressional-approved tripling of the DOD budget"

We're spending a trillion dollars more than we were spending in 2008. Most of the DOD run-up happened before that.

"Every year, that adds to the deficit and debt no matter what Obama does."

Umm, he could try to cut what he thinks we don't need to be spending.

"Congress DID approve a limited stimulus that Obama requested and it went for two years but it goes away - unlike the continuing DOD spending which goes on year after year and continues to add to the deficit."

Once again, that stimulus has been built into the baseline, as has the bailout. Both happened in 2009, has spending come down any from those "temporary" measures?

"Congress also approved a 2% reduction in FICA but that has no effect on the budget"

More with this nonsense.

"What happened to Bush was he took us to some serious deficit spending and then the economy crashed at the worst possible time."

Bush's highest deficit was around $400 billion. Every yr Obama has exceeded $1 trillion, with no end in sight. His ruinous spending on freeloaders, combined with his relentless war on capitalism, has murdered both sides of the ledger. The result is $5 trillion in new debt in less than 4 yrs that fools like you continue to blame on Bush.

 
At 7/05/2012 10:20 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Don't forget also - that when you cut entitlements and DOD - youre' cutting jobs - people will be laid off when the budget is cut.

Yeah, yeah. And the end of WWII plunged into a severe recession for that very reason...oh wait...


Paul, I kind of fear that millions of dependents won't allow cuts to entitlement programs and the U.S. government is getting rather aggressive. I think there's a growing probability that they'll expropriate property outright - probably through a wealth tax which the promise will only happen once, sucking the last bit of liberty and the economy out of America. Hopefully, the culture still won't support such a thing. But.....who knows how much that will change when everyone is indoctrinated into the free lunch program. And "the rich" doing their "fair share" as the state lurches from crisis to crisis usually plays well.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:21 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Nope. It pays retirement benefits to people who have paid into their whole life. It also pays Medicare Part A benefits and disability."

A) So what, it's a pay-as-you-go system.
B) That in no way disputes what I said, or vindicates your absurd claim that cutting social security wouldn't affect the budget. Obama even threatened to withold SS checks if Congress didn't do his bidding. He couldn't do that if SS sprouted from anywhere other than the federal budget after first being lifted from out of my pocket.

FICA and SS have no impact on the budget except for the trust fund that does affect to debt.

"cutting" SS alone will not save one dollar of deficit.

the idea that we'd take the FICA money - continue to collect it but divert it to paying for things instead of cutting spending is ludicrous on two fronts.

the first is that we simply spend more than we take in and FICA/SS did not cause that.

the second is the total off the wall idea of doing this as if there is any sentiment at all to do it politically.

so you're once again off in LA LA Land here.


"You can believe what you want but if you believe that even the hardest right GOP is going to balance the budget by taking FICA - you're back to loony land."

I never said that. I said SS accounts for $739 out of the federal budget. And you actually dispute that.

I dispute that it plays any role in the budget deficit and that "cutting" SS will not do anything to reduce the deficit and debt.

Even though it is listed as part of the budget, it is not discretionary money - it's earmarked for one purpose only - by law.

"there is no way in hades that FICA will be taken to pay down the deficit"

Could be. Greedy geezers like you think it should be done by taking more out of my paycheck. Or they figure "who cares" since they will probably be debt when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will.

you can blather on about it but it won't happen. There is not a single elected official who would kill SS but keep the FICA tax.

so you resent paying FICA for greedy geezers but you're fine with it to pay for spending instead of cutting spending?

"Most of the accruing deficit comes from things like the Congressional-approved tripling of the DOD budget"

We're spending a trillion dollars more than we were spending in 2008. Most of the DOD run-up happened before that.

I'm make a deal with you. You tell me what the additional trillion per year is spent on.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Nope. It pays retirement benefits to people who have paid into their whole life. It also pays Medicare Part A benefits and disability."

A) So what, it's a pay-as-you-go system.
B) That in no way disputes what I said, or vindicates your absurd claim that cutting social security wouldn't affect the budget. Obama even threatened to withold SS checks if Congress didn't do his bidding. He couldn't do that if SS sprouted from anywhere other than the federal budget after first being lifted from out of my pocket.

FICA and SS have no impact on the budget except for the trust fund that does affect to debt.

"cutting" SS alone will not save one dollar of deficit.

the idea that we'd take the FICA money - continue to collect it but divert it to paying for things instead of cutting spending is ludicrous on two fronts.

the first is that we simply spend more than we take in and FICA/SS did not cause that.

the second is the total off the wall idea of doing this as if there is any sentiment at all to do it politically.

so you're once again off in LA LA Land here.


"You can believe what you want but if you believe that even the hardest right GOP is going to balance the budget by taking FICA - you're back to loony land."

I never said that. I said SS accounts for $739 out of the federal budget. And you actually dispute that.

I dispute that it plays any role in the budget deficit and that "cutting" SS will not do anything to reduce the deficit and debt.

Even though it is listed as part of the budget, it is not discretionary money - it's earmarked for one purpose only - by law.

"there is no way in hades that FICA will be taken to pay down the deficit"

Could be. Greedy geezers like you think it should be done by taking more out of my paycheck. Or they figure "who cares" since they will probably be debt when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will.

you can blather on about it but it won't happen. There is not a single elected official who would kill SS but keep the FICA tax.

so you resent paying FICA for greedy geezers but you're fine with it to pay for spending instead of cutting spending?

"Most of the accruing deficit comes from things like the Congressional-approved tripling of the DOD budget"

We're spending a trillion dollars more than we were spending in 2008. Most of the DOD run-up happened before that.

I'm make a deal with you. You tell me what the additional trillion per year is spent on.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:22 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Nope. It pays retirement benefits to people who have paid into their whole life. It also pays Medicare Part A benefits and disability."

A) So what, it's a pay-as-you-go system.
B) That in no way disputes what I said, or vindicates your absurd claim that cutting social security wouldn't affect the budget. Obama even threatened to withold SS checks if Congress didn't do his bidding. He couldn't do that if SS sprouted from anywhere other than the federal budget after first being lifted from out of my pocket.

FICA and SS have no impact on the budget except for the trust fund that does affect to debt.

"cutting" SS alone will not save one dollar of deficit.

the idea that we'd take the FICA money - continue to collect it but divert it to paying for things instead of cutting spending is ludicrous on two fronts.

the first is that we simply spend more than we take in and FICA/SS did not cause that.

the second is the total off the wall idea of doing this as if there is any sentiment at all to do it politically.

so you're once again off in LA LA Land here.


"You can believe what you want but if you believe that even the hardest right GOP is going to balance the budget by taking FICA - you're back to loony land."

I never said that. I said SS accounts for $739 out of the federal budget. And you actually dispute that.

I dispute that it plays any role in the budget deficit and that "cutting" SS will not do anything to reduce the deficit and debt.

Even though it is listed as part of the budget, it is not discretionary money - it's earmarked for one purpose only - by law.

"there is no way in hades that FICA will be taken to pay down the deficit"

Could be. Greedy geezers like you think it should be done by taking more out of my paycheck. Or they figure "who cares" since they will probably be debt when the shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will.

you can blather on about it but it won't happen. There is not a single elected official who would kill SS but keep the FICA tax.

so you resent paying FICA for greedy geezers but you're fine with it to pay for spending instead of cutting spending?

