US health policy: we've fallen but we can> get up. Yes, we can!

Dr. Susan Wood blogs on occasion over at The Pump Handle (where we cross post quite often). She is pretty busy these day on another assignment: co-chairman of Obama's advisory committee for women's health. And it's reported one of the first things the Obama administration will do is undo the blue-nosed Bush policy that links funding for public health programs to anti-abortion and anti-birth control policies:

Public-health policies of President George W. Bush's $45- billion PEPFAR program have brought AIDS drugs to almost 3 million people in poor countries such as Rwanda and Uganda, more than under any other president. Still, requirements that health workers emphasize abstinence from sex and monogamy over condom use have set back sexually transmitted disease prevention and family planning globally, said Susan F. Wood, co-chairman of Obama's advisory committee for women's health.


Bush on his first day in office, in January 2001, reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy -- known to critics as the global gag rule. It bars U.S. family-planning assistance for organizations that use funding from any other source to provide counseling and referral for abortion, lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their country, or perform abortions except in cases of a threat to the woman's life, rape or incest.

Obama "is committed to looking at all this and changing the policies so that family-planning services -- both in the U.S. and the developing world -- reflect what works, what helps prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality, prevent the spread of disease," Wood said. (Jason Gale, John Lauerman, Bloomberg)

The good that the Bush Africa policy has done -- and it is considerable -- has been hampered and sometimes put in reverse by the global gag rule. Obama is set to make the gag rule silent. And Woods (full disclosure; she's a friend and professional colleague) knows about it first hand, having resigned from the Bush FDA in protest in 2005 for its failure to approve the morning after emergency contraceptive pill after it received clearance from FDA's scientists and outside experts. From that low point she is now being prominently mentioned in connection with the FDA Commissioner job. A good choice, in our view.

There is a lot of damage to repair. Some prominent and highly effective family planning agencies (including the United Nations Population Fund) refused to take advantage of US aid or were refused aid by the Bush administration because of they continued to offer and use the full spectrum of techniques for population and sexually transmitted disease control. This included educating people in the use of condoms. Abstinence education was the allowed alternative. Numerous studies have shown it is ineffective. So we continue to bail the boat with a teaspoon:

The U.S. has played an important role in bringing life- saving treatment to HIV patients who had been unable to get it, said Adel Mahmoud, a former head of Merck & Co. vaccines and professor in the department of molecular biology at Princeton University.

"But when the data says for every person we put on anti- retroviral therapy in Africa there are six new infections and we are doing nothing about it, it's absolutely mind-boggling," he said in a telephone interview. "Prevention is really the solution."

Mind boggling, yes. And the worst part is that even the suggestion that the US will be returning to a science-based health policy itself feels mind boggling. It's just a measure of how low we have fallen as a nation.

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Hurray ! I can't tell you how good this sounds to me. The total reality blinders that must exist on people who think that abstinence only programs will accomplish anything - especially in countries where often the only "skill" with which a women with no education can earn money involves the opposite of abstinence. Heres hoping that the new administration will be reality based.

thank god for barack obama!


President Elect Obama has proposed that the following be set up under his administration for healthcare in America.

-Coverage would be mandatory for children
-Offer an income based federal subsidy for people who dont get insurance from an employer or qualify for government plans such as Medicaid
-Create a national network of public and private plans for those without other access to insurance
-Require employers to either offer a plan, help pay for employee costs or pay into a national healthcare network.


While its laudable, healthcare for children is starting to eat the life out of the states with their mandatory payments to the system. Medicare costs to seniors rose 3.1% this year and next year it may go up by 8%. Doctors are also beginning to opt out of treating Medicare patients because the system simply doesnt pay the costs of doing business with them.

E.g. make a mistake and you get sued by someone who was at the bottom rung of healthcare in the US. My own doctors have stated that they will no longer take Medicare or Medicaid patients on the first of the year. Proposals have been made to spread the cost to every American but that isnt working in any other country that has it. Even Sweden began to ration healthcare in 1999 and has imposed even more strict cuts in the last eight years.

