September 27, 2012

Old white people want government to keep its hands off their Medicare

From the Washington Post:
Medicare working to boost Obama in swing states, poll finds
 
By N.C. Aizenman, Jon Cohen and Peyton M. Craighill, Thursday, September 27, 6:23 AM 
Voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the sweeping changes to Medicare proposed by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and, by big margins, favor President Obama over Mitt Romney on the issue, according to new state polls by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. 
Among seniors, the issue rivals the economy as a top voting issue, undercutting Romney’s appeal in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Generally, the more voters focus on Medicare, the more likely they are to support the president’s bid for reelection. 
A focus on Medicare as an issue also blunts potential fallout from Obama’s 2010 health-care reform law. The law remains controversial and is, according to an analysis of these new poll results, a drag on Obama’s reelection prospects. In Florida and Ohio, more voters have “strongly unfavorable” than “strongly favorable” impressions of the health law. 
Sizable majorities of voters in each of these three states — as well as those across the country — say they prefer to keep Medicare as a defined benefits program, rather than moving to a system of fixed payments to seniors to buy coverage from private insurance or traditional Medicare. The “premium support” idea is one featured in the Republican budget proposed by Ryan and backed by Romney. The desire to keep the system as it is peaks at 65 percent in Florida, where more than one in five 2008 voters were age 65 and up. 
Underlying support for not changing Medicare is the widespread belief that the system is working well for today’s seniors. In Florida, 70 percent of all voters say the system is working well — rising to 91 percent of the state’s seniors — and positive assessments of Medicare is nearly as high in the other states. 
Asked whom they trust to deal with the Medicare program, Ohio voters side with Obama over Romney by a 19 percentage-point margin. The president has a 15-point advantage on the issue in Florida and a 13-point lead on it in Virginia. 

Democratic blogger Kevin Drum responds:
Really, it's pretty amazing. Just two years ago, Republicans walloped Democrats in the midterm election, at least partly due to a tsunami of ads accusing them of taking money away from Medicare. And Republicans have been on the receiving end of Medicare attack ads too. So they know perfectly well just how sensitive this issue is and how much damage it can do. And yet, somehow they convinced themselves that Paul Ryan had some kind of magic fairy dust that would make the American public sit up and suddenly say to themselves, "He's right! We do need to turn Medicare into a voucher!" 
I dunno. The entire Republican Party seems to have fallen into some kind of Svengali-like trance, convinced that Paul Ryan, alone among men, can deliver the bracing tonic that will convince voters to do away with program benefits they've loved and supported for decades. The self-delusion here is inexplicable.

Okay, but what else are the Republicans allowed to put forward other than a libertarianish ideology at home and war abroad?

Then, again, if you let your enemies define which arguments you are allowed to make, is it any surprise if the permitted lines of appeal aren't all that effective?

For example, the media has devoted 24 years to demonizing the Willie Horton ad of 1988. (Why? Because it was an effective ad about a very real issue.)

I know there is much knife-sharpening among Republicans to denounce Romney and/or Ryan as bad candidates who couldn't sell a good ideology, but, I dunno. You've got a ticket of smart, good-looking, hard-working, competent, sane, morally decent, diversely-accomplished guys and, yet, what they're selling isn't being bought. Maybe the problem is less with the messengers than with the message?

144 comments:

Anonymous said...

Romney/Ryan are not really behind. But let Kevin Drum and his ilk think so.

AllanF said...

Tocqueville predicted this.

And Romney viz-z-viz his 47% comment knows it too.

Sure, Medicare is completely unsustainable as instantiated. But voters don't want to hear that. They want promises of ponies, and if ponies never get here... well, at least the guy they voted for tried... unlike that other jerk who said from the beginning there won't be no ponies for no one no how.

So sure, promise seniors all the Medicare they want. That it won't actually provide them any medical care (no doctor will see them, and 1/2 the drugs they need aren't on the approved list)... well, whocoodanode? At least everyone tried their hardest.

deconstructingleftism said...

Obama cuts Medicare expenditures for old white people to increase government health care expenditures for young black and brown people. Republicans want to cut Medicare expenditures to reduce the deficit. I don't see any way in which Medicare expenditures are not going to be reduced. But Democrats are much better at this kind of politics.

Porter said...

Medicare recipients are potential republican voters; Medicaid recipients are not. And so which program could we guess the republicans would seek to cut? The question answers itself.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised when Romeny chose Ryan because of his medicare baggage. It was a real head scratcher for me. It seemed as if he was shooting his candidacy in the foot (leg?).

I didn't really get the choice because I thought it would hurt him in Florida where a lot of elderly live. Even though I am not a fan of Neo-Cons, Rubio would have been a much better choice in regards to Florida and some other swing states.

People, especially the elderly don't want medicare screwed with. There so many things that need changing why start with medicare that most people don't want to change.

And don't give me that baloney that we can't afford it.

Don't you think somewhere in the money we spent on wars over the last 10 years we could somehow have found the money (not to mention all the over waste)?

Ryan's past obsession with medicare is like a neon sign saying "he wants to let your grandma die in the street."

Whether that's fair is irrelevant (the image also plays right into the meme that Romney is a "heartless" cost cutter).

Ryan has a lot of work to do in the debates to humanize himself and explain his positon on medicare so that it does not seem so threatening to people.

People like their grandma (and grandpa too).

The only reason to pick Ryan was to shore up the base I guess.

There is no way elderly White people are going to vote for Ryan period unless he can soften his image.

I am not hopeful.

The Repubs, under the Neo-cons and free market crazies, are really deserving of their title as the "stupid" party (versus the evil party).

Or am I getting which party is the stupid party and which party is the evil party confused again?

Anonymous said...

They are trying to create the reality they want by printing bogus polling information. Run the headline that Seniors like Obama because Romney/Ryan are cutting medicare enough times and it will influence more than a few Seniors to believe that Obama will be better for them than Romney/Ryan.

Sideways said...

To recap, Obama passed a bill cutting Medicare by about 10%. Romney promises not to change Medicare at all for people over 60ish.

People are idiots, and it's depressing that old people are this stupid.

Anonymous said...

When Romey/Ryan losses, and they will lose, is certain that there will be much speculation about "what went wrong".

Expect Republicans in the next election to embrace diversity and big government.

Severn said...

Medicare/Social Security/the entitlement programs in general are not financially viable. That's the problem. Unless the US government can repeal the laws of math, some fairly drastic changes are going to have to be made at some point.

But we can count on the media to spin the whole matter so as to favor the Dems.

Severn said...

Obama cuts Medicare expenditures for old white people to increase government health care expenditures for young black and brown people. Republicans want to cut Medicare expenditures to reduce the deficit. I don't see any way in which Medicare expenditures are not going to be reduced. But Democrats are much better at this kind of politics.


I don't think they're any better at this kind of politics. But it helps to control the media.

Geoff Matthews said...

I've resigned myself to the notion that retirement, if it happens, will be after I'm 70.
It'd be nice to have medicare around during that time. But in its present form, that simply cannot happen. It'd be nice if the current seniors recognized that.

Severn said...

People, especially the elderly don't want medicare screwed with. There so many things that need changing why start with medicare that most people don't want to change.

And don't give me that baloney that we can't afford it

We can't afford it.


Don't you think somewhere in the money we spent on wars over the last 10 years we could somehow have found the money (not to mention all the over waste)?

You're economically illiterate. Wars come and go, but the entitlement state is here forever and it constantly grows larger as years pass. Think about what that means.

The simplest and most practical solution would be to raise the age of eligibility for the age-dependent programs to 74 or so. Of course polls show the public hates that idea too.

Jehu said...

Old white people are one of the few groups of white people who are allowed to play Who...Whom without layers of obfuscation. Too bad a Republican candidate can't promise Operation Wetback II, with an objective of deporting, voluntarily or otherwise, 90% of the illegal population and putting the money saved on health, education and welfare towards things that benefit their clients (i.e., white people). When you can't openly advocate for what you want you run a near certain risk of being coopted or finessed, repeatedly.

JI said...

I'd say the problem lies with the recipients of the message.

Anonymous said...

Great. Now we've got brown people AND old people to contend with.

Anonymous said...

People paid for that Medicare... of course they should get their money back.

The government mugs the people and those who demand their money back are denounced as hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

Of course people are going to keep voting for free stuff. The only way to make democracy work is to have a limited government that is not able to hand out prizes equal to one half the total production of everyone.


Presently the govt can help big financial institutions at the expense of customers and small financial institutions (govt gains large campaign donations and dream jobs for ex-govt people). They can favor unions over other "Stakeholders" (gaining active supporters and muscle). They can favor elderly over young (gaining support of a demographic that votes more). They can favor colleges and universities over parents and students (gaining intellectual legitimacy for rationalizations of their policies). They can favor established media, spectrum giveaway to established broadcast stations, exemption to campaign finance limitations, over internet media (gaining propaganda support).
They can favor renters over property owners in rent control (favoring a simple majority or a minority). They can favor Ohio corn farmers over gasoline and food buyers (because Ohio is a major required state in the current balance of power). They can favor deadbeat debtors over lenders because they are the number one deadbeat debtor and debtors outnumber lenders and besides they just bail out the lenders that matter on their radar.

A smaller government Republican, and a smaller govt Republican voter is merely declaring unilateral disarmament in this war of all against all, with the control of government coercion the only victory that matters.

dearieme said...

It's a fools game in a democracy to be honest with the electorate. They just want to hear comforting falsehoods.

Anonymous said...

Neither Medicare nor Social Security are "broke" and everyone knows it. They're both working exactly as planned, and as any actuary can and will tell you, their funding mechanisms need to be tweaked sometime in the near future. The Democratic response is to propose tweaking the funding mechanism, just sometime in the future, after the politicians involved are retired.

The Republican solution is to end the programs. Considering that every living worker and retiree relied on these programs, and paid into them for decades, is essentially a bullet to the brain for the middle class.

Finally, some of the public is starting to see that a bullet to the brain for the middle class is not a bug, but a feature for the Republicans. They deserve defeat and irrelevance.

Luckily for them, enough morons in the South will vote for them due to their party's perceived friendliness to everyone's favorite invisible magical sky grandpa.

"You've got a ticket of smart, good-looking, hard-working, competent, sane, morally decent, diversely-accomplished guys..."

