Thinking outside the Obamacare box

Kelly McCutchen's picture

Healthcare costs threaten to bankrupt our country. Debates over Medicaid expansion, the Medicare “doc fix,” the state of Georgia’s health plan, coverage of autism and so many other healthcare issues merely shift these costs from one party to another.

The time has come for a “let’s go to the moon” challenge that truly addresses the underlying problems.

Higher education costs are on a similar trajectory. A few years ago, governors Rick Perry of Texas and Rick Scott of Florida challenged their higher education institutions to design a four-year bachelor’s degree program for $10,000 or less.

Not $10,000 a year but $10,000 for all four years.

Many schools rose to the challenge, met it and now offer these low-cost degrees.

Why not healthcare? And why not Georgia as the leader? This state leads the nation in healthcare information technology, has some of the best healthcare institutions in the nation and is a leader in telemedicine. Despite this, many areas of the state continue to struggle with near Third-World healthcare conditions.

The challenge is this: Create affordable access to healthcare for $2,000 a person.

Why $2,000? This is about the amount taxpayers already pay to offset the unpaid medical bills for uninsured Georgians.

Start with a blank slate: Waive the rules and regulations that needlessly raise costs. Much like charter schools, waive regulations in exchange for accountability and results. Requirements would include reliable access to primary care and private insurance coverage for unexpected, catastrophic healthcare costs.

How realistic is this? Florida’s pilot Medicaid program covers non-disabled adults for less than $2,000 per person. A “new” model of care, Direct Primary Care, is already available in many states and resembles the days before the complexities of insurance. Referred to as “concierge care for the little guy,” these plans provide almost unlimited access to primary care services for around $800 per person. For many individuals, catastrophic health insurance policies to cover large expenses are as low as $100 a month.

With more flexibility, innovation and better use of technology, the goal becomes realistic.

Perhaps the best way to test the idea is to make the offer and let entrepreneurs fill the need. To avoid corporate cronyism – and because individuals have unique needs and should decide what’s best for themselves – the $2,000 would be deposited into each person’s Health Savings Account to fund any arrangement that meets the criteria. Individuals could choose from numerous options to help customize their coverage to their particular situation or condition.

There will, of course, be details to work out. Older Georgians and those with chronic diseases will be more costly, but payments could be adjusted to account for this. Keeping these individuals healthy is where the biggest costs savings lie. Unused funds would return to safety net providers to pay for the care of the uninsured.

This serves not only as a way to provide coverage for the uninsured, but the costs of healthcare would be driven down by innovation, benefiting everyday working Georgians. No one would have a problem finding a doctor to see them; no one would lie awake at night worrying what would happen if they were diagnosed with cancer.

If we can put a man on the moon, we can find a way to provide affordable healthcare. If the private sector can fly rockets to the International Space Station, the private sector can find a way to offer quality care at affordable costs.

Georgia is well positioned to answer this $2,000 healthcare challenge and provide hope for the rest of the nation. The savings to taxpayers would be in the billions of dollars. Lower healthcare costs for businesses would make them more globally competitive, leading to a surge of new job creation.

What are we waiting for? Let’s get started.

[Kelly McCutchen is president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, an independent think tank that proposes market-oriented approaches to public policy to improve the lives of Georgians.]

Gort
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The real challenge in health

The real challenge in health care spending is to get total cost down to 10% of GDP and still cover all citizens with quality care.

If the mindless philosopher, our Republican Governor Deal, didn’t hate the working poor so much, as many as 600k more Georgians would have Medicaid insurance today.

Obamacare already does, or allows, most of the rest of the stuff the, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, mentions. It sounds like they’re trying to reinvent the wheel, eh?

Although it does make me smile whenever a right wing ‘stink’ tank pretends they want to improve things for working people but everyone knows this is a lie. The only thing the Republican Party really stands for is tax cuts and corporate welfare for rich people.

