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It's a weekend, so I figure I'll take the liberty to explain a bit about why I seem to confuse some as to whether I'm a liberal or a conservative. I would probably classify myself as more interested in what is fair (seems to be increasingly rare today).

I guess, though I've avoided the topic since I started posting on the Fools, it's time to explain a bit about my personal philosophy as apparently some have become confused by my stances.

My belief on taxes is that enough taxes should be collected to pay for the level of services that we demand from our country.

In order to understand my view of taxes, it helps to understand that my views of the economic strata of this country go back to what I learned in school, adjusted for inflation.

Simplistically I'll separate these by assets, rather than earnings (but the taxes would be on earning - which can be usually projected from the asset base).

At the top of the food chain are the "multi-millionaires" (those whose assets would have been a couple of million bucks or more when I was a kid). Today they are referred to by banks as "Ultra High Net Worth" individuals and are now presumed to have assets (excluding primary residency) in excess of $25-$30 million US (depending on the bank). They can afford servants.

The intermediate class of "millionaire" seems to be missing today.

The next identified tranche is "high net worth" which the banks usually define as individuals with assets of $5 million or more (excluding primary residence. These are not wealth enough to hire full time servants (in the US, at least) and, consisting of lawyers, doctors, many financial types, small and medium sized business owners, etc. make up the tranche which was known previously as "middle class". This class has always been less than 5% of the total population (usually 2-3%).

The vast majority of Americans belong to what used to be called "working class", but nowadays is called the "middle class". This change of name is important as it has changed consumers to striving to attain the trappings associated with middle class by overextending themselves. It has also been more successful in increasing US consumer sales than placing "rinse and repeat" on the labels of shampoos.

Below this tranche are the "working poor" - those who work for a living, but whose salary does not allow them the luxury of owning those trappings of our society which are expected: cell phone, car, plasma TV and so on.

At the lowest rung are those who, for one reason or another, do not have employment and are on public assistance of one sort or another.

Before discussing how to pay for the services, we have to decide what to prioritize as a society.

1) Every civilized government on earth has a national health program. In general these provide excellent care at no direct cost to the patient. They are efficiently run with cost of pharmaceuticals and appliances negotiated by the government to be as low as possible. In many countries pharmacists can prescribe for most simple medical events and doctors used for more necessary tasks. Doctors are well enough compensated to live at a somewhat higher than standard lifestyle (but their life is more predictable and less stressful because they are generally not held liable for medical malpractice). Hospitals are compensated well enough to provide professional, clean care, but expensive pieces of diagnostic equipment (such as MRI's CAT scans and so on are generally shared by all the hospitals in a community. When Japan's government cut down the reimbursement on CAT scans, Toshiba responded by building lower priced units. Our current "attempt" at a national program is a travesty which serves the purposes of the health insurance companies, rather than our population (or even our hospitals).

2) We have had a number of very successful decades (say two generations) of social programs designed to level the playing field based on race. Somehow "minority status" has expanded to include close to a majority. Somehow Asians are a minority in the US, but Albanians are not. We have a president who is half minority, and many who claim status if they are 1/4, 1/8 or whatever. At this stage of the game, it is economic status which should be far more important when it comes to assistance than race, religion, sex or so on. This does not mean we should relent on laws which forbid discrimination, but rather that our preferences for assistance change towards those who most need it today (rather than those who needed it 50 years ago).

2) Free higher education for those who score well academically is important. We currently have an educational system which has become so expensive that it is a burden for many to attend. The very wealthy can afford school and the poor are assisted. The talented caught in the middle have problems. While we cannot force high quality private schools to change their policies, I truly believe that all public colleges should be free (or charge nominally) to all students whose national test scores (SAT's) exceed the 75th percentile. We should offer incentives to those entering technical subjects such as engineering and the sciences as these will be the areas most likely to generate future national growth.

3) Food assistance programs should only cover the cost of foods which are "good for you". They should not cover cheese "product", sugary foods (anything with a prize in the box probably isn't even food) and so on. If we have a health problem with obesity, diabetes and such in this country, curing it at this level will help keep health costs in check.

4) The indigent should receive public assistance to a better than subsistence level, but not including luxuries (such as cell phones).

5) The government should, as part of it's communications franchise agreements provide high speed inexpensive internet on a national basis. While provided through utilities in Europe, connection is universal, much higher speed and far cheaper than in the US. While each of our phone bills has a "Universal Service" charge on it, no one seems to have thought about using it for this purpose.