At most, one of these is true. Come on, what is this, the National Review? Making a giant pile of daddy's money bigger isn't rocket science.

Whiskey said...

The problem is Steve, the Sailer Strategy won't work. Because, duh, Whites are DIVIDED on the central issues: diversity, White minority status, Affirmative Action, and so on.

Obama has gutted Medicare, taking out $700 billion plus to pay for ObamaCare. Taking money from elderly Whites to pay for sick young Mexican and Black people. And guess what?

MANY Whites are OK with that. Including a not-insignificant chunk of elderly Whites. A good chunk (about 40% I think) of Whites long for being in the minority. They have bought "diversity" hook, line, and sinker. How will the Sailer Strategy win votes when a great deal of Whites despise White identity in the first place and want to be numerically minorities?

A really good, or really bad, candidate can move the plus/minus around 5-6%, maybe even 10% those spectacularly good or bad. But most of the votes are baked in, by cultural, social, economic, and status-competition interests, messages, identities, and more. What, unmarried White women will embrace a White interests message? In what universe? They have not done so before and they are unlikely to magically change either.

Most unmarried White women would prefer money going from old White people to young people of color as a moral good, a social status marker, a value judgment on the moral worth of people (non Whites worth more, Whites worth less), and cannily short-term economic interests (health/administrator jobs in ObamaCare).

What would you have Romney do Steve? Lose even bigger? He draws SOME White women now, and even some unmarried ones. Need I remind you that most White women are unmarried?

Romney's strategy is about the best you can do, because Whites are divided on everything that matters. I'd rather him eke along a barely there victory than the sadly inevitable solution that Powell saw.

Marlowe said...

In politics our senior citizens habitually assume that their years entitle them to respectful attention from their juniors on the assumption that they have mellowed, grown broader, and increased in patriotism and social responsibility through the years.

It ain't necessarily so! Although there are shining exceptions, the average run of our elder citizens are notably avaricious, self-centred, unpatriotic, and devoid of any notion of social responsibility, as compared with their sons and daughters.
[...]
I am speaking of the ordinary run of elder citizen, your neighbors, your parents, your grandparents. They may be kind to children and dogs and sweet to look upon in church and at family dinner; but politically speaking the average lot of them are the sorriest bunch of old vultures you will find. [...]
For example - several years ago I was covering a district which lay, half and half, on the right side and the wrong side of the tracks. I interviewed young and old, rich and poor, men and women. I expected and found certain trend differences in view point on the two sides of the track. But I was surprised to find an amazing and almost unanimous similarity in viewpoint on the part of the elderly rich and the elderly poor.

Mellowed and altruistic interest in the welfare and future of the whole community? Far from it! The elderly poor wanted $200 every month, or some other pension which would pay them more income than they had ever earned while working, and they didn't give a hoot what it did to the country! The elderly rich wanted the highest possible return on mortgages, rents, dividends, or other investment income, and they didn't give a hoot what it did to the country! [...]

There appears to come a change in most people somewhere around the age of fifty when they cease to think of the rest of the human race except in terms of what others may be induced to do for them. A divorce from the human race is not a good thing for a man's inner being; it reduces his spiritual life to tis lowest common denominator - the animal level. It is absolutely imperative that a man care for something more than for himself for him to remain human. Most tragically, many people, when they have reached the age when their own children are no real responsibility and are thereby not forced to think in terms of the welfare and future of their children, find nothing to replace such an interest. The more nearly truly human of us substitute, for a preoccupation with the needs of our children, after they are grown, a wider interest in all children everywhere, and the future of the nation and the race.

-- Take back your government
Robert A. Heinlein, 1946

Anonymous said...

Maybe the problem is less with the messengers than the message?


Maybe it is with the buyers.

A lot of people want more than their fair share and they will vote for the guy who will promise it too them.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I know this is something you try to keep track of...

Scores for blacks and Hispanics soar on newly revamped FDNY test

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/scores-blacks-hispanics-soar-newly-revamped-fdny-test-article-1.1168399#ixzz27ibxHhcL

Anonymous said...

The only way to make democracy work is to have a limited government that is not able to hand out prizes equal to one half the total production of everyone."

uh, equal to? Last time I checked the government is trillions in debt because it hands out far more than it takes from the others. The the vulnerable were only getting the government takes from others, they would be screaming.

Anonymous said...

Here's another one...

NAACP claims discriminatory admission practices at city's elite high schools

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/naacp-claims-discriminatory-admission-practices-city-elite-high-schools-article-1.1169240#ixzz27idIstJF

Anonymous said...

Neither Medicare nor Social Security are "broke" and everyone knows it. They're both working exactly as planned, and as any actuary can and will tell you, their funding mechanisms need to be tweaked sometime in the near future. The Democratic response is to propose tweaking the funding mechanism, just sometime in the future, after the politicians involved are retired.


The Republican solution is to end the programs. Considering that every living worker and retiree relied on these programs, and paid into them for decades, is essentially a bullet to the brain for the middle class



Lot's of people from the Daily Kos fanning out across the web in the run-up to the election.

The Democratic response is to propose tweaking the funding mechanism, just sometime in the future, after the politicians involved are retired.

That will still be the Democrats response twenty years from now, after the current "politicians involved are retired". The politicians of "now" will always favor kicking the can down the road for the politicians of the future to deal with. This is true for every possible value of "now".

Anonymous said...

I have friends on Medicare. They want it all. 92 years old, rarely leaves house and wants cataract surgery. Fortunately the doctor told her no. Got to have that knee replacement so they can continue to sit in the same chair watching TV just like they would without the knee replacement. Back surgeries, this that and the other. They love all the attention. If you go into the hospital your family and grandkids will all call and visit yada yada. Physical therapy session gives you something to talk with friends at the senior center. I have noticed that seniors are often a lot like children in their thinking. They are not long suffering. They are very self indulgent.

Average Joe said...

It is amazing that so many elderly white people are willing to throw their children and grandchildren under the bus. So much for the greatest generation.

Anonymous said...

People paid for that Medicare... of course they should get their money back.


No, they bloody well didn't. They may think they did, but they didn't.

That's like saying "Those people put money in a Social Security account to cover their retirement". Certain stupid people imagine this to be the case, but they're very wrong.

Medicare and SS are paid for by taxes. There is no pot of money with your name on it that you paid in which is sitting there waiting for you. If in ten years time you become eligible for SS and Medicare, the taxpayers of that time will give you SS and Medicare. You did not "pay" for that - what you paid for with your win SS and Medicare taxes were the Medicare and SS of people who retired years ago.

Anonymous said...

Who could have ever predicted that the Ryan plan wouldn't be popular? If Romney loses, watch for GOP insiders to blame seniors for being too selfish.


Average Joe said...

And don't give me that baloney that we can't afford it

It's not baloney. We can't afford it.

Don't you think somewhere in the money we spent on wars over the last 10 years we could somehow have found the money (not to mention all the over waste)?

We couldn't afford those wars either which is one of the reasons why we are in so much debt.

Anonymous said...

Its nice that people paid all their lives into social security and medicare.

They have an unimpeachable moral claim to their promised benefits.

However, they also voted for politicians who spent their contributions without regard to setting aside reserves to meet future promised benefits.

There is no money there to pay the benefits. You have a moral claim to make good your loss, but it is against the politicians who spent your contributions without providing for your benefits. Sadly, those politicians are gone and if around don't hace one millionth of one percent of what is owed to you.

Now you say, well, somebody has to make it good. So the totally innocent future taxpayer, who didn't even get a vote in choosing the politicians you supported and the spending of your contributions which you supported and enjoyed, must make your account good.

Thats not a very good case. Do you really think that when you are feeble and old and not much threat to anyone, young people will hand over their paychecks to support you? After all, you "paid in all your life".

Anonymous said...

Not so sure. It's interesting to compare the Tea Party to the Minutemen from a few years ago. The former was for libertarianism and morphed into a potent force, winning primaries against GOP incumbents and changing the national debate from stimulus/employment to austerity/deficit reduction. The latter was a Sailer strategy immigration restriction group that never got anywhere near the same traction. Is it even still around? At least judging by conservative, spontaneously forming, revolutionary war named groups, the GOP base cares much more about making sure the Koch brothers have low taxes than about demographic change.

Anonymous said...

Occam's Razor.

Jewish control intellectual culture, media, and both parties.

That's why the only thing white conservatives can peddle is libertarianism.

Anonyia said...


"The Republican solution is to end the programs. Considering that every living worker and retiree relied on these programs, and paid into them for decades, is essentially a bullet to the brain for the middle class."

Bullet to the brain for the older middle class, that is. It isn't going to be around in its current form for people under 35. Why should relatively younger voters care about a government program they are never going to receive- especially since they are already going to have to deal with proportionally larger hordes of diversity demanding SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF. Many would probably rather subsidize THEIR grandma or grandpa directly.

Nota said...

Medicare has budgeting problems in the future because of medical cost inflation in the US. Any program, no matter how financed, will eventually run aground if the thing it's buying gets more expensive faster than the underlying economy is growing, OTOH, I think medicare would be negotiating n drug prices now, and saving a lot of money in the process, if not for congressional action to stop it. Thwt wnt fix the problem, but it would certainly be more sensible than redesigning medicare. And nobody would trust Republicans to redesign it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

This is what Republican candidates should say:

"Though in principle I oppose big government and big spending, since the majority of you Americans want those things, I'll promise them to you no less than my Democratic opponent. You asked for it, so I'll give it. But when we run out of money, don't blame me because you asked for it."

Anonymous said...

"Neither Medicare nor Social Security are "broke" and everyone knows it."

Well, when we run out of money, it means it's broke.

Anonymous said...

"Neither Medicare nor Social Security are "broke" and everyone knows it. They're both working exactly as planned, and as any actuary can and will tell you, their funding mechanisms need to be tweaked sometime in the near future."

Just like the USPS. All is well.

NOTA said...

Anon 4:00 PM:

What, you think all the pollsters are in some grand conspiracy to lie about the election?

Anonymous said...

Willie Horton worked in 1988, but it didn't work later because the culture changed. And why did the culture change? Liberal media and politically correct education--and the dying off of old white people with each passing year. Are there anyone of Archie Bunker's generation still alive?
Soon, 'old people' are gonna mean boomers: the meathead generation.