G35 Dude
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Insurance or Control

We all know that Obamacare is about control not insuring the poor. It's about deciding that you will provide certain coverage that goes against your beliefs. It's about lying to you about keeping your coverage and doctor. It's about being the largest tax increase in history. Basic coverage for the poor could be provided cheaper and without punishing the rest of us by making us buy insurance that we don't want. Here's how I would do it:

1. Sell medicare to anyone that either can't get insurance or can't afford it. Charge on a sliding scale based on the person's income.

2. Make doctors, nurses, etc that take out student loans to go through college either pay them back, work them off in county health clinics, or go to jail. I saw a special not long ago about the number of people that just never pay back the loans. And the government does nothing. More staff and money would make county health clinics good places to go for preventive care. Let the visit be free to those that have the Medicare coverage and charge a flat fee of say $20-$25 for anyone else.

3. I know that more money will be needed so place a small sin tax on things like alcohol and tabacco. The people that use these products are the people that will most likely need health care the most anyway.

The only problem with ideas like Ms. McCutchen's and mine are that no one in Washington gains from them.

Davids mom
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Medicare - Medicaid

Two different programs.

Gort
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D_Mom, give G35 some credit.

D_Mom, give G35 some credit. At least he’s in favor of the ‘public option’ when it comes to buying health insurance and wants to raise taxes to supplement the cost.

Davids mom
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Gort

GA health sign-up top 220K AND HALF HAVE STARTED PAYING PREMIUMS - but numbers are likely to rise! Looks like G35 isn't the only one who wants Affordable Health Care!!

vortex100
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Interesting

See comment below, Earl

vortex100
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This will not work in Georgia

The Republicans, especially in southern states like Georgia, have made it abundantly clear they do not want poor people to have any health care, of any kind, under any circumstances. If the poor cannot fully fund their health care, be it catastrophic or not, they should not have access to it. Period. What fantasy world do you live in that Republicans would allow anyone who is poor to have health care insurance that is affordable and effective? They have said outright that they would never allow it, even if it is part of plan they themselves helped develop. Your plan would never be allowed by Georgia Republicans. They don't care about the poor and never will, especially when it comes to health care.

PTC Observer
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Poor & Health care

Posing a "problem" and then using the force of law/government to "solve" the problem assumes two things, first that you have defined the problem and secondly you have a solution to the problem. So, we can first question the proposition that there is a problem with the poor getting health care in the United States. Secondly if there is a problem like this what is the best way to solve it.

The poor receive health care in Georgia, albeit not top of the line care like those that have made really good life decisions. I have been in the health care industry for more than 40 years and on a global basis. I have never and I mean never known the poor to go without health care in the United States. A combination of personal goodwill, families, charities and health care professionals throughout my career have provided to the poor. The poor simply need to show up at any emergency room, or doctor's office. They will not be turned away, or if they are, they will be triaged to another hospital for care.

But let's say that you're right there is a terrible health care crisis with the poor in this country. What's the best and most effective way to eliminate it? Well, we can simply let the government continue to "help" the poor, increase the poor's dependency on government or we can eliminate the poor. Now in a socialist state, eliminating people seems to be a solution to a lot of things, but usually this elimination is focused on the "rich". Thus, social policy attempts to make us all equally poor, except of course for those chosen elite that have "vision" of how you and I should live our lives. They do quite well under a "classless" society. You merely need to look at today's political elite that have never held a job, other than political, to see how well they're doing. They and their crony capitalist friends do quite well indeed. Now how do you suppose they accumulated all that wealth? But I digress.

Yes, back to the subject of the poor. Now after traveling the world over much of my life, I have notice one thing. What is called "poor" in one country vs. another country is striking. For example, in our country our "poor" seem to have a roof over their heads, heat, electric, clothes and based on government definition of "poor", TV's, cars, air conditioning and even government funded cell phones. Now, let's look at most of the rest of the world, hmmm.....no shelter, no clothes, no food and oh yes! NO health care, nada, none. So, you see Vortex, when I return to the world, that is "our world", I see not poverty. I see wealth and a lot of it. In other countries I see children in trash pits working tirelessly to gather enough "stuff" to sell to buy food for one day, so they can go out and do it again the next day.