6) While we need a military, we need to resist the temptation to get embroiled in wars which do not justify the expense in money and lives. We have recently spent a great deal of money fighting two wars - the first in Iraq where the "winner" was Iran and the second in Afghanistan where there is no winner and no particular objectives (other than the relocation of terrorist training camps) seems to have been accomplished). The theory that this budget is never allowed to be cut should be taking in the context of what our military's mission is and how best to accomplish it.

It is important to realize that all it means when the federal government cuts aid to states is that state taxes will have to be increased to compensate if people want to retain the same level of service. Screaming by governors seems ludicrous as it really doesn't matter to me which government I pay my taxes to.

Of course there's lots more to spend money - these are just a couple that come to mind.

So now come where we pay for this. Before we begin, it's important to realize that, under today's estate tax rules, the wealth basically give over half their net worth to the federal government when they kick the bucket. They contribute without cap to Medicare and then pay close to four times what everyone else does to participate. That said, they can afford to pay a somewhat higher percentage towards income tax than others, but it is important to realize that this country was not formed with a social contract which included wealth distribution - in fact with the opposite position in mind. We are simply paying for shared services when we pay taxes, not charity from the wealthy to the middle class.

So I've already drawn the tranche lines above. In my mind, there should be NO deductions (none, nada). Income is income (doesn't matter the source, be it wages, dividends, interest, rent or whatever). A flat tax on the (current) middle class, a 5% surcharge on the "high net worth" tranche and an additional 5% on the "ultra-high net worth" tranche. The working poor would get nothing. Those on unemployment for greater than 26 weeks would have to work at a public service oriented job at a compensation level equal to their unemployment insurance. If they are truly interested in working, but there are no jobs available to suit them, at least we, as a society, should benefit from our generosity.

The tax rate will be adjusted to cover our expenses. If this is not sufficient, a national "value added tax" (sales tax) of 10% will be added to all purchases excluding food.

Everybody's nominal percentage of income tax will be reduced. Everybody's contribution towards taxes will increase (in the case of those who consume a lot, like the wealthy, this may be by a lot). Will the middle class pay more taxes? Yeah, so what - at least they will get a great deal of benefit from them. Will the rich pay more? Of course. Are the poor protected - yeas, they will have housing, not only not starve, but be forced to eat healthier food.

Those of our citizens who live outside our borders (since Medicare doesn't work there, our military doesn't protect us, etc., etc.) would (like the citizens of every other nation on earth) be able to chose whether to pay US taxes or those of the country of our residency.

Yes, I know this sounds like Europe. So what - we have some good ideas, but so do they.

Obviously, since I want services to go up for everyone, I'm not a "conservative" as the word is used today. As I want taxes to increase for everyone and to end Affirmative Action for minorities as it exists today (though it will be replaced with a similar program for the financially disenfranchised) it would be hard to call me a liberal. Both political parties would blanch at what I've outlined above, so I guess I am an Independent.

We are the "home of the brave", but we are far from being in "the land of the free". Until we have a major rethinking of what our priorities are and how best to achieve them, we will be tools for others who have their own agendas and manipulate us for their benefit.

Jeff
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Thanks for putting OT, but this just seems to be opening the door to politics on the board.
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Jeff for POTUS!

I seem to confuse some as to whether I'm a liberal or a conservative. I would probably classify myself as more interested in what is fair (seems to be increasingly rare today).

It's called being an American. I also confuse some here whether I am pro or anti "big government"

My belief on taxes is that enough taxes should be collected to pay for the level of services that we demand from our country.

Blindingly obvious, but the mob has been brainwashed for the last 30 years that they can get services without paying tax by either taking it away from their neighbor, or from the trickle down economics tooth fairy.

Every civilized government on earth has a national health program.

Agreed.

...that our preferences for assistance change towards those who most need it today

Agreed, with the proviso that there needs to be some means of redress as bigotry is alive and well in the US, but the targets have changed. Now, the hate is targeted on Hispanics and Muslims.

Free higher education for those who score well academically is important.

Maybe not free, but affordable. And "affordable" does not mean a student loan in five figures that will hold a person back for the next 20 years. In the 70s, I could easily make enough from a part time job to cover tuition, books and fees at a state university. Today, I faint at the costs.