Among the Bunker generation, even political liberals could be socially and culturally conservative(and even racially so), like the elder Daley of Chicago. They could conservative in terms of outlook and values even if they were Dems.
So, among the Bunker generation, conservatism wasn't just an ideology. It was a way of life. Even some communists back then were culturally and socially more conservative than liberals today--and would have been shocked by Lady Gaga and all that gay crap.

Today, liberals are both politically and culturally liberal. Reagan could win over cultural conservatives among Democrats to the GOP, but since there are no more cultural cons in the Dems, it's not gonna happen.

And even among conservatives, conservatism is more an ideology than a way of life or culture. So, many conservatives are politically conservative but culturally liberal. Romney signed 'gay marriage' into law, the lowlife.
And Bush cries over Kanye West saying he doesn't like black people, oh boo hoo poor baby. Laura Bush and Cheney are for 'gay marriage'. Rich Lowry wets his pants when he listens to MLK. What passes for conservatism culturally is South Park and King of the Hill.

We say GOP should appeal to white people, but what are 'white people'? So many whites, especially the young, are liberal and decadent. So many of them are into 'creative globalism' and 'anti-racism'. If a lot of white people go for liberalism, the only way to appeal to whites is by waving the liberal flag.

So, if cons are to really win, they must redefine whiteness and white values culturally, intellectually, and socially. But to do this, they need control of media, culture, arts, and schools. Since cons do not, and their own way of combating liberalism is to withdraw inside their shell and go for homeschooling, they won't win.

Game over. White race is finished. Jews killed it, and white wimps refused to fight. As for conservatives who did fight, they were too dumb to figure out how to fight intelligently and win. For too long, Buckley and Buchanan made common cause with intellectually and culturally dead Evangelicals who believe in Creationism.

ATBOTL said...

"Too bad a Republican candidate can't promise Operation Wetback II..."

They can; they just don't want to.

Porter said...

It's the drollest humor that unfurrows a brow.

their funding mechanisms need to be tweaked sometime in the near future

Oddly this was nearly the verbatim message from Consul Paullus to Varro...Your battle plan needs to be tweaked sometime in the near future. But no hurry, you've got the rest of your life to worry about it.

Anonymous said...

Why is foreign aid still a big thing?

During the Cold War, foreign aid was to win over third world nations to our side. But after the Cold War, why is the purpose of foreign aid?
Is it to bribe nations around the world to go easy on Zionism?

During the Cold War, poor nations took money from the USSR and opposed US and Israel--and even called Zionism 'racism'.
They could do this cuz they were paid for the Soviets who spend lavishly on foreign aid. '

After the Cold War, those third nations lost funding from the USSR.
But they were still hostile to Israel and Zionism, which they saw as Western imperialism.
So, suppose US dangles foreign aid to all those poor nations and says, 'If you don't oppose Israel and Zionism in the UN, we'll give you aid'.

It seems to me this is the main goal of foreign aid these days.
It's to win over the poor world to the side of Israel in the UN.

Anonymous said...

It's the worst recession in decades with tens of millions of middle class and lower feeling their financial and employment situation squeezed, their adult children underemployed and living at home, and the GOP doubles down on its makers-vs.-takers-class-warfare-against-the-poor strategy!

The best political strategists CAPITAL can buy won't tell them that hating on the poor when everyone is feeling poor isn't a good plan.

The GOP is finished. Their anti-LABOR (workers, not unions necessarily; they hate hate hate workers) fanaticism has killed it with the middle class and war-lust has killed it with every single person under 35.

Time to start a new party. One that's sensible, moderate, and not beholden to CAPITAL.

I voted for Bush in '04 and Paul in the primaries in '08 and this year... and the freaking GOP is turning me into a commie.

Anonymous said...

On this issue, neocons actually called for acceptance of the New Deal and big government.

Anonymous said...

Luckily for them, enough morons in the South will vote for them due to their party's perceived friendliness to everyone's favorite invisible magical sky grandpa.

Who do democrats think they are fooling by repeating this garbage? Whites in South vote for the republican party because in the South it protects white interests.

Anonymous said...

Luckily for them, enough morons in the South will vote for them due to their party's perceived friendliness to everyone's favorite invisible magical sky grandpa.

Who do democrats think they are fooling by repeating this garbage? Whites in South vote for the republican party because in the South it protects white interests.

Anonymous said...

"People paid for that Medicare... of course they should get their money back."

But since then, medical technology has expanded and grown far more expensive. So, government is gonna have to spend a lot more than what it took in over the years.
Also, a whole lot of old people didn't pay much into the system at all. And keep in mind that all the money paid into the system in the past were spent on old people back then.
So, future social security and medicare will have to be supported by young people paying taxes today, but with so many non-whites among the young, uh oh. I mean how much tax revenues are coming in from young Mexicans in CA?

Btw, Obamacare will take care of medicare. With everyone covered by Obamacare and demanding medical services, there will be less to go around for old folks. So, even if medicare programs stays the same, beneficiaries will get less since medical industry will have to take care of far more young people with free coverage under Obamacare.

In a way, paradoxical as it may seem, a socialist system will cut down on spending more than the system we have now. Why? Everyone will expect more care under Obamacare, but there will only a fixed supply of medical service. And so, there will have to be rationing or longer waits for all.

In a way, liberals play a pretty clever game. They offer everything to everyone, and people go for that cuz they think, 'geez, I'm getting all this free stuff'. So, in principle, everyone gets everything and feel really good about it.

But since there's not enough of 'everything' for everyone, things will have to be rationed--and so people will have to wait longer or die waiting.
So, psycho-politically, everyone thinks he's getting everything, but in reality, everyone is getting less than before. But since the law says 'everyone gets free stuff', people psychologically think they are getting everything. This is why the USSR lasted for so long. Even though people didn't get much, the law said they had rights to free housing, free food, free medicine, and free everything(as long as they were workers). So, even if you got shitty medicine, you still got 'free medicine'.

JustAClown said...

STEVE WROTE:
==============
Okay, but what else are the Republicans allowed to put forward other than a libertarianish ideology? But if you let your enemies define which arguments you are allowed to make, is it any surprise if the permitted lines of appeal aren't all that effective?
=================

I agree that the GOP is not allowed to go into race too deeply and required by the media to avoid many areas.

But WHY is that the case? Can't you admit that it is not those oh so liberals that circumscribe the tactics that the GOP must use, but inside it is the media/hollywood/academia subculture that makes these rules and the media just enforces them?

The fact is that rich people created this subculture and the fact is that civil rights laws, PC, affirmative action, race spoils etc all more money in the wallets of the rich people who created this subculture?

The rich people have deemed off-limits these tactics that you want the GOP to use. It's not the liberals that control the subculture that has these unwritten--it is the rich people who created it.

Also, obama cannot do or say certain things, and he is forced to do certain things. You are so observant about the things that put liberals in a bad light, but not the things that show that the rich people are really behind it.

Let's take a look at a very recent and very relevant political event that took place: obama was FORCED to take a hard line on Iran just over the last week or so. Obama rebuffed netanyahu and he ignored Iran until very recently. Just basically ignored it. Then in response the media turned on him regarding Iran. There was a slew of 'when is obama going to do something about iran?' articles. And right after that Obama threw some anti-Iran rhetoric around. This SHOULD have been something that YOU should have seen and written about.

That is, if you were intellectually honest. But you aint. Instead you and the other paleocon writers ignored it. Nobody notices nothing, right, steve?

I am not a liberal. And I hate the PC, white hating fakeleftist subculture that permeates the media, academia, etc.

But you paleocons are nothing but an outreach agency for the GOP. Yet you pretend to be objective and neutral.

Anonymous said...

Every other industrialized country manages to take care of its seniors and provide them health care. It's not impossible for us to continue to do so.

Rich people want another massive round of tax cuts so they've successfully convinced middle class conservatives "We just can't afford it!"

The rest of the country isn't buying it. As recently as 2010 the Republican party position was that Obama was spending *too little* on Medicare. You're not going to immediately get voters to flip around and support vouchers after you've convinced them that the country isn't spending enough on traditional Medicare.

And anyway, if there is harsh medicine that needs to be swallowed, you don't CAMPAIGN on it. "Suck it up, you're not getting health care" is not a riveting campaign message.

Anonymous said...

It's the worst recession in decades with tens of millions of middle class and lower feeling their financial and employment situation squeezed, their adult children underemployed and living at home, and the GOP doubles down on its makers-vs.-takers-class-warfare-against-the-poor strategy!


What the hell? I guess you had your pre-planned talking point which you're getting paid to recite and the fact that it has jack to do with the comment thread is immaterial.

The GOP has no "makers-vs.-takers-class-warfare-against-the-poor strategy". And if it did the topic of this post would not be evidence of it.

Anonymous said...

The rich people have deemed off-limits these tactics that you want the GOP to use. It's not the liberals that control the subculture that has these unwritten--it is the rich people who created it.


So in your world view the "rich people" are disjoint from the "liberals that control the subculture"? You need to wrap your head around the fact that "the rich" and "liberals" are one and the same.

(And then the libertarians need to wrap their heads around it ..)

Anonymous said...

You're right Steve about the Libertarians. The Republicans seem obsessed with appealing to two groups the Libertarians and Neo-cons both of whom together represent about 5% of the electorate.

But then the Republicans aren't really about winning POTUS elections as they are about helping the rich.

Anonymous said...

Look... politics is just one part of the fight. Dems lost the presidency from 68 to 92 except in 76-80. But they kept at it and eventually took over the country. Why? Even when losing politically, they fought intellectually, culturally, creatively, academically, socially, etc.

Gays suffered a great epidemic but look at them now.

So, you don't have to win in politics to gain power. To gain real power, you need to win in other areas. And that's what conservatism should focus on.

Buchanan understood this in the 80s when he said the CULTURE was being remade by liberals.
Where he was wrong was in thinking that conservative culture should be a 50s nostalgia trip and dumb Evangelicalism.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing to see commenters on this thoughtcrime site repeating propaganda from the mainstream GOP. Medicare is more efficient at holding down costs than private insurance. Its projected insolvency is due entirely to the broken, privately delivered healthcare system. If we could get per person healthcare spending to the level of virtually any other first world country (and they all have much more substantial government involvement) the long term budget projections go from huge deficits to huge surpluses. There's no reason to say Medicare won't be there unless you either don't want it or are too cowardly to confront the groups (insurance companies, pharma, hospitals, doctors) who profit from all the waste in the current system. Healthcare isn't like education, where no one knows how to raise performances of NAMs. We just have to become as efficient as other countries are now.

