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Downsizing America's Economy

Original post made by Pleasanton Mom, Birdland, on Mar 25, 2010

You can thank President Obama for the lower standard of living coming your way. The numbers tell the story.


March 25, 2010
Downsizing America's Economy
By Steve McCann

You can thank President Obama for the lower standard of living coming your way. The numbers tell the story.


The electorate in the United States is presently being bombarded from all sides with financial and economic statistics on health care and budget deficits. The scale and magnitude of the sums are incomprehensible. A calculation containing twelve or thirteen zeros causes the eye to glaze over. However, in their gut, the American people know that something is amiss and that the future very much in jeopardy.


The bleak tomorrows are no longer twenty-five, thirty, or fifty years out; in the next five to nine years, we will be noticeably poorer and on our way to third-world status. We will be like Brazil, only without the hope of wealth from vast offshore oil resources.


Ongoing annual budget shortfalls in the trillions of dollars will, by 2019, cause publicly held federal debt to exceed 100% of the gross domestic product. Together with all the trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities, the United States will be, in essence, a bankrupt nation.


Deficit spending (program expenses exceeding dedicated revenue) began on Medicare (2008) and Social Security (2010). Social Security cash surpluses, which have been used to help finance other government activity, will no longer be available to supplement the rest of the federal budget. By 2019, these programs will require at least $160 to $200 billion a year in borrowing to keep up with promised benefits.


As a result of all the massive borrowing, the annual interest liability by 2019 will approach $900 billion annually. (2009: $187 billion.) Within nine years, spending on Medicare, Social Security, and interest will account for 97% of all federal revenue.


The quick and glib answer to all this is to reduce spending to cover the deficit expenditures. However, total spending between 2010 and 2019 will be $8.5 trillion (27%) more than revenues. Will the majority of the public stand for reducing a monthly social security check by 27% or cutting Medicare reimbursements, defense spending, welfare, and unemployment, et al by a similar 27%?


The obvious answer is no. There will have to be a combination of revenue growth to the government, which can only come from dramatically increased economic activity coupled with far-reaching elimination of agencies (and public-sector unions), cancellation of outdated programs, and slower growth and restructuring of the major entitlement programs.


However, the Obama administration's solution is to focus solely on raising taxes while proposing ever-expanding government spending. Beyond allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2011, the double-edged purpose of the Cap-and-Trade, Health Care Reform, and Financial Reform bills is to raise taxes and fees while furthering government interference into the day-to-day lives of all Americans. The end result of the current policy by this White House and the Democrats in Congress will be to stifle economic activity, further reducing revenues to the government and exacerbating the very real possibility of national bankruptcy.


The last period of major economic downturn in the United States was 1979-1982. Thanks to Ronald Reagan and policies the polar opposite of those being pursued by President Obama, the country made a dramatic recovery which lasted for nearly 25 years. However, there is a major factor that exists today that was not in play in 1980.


In 1980, the United States, Japan, and Western Europe (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) dominated the world economy accounting for 64% of the global Gross Domestic Product. By comparison, China, India, and South Korea accounted for 4% of the world GDP at the time. The relative lack of competition made it easier for those nations to more easily survive and come through a recessionary period.


By 2014, The United States, Japan, and Western Europe are projected to account for 36% of the global GDP (a decline of 44%). (In 1980, the United States was at 27%, by 2014 18% or less, a decline of 40%.) Meanwhile, China, India, and South Korea are estimated to control 24% of world GDP (China 16%), or an overall increase of 500%.


This is now a true global market in which the United States must be competitive. The ideal of a world economy is now a reality. Countries such as China and India have begun to develop a middle class and raise the overall standard of living for their populations. In order to compete and continue this growth, these nations must attract intellectual and investment capital to their shores. They can do so with lower taxes, fewer regulations, a benign legal environment, and lower labor costs.


Thanks to new technology and global communication, major financial firms and their activities can now headquarter in Shanghai, Singapore, or Dubai rather than New York and still serve their worldwide clients. Manufacturing companies can seek out the country with the most advantageous business factors and get their products to a global market as a result of the enormous advances in shipping capacities.


With the rise of the middle class in these once-third-world countries, the populace is better-educated and technologically savvy. Research and development, a United States strength, will accelerate its shift overseas.