Now, let's go back to providing health care to the poor. So, is this a problem or not a problem? I say it is not a problem. Show me where I am wrong, prove to me that I am wrong. Give me examples of where in America someone has NO health care. No, you see Vortex, the problem is not providing health and other "services" to the poor, the problem is that we have "poor". How do we solve this problem?

First and foremost, we allow people to make choices about their lives and compare the choices they make against choices that other people make. In America there is an abundance of choices to be made, unlike trash pits. Being rational, people will begin slowly at first and then more rapidly to choose things that provide to them personally better outcomes. Through this continual feedback of having to do without while others prosper we will have a society based on personal responsibility and not government forced "philanthropy". However, if we continue to go down The Road to Serfdom, we will become slaves to the government.

So, I'll stop here so you can give me thousands of examples of where I am wrong. I mean if there is this huge "problem" with health care and the poor, well you should have literally thousands of examples. Don't give me one or two exceptions, give me the hoards of people in this country that don't have any form of health care. People that line the streets and pick through garbage pits without health care. Show me the poor houses of the 19th Century! Go ahead, show me the problem Vortex.

Socialism is a fraud Vortex, the Big Lie.

Davids mom
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Really PTCO???
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The poor receive health care in Georgia

Please visit Grady in Atlanta. True, there are dedicated professionals there who provide miraculous care to those who have immediate needs. ER room care is not GOOD HEALTH CARE for this country. We need to educate and provide meaningful preventative care. ER rooms do not equate 'good' health care. How fortunate that you have never seen a hungry child in the US; an older person checking out garbage cans in the US; a person buying 'pet' food to feed their family. Many families depend on the lunch served in Title I schools for their childs' 'main meal'. Where do you find these situations? In rural sections and urban sections of our country. (And now some suburbanites are experiencing the 'health' pinch. . .especially with the threat of NO FOOD STAMPS. Without some of the 'help' provided by 'government' - we would have seen lines, etc. during the recent recession.

WE HAVE SEEN LINES OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR JOBS!! But obstructionists have been very effective in slowing down the availability of jobs.

Independents - arise!! Elect persons who work for the American people and not political parties!! (Or at least elect leaders who are willing to work with fellow leaders for the American people rather than corporations, etc.)

Fred Garvin
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Obstructionists?

The only obstructionist are the democrats. They have been in power for many years but have have refused to allow the working man to prosper. They Democrat party would rather see people suffer than prosper.

Davids mom
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Garvin

I guess you believe if you say it often enough - it's true. LOL
8 years of Republicans= war and recession. 6 years of Democrats = recession slow down ; health care improvements, LOL

PTC Observer
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DM - You're correct

again, they're equally corrupt. DM to the extent you advocate using law to force people into government provided philanthropy you too a are just as corrupt. You cannot force people to give up their property without anger and ill feelings. No one through force of law is requiring you to become a conservative, however legal forced redistribution of property forces us into socialism. By its nature, socialism cannot exist without force because it goes against the nature of man. Mankind will always provide for individual and family first, then through voluntary action will provide for others.

Socialist policies in government always lead to the gas chamber DM, force and State worship become one and the same.

Davids mom
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PTCO
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You cannot force people to give up their property without anger and ill feelings.

PTCO - you''re talking to a descendant of slaves who has experienced the anger and ill will of people whose relatives were forced to give up their property. I'm sorry - but in my book - HUMAN RIGHTS trumps ANGER AND ILL FEELINGS. I am not unaware that you are speaking of material property and not human property - but some of your statements are just too general. What property are you speaking of? Tell us why you are angered over this. Will the change of your anger help the general good in this country? Will the appeasement of your anger create anger in others? Will the appeasement of your anger create a better country? The original Tea Party Rebellion created a positive change in the implementation of government'. The anger and ill feelings were recognized and dealt with. The Civil Rights movement was dealing with anger and ill feelings, The Constitution guides us in dealing with 'anger' and 'ill feeling'. Will voting for competent servants of the people appease your anger? This is a democracy where citizens have the right to have their voice heard. Are your representatives to Congress representing you?

