Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Enjoy the Show

Obamacare isn't all that complicated -- it's like a taxpayer funded benefit for "free" cable TV.  OTV provides everything, in HD, with Tivo, multi rooms, smart phones, etc  -- It's got the full NFL, NBA, MBA, NCAA, MLS, ESPN sports package; HBO, Hulu, Netflix for your whims; Cooking channels to fatten you up; Exercise channels to thin you up; Education channels to make you smart; Fast internet for surfing,  Hustler channels for...   Anyways, OTV covers everything...  Mostly at your rich neighbors expense, after you pay a premium yourself if your income is above middle class $50k or so.  Gotta love it...
    Fine print, when the Obucks start to (quickly) run out to pay the creators and actors of these shows and show quality drops what are you to do for new quality shows when you absolutely need a new show?  Big surprise -- the new stuff won't be on your network.  Translated back into healthcare terms, Obamacare promises coverage but that's doesn't mean they have to provide you care.

  IMPORTANT NOTE : Doctors (and nurses), NOT politicians, provide care.
    There's a difference between coverage and care.  Sure you may have Obamacare coverage, but that doesn't mean you'll find a good doctor to provide your (cut rate) Obamacare.   Those with Obamacare coverage will have to get used to waiting in line (throttled in cell phone lingo) -- Medicare and Medicaid patients will shuffle in behind the waiting Obamacare folks.   Prepare for endless seesaw political battles over decreasing health care quality for this or that group -- with ever increasing media hype and advertising to follow.  It's all part of the "plan". 

   Oh yes, did I forget to mention that politicians and many gubbermint workers are exempted from Obamacare?  They'll jump right to the front of the line with top dollar first in line coverage, at your expense.  Sucks not to be part of the Privileged...   
Enjoy the show while you can...  Suckers...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Raising taxes on the Lawn

Raising taxes on the productive sector for politicians to spread around is like lowering the cut of a lawn, collecting the clippings, and dumping the clippings over the brown areas in the lawn so they look green for a few days. 

Go figure, the brown dumping ground soon turns brown again and harbors diseases that spread to adjacent areas in a never ending downward spiral. This pretty much describes the current state of our welfare entitlement economy. 

And the 'common sense' solution offered by the 'greenskeeper' is what?  Raise taxes (lower the mower cut even more) so there's more clippings to spread around?  And just how is that supposed to work?  Doesn't work for the lawn, won't work for economy.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Obamacare's Working Family Tax increase

Folks, the big "tax" in Obamacare isn't the penalty for not buying insurance, it's the premium you pay for the insurance. 

Obamacare is basically a variation of a sliding scale Medicare tax -- those above a certain amount pay more than the cost of the coverage, and that money collected is shifted to help pay for those who pay less than the actual coverage's value.  This tax/premium is collected by and managed directly by the insurance companies according to the rules set down by the Obamacare bureaucracy.   This bureaucracy has be granted the power to increase this tax/premium as well as modify the coverage provided without consultation with Congress. 

For example, assume that the basic coverage might actually cost 12k for a family -- the actual cost put forth for those in higher incomes might be 20k.  The eight thousand extra charged those over 100k is used to subsidized the coverage for average families of 50k who can't be expected to pay the $12,000 tax for their coverage -- that would be a 24% tax bill on middle class working families.  Instead, middle class families may be expected to pay perhaps $6,000 (or 12%) in income taxes to carriers for their Obamacare coverage, with premium subsidies from those with higher incomes and various other taxes used to make up the rest of their coverage.    Never mind that this is a huge 20% health care tax increase on those with 100k incomes...   There aren't enough of those folks to bend the vote in other directions.

Clear as mud?  Yep -- it's way too complicated for left wing CongressCritters or the PRESSSSident to explain without upsetting middle class families -- many families may only wake up to this huge Obamacare tax when they are formally drowned in Obamacare's first round of taxes/premiums.  