In particular the socialization of the healthcare system puts the government in charge of you and your body. The suggestion that its all decisions between you and your doctor is not correct. Its you, your doctor and if you need something a decision as to how much money is in the till before you get it.

Right now, the costs are borne by 1/2 of the country for the other half. Under the Obama Nation the people making below 50,000 dollars will never pay one cent of the costs. Sweden pays more than 1/2 of its entire GDP for healthcare. So, they have healthcare but no jobs.…

There will be a bit of chatter here about this tune that the FT's states, but they are in the business of reporting financial news. Its also borne out by one of the employees that is an ex-patriate here of Sweden. They pay about 30% in their equivalent federal taxes, and then another 15% to make up the shortfalls in local area healthcare and they get taxed locally again. So three taxes for healthcare. How bad is it? In fact, rich people move out to the boonies to get out of the poor payer districts and they commute into town to work. But still basically 1/2 of their taxed income goes to healthcare. Note that if you are unemployed you pay nothing so the run up to massive unemployment is rapid and fueled by taxes on those that work. Note that the Danes pay 81% of their income to the state....Primary allocation? Healthcare. This is their declaration, not mine.…

Obamas suggested plan is to FORCE employers to pay, FORCE you to pay, and FORCE you to get into some sort of healthcare plan. The only problem is that to do it you have to have money to pay for it. No money, no problem. Someone else is going to take care of you. The employers portion of this plan is totally ambiguous and doesnt take into account what the cost of keeping an employee is. Margin businesses will not make it because that employee is now a liability. Everyone slips to part time because if they are full time you have to pay the benefits under the Obama Nation. That employee becomes a burden, complete and total because that cost that the employer pays is not for that employee... It really going to be for the people that are not paying into the system. The employee will pay as well but not as much as it will cost. Who will use it the most? The poor will use it the most, and they will pay none of the costs. In the poor way of thinking its all free and the shortfalls each year will be astronomical and they either raise taxes or they cut the system as indicated above...RATIONING FOLLOWS IN THIS. They will of course create laws to prevent you from suing for not getting care, not getting the latest drugs, not getting the best doctors. So, we will slip to a third world nation status medically and give the rest of the world another shot at yet another thing that has made America. All this will do is give the US government the ability to create cash flow whenever they need it.

Welfare state and socialization/communism. Take it from someone who did nothing to earn the money, paid their bills, and didnt get into a subprime mortgage house. But thats okay their pockets are deep. In fact this will take the middle class and run them down by one rung on the ladder and some two... ensuring a permanent sub-culture in the US of poor. Wont last long and neither will the country. The bills on 53 trillion dollars of already mandated but unfunded costs goes to Medicare and the elderly in just 5 years. So now we want to put even more lead weight on an already burdened economy.

Revere has constantly suggested that we could all pay more taxes. Really? Is anyone happy with their tax bills each year? Could you afford more taxes to pay for this now? People outside the US dont get to comment on this one. We are talking about the US and 53 trillion dollars. Taxes? I would fall dead beyond that 250,000 mark and I work all sorts of hours, and until Nov. 4th paid all my employees health care...100%. They worked too. But I cut them all to part time and that included pregnant moms and single ones at that. I suggested that they go on down and all get onto the latest promulgation of the nanny state healthcare. Then when the next election comes up decide what plan they liked better, no healthcare or healthcare that will be provided by foreigners as it is in the UK and France. Enjoy the waits too.

Me, I'll just be paying the bill that was supposed to be spread across the paying public... But really wont. They'll start at a certain level but the users are going to bomb the system by an estimated get this 500 million beyond intake in the first year of an Obama Nation. Raise taxes?Alas there wont be so many paying any more and to stay in business I will have to raise my rates and lay people completely off in the next run of taxation. Its okay... its healthcare at all costs. Then the spiral starts in inflation and it goes completely off the scale. They will just print more and more money to cover the shortfalls.