The government should, as part of it's communications franchise agreements provide high speed inexpensive internet on a national basis. While provided through utilities in Europe, connection is universal, much higher speed and far cheaper than in the US. While each of our phone bills has a "Universal Service" charge on it, no one seems to have thought about using it for this purpose.

Actually, AT&T has proposed exactly that remissioning of the universal service fee, of course T's proposal also has the government subsidizing the buildout of the network that T would profit from.

They contribute without cap to Medicare and then pay close to four times what everyone else does to participate.

Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to just eliminate these sham "trust funds" and just fund everything from general revenue? If you are retired, disabled, or unemployed, you get a benefit from Social Security. If you need medical care, you receive assistance from Medicare. But all the money comes from general revenue.

A flat tax on the (current) middle class, a 5% surcharge on the "high net worth" tranche and an additional 5% on the "ultra-high net worth" tranche.

A graduated tax actually does violate the principle of equal protection under the law. I'd like to see someone run the numbers on a flat tax, with a large exclusion at the bottom, that everyone would receive, regardless of income or status. Say a marginal rate of a flat 30%, with the first $20,000 excluded. All income taxed the same, regardless of source, and no deductions, as you propose. So a waitress making $20K/yr pays no tax. A union factory worker making $40K/yr only pays on his income above $20K, so his effective tax rate is 15% of total income. A while collar worker making $60K, again, only pays on income about $20K, so his effective tax rate is 20% of total income. A financial speculator who pulls in $40M/yr in capital gains pays tax on $39,980,000, for an effective tax rate of 29.985%.

Jeff for POTUS!

OK...that's two votes for equality before the law, vs the other 300M that have been brainwashed by Fox News.

Steve
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2) We have had a number of very successful decades (say two generations) of social programs designed to level the playing field based on race

Jeff,

the statement is very vague. If you mean welfare, then you are talking generally about deadbeat young white women who make very bad choices in white boys. Boys who run off when the kids are coming along.

It has nothing to do with race.


If you are talking of much smaller initiates then you are wrongly looking at the small pieces of the puzzle and lumping them in with welfare.

There is a push now in the cities of Connecticut to have gangs answer for any shootings. If a gang member kills then the whole gang and all their activities come under investigation....the book is thrown at them. The gangs are getting a huge heads up that this will be the policy. This gives the gangs a way out of the constant titfortat killing that goes on within the inner cities. This approach is sweeping the nation. Many law enforcement operatives are in on it whether it be Federal or state or local resources.

Just some food for thought about race....oh my reason for stating this stuff....in the ghetto 5% of the young males are in the gangs.....the vast majority of the ghetto's inhabitants hate the voilence like anyone else would.

Jeff, my crack about you being liberal was just that.....some kidding around.....you seem to think being liberal is a problem.....still.

IT is not.

Dave
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Jeff, what a wonderful post. I could not have written my viewpoints any better.

Here in SC, I am considered a liberal Democrat. I consider myself a Southern Democrat or a Northern Republican (more of a centrist). However, I do believe that we are our brothers' keeper, and we do need to help those less fortunate. I am far from being wealthy (and will be less so after I pay for all the work being performed on my Florida house). In fact, per the poverty level, I would be a part of that class in income, except for my fixed assets. However, my parents taught me responsibility to those who do not have the good genes and fortune as I.

Everyday I thank God for what my parents taught me (be frugal, but not cheap; watch out for those who cannot watch out for themselves, etc.)

I paid the higher capital gains taxes before they were reduced by Bush. I paid the higher employment taxes (both from myself via my paychecks to myself and through by SubS corporation) before they were reduced by Obama. I can pay the higher rates again, and would gladly do so.

Next year for Christmas, I plan to be one of those who goes to Wal-Mart and pays off someone's layaway (containing presents for children), not to exceed $100.00, which is all I can afford, along with my other smaller contributions to charities involving children.

Donna
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Not really a political post since no one with this platform could be elected, or even nominated.

Sadly, Len
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My belief on taxes is that enough taxes should be collected to pay for the level of services that we demand from our country.

Tisk, tisk! Come now Sir!
How would any politician ever get reelected if he sent the citizens a bill for all the things he promised the voters?

Which brings me back (once again) to that blindingly accurate quote that predicted our future over 200 years ago.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy will collapse over loose fiscal policy."

