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jjohn (22)

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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Wednesday January 29, 2003
08:47 AM

Bush Whackin'

[ #10262 ]

Some thoughts on Bush's state of the union.

It's the economy stupid.

And under my plan, as soon as I have signed the bill, this extra money will start showing up in workers' pay cheques.

Instead of gradually reducing the marriage penalty, we should do it now.

Instead of slowly raising the child credit to a thousand dollars, we should send the cheques to American families now.

Payroll taxes contribute to the bulk of federal revenue. Bush wants a costly war in Iraq. Why do I not see the payroll taxes not being cut but increased?

To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million seniors who receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of dividends.

Oh right, it's the seniors who need capital gains cut. Riiight.

And that is a good benchmark for us: Federal spending should not rise any faster than the pay cheques of American families.

Ah compassionate conservativism! Exactly how many congressman were downsized last year to make a fitter, leaner government for the shareholders?

I feel your pain.

It only hurts when I laugh.

To improve our health care system, we must address one of the prime causes of higher costs - the constant threat that physicians and hospitals will be unfairly sued.

Because of excessive litigation, everybody pays more for health care - and many parts of America are losing fine doctors.

So out-of-control health care costs are directly the result of malpractice suits? PriceWaterhouseCoopers doesn't think so (although they do cite it one of the factors).

Smog doesn't kill people -- I do.

I have sent you Clear Skies legislation that mandates a 70% cut in air pollution from power plants over the next 15 years.

The Kyoto plan was deemed harmful to business so instead Bush wants to give a tax break for compliance. The Sierra Club is unconvinced of the efficacy of Bush's plan. (Of course, the Sierra Club is nothing but a pack of dirty hippies.) I hope you bought stock in bottled air.

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  • If by payroll taxes you include income tax, then perhaps you are right, but usually "payroll taxes" refers to the specific taxes for Medicare and Social Security.

    As to the war: he didn't use the words, but the words are "deficit spending." A great many economists believe that a very good way to kickstart a bad economy is to cut taxes and to increase certain spending, which means a budget deficit, which you have to deal with later. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, it makes you wonder about why
    • "We" didn't do more because he gave
      us $300. Not that I can remember what
      I spent that on.
      Were that I say, pancakes?
      • The tax rebate was only a part of it, and hindsight is always 20-20. The federal government increased spending at the same time it gave the tax rebate (for clarity, I don't consider a tax rebate "spending", I consider it what it is: a decrease in revenue; I am talking about increasing the actual budget, not decreasing the amount of money they have to spend on it). Perhaps the tax rebate shouldn't have been given, but surely spending should not have been increased.

        FWIW, we bought a chair with ours.
    • It's not the malpractice insurance, it's the entire industry rotting from the core from extortion/soprano-esque pricing schemes for drugs and pharmaceuticals, severe shortages of qualified nurses and doctors, and an antiquated billing system and records system that creaks under the weight of the load. My mother is a retired MD and even she's shocked that it costs $15 PER PILL for her osteoperosis drugs that she can purchase herself as the medicade $300 per year benefit is pathetic. Bush's talk did nothing t

      • I am not saying those things are not problems. But yes, malpractice insurance is a huge problem, too. You can say it isn't, but a bunch of doctors, who walked out of the last Las Vegas trauma center to move to California where the malpractice awards for pain and suffering are capped at a quarter of a million dollars, say you're wrong. Over 40 percent of ob/gyns in Nevada plan to leave the state.

        In Florida, some doctors are not delivering babies, because $250,000 of coverage costs $200,000.

        Ob/gyns in W.
        • My mother was a doctor with over 40 years experience and she wants socialized medicine and with that much experience in the field I trust she knows more about the problems than most docs pandering to the politicians or you do. It won't be the end of the world but with an aging population there are going to be a lot of people who die for want of basic care as will a lot of children whose parents have no healthcare coverage. Malpractise insurance is just the tip of the iceburg. Spend a few years running triag

          • My mother was a doctor with over 40 years experience and she wants socialized medicine and with that much experience in the field I trust she knows more about the problems than most docs pandering to the politicians or you do.

            So, you are saying the doctors who are saying their malpractice insurance is rising 100%, 200% a year, that they cannot afford the rising cost of it, are ... ignorant? Lying? Which is it?

            I trust these doctors know more about the problems they themselves face than you or your mothe
            • Then they should regulate the insurance industry for doctors just as they regulate it for automobile insurance in New England. It's still not a critical issue for the state of medical care in the US. You should also do some research into what doctors are paying such high premiums, in what areas and in what specialties as most of the doctors and surgeons I grew up with say that the cases in the media are not the norm.

              You had your kid delivered by a midwife so how does reading the news make you an expert on t

              • Because I disagree with you that this is a critical issue, I need to do research? Think on.

                Because I can read and have an opinion, I think I am expert? Think on.
            • Before I begin, I would like to state for the record the futility of my entering this argument. However, I do occasionally tilt windmills.

              Until you show me how the actual evidence I pointed to is incorrect, or means something other than what it appears to mean, I'll have to believe what it says: that doctors are leaving states, or not practicing certain procedures, because the malpractice insurance is too high.

              Malpractice insurance is too high. You and Dubya are correct. High malpractice insurance i

              • That's not the point that I or hfb is making. Malpractice rates are the tip of heath care iceberg that looms directly off our bow [he said nautically].

                And I conceded, several times, including my original post, that there are other issues to be dealt with. So ... ?

                Reforming malpractice law will not solve the general (and arguably more important) problem of universal health coverage (however you define that). My concern, and perhaps that of hfb, is that Bush equates fixing malpractice law alone with fixi
                • : The State of the Union is not the place for detail; if you are a "stupid person," then you couldn't handle the detail anyway

                  Ahhh. That must be why the entire Congress and Senate are present? :-)

                  (I assume they are, I am not 100% sure of this.)

                  • Heh! But no, I don't think they are all present. Consider two things: there are 535 members, and the place is designed for the House, of which there are 435 members. Second, what if a bomb explodes in the chamber? Gotta have continuity!
                    • Second, what if a bomb explodes in the chamber? Gotta have continuity!

                      Quip #1: Silly! That's what the shadow government is for.

                      Quip #2: If a bomb exploded, I'm certain we can dredge up another 500 or so warm bodies to fill the seats.

                      Whatever happened to the great American tradition of distrusting the government []?