To simplify this just think of Obamacare as a sliding scale Medicare tax for working age folks to pay for working class coverage, on top of paying Medicare taxes.  How much your "tax" is depends upon your income.  

Never mind that little of this is Constitutional as a tax or not... 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's Social Marketplaces, not spending or revenues.

The US (as well as many other nations) doesn’t have a spending or revenue problem, they have a Social Marketplace problem. The perpetual “spending versus revenue” debate is a misdiagnosis of the problem. The problem is centralized politically driven social marketplaces are inherently fiscally, as well as morally, unstable and lead to eventual fiscal as well as moral bankruptcy. No amount of adjustments to spending or revenue will treat this cancer.

Instead of defining the various social marketplaces (education, health care, housing, pensions, etc) to be individually driven according to marketplace rules, with prudent self adjusting accommodations for those of limited means, politicians have tried to play Santa Claus buying votes for this or that Social Marketplace program, generally at the expense of future generations as well as the general prosperity of today’s economy.

Any solution that doesn’t address taking the centralized and special interest politics out of these various social marketplaces is doomed to be little more than a temporary fix on a long downhill slide into some sort of economic abyss.

There are plenty of options, as well as examples, of how the various social marketplaces can be redefined toward individually driven social marketplaces. Chile provides an example of how personalized retirement plans work. There are others. There are pockets of HSA health care coverage that are working fine in the US even given the straightjackets politicians have encumbered them with — if they’re not killed by Obamacare. There are other examples around the world such as Singapore. Similar sorts of models can be applied to education and other social marketplaces.

What is needed is recognition that government’s proper role isn’t to provide these various Social Marketplaces via some central command and control system. Government’s proper role is to define and implement individually driven, Social Marketplaces that are sensitive to marketplace whims, while also providing structures for those of limited means — with a natural unassailable check and balance against perverse expansion of ‘limited means’ to larger and larger populations via politicians buying votes as Santa Claus.

How the US got here is simple — During FDRs days, politicians determined that the Preamble to the Constitution was irrelevant and started to ignore the guidelines it provides for how the powers of the Federal Government are to be used. As a result, instead of promoting the general welfare, politicians have pushed providing special interest welfare over promoting the general welfare — this buys votes… They also ignore preserving liberty for our posterity (future generations) by buy votes today for goodies that future generations will have to pay back. Then there’s the shadow government of federal bureaucracies that basically write law without regards to Congress or the Constitution and the Preamble — taking liberty away one regulation at a time, many regulations each day…

Judges, politicians and many of the population have bought into this extra-Constitutional fantasy of a cradle to grave worship of big government that will solve all problems, big and small. It does no such thing — government is the problem, not solution. The solution isn’t smaller government, it’s developing and implementing individually driven compassionate social marketplaces. Individually driven social marketplaces will result in a smaller government that also provides access to a vibrant and healthy set of social marketplaces for all.

Socialism and other Social Marketplaces

Socialism is basically a centrally controlled Social Marketplace owned by government.

There are many forms of centrally controlled Social Marketplaces that don’t fit the classical definition of Socialism — Obamacare, for example, isn’t strictly socialized health care because the private sector carriers administer the programs the centralized federal bureaucracies largely define. The taxation/cost shifting to support coverage of those with lower incomes is in part paid for by redistributing overpriced premiums paid by those with middle to higher incomes. The overpriced premiums are basically a hidden tax on middle income folks on up, collected and managed outside of ‘normal’ government revenue and spending channels. Socialism it’s not, but a centralized social marketplace it is. At least it’s not the Mandated Employer Subsidized Socialism (MESS) that HillaryCare was all about.

Home financing via Fanny and Freddie are similar examples of federally centralized Social Marketplaces that have run amuck with a mix of private and public sector financial enterprises being puppeteered by federal bureaucracies and politics. The fiscal malaise we are currently stuck is in directly related to the failure of this Social Marketplace AND the continuing denial of the federal government playing the key role in it's bubble bursting.