I offered up to my employees that if the next election changes the minds of the Obama Nation that I might provide it again to them if they were still employed and that it was still legal to do so. I told them it wasnt likely. For the last 10 years, I wasnt required to provide them anything and they were all on BC/BS and the primo plan. Now the Obama Nation wants us all to just throw in for something that has failed miserably everywhere else financially. This is not FREE. The costs will rise, rise and rise and the states contribution requirements will be off the scale resulting in tax increases to the people in them. So you get hit from all angles for more taxes. The Obama Nation wants you to forget that the prescription drug care benefit for the elderly cost us 1 trillion dollars in unfunded mandates and now, they want us to take that same crappy plan extend it to all Americans.

HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT UNDER THE OBAMA NATION... I wonder if they get that great healthcare right in Indonesia, or Zimbabwe, or even Russia. They are all socialized medicine.Hey dont forget Michael Moores grandstand play down in Cuba too. But thats okay, you are just supposed to throw in and socialize the entire country.

How about the UK and Australia? You get more from paying less.....……

More like you get dead or wait so long that you die outside of the hospital waiting to get in. Surgery averages there are six months before being treated. There is no capacity and god help the system if we buy into it and a pandemic comes. The lawsuits for lack of preparedness and capacity would bankrupt the system completely.

As we all know in the socialized health care plan its all about the available money to put into it. If you are all taxed out, then you raise taxes again and again and that ladder rung goes farther and farther down for what the "middle class" is. For the lower rung, its a step up but not much. Its economics we are talking about. We would spend all sorts of tax money to put it into the dirt literally with each body it paid for after an average of about 70 years... cradle to the grave. Think its not right? Every dollar we spend will go into a pine box.

We get nothing but money graveyards. With a global economy we have every two bit country in the world trying to compete with us and guess what? They have little or no healthcare in them and thats if they are socialized medicine or not. They are nowhere near as stupid as we are about this. Revere and others demand that we provide care to the people who cant afford it. Noble suggestion. Let them pay for it even though healthcare through the states is dwindling because they can no longer pay for it. 40% of all of the cases in Memphis TN are from illegal foreigners showing up at the Med. That institution is just about to close because of the lack of money and they cant tax any more and stay competitive with other states. So how do we pay for our own people much less illegals...Answer is that we dont and the system collapses.

Then there are the doctors themselves. Lack of total numbers and here in Tennessee alone we are 15,000 short according to the PTB. What about the doctors that are leaving for private sector care here? If things are so great in all of the socialized medicine countries then why do all those people from the UK come here for healthcare?

Hey if its so great why leave town? But there I go again, making sense. I guess that substandard care for all is better than proper healthcare for many? Its going to get down to whether its a right or a privilege and very quickly.

The Obama Nation said that it would be okay to keep your employer paid for health care... Great, but who as an employer would offer it? We have a system here as all of the states do and are required to. Socialized medicine is exactly what it is and its a money pit. Someone else pays for me and I for them. What the reality is that I pay for everyone and very few pay for me. Pretty stupid Americans when you dont follow it through to the end result folks and if you are not an employer then you likely dont understand this.

Its a takeover pure and simple and it would simply provide the final IV from your wallet to the federal government. Unemployment will be nearly 18% and maybe more if this is implemented. This is because again, the US mandates environmental, social and now health laws onto the employers and corporations that cant make any money right now. Employees look at it like one cost off of their back, employers get all the bills. Class warfare becomes the mantra. You cant afford the employee any longer so you lay them off. Some rich guy or some corporation made too much money in the eyes of some politician. So they tax the piss out of them. Just as they did under Carter. Need I remind you that the interest rate was 21.5%, the unemployment rate was at 12.7 and rising, and the military was already gutted. The only thing they could do was raise taxes and that finished it. The economy was on its butt.

Class warfare. The only companies that did make money this year were the oil companies. That wont happen in 09 I can assure you. They tax them for windfalls and we will get the bill. Ultimately our overtaxed society simply will not be able to compete in the world markets because it will cost too much and it will collapse. We wont be able to float the economy as we cant get them to buy our bonds anymore.

