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658017 Posts in 9261 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 45 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: the continuing story of the 2008 political election  (Read 82150 times)
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diesel_powered
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:28:40 PM »

No no. Not "far out whacko".

COMMUNIST.

Edit: And you'd think Ron Paul would be leading the HC...
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DCDave
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« Reply #26 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »

It's not like it isn't possible, though. Just cut the holy hell out of military spending and realign some national priorities.

xpos, to Dave

Let me walk you through this, because I don't know if you understand the magnitude.  Currently, healthcare costs are 12% of GDP.  Medicare is about 3% of GDP.  Over time, this is supposed to rise up to 11% of GDP. Currently, the federal budget is about 25% of GDP.   Additionally, private insurance is a tax expenditure, that is, rather than collecting revenues off of money that private companies spend on insurance, the government does not collect those funds.  Which means that the government currently spends 3% of GDP + (9/4)% on healthcare.  If private costs increase as public costs increase, the government, under current planning, will spend 11% + (9*11/4)% of GDP on healthcare.  This is more than the government collects in revenue.  It goes beyond "rebalance national priorities" and "cut military spending."
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #27 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:33:56 PM »

What percentage of GDP do we spend on military endeavors/technology/arms, etc?
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DCDave
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« Reply #28 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:34:40 PM »

About 5%.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #29 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:38:36 PM »

So right now it's 2% above our healthcare spending, but you're saying that over time (how much time, out of curiosity?), healthcare spending is going to increase to about 11%, and that this rise is attributable to the rising costs in private insurance? And if that's what you're saying, how/why?
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DCDave
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« Reply #30 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:45:37 PM »

The rise is attributable to the rising costs in healthcare.  People are living longer and thus having more expensive procedures performed.  However, it's not clear how these more, expensive procedures are of net social benefit - i.e., a $30,000 quadruple bypass that allows the patient an extra six months of life is currently covered under Medicare, and thus, under most private insurance.  Additionally, as malpractice torts rise, the corresponding standard of care has to go up.  Essentially as new procedures and new tests are generated, these become standard of care.  Furthermore, a lot of biodiscovery, now, results in patentable tests - assays, etc., even though the basic research leading to the creation of these tests is funded for by public dollars.  Additionally, obesity. 

Essentially, the healthcare system now is set up to pay for a population of people that die at age 65, rather than live until 90, and is set up to pay for $600 procedures, not $30,000 ones.  But because people live until 90, and because we WILL pay for a procedure that costs $30,000 w/o questioning whether it's worth it, we're going to be fucked.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #31 on: Feb 04, 2008, 03:53:50 PM »

Wow... and but so shouldn't we, in addition to formulating new approaches to paying for these new kinds of expensive care, shouldn't we maybe try and funnel some extra cash over toward medicare and such? Maybe let some of our bigger defense contractors starve while we get things fixed? I know that's not a permanent solution, but it still seems we could stand to shift a percentage point of that spending toward extending life rather than shoring up our imperialist ambitions...?

Also is there really strong evidence that malpractice torts are driving up the cost of care? I've heard that's been greatly exaggerated over the past few years.
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DCDave
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« Reply #32 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:00:08 PM »

Wow... and but so shouldn't we, in addition to formulating new approaches to paying for these new kinds of expensive care, shouldn't we maybe try and funnel some extra cash over toward medicare and such? Maybe let some of our bigger defense contractors starve while we get things fixed? I know that's not a permanent solution, but it still seems we could stand to shift a percentage point of that spending toward extending life rather than shoring up our imperialist ambitions...?

Also is there really strong evidence that malpractice torts are driving up the cost of care? I've heard that's been greatly exaggerated over the past few years.

It depends on how you analyze it.  Most of the analysis is on the payments made by malpractice insurance, not how standard of care changes effect the bottom line overall.  If a doctor doesn't provide you with the latest and greatest, they are exposing themselves to liability. 

I can see how retooling funding could be attractive, but it's still not an if one goes down than the other is fixed problem. 1% point change in allocation doesn't effect a long term problem.  The long-term problem is more structural.  I don't think that we're going to be able to extend life on public dollars without major technological breakthroughs - A lot of Obama's health care proposal is technologically oriented.  It seeks to get better data and standardized treatment of care.  It looks at means-testing to get this done, among other things.  Determine what is and is not an improvement in quality of care, rather than addressing it from a standpoint of throwing everything at a patient and hope not to get sued.  It focuses on management of obesity as the real policy goal that it should be, since that is a MAJOR driver in increasing costs.