By raising taxes, increasing regulations, giving unions (public and private) more power, passing more mandates onto business, and dramatically increasing spending and the power of bureaucrats, this administration will ensure a lack of competitiveness for American business and achieve more equal income distribution by making certain that the standard of living declines for everyone.



The consensus of economic forecasters reveals what may be an overly optimistic average GDP growth rate of 3.1% for the years 2010 to 2015. However, spending by government at all levels (federal, state, and local) will increase an average of 6% per year during this same period, resulting in government spending, for the first time since World War II, being 50% of GDP.


Factoring in the projected growth in population the net per person GDP (total GDP less all government spending) in 2009 made $26,537.00, by 2015 (in 2009 dollars), the net per person GDP will be $23,700.00. The American people will be worse off thanks to the Obama policies.


The United States can never solve its fiscal problems and make certain that the standard of living increases for future generations unless it undertakes to become the foremost haven for investment capital and business activity in the world.


Today, this country is still living off the residue of the economic tidal wave that was the Reagan revolution. But that wave will soon dissipate. Unless policies are put in place that will create the next wave of long-term, high economic growth, the bleak future so many fear will become a reality.

Page Printed from: www.AmericanThinker.com Web Link

Comments (49)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Replier
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Thanks for that info. Does that mean that you'll be decamping for some other country, thus saving us any more of your tiresome rants? Your act is getting really, really old.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Obama is absolutely amazing. Nothing he is doing is working except getting healtcare passed and he had to cheat to do that by reconcilation, arm twisting, payoffs, and sweetheart deals on our nickel if we had one left after bank bailouts, non stimulus plans, expansion of the war in Afghanistan, terror trials in New York but they will not let him, record unemployment with no signs of letting up, mortgage crisis which is continuing, we could go on and on but no need because even the most loyal disciple of Obama can see it.


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:38 pm

PM, you seriously need to give up on the American Thinker cut and pastes. If we want to read the American Thinker, we will visit that website and read it ourselves. You already did your promo piece a few days ago, so we're all aware of its existence. Thank you ever so much for exposing us to the wisdom of the site and it's contributors. However, please do give us the consideration of allowing us to choose to visit it on our own, rather than bombarding us with your "pastings" when we choose to visit our local newspaper's Town Square.
I am not saying don't contribute - by all means, we'd love to hear what you have to say. But in your own words, please. The cutting and pasting is not the sort of contribution we visit the Square for; the people you are trying to convince have repeatedly stated they are tired of your propoganda and frankly, are not even reading it.
I mean, the Reagan Revolution? That is fricking desperate.
Rat Turd, disciple? Really? Afghanistan? Really? Bank bailouts? Do you REALLY want to go there?


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Posted by Right...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm

As Pleasanton Mom so aptly quotes "However, there is a major factor that exists today that was not in play in 1980."

Right... one major factor that exists today that was not in play in 1980 is that the U.S. of A. is engaged in military operations in two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan.


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Posted by anti-stupid brigade
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

sorta makes you wish GW Bush hadn't given the top 2% a 1.8 trillion dollar tax cut, then got us into a waste of a war in iraq that cost another 2 trillion...


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Posted by Really...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm

But, golly gee, GW had it all under control, and the gap in the numbers between tax cut for the top 2% and the deficit were all according to plan... unlike any deficit that we're seeing today. What is with you folks, anyone questioning that this wasn't exactly according to plan?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

Pleasanton Mom for Truth,

You do not get to set the rules, nor guidelines on style or content, for how I contribute on a public forum.

Your Liberal Double Standard is showing. You have never attempted to curtail or censor the liberal rantings on this forum - the rantings so uncivil that they were deleted by the Editor.


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:09 am

PM, yay you! Indeed I do not set the rules for the forum. That's why I made a polite request, which of course I don't expect you will honor; if you can't cut and paste, you won't have anything to say. You've made that obvious.
As to my CAPITAL Liberal Double Standard, you are hardly in a position to comment on what I do or don't respond to, given your hard right propagandist contributions.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:12 am

PM - I think PM4T was suggesting that you contribute your original thoughts rather than copy/paste (which has been consistently requested by numerous people on this forum).

I believe someone from your "camp" was recently deleted by the editor.

