Sunday, August 23, 2009

Needed Private Sector Jobs

I have searched in vain in newspapers, TV news and opinions and radio for discussion on what I consider to be the #1 fault with the health care legislation being proposed. Placing the cost burden on business and industry will decrease their ability to compete with companies in countries where the cost is borne by all taxpayers not industry. Campaign pledges should not be so sacred that our leaders pretend that another 47 million people can have health coverage without all of us contributing.
If business was freed from this burden they would be better able to compete and good income jobs would be created. The individual taxes would go a long way to cover the shortfall.
Would someone please tell me why I am wrong?

Analogy (Health Care)

While pondering the health care issue being debated vociferously between the Democratic Administration, Democratic controlled Congress and the minority Republicans, for some reason a statement made by General Patton came to mind.
His 3rd Army had been making great progress pushing into Germany when the decision was made to cut off all supplies including fuel and ammo for his tanks. He had just arrived at the scene of an all night battle. He noticed the Germans were using carts. The statement was that he had the right instrument (3rd Army) at the right place at the right time. Nothing could have stopped him except the decision to give full support to General Montgomery as he drove up the coast. The V-2 rockets were creating havoc in England. Patton was not allowed to use his full resource and the moment passed by. The Germans had time to move their forces and the drive once resumed met heavy resistance.
The majority of American voters put the Democrats in charge expecting the “change” promised. There are only 18 months left before mid term elections. Traditionally the party out of power gains seats. The overwhelming power the Democrats have now will vanish. Nothing of great importance will be accomplished particularly in health care. Their time is now. They have the power and the issue. In my humble opinion they are blowing it. They have caved in to the mega health industry with only a possibility that a public option could be part of the package. No other major country on earth has allowed the private sector to reap obscene profits while denying care as best they can. The cost for most American families is prohibitive. Many do without protection because the cost is out of reach.
Let me make this point clear. I want Doctors, Nurses, hospitals, clinics, and all other health providers to make a good living or profit. The investment in education and facilities must be rewarded. When the original concept of insurance was created the thought was to pool resources to lesson the impact on families and companies. Somewhere along the way the industry realized they could increase their profits by denying care for pre existing conditions, delaying payments and vastly increasing the cost with their incessant paperwork.
It is obvious to everyone by now that the minority party will not agree with any proposal put forth by President Obama and his co-horts. It is time to fish or cut bait as the saying goes. Go all out for the best and lowest cost proposals which will at last provide care for all our citizens. This will cause serious downsizing of the private insurers. Perhaps the blow could be cushioned by letting them handle the paperwork. Their problem is of minor importance as compared to citizens. They had their chance and like the huge banks they blew it with their lust and greed. Tough.
We as a nation cannot continue the irresponsible excessive spending that started with Bush and continues with Obama. If this continues we will become a third world country with only our military to create the premise that we are a super power. In other countries the individual taxes are the source of funds. Pretending this can be done by just taxing the rich and business is nonsense. Maybe a referendum is in order. Let the people decide to increase taxes to pay for health care. We must remove this burden from business to give them a fair chance to compete worldwide. Good paying American jobs will solve our debt problem and pay the costs. Another source of funds could be any of the following;
Cancel the Bush tax cuts for the super rich which are scheduled to expire a year from now anyway. That is assuming the Administration and Congress has the guts to do so.
Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, these are wars which can never be won.
Eliminate the “No child left behind” program; this is only a paperwork nightmare which only improves the student’s ability to pass tests. It does nothing to improve learning.
Make drastic cuts in funding for the CIA, Homeland Security, Star wars, stop the installation of the missile system in Poland, cut funding for the Energy and Education Departments, cancel the Senior Drug program, replacing it with our government using it’s leverage to lower drug costs across the board, etc, etc. These could lower annual costs by a trillion or more.
The Democratic proposals are seriously flawed. If approved, as much as a trillion dollars will be added to the national debt. Why can’t they just create the process and let it be implemented piecemeal. In the 60,s President Eisenhower got legislation approved to build a super highway system. Fifty years later look what has been created. He knew that once started no subsequent administration or Congress would ever be able to stop it. The same would be true for health care. We already have the superhighway built. Its names are Medicare and Medicaid. I have proposed this before. Start lowering the age of eligibility from the current 65 and at the same time move towards covering the children who are still without coverage. This would be relatively easy to do since the procedures are already in place. As to the question of these programs and Social Security running out of funds, the simple solution is to create a committee charged with advancing solutions which the Congress can only approve or reject without amendment. That is how it was done before.
No one has to re-invent the wheel.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Arthur M. Schlesinger book