"Most of the accruing deficit comes from things like the Congressional-approved tripling of the DOD budget"

We're spending a trillion dollars more than we were spending in 2008. Most of the DOD run-up happened before that.

I'm make a deal with you. You tell me what the additional trillion per year is spent on.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:24 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Every year, that adds to the deficit and debt no matter what Obama does."

Umm, he could try to cut what he thinks we don't need to be spending.

he could. He does support the across the board sequestration that includes DOD and our GOP friends who claim to be fiscal conservatives are hollering like stuck pigs. The GOP itself could pass cuts and put pressure on the Senate to pass it. They've had no trouble doing that for other things like repealing ObamaCare, right?


"Congress DID approve a limited stimulus that Obama requested and it went for two years but it goes away - unlike the continuing DOD spending which goes on year after year and continues to add to the deficit."

Once again, that stimulus has been built into the baseline, as has the bailout. Both happened in 2009, has spending come down any from those "temporary" measures?

the stimulus is NOT in the baseline guy. do a little GOOGLE for both the stimulus and tarp. they have ended.

"Congress also approved a 2% reduction in FICA but that has no effect on the budget"

More with this nonsense.

my view is that it actually helps to know what you're talking about guy.

"What happened to Bush was he took us to some serious deficit spending and then the economy crashed at the worst possible time."

Bush's highest deficit was around $400 billion. Every yr Obama has exceeded $1 trillion, with no end in sight. His ruinous spending on freeloaders, combined with his relentless war on capitalism, has murdered both sides of the ledger. The result is $5 trillion in new debt in less than 4 yrs that fools like you continue to blame on Bush.

What got approved by Bush and Congress was programmed to increase (unless cut) and then the revenues cratered - the two together have caused the deficit.

Congress did not approve major permanent new spending for Obama.

the deficit comes from the increases in DOD and the lowest tax revenues in 50 years.

It's okay to like Bush or dislike Obama but you're wrong on the facts.

the continuing deficit did not come from Obama. He did add one-time stimulus and tarp but even tarp was approved before Obama. Bush wanted the tarp.

both of these have gone away.

yet the partisans like you say that Obama is responsible for the continuing deficit.

Show me what got approved as permanent spending. You'll be hard-pressed to back up your case.

But even then - Obama cannot approve spending. Only Congress can do that.

We've had no budget in 1000 days - right?

so what guides the spending?

It's the last budget that was approved - they carry it forward with continuing resolutions.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:26 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: WWII and returning soldiers

The GI bill, using tax dollars, sent many GI's back to school and spawned a huge building boom for houses.

In effect, the govt used "stimulus" to transfer the money spent on DOD to paying soldiers to attend school and build homes.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the SOP here for some of you is to rain down insults and pejoratives on those you disagree with - yes."

Remember, Larry, "sticks and stones may break my bones..."

No one stops you from speaking, it's just that many would prefer you try harder to make sense when you DO speak, and grow a brain so you could understand the responses you get to your mostly stupid questions.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:49 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the SOP here for some of you is to rain down insults and pejoratives on those you disagree with - yes."

That's been explained to you Larry.

It's for sport, practice at addressing irrelevant and or meaningless comments, and mostly to provide clarity for other readers who might somehow believe you have a valid point.

There isn't likely much hope left that you can benefit.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" No one stops you from speaking, it's just that many would prefer you try harder to make sense when you DO speak, and grow a brain so you could understand the responses you get to your mostly stupid questions. "

much of what I say is not my view, it is an alternate view of many others contrary to the standard Libertarian shtick.

You also call these others whom you disagree with "morons" and "stupid".

this is about the way you deal with people you disagree with.

the behavior is your basic 3rd grade bully type behavior...

it's name-calling of those you disagree with.

I'm seen you do this with a number of others here.

blaming your victims is the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy.

It's about you guy and a few others like you.

I reject your way of dialoging and I reject your excuses of why you have no choice but to insult.

and I'll rebut every time you choose to engage in it.

it's your choice but I can guarantee you that you're gonna get back what you throw.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

That's been explained to you Larry.

you don't explain anything. you're a pompous pontificating fool.

"It's for sport, practice at addressing irrelevant and or meaningless comments, and mostly to provide clarity for other readers who might somehow believe you have a valid point."

uh huh - more excuses. If you find a remark "irrelevant" guy - move your cursor and find something you find relevant. Otherwise - just admit what you're really doing.

There isn't likely much hope left that you can benefit.

Oh I don't think so. you keep at it and we'll learn... you too....

my "benefit" does not come from your "intellect". trust me.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"you really have two options:

1. - skip the post if you really think it's worth nothing or the guy is talking "gibberish" or is downright ignorant - just move your cursor and let it be.
"

You wouldn't believe how often this option is chosen, as relates to your comments. Obviously something that doesn't happen can't be quantified.

"2. - ENGAGE politely LIKE SOME OF YOU DO here..."

This is by far the most common option chosen at the start of any discussion. In your case, however, your reputation for obnoxious and persistent stupidity may allow responders to skip directly to option #3 when their patience runs out.

Recognition of the futility of offering sincere and thoughtful responses can lead to exasperation and impatience.

You make yourself such an easy target! What would you expect?

 
At 7/06/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

By the way Larry, your recent decision to omit capitalization won't help your cred.

You will NEVER be mistaken for morganovich.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I never WANT to be mistaken for Morg!

He's a nice guy but he does tend to "prattle" at times?

:-)

 
At 7/06/2012 12:19 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" By the way Larry, your recent decision to omit capitalization won't help your cred"

Triage. You guys are not WORTH the effort!

but keep up tallying up the points.

good work!

 
At 7/06/2012 12:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"that's FICA money not the budget.

You're advocating collecting FICA taxes and spending it on the Fed budget.
"

That's what happens now, Larry, part of the spending is on SS benefits.

"Cutting SS does nothing."

Then why did your hero cut payroll taxes by 2 percent?

"If you cut SS benefits, all it does is build up a surplus in the trust funds."

No one has suggested cutting SS benefits for current recipients, but you're correct that fewer IOUs would be redeemed at current or future taxpayers' expense.

"none of that money flows to the budget."

All that money flows to the general fund. Where do you think it goes?

Nevermind. Don't bother to answer that. we've previously established that you don't understand this subject. There's no point of revisiting it.

"Even Medicare Part B is 1/4 paid for with premiums.

You could boost premiums and reduce benefits to balance Medicare.
"

The whole point of Medicare is to provide seniors with inexpensive medical care at taxpayers expense. Your suggestion to charge them full price makes the entire program irrelevant.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"that's FICA money not the budget.

You're advocating collecting FICA taxes and spending it on the Fed budget."

That's what happens now, Larry, part of the spending is on SS benefits.

no general revenue money is spent on SS.

It's an earmarked entitlement that is only funded from FICA taxes and the spending of SS is limited to what FICA taxes generate. It will automatically reduce by law.

"Cutting SS does nothing."

Then why did your hero cut payroll taxes by 2 percent?

stimulus but he did not reduce it. Congress did.

"If you cut SS benefits, all it does is build up a surplus in the trust funds."

