Monday, April 5, 2010

They Are Going to Tax the Rich!

Health Care is law! I don’t know anyone that is against people having health care – I certainly am not. I have been working hard to quantify the cost of this new legislation. And they are going to add to the tax burden of those making over $200,000 per year.

Some think that because the Good Samaritan paid for the injured man, we should too. It’s a strong statement.

Here is what we are paying for the is new this year and in future years because of the health care plan. To quote Ric Edleman from who I gathered a lot of insight, "Life just got harder."

2010
- 10% tax on tanning (because we have, count em', 3,000 emergency room visits due to tanning bed injures each year!) in addition to your state and local taxes if there are any. (But we did get off on the botox clause because it was considered discrimination against woman and John Kerry.)
- To pay for a deficit in it's mandatory health care system, Massachusetts, increased sales taxes, had a freeze on lowering property taxes and they are proposing a hike in income taxes.

2011
- Non-Qualified distributions from Health Care Savings Accounts goes from 10% to 20%. That means that elective procedures will be taxed at a high rate.
- Pharmaceutical Companies will pay an excise tax of $2.5 Billion. Just divide that by the number of prescriptions and you can be sure that will be passed on to the consumers.
- Capital Gains tax rises from 15% to 20% - a 33% increase.
- Flexible Spending Contributions will be lowered to $2,500 from $3,500. And over-the-counter drugs will no longer be allowed. This would include folks on aspirin regimens, allergy medications such as Claritin and other doctor prescribed (recommended) medication. This will increase your federal and state tax burden by the cost of taxes on an additional $1,000 amount plus uncovered treatments. That's between 4% ($40) and 22% ($220) for the average middle class household.

2012
- You will pay a surcharge of $2 per year for your private health care plan. It seems insignificant compared to some of the others listed here.

2013
- Medicare Payroll Taxes will rise 62% from 1.45% to 2.35% for those making over $200K.
- 3.8% tax on gross investment income: dividends, capital gains, rental income, annuities and royalties.
- Capital Gains Tax increases to 23.8% - a 59% increase.
- Employers no longer receive a subsidy for retirees prescription drug coverage. Many companies are talking billions of dollars including AT&T, John Deere, Caterpillar and 3M. Undoubtedly these increased costs will be passed on to the consumers for goods purchased and possibly reduce benefits for US employees all while increasing retirees health care costs.

2014
- Small business 50+ employees will pay fines of $2,000 per employee for whom they do NOT provide health care for after the first 39. Good luck to those companies who hire spouses of insured individuals. I wonder if it will be legal to ask if you have health care on the employment application?
- Tax (fine) for individuals without health care of $695 per year or 1% of their income depending on their income. So much for self insuring.
- Taxes on insurance companies, drug companies and medical device manufacturers. It will be about 20%. In my book, it is a job killer. Everyone will be trying to save 20% or adding it to the price.

I read on some sites such as CSM, who are only reporting on sticking it to the rich part of the legislation.

Obediah 1:12 You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune.

Psalm 20:5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests
.

The plan also proposes to cut Medicare and Medicaid by $455,000,000,000! This affects senior citizens and it also affects you. These cuts will need to be absorbed by the states. That is why we had the Corn Husker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase where Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-LA) agreed to vote to start debate on the bill after scoring a $300 million bump in Medicaid funding. How will your state make up the deficit?

But the worst part is the new bill DOES NOT guarantee coverage for all, it simply makes it accessible.

Now, I take aim at the church. We have missed our opportunity to serve the poor that we always have with us. We have abdicated on important votes while we had the majority including: prayer and Bible reading in school, abortion and marriage. We have handed over our religious freedom in our slumber, and now, we have let big government go against the will of the people.

If you are a Christian, HERE is a blog that you should read regarding God's will and politics.

Christians, have you been praying? Have you been feeding the poor? Have you been voting for social justice? Or have sat around and complained and hoping the somehow mankind would get it right?

What do you think, can you afford this overhaul? Was there a better way to do this?

Personally, I thought there was a better way.

19 comments:

Tony C said...

There were a thousand ways to do this better, but as long as we have paritisan politics as the driving force in Washington...a better plan aimed at actually helping people isn't happening.

