Hey Prez…… your Chickens are coming home to roost!

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June 6, 2009 by torqdog

mslogo-1

Maybe the title should really read “Hey Prez…… your Chickens are leaving the Country”. It didn’t take long for Pres. Obama and his “tax and spend” Ilk to over-reach and threaten corporations with higher taxes. And it didn’t take long for reaction to start pouring in. Microsoft announced this week that if Obama goes through with plans to raise corporate taxes in this country, (we’re already one of the highest in the World) they may respond by moving ops overseas. Geez, that sounds like something the conservatives were warning everyone about during the campaign. You raise taxes and people simply vote with their feet. New Yorkers are experiencing this kind of financially inspired exodus with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump, recent migrants to more fertile soil. Say what you will about those two but money is green and there will now be less of it in New York for the morons in Albany to play with.

So now we may be witnessing the beginning of a similar exodus from this country with Microsoft being the first prominent example. Remember, corporations DON’T pay taxes…… they just pass the charges along in their pricing. Consumers again are the ones paying the bill whether corporate tax rates go up or down. It’s simply economics 101 that some of you must have skipped in school. ;-)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amBiYGyHOkZ8

“June 3 (Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the world’s largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Barack Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.

U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas. Obama says he wants to end such incentives to keep foreign profits tax-deferred so that companies would invest them in the U.S.

Microsoft reported an overall effective tax rate of 26 percent for 2008 in its last annual report. “Our effective tax rates are less than the statutory tax rate due to foreign earnings taxed at lower rates,” the report said.

Barry Bosworth, an economist in Washington at the Brookings Institution research center, said many software companies such as Microsoft have exploited tax and trade rules in the U.S. and other countries to achieve a low overall tax rate.”

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33 thoughts on “Hey Prez…… your Chickens are coming home to roost!

  1. Godless American says:

    Your post makes no sense. If corporations don’t pay taxes, passing it on to consumers, why would they care what the tax rate was?

    The U.S. does not have one of the highest tax rates on corporations if you’re only counting 1st world countries. If we’re only counting countries where people have a quality of life like our own, then we have one of the lowest. Also, one of the lowest education levels, one of the worst health care records, etc. Other countries in our economic bracket have long realized that higher taxes, more benefits and programs for everyone, takes the strain away from corporations having to provide everything to their employees.

    Someday you’ll wake up and stop being scared of the tax monster under your bed. Microsoft isn’t leaving, they’re not going anywhere. You want to help change things for the better, help to stop tax havens being exploited and American citizens being screwed over by corporations that aren’t even paying their share of the taxes right now.

  2. torqdog says:

    “Your post makes no sense. If corporations don’t pay taxes, passing it on to consumers, why would they care what the tax rate was?”
    Simple…… we live in what many consider a “world economy”. If you are paying higher taxes on producing goods than someone producing similar items in a country with lower taxes, it becomes difficult to compete.

    “The U.S. does not have one of the highest tax rates on corporations if you’re only counting 1st world countries.”
    Here’s something you can look at to see just where we stand. Seems as though we ARE way up high on the list. It say’s 15-35% and we all know who is paying the 35%
    link;
    http://www.worldwide-tax.com/

    “If we’re only counting countries where people have a quality of life like our own, then we have one of the lowest.”
    Again, look at the list and see for yourself.

    “Also, one of the lowest education levels”
    And just where would YOU put the blame for that? The “strapping a condom on a cucumber” crowd, “self esteem” educators or an over bloated beaurocracy brought to you by the teachers union who still fight tooth and nail against profiency testing.

    “one of the worst health care records, etc.”
    Yeah, that’s why people who can afford it flock to this country for proceedures. Health care must be great in those Countries with socialized medicine!

    “Other countries in our economic bracket have long realized that higher taxes, more benefits and programs for everyone, takes the strain away from corporations having to provide everything to their employees.”
    I don’t even know where to begin with this…….. 1st off, someone has to pay! There’s no such thing as a free lunch though I’m sure that welfare freeloaders would strongly dsagree.
    Secondly, France and Germany who for years have had mandated working hours and vacations are coming out of the socialist fog as we here in this country are wanting to enter it. If we are to join the ranks of others overseas then why don’t we learn from their mistakes before stupidly trying them out ourselves?
    Thirdly; when you take what was provided by business and turn it over to the Govt. two things happen……
    1) you wind up with a VERY inefficiently run program. Can you tell me of ANY federally run program that is run efficiently? Or how about we take a field trip to our local DMV and see the happy workers, happily working so hard for you (the one’s that pay their salary)! It just can’t happen due to human nature being what it is. Any time you have money “handed” to you rather than having to earn it, it makes you far less cognizant of the value with which you’re dealing.
    2) the Govt’s. percentage of GDP rises drastically which has it’s own repercussions, far too many to deal with here. Last time I checked, Great Britain was sporting a 65% rate of govt. involvement with their GDP numbers. They have Govt. provided healthcare and allot of other sociallistic policies in place. Sure don’t really want to emulate them with their overbloated beaurocracy.