1952 – 2000
Arthur M. Schlesinger,Jr.
By; Andrew and Stephen Schlesinger

Mr. Schlesinger was a prolific author and historian. For over 50 years he was in contact with the most influential politicians, artists and world leaders. He would be considered an intellectual. He died at the age of 89. Prior to this he had asked his sons to write a book using his personal notes. Since there were over 6000 pages, their task was to choose the most important and condense to fewer than 1000 pages. They ended up with 958.
It would be impossible to write a review. What I have chosen is to list comments I found interesting. Should this trigger interest on your part be prepared for long hours of intense reading?
Page 37 - A quote from HST when asked for advice by Adlai E. Stevenson as he sought the presidency, “Do you want to know what the issue in this campaign is?” He went to the window and pointed at a passerby. “The issue is who’s looking after that guy? The people down in Washington aren’t looking after him. They’re looking after themselves. What we have to tell the country is that we Democrats intend to look after the ordinary guy.”
Page 156 - President JFK observations about comments made by President Eisenhower at a press conference. JFK said, “The thing I liked best,” he said, “was the picture of Eisenhower attacking medical care for the old under Social Security as “socialized medicine” and then getting into his government limousine and heading out to Walter Reed.”
Page 286 – A conversation with Jackie Kennedy. She took Arthur aside and said, “Do you know what I think will happen to Bobby if he is elected president?” I said no. She said, “The same thing that happened to Jack… There is so much hatred in this country, and more people hate Bobby than hate Jack. That’s why I don’t want him to be President… I’ve told Bobby this, but he is fatalistic, like me.”
Page 336 - Stalin was very much impressed with Roosevelt; you could almost say he was in awe of Roosevelt. He saw in Roosevelt the power of the USA, but he also saw in him the New Deal: he knew that something had been happening in America which did not fit the categories and which he had to take account of….
Page 362 – Nixon continues to get away with murder. Now it is the progress toward a Vietnam settlement…. What is saddest of all is that if Nixon had been willing to make these concessions in 1969, we could have had the settlement then; and 20,000 Americans and God knows how many Vietnamese, now dead, would be alive.
Page 612 – Describing a British film… But its vision of an electronic world in which nothing works, of cities drowned in filth and litter and divided between the stupid rich and the aimlessly poor, of an intrusive, incompetent and brutal state bureaucracy- all seemed peculiarly convincing. I find I have no faith, none at all, in progress. I do not expect a better future.
Page 660 – He comments on the debate between Dukakis and Bush. Bush regurgitated his demographic crap about liberalism, the pledge of allegiance, the ACLU, etc….. I have thought that George Bush knows better but I am beginning to wonder if he really does.
Page 670 – With reference to the book “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie- Last Thursday Waldenbooks, claiming the need to protect its bookshops and employees from Muslim fanatics, ordered the removal of the book from its shelves. This provoked him to fire off a letter.
Page 673 - So democracy has won the political argument. The market has won the economic argument. The elections this year in the Soviet Union, the demonstrations this week in Tiananmen Square—all signify not just the survival but the triumph of democracy in its century- long struggle against the totalitarians. For the historian, an exciting time.
Page 684 – With reference to American troops sent to Panama-As one opposed to presidential wars undertaken without congressional consent, to unilateral U.S. intervention in the hemisphere and to sneak attacks by superpowers on small countries, I am deeply unhappy, but I am very much in the minority.
Page 701 – With reference to the first gulf war- The most unnecessary war in American history began on the 16th.
Page 832 – Starr’s report lived up to anticipations. It is indeed the most salacious public document in the history of the republic… Starr, who is already exposed as the nation’s number one pornographer…
Page 857 – The Florida roller-coaster rushes on. Very odd succession of sensations: in the morning, Bush is winning; in the late afternoon, Gore is granted a reprieve and is still in there. I suppose Bush will win in the end. But if he wins when votes are still uncounted, it will be regarded as a steal.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
August 17, 2009