It's truly sad how our federal government has become a colossal failure because of greed, incompetence and petty partisanship.

Once the plan has been in place for a few months and Junior can stay on mom and dad's policy until he's 26, and seniors in the doughnut hole of Medicare coverage have felt the relief, and the people who have been uninsured because of pre-existing conditions have coverage...this law will be inmpossible to reverse. It would be political suicide for Republicans to do so.

Politics at its finest...

Nicodemus at Nite said...

I wish the freaking Gov't would go the way of the buffalo. That's why we left England. Too much control by the higher ups, too many taxes. We obviously didn't learn from those mistakes.

I think people need to just fail. That's the only way a person is going to learn what winning and succeeding in life is about. Life isn't fair, and we need to understand that. Being rich and having a lot has to do with someone working and making right choices. If a person is handed everything in life and never has to worry about anything, they are going to be that 4 year old whinning when they don't get something.

That's why you have people who are jealous of the rich and want to tax the hell out of them.

I remember a couple of years ago when we bailed out the car companies, the Gov't was like, "If we don't help them, the economy will fail." No, it won't. Some good American will make cars and sell them. We have to let people fail. We can't hold people's hand their whole life. They get in this mindset that people owe them something.

I hate our Gov't. This country is still the best, but we're going to be a socialist country, then communist, then it's going to turn into 1984.

I love this American creed by Dean Alfange:

I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man

It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.

I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.

I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

GCT said...

"Being rich and having a lot has to do with someone working and making right choices."

What, like choosing to be born to the right family?

"That's why you have people who are jealous of the rich and want to tax the hell out of them."

No, we want a progressive tax structure that makes sense. Why should rich people have a smaller burden than poor people, considering that rich people owe more to the state than the poor? By lowering tax rates on the rich, we are allowing them to pay less for more.

"This country is still the best, but we're going to be a socialist country, then communist, then it's going to turn into 1984."

Oh please. Universal health care is a long way from socialism for one. Secondly, socialism and communism are very different ideologies, and socialism doesn't lead to communism like some gateway drug or something. Lastly, 1984 is about facism, which is a right wing ideology and completely different and separate from both socialism and communism. I find this chicken little fear-mongering to be rather unproductive, don't you?

"I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man"

Most people would choose to have health insurance, and it's a crime that there are people in this country that would seek to deny coverage to others. And, before you object that you aren't doing that, yes you are. You are saying that you don't want others to have coverage because they happen to have the misfortune of being unable to afford it, or have had their savings wiped out by a medical condition, been dropped by their plan and now can not obtain another plan because of their pre-existing condition. I don't understand how people can be so heartless. Have you not known anyone in your life that has gone through these difficulties through no fault of their own, or do you assume that if someone gets cancer that it is somehow their fault and they deserve it?

photogr said...

David:

Medicare: I think major cuts are already in effect. I noticed medicare does not cover as much as they did in the prior year plus the deductables and co pays are higher (average about 15+%).

Social Security recipients did not get a cost of living increase this year and will not get one next year. They base it on no inflation noted. However the House and Senate voted their selves a 10% increase in wages this year. What is with that?

I noticed on my bills the phone and internet services were raised 20%, Direct TV went up 8%, Gas prices are up 25% and climbing, property taxes up 12%,consumable goods ( food) are up 18%,credit card interest rates jumped an average of 10%, and new car prices went up 12% over what I paid for the same car two years ago. So the Government tells me there was no inflation. Am I to beliueve that?

Haven't seen any increases yet in taxes on my investments but I am sure it will come sooner or later.

I can see some small increases in services or taxes but I think it is going to be higher than we expect in the long run.

As far as the good Chrstians, as I have stated before we have been showing apathy as our religious rights have been stripped away. We said nothing at all. We just burried our heads in the sand and never looked up. How stupid is that? I would imagine many never even voted or organized to fight to keep our rights.

In order to combat this we as so called Christians will have to unite and be highly organized in combating these injustices. However, I don't think you can get a group of Christians to agree on any thing much less get organized.

While I am at it, the so called Christians don't even follow the scriptures as far as caring for the needy, or promoting fellowship in their own churches in my experiences lately. What really gets me is they say " I am waiting for the Rapture to happen". Well if you don't take an active part in stopping the radical changes happening, their waiting is not going to get them good marks in heaven if they get there.

photogr said...