(Attributed to several people, but you can blame me if it makes you feel better.)

Live it, love it, own it people it's yours whether you like it or not 'cauz we're all rearranging deck chairs on the same boat.

Desert (not feeling optimistic today) Dave
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Every civilized [society] on earth has a national health program... Doctors are well enough compensated to live at a somewhat higher than standard lifestyle (but their life is more predictable and less stressful because they are generally not held liable for medical malpractice)... Our current "attempt" at a national program is a travesty which serves the purposes of the health insurance companies, rather than our population (or even our hospitals).

Jeff,

I took the liberty of substituting the word "society" for "government" in your original post, for the purpose of making my point, which is this:

To put it simply, we do not have a civilized society.

In my view, a society in which three small groups have been permitted to deny low (or reasonable) cost healthcare to millions of others, is not a civilized society.

The three small groups are as follows:

1. Malpractice lawyers (and the judges who nurture them);
2. Insurance companies (and the politicians who serve them); and
3. Drug companies (and the unregulated nature of their pricing structure).*

The Affordable Healthcare Act does nothing substantive to wrest control of America's healthcare from these three groups.

In other words, low-cost or reasonable-cost healthcare is impossible in the US.

This fact renders our society less than civilized.

*P.S. - Although I have suggested that banks should be run as regulated public utilities, I don't think drug companies should be public utilities.

I think drug companies should be allowed to charge prices high enough to support research and development of new drugs - along with premium pricing for a period of time so as to allow companies to recoup lost R&D expenses.

However, the government healthcare system - as well as any group of any size should be able to negotiate on behalf of its members for volume discounts or other preferred pricing. In addition, neither the government nor drug companies should be able to prevent price competition across borders.

(Canadians often pay less for US drugs than Americans do).

:-o
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...the statement is very vague. If you mean welfare, then you are talking generally about deadbeat young white women who make very bad choices in white boys. Boys who run off when the kids are coming along.

Here is how "welfare" would work in Steveworld.

-there would be no separate welfare department in each state, all duplicating effort. Subsistence benefits would come from Social Security, just as retirement and disability benefits do now.

-there would be no separate unemployment department in each state, all duplicating effort. Subsistence benefits would come from Social Security.

-there would be no separate Medicaide department in each state, all duplicating effort. Basic medical benefits would come from Medicare.

-there would be no separate VA medical department. Basic medical benefits would come from Medicare.

The one requirement I would probably impose on the welfare/unemployment benefit would be that it be less that what you could earn at a full time/minimum wage job, and every dollar earned from a part time job would only result in the loss of 50 cents of the SS benefit, so people would have an incentive to take that minimum wage retail job...recall, in the Steveworld tax code, there is no income tax at this level, and no SS tax, because SS and Medicare are funded from general revenue.

We METaRites could get this country straightened out in no time, but the other 300M will never let us near their special government handouts and special tax dodges.

Steve
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1) Every civilized government on earth has a national health program. In general these provide excellent care at no direct cost to the patient.

However, these national health programs can be divided into four categories (and most of them each all into at least two categories):

a) those that do NOT provide excellent care
b) those that have significant direct cost to the patient
c) those that are becoming a severe financial burden on their government
d) those that do not attempt to provide universal coverage

Canada's system has a waiting-list problem, particularly for many specialized services, so it can't be said to provide excellent care. And several provincial governments are groaning about the financial burden.

Britain is also struggling with the cost of their system, and its quality problems are notorious. Don't have a heart attack in Britain on a Friday night, you'll have to wait until Monday morning for a cardiologist. If they haven't sent you home with some antacids.

Germany doesn't attempt to have government provide universal coverage. Rather, it mandates insurance. Many of the insurance policies have significant copays or coinsurance, so there is significant direct cost to the patient.
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Don't have a heart attack in Britain on a Friday night,

Anecdotal, but an interesting tidbit from one of the supplements on the "Band of Brothers" DVD set. Military advisor on the project, Dale Dye, set up a short basic training course for the actors, where they lived in barracks, drilled and trained as paratroopers would have 60 years ago.

One of the actors accidently got whacked in the face by the blade sight on the muzzle of an M1, and bled, a lot. The producers were already chafing at the number of injuries the guys were sustaining during the traning, so they drove the actor to the nearest National Health clinic, checked him in under his charactor's name, and got the gash stitched up.