Regardless, none of this makes John Edwards Universal Health Care proposal any more realistic, nor Clinton's.  Obama, from my perspective, is actually attempting to directly identify and address structural problems. 
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #33 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:06:38 PM »

Hm. Well, thanks for the insight, anyway. The problem with coming at things like this structurally (i.e. sensibly) is that people don't like to hear that problems are systemic, they want good clean fixes the particulars of which can be encapsulated in a sentence or two (sort of the problem with HC's original health care proposal way back when, right?). I don't doubt the big O's got some good ideas; it just remains to be seen how effectively he can express em. So far I don't think he's been especially successful w/r/t articulation in this campaign.
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DCDave
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« Reply #34 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:13:24 PM »

Hm. Well, thanks for the insight, anyway. The problem with coming at things like this structurally (i.e. sensibly) is that people don't like to hear that problems are systemic, they want good clean fixes the particulars of which can be encapsulated in a sentence or two (sort of the problem with HC's original health care proposal way back when, right?). I don't doubt the big O's got some good ideas; it just remains to be seen how effectively he can express em. So far I don't think he's been especially successful w/r/t articulation in this campaign.

And I really think that your views on Obama's inarticulation are a personal bias issue.  I'm a policy wonk, and Obama, in all of his speeches, has been directly referencing ideas and philosophies behind policy solutions.  Secondarily, the thing with HC's health care proposal is that it's the same as the '93-'94 plan, essentially.  So she's had 14 years of working on the specifics, and she's ended up with a shitty program.  Tertiarily, I read Edward's 7 page health care policy and it was a vacuous, steaming, turd.  So being more specific on policy solutions is meaningless to me, if your specific answers are garbage. 

So if you want more specific, sure, vote Hilary, vote for her shitty, specific plan.  Or read up on Obama's issue positions, understand that they're thought out, and more complex than making a reference to one universal fix, because one universal fix is rarely an actual, decent, policy solution.  But you, Miles, don't understand, from a baseline perspective, why these plans might be good or bad, so I'd urge you not to vote for someone just because they're more "specific". 
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Nick
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« Reply #35 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:19:25 PM »

I don't doubt the big O's got some good ideas; it just remains to be seen how effectively he can express em. So far I don't think he's been especially successful w/r/t articulation in this campaign.
I think this is a conscious campaign decision rather than a failure of articulation. Obama could talk more about specifics of his policies, as Hillary does, but that's by and large not what the voters want to hear. His platitudes about "hope" and "change" have been more effective for him; it's one of the reasons he's viewed as the more charismatic candidate.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #36 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:39:52 PM »

Hm. Well, thanks for the insight, anyway. The problem with coming at things like this structurally (i.e. sensibly) is that people don't like to hear that problems are systemic, they want good clean fixes the particulars of which can be encapsulated in a sentence or two (sort of the problem with HC's original health care proposal way back when, right?). I don't doubt the big O's got some good ideas; it just remains to be seen how effectively he can express em. So far I don't think he's been especially successful w/r/t articulation in this campaign.

And I really think that your views on Obama's inarticulation are a personal bias issue.  I'm a policy wonk, and Obama, in all of his speeches, has been directly referencing ideas and philosophies behind policy solutions.  Secondarily, the thing with HC's health care proposal is that it's the same as the '93-'94 plan, essentially.  So she's had 14 years of working on the specifics, and she's ended up with a shitty program.  Tertiarily, I read Edward's 7 page health care policy and it was a vacuous, steaming, turd.  So being more specific on policy solutions is meaningless to me, if your specific answers are garbage. 

So if you want more specific, sure, vote Hilary, vote for her shitty, specific plan.  Or read up on Obama's issue positions, understand that they're thought out, and more complex than making a reference to one universal fix, because one universal fix is rarely an actual, decent, policy solution.  But you, Miles, don't understand, from a baseline perspective, why these plans might be good or bad, so I'd urge you not to vote for someone just because they're more "specific". 

Dave: why do you have to be a massive jerk when I'm sincerely just after your insight on this stuff? Would you be so condescending if I were going to vote for Obama based on his meaningless platitudes? Or would you applaud me for making the right choice without the benefit of really deep understanding of the nuances of each issue?


I mean really it's been bothering the hell out of me because I'm trying to keep up with the campaign but seemingly because I don't have my finger on the pulse of the beltway (as you apparently do) and do not have the time/desire to obsessively track the campaign and policy issues and such (as blucas apparently does), my opinion does not matter. And when I ask you guys to explain something, or tell me why/in what manner I'm wrong, etc., you treat me like some mouthbreathing idiot. Does it really have to do with the fact that I'm not gonna go with your boy, or are you just like offended that I'm not better-informed?
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2008, 04:44:53 PM by elpollodiablo » Logged

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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #37 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:46:42 PM »

Also I'm just curious: was anyone else pulling for Edwards early on?

edwards was my guy right up until he dropped out. but obama was always my second choice.