GCT:

I have to agree with you and David on every one having health care. Does the recent one passed in Washington solve the problem? I don't think so. If any thing it may create a deeper spread.

Having been denied private health coverage in the past for the wife's pre existing conditions because my ex employer refusd to offer health coverage, I am fully aware of the consequences. You can still get health services but you will be severely gouged price wise to the point of financial insolvency.

There is a 200% price difference on what the insurance companies pay and what you will be charged with out insurance if you are not sharp enough to haggle over the prices charged.

Nicodemus at Nite said...

@GTC - We all have opportunity to be wealthy in this country. It's not purely based on being born into a rich family. Did you know that 9 out of 10 millionaires are 1st generation millionaires?

You're implying that certain people are held back and we're not. We all can be rich if we choose. Sure it's hard, but we can do it.

Listen, it's not my responsibility to pay for someone else's health coverage. If you want it, then work for it. You're playing the weeping card with that old lady who has cancer. My mom pays for everything out of pocket. She doesn't complain, she works and saves her money.

Sure, I want others to have health coverage, but simply paying for them isn't helping them, it's just enabling them to be lazy. It's like dieting, you have to work at it the rest of your life. It's the same with money in order to pay for things that are important. For the past 2 years people scream out that the economy is so bad, we can't pay our house bill, etc, yet I can't find a parking spot at the mall during Christmas or on Friday nights the lines are out the door at restaurants. Bad economy what?

So let me get this straight you like the idea that the rich are taxes more? Why? Because they work for their money and enjoy the fruit of their labor? I smell envy.

It's a privilege to have health care, it's not a right. It's not about being heartless, it's about helping people to understand they can't be handed everything on a silver plate. Crap this likes makes people lose incentive to work harder because what's the point? We're all the same. This is going to be damaging to our country.

Anonymous said...

I spent last week in an exotic location, mostly outdoors in the rain. Lots of rain, and hail, but much wildlife, forests and beaches (at 40 degrees, burrr). I’m back and the sun is out, and I’ve time to reply to your thoughtful essay.

Yes, Health Care Reform is now law. It's not socialized medicine (like the Veteran’s Administration). Nor is it single payer (like Medicare). Instead, it’s a reform of the American Health Insurance industry.

So yes, it does not guarantee coverage for all – it provides the ability for all to get health insurance if they so choose.
The list of ways to pay for HCR is impressive. You left out one of the larger revenue sources, which is the individuals who will be mandated to get insurance and are above the poverty line. That includes me, and I just purchased an individual health insurance plan for the first time in my life.

It’s also very important to note that HCR is PAID FOR. The Republican Medicare reforms a few years ago? Not paid for – the whole of revenue added 100% to the national debt. You may not like a government program, but if you don’t pay for it, it adds to the debt.

So, if this is just reform, then why does it need to be paid for? We had a nice chat about this in another post ( http://fireandgrace.blogspot.com/2010/03/sexual-services-unions-and-health-care.html ). It’s not sufficient to outlaw the health insurance policies of denial of pre-existing conditions. Doing that means that many people will get insurance ONLY after they get a critical medical condition. The concept of the individual mandate (to have health insurance) was developed by Republican leadership during the 1993 Clinton health care debates. Individual mandates are also the key principle to Governor Romney’s Massachusetts health care reforms.

You will note (in the above post) that tort reform is also a part of the HCR.

- a nun, a muse

Tracy said...

Appreciate this thoughtful post David.

Of course I want a system in place where people can receive medical treatment when they need it - I think most people do. I'm just not sure that these reforms are going to do that in the most effective or best way. I'm also really concerned about the Medicare & Medicaid cuts as well as those cuts in subsidies for retirees prescription drug coverage. These things won't affect me personally for many years but I'm deeply concerned with how the elderly are already being treated in our society and this is a portion of the population who can not just go out and get a job and make more money, plus the fact of the matter is that the elderly have more health care issues. Most of these people have worked hard and invested into our economy for years and now what they thought they would have is being taken from them - just doesn't seem right.