    “Someday you’ll wake up and stop being scared of the tax monster under your bed. Microsoft isn’t leaving, they’re not going anywhere. You want to help change things for the better, help to stop tax havens being exploited and American citizens being screwed over by corporations that aren’t even paying their share of the taxes right now.”
    Sounds a bit like “left-wing” claptrap to me. It’s all the fault of those evil, meanspirited corporations. When are YOU going to wake up and realize that much, if not all of the things that keep you comfortable are brought to you by those same corporations you find despicable.

  3. torqdog says:

    ….. which includes the computer you post with. Can you say MICROSOFT?!!! (whoa, I just went “full circle”) ;-)

  4. Godless American says:

    You’re acting like it’s a black or white issue. Corporations are evil, but with little or no regulation then they take advantage of consumers.

    Your tax chart is an oversimplification of all of the different taxes that are paid by individuals and corporations. It doesn’t include everything, nor does it give information of what those numbers are derived from.

    Where is Microsoft going to run to? To another country that has our standard of living? Well, they’ll be taxed hire then here. Will they go to a cheap third world country? Yeah, and risk losing everything with an unstable government. Your post only shows your fear of corporations, and your willingness to give them all of the power. Don’t upset corporations, oh no, they’ll leave. I’m not buying it. We are in control, not them.

    “When are YOU going to wake up and realize that much, if not all of the things that keep you comfortable are brought to you by those same corporations you find despicable.”
    -Most of the things that “keep you comfortable” are unnecessary and we don’t need them. We’ve become a nation of consumers with little thought as to what items we actually need, and what items we only buy because we’re sold the idea that we need them.

    Health care is only good in America if you are rich enough to afford the best, otherwise you’re screwed. That’s why America has one of the highest birth mortality rates, because our health care system sucks.

    What you call “overbloated beaurocracy” is more of the Reagan claptrap. Government is bad, yadda, yadda, yadda. We are the government; why ignore the system so it only gets worse instead of trying to make government work more for you. The GOP sells the idea that government is bad, and therefore we should vote for them so they’ll do what?… keep it running badly? The government is there to help make sure that special interests don’t run the coop, which they do now, and have for a long time because of people turning their back on government and saying it’s a broken system.

    I want more government involvement, more in health care, more in education, etc. I want corporations to stop having complete control of government, they don’t care about anything but their own bottom lines. There has to be something more that we are striving for then just money. Society needs to progress to a standard of living where there are no homeless people, everyone has health care, and none of us have to worry about life when we are seniors. I think we can do it. If you chose to be pessimistic and throw up your hands and say it’s impossible, then you’re only part of the problem.

  5. Godless American says:

    Correction, corporations aren’t evil. Nor are taxes.

  6. rsr348 says:

    Teacher here. I can comment on the miriad of problems in education. Self-esteem has most definitely been carried too far in the past few decades, to the point where we’ve lowered expectations terribly and can barely discipline without the accusation of emotionally harming the little dears.

    Proficiency testing is not an evil entity if it takes into consideration the population you are dealing with. “No Child Left Behind” is holding teachers and schools responsible for fixing all the problems these poor kids are bringing to school because they have fucked up lives and parents who have barely grown up themselves. At least that’s what I’m dealing with around here. Getting to parents at the birth-to-3 level is one of the most important things we can be doing for kids, so that they are actually ready and capable of learning when they get to school. I hope Obama’s wishes to increase early childhood learning will materialize. There are also many ways to asses learning besides expensive and time-consuming standardized tests. Most union members agree there’s a problem, but Bush Co. did not have the best solution and did not back it up with the needed funding.