No one has suggested cutting SS benefits for current recipients, but you're correct that fewer IOUs would be redeemed at current or future taxpayers' expense.

you could just write off the trust fund and it would not change the way that FICA and SS "works". What would happen is that the date that benefits automatically reduce would advance.

none of this would do anything to reduce the deficit.

"none of that money flows to the budget."

All that money flows to the general fund. Where do you think it goes?

NONE of it goes to the General Fund.
You need to read up on this guy.

ALL of FICA goes to the Trust Fund and then it goes directly back to pay benefits. None of it "leaks" into the general fund. Zippo. Anything that is left is "surplus" that the Feds do get their hands on and replace with IOUs.

If there is no surplus - then the Fed gets nothing.

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/fundFAQ.html

"Nevermind. Don't bother to answer that. we've previously established that you don't understand this subject. There's no point of revisiting it."

I can give you a solid reference guy. It works the way I told you.

"Even Medicare Part B is 1/4 paid for with premiums.

You could boost premiums and reduce benefits to balance Medicare."

"The whole point of Medicare is to provide seniors with inexpensive medical care at taxpayers expense. Your suggestion to charge them full price makes the entire program irrelevant."

Actually the most important part of Medicare is to offer health care to all seniors and not deny coverage to any of them.

Charging full price would be better than vouchers. Vouchers would still use taxpayer money whereas full price would make the program self-supporting but assure than all Seniors would have access.

If you killed the program entirely - no private sector company would offer access to all seniors unless the law required it and the result would be seniors going to ERs to get care.

you can do something about Medicare to rein it in and should.

MedicAid is harder but perhaps block grant it. I see virtually no votes in Congress to zero-fund it.

So that takes care of the major entitlements and you're still left with 500+ plus billion of deficit.

now what?

 
At 7/06/2012 12:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"in terms of Obama spending - Obama cannot spend unless Congress approves it."

And they have approved it. The problem is that he *wants* to spend more, and *has* spent more than any other President - ever - at this point in his term of office despite all those sincere sounding campaign promises to rein in government spending.

He is a bold-faced liar, and you know it.

 
At 7/06/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"in terms of Obama spending - Obama cannot spend unless Congress approves it."

And they have approved it. The problem is that he *wants* to spend more, and *has* spent more than any other President - ever - at this point in his term of office despite all those sincere sounding campaign promises to rein in government spending.

He is a bold-faced liar, and you know it.


You tell me what new PERMANENT spending that Congress has approved under Obama.

I think you're going to be hard-pressed to come up with anything beyond food stamps and unemployment benefits.

There's been no budget in 1000 days and that means everything is done by CI based on the last budget that was done.

so name the new permanent spending that Congress has approved.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:18 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

speaking of which, Ron H., I wonder how much of Obamacare is not going to get funded and if they're actually going to enforce the mandate. It's still so unpopular.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the idea that we'd take the FICA money - continue to collect it but divert it to paying for things instead of cutting spending is ludicrous on two fronts."

I know this is futile as applies to you,, but it must be pointed out that you are entirely wrong about that, just in case some other innocent reader might be misinformed by your nonsense.

Note the following highlights:

"When program revenues exceed payments (i.e., the program is in surplus) the extra funds are borrowed and used by the government for other purposes, but a legal obligation to program recipients is created to the extent this occurs."

And this:

"The trust fund represents a legal obligation to Social Security program recipients and is considered "intra-governmental" debt, a component of the "public" or "national" debt. As of April 2012, the intragovernmental debt was $4.8 trillion of the $15.7 trillion national debt."

Please make sure you understand the concept of "intragovernmental debt".

Funds collected as payroll taxes are deposited directly into the general fund and benefits paid directly from it. IOUs are (were) issued to the SS trust fund in the amount of any surplus, which now becomes be a thing of the past, especially considering the Liar-in-Chief's reduction of FICA taxes.

Talk about kicking the can down the road!

 
At 7/06/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The GOP itself could pass cuts and put pressure on the Senate to pass it. They've had no trouble doing that for other things like repealing ObamaCare, right?"

Pointing out that Congress has been profligate doesn't let your boyfriend off the hook.

"They're all doing it" isn't a convincing argument.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"the idea that we'd take the FICA money - continue to collect it but divert it to paying for things instead of cutting spending is ludicrous on two fronts."

I know this is futile as applies to you,, but it must be pointed out that you are entirely wrong about that, just in case some other innocent reader might be misinformed by your nonsense.

Note the following highlights:

"When program revenues exceed payments (i.e., the program is in surplus) the extra funds are borrowed and used by the government for other purposes, but a legal obligation to program recipients is created to the extent this occurs."

Yes. and this happens to EVERY TRUST FUND whether it's the gas tax trust fund or the Military Pensions trust fund.

the money collected goes into the trust fund where it is immediately traded for treasury securities.

The very same day securities are redeemed to pay benefits.

With FICA, it is no longer creating a surplus. The FICA money goes into the trust fund and the same day treasury securities are redeemed.

You need to read this:

FEDERAL TRUST
AND OTHER
EARMARKED FUNDS

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01199sp.pdf

it will help you understand that FICA/SS are not unique as to how the Fed handles earmarked revenues. You also need to know the difference between earmarked entitlements and appropriated entitlements.


And this:

"The trust fund represents a legal obligation to Social Security program recipients and is considered "intra-governmental" debt, a component of the "public" or "national" debt. As of April 2012, the intragovernmental debt was $4.8 trillion of the $15.7 trillion national debt."

this "debt" is the surplus that was built up in prior years as a reserve fund to transition SS when the baby boom hit.


Please make sure you understand the concept of "intragovernmental debt".

all 200+ trust funds have "intergovernmental debt" if they have a surplus in their trust fund account. there is nothing unique about SS.

Funds collected as payroll taxes are deposited directly into the general fund

wrong. they are deposited into the Trust fund then the Feds trade treasury notes for the money.

The very same day - older treasury notes are redeemed for cash and sent out as benefit checks.

Every trust fund works this way

and benefits paid directly from it. IOUs are (were) issued to the SS trust fund in the amount of any surplus, which now becomes be a thing of the past, especially considering the Liar-in-Chief's reduction of FICA taxes.

Obama did not reduce the FICA taxes - Congress did on a bipartisan vote.

Talk about kicking the can down the road!

talk about gross ignorance of how trust funds work.

Here's another for you to read and better understand:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3299

 
At 7/06/2012 1:44 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"The GOP itself could pass cuts and put pressure on the Senate to pass it. They've had no trouble doing that for other things like repealing ObamaCare, right?"

Pointing out that Congress has been profligate doesn't let your boyfriend off the hook.

"They're all doing it" isn't a convincing argument.

Obama cannot spend and he cannot cut.

Only Congress can appropriate money and only Congress can cut the budget.

Congress CAN cut the budget and send it to Obama and show the country that Obama would veto it - that is if Congress had the cojones to do it.

Obama supported across the board sequestration cuts and what did the Feckless GOP do? Well they whined and cried that the cuts were "draconian".

what was it a trillion plus out of 46 trillion and the GOP says it will "hollow out" DOD?

so much for the fiscal conservatives.

they're about as fiscal conservative as Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney was.

 
At 7/06/2012 1:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"much of what I say is not my view, it is an alternate view of many others contrary to the standard Libertarian shtick."

