obama care: tax the fuck out of me. please. seriously.
i will *gladly* pay an additional $x per year in taxes for universal health care, with a public option. i can afford it. i want this to happen. where is the grass roots effort? is there a movement? please hook me up cot.
it is right, it is just. it is compassion, it is by very definition, american.
is *real* patriotism dead? replaced by $1.00 yellow ribbon bumper stickers? god bless.
July 30th, 2009 8:40pm
If people don't want it, they will probably vote in a Republican congress, will probably do that anyway, and change it back. Just look what happened in CA when they tried to raise taxes. Oh yeah, we'll all be living under communism any day now.
July 30th, 2009 8:49pm
What happened when we privatized energy in CA? We got Enron. Was supposed to save money but we got power outages and paid more.
Yep, govt. is always wrong. Big, bloated, bureaucratic govt. Health care costs should be going up any day now.
July 30th, 2009 8:52pm
That's great news, living under 'communism'.
July 30th, 2009 8:53pm
people are seriously being told by republican senators that the government will send people to old folks homes to ask them how they want to die.
this in re: to living wills.
July 30th, 2009 8:53pm
Why don't they just come out and say that Obama is the boogeyman?
July 30th, 2009 8:53pm
well, he is a racist angry black man muslim. sounds like the same thing.
July 30th, 2009 8:56pm
July 30th, 2009 8:59pm
This whole medical insurance disaster was a pothole in the road we've seen coming for decades. Something will finally have to be done about it (I don't know how much medicare costs CA every year, probably a lot - when people can't pay). It's just that whoever does something about it (a Democrat) will take the "blame" for having done it.
Jeez, CA, talk about dysfunction, no wonder why the federal govt. has to handle things.
July 30th, 2009 9:07pm
Thanks to the Republicans that is.
July 30th, 2009 9:08pm
What's the problem here, don't the Republicans know that it's cheaper to put the seniors to death? hahaha.
July 30th, 2009 9:18pm
Get a job, lorb.
July 30th, 2009 9:18pm
Doesn't change my view. Our budget problems are the result of wars over a period of decades, and wars mostly escalated by Republicans. People revere those heroic leaders, but do they want to pay the bill for those wars?
Obama is the president, the Dems are in the majority, I am not complaining about this and I didn't even vote for them.
July 30th, 2009 9:29pm
If the free-market wasn't part of the problem, I wouldn't be complaining.
July 30th, 2009 9:30pm
"i will *gladly* pay an additional $x per year in taxes for universal health care"
I've never met anyone who says that who isn't unemployed or on some for of public assistance.
July 30th, 2009 10:03pm
that is what is wrong with america today.
we've become a nation of micheal b.
July 30th, 2009 10:11pm
meaning: looking out for ourselves and our personal pleasures only. forgetting we are a people united. ignoring the needs and strife of our neighbors.
July 30th, 2009 10:16pm
ignoring the fact that, "there but for the grace of god, go i"
July 30th, 2009 10:17pm
When I got out of the Army they told us to collect 6 months of unemployment, but I didn't feel like it was the right thing to do and didn't take any. I've worked for years at minimum wage.
Not everyone ends up on the same side of the American Dream. Some families are the working poor. You can blame them and the homeless. Never ceases to amaze me how people complain about the homeless being a bunch of free-loaders. Who would envy them? Once I offered $5 to a guy pushing a shopping cart, guy around there many times, beat-up by life looking guy, and he refused it. Yep, they are all putting on a great show aren't they, they deserve Oscars I think for their performance.
July 30th, 2009 10:38pm
I also like how the govt. gets blamed by some people (okay) who will then also say govt is in the wrong but the CEOs who get multi-million dollar bonuses are in the right even when the govt saved those co.'s. How the heck does that work? But now the it's somehow the govt. who'd better leave these co.'s alone or the co.'s won't prosper.
July 30th, 2009 10:54pm
Good on ya arg.
I pay a lot of taxes here, thing that makes that bearable is the health care system, which is A1+.
I don't wanna see people's lives being destroyed because of medical costs when their kids need life-saving treatment or whatever. I could have gone there myself.
Like you say, it's right, fair and christan (in the real sense of the word - just and compassionate).
July 31st, 2009 2:13am
"they deserve Oscars I think for their performance"
Agree with you here lorb. Nobody wants to be homeless.
July 31st, 2009 4:33am
"Like you say, it's right, fair and christan"
eek-o-tourist, are you a christian, an athiest, or some other?
July 31st, 2009 4:35am
>i will *gladly* pay an additional $x per year in taxes for
>universal health care, with a public option. i can afford it.
The cost to you in taxation for universal healthcare should be about 1/2 of what it costs you privately, if other socialized systems are anything to go by. It will cost less, not more.
July 31st, 2009 6:45am
I'm complicated :-)
I believe that there have been many "spiritual masters" (for want of a better phrase), Christ was one of them. All of them had an important message for the people they were talking to, and it was always some practical advice about how to live together, better. Quite often that advice got messed with and misused after their time, but if you look into it you can usually figure out the original spirit of their advice.