Plus I definitely have an ideological bias; I just do not believe that larger government handles things more efficiently or better. Interestingly enough just today I had to go to the DMV; I'd made an appointment for this event some 8 weeks ago because it takes that long to get an appointment. When I arrived at the local DMV there was a line out the door and around the building for those poor souls who didn't have an appointment; for me with an appointment the whole thing took close to an hour and was a prime example of bureaucratic inefficiency - I hope I'm wrong, but experience leads me to think that big government won't handle healthcare any better.

As far as the whole issue with the church caring for the poor - as a group we've failed. I mourn the lack of Christ's love being demonstrated by His people toward the needy. I can't help but remember that passage in Ezekiel 16:49-50 (NASB):

49"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.

50"Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

I'm deeply moved by this text. It, and many other passages, clearly demonstrate God's heart to help the needy through His people. There are lots of things that my family & I do in our personal lives to help the needy; I seek to be obedient when God prompts me to give or volunteer in specific ways.

Reading Glasses said...

David,
Thanks for the thorough breakdown of the health care bill and costs. It is a very complex bill, it must have taken you a while to do that research. While I think it's great that many people will have more access to health care, several things about this bill concern me:

*The cost. I don't think that the CBO has come even close to estimating the true cost of this bill. The pent-up demand for health care amongst people who haven't had any for most of their lives will be very high. We weren't told the true cost of this bill, and I fear it will end up using the "Payday Loan" scam to sell us health care. Yeah, you get what you need for two weeks. 5 years later, you're filing for bankruptcy. And I don't mean a single person, I mean the whole country. We haven't balanced our budget, and we take this on. Tell me, how many people will have health care when we default on our massive debt and the economy completely tanks? Answer: no one. Why weren't we given a genuine idea as to the true cost of this bill?

*The complexity. The Congress started out seeking health care reform, and ended up with something very similar too, and linked very intimately, our tax code. This complexity will already take an over-stressed payment system and make it worse, which will drive up costs even more.

*The blinders about the ever-increasing cost of care. There is nothing I've seen to help address the increased costs of health care across the board. What does this bill do to ensure that economies of scale can wring efficiencies out of the system?

*The philosophical divides in this bill. As you can see in this thread, some are using health care reform is a veiled attack on the wealthy. If you think that increased taxes on the wealthy will pay for this bill, think again. Everyone will be affected. If your motivations are to punish the wealthy instead of providing health care, what do you think those with the wealth will do? The answer is not "Just take it". They will move their wealth abroad to reduce their tax exposure.

*Government incompetence. One of the things that really stuck out for me was when President Obama wanted a panel to study a market to be phased in over 3 years. That's ridiculous. You don't need a government panel to open a market, you just get out of the way. In this case, that would mean restricting the state's abilities to interfere by picking local monopolies and restricting access to their markets. That has been a huge driver of cost over the years. There are pot holes in roads outside my street that haven't been fixed in years. A kidney transplant is far more complex than filling a pot hole, yet my government can't seem to figure out how to fill it and pay for it. This simple example leaves me with no faith that this bill will do anything meaningful to actually reform our health care system and not cause more problems.

With any luck, the problems in this bill can be identified and addressed quickly. This will mean that Republicans will have to have real input beyond repeal, which is not realistic, in my opinion. The Democrats will have to come clean about the true cost of this bill, and we'll need to have a very hard discussion about how to pay for it. If we, as a nation, don't balance our budget, then the debt buyers of the world will balance it for us when they decide that our debt is worthless. That will be a very painful day indeed, and this bill moves up the date of that reckoning by several years.

David said...

Wow - lots of passion. Well here is where I stand.

-I don't think that the new HC bill is going to tank the economy. It is much more likely that deficit spending is the worst culprit.

- The CBO is non-partisan, but the can only produce numbers based on the facts they are given. In this case, garbage-in-garbage out i think applies.

- All taxes to support this are going to cost all of us something. My estimate is about 4% per person making over $25K per year.

- Do believe that for folks in the $100K per family range it is going to be more like 12-14% wit the hardest hit being folks in the 50+ range.

- I am very upset that it just put 32 million potential customers into a broken insurance system. Rates are going up from 12 to 32% nationwide to accommodate for the giveaways.

- The is a pay off, not reform except for the legal coverage clauses.