If that's the case, how about providing references to the views of those "many others", and supporting evidence?

"this is about the way you deal with people you disagree with."

There is a difference between disagreeing and being stubbornly obtuse. It's mostly just you.

"the behavior is your basic 3rd grade bully type behavior..."

Whatever.

"it's name-calling of those you disagree with."

Mostly accurate name calling.

"blaming your victims is the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy."

I have no victims Larry, you are a victim of your own willful ignorance.

"I reject your way of dialoging and I reject your excuses of why you have no choice but to insult."

Then just ignore them, as you advise others to do.

"and I'll rebut every time you choose to engage in it."

OK, but the word "rebut" may be too dignified to describe your nonsense replies.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

OK, but the word "rebut" may be too dignified to describe your nonsense replies.

I hereby nominate this for the understatement of the year award.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"my "benefit" does not come from your "intellect". trust me."

Are you a class project Larry? An assignment perhaps?

It's hard to believe an actual human being could be as stupid as you appear to be.

If you are a person, you're the best troll I've ever encountered.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"much of what I say is not my view, it is an alternate view of many others contrary to the standard Libertarian shtick."

If that's the case, how about providing references to the views of those "many others", and supporting evidence?

Let's see how about most of the newspapers in the country. The Congressional Record that chronicles the debates .... etc.

"this is about the way you deal with people you disagree with."

There is a difference between disagreeing and being stubbornly obtuse. It's mostly just you.

nope.. I've seen you in action with others also.

the difference is that after you work them over they usually leave and those lurking decide not to join in. It's you boy.

"the behavior is your basic 3rd grade bully type behavior..."

Whatever.

usually banned in most blogs...


"it's name-calling of those you disagree with."

Mostly accurate name calling.

name calling is never "accurate" guy. It's an aggressive bully tactic.


"blaming your victims is the height of dishonesty and hypocrisy."

I have no victims Larry, you are a victim of your own willful ignorance.

you have those who have to put up with your nasty personality, I'm quite sure.


"I reject your way of dialoging and I reject your excuses of why you have no choice but to insult."

Then just ignore them, as you advise others to do.

I do not ignore direct attacks on my person dufus.


"and I'll rebut every time you choose to engage in it."

OK, but the word "rebut" may be too dignified to describe your nonsense replies.

whatever...

 
At 7/06/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"my "benefit" does not come from your "intellect". trust me."

Are you a class project Larry? An assignment perhaps?

perhaps... the study of watching people pop zits on mirrors perhaps?

It's hard to believe an actual human being could be as stupid as you appear to be.

indeed. I am amazed as your own ignorance... and arrogance.

twice bad. One thing to be stupid quite another to strut it.

If you are a person, you're the best troll I've ever encountered.

I don't think you'd know a troll if it smacked you in the butt - guy.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"uh huh - more excuses. If you find a remark "irrelevant" guy - move your cursor and find something you find relevant. Otherwise - just admit what you're really doing."

Providing clarity for the benefit of others requires that I respond Larry, as distasteful as it sometimes is. It's a dirty job, but somebody must do it.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"clarity"

ha ha ha....

of all the folks to talk about 'clarity' ...

lord.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You tell me what new PERMANENT spending that Congress has approved under Obama."

Ah! Unable to address the subject at hand, Larry slides off into irrelevant other subject as his habit.

 
At 7/06/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: permanent spending

you made the claim - back it up.

I say he has not added substantial new spending that most of the deficit carried over from previous budgets.

but here... I'll take pity on your ignorance:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/

 
At 7/06/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"no general revenue money is spent on SS."

Didn't you claim previously that SS trust fund IOUs were continually being redeemed? By whom, the Treasury? Where does the treasure keep their "stash"?

How do you think shortages will now be made up? By whoever owes the Trust Fund, as evidenced by their IOUs? Would that be the Treasury?

"NONE of it goes to the General Fund.
You need to read up on this guy.
"

Thanks for the link Larry, it's very informative. I found this bit.

"Tax income is deposited on a daily basis and is invested in "special-issue" securities. The cash exchanged for the securities goes into the general fund of the Treasury and is indistinguishable from other cash in the general fund."

Would you like to revise your bold claim at this time?

"ALL of FICA goes to the Trust Fund and then it goes directly back to pay benefits. None of it "leaks" into the general fund. Zippo."

Where does your SS benefit check come from? Look in the top left corner or the deposit entry on your bank statement. Does it say "US treasury"?

Who IS that Larry,and where do they keep their funds? You are being fooled by a clever discussion of accounting practices at the SSA website.

Out of profound ignorance you speak with such certainty that a person who didn't know better might be fooled into thinking you know what you are talking about.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks

"speaking of which, Ron H., I wonder how much of Obamacare is not going to get funded and if they're actually going to enforce the mandate. It's still so unpopular."

Thanks for this opportunity to converse with another rational adult. :)

I thought that Obamacare would be declared unconstitutional, as it clearly is, but I forgot there were eunuchs on the bench of the SCOTUS.

After sitting in stunned confusion for most of 10 minutes after learning of the decision, I began to question how such a bizarre thing could have happened.

So far, my only thoughts have been that Roberts, in an attempt to show that the Court wasn't totally compliant, decided to smite the Commerce Clause, but didn't do the full job because he knows he's only bluffing.

Instead he chose to legislate from the bench by rewriting the mandate to make it a tax.

The one bright spot is that taxes come and go all the time (mostly come) and a tax is easier to repeal than a mandate. The House might just have what it takes to finish the job, and after election, perhaps the Senate.

Well, there are 2 bright spots. Rejecting the Commerce Clause argument is a plus in itself.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

it will help you understand that FICA/SS are not unique as to how the Fed handles earmarked revenues. You also need to know the difference between earmarked entitlements and appropriated entitlements."

Uniqueness isn't the issue. You can't squirm aside like that.

"the money collected goes into the trust fund where it is immediately traded for treasury securities.

The very same day securities are redeemed to pay benefits.
"

That is a function of accounting. No armored trucks come and go between SSA and the Treasury. "Redeemed" means money from the general fund goes out to SS benefit recipients. Someone at SSA tore up an IOU and erased it's amount from the Trust Fund side of the ledger while adding that amount to the general fund side of the ledger. Remember where your check comes from.

"And this:"

Yes I did read it. I gave it to you in an earlier comment, remember?

 
At 7/06/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Didn't you claim previously that SS trust fund IOUs were continually being redeemed? By whom, the Treasury? Where does the treasure keep their "stash"?

by SS who is redeeming cash for what was originally cash traded for notes.

"How do you think shortages will now be made up? By whoever owes the Trust Fund, as evidenced by their IOUs? Would that be the Treasury?"

If you are speaking of FICA "shortages", by law, they cannot pay out any more in SS benefits that FICA generates.

they can change the law perhaps but right now the law requires balance.


"NONE of it goes to the General Fund.
You need to read up on this guy."

Thanks for the link Larry, it's very informative. I found this bit.

"Tax income is deposited on a daily basis and is invested in "special-issue" securities. The cash exchanged for the securities goes into the general fund of the Treasury and is indistinguishable from other cash in the general fund."

Would you like to revise your bold claim at this time?

they are redeeming the cash they originally loaned to the treasury.

they are not getting MORE cash than they paid it. They are not receiving general fund revenues - just loan payback.