I also believe that the entity people call "god" has some kind of basis in reality, maybe some kind of collective conscience or intelligence ...
I also believe in the power of prayer, and I am happy to pray with anyone whose motivation is coming from a place of compassion and love towards others. If that is the case, I really don't care what they call "god", which "holy book" they use, or the minor details or customs of their faith.
Oh, actually I'm kind of simple ...
July 31st, 2009 7:07am
>"i will *gladly* pay an additional $x per year in taxes for universal health care"
>I've never met anyone who says that who isn't unemployed or on some for of public assistance.
I've never been unemployed or on public assistance, make a confortable living, and I've been saying this for years.
Of course, I would prefer that my taxes *not* be raised and that the US stop spending so much on wars and keeping military bases in dozens of countries, but failing that, I'm more than willing to contribute to a reasonably efficient public plan if it would at least partially solve the clusterfuck that now passes for a health care system.
July 31st, 2009 8:08am
I'm not unemployed (although I am still on maternity leave) and I'd gladly pay more in taxes for single payer health care.
the great purple
July 31st, 2009 8:33am
+1 the great purple
July 31st, 2009 8:55am
I already have incredibly cheap health insurance through my employer (a hospital) with free prescriptions and no copays, to boot. My premiums are under $50/month.
I'd gladly pay much, much more if it meant universal, single-payer healthcare.
July 31st, 2009 9:10am
+1 muppet, colm, gp, and everyone else that agrees with me :)
July 31st, 2009 9:20am
so. where is the "grass roots" movement? is there one? a website?
congress adjourned and health care is on hold for a month while those opposed to real reform will be spending millions of $$ on spreading FUD.
i'm looking to do, or contribute more than a call to my senator (which i do not have, in wash dc.)
i thought of contributing to the DNC, but there are the "bluedog" dems against obama's plan. and there is no guarantee it will be used in the fight for health care.
it's frustrating, being so powerless.
July 31st, 2009 9:30am
Based on past increases of wages and insurance premiums, in the next decade you can expect:
your wages to increase only 15%,
while your insurance premiums to double.
The current national average rate for healthcare unsurance is $12,800/year. This does not count the 40-50 million people lacking insurance.
July 31st, 2009 10:32am
I agree, argv... I'm *home* for the next two weeks and I could easily write a letter, make phone calls, etc. but I have no idea where to go.
Hm.. I live in Ohio, and one of our senators is a republican. I could call his office, I suppose.
the great purple
July 31st, 2009 12:02pm
you'd figure, if there was a way of really motivating those 160mil+ americans who support obama's plan...
... or even just the 46mil currently uninsured americans.
... or even just the 14k americans who lose coverage *every day*
those right wing nutters had their "tea parties", and this "birther" movement. yest despite much more popular support, we have failed to motivate, and liberals appear complacent. i appear complacent.
In order to balance the budget, taxes must be raised. Bush lowered taxes even lower than the Reagan years. This is incredibly irresponsible.
However, when Clinton raised taxes marginally, the resulting backlash brought us a Republican congress in 1994, which they kept until 2006. The disaster that was the Bush administration was enabled by the Republicans having a rubber-stamp Congress for 6 years during his administration.
Obama knows this. Until the public DEMANDS he raise taxes, he can't. Shoot, with the Blue-Dog Democrats calling the shots, it's going to be hard enough to get a Public-Option in Health care. So we go with 900 Billion to a Trillion dollar DEFICIT (that's not the whole budget, that's just the 1/3 DEFICIT) year after year. Not to mention the interest we're going to have to pay to China for loaning us that money.
First, fix the economy. Then, get more Democrats in power. THEN, try very very carefully to raise taxes. This actually should be easier, since the Bush tax cuts favored the wealthy, Obama can roll them back without affecting the middle-class. Which he in fact promised to do during his campaign.
July 31st, 2009 5:11pm
I absolutely do NOT believe in raising taxes. Expenditure needs to be cut. Seriously cut. There is far too much pork, waste and unnecessary spending to justify raising taxes.
What we need is for the public to be *outraged* at adventures like Iraq and military spending in general. Sadly, that never seems likely to happen.
July 31st, 2009 7:19pm
A lot of the bush era tax cuts get sunsetted in 2010. So expect to hear a rumpus by the wingnuts about how "Obama is presiding over the largest tax increas in history!" just by doing nothing and letting the tax cuts expire.
July 31st, 2009 7:41pm
Outrage at the Iraq situation is certainly called for.
But for God's sake -- how many YEARS, DECADES will you let people tell you "all we have to do is eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, and we can solve ALL our financial problems"?
Don't you think after ALL THIS TIME of eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, we've cut it down to a bare minimum? Or, perhaps, the people CLAIMING there's waste, fraud, and abuse are in fact taking advantage of the situation?
July 31st, 2009 7:47pm
>how many YEARS, DECADES will you let people tell you "all we have to do is eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, and we can solve ALL our financial problems"?
