Death and Taxes

Soon these words may be linked by more than the phrase coined by Ben Franklin nearly 200 years ago. If Obama is successful in passing the health care and cap and trade legislation the government may be not only raising your taxes but deciding who dies and when that decision will help keep taxes from rising even higher.

It’s been a busy summer.  While you have been vacationing, (or is that looking for work after being laid-off), wasting fossil fuels, and over-consuming all kinds of unhealthy foods, the White House has been ramming its agenda through Congress.  Congress has been emotionally debating major pieces of legislation without reading or knowing what’s in them.  Even though passage of either or both of these will have a greater impact on the American way of life than all the laws passed since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

A Common Sense Approach to Disaster

“Common sense approach” is a phrase I have heard President Obama use more than once, yet the approach being employed to push his primary agenda has been anything but common sense.  Common sense would not have a bill written so complicated it requires a team of lawyers to interpret it.  Common sense would not push through legislation that would benefit 8% of the population while punishing the other 92%.  Common sense would not encourage Congress not to read legislation by restricting the time they have to read it.  Common  sense does not rush through society-changing legislation by setting deadlines.

  Obama complained about legislation rammed through by the Bush Administration, yet he is employing the same tactic now.  I suppose if it was successful then it should be now.  This is another example of the ends justify the means, hypocrisy be damned.

Capping and Trading the Future

First up we have H.R. 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, (ACESA), aka Cap and Trade. Not one representative read it.  They couldn’t read it.  In the middle of the night, hours before the vote 300 pages were added to the bill.  They were not simple inserted pages or an addendum but a complex set of insertions that contained strange annotations like “insert page 15 after paragraph 8.”  Following the House passage of this moronic bill, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has had time to study the bill and its implications. By the way, the EIA is a non-partisan entity and is very well regarded as fair, honest, and policy-neutral.

Report # SR-OIAF/2009-05 paints a bleak picture.  The report concludes that “Cap and Trade” would certainly raise energy prices.  (The report compares costs in 2007 dollars and make predictions out as far as 2030.  In fairness we all should know such predictions are faulty since unknown and unintended factors will likely alter the actual course of events.  However the trends should be fairly accurate representations.) Following the excel sheet we can see crude prices shooting up 200% and electricity up nearly 50%, mostly between 2025-30.  For those of us who have been paying attention this comes as no surprise.  Obama told the SF Chronicle in 2008, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”  No one listened or apparently cared because we were operating under intense fear of the economy.  People still are not listening only now it’s because the legislation is too complex.

Furthermore, the EIA reports that “ACESA increases the cost of using energy, which reduces real economic output, reduces purchasing power, and lowers aggregate demand for goods and services. The result is that projected real gross domestic product (GDP) generally falls.”  In other words, if we’re losing jobs now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  It seems this bill reduces pollution not by creating alternatives but rather by raising the price of current energy sources.  The increased prices reduce demand and inhibit production through lower national production.  CHANGE WE NEED?

Destroying Health Care

Next up, Health care.  I’ve written about this scam before and little has changed.  The plan laid out by the house is a single payer system regardless of how many times Obama repeats his blatant lie that it is not.  Again I refer you to page 16 of H.R. 3200.  If you have the brain power and the caffeine I recommend you continue reading.  You’ll find old people being encouraged to forgo life-saving treatment and accept hospice or comfort care.  Presumably to save tax-payers money.

To me the kicker is that all this “crisis” in health care is primarily being marketed as a push to insure 47 million uninsured Americans.  In fact that number includes 10 million illegals and if we weed out the 18 million who don’t want health insurance we’re down to 19 million.  Let’s bump it up to 25 just to give the whiners a break.  There are 320 million Americans.  A quick tap on my calculator tells me all this is to fix health insurance for 7.8% of the population. And we’ll ALL pay higher taxes to pay for it.  While Glibb and Obama deny it, Geithner laid the groundwork with his Sunday test balloon.

I like my insurance.  I pay $200 a month for my family of 5.  When I see my doctor I pay less than $20, slightly more for a specialist.  A hospital visit runs about $100.  Sometimes I pay for tests.  I like it, it’s not perfect but it is darn close.  I know many people pay more and I feel blessed.  Would I like those people to have better?  Sure but I don’t want to pay for it.  Especially when you look at Massachusetts.  Their premiums are 3 times what I pay and their deductible is far higher.  Would I trade my plan so less than 8% of the population gets coverage?  No!  Should Medicare be fixed to provide them coverage?  Yes.

Dissidents Beware

Rasmussen did a poll of MA residents asking if they liked their state-run health plan.  26% liked it and only 10% think health care got better.  New York Times liberal editorialist, Paul Krugman, called the poll a lie.  He offered no counter polling data just condemned the data because he didn’t like it.  Some of his readers called outright for thought police.  Liberals are getting scarier everyday!

The President is far scarier.  First the administration paints those of us who want to keep our health care as mere puppets or worse employees of the insurance companies.  Our opposition is called “manufactured” so people on the fence won’t take us seriously.  He repeats the lie that you can keep the plans you have.  However, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), freely admits that “single-payer” is the goal of the legislation.  When he says, “it could lead to single-payer and that is the best way to reach single-payer,” he says that knowing that under page 16 it is only a matter of time before private insurance dries up.

Back to Obama…  In a move that brings forth images of the Soviet Union and the KGB, a posting on the official White House Blog, call for supporters to report e-mails and websites that are negative towards his health care bill.  I expect there is a Czar somewhere ordering my blog be tracked and soon there will be a midnight pounding on my door.  I suppose rendition could be in my future.  If I ever doubted Obama was a classic socialist, he has removed all my doubts since January.