Anonymous said...

Never mind GOP vs Dems.

Whose ideas really prevailed since the 80s?

Jews are into big money and hardly averse to capitalism. So, free markets won. Where are Jewish Marxists? The face of Jewishness is Google boys and Zuckerberg.

GOP was for free trade, and Dems have been for free trade since Clinton signed Nafta.
Cons were for de-regulation of Wall Street, and Dems signed onto it. Obama didn't do much to reverse it; if anything, he filled his economic team with Wall Street insiders.
Gays are more powerful than ever but also more whitebread and 'father knows best' ever.
In fact, most urban gays come across as more respectable and 'conservative looking' than many rednecks with tattoos and piercings who look like hippie barbarians.
Feminists used to be anti-capitalist, but now they are all about 'women climbing the ranks of corporations'.
And feminists used to be against male chauvinism and sexism but now they are proud to be 'sluts'.
Conservatives said blacks should be clean-cut than jive ass, and well, a clean cut negro is president.
Conservatives are for strong military, and the liberal Zionist Jews are for bombing nations all over the world.

So, regardless of GOP or Dem, which side really won?

In a way, it's as if conservatism got liberalized.
Possibly the political shifts that took place since the 90s were as fundamental as the ones that happened in the 30s and 40s and 70s.

Anonymous said...

Question for GOPers? Would you support letting people under 65 buy into Medicare at actuarial rates determined by age? I don't see a valid libertarian counter argument since there would still be a free market, and if private companies could provide better service or lower costs you'd be free to use them instead. (And if they can't compete with a government bureaucracy they're not very innovative.) This would lower the tax burden by making the Medicare risk pool younger and healthier. And for the who whom crowd, there'd be no question of subsidizing poor or lazy NAMs since unlike a public option they'd need to buy in at the actuarial rates.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I thought your thing was Citizenism.

You know caring about people who are currently citizens or who helped build this country.

But many of your posters seem not bothered by the fact that the U.S. spends somewhere between 700 billion and 1.2 trillion dollars on defense a year (depending on whose numbers you use) which is roughly more than the next 20 countries combined (even if the lower figure is used).

China is next at roughly 140 billion.

But somehow we can’t find 280 billion a year or so to subsidize Medicare.

Yeah, I know the program should be tweaked or that efforts should be made to contain costs, but why even think about putting any burden on the elderly during this depression we are in by privatizing it like Republicans suggest?

I guess more wars policing the world and killing Arabs and bright shiny toy guns are more important than taking care of the elderly?

I suspect you are ashamed of some the comments by posters who presumably are your followers (or at least admire your writing which I do on ocassion).

I know I would be if I was you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8gpXnqeofQ
I'm guessing Steve knows Paul Gottfried and Sean Gabb from this interview. If I understand them correctly, classical liberalism, by it's nature, couldn't defend itself against attacks from less scrupulous enemies. If a Paleo and a Libertarian can come up with all sorts of down and dirty, barefisted ways to challenge modern liberalism, why can't mainstream Republicans do the same? What part of their world view stops them? Is it really just the power of PC?

Harry Baldwin said...

You're economically illiterate. Wars come and go, but the entitlement state is here forever and it constantly grows larger as years pass.

Wars come and go, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars that are added to our debt. Along with the war come entitlements due every veteran which, too, are here forever. I don't see how you can dismiss so lightly the ruinous effect of these stupid, fruitless wars. Granted the costs of the entitlement programs are larger but the cost of war is hardly small.

Cameron said...

Neither SS or Medicare are broke even if provider rates are increased and the age of eligibility is lowered.

Why?

The US is sovereign in its own currency and thus has an infinite supply of dollars. The more interesting question is whether we will have the real resources to support the elderly population as it grows not whether we can "afford it" nominally, which is of course yes.

Matt said...

I don't see how you can dismiss so lightly the ruinous effect of these stupid, fruitless wars. Granted the costs of the entitlement programs are larger but the cost of war is hardly small.

The entire DoD - that's wars, bases, navy, everything - has a budget of about $700B, or slightly over half the size of the overall deficit. You could cut literally the entire military and the deficit would still break every pre-'08 record.

I mean sure, I don't like spending on dumb wars either. But in terms of cost, no even vaguely realistic military cut or peacetime military footing would make much of a dent.

Truth said...

"You're economically illiterate. Wars come and go, but the entitlement state is here forever and it constantly grows larger as years pass."

LMAO! Buddy please, wars ARE an entitlement state; for "Americans" who are already wealthy.


Severn said...

I don't see how you can dismiss so lightly the ruinous effect of these stupid, fruitless wars. Granted the costs of the entitlement programs are larger


Well, yeah, and by orders of magnitude, which is why I can "dismiss so lightly the ruinous effect of these stupid, fruitless wars".

There may well be arguments to be made against this or that war. But regardless of what you think of Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Libya, the facts remains that they are not fiscally ruinous. You should make your arguments against them on other grounds. I do.

Matthew said...

"Obama cuts Medicare expenditures for old white people to increase government health care expenditures for young black and brown people...But Democrats are much better at this kind of politics."

Because Republicans aren't allowed to mention the black and brown people...

"Expect Republicans in the next election to embrace diversity and big government."

...and to lose by an even bigger margin.

"When you can't openly advocate for what you want you run a near certain risk of being coopted or finessed, repeatedly."

And who's to say that what Mitt Romney wants is border security and a smaller government? I have spent years hoping Republicans would eliminate affitmative action, enforce the immigration laws, reduce legal immigration, and shrink the welfare state. It ain't happened yet. We all assume that those things are what Republicans politicians want but just aren't allowed to mention. But they never pull the trigger, ever.

Severn said...

somehow we can’t find 280 billion a year or so to subsidize Medicare.


Huh? For FY 2011, the federal government spent $835 billion on Medicare and Medicaid. Are you unaware of that, or are you asking that we spend an additional $280 billion a year on Medicaid?

No, we cannot "find" an additional 280 billion, for anything. If we could "find" it, we ought to use it to pay down the staggering debt which Obama has been running up. We're currently spending about $250 billion a year just in interest on the national debt.

In just four years under Obama, we've added five trillion dollars to the national debt. Trillion with a "T". The Democrats used to pretend to be upset when Bush added a couple of hundred billion to the national tab. Of course the Democrats used to pretend to be upset by "Bush's illegal war in Iraq", before they supported Obama's genuinely illegal war in Libya. And the Democrats used to pretend to be terribly concerned about Bush's warrantless wire-tapping program - before they took power and expanded it.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing to see commenters on this thoughtcrime site repeating propaganda from the mainstream GOP. Medicare is more efficient at holding down costs than private insurance.


Costs to who? It sure as hell is not more efficient at holding down costs to the taxpayers, who pay for Medicare.

Medicare currently has unfunded liabilities of $40 trillion. Guess who is supposed to plug that gap?

beowulf said...

"To recap, Obama passed a bill cutting Medicare by about 10%. Romney promises not to change Medicare at all for people over 60ish."

I'm sorry that's just wrong. He also promised to repeal Obamacare, part of which was to increase Medicare benefits (free preventative care and lower drug costs among other things). He can't simultaneously repeal Obamacare and not change Medicare at all.

Incidentally, for people who think we can't afford Medicare--- for 4 decades its costs have grown slower than private insurance. It is a delusion / insurance lobbyist talking point that we can save money by privatizing Medicare.
http://healthaffairs.org/blog/post_images/2011_08_05_1.jpg

Anonymous said...

If we could get per person healthcare spending to the level of virtually any other first world country (and they all have much more substantial government involvement) the long term budget projections go from huge deficits to huge surpluses.


If we can get the American people to accept the crappy socialized healthcare systems as found in Britain, sure! You may have to wait six months to get into the hospital to get that pain checked out, but just lay back and think of Obama! He has brown skin, you know. Isn't that wonderful?

Anonymous said...

And who's to say that what Mitt Romney wants is border security and a smaller government?


We don't know. But we already do know for a cold hard fact that Barack Obama does not want border security and a smaller government.

So you can either take a figurative bullet to the head from Obama, or take a gamble on Romney. There is no third choice.

beowulf said...

"The US is sovereign in its own currency and thus has an infinite supply of dollars. The more interesting question is whether we will have the real resources to support the elderly population as it grows not whether we can "afford it" nominally, which is of course yes."

This.
Also this...
"Demand-side conservatives might include the sizable faction of trade hawks in the Republican Party, who do not understand why we allow the corrupt Chinese dictatorship to bribe American corporations and target American industries for destruction, even while we are ramping up our military containment of China. Between elections, when Democrats and Republicans cynically pay lip service to insourcing, the corporate appeasers of Chinese state capitalism in both parties tend to prevail over Republican and Democratic trade hawks. Conservative trade hawks would be part of any demand-side coalition, given the role that import substitution could play in restoring domestic demand in our depressed economy."
http://www.salon.com/2012/09/11/obamas_a_supply_sider_too/

Anonymous said...

How are those luxurious public benefits working out for Europe? Its only a matter of time before what is happening over there comes over here.

Some of you have the mind that you can keep on milking the cow forever and off we march into cultural marxist dystopia. This system we've brought up cannot hold under the strains it places on itself.

The seniors who vote themselves generous benefits are simply 'eating their seed corn' by killing the system that keeps them alive faster. They might have all the knee surgeries and physical therapy they want, but when they can't even get the medicines to keep their blood working right (already happening in Greece) we're going to see a winnowing.

Severn said...

It is a delusion / insurance lobbyist talking point that we can save money by privatizing Medicare.



That depends on who you think "we" is, Kemo Sabe.

This is an academic discussion, since in spite of the best wishes of the Kossacks, Romney is not actually running on privatizing Medicare.

But academically speaking, it is a fact that privatizing Medicare would save the taxpayers money.

Matt said...

If we could get per person healthcare spending to the level of virtually any other first world country (and they all have much more substantial government involvement) the long term budget projections go from huge deficits to huge surpluses.

The part in parentheses is actually untrue by many metrics, and few people on either side realize this. As a fraction of GDP, the US government spends more on health care than most first-world governments do. If we straight-up replaced the US system with pretty much any given European system (I would not recommend this), the government would actually spend less. We have socialized medicine now, just implemented in an unusually disastrous way.