    The union protects our professionalism. Without it we will never be treated as professionals, yet we’re always expected to do more and do it better. We’re already pretty much known as evil tax-suckers around here. Our salaries are posted with the inclusion of benefits, so they appear to be larger than they really are. Raises have not matched the cost of living for years now. Nearly any non-teacher who visits my classroom says they could never do it. Yet they pick on us for having summers off. We would lose our sanity if we did not.

    I have mixed feelings about the health-care issue. Still educating myself on that. Mixed feelings about government programs as well, as I deal with
    social service clients on a regular basis, and have become a bit of a conservative in that area.

    There’s my rant. Sorry, I know it addresses only a tiny part of your post, but I needed to vent. On that note, I raise my brewskie to Saturday night!

  7. torqdog says:

    Godless, I want to compliment you on the civility of your discourse here. Lord knows there seems to be less and less of that in today’s political landscape. I would and will respond but like rsr348 said…… it’s brewski time and I have to also manage the BBQ as we have company on it’s way for dinner.

    Catch you tomorrow. :-)

  8. torqdog says:

    “You’re acting like it’s a black or white issue. Corporations are evil, but with little or no regulation then they take advantage of consumers.”

    Agreed, (I saw you corrected yourself on the “evil” part) there does need to be some regulation otherwise we wind up with toys that have lead paint on them. However, too much regulation such as the stiff CAFE standards just announced can prove to be overburdensome and you wind up with a GM or Chrysler. Yes I know those two had it coming with a whole myriad of problems.

    “Your tax chart is an oversimplification of all of the different taxes that are paid by individuals and corporations. It doesn’t include everything, nor does it give information of what those numbers are derived from.”

    No, but it does give you a general idea of where we stand and it also very much disproves you assertion that we are one of the lowest.

    “Where is Microsoft going to run to? To another country that has our standard of living? Well, they’ll be taxed hire then here. Will they go to a cheap third world country? Yeah, and risk losing everything with an unstable government. Your post only shows your fear of corporations, and your willingness to give them all of the power. Don’t upset corporations, oh no, they’ll leave. I’m not buying it. We are in control, not them.”

    Ireland has a pretty low Corp. rate and last time I checked they were not in the 3rd world category. I believe that Ireland has done well in attracting business with their new found realization that low taxes ENCOURAGE business!

    “-Most of the things that “keep you comfortable” are unnecessary and we don’t need them. We’ve become a nation of consumers with little thought as to what items we actually need, and what items we only buy because we’re sold the idea that we need them.”

    Well, I don’t know about you but I do realize that EVERYTHING we use is sourced from a corporation. The toaster, oven and range, refrigerator are just a few but the big daddy of them all is electricity. They say we’re only one Neutron bomb away from a 90% kill-off of humanity in this country.

    “Health care is only good in America if you are rich enough to afford the best, otherwise you’re screwed. That’s why America has one of the highest birth mortality rates, because our health care system sucks.”

    The birth rate thing is a much more complicated thing than what you’re trying to portray. Once again I will ask, if the health care here “sucks” as you put it then why is it still the place where people from other countries with state run system, flock here for proceedures. Something just doesn’t jive!

    “I want more government involvement, more in health care, more in education, etc.”

    So I guess you don’t have a problem with throwing good money down a rat-hole of inefficiency. Not good!

    “I want corporations to stop having complete control of government, they don’t care about anything but their own bottom lines.”

    They have no more “control” of Govt. than many of the other special interests that run Wash. The environmentalists have a pretty good grip on power in D.C. but you probably don’t care about that because everything they do is “noble”. The “bottom line” IS profit in a free market society. Once again, economics 101.

    “Society needs to progress to a standard of living where there are no homeless people, everyone has health care, and none of us have to worry about life when we are seniors.”

    I’m afraid that this eutopia you seek has been tried time and time again. It’s called SOCIALISM and EVERYWHERE it’s been inacted, it has failed miserably. Sorry, someone has to pay for all that stuff and it’s logistically impossible to have things all rosey like you dream of. Think about it!

  9. bill says:

    Randy the Torq Dog said:”I’m sure that welfare freeloaders would strongly disagree.”

    There are no bigger “welfare freeloaders” than corproate America, Randy. It’s not about taxing them to oblivion and forcing them off-shore. It’s about tax equity and fairness. You probably pay more in taxes than a corporation in your neighborhood that got tax incentives and redevelopment (taxes) money and tax breaks for building in your neighborhood and hiring locals.

