Sunday, March 19, 2017

Political Thoughts to Ponder

Why does taxing the rich seem so righteous while taxing the poor seems unjust? In ancient Rome, every man owed a month of labor to the State each year. There was no discussion of not being able to pay the tax, but there were discussions on how to buy your way out of it, like hiring a laborer to do your month.

The other day on the news I heard one commentator express their dissatisfaction with giving the rich a tax break. Imagine giving a rich person who pays a million dollars in taxes a 100K tax break. What is wrong with that? Give him a 10% break, and make him feel good. There ought to be some point to where there is a maximum tax on earnings. Put it at 5 million dollars limit on taxes over a lifetime for every taxpayer. Congress has the power to tax, so we know that will never become law.

Then the talk about health insurance. I hear claims that 14 million people will lose their coverage right away. My guess is that these are people under the age of 35 for whom the government mandates have insurance. The health insurers may feel that they have lost 14 million meal tickets, but there is no massive loss of coverage by repealing Obamacare. Most were forced to buy it and they didn’t want it to begin with.

The part of Obamacare that is not insurance, is for previous conditions. If you were too cheap to buy health insurance when you didn’t need it, and now you wish you had it. Or if you feel the emergency room is your free health care provider, then we are talking Obamacare. This is not insurance, insurance is bought to protect you or your family from a future unexpected financial loss.

For most people, going to the ER, is financially painless; they bill you. Many ER units all over the country are closing, they are financially unprofitable and are operating at a loss. I went to the ER one time and after a 6 hour wait got treated and the bill was humongous. I’ve also gone to an Urgent Care unit, and got immediate treatment (after I gave them a credit card). Cost was reasonable. Quite a difference.

Donald Trump has the votes to repeal Obamacare, but might not have the votes to modify it. Kind of makes you wonder. Do we really need government bureaucracy in health care? Think of one thing that government can do better than private industry? The only answer you’ll get is: “Spend more money and get less value in return.” Our government doesn’t make airplanes or hand grenades for a very good reason, the quality would suck.

I remember sitting in a dental office 40 years ago, for a filling, and the dentist came out into the waiting room and ask this hippie to open his mouth. He told the guy that it would cost $250 to fix his tooth and if he didn’t have the cash, he wanted him out of the office because he was tired of working for free. The guy left. I was his next patient and the VA was paying for my work. I don’t like to go to the dentist anyway, and all I could imagine in my mind was a filling in every tooth whether it needed it or not. It turned out OK, two fillings, my imagination is my worst enemy.

The politicians are pandering to the masses. They point to our kids and tell us that we need to do more for them. Food stamps and school lunches allow family resources to be spent for other items like Beer, Cigarettes, Cell Phones, wide TV’s, Gambling and Cable TV. I went to other kids houses as a kid and was confounded when they opened the refrigerator and you would see: two cans of beer, a package of hot dogs and a half gallon of milk and nothing else—no munchies. My parent’s fridge had so much stuff in it that you might not find what you were looking for without spending a lot of time moving stuff around.

The new mission statement in town (i.e. President Trump) is to spend the “average” taxpayer’s money more responsibly. The key word is “average.” These taxpayers want government without the “free ride crap.” You might call it tough love, but they do not want to pay for Welfare Freddie’s 12 pack of beer and cigarettes. The new focus IMHO is on showing the average tax payer that they can expect a better return of value on the taxes they have paid. Of course, if you are a Democrat or a Socialist, this is utter hypocrisy.

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