If a guy invests a few hundred bucks and becomes a wealthy entrepreneur, should he pay more than those who already have it? If who, who is going to want to work that hard? Not me.

The wealth haters should stop and count all the jobs that have gone overseas along with the tax raisers to save production costs on American goods.

Thanks for all the comments.

GCT said...

photogr,
I'm glad that we can agree on this point.

Nic @ Nite,
Perhaps you would turn your vitriol on photogr and say that when he couldn't get health coverage it was because he was too lazy?

"We all have opportunity to be wealthy in this country."

That's simply not true. There are opportunities out there that some people are able to find, but it's simply not true that all people have the same opportunities.

"Did you know that 9 out of 10 millionaires are 1st generation millionaires?"

Do you have a cite for that? The best I can find is a book that asserts it's 80%, but I haven't been able to find supporting data for it.

"You're implying that certain people are held back and we're not. We all can be rich if we choose. Sure it's hard, but we can do it."

Yeah, because lots of people choose to be poor and destitute.

"Listen, it's not my responsibility to pay for someone else's health coverage."

Where do you draw the line? Is it your responsibility to pay for someone else to have an education? How about to put out their house if it's on fire?

"If you want it, then work for it. You're playing the weeping card with that old lady who has cancer."

And, unfortunately I know from personal experience that some people who are disabled are fired from jobs and subsequently dropped from health insurance...meaning they have no more coverage and can't work for more coverage. (And worse yet, they can't get coverage due to their pre-existing condition.) I suppose you would say that they should just get off their disabled duffs and deal with it, right?

"Sure, I want others to have health coverage..."

No, you don't, but you should. When people don't have health care, they go to the hospital instead of getting regular check-ups. This drives up the cost for everyone else because they can't pay the hospital costs. We all end up paying for the health care of everyone else eventually.

"...simply paying for them isn't helping them, it's just enabling them to be lazy."

Every system is going to have cheats, but that doesn't mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water. Personally, I would rather err on the side of caution.

GCT said...

Continued...

"For the past 2 years people scream out that the economy is so bad, we can't pay our house bill, etc, yet I can't find a parking spot at the mall during Christmas or on Friday nights the lines are out the door at restaurants. Bad economy what?"

Unemployment is up, people are losing jobs, having their pay/hours cut back, etc. Yeah, the economy is bad.

"So let me get this straight you like the idea that the rich are taxes more? Why? Because they work for their money and enjoy the fruit of their labor? I smell envy."

Why? I already told you why. Rich people (one's who actually do work for a living) are more dependent on the state than poor people are and should pay for their services accordingly. IOW, the rich should have a higher tax burden because they incur a higher cost.

We know that it doesn't happen that way though, regardless of all the hand-wringing that the middle class (the real beasts of burden) do on behalf of the rich. There are all kinds of tax shelters, loopholes, and rules built in to lessen their tax burden, like the drop on dividend tax rate to 15% for just one example.

"It's a privilege to have health care, it's not a right. It's not about being heartless, it's about helping people to understand they can't be handed everything on a silver plate."

Yeah, so sorry you contracted cancer and your medical bills are through the roof, but you don't have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"This is going to be damaging to our country."

Right, because all those other countries that have it are down the tubes right...like those darned Scandinavian countries that are better off and fare better on all living indexes (happiness, prosperity, etc.) Sorry, but I'm not buying it. The current system is broken. Health care for profit only disincentivizes the health industry from actually helping people. Are you really OK with deciding who gets to be treated for illnesses and such based on the bottom line in some health insurance company? Are rich people more deserving of health care and life simply because they can pay more? Is someone inherently better than you and worth more simply because they have more money?

GCT said...

Reading Glasses,
"The complexity. The Congress started out seeking health care reform, and ended up with something very similar too, and linked very intimately, our tax code. This complexity will already take an over-stressed payment system and make it worse, which will drive up costs even more."

You can thank your conservative, obstructionist representatives for that. They stonewall until the Dems put provisions in to satiate them and then they don't vote for it anyway. They also incite the people with lies about death panels and such in an attempt to turn public opinion. Then, they take the bloated bill and try to make sure it doesn't, can't, and won't work because it's been so watered down and filled with riders so that they can try and ensure it fails and then claim that it never could have worked to begin with. This is hurting our country.