    It’s ingrained in our economics and our culture. And it’s wrong. When the banks were taking T.A.R.P. funds from the Dying Bush Administration last fall, they had the fu&cking nerve to continue employing lobbyists to hammer Congress for breaks. The Congress that had just given them $350 billion dollars of taxpayer funds.

    It’s not Obama’s fault, Randy. It’s much more compex and buried into the past 50 years than to place the responsibility on one man’s shoulders. Especially the guy who’s batting clean-up. I blame Bill Clinton’s NAFTA activities far beyond what Barack has said or done toward the offshoring situation.

  10. bill says:

    (And can we please stop cutting and pasting entire rants from a third source as comments?)

    Finally from the “You Cannot Be Serious” dept…”It’s called SOCIALISM and EVERYWHERE it’s been inacted, it has failed miserably.’

    Yeah, TD, and our form of Capitalism has been a smashing success.

    Dude! WTF?

  11. torqdog says:

    My buddy Bill said; “Yeah, TD, and our form of Capitalism has been a smashing success.

    Dude! WTF?”

    Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s been a “smashing success” but it beats hands down anything else we’ve tried throughout Human history. Can you name me one notable item developed for civilians in the USSR when it was a socialist/communist country? How about Cuba? (Cigars don’t count ;-)

    Capitalism creates competition which creates stuff……. stuff that has made us an economic superpower. If capitalism is soooooo bad as I percieve you are asserting, then why is it that we are still the #1 place that people from other countries try to immigrate to. I don’t think it’s the welfare and freebies that are the main attraction.

    Bill, there’s no perfect system….. PERIOD! But given the choice between capitalism and socialism, it’s a no-brainer.

  12. Godless American says:

    @torqdog
    It doesn’t have to be a pure system one way or the other. We already have socialized government systems in America: fire department, police dept., Medicaid, Social Security, etc. America has been teetering on a good mix of capitalism and socialism for a long time. This obviously isn’t an adequate mix, corporations have too much power instead of the people. The lobbyists are representing corporate interests. The environmentalists do not have a strong lobby comparatively to oil, insurance, pharmacutical, military contractors, etc. Our priorities are in the wrong place.

  13. torqdog says:

    My buddy Bill said; “There are no bigger “welfare freeloaders” than corproate America, Randy. It’s not about taxing them to oblivion and forcing them off-shore. It’s about tax equity and fairness. You probably pay more in taxes than a corporation in your neighborhood that got tax incentives and redevelopment (taxes) money and tax breaks for building in your neighborhood and hiring locals.”

    Don’t know enough to comment on what’s going on around here but having listened to many economists recently when asked about this corporate welfare stuff, they quite often make the same point you made in your last sentence. Tax breaks are usually instituted for a reason, like construction and job creation as you mentioned being just a couple of examples. Heck, one of the biggest tax breaks we ALL benefit from is the mortgage deduction. That was instituted to promote home ownership and sales. Using the same anology, the “lower” rent you pay for your apartment can be attributed to corporate welfare. Take away that mortgage deduction your landlord receives and I guarantee your rent will go up……. way up! The Govt. gets richer at YOUR expense because you know as well as I that your landlord ain’t and probably can’t eat the difference.

    Tax breaks aren’t neccessarily bad. Once again I point out that we, not the corporations pay the taxes by higher pricing on goods and services. They will make a profit regardless of how much and what way they are taxed, otherwise there’s no point in them doing business. Competition should and does keep profit margins reasonable, assuring us the best deal possible. Economics 101. Take away the tax breaks and the Govt. gets richer while the citizens get poorer through higher pricing.

    The original premise of this thread was not neccessarily a discussion of corporate welfare though I do realize it is an integral part of the final equation, no, it was to point out that US based Corporations that are taxpayers here may soon leave if the business climate deteriorates. Microsoft was just the first to announce their intentions. Some have said “they’ll never leave”. I don’t think we really want to call that bluff.