By contributing extremist articles with clear deficits in the truthfulness department and implying that only the "other side" is guilty of incivility toward those not of the same mindset, the rift between the camps is perpetuated.

You and I are worlds apart in our views, no doubt. Both my personal and professional life contribute to my knowledge and experience around the need for an overhaul of the healthcare system (there are only so many families I can see grieve for those who have died unnecessarily). Several others have posted their first hand experience and why it informs their position on this topic - perhaps if you did the same you would be met with less resistance.

I know in my case (and I can only speak for myself) I am unmoved by the barrage of articles you place in these threads.


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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

LOL!! Oh, you mean like your friend "Jimf01's" comments that were "deleted by the Editor"? You do keep the chuckles coming!

But hey, laughter aside . . . I'm still waiting with bated breath to read the commentary between you and "Jimf01" on the article you referenced from a "Kremlin legal expert" giving the world his take on HCR in America. You know the one, you found it on self-described "white racialist" Jessica Nachtman's website, the EU Times . . . Web Link

Now that discussion should make interesting reading for all of us "evil" Liberals!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:31 am

Oops! Sorry PM4T and Sharon!

I forgot to preface my post with "Pleasanton Mom".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

Pleasanton Mom for Truth,

Can you not see that your "request" that I contribute to the forum in a particular way, a way that you approve of, is an attempt to control the freedom of another? You don't get to do that.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:26 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Man, that's the most funny thing I've read all day and the day ain't even half over yet. Next we'll be hearing that asking someone to say please and thank you is an attempt to control the freedom of another. We'll need to use the power of government to enforce decency standards.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

PM, I read PM4T's post as a suggestion regarding how to potentially allow others on the forum understand your position without the hyperbole. What you copy/paste tends to be over the top extremist and inflammatory, and contributes to the divide in unhelpful ways. When someone points this out you tend to divert the attention by accusing others.

Is there any way in which you personally contribute to the forum that you think could be done in a less inflammatory way? If so, maybe more people would consider your position.


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

Sharon,

Sharing published articles written by people whose job it is (or whose desire it is) to provide their analysis/conclusions of their research on the matter is a legitimate form of communication of issues in a public forum. In most cases, there is no need for me to add "my own words" to their work. I reserve that right.

What's going on here is that the articles I have posted conflict with your opinion, so you attack me by labeling them "hyperbole, extremist, inflammatory", (these labels are your opinion, not truth) and by ridiculing me personally.

I have not done that to any of you. I post information or opinion that represents a different viewpoint, but I have never rediculed or personally attacked any of you.

Why can't you just read the information that interests you, glean from it what you will, and move on? Why must you attack what you don't like?

I am not your enemy. I am a concerned citizen.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

PM:
While I appreciate that your comments did not disintegrate into "I know you are but what am I?", I take it very personally when you conjure language such as "death panels" and other inflammatory tactics to sway opinion your way.

There are people who will not look beyond the rhetoric/hyperbole (yep, I've said it again) and buy into that kind of hysteria. I really don't know if you believe what you post or are just trying to influence opinion at any cost.

What if the status quo remained, and your husband lost his job and one of your kids was diagnosed with a life threatening health condition? As a mother, my guess is that you would fight to keep your child alive. This would open your eyes to just how unfair this system has been for so many other families without your comforts or circumstance.

Watching families lose benefits and become destitute while trying to cover treatment for someone they love is an eye opening experience. It shouldn't happen to anyone, and insurance company execs shouldn't reap rewards off the denial of health care to others.

As a mom I'm ready for a country where all children have access to heath care - are you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

PM, not to belabor the point, but I don't think anyone is suggesting you don't have the right to continue to copy/paste. Speaking for myself, it is not a method of communication from you that I am willing to spend time on anymore (I did read some, but quickly lost interest).

I think it is more a question of your desired outcome. Do you want people to spend the time to read your own opinion (sans byline), or do you want us to scroll past your postings to what others share specific to their life experience? If it is the latter, by all means continue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Sharon,
"Pleasanton Mom" responded to me once that the articles she posts ARE her opinions, and, as she noted above, "there is no need for me to add "my own words" to their work".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Sharon,

I totally understand the concern about the status quo. I have said that reforms are surely needed, but that a government takeover of healthcare, and 1/6 of our economy, is not reform. But you will find this out - too late.