"The philosophical divides in this bill. As you can see in this thread, some are using health care reform is a veiled attack on the wealthy."

Well, that must be aimed at me, and it has nothing to do with anything. No one is asking for health care for all in order to punish wealthy people for being wealthy. This is a strawman and rather unhelpful.

"If you think that increased taxes on the wealthy will pay for this bill, think again. Everyone will be affected."

Well, yeah. Hopefully there will be some cost offsets by having a smaller overall health burden on out country because people get help for small stuff that doesn't bloom into large, expensive problems.

"If your motivations are to punish the wealthy instead of providing health care, what do you think those with the wealth will do? The answer is not "Just take it". They will move their wealth abroad to reduce their tax exposure."

How naive. What makes you think that this isn't already happening? Do you honestly think that the wealthiest citizens are dutifully paying their proper share of taxes but are sitting back waiting for the straw to break the proverbial camel's back, at which point they will start to cheat the system? Yes, there are system cheats on the poor end, but let's not pretend that it doesn't happen on the rich end too.

David (non blog owner I assume),
"The wealth haters should stop and count all the jobs that have gone overseas along with the tax raisers to save production costs on American goods."

Um yeah, because taking jobs overseas to be done at a fraction of the cost didn't help make people more rich while negatively affecting all the blue collar workers in our own country? Talk about biting the hand the feeds.

David said...

Interesting debate... a few thoughts from your friendly author.

- We all have the opportunity to get rich. What I have noticed (I used to sell franchises) is that folks don't want to do the hard work, and take the risks required to become a millionaire. I amde mine in the DOT COM craze of the 1990's. 7 days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day, and no vacation for 2 years.

The average American is in significant debt, and has little or no savings, yet they own a car, a home, and a flat screen TV. Even the ones without health care.

There is a big difference between taking care of the poor and disabled and providing for the lazy.

- It is true that most folks that end up with astronomical health care bills file bankruptcy. Next to divorce it is the second most popular reason for doing so.

- When it comes to seniors, they are caught between the corporate pension and 401K/SSI generation. Neither is sufficient. The SSI cap is stupid.

As stated in a previous post, we could have done something about health care for a lot less then this bill, but it became a STUPID partisan stand off with the American people losing.

- GCT Jobs went over seas because no president since Nixon did anything about tariffs to keep manufacturing here in the US.

Add to that unions with unreasonable demands and intense bargaining power and quality suffered. You can't blame the republicans for quality issues the beset GM and Ford the last few decades.

Add to that educational standards that are sub-par compared to the rest for the 1st world and some developing nations such as India, and we don't have the brain power to compete. Again, that rests on both parties. There's a lot a talk about funding education, but none about quality. Nor are there incentives to get good educations.

It is doubtful without the most recent crash that corporate America will get a clue. Why Congress won't give tax breaks to corps that keep jobs here is sheer stupidity. Tax burdens will cost American jobs.

In the end, the article about what health care is going to cost every American. As best as I can tell, even if the CBO is correct, it is a minimum of 4%.

GCT said...

David,
"We all have the opportunity to get rich. What I have noticed (I used to sell franchises) is that folks don't want to do the hard work, and take the risks required to become a millionaire. I amde mine in the DOT COM craze of the 1990's. 7 days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day, and no vacation for 2 years."

And how is that different from the immigrant that comes here, works multiple jobs with no vacation and doesn't get anywhere? You were in the right place at the right time and were able to cash in an opportunity that not everyone will see. It's simply not true that hard work will invariably make you rich in this country or that the only reason people aren't rich is because they are lazy.

"There is a big difference between taking care of the poor and disabled and providing for the lazy."

Agreed. Now, how do you tell the difference?

"As stated in a previous post, we could have done something about health care for a lot less then this bill, but it became a STUPID partisan stand off with the American people losing."

Yes, and who was responsible for the partisan fighting? The republicans were against even the idea of this bill from the beginning and wouldn't allow any meaningful work to be done. They were against the idea of health care for all. It hardly seems fair to place all the blame on the democrats for being stonewalled by a group that opposes health care for all on principle.

"GCT Jobs went over seas because no president since Nixon did anything about tariffs to keep manufacturing here in the US."