    BTW; your continuing to look back negatively as the reasoning to justify the extreme amount of spending through Porkulus and TARP Obama has pushed is counterproductive. You seem to have been taken in by the crisis propaganda that has been perpetuated by this administration. Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton have both been quoted as saying “never let a crisis go to waste. It allows you to do things that you normally couldn’t get done”. The trillions spent have not had the promised effect on the economy…… remember the mantra of “shovel ready jobs” and the scare tactic used when the stimulus bill was being discussed of how if passed, unemployment would peak at around 8% but if it wasn’t passed it would go over 9%. Well, it passed and unemployment is at 9.4% In fact, some argue the stimulus may be causing problems in and of their own. I may post something tomorrow detailing this assertion

  14. torqdog says:

    Godless said; “America has been teetering on a good mix of capitalism and socialism for a long time. This obviously isn’t an adequate mix, corporations have too much power instead of the people. The lobbyists are representing corporate interests. The environmentalists do not have a strong lobby comparatively to oil, insurance, pharmacutical, military contractors, etc. Our priorities are in the wrong place.”

    Ok, looking at this and some of your previous posts, your answer seems to be to grow the Govt. WAY bigger than it is now by instituting all these programs and nationalizing health care. How does that give you that “power to the people” thing you have twice mentioned. Does that 60% ownership of GM make you feel liberated somehow? All it does is make the Govt. more powerful which has a side effect of diminishing the power of the people.

    The Russian Revolution was supposed to bring power to the people. The end result was a VERY powerful Govt. with the people standing in bread lines. We’re seeing more and more every day the results of what socialized medicine looks like in Britain, Canada, France and most notably, Cuba (remember Sicko?). In Canada, simple proceedures like cat-scans can take months of waiting before getting in. Then, if something non life threatening is found like a torn rotator cuff, you may wait months again before getting into a Doctor for treatment. In Great Britain, older women with advanced Breast Cancer are simply told to go home and die. They even have a “National Rationing Body” which determines who gets what, which proceedures are used etc. etc. But hey, everyone gets that initial doctor visit, right?!!! I guess the Bum on the street likes it but you do realize that the Bum on the street CAN’T be turned away from an emergency room NOW in THIS country don’t you?

    I just get very nervous when people are so willing to put so much trust in the Govt. when they (the govt.) have proven themselves time and time again to be so untrustworthy.

  15. bill says:

    Ok, Randy, rather than focusing on “enemy” socialist states like the Soviet Union or Cuba, how about Sweden or Finland or The Netherlands?How about Norway, which grew its cradle-to-grave welfare state at a time others were decrying growing government. They had an 11% budget surplus last year while we wallowed in loudly failed capitalism.

    Or Denmark, where Danes pay 2/3 of their annual salary to taxes. Many of the things they need for survival are provided by the government, naturally, or they all would have moved to Florida by now.

  16. bill says:

    I’m not advocating abandoning capitalism, but I think Godless American has a point, among others, that it’s not black and white. It may require a mix going forward just to survive.

    What I don’t care for are the sidleline monkeys throwing their shit at the team carrying the ball.

    I shudder using a talking point to make a simple point, but we tried it the other way and it failed. No, wait! It failed horribly! Gee, I don’t mean to look backward, unless, of course, we’re trashing Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, but we got what we got with total Republican control of the country from 2000 to 2006-08.

    There are those Fox News-type pundits who are going insane trying to show that Obama purposely put GM into bankruptcy so that plants would have to close down in certain states where Republicans would lose more of the electorate in the next elections. Just pure bullshit that’s designed to misinform the already misinformed.

    Now, Boss Limbaugh and Newtie Gingrich are calling for a boycott of GM products because the gummint owns it. WTF? Don’t buy American because we had to bail out one of the biggest industries in the world? Why do I think that if Obama let it fail, like many so-called conservatives claim he should have, the voices of the sideline choir would be condemning him for lost jobs, lost economic power, blah, blah, blah.

  17. Godless American says:

    torqdog

    It’s interesting that you mention “Sicko” because I saw it too and we both have different conclusions based on it. What I saw was that the American health care cared nothing about people, only about money. While all of the other countries shown actually cared about caring for people. What a novel idea.

  18. torqdog says:

    Bill, so the Danes pay 2/3rds of their income in taxes? It’s now wonder they can’t move to Florida…… they don’t have any disposable income. ;-)

    A question……. if socialism oriented EU govts. are so desirable as you propose, then how do you read the results of the EU Parliamentary election last week?

  19. torqdog says:

    Can’t agree with you on the Fox thing Bill. Haven’t seen it as you “described” on any of the three pundit shows. What I have seen are a few segments where they had both sides represented…… not at all like what you put forth. What I did see that was interesting was an interview with the GM/Chrysler Auto dealer in Wash DC. He’s a DEMOCRAT and he’s on “the list” of dealerships to be liquidated or whatever they’re calling it. He claims to have voted for Obama but is not happy with much of what he has done on the economic front. Fortunately, he owns other franchises at his auto-mall so he will survive, unlike some of the others…….. many of whom were turning a profit.