Oh, they'll say give it some time. Medicare and the debt we have now is 53 trillion dollars and only 11 trillion of that is recent. What is this scheme? Is it cash flow or is it healthcare? Cash flow and hyper-inflation is what will result in this and we will lose our sovereignty and our ability to defend our nation. First things first folks. National Security first, everything else second. Cut the military to pay for this huh? Lets add in a 10 division National Police Force and we are nothing but serfs after this. You dont pay, you go to jail. Courts will be in the manner of the 3rd Reich and rubber stamps so you can rule them out. Chaos is about to reign supreme if this goes through and the worst part is that when it collapses, there will be no healthcare for anyone.

One can only hope that the 3% margin nationwide that the Obama Nation won by melts into the woodwork. Its the economy stupid and that applies to the new kid on the block too. Government spending is not the answer to this and if he gets it wrong the US will be gone. Its all paper money folks and if one day they turn around and wont take it anymore then you'll be burning dollar bills to stay warm.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 Nov 2008 #permalink

post held

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 12 Nov 2008 #permalink

Sweden pays more than 1/2 of its entire GDP for healthcare. So, they have healthcare but no jobs.

Of course, you don't mean to suggest that Sweden literally has no jobs. That'd be stupid. What you mean is that in Sweden, job creation is lagging. (Which has also been true of the US for some time now.)

Still, their infant mortality rate is much lower than ours, their life expectancy is higher, and their drinking water is safer. Sounds like a "culture of life" to me!

Honestly, I don't know how much success you're going to have holding up Sweden as some nightmare dystopia. Granting that it has its problems, like any other country, it also has one of the highest standards of living on earth, and it's a leading source of technological innovation, and it's won the world's highest rating for transparency in government.

I know people who live there; they seem pretty happy. So maybe I'll start worrying about their bad qualities once we achieve their good ones. If that leads to a murderous one-world dictatorship, so be it; so does every other sensible and humane course of action, according to you. So I'll take my chances, and you can feel free to say "I told you so" when we reach the Gulag. (If you hope to have that satisfaction, I'd advise taking some anger-management courses; constant stress is awfully hard on the heart.)

Randy: You might try living in Sweden. I have and I speak Swedish. It's a lot better life than here on almost any level. But I am an American so I live here now and want to make things better here. But to suggest Sweden is worse than the US in almost any respect betrays an ignorance of the real world. As Phila say, Sweden has its problems. But I'd swap their problems for ours any day of the week.

Given my experiences with US healthcare and Canadian Healthcare, I say without reservation, bring on socialism.

Up here I can choose my doctor. In the US, I'm restricted by the options. I pay less in combined taxes and healthcare costs in New Brunswick than I did in California (n the 35K bracket) , for far more comprehensive coverage and cheaper prescriptions. Poutine is still incredibly common around here (That's french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, btw), so the idea that the government is going to crack down on our lifestyles is nonsense.

You have posted nothing but lies Kruger, and I'm sorry to hear that you have fallen for them.

How come there's no "about me" on your blog Phila? Who are you? Male, female, gay, straight? hmmmmm?

Ah but Revere you havent lived there for years. And they contribute less to their national defense than any other country out there in the EU. NATO in name only. As for the EU, their shield is pretty thin too as the Russians control all their heat. Canada lives under our shield even though they are a pretty potent lot. Their AF is second to maybe only ours in capabilities but not quantity.

Lifestyle is what you make of it LWF. Everyone in the US is going to take a big step down if Obama goes through with taxation at the top and all of the greening of the US. Some of it is good, but it aint cheap and without a level playing field it means fewer jobs. Hey, we got rid of our major steel industry by regulating the shit out of it and the mills. Now its power production.. Cant have any coal fired plants. Phila probably was having orgasm after orgasm when McCain lost. But it will get down to the jobs and whether 60% of the country is willing to support en toto 40% of the country. Simple economics but you would disagree I am sure. Phila is an automatic on this. The sky isnt blue, we must move to renewable energy, we are on a finite supply of oil etc. Agree to disagree and move on.