But the problem is not lack of government money thrown at the problem. We already throw more money than most, and it fails because the system was designed by poop-flinging monkeys.

Anonymous said...

" Severn said...
somehow we can’t find 280 billion a year or so to subsidize Medicare.


Huh? For FY 2011, the federal government spent $835 billion on Medicare and Medicaid. Are you unaware of that, or are you asking that we spend an additional $280 billion a year on Medicaid?"

God. you are dumb. I've seen your comments before and forgot how dumb you are. Thanks for reminding me.

Do you realize that Medicare is a Trust Fund like Social Security which has its own accounting (yes I know that politicians ignore this fact to mask the actual deficits but that is besides the point).

280 billion was my rough estimate taking into account increasing inflation and no decrease in costs of the amount that the Medicare Trust (which people paid into unlike Medicaid which you ignorantly and obtusely conflate) will have to be subsidized per year out of the federal budget over the next 75 years beginning in the year 2019 when the assets of the Trust are predicted by some to be depleted and tax revenues only account for 78% of the costs.

It turns out it is actually a lot lower ...closer to 175 billion at least to start.

Total "unfunded" (remember there is money coming in continually via witholding taxes and projected to continue to come in) liabilities over the next 75 years are projected to be 13 trillion which works out to 175 billion a year.

Medicare does not have 40 trillion in unfunded liabilties ... Are you nuts? (only I suppose if you dishoneslty assume that people will continue to collect benefits but no one will pay in).

The American Academy of Actuaries has an excellent brief on this issue that you should read (as should some of the other posters).

Seewww.actuary.org/pdf/medicare/trustees_08.pdf

Oh wait ... you are innumerate I forgot.

Pompous retard does not quite do you justice ... way inadequate.

Matthew said...

"So you can either take a figurative bullet to the head from Obama, or take a gamble on Romney. There is no third choice."

I wasn't disputing that Romney is the better choice. No concern troll am I. But I don't see any evidence that Republican pols - Bush, McConnell, Boehner, Romney - are really much into the cultural conservatism side of things. They aar to have no intention of pushing back on open borders or AA. If they want to stay in power, though, they will - not just because conservatives will stop voting for them, but because they are impoverishing their voting base.

Anonymous said...

Stock vs flow. GDP is a flow, debt is a stock.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about this total implosion of GOP is it is forced to finally make a decision as to what it is and what it isn't.

And I still say the best thing is for the GOP to go away, for all of us to join Democratic Party, and then see what happens.

Without the common enemy of GOP, the Democratic coalition will fall apart. And white moderates and white cons can make common cause.

It's like the fall of Nazism led to the breakup of the alliance between US and USSR.

If the GOP fades, then blacks, gays, browns, feminists, Jews, and etc among the Democratic coalition will break apart. I mean NY is not a happy unified place. And look how Michigan liberals don't wanna live in Detroit. There are deep divisions among all kinds, and they are held together only by common cause against the GOP.

To destroy communism, Nazism had to go. To destroy Jewish liberalism, GOP has to go. And then white cons can make alliances with white moderates and even white liberals who are sick of black crime.

DaveinHackensack said...

The problem is that the GOP lets the Democrats act as a Santa Claus party. The solution is for the GOP to make Americans feel the full cost of the Democrats' policies.

Take Medicare, for example. The Dem pitch is to keep Medicare as is, which is fiscally unsustainable. Dems have the advantage here politically, because Americans haven't been made to feel the full cost of the status quo. So the GOP should make them feel it: pass a bill in the House called the Save Medicare Bill. Have the bill raise the payroll tax high enough so that it fully covers Medicare's annual cost (which it doesn't do now), and have the payroll tax increase automatically every year at the same rate Medicare costs rate.

If Democrats block the bill, run commercials around the clock asking why Democrats want to let Medicare to go bankrupt. If Americans have to chose between the status quo and Ryan's plan, they'll pick the status quo; but if you make them feel the full cost of the status quo, then they'll develop an appreciation for Ryan's solution.

The GOP could do the same thing with immigration if it had the stones. After Obama passed his executive order giving amnesty to illegals, Republicans should have passed a bill raising taxes on all Americans to offset the cost of any additional government benefits the newly amnestied illegals would qualify for.

The key to all of this is to stop talking about tax cuts all the time, because that makes the GOP a Santa Claus party too. Instead, the GOP should go back to being the grownup party, and paint the Dems as the irresponsible spenders they are.

eah said...

You mean the aged, who no doubt fear catastrophically expensive illness more than other segments of the population, want to be reassured that someone else will pay the bills should they get sick? I never would have imagined...

self-delusion

And speaking of "self-delusion" ...

Regarding QE, you haven't seen anything yet. As they exist in law now, the major entitlement programs run by the federal government -- Social Security and Medicare -- are not finance-able. Without massive reform -- which is politically impossible, and probably would not be enough anyway -- massive money printing will be necessary. It's just impossible for either 1) the economy to grow fast enough, and/or 2) for enough money to be removed via taxation to pay for all of that. This is Ryan's point.

The Fed Is Systematically Destroying Social Security And The Retirement Plans Of Millions

eah said...

...assets of the Trust are predicted by some to be depleted and tax revenues only account for 78% of the costs.

Speaking of "dumb", you write as if the "assets of the Trust" and "tax revenues" are two different things.

Question: What 'assets' does the 'Medicare Trust' hold?

Regarding projections, i.e. what these programs might look like financially in the future, believe it or not sometimes these estimates turn out to be wildly inaccurate.

And stop commenting as "Anonymous". Also learn how to post a link properly.

eah said...

Think Social Security's Trust Fund Is A Scam? Medicare Has One Too.

Anonymous said...

Paul Ryan will prove to be an absolute f*cking disaster for the Republicant party - and probably the decisive reason why they will lose in 2012 and have a damned hard time *ever* winning again.
That brainless moron - and fanatical teenage extreme right-wing free-market ideology worshipper (actaully a man of his immaturity should NEVER have become a governor, let alone VP candidate), doesn't seem to realise that he is, literally, scaring the bejesus out of natural Republicant fodder - white seniors who drift into the Repugnent fold due to a conservativism based on years of life experience.
Not so deep-down in Ryan's juvenile Rand worship is the notion that the elderly are useless eaters that should be gassed so that plutocrat taxes can be saved, (maybe by a diamante collar or two for the poodle). The seniors aren't such fools as Ryan takes them for, and know precisely what he's trying to do. Bit by bit, inch by inch, he will scrub out their 'entitlements' and leave them as the 21st century equivalent of wolf-fodder. That's what the man really and truly believes in. Of course, in his own dotage, Ryan will be well catered for, what with all the bribes from big business - don't you doubt that.
To many of the elderly, Ryan is a monster. It's as simple as that.

DR said...

"The US is sovereign in its own currency and thus has an infinite supply of dollars. The more interesting question is whether we will have the real resources to support the elderly population as it grows not whether we can "afford it" nominally, which is of course yes."

The US treasury can print as many dollars as it wants. As can the Zimbabwe treasury.

Having a sovereign currency might mean you can avoid bankruptcy nominally but once the global economy loses faith in your currency you are done.

In case you haven't noticed the US is kind of dependent on international trade for a lot of things. If the dollar collapsed those things would get very very expensive.

It's going to be little comfort claiming that the US never "technically" went bankrupt when gasoline in $25 a gallon and iPads cost $5000.

The plague of currency devaluation is so painful that many countries historically have chosen to default rather than sacrifice their currency.

When push comes to shove and the choice is between paying $150,000 for a new car or forcing granny to cut back on the non-generic prescriptions I think we all know which one will probably prevail at the voting booth.

Cail Corishev said...

"The government mugs the people and those who demand their money back are denounced as hypocrites."

If a mugger mugs you and runs off and spends your money on booze, then you catch him the next day, will you insist that he go mug someone else so he can pay you back?

JustAClown said...

Anonymous said...


And I still say the best thing is for the GOP to go away, for all of us to join Democratic Party, and then see what happens.

Without the common enemy of GOP, the Democratic coalition will fall apart. And white moderates and white cons can make common cause.
==============



absolutely! Do what I have done--go Democratic. If more of you would do so, whites would dominate the election process. If we can get in a white male Dem candidate who is anti-affirmative action, at least to some degree, and be for progressive taxation, for universal healthcare, against making war, at least to some degree, that person would smash everyone else against him. Win by a huge landslide, and in the process, crush the current elite-centric dominant political paradigm in america.

The more evenly divided we are, the more the rich control this nation. PC/multiculti? That was invented by the rich for the rich.

Cail Corishev said...

"[p]ass a bill in the House called the Save Medicare Bill. Have the bill raise the payroll tax high enough so that it fully covers Medicare's annual cost [....] If Democrats block the bill, run commercials around the clock [....]"

Right there is why your plan won't work. The media will never let people hear the point you're trying to make. Buy all the commercials you want, but they control the other 59 minutes of the hour.

IHTG said...

It seems to me this is the main goal of foreign aid these days.
It's to win over the poor world to the side of Israel in the UN.


Hahahahahahaha! Hahahaha. Ha. Ha.

Chicago said...

Medicare is good for the economy. The money for providing care to the sick opens up many job sectors: doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacies, drug companies, even for maintenance men mopping up in clinics. Most of the money ends up in the bank accounts of the domestic middle class. Out of one pocket and into another but it stays within the country.

Bill said...

Whiskey said...
The problem is Steve, the Sailer Strategy won't work. Because, duh, Whites are DIVIDED on the central issues: diversity, White minority status, Affirmative Action, and so on.

Propaganda works. Over the course of a decade or two, the Rs managed to convert the mass of socially conservative and fiscally liberal white Evangelicals into the disturbed army of quasi-libertarian automata they are today. Who could imagine a movement like the Tea Party outside of dystopian fiction: "The problem with America is that you are not raping me hard enough, Wall St!! MOAR!!!!"

All they had to do was lie to them about social issues (we're against Roe v Wade, I promise!), and the 'gelicals thought the Rs were their best friends and trusted them on the whole taxes and welfare state thing.

They could do the same now to implement the Sailer strategy or something like it. What's lacking is the desire to do so. The idea that whites are divided on whether their children should be discriminated against, stolen from, murdered, and pushed aside in their own country is ludicrous. Rather, the R refusal to talk about any of this, the R refusal to use propaganda in this way, is the reason for the "division."