And, isn't that part of the free market that conservatives always tell us makes everything magically delicious?

"You can't blame the republicans for quality issues the beset GM and Ford the last few decades."

Nor did I. The point was that your statement about counting jobs overseas was less about taxes than about cheap labor and has been going on for a long time.

"Add to that educational standards that are sub-par compared to the rest for the 1st world and some developing nations such as India, and we don't have the brain power to compete. Again, that rests on both parties."

It does, although one party is more apt to try and fund education than the other. I'm sure you know which one. How do we fund education without taxes though?

"Why Congress won't give tax breaks to corps that keep jobs here is sheer stupidity."

That would probably help and we should probably do it, but again it's cheap labor that really turns the tables. I can pay a guy $10/hr here or pay a guy $1/hr in China and not have to worry about safety regs, environmental regs, etc over there.

"In the end, the article about what health care is going to cost every American. As best as I can tell, even if the CBO is correct, it is a minimum of 4%."

We still have one of the lowest, if not the lowest, tax burdens of all industrialized nations.

David said...

@GCT - Some immigrants have come here and done very well - especially the ones the LEARN ENGLISH. DOn't get me going on how unfair immigration is - my best friend has been trying t get a green card for 10+ years and speaks 6 languages, and is hard working. My next door neighbor a few years back was busted for cocaine possession and got a green card in 6! Contrary to popular belief, there is NO line.

Just because someone works 2 jobs, is not a guarantee that they'll be rich. We have the right to pursue happiness, not a guarantee.

The system is not fair, but it is free. Life isn't fair, you get out of it what you put in it. And for some,there are lucky breaks. For the rest of us, we got educated - paid for all my 9 years of college without any help from the family except $1,300in my 2nd year of under-grad. In business I succeeded because I chose a career in which you can make money and then I worked hard. I quit teaching, and the arts because I couldn't make money. I like having money.

Tariffs are meant to protect the American economy. Mass consumerism and deficit spending has left us right here where we are. LOL - 1/3 of the jobs created in February are census takers! Millions of lost job are due to unionization and lack of "import taxes."

Free markets need balances. The operate on the "bubble/correction" theory. Tariffs smooth out those bubbles.

I think the Republicans who opposed this stupid bill were right. All the retiring Dems, if still running, would have too.

And the last point about laziness. Well, I see it like this. Poor folks are people that work and don't make a lot of money. Handicapped folks cannot work, or are limited in what they can do. I know a lot of folks that are productive, and some are even rich that work from wheelchairs and suffer from other diseases. If you can work, the work and we'll supplement if we need to. The problem is that we've made is easier not to work for a segment of US citizens. Add to that the fact that jobs are being done by illegal aliens and a good size segment of the US is collecting some sort of entitlement.

BTW - I am not talking about unemployment. Those folks were working, and have to look for work.

GCT said...

David,
"Some immigrants have come here and done very well - especially the ones the LEARN ENGLISH."

And the ones that can't learn English? Don't some of them work just as hard as others and not make it anywhere? Face it, it's not such a simple equation: Hard work = Riches.

"Just because someone works 2 jobs, is not a guarantee that they'll be rich. We have the right to pursue happiness, not a guarantee."

My point exactly, so we can't simply say that everyone can be rich if they work hard or that people who are poor obviously don't work hard enough.

"The system is not fair, but it is free."

But you seem to claim that it is fair...that everyone can be rich. So, which is it?

"Life isn't fair, you get out of it what you put in it."

This is contradictory. If life were fair, you would get out what you put in.

"And for some,there are lucky breaks. For the rest of us, we got educated..."

Both things that not everyone gets.

"Tariffs are meant to protect the American economy."

Exactly, and they are anathema to the conservative mantra of the free market.

"Mass consumerism and deficit spending has left us right here where we are."

Deficit spending, like Reagan and the Bushes did for 20 years? (Not to imply other presidents on both sides didn't do it.) (Of course, it's said that deficit spending can be good during economic downturns.)

"Free markets need balances."

Free markets need to be free conservatives keep telling me.

"I think the Republicans who opposed this stupid bill were right. All the retiring Dems, if still running, would have too."