The problem with Phila is that she?understands nothing about what a 100,000 man police force is used for. What else could it be other than the government is about to take over. Lefty is in a country that has been socialist for years and even the socialists socialists in Quebec want to bail out on them. But is this about healthcare or a takeover? What would ten divisions of police do? Where would they do it? Elimination of Posse Comitatus might just bring about "CHANGE that we need."??????? The question is what would it change to? All dissidents would be rounded up and revolution would be in the wind really fast. Another thing he has said that demonstrates Marxism and only a couple of days before the election. Tipping of his hand? Start to eliminate guns and you might see about 15 states leaving the Union. We are allowed to do that you know. Our own state constitutions allow for that and any abridgment of the Federal Constitution is grounds to leave. Dissolution of the Union all brought about because left wing media and foreign illegal contributions were made.

We are at a crossroads in the country. I believe that Obama is going to be much better at saying one thing and doing another than Clinton or Bush. If he goes hard left into socialism then he is going to find the Republicans are standing and waiting on him. If he goes centrist then everything will be just fine and he might end up being a good president. Even Clinton was a fairly good prez, but they impeached him not for lying about a BJ. He lied to a federal grand jury and to a sitting federal judge. Lets also hope that his minions dont get control of his presidency as they did in Bush's. It swung too far right and he got it in the shorts. All lot of it was justified, most not. Even the WaPo admitted that they were completely biased recently about Bush and McCain and that was from one of its chief investigators. If the media doesnt hold Obama to the standards they held Bush too then they are washed up, finished.

Phila I was born in 1955 and have seen good presidents, bad ones and terrible ones. I have seen stupid ones, full blown pussies and ones that would back a Putin into the corner and then threaten them even then. The country is in trouble and Wall Street has pretty much made up its mind on the suggested Obaman Nations policies... It doesnt matter what you or I think its about what the business sectors think. If the jobs are not there, or if he does a Carter and just starts giving away money and the interest,unemployment along with the tax rates are high he is going to find himself first looking at a Republican Congress in two years and then the door in four years.

He always has the right to prove me wrong. I dont have to debate you on this one Phila... More people than me and that specifically is Wall Street and the military advisors say you are wrong. If it werent so then the market would be rebounding.

But as a moderate size business owner I can say emphatically that he cant pay for this crap he wants to do. If he raises taxes, there will be a Depression. Cant sell out bond paper anymore so its sink or swim. Its okay, you'll have all day and night to blog away living in your subsidized house, subsidized car, and if you get a headache you can go to your subsidized doctor that might be 80 miles away.

Lea, it doesnt matter what Phila is. Here is a lable you can live with....Leftist/Socialist. I dont judge people by their race, sexual preferences or the like. I do require them to be civil and that is something that Phila fails miserably at.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 12 Nov 2008 #permalink

Oh come on! Obama has NOT taken office yet! Realistically, no one can say what will happen.

I would have more interest in reading what anyone has to say about Obama one year after he takes office. By then the honeymoon period will be well and truely over, and we will be able to gauge the measure of the man and his leadership qualities.

We are currently living in a most fiscally volatile time, talking the situation up unrealistically or constantly talking the situation down helps no-one, and just adds to the panic that is building up out there. Panic feeds on itself and you will all end up with a self fulfilling prophesy if you continue down this track.

I for one, am adopting a wait and see approach.

I cant adopt a wait and see approach. Obama wants me to adopt another 4 americans as new dependents that I cant claim. I already am outnumbered by the 4 retirees that I have to take care of now. That swells to 8 in four years and 12 by the time he leaves office in four years. Plus the other four. That makes about 16 people I have to clothe, feed, house in the nanny state.

Sure, he could fool me but all of a sudden Willy Ayers, his wife Bernadette Dorn and all sorts of people are coming out of the woodwork. Even Gore is being touted as an environmental czar candidate. Sounds to me like sweeping power to destroy the economy. Wait and see? Add in the firings of the Federal Prosecutors (bet that the media doesnt care about that either) and we got a totalitarian state. Final straw will be the Supreme Court.