The Sailer strategy won't happen, but it has nothing to do with it not being workable. In reality, it's a mistake to think in terms of "Rebuplicans" and their interests. The bi-partisan elite basically agrees on the future of America, except for a few minor fine-tuning questions, and neither of their parties is going to suggest any real alteration in course.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the GOP's "libertarianish ideology" may not be enough to gain 50.1% of the national vote this time around, but a whole bunch people who ran on this platform have been successful in getting themselves elected to important offices, sometimes even in liberal places like New Jersey.

On the other hand, no one ever got elected dogcatcher on the platform of immigration restriction, or citizenism, or paleoconservatism, or whatever you think must replace the reining GOP ideology. Pat Buchanan got less than half a million votes nationwide when he ran on this.

And don't tell me it's because the your ideas are suppressed or not promoted enough in the media. You cannot suppress a genuinely popular idea, not even the Soviets were able to do that. You just don't have that many listeners.

Anonymous said...

It is pretty perverse of the elderly to make such heavy demands on their children especially when you consider that their own parents were far less of a burden on them.

Boomer's parents scrimped to provide for them and now they expect their children to do it for them, too. I understand they were born into it and didn't design it, but come on the anomalous situation where you retire and party from 65-85 was a total freak event.

Sideways said...

Lol@ the idiot who thinks there are real Medicare and SS trust funds and then calls others stupid.

That money is gone. We spent it, every year.

DaveinHackensack said...

Cail Corishev,

"Right there is why your plan won't work. The media will never let people hear the point you're trying to make. Buy all the commercials you want, but they control the other 59 minutes of the hour."

Yeah, but the GOP gets some of the other 59 minutes too -- they do get invited on shows like Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, etc. And if they're not handicapped by the need to always pitch low taxes uber alles GOP representatives can make a very simple, understandable case on TV: "We're in favor of saving Medicare. Democrats want to let it sink in the red until it goes bust."

What's more, they might get air cover on this from a few honest libs. Matt Yglesias, for example, has acknowledged that the way SWPL utopias like The Netherlands pay for their generous welfare state isn't through high taxes on the rich, it's through high taxes on everybody.

As Mitt acknowledged, the low tax, small government pitch doesn't have much appeal to people who aren't paying much in taxes now, but are relying on government benefits. The only way to compete with Dems offering generous government benefits is to make people pay for them.

Anonymous said...

"What the hell? I guess you had your pre-planned talking point which you're getting paid to recite and the fact that it has jack to do with the comment thread is immaterial."

It's rare that people air their inability to read for comprehension so openly on a public forum. You may have missed the part where Steve wrote, "Okay, but what else are the Republicans allowed to put forward other than a libertarianish ideology at home and war abroad?"

Plus one non-sequitur point to you for calling people paid shills.

Anonymous said...

Nope, these are not Kossacks (except perhaps one or two.) These are paleos. Not that there is much difference on the economic issues.

Marc B said...

I really wish I could vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, because they both look the part and have resumes with tangible accomplishments showing that they could handle and excel at the the job. But I can't, and neither can many other conservatives who dislike Romney's support for Israel, the NDAA, TSA tyranny (Michael Chertoff is an adviser), or his recent Hispandering (just make everyone a legal). Ryan also has a less than stellar voting record (TARP) and tries to take multiple sides of an issue. They are also running the same kind of wimpy campaign as Mcain/Palin. Why is there no talk of Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the Justice Department's pro-black agenda, the costs of Obama care to business, the off-shoring of GM jobs to China and Brazil as part of the GM bailout? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Obama finally has a record to run against, and they are not taking advantage of it.

The difference in this election will likely be paleoconservatives and libertarians in swing states who will not hold their nose and vote R this time around. The stupid party did a really good job of alienating Ron Paul's base (about 10% of the republican party and growing) before the Iowa primaries all the way up through and including the convention.

I don't even mind Romney's wooden and somewhat robotic public persona. He reminds me of the emotionally contained men that held ran things prior to the 1980's. I believe the term was taciturn, although that may be excessive in his case. Unfortunately, Romney is a little more than a NeoCon cut out, and there isn't enough difference between himself, Juan Mcain and Jorge Bush to get my vote.

Anonymous said...

The problem is with the messengers AND the message.

Look, it's fun to pretend to root for the GOP during election time for the same reason it's fun to root for the hometown sports team. But let's not pretend there is a major qualitative difference between the two parties. The GOP is no more the "party of the right" than the Atlanta Braves are a team of players from Atlanta. It's all dress up, make believe, smoke and mirrors between two elite criminal gangs who take turns fleecing the country.

Anonymous said...

The problem is with the messengers AND the message.

Look, it's fun to pretend to root for the GOP during election time for the same reason it's fun to root for the hometown sports team. But let's not pretend there is a major qualitative difference between the two parties. The GOP is no more the "party of the right" than the Atlanta Braves are a team of players from Atlanta. It's all dress up, make believe, smoke and mirrors between two elite criminal gangs who take turns fleecing the country.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Gingrich told them Ryan's plan was a non-starter. Just because he likes space colonies doesn't mean he doesn't understand earthly politics.

Further, Ryan's plan didn't really do much to reduce the deficit.

Stupid party? You betcha!

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, no one ever got elected dogcatcher on the platform of immigration restriction, or citizenism, or paleoconservatism, or whatever you think must replace the reining GOP ideology. Pat Buchanan got less than half a million votes nationwide when he ran on this.


LOL! Yeah, as a third-party candidate in a close election. Tell me, how much of the vote did the libertarian candidate get in 2000?

You don't see anti-immigration candidates in either of the major parties because the media doesn't allow such people to get anywhere near electoral office.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the GOP's "libertarianish ideology" may not be enough to gain 50.1% of the national vote this time around, but a whole bunch people who ran on this platform have been successful in getting themselves elected to important offices, sometimes even in liberal places like New Jersey.

On the other hand, no one ever got elected dogcatcher on the platform of immigration restriction, or citizenism, or paleoconservatism, or whatever you think must replace the reining GOP ideology. Pat Buchanan got less than half a million votes nationwide when he ran on this.




Remind me again how well Gary Johnson did in the GOP primary? He got zero votes.

Plenty of people have gotten elected to high office running on immigration restriction, from Tom Tancredo to Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint.

Anonymous said...

Not so deep-down in Ryan's juvenile Rand worship is the notion that the elderly are useless eaters that should be gassed so that plutocrat taxes can be saved, (maybe by a diamante collar or two for the poodle). The seniors aren't such fools as Ryan takes them for, and know precisely what he's trying to do. Bit by bit, inch by inch, he will scrub out their 'entitlements' and leave them as the 21st century equivalent of wolf-fodder.


"Hysterical" is the only word which properly describes this bizarre rant.

NOTA said...

Matt:

I'm pretty sure the wars are funded by supplemental bills, not the main defense budget. Also, the defense budget and the medicare/medicaid budget are about the same size, so it doesn't make sense to talk about how we must make cuts to one, but cuts to the other don't matter for our budget.

IMO, the best possible healthcare reform would be to make every American citizen eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid is crappy insurance, but it's health insurance, and you can actually see a doctor or go to the hospital without being ruined. That leaves the medical insurance industry around for people who want better insurance, and competition between the insurance companies for quality and cost-control, while making sure that no matter what happens, nobody goes without some kind of access to medical care. We already let the poor have access to this program, the only change would be in no longer making people worry about income limits to be part of it.

Anonymous said...

"You may have to wait six months to get into the hospital to get that pain checked out, but just lay back and think of Obama"

Well, this 50 something had what they thought was a TIA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient_ischemic_attack

and was checked out in hospital the same day - the NMR scan wait was 5 weeks though, but the tests in hospital showed I'd not had a stroke.

My brother's twice visited hospital for endoscopy checks at either end - each time the wait was a few weeks.

There are some bad things about the NHS - particularly the poor nursing care that many of the elderly get on long-stay wards. But the US healthcare spend is twice the UK spend, and I'm not sure you're living any longer. All those lawyers and accountants eat a lot of the healthcare corn.

NOTA said...

anon 9:05:

Actually, the Obama administration pretty aggressively deported people for the first three years of his term--more aggressively than the last couple Republican administrations, as it turns out. This year, he's got an election-year pander thing going where he's registering young illegals who have more-or-less kept their noses clean, and promising his administration won't deport them if they stay out of trouble. I'm not sure how much numerical impact this is having, but it probably does create a pool of interested voters (the young illegals' friends and family) who really hope Obama gets re-elected, especially once their friends/relatives have signed up and thus put themselves on a list of people who the next administration could deport at will.

And Republican rule does not actually track with smaller government, nor even with smaller growth of government.

I don't think either of these issues actually work out in the Republcians' favor.

Severn said...

Anonymous said...

God. you are dumb. I've seen your comments before and forgot how dumb you are.



I've seen your comments before, Anonymous, and you're a drooling moron. Steve really ought to disable the feature which allows "Anonymous" commenters.


280 billion was my rough estimate taking into account increasing inflation and no decrease in costs of the amount that the Medicare Trust (which people paid into unlike Medicaid which you ignorantly and obtusely conflate) will have to be subsidized per year out of the federal budget over the next 75 years.

It turns out it is actually a lot lower ...closer to 175 billion at least to start.

Total "unfunded" (remember there is money coming in continually via witholding taxes and projected to continue to come in) liabilities over the next 75 years are projected to be 13 trillion

Only 13 trillion dollars! We're saved!

The difference between your first number (285 billion a year for the next 75 years) and your new number (175 billion per year for the next 75 years) is pretty significant. How did you make such a large (seven trillion dollar) mistake?

Government handles the books for its own "insurance" in a fashion which would get people sent to jail if done by private insurance companies. The 40 trillion shortfall is arrived at by computing the governments obligations in the same fashion as that of private insurance companies.

But let's say "government is special and the normal actuarial rules do not apply". Using your own numbers, we need to "find" somewhere between $175 billion and 285 billion a year, every year, for perpetuity.

And we don't have it.

The US government is running deficits in excess of one trillion dollars a year, every year. That is the mathematical rock on which all your grandiose plans must founder.

Silver said...

On the other hand, no one ever got elected dogcatcher on the platform of immigration restriction, or citizenism, or paleoconservatism, or whatever you think must replace the reining GOP ideology. Pat Buchanan got less than half a million votes nationwide when he ran on this.