The neocons have less than zero intention to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. They want it only when it goes to friendly cronies:
>It was only after I had been in Baghdad for a month that I found what I was looking for. I had traveled to Iraq a year after the war began, at the height of what should have been a construction boom, but after weeks of searching I had not seen a single piece of heavy machinery apart from tanks and humvees. Then I saw it: a construction crane. It was big and yellow and impressive, and when I caught a glimpse of it around a corner in a busy shopping district I thought that I was finally about to witness some of the reconstruction I had heard so much about. But as I got closer I noticed that the crane was not actually rebuilding anything—not one of the bombed-out government buildings that still lay in rubble all over the city, nor one of the many power lines that remained in twisted heaps even as the heat of summer was starting to bear down. No, the crane was hoisting a giant billboard to the top of a three-story building. SUNBULAH: HONEY 100% NATURAL, made in Saudi Arabia.
>Seeing the sign, I couldn't help but think about something Senator John McCain had said back in October. Iraq, he said, is “a huge pot of honey that's attracting a lot of flies.” The flies McCain was referring to were the Halliburtons and Bechtels, as well as the venture capitalists who flocked to Iraq in the path cleared by Bradley Fighting Vehicles and laser-guided bombs. The honey that drew them was not just no-bid contracts and Iraq's famed oil wealth but the myriad investment opportunities offered by a country that had just been cracked wide open after decades of being sealed off, first by the nationalist economic policies of Saddam Hussein, then by asphyxiating United Nations sanctions.
>Looking at the honey billboard, I was also reminded of the most common explanation for what has gone wrong in Iraq, a complaint echoed by everyone from John Kerry to Pat Buchanan: Iraq is mired in blood and deprivation because George W. Bush didn't have “a postwar plan.” The only problem with this theory is that it isn't true. The Bush Administration did have a plan for what it would do after the war; put simply, it was to lay out as much honey as possible, then sit back and wait for the flies.
>The honey theory of Iraqi reconstruction stems from the most cherished belief of the war's ideological architects: that greed is good. Not good just for them and their friends but good for humanity, and certainly good for Iraqis. Greed creates profit, which creates growth, which creates jobs and products and services and everything else anyone could possibly need or want. The role of good government, then, is to create the optimal conditions for corporations to pursue their bottomless greed, so that they in turn can meet the needs of the society. The problem is that governments, even neoconservative governments, rarely get the chance to prove their sacred theory right: despite their enormous ideological advances, even George Bush's Republicans are, in their own minds, perennially sabotaged by meddling Democrats, intractable unions, and alarmist environmentalists.
>Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.
>The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.
>Torturers believe that when electrical shocks are applied to various parts of the body simultaneously subjects are rendered so confused about where the pain is coming from that they become incapable of resistance.
>That, in essence, was the working thesis in Iraq, and in keeping with the belief that private companies are more suited than governments for virtually every task, the White House decided to privatize the task of privatizing Iraq's state-dominated economy. Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's “transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system.” The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Point) will take “appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances.” Which is precisely what happened.
>If these policies sound familiar, it's because they are the same ones multinationals around the world lobby for from national governments and in international trade agreements. But while these reforms are only ever enacted in part, or in fits and starts, Bremer delivered them all, all at once. Overnight, Iraq went from being the most isolated country in the world to being, on paper, its widest-open market.
>Iraq was to the neocons what Afghanistan was to the Taliban: the one place on Earth where they could force everyone to live by the most literal, unyielding interpretation of their sacred texts. One would think that the bloody results of this experiment would inspire a crisis of faith: in the country where they had absolute free reign, where there was no local government to blame, where economic reforms were introduced at their most shocking and most perfect, they created, instead of a model free market, a failed state no right-thinking investor would touch. And yet the Green Zone neocons and their masters in Washington are no more likely to reexamine their core beliefs than the Taliban mullahs were inclined to search their souls when their Islamic state slid into a debauched Hades of opium and sex slavery. When facts threaten true believers, they simply close their eyes and pray harder.
July 31st, 2009 7:54pm
We spent more than a billion dollars per day on Iraq. And the money lost there is "off budget" so that the $400B/year that the bushistas and their acomplices burned "don't count" towards the annual budgetary shortfall. But Americans are going to have to pay for that wargasm anyway. Some with their lives, and our children with the bill.
July 31st, 2009 7:56pm
California got fucked in energy "privitization" because they had price controls on power distribution. They let power suppliers change prices but, in typical paved with good intentions fashion, capped the prices that the state run distributors could charge consumers.
The result was that once power suppliers crossed the distributor's cap, they could have just as easily charged a million dollars per kWH as one dollar. They became incentivized to reduce output instead of increasing it. This is what let them fuck the public and left the state with the bill.
California should've deregulated the whole supply chain, or failing that, left things alone.
Michael B (iPhone)
July 31st, 2009 8:43pm
Oh, and note the amount of "tax increases" that it would take to balance our budget is not huge. A difference of 4% up or down is the difference between falling further into debt, or slowly building up a surplus.
July 31st, 2009 8:46pm