The ultimate straw will be when it comes time for those 40% to pay the bills in four years. Retirees, welfare recipients and above all the people who actually are generating something financially are going to get their knickers knocked down to their knees because everyone is going to have to pay the piper then. Taxing to spend on welfare and then taxing the welfare recipients. What a great plan. Nope, dont be surprised if about 15 states just cut the US of A loose. Cheaper.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 12 Nov 2008 #permalink

Ah but Revere you havent lived there for years. And they contribute less to their national defense than any other country out there in the EU. NATO in name only.

i lived in Finland for the first quarter century of my life. Finland is geographically a neighbor of Sweden, and has a quite similar healthcare and social services system. Revere is right, we need such a system here in the USA, for all of the reasons alluded to.

national defense spending is not the measure of a nation's excellence, and Sweden is not a NATO member at all, not even in name. it, among with Finland, Switzerland and Austria, is one of the non-aligned neutral countries of Europe.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 13 Nov 2008 #permalink

The changes his campaign alleged to represent are yet-to-be, that is to say, we simply don't know what will happen.
Not yet. I don't really care what all the hoopla and excitement is about, the man isn't even in office yet, so it's all just speculation and hearsay at this point. But did anyone REALLY think things were going to get better? Or did we secretly know that it was still going to be business as usual?

The misguided hope that Obama will finally address the fundamental issues that have destined the human race (at least those in America) on a path of sustainable development is fanciful at best. Representative of the status-quo, Obama can do very little in real life except bulldoze a few new roads with policy. That's it. He has a Herculean task ahead of him, his inheritance from Bush and Clinton and Bush and on down the Presidential line. And he's not going to fix much of anything at all as a result. We're talking decades old problems here that have now come to a head in this Presidency. They've always been there, developing lesions worse and worse every year, but now, they're all poised to come crashing down like an infected tree limb. And they probably will.

Obama is just another guy occupying the throne for a time.

No wonder the US is in such bad straits putting up with the attitudes of MRK and his ilk. I hope the younger generation can put the old foggies to rest and get on with building America the way it can be. Life without hope is like sitting in MRK's house without fresh air.

So ....... Ann, where do you live?
I felt the same way when I was younger. The baby boomers blew it just as the younger generation will blow it.
History repeats itself.

Effectively they are NATO and they do regular exercises with NATO.

USIA -- NATO Enlargement and the Former European Neutrals
Sweden joined NATO's PfP in May 1994, acceded to the European Union on January 1 , 1995, and shortly thereafter became a WEU observer. ...

And besides Ann, ilk is a word that I would run into the streets with when the economy collapses because this guy is planning on taxing the hell out of the productive people in lieu of the poor. Redistribution at the cost of tanking the economy. Stagflation for four years. You likely arent old enough to remember that.

Obama could stabilize the markets which have fallen some 2400 points since his election by saying just a few words. "No capital gains tax increases", but you might be one of the ones that dont pay taxes in the US, if you are in the US that is. Lets go and save the world while we are at it.

Seems we get people who are from out of the country that want to meddle in our affairs. Such as the 40 million that came from out of the country to Obama's campaign. They sure werent Canadians either.

But Lea is right. If Obama taxes in the middle of this deal we are in then Depression is going to follow in a fast and furious manner. All of the lefty libs will be on the unemployment lines along with the 48% of working Americans who paid taxes to support their programs for years and didnt vote for him.

This wasnt about packaging debt, it was about people following the letter of the law in some 23 countries and when it was found that they were abusing it here, Congress did absolutely nothing. Uninformed and ignorant sources is the mantra for the Reveres when they disagree and Nomen, Ann, Ana and Phila are all pretty much the same. Revere is the only one of them that offer up anything that deals in reality. Its a leftist agenda but at least he comes up with something unlike the rest and especially Obama.

