The stimulus: Extending a two-year fix to ten.

An interesting debate that doesn’t include taxpayers.

By Jack E. Lohman

I love it. The special interests that are giving money to the Republicans are battling it out with the special interests that give money to the Democrats, all to get a bigger piece of the spoils. And neither have to worry about public opinion because neither have to run for office. But they win every election because they remain in power.

It’s either Democrat pork or Republican pork, but it’s pork nonetheless. We can only hope that Governor Doyle spends our money with jobs and recovery in mind, not the lobbyists.

But when it’s all over the special interests will likely win; the taxpayers will not. Because the politician’s campaigns are funded by the special interests and not the taxpayers, but we’ve known that for years.

But eventually everybody loses, as today’s economy attests.

Look at health care. The only proposal not on the table is the best one, HR676 Medicare-for-all by Rep. John Conyers. That’s because it eliminates the biggest waste, the insurance bureaucracy, and they give hefty campaign contributions to both political parties.

Health care has obvious fixes: get the costly insurance bureaucracy out of the loop; implement a national database to reduce errors and duplicate testing; and increase oversight to eliminate overuse and fraud. There’s a chance the latter two will pass, but that’s because there are no vested interests. The 31% of insurance waste is well worth fighting for, for both sides of the issue.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that this decision was instead being made in the best interest of the people rather than the industry? Though not favored by insurers, the business community should get behind HR676, as it benefits not only them but the economy as a whole.

So President Obama wants to tax the rich?

Yea, I wish I were one of them, but I’m not. I wish I had that problem. But if we want a true recovery it cannot be financed by the poor. They don’t have the money. And if we try it will get worse. The rich must sacrifice some of their wealth, especially the fat cats that got theirs through questionable means.

Tidbits:

  • All of that said, the Republicans blew it on the 2007 bailout and should just shut up. Obstructionism we don’t need.
  • Obama’s stimulus plan is poor, very poor, because the best way to fix it is to eliminate the political corruption. That got us into it, and only its elimination will eliminate it.
  • Roland Burris ought to be impeached for stupidity. We already enough of that in the Senate.
  • Yes, we should provide government refinancing to homeowners that are underwater and were duped into bad loans. Then we must prosecute the dishonest lenders that got us into this mess and prohibit ARMs.
  • Frankly, we should nationalize one bad bank and use its infrastructure to take in the loans on houses in default. If taxpayers are going to eat this cost anyway, let’s minimize it.
  • More H1B visas? We don’t need them but the more foreigners we have in the US the lower the CEOs can pound wages. Microsoft has laid off tens of thousands of hi-tech workers, but still wants to import replacements.
  • As well, by training foreign workers it is easier for them to then open up shop in their country. And they’ve just started giving loads of campaign cash, so they’ll likely get their way.
  • The massive inequality of wealth experienced in the US is no better than that experienced in third-world countries. As more of the national pie is taken from the lower classes and transferred to the top 1%, the closer we get to anarchy.
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    Sorry to rail on about political corruption on every issue, but in fact every taxpayer problem is caused by political corruption. So it has to be talked about, it isn’t going away. Politicians don’t make stupid decisions for free; they are paid to, and do, perform well.

    Campaign cash must flow in order to distort laws, and if it didn’t work to the contributor’s benefit, cash wouldn’t be given. Good laws do not require cash to flow, only bad laws do.

    State taxes spent on subsidies and tax breaks, rather than on schools and firemen and policemen, are just a few examples of the effects. It is a far bigger problem at the federal level. See more at www.WiCleanElections.org.

     

     

    4 Responses to The stimulus: Extending a two-year fix to ten.

    1. Hi Jack,

      I was going to call you and ask what you thought about Obama leaving the insurers in the loop when I ran onto this article.

      Did anything come of the Healthy Wisconsin model?

      I knew when the leading insurance company trade group said Governor Sebelius was the perfect person for the job, that the American people were in for a ride.

    2. I haven’t been following the Healthy Wisconsin efforts as of late, but I understand that it is or has been proposed in the 2009 plan. It is obvious that the Feds are not going to do anything sensible, so the state should take the opportunity.

      Here’s a very interesting Freudian slip coming from the esteemed Senator Max Baucus, the leader of the Dem’s health care initiavive:

      “I think single pay – Merck is not ready for single pay. I mean, America. We are a bit different than people in other countries. We are not Europe. We are not Canada. We are America.”

      So for kicks I looked up Merck’s contributions to congress and found 11 pages of them HERE (enter the image code and click Submit)

      As long as political money is controlling our government, no matter what the issue, the public is screwed.

    3. Hi Jack,

      If we continue down this insane path of debt and exponential growth as the cure-all for what ails America, healthcare will be of little concern.

      Not so long ago when you were my guest on Connecting the Dots, we talked about the very scenario that exists today. We are at the beginning of a long period that will result in reduced tax collection and spiraling state and federal spending. 8th grade math dictates the end results.

    4. No question about it, Mike, and I blame our moneyed political system for it. We would not be where we are today without cash bribes on the political side. They all want to stay in power because it benefits their personal finances and future growth, and they are willing to sell the public assets to stay there.

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