About a quarter of the way down this list of pix from that video, there is a set titled "Compton's scar"

http://neal-mcdonough.livejournal.com/5612.html?thread=51786...

btw, the real "Buck" Compton passed away earlier this year, joining Dick Winters and "Shifty" Powers, all of whom we saw interviewed in the suplements.

Steve
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It is true that many countries have to compromise on a comprehensive "instant gratification" health care program.

On the other hand there are some exceptions to Warrl's four groups. The ones that come to mind are Norway, Sweden and Denmark. I suspect Israel, Switzerland and Singapore (and maybe Australia) have their act straight as well.

True, all these countries have high taxes (50% for the middle class and 14-24% VAT as well), but all have excellent medical care and free education.

It is simply a matter of prioritizing what is important. On the other hand, if we truly can't afford to pay for our own good health care and education, then I guess our country will have to do without it.

Jeff
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On the other hand, if we truly can't afford to pay for our own good health care and education, then I guess our country will have to do without it.

We obviously CAN afford it. Governments in the US currently spend about as much per capita on health care as other developed nations - in spite of the fact that they only provide care for around a quarter of the population (and, even so, are trying to ration care because of soaring costs). Non-government spends about the same amount to provide care for the rest.

My standard for an acceptable government-run medical care system in the US:

*It must be fully funded solely by DEfunding other government-run medical programs - there's plenty of money available, by developed-country standards, from that source alone.

*It cannot prevent, prohibit, or impose penalties on either care providers or patients who choose to provide/get care outside it, either exclusively or supplementally.
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*It must be fully funded solely by DEfunding other government-run medical programs - there's plenty of money available, by developed-country standards, from that source alone.


warrl,

Would these "developed-country standards" be the same countries you complain about having waiting lists or low standards?

Surely you are not suggesting that Americans with non-life threatening healthcare demands would have to actually "wait" for care?


Any <they put sodium in their bacon> mouse
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Surely you are not suggesting that Americans with non-life threatening healthcare demands would have to actually "wait" for care?

You must have missed the second bullet point in warrl's post. That's how you avoid waiting for care.
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Every civilized government on earth has a national health program.

Logic dictates that a national health (aka, sickness) plan would most likely stand the best chance of success with adherence to the fundamental insurance concept "law of large numbers".

Instead of a patchwork of regulations (PPACA) there needs to be a complete overhaul of the system to fund basic, identical coverage for all U.S. citizens including POTUS, cabinet officials, congresscritters, active and retired military, fire, police, teachers, union members, etc.
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You must have missed the second bullet point in warrl's post. That's how you avoid waiting for care.

That one is complete nonsense. The only restriction (in Canada) to healthcare providers working outside the single payer system is that they must choose one or the other (with very good reason).

Some professions are not covered by single payer and do work outside. It is more difficult for the ones that are covered as few people want to go the route of paying the doctor and filling out forms to recover the money from Medicare. These doctors would also need separate billing and collection staff. I would add that hospital access might be difficult unless they are willing to build their own. Clearly few healthcare professionals who have a chose choose to work outside the system.

Contrary to popular US opinion most doctors in Canada grew up in the current system and like spending most of their time doing what they went to Med school to learn rather than trying to run a business.

I know people that are "waiting for care", while some of it is uncomfortable stuff none is life threatening. When I showed up at ER with a gangrenous gall bladder I had instant everything.

Tim
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The only restriction (in Canada) to healthcare providers working outside the single payer system is that they must choose one or the other (with very good reason).

Small correction, these things are provincial decisions so I can speak for my province and I know about several others. It is possible that some provinces do have restrictions I'm not aware of.

Nova Scotia for a short time allowed doctors to work in both but found they were abusing their public hospital access and their public access to patients who might be willing to cough up more to get to the head of the line so put a stop to it.

Overall the system is always adjusting.

One prevalent misconception is that our system covers prescription meds, generally this is not true. Each province has their own rules that usually provide assistance to the elderly or those on social benefits. There are also a few special cases such as Nova Scotia providing free insulin to diabetics who don't have insurance because it actually saves the province money in not having to send an ambulance to the mall and admit them to hospital. }};-()

My father-in-law (87 and with lots of issues) pays for meds up to a certain total each year after which the province picks up the full cost. Many of us have supplementary healthcare insurance that pays a portion (in my case 80% after an initial sum) of meds and some other stuff.