Quote:

you advocate using law to force people into government provided philanthropy you too a are just as corrupt

.No one is forced to use food stamps - unless they are in a low paying job or out of work and cannot feed their family
.No one is forced to use OBAMACARE unless they have NO HEALTH INSURANCE and rely on taxpayer dollars (your money) to care for their health needs. OBAMACARE IS NOT A GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE PRoGRAM. It is a law which requires all citizens to provide for their own health care using private insurance companies. For those with special needs - subsidies are provided.

The government programs are MEDICAID and MEDICARE - which no one is FORCED to participate in. (But with the cost of medicine and hospital stays - thank heavens these programs exist.. . especially Medicare!

Your reasoning is always interesting.

PTC Observer
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Property - DM

DM, every now and then you come up with great questions, what exactly do I mean when I say “property”? This is an epistemological error on my part, thinking that my definition of property would be understood by all reading these pages. However, now I see that the concept of property is not well understood by all and is misconstrued. In your case, for example, you likely think I am talking about a house or something, or perhaps cash? No DM, I am referring to property much differently than tangible property or even movable property.

The philosophical father of the founding principles was a fellow by the name of John Locke. He was the inspiration for Thomas Jefferson’s drafting of the Declaration of Independence. In the Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke put it simply, “Lives, Liberties, and Estates, which I call by the Name, Property.” Or as James Madison put it, “as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have property in his rights.”

We are entitled to our all of our Rights as Property. These are genuine rights to which we hold title as opposed to specious “rights”, those things we may want but do not hold title. The use of specious “rights”, is what I have a problem with DM, you have no more right to my property that a thief with a gun has a right to have it. You can vote to take my property based on specious “rights”, but the vote is immoral because you have no right to take it. Nor do all of your fellow citizens that vote to take it have a right to take it.

Property, broadly conceived, separates one individual from another, individuals are independent or free to the extent that they have sole or exclusive dominion over what they hold. We all go to work to acquire property, so that we may remain independent and free. We do not go to work to give our lives up for the State or the masters of the State; this is better known as slavery. The law that deprives an individual his property, is nothing more than a whip in the hands of the majority against the backs of the individual. It is forced labor.

Do you now understand my concept of property?

BTW, I am not angry, rational people rarely are angry DM.

In my next post, we will take up the ill conceived notion of government provided philanthropy.

Davids mom
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PTCO - just sharing my opinion
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Individual action allocates money and resources far better than government.

In some cases, this is true. However the attempt to use 'The Lights' to meet the needs of Americans through volunteer giving did not work as anticipated. In too many areas of our country there were still families without food. In a country when a family of 4 with an income of $50,000 is in poverty, you can imagine what is happening to families where adults are unemployed. The ideal should be the goal, but in the attempt to reach the goal, humans are to be cared for by an American community.

When Congress worked cooperatively with the POTUS, command of the budget was achieved and a surplus was inherited by the new administration. This Congress has failed the American people by some members pledging not to cooperate with this president. . . and refusing to work in a bi-partisan manner. The American citizens have voiced their disapproval of this lack of cooperation, yet one percent of our citizens are benefitting from this inaction and the middle class , ( which this country is admired for ), is disappearing. It would be wonderful if there were enough 'individuals' in our country who would volunteer to provide assistance to those in need. In this manufactured economy, this goal is not possible at this time.

Davids mom
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Definition of 'property'
Quote:

property  
Use Property in a sentence

prop·er·ty [prop-er-tee] Show IPA
noun, plural prop·er·ties.
1.
that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner: They lost all their property in the fire.
2.
goods, land, etc., considered as possessions: The corporation is a means for the common ownership of property.
3.
a piece of land or real estate: property on Main Street.
4.
ownership; right of possession, enjoyment, or disposal of anything, especially of something tangible: to have property in land.
5.
something at the disposal of a person, a group of persons, or the community or public: The secret of the invention became common property.

The philosophical father of the founding principles was a fellow by the name of John Locke. He was the inspiration for Thomas Jefferson’s drafting of the Declaration of Independence. In the Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke put it simply, “Lives, Liberties, and Estates, which I call by the Name, Property.” Or as James Madison put it, “as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have property in his rights.