Its all sorts of programs for the poor all at someone elses expense. They do no work, they til no soil but they complain and threaten when they dont get their monthly checks. The socialist/marxist manner of these people and their new leader really makes that 48% boil. Sure some pay taxes but the majority of that class doesnt. Feel free to pay more than you have to and refuse the refunds if you are so fired up guilty feeling. I dont feel guilty at all making money. I dont mind paying my fair share but the welfare Caddy's have been replaced by Toyotas down here now and frankly I think that Obama is full of shit. He will accomplish nothing but to make a bunch of people rich in the solar/wind industry (himself included), increase our dependence on foreign oil and tell us that we are cutting dependence and then cut us loose like a ship afire when the real numbers come out. Just like the are now about GW.

He can always prove me wrong by going to the center and then becoming one of the greatest presidents ever known. Clinton had a clinch on being a fairly good president but fucked it up by lying to a grand jury. What do have to worry about from Obama. We have no middle any longer here. Its hard left, or hard right every two and four years and both screw what the middle used to be. Revere would be hard left, I would be middle right but not a McCain right. None of the policies that Obama wants to put in will be paid for and it will add even MORE to the problem. Ann and her ilk represent what would be good, kind and humanitarian. ON THE OTHER HAND, they always ask for someone else to pay for it. It was tried before under a guy named Carter. In three years the economy was a disaster and it took another two beyond the time he was in to get it back out of the toilet. Another redistribution guy. He spent and then spent more, then he cut the military and spent that and the Russians took Afghanistan. We might not be able to get it out this time around and it could generate a total worldwide meltdown.

Lea is right. The youngsters are going to inherit a US in which they have to support 12 people plus the illegal immigrants and thats just not in the economics of reality or feasibility. Collapse, complete and total can only be the outcome.

But thats okay, my sources on this are the Comptroller of the United States. But what the fuck does he know?

More tomorrow on what Obama means for you.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 13 Nov 2008 #permalink

there's no such thing as de facto NATO membership, MRK. the whole point of NATO is the mutual defense clause --- assuming, of course, that any point remains to NATO at all any longer --- and i guarantee you not a one of the current members will agree to mutually defend some country that's merely "effectively" a member. only full members get that privilege, as Georgia has recently and vividly demonstrated. (weren't they, too, a PfP nation? i forget.)

...and the topmost reason Obama can't go to the center: even though wherever you go, there you are, you nonetheless can't go to whatever place you're already at.

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 14 Nov 2008 #permalink

I feel so sorry for you Lea and MRK. It must be terrible to live with no hope and no faith. Something terrible must have happened to you Lea to be so unhappy in life. And by the way, I live in the US - born and raised and am one of your baby boomers. And I have worked my whole life as well, so you can't paint me with the welfare brush that you had hoped for. BUT UNLIKE YOU TWO, I believe that things can change for the better and I think that things can move to the middle if only the people will let it happen. Quit fighting all the time and try to help instead.


Sure Lea and MRK have taken a negative stance on the major political changes that are taking place. Alot of people feel the same way. Many people are finding it difficult to adjust to a different way of thinking. Change can be very confronting. Lea and MRK have legitimate concerns, and as such have the right to voice those concerns, just as you do.

However, to assume that Lea must have had something terrible happen to her and that she has lived a very unhappy life, is downright rude. What gives you the right to assume anything about another person's life? We are all just bloggers on the end of the line. I know nothing about you and you know nothing about me. You would most certainly take umbrage if I was to assume the worst about you. Lea deserves an apology from you.

Fighting for our guns and religion is all Ann. I guess we are just too busy strafing women and children too.

Obama could end the financial plunge with four words. NO CAPITAL GAINS TAXES. If he does, he saves the day. He fails to say them he is a one term president and a lame duck at two years. The Dems will have had Congress at the two year of Obama for four years so there arent going to be any excuses.

Obama is going to be over with at the mid term elections if he fails to understand this. He will also be finished at the mids if he doesnt allow drilling or coal burning. Same for Cap and Trade on coal fired plants when they wont let them upgrade or build better and more efficient ones. Thats another back door tax. Its more like he will enrich his eco buddies like Gore who own thousands of shares of the solar companies. So does just about every other Dem... Hypocrisy at its finest.