They opposed health care completely! You seem to support health care for all, so what gives?

"Poor folks are people that work and don't make a lot of money. Handicapped folks cannot work, or are limited in what they can do. I know a lot of folks that are productive, and some are even rich that work from wheelchairs and suffer from other diseases. If you can work, the work and we'll supplement if we need to."

Agreed, except for the supplement stuff...we don't actually do that in this country.

"The problem is that we've made is easier not to work for a segment of US citizens."

I hear this sort of thing a lot. Although it may be true that some people are abusing wellfare, it's simply not so that all are or that the program is therefore bad.

David said...

@GCT - you seem to run in the hate "I hate Republicans" groove more than responding to the issues.

Hard work = the opportunity for riches as opposed to the lazy = riches equation which is not true.

The benefit of being "free" is opportunity. Free to work, to not work, to get an education, or not.

Successful people work hard (happens to be a Biblical principal too). It is factual that many lottery winners return to whatever place in life they had before they won because they lacked skills to manage large sums of money. (Lotteries are a tax on the poor.)

English is part of being successful in the USA. If you an't communicate, you decrease your chances of success.

I have met few non-Americans that were incapable of learning English. I have met some in an ESL class that didn't want to.

If you look at the history of immigration, many successful cultures came here and learned English, got educated and had success.

The system is not fair - nor is life - but it is free here is in the US. You and I both have the same chance to succeed.

- I am pro tariff - do we agree or not?

- Deficit spending at the levels in which the US gov't has done it are way wrong. I don't care who is at the helm.

- Taxation to redistribute wealth is wrong.

- Free markets needs balances in terms of tariffs. There was a time wen a Japanese TV cost the same as an American one. By the end of the Clinton years, that was no longer the case.

- We do supplement the poor. SCHIP, Food Stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, educational grants just to name a few. You can qualify for these programs regardless of the amount of hours worked.

- I'd like to see mandatory drug testing for entitlement distribution. If you can get a job, then how come you can collect a check? There should be incentives for working hard, and having and education. Instead we offer de-incentives. If you work you get penalized. Dumb squared.

All I have time for.

GCT said...

David,
"you seem to run in the hate "I hate Republicans" groove more than responding to the issues."

Not so. I'm responding to the general feeling I get from you and a lot of the posters here that liberal = evil. It's unhelpful and generally misplaced anger.

"Hard work = the opportunity for riches as opposed to the lazy = riches equation which is not true."

Hard work doesn't even guarantee the opportunity for riches. This is the fallacy of capitalism. It assumes that everyone gets a fair shake when that simply is not true. There's a lot of chance that works in that throws all these simplistic ideas out the window.

"The benefit of being "free" is opportunity."

Yes, freedom is a good thing, but it doesn't guarantee anything, nor does the lack of it guarantee anything.

"Successful people work hard (happens to be a Biblical principal too)."

Not always.

"(Lotteries are a tax on the poor.)"

And people who aren't good at math.

"English is part of being successful in the USA."

Yes, by default, but it's not an official language.

"If you look at the history of immigration, many successful cultures came here and learned English, got educated and had success."

No, some people from every culture have had success in many forms, while many others have not.

"The system is not fair - nor is life - but it is free here is in the US. You and I both have the same chance to succeed."

No, we don't, and that's the whole point.

"I am pro tariff - do we agree or not?"

Depends on the situation...and I don't see a problem with pointing out that your's is not the conservative position.

"Deficit spending at the levels in which the US gov't has done it are way wrong. I don't care who is at the helm."

In most cases, yes. I just want you to be aware that your liberal bashing is misplaced.

"Taxation to redistribute wealth is wrong."

No one is doing that, so it's moot. Progressive tax structures that take into account how much people use and depend on governmental systems is totally appropriate is it not?

"Free markets needs balances in terms of tariffs."

Then you are not holding the conservative position.

"We do supplement the poor."

Sometimes.

"I'd like to see mandatory drug testing for entitlement distribution."

Whose going to administer that and why only on people that are poor? (I don't necessarily disagree BTW.)

"There should be incentives for working hard, and having and education. Instead we offer de-incentives. If you work you get penalized."

Do you honestly think that there are rolls of people who are hoping to collect welfare so that they never have to work anymore?

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