"ALL of FICA goes to the Trust Fund and then it goes directly back to pay benefits. None of it "leaks" into the general fund. Zippo."

Where does your SS benefit check come from? Look in the top left corner or the deposit entry on your bank statement. Does it say "US treasury"?

Yes. ALL benefit checks whether they are Military Pension Benefits or VA disability, etc say "US Treasury"

Who IS that Larry,and where do they keep their funds? You are being fooled by a clever discussion of accounting practices at the SSA website.

I don't think so guy. You're just refusing to believe verifiable facts found in many different sources.

"Out of profound ignorance you speak with such certainty that a person who didn't know better might be fooled into thinking you know what you are talking about. "

Actually if I recall correctly you had it completely wrong until I set you straight before. You were totally ignorant of the facts.

Now you just deny them. What a dork you are guy.

 
At 7/06/2012 3:38 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

it will help you understand that FICA/SS are not unique as to how the Fed handles earmarked revenues. You also need to know the difference between earmarked entitlements and appropriated entitlements."

Uniqueness isn't the issue. You can't squirm aside like that.

that's been your argument guy that the SS trust fund is bogus.

It's no more bogus than the other 200 trust funds that all work the same way as laid out in law.


"the money collected goes into the trust fund where it is immediately traded for treasury securities.

The very same day securities are redeemed to pay benefits."

That is a function of accounting. No armored trucks come and go between SSA and the Treasury. "Redeemed" means money from the general fund goes out to SS benefit recipients. Someone at SSA tore up an IOU and erased it's amount from the Trust Fund side of the ledger while adding that amount to the general fund side of the ledger. Remember where your check comes from.

Nope. It's true for individual beneficiaries. How do you think it works for the gas tax guy. Do you know or are you ignorant?

"And this:"

Yes I did read it. I gave it to you in an earlier comment, remember?

If you did you certainly did not read and understand it or you were just lying out your butt.

the two references are self-consistent on the facts.

FICA/SS is an earmarked entitlement.

that has meaning that you apparently do not understand.

Most all the trust funds are earmarked - can only be spent on the purpose outlined in legislation.

You cannot take gas tax money and spend it on SS.

You cannot take Military Pension money and spend it on highways.

You CAN do that with general fund appropriations.

you are apparently willingly ignorant to suit your ideology.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Obama cannot spend and he cannot cut.

Only Congress can appropriate money and only Congress can cut the budget.
"

Political understanding is something else you appear to lack.

The President isn't required to spend every dime he is authorized, and the veto power is a powerful tool against runaway spending. Obama seems to have lost his. If he truly wanted to cut spending, and he sure said he did before he was elected, he could help do so, but instead he has overseen spending $5 Trillion since he has taken office.

Who was it that demanded a raise in the debt ceiling , and treatened seniors' SS benefits if he didn't get it?

You can't get that liar off the hook by claiming he's powerless. That's even sillier than saying "they all do it".

"You need to read this:"

Yes, I have read it. Putting lipstick on a pig is common tactic used to sooth the uneducated like you.

Painting unmarketable Treasury Securities as something other than IOUs doesn't make them prettier. That they are secure isn't being questioned. They are as secure as the government's power to tax, borrow, and make money out of thin air. Just like every other Treasury, bond, and dollar bill.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:27 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Obama cannot spend and he cannot cut.

Only Congress can appropriate money and only Congress can cut the budget."

Political understanding is something else you appear to lack.

The President isn't required to spend every dime he is authorized, and the veto power is a powerful tool against runaway spending. Obama seems to have lost his. If he truly wanted to cut spending, and he sure said he did before he was elected, he could help do so, but instead he has overseen spending $5 Trillion since he has taken office.

that's true. How many Presidents have "cut" the budget in any substantial way in that manner?

he has "overseen" spending already built into the budget by Congress - not spending that he created. tell the truth here.

Who was it that demanded a raise in the debt ceiling , and treatened seniors' SS benefits if he didn't get it?

something could not be funded if the debt was not increased. He picked SS for political reasons - yes.

What does that have to do with the budget approved by Congress that continues to have a deficit?


You can't get that liar off the hook by claiming he's powerless. That's even sillier than saying "they all do it".

there is no "liar" here except you guy.

you lie to suit your ideology - prostate yourself for your philosophy and deny the simple truth.

"You need to read this:"

Yes, I have read it. Putting lipstick on a pig is common tactic used to sooth the uneducated like you.

it shows you the truth which you won't admit.

Painting unmarketable Treasury Securities as something other than IOUs doesn't make them prettier. That they are secure isn't being questioned. They are as secure as the government's power to tax, borrow, and make money out of thin air. Just like every other Treasury, bond, and dollar bill.

true. Is this a Obama-only problem?

He caused the deficit to start with? Do you think when they did that they were thinking about the "power" to tax, borrow and make money out of thin air ?

Did you figure out who created the deficit that continues year after year?

 
At 7/06/2012 4:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"that's true. How many Presidents have "cut" the budget in any substantial way in that manner?"


It doesn't matter a whit what other Presidents have done, "everybody is doing it" STILL isn't a good argument.

Obama could have vetoed a lot of that spending, and pressured Congress to repeal other spending. he hasn't done it, but has asked for more and more.

Obama is the President right now, and he's is the one who can influence spending. all those other guys are gone, and their influence on the budget is also long gone.

Bush did terrible things, but Obama has done nothing to correct those mistakes, although he promised to do so. He is effectively serving Bush's third term.

 
At 7/06/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I do not ignore direct attacks on my person dufus."

Calling an ignorant person ignorant isn't a direct attack on their person Larry, it's an accurate description, based on the content of your comments. Other than that, I'm sure you're a wonderful person.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:24 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Ron H.,

I worked like a maniac to stop the passage of this disaster in 2009. Based on the (admittedly little) I knew about what my friend calls "the empty sack of the SCROTUS", I didn't think we would ever be rid of it if it got through.

So, I was unsurprised. It has been almost a century since the supreme court saw its duty as ensuring legislation remained limited to the enumerated powers. Today, judicial restraints as practiced by Roberts dictates that that the court should twist itself into intellectual knots to favour a merciless expansion of the monopoly on violent force over the vulnerable population.

To repeal even the mandate, the bumbling Republicans will have to win both houses and the presidency AND they would all have to find their manhood (an even more difficult task - something they should learn from Nancy Pelosi, really) long enough to repeal it and gut Obamacare. I'm not even sure Romney knows where his is most of the time.

I see no bright spots in the commerce clause. first of all, there's debate about whether it's what that court held or whether it's merely dicta. Second, whatever is unconstitutional under the commerce clause can just be achieved through the tax and spending clause. In the past, when SCOTUS found regulation beyond the scope of the commerce clause, it did not provide a back route to the same regulation through the tax and spending clause. Roberts threw that door wide open. I see no silver linings. That's fool's gold.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"by SS who is redeeming cash for what was originally cash traded for notes."

This is not a response to my question. Cash redeemed for cash?

You are really confused.

"If you are speaking of FICA "shortages", by law, they cannot pay out any more in SS benefits that FICA generates."

That's not correct. There's a $2.7 Trillion surplus held in trust to make up for such shortages. Where will the money come from?