FEBRUARY 3, 2008: Clinton Says People Who Don't Sign Up For Health Insurance "Won't Have to Pay Fines"; Then Says One Option For Enforcement is "Going After People's Wages." When asked about her enforcement mechanism, Clinton said, "Well, they don't have to pay fines, George. We want them to have insurance. We want it to be affordable." When pushed again on whether or not she would garnish wages, Clinton said, "George, we will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it's that or it's or it's some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments…And the reason why I think there are a number of mechanisms, going after people's wages, automatic enrollment, when you are at the place of employment, you will be automatically enrolled, whatever the mechanism is." [ABC, 2/3/08]

god, remember when i used the phrase "orwellian doublespeak", back in the first post of this thread? when i wrote that, I WASN'T EVEN AWARE OF THIS QUOTE. i mean, holy fucking shit, dudes.
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guanajuato
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« Reply #38 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:47:20 PM »

why doesn't anyone ever talk about mit romney 'round here? i've noticed none of you are seriously considering his worth as a president. i mean, i expected to see at least one person say 'if it ain't mit, it aint' shit'. but...
nothing.
Sad
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« Reply #39 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:48:05 PM »

Quote
I mean really it's been bothering the hell out of me because I'm trying to keep up with the campaign but seemingly because I don't have my finger on the pulse of the beltway (as you apparently do) and do not have the time/desire to obsessively track the campaign and policy issues and such (as blucas apparently does), my opinion does not matter. And when I ask you guys to explain something, or tell me why/in what manner I'm wrong, etc., you treat me like some mouthbreathing idiot. Does it really have to do with the fact that I'm not gonna go with your boy, or are you just like offended that I'm not better-informed?

Actually I'm pretty sure it's just the pride that comes from knowing more than somebody on the internet.
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« Reply #40 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:48:47 PM »

why doesn't anyone ever talk about mit romney 'round here? i've noticed none of you are seriously considering his worth as a president. i mean, i expected to see at least one person say 'if it ain't mit, it aint' shit'. but...
nothing.
Sad

Mitt Romney looks like he wants to sell me something is all.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #41 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:49:19 PM »

It's really too bad the guy who was talking about universal health care got fucked in the ass by the media. Edwards was my first choice, with Clinton a tentative second.

A tort lawyer isn't really my first choice to fix the healthcare system.

Also, healthcare isn't an all/none proposition.  Current government sponsored healthcare costs are rising faster than any other government expenditures.  Universal healthcare would only make that worse.

well, i don't want to make it seem like i don't support tax increases in order to pay for universal health care--i do. but i think they should mostly apply to people who make more than $100k a year. i think we need to add in at least two more tax brackets above our current top tax bracket, which starts at salaries of something like $240k per year. when there are people in america who make multiple millions per year, the idea of someone who makes $240k a year sharing a tax bracket with the highest-paid americans is fucking absurd.
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guanajuato
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« Reply #42 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:51:27 PM »

why doesn't anyone ever talk about mit romney 'round here? i've noticed none of you are seriously considering his worth as a president. i mean, i expected to see at least one person say 'if it ain't mit, it aint' shit'. but...
nothing.
Sad

Mitt Romney looks like he wants to sell me something is all.

have you seen his 'family propaganda vids'?
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #43 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:51:53 PM »

Everyone seems to distrust Romney, and with good reason. He's gone from the values candidate (which how the hell did he think that was gonna work when he had to talk about his Mormonism eventually?) to the business candidate to the more-conservative-than-McCain candidate. Kinda characteristic of his entire political career, really. I mean you can forgive someone's like epiphanic realization w/r/t some moral issue if it's genuine, but with Romney it always just looks like the greedy opportunism that it really is.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #44 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:52:12 PM »

It's going to be interesting, if Obama does get the nomination, to hear what those same Republicans are saying this summer, after conservative media outlets start going after him in earnest.  We already know Clinton can survive it; they've been somewhat hesitant to go after Obama so far.

yeah, I'm not talking about bill oreilly here, I'm talking about Joe Republican, with only a mild interest in the process. 