Buchanon's (hehe) mostly right on the facts (in a way libs can only dream of), but he is socially tone deaf in the worst way. The facts put forward in a more socially acceptable/irresistible way stand a much better chance of altering the political landscape. Sailer's doing his bit in this respect.

eah,

Speaking of "dumb", you write as if the "assets of the Trust" and "tax revenues" are two different things.

Yeah, that poster is obviously hoping you don't notice the false distinction. At the end of the day it's still taxes. The same data he links to makes a liar out of him also, as it amply demonstrates the shortfall is already way more than $280 billion.

Nevertheless, it'd only take a few percentage points tax increase to cover it. It's a long way from an end-of-the-world scenario just yet. Clinton-era tax rates would basically do the trick but that's the one thing that Republicans will go to the wall for (they'll sacrifice every other issue, even the most important, life-or-death issues, for this).

Severn said...

From the Anonymous moron's own link ..

The value in today’s dollars of the HI deficit over the next 75 years is $13 trillion, or 3.5 percent of taxable payroll over the same time period. Eliminating this deficit would require an immediate 122 percent increase in payroll taxes or an immediate 51 percent reduction in benefits, or some combination of the two.

Carol said...

for 4 decades its costs have grown slower than private insurance.


That's because the true cost overage for public health programs has been shifted to us private payers.

Severn said...

the Obama administration pretty aggressively deported people for the first three years of his term--more aggressively than the last couple Republican administrations, as it turns out.


You're such an Obama shill. None of this is true.


Republican rule does not actually track with smaller government, nor even with smaller growth of government


Yes, it actually does. Government has grown much faster under Obama than it did under Bush.

Severn said...

US healthcare spend is twice the UK spend, and I'm not sure you're living any longer.


The difference between the US ad the UK is that in the UK, you are dependent for your healthcare on "the state", or "the people". They are the ones who quite literally pay for your healthcare.

It does not work that way in the US. People pay more for healthcare, but they generally pay for it more directly themselves.

All this talk about how much different counties pay for healthcare skips that crucial point. Americans pay very large amounts of money for cars, and houses, and tablet computers, and beauty products. But they do these things because they want to.

Longevity is not dependent on money spent on healthcare. But if people want to spend their own money in a certain fashion, that should be up to them.

NOTA said...

Severn:

PBS Frontline page on deportations in 2011 and 2010.

ABC news article

Growth of government spending:

Fun chart

Economist chart showing government hiring under different presidents (but it shows local/state as well as federal hiring, so it probably makes Obama look much better than he is.

<a href="http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/>This factcheck link</a> shows Obama and Bush spending--and doesn't support your story at all.

Now here's the thing: If you really believe that Republicans spend less than Democrats when they're in office, you have been lied to. Similarly, if you've been convinced that the Obama administration hasn't been deporting more people than the Bush administration did, you have been lied to.

Now, if you want tobelieve I'm an Obama shill, go ahead. For what it's worth, I did vote for him in 2008, but won't be doing that again, because I didn't like how it turned out. But if you are indeed trusting sources of informatin that are lying to you, you probably need better sources of information.

Marlowe said...

I want to see a film where Obamatron fights Buchanon. Kind of like Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. It could also feature Washingtron, Jeffertron & Lincon.

Severn said...

if you are indeed trusting sources of informatin that are lying to you, you probably need better sources of information.


I guess I need to start trusting PBS and ABC ....

Growth of government spending:

Fun chart



I'm not sure how you managed to miss this, but your own "Fun chart" - (which skips the worst of the Obama years - still shows government spending growing much faster under Obama than under Bush.

The national debt has increased at about a trillion dollars per year under Obama: that's more than double the rate it grew under Bush.

One of us seems to be falling for someones spin job, NOTA, but it's not me.

Severn said...

If you really believe that Republicans spend less than Democrats when they're in office, you have been lied to.


National budget deficit by year

2005 $298 billion
2006 $248 billion
2007 $161 billion
2008 $450 billion
2009 $1,413 billion
2010 $1,293 billion
2011 $1,300 billion
2012 $1,327 billion


Obama has been running budget deficits of about one trillion dollars per year more than Bush did. This is what is known as a "fact".

If you're actually unaware of this (which I'm inclined to doubt) then it is you who has been lied to.

Severn said...

IMO, the best possible healthcare reform would be to make every American citizen eligible for Medicaid.


Medicaid covers about 50 million Americans at present, and in 2010 it cost 390 billion dollars. (That money came from both the state and federal governments)

So extending Medicaid to all 300 million people in America would probably cost around 2.4 trillion dollars. That's a per year cost.

Do you have any suggestions for where we might find that amount of money?

Anonymous said...

" Marc B said...
I really wish I could vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, because they both look the part and have resumes with tangible accomplishments showing that they could handle and excel at the the job. But I can't, and neither can many other conservatives who dislike Romney's support for Israel, the NDAA, TSA tyranny (Michael Chertoff is an adviser), or his recent Hispandering (just make everyone a legal). Ryan also has a less than stellar voting record (TARP) and tries to take multiple sides of an issue..."

Thank you... your entire post was excellent and hit home.

Unfortunately, I think your post sums up how many paleo or cultural conservatives and others are feeling.

You want to like the guy because he is accomplished and how could he be worse than Obama ... but

I hope I see something in the debates to turn these feelings around otherwise it will be two presidential elections in a row that I have sat out (McCain's track record of war mongering and Hispandering completely turned me off).

Ryan doesn't help maybe because to me Ms. Rand's free market mantra hasn't been working out that well as far as I can tell since it was first implemented with bi-partisan support by Clinton.

Between outsourcing and insourcing we have dropped from first to third in world exports over the last 30 or so years and our standard of living has been stagnant of falling in most areas of the country...

What with an estimated 250,000 factories and 50 million jobs gone because of NAFTA and GATT (which under Clinton invited China into the WTA) and close to 20% unnemployment (if you include U-3 and factor in some other Guv distortions) that is not enough evidence that free trade is not completely working out as we were told it would (or Tom Friedman still claims it is)?

Yeah we had a couple of bubbles that distracted us while the underlying damage was being done and our trade deficits swelled... but the hangover from these bubbles has been even worse

Throw in open borders for cheap labor (irregardless of any costs that are externalized to the taxpayer or cultural repercussions) ... and it's just not attractive package.

Severn said...

Nope, these are not Kossacks (except perhaps one or two.) These are paleos.


I know paleo's. I'm a paleo. These people are no paleo's.

Eric said...

People, especially the elderly don't want medicare screwed with. There so many things that need changing why start with medicare that most people don't want to change.

And don't give me that baloney that we can't afford it.

Don't you think somewhere in the money we spent on wars over the last 10 years we could somehow have found the money (not to mention all the over waste)?


Medicare dwarfs the money we spent on the wars, and while we're out of Iraq and will be out of A-stan in a few years the Medicare bills will keep going up. Really, there's no money. There never was - people drawing Medicare are getting way, way more than they put in, which is a recipe for disaster with a stable population.

Anonymous said...

It's tough for people to "get" your message when the mainstream media doesn't cover you or your message.

R&R have been drawing huge crowds. Does NBC, ABC, CBS show those crowds and their enthusiasm? Nope.

It's the bias of the media.

Anonymous said...

"So, you don't have to win in politics to gain power. To gain real power, you need to win in other areas. And that's what conservatism should focus on. "

Yes, conservatives need to focus on Hollywood, TV, publishing and the Colleges, where they are outnumbered 10-1 and have NEVER controlled anything.

LOL!

beowulf said...

"So extending Medicaid to all 300 million people in America would probably cost around 2.4 trillion dollars. That's a per year cost."

Unless you're the Kossack troll, you just accidentally made the case for a single payer system. National Health Expenditures are at $2.7 trillion, your plan would save the economy from $300 billion in rent seeking while leaving no American uninsured. Bravo.

Severn said...

Unless you're the Kossack troll, you just accidentally made the case for a single payer system.

Unless you're the Kossack troll, you would not think so.

National Health Expenditures are at $2.7 trillion, your plan would save the economy from $300 billion in rent seeking while leaving no American uninsured.


Credit where credit is due - it's not my plan. It's NOTA's plan.

The "economy" does not spend a dime on healthcare. You're employing the standard socialist thought construct in which all the wealth in a country is seen as being at the disposal of the state to allocate as it sees fit. Today 100 million people are spending X dollars on item A, tomorrow the government spends that same money on that same item on their behalf - and in the mind of the leftist, no real change has occurred. Because in the mind of the leftist, it's all ultimately the states money anyway, and the state can spend it more wisely than individual people can.


Why do we allow people to purchase cars from private auto makers? Surely it would be much more efficient to eliminate those rent-seeking businessmen and get everyone to buy their cars from Government Motors? Think of all the money "the economy" could save!

Anonymous said...

I know paleo's. I'm a paleo. These people are no paleo's.

The proprietor of this blog is obviously more sympathetic to them than to any budget cutter. Is he a Kossack or a paleo?

Anonymous said...

"The difference between the US ad the UK is that in the UK, you are dependent for your healthcare on "the state", or "the people". They are the ones who quite literally pay for your healthcare."

No, you can have private healthcare too, just like in the States. Most large companies provide it (and the largest company, BUPA, is non-profit). I decided that I wanted to get the TIA sorted quickly, and my private healthcare got me a scan in a week. I could have paid cash, too (about 700 dollars).

"But if people want to spend their own money in a certain fashion, that should be up to them."

Absolutely. And if people want to vote for socialised healthcare, they're also free to do so.

The trouble with private care, apart from the hefty overheads, is that the people who need it most (the old and the chronically sick) are pretty much uninsurable.

Tax-funded systems can spread the risk, because subscription via taxes is compulsory (apart from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and all those other "US success stories").

pat said...

I used to work for the Washington Post. I know a little bit about how they think. I'm amazed that anyone would credit any poll they devised or any policy interpretation that they made.

Albertosaurus

NOTA said...

Obamacare is allegedly going to get everyone covered by some kind of insurance. Medicaid is surely cheaper than most any private insurance, and it's crappy enough that most people would rather keep their private insurance. So it looks to me like making every citizen eligible for Medicaid would be a cheaper way of providing universal healthcare than Obamacare.

Every citizen is eligible now, as soon as their income and savings fall low enough. Among other things, this means there are a fair number of people who get a job or take a promotion, and thus lose their health insurance. This is broken and easy to fix, and if Obamacare is affordable, this seems like it must be affordable.