"they can change the law perhaps but right now the law requires balance."

Irrelevant.

Larry claims: "NONE of it goes to the General Fund."

SSA FAQ explains: "Tax income is deposited on a daily basis and is invested in "special-issue" securities. The cash exchanged for the securities goes into the general fund of the Treasury and is indistinguishable from other cash in the general fund."

"they are redeeming the cash they originally loaned to the treasury."

"they are not getting MORE cash than they paid it. They are not receiving general fund revenues - just loan payback."

That's not correct. Read it again carefully, and tell me what it means. It's pretty darn clear, it's a description of receipts, not expenditures.

This is one of your favorite references, by the way, so you should really understand what's there.

"Yes. ALL benefit checks whether they are Military Pension Benefits or VA disability, etc say "US Treasury"

Does that mean they come from the US Treasury?

"I don't think so guy. You're just refusing to believe verifiable facts found in many different sources."

I'm quoting to you your own references Larry, how could I be wrong?

 
At 7/06/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I do not ignore direct attacks on my person dufus."

And I do not ignore direct attacks on all logic, reason and economics.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I say he has not added substantial new spending that most of the deficit carried over from previous budgets."

Obama's level of new spending is lower than the new spending of most other administrations? That's political doublespeak of the highest order.

That's as twisted as calling reductions in projected spending "budget cuts".

Nice find Larry.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"something could not be funded if the debt was not increased. He picked SS for political reasons - yes."

Ah. So he is not pure of heart after all. Good. That's a small step.

He could have vetoed the spending, but instead he insisted that all spending was necessary, and a debt ceiling increase was necessary to allow borrowing more money for future taxpayers to pay back. Besides, SS is already funded without any approval by Obama required, right?

You keep stepping on your own dick here, and I don't think you even know it.

 
At 7/06/2012 5:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"the difference is that after you work them over they usually leave and those lurking decide not to join in. It's you boy."

That's funny on 2 counts. First, you can't possibly know how many lurkers there are, let alone how many choose not to join in.

Second, and funnier, is that the last lurker who outed themselves here just couldn't stand to be silent any longer, and had to go on record as being one of the thousands who consider you an idiot.

Nice work, Larry.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:05 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"that's true. How many Presidents have "cut" the budget in any substantial way in that manner?"


It doesn't matter a whit what other Presidents have done, "everybody is doing it" STILL isn't a good argument.

none of his predecessors did this going decades back and you are holding him to a different standard.

You're blaming Obama for not rolling back what was put there by the same Congress that now opposes him.

I don't even think he's had a chance to veto any budget anyhow.

Obama could have vetoed a lot of that spending, and pressured Congress to repeal other spending. he hasn't done it, but has asked for more and more.

he's not asked for permanent new spending. He supports the sequester cuts.


Obama is the President right now, and he's is the one who can influence spending. all those other guys are gone, and their influence on the budget is also long gone.

Bush did terrible things, but Obama has done nothing to correct those mistakes, although he promised to do so. He is effectively serving Bush's third term

the current GOP Congress was largely the same one under Bush who approved the spending and now they oppose the sequestration and have failed to deliver a balanced budget for Obama to sign (or veto).

The GOP won't cut DOD nor raise taxes. The Dems won't cut entitlements.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Calling an ignorant person ignorant isn't a direct attack on their person Larry, it's an accurate description, based on the content of your comments. Other than that, I'm sure you're a wonderful person

if it's actually true. You are far more ignorant my friend and willfully so.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:12 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"by SS who is redeeming cash for what was originally cash traded for notes."

This is not a response to my question. Cash redeemed for cash?

You are really confused.

Nope. SS has older notes. They trade cash for newer notes but they get the same amount of cash by redeeming older notes.

FICA is not building a surplus now.


"If you are speaking of FICA "shortages", by law, they cannot pay out any more in SS benefits that FICA generates."

That's not correct. There's a $2.7 Trillion surplus held in trust to make up for such shortages. Where will the money come from?

When the trust fund exhausts SS benefits will automatically reduce - by law.


"they can change the law perhaps but right now the law requires balance."

Irrelevant.

really?

Larry claims: "NONE of it goes to the General Fund."

SSA FAQ explains: "Tax income is deposited on a daily basis and is invested in "special-issue" securities. The cash exchanged for the securities goes into the general fund of the Treasury and is indistinguishable from other cash in the general fund."

FICA does not fund the general fund.
The Fed uses the FICA money as it comes in but at the same time SS is redeeming older notes for cash.


"they are redeeming the cash they originally loaned to the treasury."

"they are not getting MORE cash than they paid it. They are not receiving general fund revenues - just loan payback."

That's not correct. Read it again carefully, and tell me what it means. It's pretty darn clear, it's a description of receipts, not expenditures.

you read it dufus.

it's VERY clear. FICA is no longer building a surplus but it converts current cash receipts into treasury notes - BUT AT THE SAME TIME they are redeeming older notes for CASH.

The General Fund is not getting any net dollars.

This is one of your favorite references, by the way, so you should really understand what's there.

Well I do guy. You're the one who is having brain farts ... or just plain dishonest


"Yes. ALL benefit checks whether they are Military Pension Benefits or VA disability, etc say "US Treasury"

Does that mean they come from the US Treasury?

All checks written say Treasury. They come from different funds.

Do the think Military Pensions come from the General Fund?


"I don't think so guy. You're just refusing to believe verifiable facts found in many different sources."

I'm quoting to you your own references Larry, how could I be wrong?

no you're not you're playing silly games... by pretending to ignore the truth.

dishonest and disreputable.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:13 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"I do not ignore direct attacks on my person dufus."

And I do not ignore direct attacks on all logic, reason and economics.

that would be an OPINION pickle nose.

your OPINION is not the facts and in your case it's often far from them.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"I say he has not added substantial new spending that most of the deficit carried over from previous budgets."

Obama's level of new spending is lower than the new spending of most other administrations? That's political doublespeak of the highest order.

That's as twisted as calling reductions in projected spending "budget cuts".

He has added almost nothing to permanent spending guy.

that's the truth that you refuse to admit even with references.

what kind of "decider" of logic are you anyhow when facts presented to you end up in a sausage grinder?

the facts are clear and easily proven.

You were wrong about the spending just as you were wrong about trust funds yet you act like a snotty 6yr old ... who knows it all.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"something could not be funded if the debt was not increased. He picked SS for political reasons - yes."

Ah. So he is not pure of heart after all. Good. That's a small step.

I never claimed he was. The man is a politician. Were you unaware of that?

He could have vetoed the spending, but instead he insisted that all spending was necessary, and a debt ceiling increase was necessary to allow borrowing more money for future taxpayers to pay back. Besides, SS is already funded without any approval by Obama required, right?

I'm pretty sure with no budget in 1000 days there was no budget to veto but again you give Bush a free ride then blame Obama for not cleaning up the horrendous mess that Bush created.


You keep stepping on your own dick here, and I don't think you even know it.

only in your addled mind guy.

at least I know which side it is on.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"the difference is that after you work them over they usually leave and those lurking decide not to join in. It's you boy."

That's funny on 2 counts. First, you can't possibly know how many lurkers there are, let alone how many choose not to join in.

