22 March 2010

How You Like Me Now?

It's so very disheartening to see so many embrace the lie in order to feel better about themselves and gloss over any buzz-killing detail. Here, coincidentally, area a few key details to kill the buzz:
  • The “reconciliation bill” is not a “health bill” but an anti-health bill. It relies heavily on price controls, taxes and fines to punish doctors, hospitals and formerly innovative companies the produce prescription drugs and medical devices. If we treated farmers, food companies and grocery stores the way Congress threatens to treat the health industries would anybody expect food to become better or cheaper?
  • The 3.8% tax on both labor and investment income is not a “Medicare tax.” It’s surtax on income that goes into the slush fund, not the Medicare trust.
  • The bill could not possibly cost “only” $940 billion unless it contained a sunset provision — repealing the law after 2019.
and some bigger picture:
Fortunately, the welfare state that we have inherited is visibly bankrupt in more than one way. Medicare in its current form is unsustainable; Social Security is no longer viable. The cohort of retirees is growing ever larger, and they live on and on. The cohort of those within the work force is not growing at a faster rate. Taxes can perhaps be raised but if they are raised too much they will choke off investment, get in the way of economic growth, cease to bring in the revenue requisite for supporting our entitlement programs.

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