    I personally don’t buy into the “selective” conspiracy theory. If you tally up ALL the dealers in this country, I’m sure an overwhelming number are gonna be registered Repubs. Remember, it’s the party of rich white males. ;-) So it’s only mathmatically probable that an overwhelming number of disenfranchised franchisers are gonna be Repubs.

    Where do you get your Fox News info? Maybe we’re just not watching the same shows.

  20. torqdog says:

    Godless said; “While all of the other countries shown actually cared about caring for people. What a novel idea.”

    Pure propaganda from the master Michael Moore. Anyone that can portray Cuba as having a better system is truly a master at deception. Rather than take for granted what he said, look it up for yourself. There are many examples of what I described. Here, I made it easy for you by googling “national rationing body”. Open this link to see the many examples of what nationalized health care looks like in real life. I dare ya!
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=national+rationing+body&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    Just go and take a look at what “caring for people” looks like. Then tell me how you think our socialized plan will differ. They ALL go down this road in one form or another eventually. Then people start coming to America for treatment. Ya wanna be like them? Problem is, there will be no where left to turn to. People WILL die unneccessarily.

    But hey…… everyone will get that initial Doctor visit.

  21. Godless American says:

    torqdog,

    I understand your hesitation against Cuba. Consider this, I’m a teacher of English as a second language. One of my students right now has a daughter living in Cuba that she just went to visit. She wouldn’t stop talking about how great it was because, as she said, she saw no homeless people anywhere because everyone had government housing, at the minimum, and everyone had health care and didn’t have to worry about being sick, or taking care of their elderly parents, etc. She still said she loved America, but she said there were a lot of things she loved about Cuba and she was considering moving there.

    Now, I’m not moving to Cuba, but there is a small part of my patriotic mind that balks at the idea that Cuba could be doing anything better then us, yet it seems that it is.

    Basically, it comes down to this. I think America can do better. I think we can keep our way of living and still insure that every single person has health care. I think it’s possible, and the numbers I’ve seen say it’s definitely possible. We need to cut out the waste, the middle men, the greed and we’ve got ourselves a working system. The medical community will not do this on their own if profit is the only motivation, we’ve already seen how that works out.

  22. torqdog says:

    Godless,

    Did you look at all those examples on the Google search page of what nationalized health care looks like in practice?

    Profit is NOT the ONLY motivating factor……… competition is right in there too. Like anything else in a free market, you lose when you become uncompetitive which is one of THE main downfalls of socialized medicine. There’s no competition so it becomes bloated with inefficiencies and the people ultimately suffer.

    Can’t really speak to the homeless situation as I have never been there and not much news filters out. I would surmise that you may not have a visable homeless problem but what is the average income? I would venture to say that the majority of the populace is living in comparitive poverty based upon other similar countries that have gone down that road.
    People in this country don’t realize how good they have it. Poverty means you only have two TVs instead of four. Poverty means you only have one car instead of two or three. Poverty means you can flick a switch and turn on the lights. Poverty means you don’t have to go out and gather firewood to cook your next meal. Go to ANY third world country and you will quickly realize that poverty in this country would be considered a comfy lifestyle. Heck, the presidents Kenyan brother George lives in an 8×10 Hut with no running water or electricity.
    http://www.jackbook.com/sexy-news/george-obama-hut-living-in-a-hut

    Now THAT’S poverty!!!

  23. billie789 says:

    Hey, Godless, I checked out your blog. Thanks for participating.

  24. torqdog says:

    Jane, these same tactics have been used (unfortunately with success) in countries that have gone the route of nationalized health care. Cost savings, coverage for everyone etc. etc. etc. Once again I’ll post the link to the Google search page for “National Rationing Body”, the beaurocracy that determines what drugs are to be dispensed, what proceedures are to be allowed and at what age is considered too old. This is going on right now! The Govt. determining who lives and dies is scary stuff when you get down to it!

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=national+rationing+body&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

    Look at the countless articles and tell me why that system would be an improvement.

  25. bill says:

    Hey, Randy, c’mon!

    Corporate insurers in this country are deciding who lives and who dies now and millions of Americans are without ANY insurance, nationlized or otherwise, because of the incompetency and greed in our current system.