Jefferson, in his understanding, had a 'right' to the lives, liberties, and estates of his 'property'. (slaves.) Please clarify to me your understanding of my right to my life, liberty, and estates - or the 'right' of someone who considers my ancestors their property 'their right to the lives, liberty and estates of others.

Interested in learning what property you consider taken from you by force.

PTC Observer
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DM - Property cont'd

You don't need to go back 240 years, or 150 years, or even to the Jim Crow days DM, you merely need to look at today.

If you can't see the moral equivalency in a group of people getting together to vote to take someone's labor (property) from them against their will, then you will never see any of my points concerning property.

Socialism cannot exist without force. Once you adopt socialist policies in a democratic government, there is no stopping the plunder of the country's citizens wealth. It will go on until there is no more country based on individual freedom. It is mob rule and economic enslavement.

Davids mom
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Thank you PTCO

for your input and opinion.

By the way - what has the government forced you to give up? What has the government taken from you? Your right to vote? Your right to work? Your right to own property? Your right to develop a skill? What is your plan to regain the rights that have been taken from you?

Quote:

If you can't see the moral equivalency in a group of people getting together to vote to take someone's labor (property) from them against their will, then you will never see any of my points concerning property.

Interesting statement made to a woman of color. LOL!! Some good old boys are still having problems implementing the Ledbetter law. (Equal pay for equal work) Moral equivalency???? LOL!

Earl E Bird
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vortex

If I felt like that I would not live here. Doing so would make me feel like a hypocrite. All I can say beyond this is "Delta is ready when you are.'

vortex100
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Interesting, Earl

Not even an attempt at a rebuttal. Just flee? Don't try to change things for the better? Don't try to help the poor? Don't try to combat evil where you live? Just leave and let it fester and grow. How cowardly is that?

stranger than f...
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Consider Your Audience

Vortex - Get with the program. The majority of bloggers on this site get their "truth" form Fox News, believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old, and elect Lynn Westmoreland (the most intellectually challenged member of Congress) by 70% of he vote. The editor of this newspaper NEVER presents any opinion other than tea party rhetoric. They cannot deal with complexity, especially if it conflicts with Rush Limbaugh (with his intelligence on loan from oxycontin).

The poor deserve their fate because they are shiftless. Black people are thugs. The President is evil. Trickle down economics works. Our military must police the entire world. Ronald Reagan was more holy than Jesus (even though he tripled he deficit). The world is safer when everyone has an assault weapon.

Quit thinking and drink the Kool-Aid. Never forget, truth is stranger than fiction.

PTC Observer
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STF - Truth

Truth is based in the nature of man, not the way we would like things to be, but the way they are. Truth is neither strange or fiction, it is.

We hold these Truths to be self evident....we can begin a dialog from this point....that government is constituted to protect our Rights, not to force us to give them up, they are God given and cannot be given up by force of law or the whims of elite "vision". Whether it is Obamacare or Jim Crow both laws have at their core, force. To the extent government uses force against its citizens to give up their Rights, there will be continued conflict between citizens. One group of individuals has no Right to force another group to give up their property because no individual, individually has a right to steal from another using force.

This is the reason, reason, STF that your philosophy is corrupt and flawed and will continue to engender conflict between our citizens.

Socialism is corrupt because it is founded on the principle of force. The State is not a god, it does not have the answers, its outcomes are poor and it enriches the elite few at the expense of the many.

Earl E Bird
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Well actually STF

Well actually STF the safest country in the world, Switzerland, does have an assault rifle in the homes of about 85% of it population. And the Government provided them. You see all males are conscripted for service at the age of 19. Once issued their personal equipment, including an assault rifle and handgun they are responsible for keeping them even after being discharged from service. If the homeland were to ever be attacked they are expected to report and defend it even after being discharged.