Oh, I know.  I am too.  Joe Republican will say things like, "Obama's not so bad" now, when he's up against Clinton.  I'm saying that I wonder if that's going to be the case if he's up against McCain or Romney, and the sole focus of conservative talk radio's ire for months on end.

with ann coulter endorsing hilary clinton over john mccain, i'm really interested in whether or not the whackjob wing of the republican party (which includes most of the right wing punditry) will even support mccain if/when he does get the republican nomination. will they try to get everyone to stay home? will some whackjob third party candidate come out of nowhere? will they all tell people that this proves some kind of weird theory about how the political mainstream is being stolen by spineless liberals, and that there's no point in even bothering to engage with it anymore? or will they pretend the last couple months of their mccain-hateration never happened? i'm interested in finding out the answers to these questions.
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DCDave
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« Reply #45 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:53:01 PM »

It's really too bad the guy who was talking about universal health care got fucked in the ass by the media. Edwards was my first choice, with Clinton a tentative second.

A tort lawyer isn't really my first choice to fix the healthcare system.

Also, healthcare isn't an all/none proposition.  Current government sponsored healthcare costs are rising faster than any other government expenditures.  Universal healthcare would only make that worse.

well, i don't want to make it seem like i don't support tax increases in order to pay for universal health care--i do. but i think they should mostly apply to people who make more than $100k a year. i think we need to add in at least two more tax brackets above our current top tax bracket, which starts at salaries of something like $240k per year. when there are people in america who make multiple millions per year, the idea of someone who makes $240k a year sharing a tax bracket with the highest-paid americans is fucking absurd.

This always seems non-equitable to me, because it's not as though people at higher levels of earning receive disproportionate benefits on average.  But I guess you're way more OK with taxation as a form of income redistribution than I am. 
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #46 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:53:19 PM »

It's really too bad the guy who was talking about universal health care got fucked in the ass by the media. Edwards was my first choice, with Clinton a tentative second.

A tort lawyer isn't really my first choice to fix the healthcare system.

Also, healthcare isn't an all/none proposition.  Current government sponsored healthcare costs are rising faster than any other government expenditures.  Universal healthcare would only make that worse.

well, i don't want to make it seem like i don't support tax increases in order to pay for universal health care--i do. but i think they should mostly apply to people who make more than $100k a year. i think we need to add in at least two more tax brackets above our current top tax bracket, which starts at salaries of something like $240k per year. when there are people in america who make multiple millions per year, the idea of someone who makes $240k a year sharing a tax bracket with the highest-paid americans is fucking absurd.

Seriously. I read the other day that there are more than 1 million millionaires in this country now.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #47 on: Feb 04, 2008, 04:54:11 PM »

It's really too bad the guy who was talking about universal health care got fucked in the ass by the media. Edwards was my first choice, with Clinton a tentative second.

A tort lawyer isn't really my first choice to fix the healthcare system.

Also, healthcare isn't an all/none proposition.  Current government sponsored healthcare costs are rising faster than any other government expenditures.  Universal healthcare would only make that worse.

well, i don't want to make it seem like i don't support tax increases in order to pay for universal health care--i do. but i think they should mostly apply to people who make more than $100k a year. i think we need to add in at least two more tax brackets above our current top tax bracket, which starts at salaries of something like $240k per year. when there are people in america who make multiple millions per year, the idea of someone who makes $240k a year sharing a tax bracket with the highest-paid americans is fucking absurd.

This always seems non-equitable to me, because it's not as though people at higher levels of earning receive disproportionate benefits on average.  But I guess you're way more OK with taxation as a form of income redistribution than I am. 

Isn't having a disproportionately high income the biggest benefit there is?
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DCDave
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« Reply #48 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:00:50 PM »

I mean really it's been bothering the hell out of me because I'm trying to keep up with the campaign but seemingly because I don't have my finger on the pulse of the beltway (as you apparently do) and do not have the time/desire to obsessively track the campaign and policy issues and such (as blucas apparently does), my opinion does not matter. And when I ask you guys to explain something, or tell me why/in what manner I'm wrong, etc., you treat me like some mouthbreathing idiot. Does it really have to do with the fact that I'm not gonna go with your boy, or are you just like offended that I'm not better-informed?

You were arguing that you didn't like someone because they didn't sound knowledgeable about policies, but then demonstrated shallow knowledge about what some of the actual problems with the system were.  I don't have my finger on the pulse of the beltway, I have multiple years of education and professional experience in some of these specific issues.  Your opinion does matter, but it doesn't supersede factual knowledge, and in this case, when I said "Look, Obama's positions, if you read about the issues, are clear and sensical and Hillary's are shallow and meaningless" your response was that Obama was inarticulate.
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DCDave
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« Reply #49 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:01:38 PM »

Isn't having a disproportionately high income the biggest benefit there is?

In most cases, it's not a government-granted benefit, so I don't see how it enters the discussion.  Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.
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