    I watched a local story on the news last night of an elderly guy who had to spend his ENTIRE Social Security check of just over $1,000 on 2 prescriptions over the week-end. When a Good Samaritan walked him out to his car from the pharmacy, the poor old guy broke down and started crying about being broke because of prescriptions just to stay alive.

    I guess he just needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps and stop whining.

    This is unbelievable! I secure and administer health insurance for our staff and I see the individual bills that are going unpaid because a corporate insurer decided a procedure was or wasn’t necessary. Or perhaps they agreed it was necessary, but they still aren’t going to pay for it. Ever try to get mental health therapy? Insurers in this country make you pay for it yourself up to your deductible, then only cover a portion for up to a maximum number of visits, usually less than 10. My own health care expense for 2008 was over $150,000 for three hospital stays with procedures. When you check in for a procedure or even a test, the first thing they want is your insurance card. No card? Fine. Here, take these financial hardship papers home, fill them out and we’ll review them and consider whether or not you QUALIFY for assistance.

    Ask yourself this: If this country had no minorities, no active immigrant situation and it’s just all Northern European decendents, would you care if the government managed at least one optional health care plan to off set and compete with the ridiculous, profit-fueled systems we have in place now?

    Just think of this: Our insurance companies will pay for Viagra, but not birth control. How F*CKED UP is that?

  26. torqdog says:

    No Bill, you go to Planned Parenthood to get your birth control, courtesy of the Govt. You know that, silly boy! ;-)

    In all seriousness, I understand what you’re saying. I’ve heard much in the passed few days to make me question how it is we’ve gotten to this state of affairs. Just a few years ago there was something like 500 govt. mandated proceedures the insurers HAD to cover. Things like pap smears, colonoscopies etc. Now there are something like 2500 and this is one of the things that drives up the costs. Another thing that has really screwed up the way hospitals do business is the trial lawyers. Today, Pres Obama said something to the effect of cutting back the number of tests and proceedures Doctors perform as if it was solely done for the purpose of increasing revenue. I think you must be aware that anytime someone has died or become seriously ill and it could be implicated (notice I didn’t say proven) that there might have been a different outcome, had just another test or proceedure been performed. What’s gonna happen with that? I can’t see Obama going against the trial Lawyers.

    I can’t say that either of those examples are unneccesary. Given no guidelines, insurers would be far less willing to commit to funding tests and proceedures that might be considered “cutting edge”, which most all start as when they first come on the scene. The trial lawyer thing I’m a little less sympathetic about. They’d sue their own Mother if they thought there was something to be gained from it. However, I’m sure there have been occasions where it’s been warranted (sueing the Hospital that is, not the Mother).

    That’s terrible what happened to that old fella. Didn’t he know about Walmart and their four dollar prescriptions? :-)

    All in all it’s a complicated mess for sure. I just can’t see the Govt. doing us any better, given all the Drug and proceedure rationing horror story examples where it’s been implemented eleswhere. I don’t believe for a minute that the Govt. is going to come in and “compete” with private insurers. There’s no way the insurers could compete and that would simply be a back door recipe to their folding and going away. Obama knows this and is just trying to soft sell the idea of govt. involvement. Apparently he must have seen the recent polling numbers showing Americans becomming increasingly skeptical about any govt. involvement in this arena. That’s why he wants to get this done so soon.

    I’d hate to see us throw away an imperfect system, one that is still considered THE jewel in the world (why else would they flock here?), for one that is even less perfect.

    But hey!……. everyone will get that initial Doctor visit. I’m “feeling” better already!

  27. Godless American says:

    torqdog

    ??????????????”Jewel of the world.”

    What are you talking about, we are the laughing stock of every civilized nation on this planet when it comes to healthcare. Yes, there are procedures here not available in other places; there are also procedures in other countries not available here because it wouldn’t make anyone any money. The only people that love our healthcare are the rich, because they have it whenever they want it. That’s it, no one else. The rest that think we have it good, only think that way because they’ve never had anything different. Healthcare in America is awful, unless you’re rich.

  28. torqdog says:

    Godless;

    I totally disagree with your assertion. My Father who is anything but rich has been in and out of the hospital for years. Fortunately, he’s with the Kaiser medical plan and it has been nothing short of wonderful.