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

mudcat
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Guns are good, Part 2

Notice please that when protesters armed with rifles and handguns showed up in Nevada to support the rancher who was under siege by the Feds, there was an immediate reaction from the Feds and that reaction was to stand down before somebody got hurt. Can't imagine that same outcome if unarmed protesters showed up.

This is precisely why there is a second amendment - to prevent an out of control government from violating our rights.

Yea I know, the rancher is a gadfly, the rancher didn't pay his taxes, etc. Those are just details. I'm painting with a broad brush here.

borntorun
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Really mudcat?

His rights were not being violated. You do realize Bundy owes over a million dollars in taxes. I'd say that is more than just "details". That's money legally owed. Bundy said his family has been ranching that land since 1877. That being the case, the irony is his family more than likely took the land from Native Americans illegally who owned the land. Karma can be such a beyatch.

PTC Observer
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Borntorun - Taxes

The real question is why does the Federal Government have the right to tax State owned land? A lot of ranchers pay grazing fees, why should they? Fully one third of the land mass of the United States is owned by the government. I suppose they took the land from the Indians as well. Why does the government need that much land? Let's sell it and reduce the national debt. I'll just bet we might be able to cut it in half if it were sold at market prices. We could then eliminate the Bureau of Land Management because there wouldn't be any land for them to manage.

borntorun
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Its Not State Owned Land PTC Observer

The land in question is owned by the Federal government not the state of Nevada. However, you are correct in that the United States government owns almost 650 million acres of land which is nearly 30% of its total territory. But it's much more than grazing land. These federal lands include military bases and testing grounds, nature parks and reserves and Native American reservations. Some are leased to the private sector for commercial uses such as forestry, mining, agriculture. And they are managed by not just the Bureau of Land Management. There is also the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Bureau of Reclamation or the Tennessee Valley Authority. As for selling the land to pay off the national debt currently stands at $17,546,243,173,613 and some change. You could sell every square inch and it wouldn't make a dent in the debt. Personally I enjoy using the federal parks as well as the state parks and would hate to see them disappear. And no way are you going to sell off military bases and legally contracted lands owned by the Federal government.

PTC Observer
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OK borntorun

Let's sell it anyway, the government doesn't need to own land. We can use the revenue to reduce the national debt, dent or no dent. We'll end up with a smaller government bureaucracy, another plus.

As far as defense, the government can rent it from private owners, in fact when we sell it we can put a clause in the contract that the land must be rented or leased to the government. Collective ownership of anything gets screwed up, if you don't believe it, just look at the oceans.

BTW, I don't care if you enjoy parks. If you want to go to a park, pay for it, don't force me to pay for your visit to the park. Who knows, if people actually take money out of their pocket to do things, fewer people will screw up the resources.

borntorun
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Taxes

You don't like paying for me to go to a park....I didn't like paying for Dubya's stupid and needless excursion into Iraq that cost over 5,000 of our men and women lives in uniform....the Christian Scientists don't want to pay for the CDC and NIH....the Catholics don't want to pay for contraception...the Amish don't want to pay for the Dept of Defense....I forgot what the Methodists don't want to pay for but I'm sure there is something....well, you get it. Hey....lets submit a checklist of what we want our taxes to pay for. That should make tax filing time interesting.

You're obviously smarter than I am so tell me how it is more cost effective to sell land to the private sector and then pay rent back to them for eternity. Seems to me the folks who own the land could charge whatever rent they want which over years could cost more than what we pay for maintenance of land the govt already owns. Or are you suggesting the govt would establish rent rates? Hmmm.....I can hear the Tea Baggers yelling.

Look I'm not in favor of bloated or unnecessary govt anymore than you are. And Lord knows there are plenty of programs that are duplicative and should be eliminated.

And your idea of privatizing parks is something to look into. The State of Ga still owns its state parks but has turned over management of several of them to a private contractor. The new arrangement now involve fees for access and services that are now paid for by our taxes. And it seems to be working as far as I know.

But I do think at the end of the day, its important to ensure our natural resources are not prostituted for the bottom line. It's called quality of life.