A Foreshadowing of Clunkers to Come

ClunkerFinally, for those of you who are so desperate for change that you fantasize about a wonderful state-run health care plan that cost you nothing or less than you pay now, I direct you to Obama’s Cash For Clunkers program.  This is a simple program not a bloated complex scheme like Health Care or Cap & Trade.   The idea simple, the government pays for you to trade in the gas-guzzler and buy a nice new car.  In theory the environment gets a bumps as well as the economy.

It’s not working out that way, folks.  Turns out the environmental impact is nill.  Aside from that the government can’t administer the program.  Naturally there is a huge demand for the program.  let’s face it – free money and a new car is pretty dang appealing.  So a program that was promised to only cost $1 billion dollars has to be “bailed out” with $2 billion more. To make matters worse, dealers aren’t getting their money from the government.  In Atlanta mega-dealer, Jim Ellis, is no longer offering the deal to its customers.

So when the President tells you his health care will only cost “$50 and $65 billion a year when fully phased in,” don’t believe him.  At a minimum triple the number.  In 1966 the government estimated Medicare would cost only $12 billion by 1990, (adjusted for inflation.)  When 1990 arrived Medicare cost $107 billion.  With such a track record who in their right mind would ever believe a President when they tell you how much something will cost them.  Furthermore, hearkening back to “common sense,” how can a national health care system that covers all 320 million of us cost less than Medicare that only covers a portion of the population.  I believe it’s because he’s telling us how much more it will cost than it will charge for premiums.

READ THE BILLS!

I’m closing with this.  Before Congress votes on this or any plan they need to not only read it but have their attorneys read it and explain it to them.  Unfortunately there is no law requiring them to do so but there should be.  Listen to Representative John Conyers (D-MI) scoff at those who would demand they read the bills.

It’s true they don’t have the time, but that fact must change.  We should put the brakes on Congress and allow them time to shut up and read the darn bills they are so passionately supporting or opposing.  Maybe if they read the bills there actually might be bipartisanship since they would start voting on what is right and not simply how their ignorant party leadership is telling them to vote.  And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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    • Captain Hook
    • October 9th, 2009

    With all your pissing and moaning about the government destroying health care, you miss a feaw salient points.
    *The REASON the bill is is so complicated is that the insurance, pharmeceutical, and litigation interestes have all put their stamp on it. Patients and doctors are at the end of the line. Just like they are with insurance companies.
    *Insurance companies ALREADY ration your care, tell you what doctors you can see, make you wait for approval, and in their own way, conduct “death panels”.
    *I don’t know about you, but I pay much more in insurance premiums than I do in taxes. And I can’t even cover my over-18 children, and at that age, jobs don’t provide insurance.
    *There is no “competition” or “freedom of choice”, at the individual level level. Your choices are the insurance your employer selects, insurance you can’t afford, or going without.
    Perhaps the “freedom” in the existing system refers to the freedom your employer enjoy to chain you to your job with pre-existing conditions, and your insurance company enjoys to collect premiums with certainty, while they stall and deny claims as much as they can until you give up.
    The only reason people fear “socialized medicine” is that they haven’t experienced it. I have lived and worked in countries that had it, and there is no horror story of public health care that I can’t match with private insurance.

    • Hook, Competition is a problem. Employer-based health Insurance should be ended tomorrow. But that would actually result in competition, no Democrat wants that. If you doubt that statement read my blog, Why the Government Can’t Run Health Care. They just want the cattle to believe they’re introducing competition. They aren’t.

      I lived in a country with government-run health care. So you’re wrong again! I suspect you haven’t live in one. It’s likely you haven’t paid a 40% sales tax to fund it, along with all the other taxes including a yearly property tax on your TV, Radio, Car, Car Stereo, and of course your house, just to name a few. And finally, it is even less likely that you ever had to use a nationalized health care program for a serious condition such as cancer or other long-term or on-going condition.

      Private health insurers do deny claims and something should be done about this, BUT as a customer you can fight them and win. I have a wife who has fought cancer. I know. But can you fight a bureaucrat? Heck no. If you do you’ll be dead before you know who won.

      Finally, I suspect another lie, you’re out of work, or a complete loser. You wrote, “I pay much more in insurance premiums than I do in taxes.” I pay $2400 a year in health insurance premiums, while paying $40,000 in taxes. You are in Virginia, so let’s run some numbers, unless you are in a high risk category, it is very likely you are paying less than $10,000 a year. Since COBRA rates would run a family of 4 around that. Let’s say you make $40,000 a year. That would put you in the 25% bracket, federal. Your federal taxes would run $10,000, plus state income taxes of $3,020, for a total of $13,020. That is just income tax, no property tax, no sales tax, no other taxes.

      Now let’s do a more accurate comparison. Assuming you make $40k/yr and pay $13k in income taxes. Let’s assume you live in Stephens City, VA and have a family of 4. (I called for an estimate using my family’s medical history. Remember my wife had cancer.) I assumed you were unable to get an employer’s plan so you’re on your own. How much would you pay? $8052 per year. Now would they approve that policy with that condition, I don’t know. She has been cancer free for almost 2 years.

      This time, I prefer not to call you a liar but rather challenge you to do the math before making an outrageous claim. What you did was believe CNN and the government who has been telling us a normal family making $90,000 a year pays $16,000 for health insurance. That is a lie. To pay that much you would need to be a cancer patient.

      Now for other readers, let me remind you. I never said reform on some level is not called for. I think we start with tort reform, medical accountability, and phasing out the employer-based system. If you want to leave a message fine but be honest. Don’t try to lie to me. It is easy to check the math.

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