There are plenty of other examples of centralized Social Marketplaces in the US and around the world that don’t fit classical Socialism but should be treated with equal distain. Then there’s public schools — they are basically socialized education save for how the funding is mixed between local and federal sources — trending towards more federal control, at least until the feds figure out they don’t have the money…

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How does the Socialist garden grow?

"A garden constantly overshadowed by a overbearing gardener will never grow to it's full potential"

This is as simple a statement as there is to describe why socialist statist policies and leadership fails. As hard as a well intentioned overbearing gardener tries, their garden never grows as well nor is it as productive as one that is allowed to grow outside of the shadow of an overbearing regulatory government.

Where did we go so wrong? One of the founding principles of our Constitution is supposed to be how the Federal Government's role is to "promote the general welfare, while preserving liberty to ourselves and our posterity" as defined in the Preamble of the Constitution. These most basic guidelines have been ignored by our statist government gardeners in favor of an overbearing government that wants to oversee (tax and regulate) virtually any and every productive activity one could imagine partaking of.

Go figure that there just isn't as much push to be part of the productive marketplace garden when it's become such a hassle (as well as negative) to make a profit. Then there's the weed patch of unproductive folks cruising along on food stamps, free cell phones, free health care, nearly endless funemployment and other gubermint handouts up the wazoo. This largely unsupervised welfare weed patch appears to be growing just fine. Go figure... If the guberment gardener gave even a smidge of the attention to the weed patch that it spends beating on the profit making sector of our economy, perhaps the marketplace garden would have some time in the sun to grow.

Just saying, common sense isn't complicated...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Democrat's class warfare against high earners isn't so much about fairness or balancing budgets as it is about further strengthening the three tiered class society of the Privileged, Collectors, and Serfs (Workerbees) that the Democrats have been carefully constructing over the past several decades.

The Privileged are the politicians, bureaucrats, unions, greens, attorneys, pols, media and a few assorted others… They strive to live outside normal market forces, using the Collectors to suck the life energy from the Serfs to support their Privileged lifestyles and goals.

The Collectors are the business managers and business entrepreneurs that make the private sector Marketplace work -- most everything that happens in the private sector marketplace comes under their guidance in some form or another. They live and prosper by successfully navigating thru government rules and regulations as well as marketplace rules to provide a product or service of some sort to the marketplace. In the Democrat's tiered society, the Collectors are used to collect the life energy from the Serfs and pass that on to the Privileged so they may live outside normal market forces. The Collectors are ideal for this task since they are a minority of the population, and many workerbee Serfs are easily played as suckers by the Privileged using the class envy card. Go figure how taxing their boss will help any workerbee get better pay or work conditions, but that's the nature of ignorance...

The Workerbee Serfs are the typical private sector worker who lives most of his live within the private sector and it's various marketplaces full of services and products. They are typically decent hard working folks who'd just as well be left alone if given the choice. Every election cycle, the Privileged come at them with all sorts of promised benefits if only they vote for the Privileged politicians and their class envy policies. However, there isn't enough left from the Privileged gorging themselves to pass much of any real value on to the Serf's other than hope for change someday...

It’s been a great system for the Privileged as well as for counting votes. However, it's not such a good system when it comes to counting money and balancing budgets. However, balanced budgets and common sense isn't important to the Privileged since they live a fantasy world largely outside of normal market forces. Things like budgets and counting money is only important to the Collectors and others living by marketplace rules. So don't worry too much -- when this multi-tiered house of cards all comes crashing down, the Privileged will be just fine with their bloated benefit retirement and health plans.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Solving the Healthcare Social Marketplace Puzzle

There is a relatively simple and 'American solution' to our healthcare social marketplace woes rather than pushing another gubermint burrocratic take over of the healthcare social marketplace down our throats -- just let providers deduct the unreimbursed cost of charity care from their income.

Overnight there would be a stampede of clinics in all health professions stepping up with sliding scale fee structures to provide top notch charity care. Additionally, there would be a natural check and balance to this care -- to make it work, one would have to real income from paying patients to deduct from.