PTC Observer
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borntorum - You may be

quite surprised, but I too don't like wasting blood or treasure on war. As far as religion in government policy, I too would like to see it eliminated. No one should force their concept of morality through force of law. Unless of course it is to protect life, liberty and property. All I am saying is that we have a social contract with our government, it doesn't include the right to parks. There are those that are "representing" our interests, who wish to use the power of government to limit our Rights. In fact, I would say that nearly all elected representatives want to dole out treasure to enrich themselves and of course to get re-elected, so they can continue doing it.

Renting property to the government goes on now and contractually you can put any limits on the rates you pay for rent. A contract, is mutually beneficial or we wouldn't have them.

As to natural resources being "prostituted" for the bottom line, well I think the motive of profit is noble and it allocates resources a lot better than government "management". If you're worried about our "natural beauty", then put it in the contract when you sell it. God knows it can't be much worse than it is now, you can't even get into a popular national park without a reservation months in advance, the parks are run down and over used. Let's let people pay their way, if they want to use something, they should simply pay for it.

Taxes to the extent they protect our Rights are necessary and legitimate. Taxes for any other purpose are extortion, robbery and lead to corruption. To wit, look at our current government.

borntorun
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PTC Observer

"Taxes to the extent they protect our Rights are necessary and legitimate. Taxes for any other purpose are extortion, robbery and lead to corruption."

So it sounds like the only thing you think taxes should be used for is defense? No investment in our infrastructure needs? No ensuring our food and water is safe for consumption? No safety net for those who cannot fend for themselves? No investment in our schools and young people? I could go on....but you get my drift.

If your answer is yes, there is a country where that exists. It's called Russia. But I am glad to see you and I share the same views regarding unnecessary war and religious intrusion.

PTC Observer
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Sounds like vs. Means - borntorun

Yes, I suppose that those giving up on the government largess, would consider my position 'extreme". However, I would point out that it is clear that the founders of our country would find our current fiscal state a nightmare. They would be right for course and they predicted the outcome of social democracy.

It sounds like you actually believe that there are no alternatives and it is only government regulation that can insure "safety nets, infrastructure, safe water, food, schools, etc. Now you really don't believe that do you? Really? You can't think of one way this could get done without government plunder of our wealth?

What I mean is that government was formed under our social contract, to provide certain services. One is to protect us from foreign and domestic threats, another was to protect us from others infringing on our Rights, this included the infringement of our Rights by the government itself. Taxes for these purposes are legal and needed. Taxing some people for the benefit of other people is counter to the proper role of government, it is in fact robbery and extortion. You have no right to my money, therefore you cannot vote to take it by force of law, because you have no right to do this individually. You cannot rob me with a gun, a group of people can't rob me with a lot of guns, so why do you think you can do this with a vote and not a gun? You can't vote to force someone to give up their property because you don't have this right as an individual and a group of individuals don't have this right either.

This is the basis of a free society. I am not saying that people don't need help, or good water or schools, they need all those things. In a free market they should pay for them. Those that can't afford them should be helped by individuals that voluntarily do that. They shouldn't be forced to do it.

Davids mom
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PTCO - Reality
Quote:

In a free market they should pay for them. Those that can't afford them should be helped by individuals that voluntarily do that.

Volunteerism is/was alive and well in our county until people were/are UNEMPLOYED, We are a nation that has suffered jobs being sent overseas; technology extending beyond the average education offered to our students; (but you've heard this all before.) A free society, in order to work, must have opportunities for more than half of the population to work in order to support themselves, have an opportunity to become educated, etc. etc. etc. A free society is one where 'love' is not laughed at - and hate does not survive in the actions of an 73 year old ex-klan member. The majority of citizens in our country respect one another and deal in reality. The reality today is that we are missing important components for a 'free market'. without offering our citizens safe guards against poverty.

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Thanks DM

for a very lucid argument for my position.

Davids mom
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PTCO

What 'property' has the government taken from you by force?

Quote:

The reality today is that we are missing important components for a 'free market'. without offering our citizens safe guards against poverty.

The reality today is that very important components for a free market society are missing - and humans will suffer until these components are in place. Your position seems to be to deny them 'help' because of the unemployment situation.