I think what is happening is that people need and want reforms so badly, and I undertand this, so they are not considering the source of the information. The information you are believing is coming from the very people who stand to gain untold amounts of power. You are trusting, but are you verifying? Especially when it comes to government politicians, verifying BIG TIME is in order.

I know you need to hate me, but I am not your enemy. I am good and decent person. I have no power or money to make from trying to help people see what's happening. I'm not affliated with any organization or anything like that. The most important thing to me is my kids' future, and I see DANGER.

This ain't your Dad's Democrat Party anymore. It's been changed.

This article was published just today, it was written by Obama's Cousin, a doctor:

March 26, 2010
The Last Line of Defense between ObamaCare and Kansans
By Milton R. Wolf, MD

I am Milton Wolf. After this last week, you probably know me as the doctor who is Barack Obama's cousin.


Like millions of other Americans, I watched with bafflement and frustration as Congress wrestled with the onerous task of reforming our health care system. After studying both the House and Senate's health care plans, and a lot of sleepless nights, I knew I had to take a stand for my patients, my profession, my state, and my country. I made the decision to "go public" with my opposition to "ObamaCare."


I wish my cousin well, but my oath is to my patients.


What began as a humble blog led to a Washington Times op-ed. Then a massive media storm erupted. Morning news with a visit to the Curvy Couch, radio interviews, ruffled feathers at Media Matters & Democratic Underground, another op-ed, an army of Davids carrying my questions to their representatives in Congress, Hannity, more FOX & Friends, radio, and more print and internet opinions than I could ever read. Last Saturday, it all culminated in an address to thirty thousand patriots who set their lives aside long enough to rush to the Capitol and try one more time to be heard by their elected leaders in Washington.



My message is simple: Patients will suffer under ObamaCare.


This plan goes "all in" on the government failures that have already had a tremendously detrimental effect on medicine. It's not that health care rationing might happen under the plan; it's that it will. In fact, it's already written into the plan.


Section 3403 of the Senate bill creates the Medicare Advisory Board, the express purpose of which is to reduce funding for Medicare. These unelected, unaccountable officials are required to make recommendations for Medicare cuts. These recommendations will have the effect of law, even if the Congress does not act on them.


We are given a preview of what this rationing board will try in section 3007 of the Senate bill. This portion of the health care bill addresses a scheme that actually penalizes your primary care doctor for providing the care he has determined that your family needs. The top ten percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists, no matter how valid the reason, will be penalized. This ignores the expertise of the family care physician. It does not care if your daughter hurt her arm and needs an orthopedic surgeon. It does not care if your mother is short of breath and needs a pulmonologist. It matters to them only how many of your doctor's patients are sick enough to need a specialist.


There's no other way to say it: "ObamaCare" penalizes your doctor for providing medical care. This is rationing. It will get worse as costs continue their upward climb and more doctors opt out of Medicare and medicine altogether.


After my experience in Washington, D.C., I understand that the reality is that the only ones who can save Kansas are Kansans.


Washington, D.C. may be satisfied with government taking over the health care system, but Kansans have a choice. The Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment was supposed to be the final firewall to protect the citizens of Kansas from being forced into a government-run health care system that would rob them of their freedom to make their own health care decisions. The Kansas House defeated the amendment, but the Kansas State Senate has yet to act. Any Kansas legislator who opposed this amendment will be held directly answerable for foisting "ObamaCare" upon Kansans. We should hold them just as responsible as Barack Obama himself.

Milton R. Wolf, M.D., is a practicing diagnostic radiologist and second cousin to President Barack Obama. He has spoken and written publicly against ObamaCare. He operates the website TheWolfFiles.com.

Page Printed from: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The copied articles make many points. What does Pleasanton Mom want her readers to take away from what she cuts and pastes? No one knows!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Is Barack Obama your second cousin?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Rae, thanks for the clarification.

PM - You lost me at "this article was published...."

Of course, I am aware of Dr. Wolf as he is now getting his 15+ minutes of fame and it appears he is being rapidly primed as a pawn in this battle. One one side - a man elected president by a majority vote whose decisions are informed by health industry experts held in high regard by most - the other side is his second cousin - a radiologist contributing his lone opinion. Though I believe his opinion is meaningful to him, there has been much criticism regarding his motivation.