Second, and funnier, is that the last lurker who outed themselves here just couldn't stand to be silent any longer, and had to go on record as being one of the thousands who consider you an idiot.

Nice work, Larry.

In most blogs - you'd be moderated of existence.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"that's been your argument guy that the SS trust fund is bogus."

My claim is that the SS Trust Fund is very real, but contains no funds. Any dispersals from the Trust Fund will be supplied by the Treasury, which is tax revenue, borrowed money, or money created out of nothing, in order of egregiousness, least to most.

"Most all the trust funds are earmarked - can only be spent on the purpose outlined in legislation."

That's correct

You cannot take gas tax money and spend it on SS."

That's correct.

"You cannot take Military Pension money and spend it on highways."

That's correct.

"You CAN do that with general fund appropriations."

Correct again! Larry that's four in a row! A new record for correct mini facts from Larry.

However - and here's the rub - at least in the case of the SS Trust Fund, which is the subject we're discussing, those funds have no actual money in them. It has been taken and spend, and replaced with IOUs. You can call them Special Treasury Bills if you wish, but they are still IOUs, as they have no market value.

Remember, how secure they are isn't the issue. Don't go off track at this point.

When funds are needed from these funds, the Treasury dips into its own general fund for the money to pay the IOU.

It is Accounting and nothing more. All the actual money gozinta and comzouta one big pot.

That's why all those checks say "US Treasury" on them.

SSA has an account at US Treasury bank. The checks written aren't covered by money in the SS cookie jar.

The big problem is that US Treasury bank is broke, has no funds that aren't spent as soon as they come in, and in fact runs a huge annual deficit.

So, if SSA needs funds in excess of current FICA, which is guaranteed now due to the reduction in payroll taxes, it will come from one of three unpopular sources, or maybe all three.

If you understood some economics and just a little bit of accounting this wouldn't be such a big problem for you.

 
At 7/06/2012 6:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"that's true. How many Presidents have "cut" the budget in any substantial way in that manner?"

If you agree that presidents have a great deal of influence over the budget, then why are you arguing that Obama is powerless?

You are a mess.

Step, Step, ouch! ouch!

 
At 7/06/2012 7:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"something they should learn from Nancy Pelosi "

LOL

Pelosi sure has them, doesn't he?

I suspect that manhood is less important than re-election to most politicos.

"I see no bright spots in the commerce clause. first of all, there's debate about whether it's what that court held or whether it's merely dicta. Second, whatever is unconstitutional under the commerce clause can just be achieved through the tax and spending clause. In the past, when SCOTUS found regulation beyond the scope of the commerce clause, it did not provide a back route to the same regulation through the tax and spending clause. Roberts threw that door wide open. I see no silver linings. That's fool's gold."

Oh, cruel woman! You have just taken my last two straws. I will surely drown now.

I hadn't thought it through that far, maybe to keep from facing the bitter truth.

Goodbye, cruel world, I'm off to join the circus.

 
At 7/06/2012 7:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Nope. SS has older notes. They trade cash for newer notes but they get the same amount of cash by redeeming older notes."

LOL

Your ignorance is showing.

First, this is still not a response. I asked where the money came from to redeem the IOUs.

Then, maybe you can explain what the age of an IOU has to do with anything? They are worth exactly the same amount in current dollars, no matter how old they are.

SSA doesn't pay capital gains tax, so that can't be it. What is it about the age of notes?

 
At 7/06/2012 7:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

""they are redeeming the cash they originally loaned to the treasury."

"they are not getting MORE cash than they paid it. They are not receiving general fund revenues - just loan payback.
"

What are you drooling about? The whole point is that some amount of money to cover SS benefits will now have to come from the Treasury as benefit payments now exceed receipts.

You can call it whatever you want, but it will come from the general fund.

"The Fed uses the FICA money as it comes in but at the same time SS is redeeming older notes for cash."

That's called accounting.

"Actually if I recall correctly you had it completely wrong until I set you straight before. You were totally ignorant of the facts."

That's funny.

"he's not asked for permanent new spending. He supports the sequester cuts."

Your ignorance - and naivety - are showing. This chart shows how insignificant sequester cuts are. They aren't really, cuts, but slight reductions in future projected spending. It's this kind of political posturing and doublespeak that helps give Congress its dismal approval rating of 16%. If you're interested I'll give you a link to the informatative article that chart comes from, but please don't mention sequester cuts as if they are meaningful in some way.

 
At 7/06/2012 7:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"none of his predecessors did this going decades back and you are holding him to a different standard."

I hold all Presidents to the same standard. I expect them to honor their oath of office to "...support and and defend the Constitution." None in my lifetime have done so, and the current one, supposedly a professor of Constitutional law, is one of the worst offenders. You haven't heard me praise any President, but it just so happens that Obama is President right now, so the job is his, and he's failing miserably.

You're blaming Obama for not rolling back what was put there by the same Congress that now opposes him.

 
At 7/06/2012 8:05 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"He has added almost nothing to permanent spending guy."

That wasn't in dispute.

The problem is saying that Obama is a spendthrift, just not as bad a spendthrift as some previous Presidents have been. Keep in mind that the chart shows percentages, so his percentage represents as many dollars as some previous presidents with higher percentages.

Hope that wasn't to much for you to grasp.

 
At 7/06/2012 8:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

You really can't stand it when someone criticizes your boyfriend, can you? You'll say anything to defend his sorry ass.

 
At 7/06/2012 8:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I'm pretty sure with no budget in 1000 days there was no budget to veto but again you give Bush a free ride then blame Obama for not cleaning up the horrendous mess that Bush created."

As you know...well, maybe not...there have been a number of interim spending bills to keep the government operating. Veto power is available for them also.

I have certainly never given Bush a free ride, but he hasn't been President for over three years.

The current guy hasn't done a single thing to clean up "the mess", although that was one of his recurring campaign themes.

Is he incompetent? Is that the problem, or is he really a big government guy like Bush, who lied to get elected?

 
At 7/06/2012 8:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

SSA FAQ explains: "Tax income is deposited on a daily basis and is invested in "special-issue" securities. The cash exchanged for the securities goes into the general fund of the Treasury and is indistinguishable from other cash in the general fund.""

Your drivel: "FICA does not fund the general fund. The Fed uses the FICA money as it comes in but at the same time SS is redeeming older notes for cash."

Which one should I believe? They're not the same.

 
At 7/06/2012 8:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"no you're not you're playing silly games... by pretending to ignore the truth."

Direct quotes from the SSA FAQ, Larry, none of the words are mine.

You really won't admit when you're wrong, will you.

Larry: "Yes. ALL benefit checks whether they are Military Pension Benefits or VA disability, etc say "US Treasury"

Me: "Does that mean they come from the US Treasury?"

Larry: "All checks written say Treasury. They come from different funds."

Different accounts within the big Bank of US Treasury.

Do military benefit checks come from the treasury?

"I don't think so guy. You're just refusing to believe verifiable facts found in many different sources."

Do Military benefit checks come from the Treasury, Larry? The answer can't be both yes and no.

 
At 7/06/2012 9:03 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"something could not be funded if the debt was not increased. He picked SS for political reasons - yes."

If he were interested in reducing spending, this would have been a good opportunity to stay within the limits, but instead he chose to scare old folks into calling their representatives to demand the debt ceiling be raised.