At one time I thought 'pull yourself up by your bootstrap' was good advice - until I worked with families who had no boots.

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DM - Not at all!

I say help them!

Everyone who wants to help should help them, those that don't shouldn't be forced to do so. Individual action allocates money and resources far better than government. Command and control of an economy doesn't work, why should command and control of philanthropy be any different?

If you want to solve unemployment DM, then get government out of supporting unemployment.

brewster
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O' church, where art thou?

Too bad we can't have the good old days when the government would encourage the church folk to bind up the wounds of those that couldn't afford them.

borntorun
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brewster dude

Oh you mean the days when doctors were paid with chickens? Sorry for better or worse those days are gone. Besides why is it the governments role to "encourage" the church folk to bind up the wounds? Thought that was what Jesus taught. The problem with too many churches is they are more interested in grandiose building programs, exorbitant preacher salaries and perks than feeding and clothing the poor. Look at the Catholic priest who was outed with his $2.5 mansion last week.

brewster
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Eat more chicken BTR

Good point - the poor paid with what they had, not getting the government to get the payment from the rich folk around the corner. Of course today it would not be chickens, but flat screen TV's, iPhones, Air Jordan's and such. The politicians should not be in the charity business - unless there goal is to control people and make them dependant on government. Encourage other organizations to assist the poor, not crowd them out. If the churches had that real responsibility, and saw throngs of people dying in poverty: the excess fluff as you described would be impossible to accept and the church would be forced to "get real".

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brewster

"If the churches had that real responsibility, and saw throngs of people dying in poverty: the excess fluff as you described would be impossible to accept and the church would be forced to "get real"."

That's a fascinating statement in a couple of ways, brewster.

First of all the churches do have that responsibility.

Matthew 25:35-40 says..." For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

What other authorization other than what Jesus taught are you saying churches need? Surely not from the government.

Second, you say "if....they saw throngs of people dying in poverty....

I'm pretty sure most if not all churches and their members do have access to the news and are aware that people are dying in poverty.

I'm not saying the churches don't do some good things. They do. But it does seem that religion...particular organized religion has lost its way and instead of focusing on what Jesus taught is more interested in seeing who can build the biggest church, take in the most money and get the highest tv rankings. And speaking of tv...we wont even go there as far as those tv shyster preachers.

brewster
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BTR fascination

Churches should have that responsibility, of course, but we both know that is not the case today. Also, I did not say authorization from the government, but encouragement - big difference. The government is getting too gun shy in regards to associating itself with any form of God. I am surprised they haven't erased that word off the Tomb of the Unknown soldier yet. I'm sure when they realize how easy it was to erase the phrase off the MLK monument, it will be next in line. Secondly, watching news and surfing the web is not the same as stepping over a person on the way to work or seeing your childrens friend sleeping in a cardboard box. Ever wonder why big bucks are spent on church missions every year over in other countries and that money and time is not spent in the USA? Uncle Sam has that covered in spades, if you please, so why put more effort here?
I agree with you that we have lost the way, but if the government would back off their program of indentured servitude for the needy, the way back would be a little clearer.

Davids mom
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The Pope

Is making some needed changes not only in the Catholic church - but in the demonstration of Christianity.

borntorun
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DM: The Pope

Time will tell DM. I'll say at this point there have been a few positive changes. But there are so many systemic problems deeply imbedded in the Catholic church such as the stench of pedophilia and questionable financial practices that the changes The Pope are merely scratching the surface. Again, time will tell. I hope he succeeds.

Davids mom
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borntorun

I also hope he succeeds. He has opened the eyes and hearts of many involved in Christianity. His success will benefit more than just the Catholic church IMO.

Davids mom
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STF

That's it in a nutshell ! Thanks for the concise summary.

Earl E Bird
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vortex

Whats to rebut? You said in your first post that change can not be achieved here. Now you say it can? Well at least you are funny. Kind of like watching a kid throw a temper tantrum at the store.

Spyglass
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Brilliant

Great commentary!

I guess the Easter Bunny isn't real either.