Finally, I don't "need to hate" you or anyone else. My point was to clarify what others are telling you: copy/paste is getting old. You interpreted that as being told you didn't have the right to continue - not the case at all. You can continue to peruse the internet for fuel for your fire, and I can use my all powerful index finger to scroll down...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm

If people like Pleasanton Mom and I do not "copy and paste" select articles, (yes, I agree we should provide at least our opinion re: the articles...tho our opinion should be obvious to the reader), then many people on this board will likely not read about it.

My sense is that most liberals do not read conservative articles or view conservative websites. Conservatives, on the other hand, are bombarded with liberal articles, liberal television, liberalism in the schools, and liberalism from Jeb Bing's editorials (and photoshoots of McNerney with our vets and other softball articles).

Face it, liberals would not voluntarily go to any of the following...American Thinker, the Heritage Foundation, Big Government, Drudge, CFP, Hot Air, MichelleMalkin, MarkLevinShow, Hannity, Rush, others.

That is why people like PM and I copy & paste (but not always) so that it will increase the probability that an iota of info in it will resonate. Chances are slim, I realize. But it has happened. I am a former lib and several of the authors of the articles we post are as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Now, now, "Pleasanton Mom"! You're starting to overuse the "I know you need to hate me" line. I'm trying to figure out if you're being condescending, or just portraying yourself as a victim of the big, bad, "evil" Liberals . . .

Seriously tho', I'm sure no one hates you. Speaking for myself, I look forward to the laughs I get from some of your postings . . . Take, for example your comments above, "they are not considering the source of the information" and "You are trusting, but are you verifying?" You didn't actually write that with a straight face, did you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Hi Bill,

My favorite "recovering liberal" is Robin of Berkeley (that's what she calls herself, a recovering liberal that is), who writes for American Thinker.

Her articles are amazing - I read every one of them and learned so much from her. You can do a search of her name on American Thinker, and get the whole list of her articles. She's awesome.

Thank you, :-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Bing!!! There you go, PM - I read your whole post!

Bill, too true, I would avoid American Thinker (I have a nice nickname for it but it would be rude to post it here). I do read many conservative opinions via the public policy director for the organization I work for - we pick both sides apart and try to limit the extremist rants on both sides before we send information out to our families.

Bottom line - we all want access to health care (I want it for everyone) in this country. Let's see how this plays out.

In spite of it all, I wish you and PMom - and your families - good health. May you never face the hardship that the families that we come in contact with each week have had to endure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I notice conservative Rick Moran is not on that list. Too intellectual? Infinitely more readable and digestible than most of the others on that list.

Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Witness the slow death of intellectual conservatives being killed by their own party: Web Link


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"AEI health experts had been ordered not to comment on Obama's health care plan because they agreed with too much that was in it"

"I knew that there were a great many conservative health analysts who have long accepted the idea that universal coverage without a single-payer system basically requires some sort of individual mandate. Here, for example, is some testimony that Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation gave on this topic a few years ago before the party line changed. Sensible conservatives understand that you can't cover preexisting conditions without a mandate and you can't have a mandate without subsidies that have to be paid for. That leads logically to the system Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts that is virtually identical to the legislation that has just passed Congress."


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Perhaps the issue isn't that liberals don't read American Thinker or listen to Rush, but that those who do condemn those other free thinkers on the right who oppose the groupthink.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

...and as a great nation slept it was stolen from them by the very people they elected to govern............


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Wasn't the notion of mandated health care coverage originally a republican concept - or did I dream that one...?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Here's the "Here" testimony from the guy at Heritage Foundation mentioned in Bruce Bartlett's blog: Web Link

"Laying the Groundwork for Universal Health Care Coverage"

Moving Towards Universal Coverage

If we are to construct a health care system in this country that focuses resources efficiently to help those who need assistance to obtain health coverage, we need to take the following important steps:

1. Agree on a health care social contract between society and individuals that is explicit and fair.

But as part of that contract, it is also reasonable to expect residents of the society who can do so to contribute an appropriate amount to their own health care. This translates into a requirement on individuals to enroll themselves and their dependents in at least a basic health plan - one that at the minimum should protect the rest of society from large and unexpected medical costs incurred by the family. ...