Several political parties or persons have tried over the years to add Pharmacare to Medicare but no one was able to figure out the cost control thingy.

Several provinces do feel financially squeezed right now, notably Ontario where a heavy reliance on manufacturing has not served them well recently. This is not due to Medicare but of course they will look at any area that might provide savings. While some trimming around the edges is always possible there will not be major changes unless some political leader feels it is time to retire in disgrace from a decimated party. The Medicare system is both popular and still affordable in spite of what the journalists would have us believe.

Now if y'all don't mind I will stop posting on this subject because frankly I'm tired of replying to the same nonsense repeated over and over.


Tim <it ain't perfect but it has survived decades of challenges> 443
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*It must be fully funded solely by DEfunding other government-run medical programs - there's plenty of money available, by developed-country standards, from that source alone.


warrl,

Would these "developed-country standards" be the same countries you complain about having waiting lists or low standards?


Aren't they the "all civilized countries" that we're being compared to?

But hey, we HAVE poor care under existing government programs - but we pay as much per capita as those other countries for these government programs, even though they only even attempt to care for a small portion of the capita.

I'm just suggesting that if we're paying what it costs to provide poor care to everyone, we shouldn't be satisfied with providing poor care to somewhere around a quarter of the population; we should provide poor care to everyone. (Or excellent care to that quarter.)
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We have had a number of very successful decades (say two generations) of social programs

iirc Somewhere in these threads, Jeff suggested the Federal government stop all subsidies to states.

I have proposed that the Federal government take complete responsibility for Medicaid, welfare and unemployement insurance, rolling them into Medicare and Social Security, rather than subsidizing the three different programs in each of 50 states, primarily as an avenue to reduce administrative overhead.

So how would these two proposals balance out?

Total Federal aid to states, 2010: $630.2B, of which $348.2 is for Health and Human Services.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/fas-10.pdf

Unemployment: total state spending for 2011: $61B

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment_benefits#United_St...

Welfare: total state spending, w/o Federal subsidy, for 2010: $200B

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare#United_States

Medicaid: total state spending, w/o Federal subsidy, for 2010: $126B

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=636&...

Total savings to states by handing off these three programs to the Federal government: $387B

So would eliminating 150 redundant bureaucracies cover the $40B difference between what the states now spend on these three programs, vs the Federal subsidy they receive?

'course, if all Federal subsidies to states are eliminated, it's a big win for the Feds. And the states will be scrambling to pay their bills for education, agriculture subsidies, transportation and housing....which could be entertaining as most of the tax whiners are in states that routinely receive more in Federal subsidies than they pay in Federal taxes.

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

Steve
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I have proposed that the Federal government take complete responsibility for Medicaid, welfare and unemployement insurance, rolling them into Medicare and Social Security, rather than subsidizing the three different programs in each of 50 states, primarily as an avenue to reduce administrative overhead.

Since the cost of living can vary significantly by state, would you also require the various states to vary their contributions significantly as well?

Why should someone who lives in Kentucky or Montana subsidize someone who lives in Hawaii, California, or New York? It might be cheaper to MOVE them to Kentucky or Montana, where the cost of those services would be less.
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Since the cost of living can vary significantly by state, would you also require the various states to vary their contributions significantly as well?

My plan would key unemployment and welfare benefits to the Federal minimum wage, no local adjustments. If the people of the states vote to provide an extra benefit, as some have enacted a minimum wage above the Federal level, and pay the corresponding tax, that's their business. Local costs are not the Federal government's problem. Recall the Steveworld tax law: no deductions or credits, including no deductions or credits for state and local taxes, because living in a high tax area is a personal choice and not the Federal government's problem.

There would be no state "contributions" to the Federal programs. This is all funded from Federal general revenue as the Steveworld tax law eliinates the "trust funds" and special taxes for SS and Medicare.

It might be cheaper to MOVE them to Kentucky or Montana, where the cost of those services would be less.

So, while Florida benefits from retirees bringing their Social Security checks in, Kentucky and Tennessee can become welfare havens? Why shouldn't people move to where the cost of living is less? One of the frequent subjects of "retiree info" is where the low cost areas are, so the retirees can live better on their fixed income.

'course, the end of all Federal subsidies to states could make the current low cost areas, which tend to be net "takers", a lot more expensive to live in, either in higher local tax, or worse public services.

Steve
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