    I’m anything but rich and I am generally happy with my coverage. Could it be better?……. sure! I’d love it if there were no deductables, everything was TOTALLY covered and when the Doc wrote me a prescription for Oxycoton, DAMN-IT, that’s what the pharmacy would give me. I just know by the countless horror stories from other countries that it could and would be allot worse once you get the Govt. involved so I’ll continue to suffer with my inadequate coverage. ;-)

    “Jewel of the World”? Maybe that was a poor discription. However, once again when you have people who, as you eluded to, can afford it, flocking to this country from others with the govt. run variety of health care, it speaks volumes as to the lousy, inefficient nature of those systems.

    As I mentioned to Bill, iyt’s a very complicated matter. I’m not sure of what the best solution is. I do know that where govt run healthcare has been instituted there are generally two outcomes;
    1) heathcare is adequate but the costs are way, way higher than what everyone thinks is too expensive here. These systems are usually found in countries with extremely high rates of taxation
    2) healthcare is very inadequare with rationing boards determining what proceedures, drugs and who is worthy of coverage. Canada and Great Britain are two shining examples of why this road should not be persued. These countries are NOT good places to grow old in and waiting periods have been known to kill others.

    Once again I will say the issue is complicated. I am just not ready to go down a road that has proven itself to be rocky and untrustworty.

    A question, what did we all do collectively say 50 or 60 years ago? You didn’t hear the cries for universal coverage yet we all seemed to survive……. or did we?

  29. bill says:

    I encourage you to see “Sicko” if you haven’t already. Ragardless of whether you approve of Michael Moore’s methods, politics or find him personally repulsive, that movie contains historical facts about how current healthcare formats in America came into being not 50 or 60 years ago, but 40 years ago under Richard Nixon. He thought he was doing a good thing by recruiting and helping create corporate healthcare providers. For a brief time, it worked. Then trial lawyers and corporate greed came oozing out from under the floorboards and we are stuck with the result now.

    Sicko points out that we’ve tried the corporate, private healthcare option and it has failed us after 40 years.

    You wanna talk deductibles? There’s a great scene of Moore interviewing everyday Canadian citizens in a waiting room at a clinic. He asks about deductibles and no one knows what he’s talking about. When he asks what their portion of the bill will be (ours is typically 80/20), again, no one knows what he’s talking about because they don’t have deductibles or co-pays.

    And in another clinic, he finds Americans who cross the border for healthcare.

  30. Godless American says:

    torqdog

    OK, so your experience is good. Let me give you mine. My father has been a corrections officer for 25 years, he also has cancer and even with his state insurance the bills are piling up. When he retires, he loses his medical benefits. My wife has Rheumatoid Arthritis, diagnosed at 30. We have no insurance (nor can she get any with her condition), when she sees the doctor they prescribe pills that are destructive to her liver and her immune system; pills that aren’t used in any other civilized country. When my wife researched the procedures used by Canada, England, etc. she asked her doctor if she could get those pills they use which do not have these harmful side effects. Nope, can’t do it. Why? Because it wouldn’t make a profit. The medication she wants is incredibly cheap, and is widely available in other countries and therefore no one owns the patent, i.e. no one can make a lot of money from it.

    The pharmecutical companies lobbyists, the doctors that care about money over patient care, and the entire profit based system should not exist when we are talking about people’s medical well-being. Profit should have nothing to do with it. That doesn’t mean I’m against compensation. People should justly be paid for their work. When profit is the motivator, then people lose out.

    This isn’t rocket science. Would you make the same argument that the police force isn’t doing well because there isn’t competition? Should we privatize them? How about the fire department? Why not the roads too, if you want to drive down any given street you’ll have to pay those construction companies themselves. No, that’s insanity and society has progressed to understand that these systems work better under a communal direction, not individual. Health care should be in the same boat. People shouldn’t have to worry about changing jobs, losing jobs, retiring, their family left behind after their death and keeping a sustainable healthcare. We need a blanket system that people can rely on; leave the private option available for those that want it, allow the rest of us to join together communally and pool our resources so we all have healthcare. Just like we all have police protection, an on-call fire department, road construction, etc.

  31. Stu says:

    Great discussion! I very much appreciate the tone of the debate as well. Strong points from all sides yet it has not become personal. Very enjoyable read. Thank you

    • torqdog says:

      Yeah Stu….. this has been an enjoyable excursion. This thread has also morphed into an all healthcare thread. I think we should just start a BS Healthcare Thread since this is going to be debated for some time to come.

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