The obligations on individuals does not have to be a "hard" mandate, in the sense that failure to obtain coverage would be illegal. It could be a "soft" mandate, meaning that failure to obtain coverage could result in the loss of tax benefits and other government entitlements.

2. Provide support to people to obtain health care based on their need, not where they happen to work, or their eligibility for welfare, or their military record, or their age. Enable individuals and families to use this support to enroll in a seamless system of coverage according to their choice.
3. Make it possible for the place of work be the location through which most families can get coverage, without employers necessarily being the sponsor of coverage.
4. Use "creative federalism" to discover the best arrangements for organizing health coverage.


Congress should consider the IOM recommendations. But it could also pursue a more comprehensive strategy to trigger state experimentation. Under such a more comprehensive "creative federalism" approach the federal government would do four things:

1) Congress would establish goals for universal coverage. The goals could include a certain percentage reduction in uninsurance rates in each state over a period, and steps towards ending multiple programs and eligibility criteria. Congress would also establish boundaries in policies that could be adopted in reaching the goals (e.g. that no person could face unreasonable coverage costs as a result of their medical condition)

2) Congress would enact a number of changes to provide an "a la carte menu" of federal policy options that would be available to states to help achieve the goals. These options might include making a version of the FEHBP available within the state, allowing some Medicaid/SCHIP money to be used in creative ways, removing regulatory/tax obstacles to churches, unions, and other organizations providing health insurance plans, and the creation of association plans and other innovative health organizations that would then be available to states.

3) Congress would provide an amount of funding. This would be for two purposes. Part of the money would help states fund certain approaches. The other part would "reward" states according to how successful they were in meeting the goals.

4) The federal government would enter into agreements, or covenants, with states to achieve the goals. States would propose some combination of modifications of their current programs, initiatives with their federal allocation, and a selection from the federal menu. The states could also negotiate regulatory waivers to the extent allowed by law. The federal agreement would have to agree to the covenant before it could proceed and evaluation procedures would have to be included.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

What would Republican health care reform look like? Probably like Obamacare!


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Yep - a co-worker just confirmed that Orrin Hatch supported a health care mandate at one time.


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Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm

if all of you are so proud of Obamacare why not embrace it and declare it a great accomplishment of the democratic party rather than giving others credit for it? Because the way it is written without any impact it is a real joke.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

RT (interesting name there) - who is giving credit for the new health care plan to others? Partial funding of the plan via mandated health insurance is hardly the entire plan - just a part of the plan that has been most opposed as "unconstitutional" by the opposition.

Today we mailed information on how the plan will positively impact the population we serve. I guarantee, many in our community will not feel as though this is a joke.


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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

the HCR bill is a great accomplishment! Not perfect, but a great beginning. In its initial form, even tho' it's gifting private insurance with millions of new customers, it provides some long overdue consumer protections and small business support. Eventually, when there's real competition in the marketplace with a public option insurance exchange, we'll even see the insurance cartel forced to drop their rates to the range of reasonable.

The point being made is the hypocracy of some of the most vocal of the Republican opposition. For example, Sen Chuck Grassley (remember the "death panes" and "pull the plug on grandma"?) voted in favor of end-of-life counseling as part of the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. In 1993 he co-sponsor a Senate bill that would have mandated health insurance for Americans.

If all this faux outrage weren't so divisive, it would be funny.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Rae:
I think you are a very cold, cruel person.

Obamacare will result in millions of seniors dying prematurely as a result of denied treatment and prescriptions.

Obamacare also results in the very harsh punishment of overwhelmingly burdensome taxes upon our younger generation to pay for this monstrosity.

Democrats are absolutely cold and cruel.

Many democrats believe their policies are "caring" but the overwhelmingly negative impact s are breathtaking.

There are three main things I despise about Democrats...They are against...

1. Life
2. Liberty, and
3. The Pursuit of Happiness

I could back each of those statements up, but I will spare you.





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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Hey, you forgot a few pejoratives . . . like God-forsaken, evil, socialist/marxist/nazi/communist/statist, blah blah blah . . . You of the Tea Party Nation faithful are nothing, if not predictable! LOL!!