This cap and trade thing is going to also finish him before he gets started if its implemented. Electricity has to come from somewhere and how about not from a subsidy to do it? If its to change our processes then fine, do it but dont ask me to pay for another 30 years of alternative fuels or energy when I been for that since Carter. There will be those that disagree of course.

Our economic plunge that wasnt anything but the law being followed is everyones fault. But he before he takes the presidency could start it back north by stating the obvious. No new taxes. If he fails to do it, he will deepen the recession and maybe into a depression. If it sinks the ship then you would have to agree with Lea and me then.

Besides do we want government setting the marketplace and how it operates, or do we want the consumers and the market setting it? Get it wrong and the markets will tank back to about 5000 and the country will be done. Wont be back for ten or fifteen years and in a much reduced capacity too.

Also if we keep bailing out everyone who has their hands out and there simply isnt going to be enough money on the planet to cover it. We are going to bail out Detroit for bad practices and making cars that are of substandard quality? If we do we are simply buying off the unions because it costs almost 2800 per car just to pay for those union benefits. Want to bail out the union?

I would file a bankruptcy, get a judge to declare the union contracts unfeasible and then offer those 6 figure bozo's that work the line 55,000 a year with the option of never working again if they dont. I would keep their pensions going and I would boot their healthcare out to managed care HMO and as a stand alone rather than spending 4 billion a year on that from the company. Thats economics, but how many on the left ever pay attention to how these things are going to be paid for?

But, its the Obama Nation. He had to pander to every thought and whim of every special interest group to get elected. They'll get their tax bills or their pink slips depending on how things go. Get a tax bill one year and your pink in the second year. No cut for the middle class as the AMT comes back next year. Say one thing and allow another to go into effect. We will all pay if that happens. This time though as I said taxes equate to those pink slips. Very few if any Americans have any spendable cash now. It went to the Arabs for oil for 14 months and it collapsed the economy. Fail to drill and it WILL happen again. But Revere says we can all pay more taxes.

I have plenty of hope and likely tons more faith than you do Ann but that would be judgmental of me. Kind of like what you said about Lea and me.

I just dont have any hope or faith in Obama or his ability to turn this around. Government spending didnt work in the 30's. When it ran out, they had to raise taxes which made the Depression worse.

As I said, he can always prove me wrong. If not, stagflation enters the game in a year or maybe less. The economy will turn around on its own simply because of inventory reductions. Then, high interest, high cost of doing business from taxes and high energy costs due to subsidies (solar and wind just aint gonna cut it), Cap and trade, and God help us any more spending and the money becomes worthless. The price of imported oil will flatten us and keep us from getting up.

Then you will maybe acknowledge we might just be right... But those poor people are going to get seriously more poor if Obama does the tax thing. Tax and spend, tax and spend. You have to have it to be taxed and then suddenly his balloon bursts when he goes after the now miniscule middle class.

Better idea. Lets start with debt reduction of the country first and then all these frills that every Dem has touted for years might become a closer reality. Else, at the end of the programs when there aint no more money they are going to have to wean those society suckers off the dole.. It wont be pleasant. Failure to do so means you might see secession in your lifetime. I heard it more than one fundraiser this year and its seriously being discussed. Hand the states yet another unfundable tax bill for the states share of a new UHC or any other government spending and its going to be all over. Obama won the big house, he lost miserably in the state houses. Thats going to come to play and act as a huge offset to what he said. I can only go by what the Obama Nation has stated and that includes all of his new appointees.

Also if he blows it whatever support the seniors had before the election will be gone in the funding realities of his Administration. You either have to have taxes, or you have to have bond funding. You cant get anyone to buy our paper right now so that leaves taxes. You tax, you increase unemployment even with the make work programs.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 14 Nov 2008 #permalink

Whatever blows your dress up Ann.

Thank you Victoria and MRK.