Clinics could develop these plans according to the needs and situations of their own communities, rather than being forced to accept some top down edicts from some DC bureaucrats about how you are supposed to do things.

Having control of their costs and care, Clinics could easily implement stable broad reaching preventive programs for those of limited means.

The unspoken reality of much gubermint Medicaid and Medicare care is it frequently pays doctors and clinics 30 percent or less of their regular fees -- which is about the same as if the care were tax deductible, only with lots of ever changing red tape that reduce the quality of care provided. Microsoft might donate $1M in software to schools, it's tax deductible; a grocery store might donate $1k of food to a food bank, it's tax deductible; but a doctor can't donate their time to save a life, it's not tax deductible.

Sure, one might find out that a lot of health care providers would be paying little income taxes -- but then there would also be a huge reduction, if not elimination, in Medicare and Medicaid expenses.

This care would all be subject to marketplace rules -- if someone can do it better for less, that's where the market may go. Currently, with so much paid for by third parties and gubermint, there's little market incentives to find the most cost effective care options.

In summary, providers, NOT politicians, provide health care. This shouldn't be overlooked. Way too many people have developed an unhealthy faith in politicians, burrocrats and gubermint to solve their woes. In the case of health care, it's doctors, nurses and providers of all sorts that choose to provide whatever care is given, even in the face of barely being paid for their time or overhead. If folks start to appreciate this part of the healthcare link, they may start showing up for appointments, following provider instructions, and improving their own health by developing a healthy long term relationship with their providers -- instead of the entitled demand "Make me healthy now for free so I can get back to my couch, laptop, Xbox and TV remote with soda and chips..."

Virtually all of the so called health care woes people face can be directly tied to misdirected politics of one sort or another -- some well meaning, some naive, typically with a lot of 'unintended consequences', and virtually all mostly to buy votes and power rather than to provide quality affordable health care. Government is the problem, not solution...

Get government out of the way by a few minor changes in the tax code and let the marketplace solve the health care problem.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SocialMarketplace Foolery

Here we go again with another misguided push for sales tax on internet sales as a way to help states short on cash raise revenue. Come on folks, we live in a global marketplace that will self adjust to an internet sales tax amongst the States by moving internet business out of the country — and killing more jobs in the process.

Sure, initially some additional revenue might come into States, but that will just have to be spent on increased unemployment and welfare support for internet businesses that lose market share out of the country and have to either close or scale back their operations (lay off workers, close stores, and more). Might as well toss in loss of more jobs by American manufacturing that will now be done elsewhere because it makes even less sense to make something in the HIGH TAX US, ship it out of the country and back in to avoid taxation.

Taxing internet sales is basically like putting a bandaid over the cancer of politically centralized Social MarketPlace (SoMP) run amok.

The answer to weak government revenue to pay for more politically driven SOMPs isn’t more taxes, it’s promoting less centralization and politicization of the SoMPs. It’s out of control government run SoMPs that are driving out of control spending that is leading the push for more taxes… More taxes is akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.

The solution isn’t squeezing the flourishing internet sales market with more taxes, rather it’s opening up the politicized SoMPs so they are more individually driven rather than politically driven. Yes, this requires thinking out of the box -- a new paradigm if you will. Sadly, thinking out of the box is also something that the LOSERship of both parties are very weak at -- their solution for a a square peg and a round hole is to just pound harder, and charge the markets for all the pounding they did to 'solve' the problem until the cancer of Politicized SoMPs outgrows their bandaid and more pounding is required. Never mind that the "square pegs" of commerce and entrepreneurship are figuring out that moving operations out of the US is an increasing viable solution to achieving global marketplace success.

Marketplace Reality Check -- Politically driven SoMPs are inherently inefficient, costly, and insensitive to normal marketplace evolution — good or bad, programs grow and grow. Individually driven SoMPs are inherently efficient, cost effective, and very sensitive to normal marketplace evolution — good ones prosper, bad ones fade.