It's a little hard to pursue liberty and happiness, let alone in many cases your "unalienable right" to life, if you're sick and your health insurance carrier has dumped you just when you actually need them, or you have a pre-existing condition and can't even get health insurance.

and I'm a "cold, cruel person" . . . go figure.


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I have refrained from making comments about people on this forum, no matter how truly awful their behaviour is.

But I will make an exception in Rae's case:

Rae, the Liberal Kool Aid is poison, it has turned you into a truly unpleasant person.


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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2010 at 8:21 pm

"Pleasanton Mom",

"I know you need to hate me" . . . LOL!!!


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Posted by Pleasanton Mom for Truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Unbelievable. "Liberal Kool Aid," and RAE is the unpleasant person?
Thank you to PM, Bill, and RT for so beautifully illustrating the lack of credible information, lack of integrity, lack of reasoning, and stunning - truly stunning - excess of hyperbole so characteristic of your "side."
Let's not waste any more time on this nonsense, shall we? Reality awaits, and it's meant to be a gorgeous weekend!


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Bill, the organization that I work for assists with medical care and advocates for the rights of (primarily) seniors. We have closely followed the new health care regs and have visited many a legislator to voice our support. This new system will absolutely work in the favor of seniors.

Admittedly, I haven't followed the rest of the changes as closely - what will happen with older adults is easy for me since it is what I am involved in every day at work. However, what I have read on my own and what I hear from physicians in other offices is very encouraging.

The system will not be perfect, I am sure. But it will be an improvement, no doubt.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Rae - thanks for the reminder of the end of life counseling that was added to Medicare coverage(and the validation that mandated health care was a Republican concept - I work in the field and barely remembered that!). The fact that the same political party that introduced that language into the Medicare system tried to turn it into a negative by coining the term "death panels" is reprehensible. Though I am a democrat (no surprise there) I thank the republicans who introduced the legislation around end of life counseling. It has helped many seniors to avoid prolonging a painful death experience.


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Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Janna is a registered user.

Rae,

You must have gotten some little bit of reality into Bill and PM for them to call you names. I'm sure they think it's cruel to give them truth they can't refute. I seriously think Bill lives in Opposite Land. He couldn't really have written that last post with a straight face?

...the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How does one pursue the latter without the former? Access to medical care is a right, I don't care what any of these nimrods on the right say. Life is first on that list.

You go girl!


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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 27, 2010 at 11:01 am

It amazes me how folks, like "Pleasanton Mom" can't see beyond their narrow view of what America is and stands for. "Pleasanton Mom" likes to say that she and the other Tea Party Nation faithful are the only "true Americans", "a band of patriots", blessed by God, teaming up with the "right people" against the "evil" "radical Liberal" "socialist/Marxist/nazi/communist/statist" who are out to "destroy America".

America and Americans are so much more than the paradigm "Pleasanton Mom" likes to portray. We are every race in the world and every ethnicity. We are every religion or spiritual belief, or not. We are heterosexual and homosexual and in-between. We have served in the military and died for our country – even when our country only considered us 3/5th of a person, didn't allow us to vote, or locked us up in relocation camps. We run the gamut of political beliefs from extreme right, moderate and centrist to extreme left, moderate and centrist. We often find it difficult to meet on common ground.

Our differences do not make us "evil" and that in opposition "good", or vice versa. Holding a political view that is different from the Tea Party Nation does not make one un-American, a traitor to America, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution or American values. Unfortunately, there's a term for what is going on now in far right politics towards everyone else in the political spectrum and it's called Macarthyism – you know, the "politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence." Sound familiar?

In fact, differences in political views make for better laws, or would, if both sides of Congress actually worked together instead of putting political grandstanding first and foremost. "America is advanced citizenship." It's up to all of us Americans, no matter what your race, ethnicity, religious or spiritual beliefs, political persuasion, or sexual identity, to embrace and celebrate our differences in order to determine where we've been, where we are and where we want to go as a country. As always, the hard part is balancing, without violence or threat of violence, extreme, moderate and centrist views to come up with a well-run government that works most of the time for EACH and EVERY one of us American patriots – and not just those of the conservative Tea Party persuasion!


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Sandia will be creating several thousand JOBS in Livermore for safe energy research!

Wall Street Journal: Web Link


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