Further, it looks to me like the US healthcare system is broken in some pretty fundamental ways, including the endless cost inflation that will ultimately bankrupt us regardless of how well we fund it. Raising payroll taxes to cover the costs can work now, but they can't keep rising at 2-3 times the rate of inflation, or we'll soon be having our eating money taxed away. We spend a lot more than anyone else in the world, and don't get noticably better results. (Yes, NHS has waiting lists, and you're probably bettter off as a privately-insured cancer patient. But the UK doesn't seem to have significantly worse outcomes in terms of life expectancy.). To my ear, the arguments for keeping the US healthcare system as it is on market principles always sound uncomfortably like rhe arguments for keeping the DC public schools as they are, on anti-market principles. Single-payer and vouchers may not fix those systems, but they're both broken enough that it's hard to accept an argument that we ought not to try.

Anonymous said...

Obama DID NOT deport more people or any nonsense like that. He simply changed the numbers to include people who get caught crossing as 'deportations'.

People parrot this because it makes it sound like he's cracking the whip hand hard on all those barrios that sprout up whenever there's some house building that needs done in the area.

The reality is more people have been crossing and staying, but because of the way his administration fudges the numbers and the complicity of the media in ignoring any facts to the opposite, the dominant narrative makes Obama to be some sort of Operation: Wetback type, and he is not.

NOTA said...

Anon 9:23:

Can you post a link to something that explains this? The high deportation numbers have been widely reported, in the Englsih and Spanish language press. If it's not true, I'd very much like to know.

NOTA said...

Severn:

A longer post of mine seems ro have disappeared into the ether, so I'll try a short one: You are confusing the size of the deficit with the size of government, and Obama/Bush with Democrats/Republicans. The fun chart I linked to shows the size of government spending each year and makes it easy to see that Republican presidents do not shrink the size of government. Nor did W shrink the size of government. Obama has further expanded rhe size of government, as pretty much every president does.

The deficit under Obama has indeed gotten a lot bigger, both thanks to overspending and thanks to a shrunken tax base from the recession. But that is not the same thing as the size of government. If you want a smaller government, historically Republicans have not delivered that any more than Democrats have. Similarly, if you want a balanced budget, Republicans do not have a good track record.

NOTA said...

Historical table of government spending.

In 2000, we had about 1.8 trillion dollars of government spending. By 2004, that was about 2.3 trillion, by 2008, about 3 trillion, and by 2012, it's estimated to be about 3.8 trillion.

Severn said...

The fun chart I linked to shows the size of government spending each year and makes it easy to see that Republican presidents do not shrink the size of government


Now you're being annoying. The point of contention was not whether Republicans "shrink the size of government", but whether it has grown faster under Obama. It has grown faster under Obama.


The deficit under Obama has indeed gotten a lot bigger, both thanks to overspending and thanks to a shrunken tax base from the recession. But that is not the same thing as the size of government.


Thanks for making that painfully obvious point. But while the budget deficit and national debt are not "the same thing" as the size of government, the two are tightly linked. And the budget deficit/national debt has implication for some of the Big Ideas you've tossing around here, in which the feds throw a few hundred billion a year at Medicare, and another few hundred billion a year at SS, and so on. Money which, I repeat for the umpteenth time, we don't have.

By the way, who is responsible for this "overspending" and "shrunken tax base from the recession"? You act as if these things are Act's of God for which Obama is blameless. It's his job to correct the overspending and the shrunken tax base. But he's made them worse.

When Bush took office in January 2000 the national debt stood at 5.7 trillion dollars.

Eight years later when Bush left office and Obama came in, the national debt stood at 9.2 trillion dollars. In other words, under Bush we were living beyond our means to the tune of $440 billion/year. That's bad, and a lot of the anger at Bush was based on that.

As of the end of September 2012, the national debt stands at just over $16 trillion. Under Obama we've been buying stuff on the national credit card to the tune of $1.7 trillion per year.

There is no way on Earth that even a hard-core Obama shill like you can argue that Obama has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster, fiscally speaking. He's managed the difficult feat of making Bush look good.

Severn said...

Medicaid is surely cheaper than most any private insurance, and it's crappy enough that most people would rather keep their private insurance.


That's a really ringing endorsement of your own plan! Given that most people would rather keep their private insurance, what's the rationale for making Medicaid available to all?

Severn said...

"But if people want to spend their own money in a certain fashion, that should be up to them."

Absolutely. And if people want to vote for socialised healthcare, they're also free to do so


They have not done so in the US.

Dutch Boy said...

The bastardized libertarian economic message is the work of the corporate financiers of the Republicans, the war-oriented foreign policy by the neo-cons, Christian Zionists and the military-industrial segment of corporate types. The Republicans need the money of the one and the votes of the other so they're stuck with this load of crap they try to sell to the American people with decreasing success.

beowulf said...

"Money which, I repeat for the umpteenth time, we don't have."

You're missing the point, money is not the problem. Uncle Sam happens to own the world's only US Dollar mine. Like the Keebler Elves and their cookies, they can always make more greenbacks.

Milton Friedman put it best, spending is the real tax. The economic danger posed by govt spending too many dollars into creation is if it pushes Aggregate Demand past the level of Aggregate Supply (or to put it another way, "when too many dollars chase too few goods", the root cause of most bouts of inflation).

However\ with unemployment over 8%, a chronic trade deficit around 4% of GDP (a $600B a year demand leakage) and at least 2% of GDP (probably double that) wasted on healthcare spending that'd be eliminated under a single payer plan (yes, the healthcare system is so screwed up its actually less efficient than the federal government), the fear of overclocking the economy with too much gpvt spending is the last thing we need to be worrying about.

NOTA said...

Severn:

Right now, if you get seriously ill or badly injured without insurance, you end up stuck with a huge bill and often end up going bankrupt. (Though that's probably as much from missed work during your recovery as medical bills.). As a married guy with three kids and a mortgage, I would be terrified of taking a job without health insurance. I know several people who work office jobs pretty explicitly for the insurance. Making everyone eligible for Medicaid would mean that taking a job with no insurance was less scary. Still unattractive, but not terrifying, It would mean that a lot of people currently working oblyfor health insurance might be willing to stop, knowing that ghey had something other than bankruptcy law to fall back on, if their kid got really sick.

The support Obamacare gets is from people who are worried about this stuff. The laws extending the time that kids can be on their parents' insurance matters to a lot of people who can now keep gettting insurance for a few more years, while they work at Starbucks with their BA in art history and contemplate their accumulating student loan interest. Banning insurance comlanies from charging you extra or refusing you for a preexisting condition, similarly, matters a whole lot to people who have a diabetic kid and so will never be able to buy insurance again on an open market. (And if you have that law without the mandate, all the health insurance companies go broke.).

So, here's a relatively cheap way toaddress all those concerns, using an existing program. It seems far less likely to be gamed by the big players than Obamacare, which is apparently not understood too well by anyone. Every citizen is already eligible for medicaid if we get poor enough. If we're going to provide health insurance to everyone, it seems simpler and cheaper to just let anyone sign up for medicaid as their primary insurance.

Severn said...

You're missing the point, money is not the problem. Uncle Sam happens to own the world's only US Dollar mine. Like the Keebler Elves and their cookies, they can always make more greenbacks.


This is why keep saying that the place is being overrun with lefties. The first time you said this, I assumed you were being sarcastic. Now it's clear that you think you're being intelligent.

The government cannot fiance anything by "making more greenbacks". If they could do that then they could also print more greenbacks and give a billion dollars to every American. Then Billionaire Beowulf could buy his own health-insurance, right?

Severn said...

So, here's a relatively cheap way toaddress all those concerns, using an existing program.


It's like talking to a wall. I repeat, it would cost over two trillion dollars per year to do what you are suggesting. That's not cheap, not even relatively.

And let me also repeat the other point I keep making and which you keep ignoring - we do not have that two trillion dollars per year to spend. Where do you imagine this staggering sum of money is going to come from?

Severn said...

The support Obamacare gets is from people who are worried about this stuff. The laws extending the time that kids can be on their parents' insurance matters to a lot of people who can now keep gettting insurance for a few more years, while they work at Starbucks with their BA in art history and contemplate their accumulating student loan interest. Banning insurance comlanies from charging you extra or refusing you for a preexisting condition, similarly, matters a whole lot to people who have a diabetic kid and so will never be able to buy insurance again on an open market. (And if you have that law without the mandate, all the health insurance companies go broke.).


That's a long-winded way of saying "People like getting "free" stuff from the government".

It does not alter the reality that government cannot give "free" stuff to everyone. It can't even give "free" stuff to the majority of the people. Because the only way government can give "free" stuff to Paul is by taking it from Peter.

Severn said...

it looks to me like the US healthcare system is broken in some pretty fundamental ways, including the endless cost inflation that will ultimately bankrupt us regardless of how well we fund it.


If healthcare costs are not paid by the government, then they cannot bankrupt us.

NOTA said...

Severn:

Health care costs are a big problem for private companies, as well--my understanding is that a lot of the stagnant wages we hear about all the time are explained by rising health insurance premiums taking up more and more of the payroll money. So while elimniating medicare and medicaid would prevent rising health insurance costs from bankrupting the government, the citizens would still be screwed.

This is why there is a push for socialized healthcare (or some variation like Romney/Obama-care) in the US. Not because we're a country full of socialists, but because it's really expensive and hard to get decent health insurance on your own. When you start talking about cutting or dismantling Medicare, a whole lot of old people correctly infer that the result will be that they get wiped out by medical costs, because essentially nobody in their 60s doesn't have a pre-existing condition or two, and health insurance (reflecting decades of medical cost inflation) is impossibly expensive for 65-year olds with high blood pressure and diabetes. Or for that matter, for a family with one kid with some treatable health problem.

Now, if we have a new program to provide health insurance of some kind to everyone (whether that's medicaid or private insurance with subsidies or some kind of high-deductable catastrophic coverage), we clearly need to pay for it. I think your cost estimate is massively inflated (most people would presumably keep their existing health insurance), but whatever the cost, we would need to pay for it by raising taxes to cover the cost. That is actually what we need to do in general, when we decide we want to spend a bunch of money on something, whether that's providing medical insurance to everyone, or invading Iraq, or whatever.