Friday, October 19, 2012
On Wednesday after the Tuesday debate Tagg Romney was asked how it felt to have the President call his dad a liar. first of all the President didn't call him a liar, he said that what he was saying was not true. Tagg responded by saying that he wanted to punch the President in the nose but couldn't because of secret service. What Tagg should be doing is reading the multitude of posts from fact checkers who stated that his dad was not exactly truthful 31 times in 41 minutes, an impressive total by any stretch. The problem with Mitt Romney is that he has an inability to maintain consistent positions on the issues and he gets facts wrong (likely deliberately to make himself look better). Tagg don't be like your dad, get the facts right before you go punch anyone in the nose especially the President.
That's what Mitt Romney and the Republicans call President Obama. Some look at this as a slam against the President who as a child received food stamps. Some point to the fact that the number of people on food stamps has increased during his presidency and that somehow he made it easier to qualify for food stamps. The facts on food stamps are a little more complicated. The majority of the recipients have jobs. So, why would they qualify for food stamps? Because both wages and hours are down since 2008, but in reality they have been in decline for 30 years. The bottom line is that you have more people who simply cannot afford to live in this country. If we would reduce the food stamp program (both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are on record although recently they have change their mind) Paul Ryan would be able to get in a nice photo op at the soup kitchen probably similar to the depression. You remove the floor and people are going to fall hard. The Republicans believe that this is what should happen. My question is what is the point? Does anyone really believe that if you cut off aid to the poor suddenly the poor will get higher paying jobs or start a business? Of course not. What will happen is that we will see the true effects of this economy, which is that it is disastrous for the majority of Americans. Maybe, we as a country need to go through a period like this so that people will finally wake up and understand that the wealthy, the corporations, and the politicians did this to us and finally demand change.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Paul Ryan says that he and Romney will only take the US to war if the national interests of this country are threatened. He didn't really define this but there are indicators from past actions. While Mitt Romney was dodging the draft of a war that he not only fully supported but a war where he helped organize pro-war protests. That war was Vietnam. A war where there were no clear threats to our national security other than the domino effect of communism. In fact today with the communists still in charge Vietnam has become an important trading partner, Mitt may have even shipped some American jobs over there. Paul Ryan voted for the war in Iraq and Mitt Romney supported it. Again another conflict without a clear threat to the country. So, if they win expect to go into both Syria and Iran not that either country poses a threat to this country. Even if Iran had a bomb they would be incapable of delivering to the United States. If by some miracle they pulled off blowing one up in the US what exactly would happen to Iran? I think that we would no longer have to worry about the Iranians. Syria is simply not a threat and there is no clear good group worthy of our support.
Friday, October 12, 2012
A recent survey came out that said among self described conservatives 77% agreed with the following: "the hardest working people should be paid the most". Among liberals that statement was only rated true by 49%. The predictable reaction was see it's the 47% freeloaders who want everything handed to them, who want to be paid more for doing less. Oh the horror! I would contend that the liberals got it right. The people who work the hardest (physical effort and time) are some of the lowest paid people in America. They are the people who work in the fields, build the buildings, build the roads, stock the shelves, work a couple of jobs, cook in the restaurants,... Whereas, the high priced workers sit in the office and stare at computer screens for a lot of hours. You can argue that they work a lot of hours, that they pass on vacations, have to make hard decisions, but you would be hard pressed to say that they are working hard. There is simply no comparison especially when you look at people who were paid to make the hard decisions and then when things didn't go as planned they end up getting bailed out or making money on the deal while the hard working workers are out jobs. You have to look no further than Mitt Romney to see that this is true. As CEO of many companies that went under he seems to have done well for himself while the workers suffered.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Last night's debate had a question about the role of government and neither candidate had an answer. Mitt Romney who is on the restore the constitution as I know it tour quoted from the Declaration of Independence a document that does not stat the role of government. For President Obama's answer he started out good by talking about how the government assisted the railroads in building the trans-continental railroad (taxpayers built it just don't own it) and funding science. Then he went off into other programs and failed to tie it back to the Constitution. A better question would have been "how do you interpret Article 1, section 8, clause 1 of the US Constitution and how do you see the role of government in the US?". This would force each of them to address the promote the general welfare of the nation sub-clause. The liberals see that as meaning that government has a role in ensuring that people aren't left behind. The right sees that as being an extension of providing for the defense of the nation, that you have to keep people safe thereby promoting their welfare. A follow-up could have been "section 8, clause 8 describes a government that promotes the arts, funds research, and promotes science what are your thoughts?". It should be noted that Romney did indicate that the arts would be cut although that and defense would appear to be 2 programs that the founding fathers wanted.
I'll admit to being a little (okay a lot) upset about the pending Physicians Plus and UW Hospital divorce. While I was thinking about my denial to continue to see a specialist it occurred to me that Physicians Plus has a brilliant strategy. They are denying referrals, hiring a few specialists, out sourcing the rest to doctors that 90+ miles away so that they will piss off the people seeking specialty care. And here's why, those patients are certainly big users of the system, they also have pre-existing conditions so they are your most expensive patients. I would probably be safe to say that even with the high premium prices they are probably making very little or negative money on these patients. So, those who work for an employer that offers a choice of plans will leave for Unity, Dean (have to change doctors as well), or some other insurance and overnight Physicians Plus becomes profitable because they just got rid of their high cost patients.
You knew that healthcare would take center stage at the debate. Healthcare being the signature plan of both candidates (same plan in fact). Mitt has staked the position of repeal, now repeal and replace. I guess the flat out repeal wasn't poling well. I thought that he had some amazing comments on the topic. First he said that he believes in the private sector. But, then he said if you don't like your company you can just switch. This is simply not true if you fall into any one of the following categories, pre-existing conditions, undergoing current treatment, or need a specific treatment. There is not an insurance company that is going to take people with those conditions. If your insurance is provided by an employer you can change once per year assuming that your company offers more than one plan (not that common). He also stated that he doesn't want an unelected panel making healthcare decisions for him. The problem with this statement is that it is not true, but lets assume that it is. How would that be different from an insurance company panel that we pay directly for? This is not uncommon, if you need a procedure that is not covered in your statement of benefits or is deemed experimental you can ask for it to be covered. A panel will decide if you need that procedure. Then they will decide if they will pay for it. You want to see a specialist that is outside the plan, the same system applies. A real example is right here in Dane county. I had spine surgery this spring. The surgeon follows up for 2 years. The problem my surgeon works for UW hospital, my insurance company is Physicians Plus. They no longer cover this. So I asked for a referral, I was granted 1 follow-up visit where no diagnostics can take place and I was directed to a list of orthopedic surgeons. The problem is that none of them specialize in spine surgery. Not a problem, I'll ask for a name. That was 2 weeks ago and I still haven't heard back. I'm so glad that the private sector is showing the way on healthcare! If you have to interact with the system you know that it is broken and you dislike it more than your cell phone company. Apparently if you are wealthy like Mitt Romney and you have a pre-existing condition like Ann Romney the system works but for the rest of us it sucks and it is getting worse every year as the insurers try to maximize profit.