Why do you suppose he promised to get runaway government spending under control when he was campaigning if he had no intention of doing so? Is he just a liar like all the rest?

 
At 7/06/2012 9:53 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Oh, cruel woman! You have just taken my last two straws. I will surely drown now.

Well....it's not the first time I've been called a bitch :)

I hadn't thought it through that far, maybe to keep from facing the bitter truth.

I wish I could stop. I don't think people realize just how bad this thing is and I wish I could convince myself it won't be so bad for my own peace of mind, but I can't.

Goodbye, cruel world, I'm off to join the circus.

Going into politics?

 
At 7/06/2012 11:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/06/2012 11:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks:

"Going into politics?"

Ha! Sure, why not.It's the only safe career left.

I don't think I'll be very good at it though...

I can just picture myself speaking urgently to an energized crowd, and coming to the part where I should scowl and shake my fist and promise to "make the rich pay their fair share", and I would break into uncontrollable laughter instead.

 
At 7/07/2012 6:47 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Obama is a politician. The problem is you guys live in LA LA Land when it comes to facts because you're so philosophically opposed to this guy.

So.. the narrative is that he's the biggest spending President since....

when he clearly is not and the continuing annual deficit is not something he created at all.

it continues from prior budgets that were voted by prior Congresses for things he never asked Congress for.

so then you attack him for not cutting - the things he did not create and the things that the current GOP Congress DID create under Bush and now they themselves will not cut because much of it was the DOD and Homeland Security, Medicare Part D.

How many GOP have you heard say that they made a mistake with Part D and should REPEAL it? How about ZIPPO?

So they want to kill ObamaCare and Medicare but not cut DOD or get rid of Part D (and C).

yet you blame Obama....

" When funds are needed from these funds, the Treasury dips into its own general fund for the money to pay the IOU."

they do and you know what - they do it for ALL Treasury notes redeemed from Private individuals, banks and foreign countries.

and they do this no matter what happens to FICA/SS.

Where are continue to be ignorant, perhaps willfully so is you have continued to insist that SS is part of the general fund budget and it's not.

Money does flow to the general fund but the exact same dollars flow back to SS benefits. No money flows from FICA to the GF and stays there.

It's a transaction carried out the very same way ALL trust fund transactions are carried out in that fees/premiums collected ( such as gas taxes, civil service pension contributions, even Medicare Premiums ALL go into separate trust funds and at the time they go into these funds - ALL exchange cash for treasury notes.

it's not unique to SS and none of these funds are contributing to the GF budget. These funds are ALL - OFF BUDGET.

the treasury notes IOUS ARE REDEEMED every day for CASH to pay benefits or send money to the states for transportation projects.

taking money from FICA to pay for General Fund Expenditures would be like taking the Civil Service Pension money to pay for GF expenditures.

but in your purposely addled brain you refuse to admit this and instead keep pretending that we "could" use FICA money to pay down the deficit as if wiping out SS benefits (or wiping out civil service or military pensions) would ALSO BE OK.

This is the idiotic kind of reasoning you promote here.

totally off the wall and basically arguing just to be arguing.

Calling others ignorant is comical in your case.

you don't know shit from shinola and even once you find out you continue to argue things that are so totally out of the realm of political possibility as to be ludicrous.

you revel in being a nasty disposition dumbass.

 
At 7/07/2012 7:02 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The current guy hasn't done a single thing to clean up "the mess", although that was one of his recurring campaign themes."

nope. he did not. Perhaps he should have. He campaigned on hope and change, remember?

" Your drivel: "FICA does not fund the general fund. The Fed uses the FICA money as it comes in but at the same time SS is redeeming older notes for cash."

Which one should I believe? They're not the same."

the truth - that you do know.

no FICA dollars fund anything in the GF on a permanent basis. It's a temporary loan until they redeem the loan to pay their own expenses.

you know this. You choose to be a dumbass and pretend otherwise.

" Do Military benefit checks come from the Treasury, Larry? The answer can't be both yes and no. "

ALL payments come from the Treasury you simpleton.

Do military pension benefits go to pay for GF expenses other than on a temporary loan basis?

No. For that to be true, you'd be collecting money for military pensions, using it instead to pay for GF bills AND NOT FUNDING pension benefits.

what kind of an idiot are you?

"If he were interested in reducing spending, this would have been a good opportunity to stay within the limits, but instead he chose to scare old folks into calling their representatives to demand the debt ceiling be raised."

In order to do that, Congress will have had to make the cuts and sent the budget to him for his signature. He engaged in politics to get the debt limit extended because the GOP refused to make cuts to keep from having to extend the debt limit.

Why do you suppose he promised to get runaway government spending under control when he was campaigning if he had no intention of doing so? Is he just a liar like all the rest?

You need to show me some proof that this is what he was promising. What I remember him promising was MORE health care and more JOBS. When did Obama offer to balance the budget as a campaign promise?

You're smart enough to understand the truth and the realities but your philosophy won't allow you to admit it so you play stupid games with insult-laden blather.

Most important here - your views about what should be done - are not supported by a handful (if that) of elected politicians.

There is no chance that what you're advocating happens but instead of dealing with the realities - you continue to trade in LA LA land ideas...

this defines you and people like you in terms of your actual participation in elective government.

you have no government.

you live in a country that totally rejects your views. No elected official represents your views.

So you are essentially an anarchist... advocating for things that will never happen unless civilization as we know it - fails - so that becomes your vision.

do you even vote?

I doubt it. Who would you vote for if no one running actually represents your view?

 
At 7/07/2012 7:46 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Ron H.,

I think you'd be a terrible politicians. Your moral compass isn't broken and you only speak out of one side of your mouth.

I'm really good at impassioned speeches, which is a help. Unfortunately, I usually deliver them at inappropriate moments.

 
At 7/07/2012 8:22 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Although, Ron, if we can just get elected one time, we get a pension for life, political connections, an exemption from Obamacare (taxpayers will be forced to spare no expense on us), and we can get rich trading on insider information and collecting bribes.

Hmmmmm....I think I can learn to give impassioned speeches at the appropriate time for that. I'm missing the Bernie Madoff desire to lie and cheat people, but I'd better learn. Stealing from other is the only way to prosper in the new America.

 
At 7/07/2012 9:52 AM, Blogger jane walts said...

hmmm very controversial,


Medical Billing and Coding Salary in Texas

 
At 7/07/2012 12:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks

"Although, Ron, if we can just get elected one time, we get a pension for life, political connections, an exemption from Obamacare (taxpayers will be forced to spare no expense on us), and we can get rich trading on insider information and collecting bribes."

And besides, the very people you are screwing will gather in huge crowds and adoringly chant your name.

I can almost hear them now: Methinks! Methinks! Methinks!

I'm convinced now. I'm gonna do it.

"Hmmmmm....I think I can learn to give impassioned speeches at the appropriate time for that. I'm missing the Bernie Madoff desire to lie and cheat people, but I'd better learn. Stealing from other is the only way to prosper in the new America."

I believe Madoff wrote a self-help book titled "How To be Me". Maybe it would help you get that pesky concience thingy under control.

 
At 7/07/2012 12:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks:

"I think you'd be a terrible politicians"

Why thank you! What a nice compliment. :)

 

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