The Republican “Obamacare Do-Over” – But Is It Enough?

Ed_GillespieEd Gillespie, the Republican senatorial candidate in Virginia, did not win his election. But he did come close in the purple state, receiving more than a million votes. Central to his platform was a 5-point plan for economic growth, and the first point was his proposal to replace Obamacare. The plan was developed by the 2017 Project, a public policy group.

In his recent op-ed in the New York Times, Gillespie wrote:

We need to get rid of Obamacare instead of attempting to fix it because it is fundamentally flawed, cleverly designed to lead us over time to a single-payer system. This will become clearer when the employer mandate provisions kick in next year, with their incentives for companies to dump workers from their employer plans into government-run exchanges. As the exchanges swell and become more costly to taxpayers, we’ll be told that a government monopoly would be more cost-effective.

To push back against the bill’s gravitational pull toward a single-payer system that would essentially supplant private insurance with a government program, Republicans must have a plan that addresses the concerns that led to Obamacare’s enactment in the first place: rising costs, too many uninsured people and a lack of protection for patients with pre-existing conditions.

Gillespie’s plan begins by fixing the tax code, which currently gives a tax break to people who get health insurance through their employers, but does not to individuals who purchase outside of the workplace. The plan would offer health insurance tax credits to individuals and families who buy insurance on their own. These would benefit all Americans, unlike the Obamacare premium assistance which only benefits lower income and elderly participants. Adult children up to age 26 could still retain coverage.

While preserving the tax break for employer-based insurance, my plan would offer health-insurance tax credits for all individuals and families who buy insurance on their own. The tax credit would be $1,200 per year for those under 35 years of age, $2,100 for those 35 to 49, and $3,000 for those 50 or older, plus $900 per child. For a family of four headed by two 40-year-old parents, the tax credit would be like having $6,000 in cash to spend on health insurance. If the family found a plan they liked for less, they could put the difference in a health savings account to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.

People with pre-existing conditions would be protected. $7.5 billion a year would be allocated for state-run “high risk” pools to serve people who don’t qualify or cannot afford insurance in the open market. Americans would be free to shop for value by comparing prices. The plan supports sensible medical and malpractice reforms, and caps the break on employer-based insurance at $20,000 per family plan.

Medicaid would go back to the eligibility levels that precede Obamacare. People who were added to Medicaid under Obamacare could buy personal insurance with their new tax credits.

Gillespie says of his proposed reforms “would lower premiums, increase consumer choice and not disrupt doctor-patient relationships.” He adds, “Obviously, enacting legislation along these lines will require a Republican president.”

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  • Jerry Hughes

    Sounds like a liberal dem bloodsucker to me. The RINOS can start acting like republicans or pay the price We held our nose and voted RINO last month You will lose a third of your base if you don’t repeal Obama care and leave it alone, the government is not responsible for buying insurance,.
    There will be a 3rd party next year if you fing RINOS keep this crap up.

    • ernaldin

      Jerry Hughes for president!…….I’m NOT kididng!

  • CaptTurbo

    I won’t be happy until everything that this Trojan Horse, communist Muslim usurper has done is undone and he is dragged away in chains.

  • snowyriver

    obama is the usurper NOT the president. Anything and everything he has done is null and void ! ! ! !

    • shannon853

      only if congress will force the issue and follows the constitution!

      • snowyriver

        A retained House and Senate majority by the Republicans will bring that on.

        • al sowins

          It will not. Rinos are Demonrats, or nearly so. They are One World Collectivists, and amoral. They hate, as does Obama, our Constitution and our America. Wake up!

          • conductor1

            I can agree that Rinos are much like Dems, the most important similarity being that reelection comes first. I can also agree that individual R’s can be amoral. What I can’t go along with is that they are “One World Collectivists”. That goes too far. Leave that to liberal-socialists who truly envision a utopia. A place without a language, borders, culture, and Constitution. What the RINO’s do is help incrementally advance that utopia by enabling various compromises, which are sometimes to benefit their states, to enrich themselves, or help reelection. They don’t have a utopian vision. Their behavior can be just as detrimental in the long run, but at least they would like to believe they operate within the traditional American framework and not some global movement.

          • al sowins

            Beautifully said!

          • fxr60

            A Rhino is better than a Communist!! The Republican party of Reagan has values and morals where the DemocRATS have none!!! We have some good Conservatives and Christians in the GOP and a lot of newly elected people that will bring new ideals to the GOP.

          • conductor1

            Yes, a RINO is better than a Communist, but why put up with them? They have sold conservatives down the river time and time again. We need term limits, not professional politicians. If RINO’s don’t wise up in the next two years, they will destroy their own party. They have a good opportunity. Let’s see what they do with it.

          • johnny r

            In part you are right, there is a mix of progressive and commie hard liners in repubs about 25 to 35%, but democratic may as well retire their party is about 90 to 95% Socialist commies, as no one will vote for it for 30-40 years… Question is is Boehner a progressive leading us down
            the yellow brick road, where we need to toss him…. on the Local side of government the Common Law Grand Jury is being implemented county by county or 3120 country, where criminal attorney in government, and rights abusers by Marxist Socialist can be dealt with, just go to nationallibertyalliance.org to get involved….. this is about 101 years of a Socialist type control changing our gov to corporate “UNITED STATES, Inc” where was corporation of the colonies…. and the Federal reserve, and the total activism against us right now with this Manchurian candidate and a useless House of Reps….

            JOHN ROWE USMC

          • al sowins

            Thank you, John, I will go there. Oorah!

          • fxr60

            The Republican party is a LONG way from being Saul Alinsky Marxist like Obummer and Hillary and their ilk. They have some GOOD men and women just elected that are Conservative and will work for the people. Obama has done MORE harm to the USA than any other President in history!!

          • al sowins

            Agreed. But Rinos are far too left for me. I am a Tenth Amendment guy- if the Constitution does not authorize it, the Feds may not do it. We need the smallest possible central government, a balanced budget, an end to sacrificing our citizens and our treasure for the ungrateful governments of the world. A free market, a repeal of all obamanisms, a draconian reduction of all handout systems, lowered taxes, permanent exile of all illegals and undesireables, policing at the polls, to ensure an honest count, vetting of all candidates to ensure eligibility, prison sentences for rioters, for starters.

  • Ben

    Getting rid of obama care is the only right course of action. The American people also need to have access to a legal remedy against every political leader that dumped this obamination on us; It is the poster child program for the people who are wanting to “DESTROY” the United States.

  • shannon853

    no do over, get government out of private industry. total repeal!

    • EL

      Right! Government has it’s place and politicians have long forgotten what it is.

  • Jeff Bottaro

    Demolition Derby: Round 1. By the time ANY thoughtful individual navigates this institutional labyrinth called ‘healthcare’, HE WILL BE SICK.

  • momo

    Let congress change the immigration law so the executive order could no longer have any effect . Very simple, stop anchor babies as most nations have adopted and we won’t have any more illegals allowed here anymore. No more legitimacy to stay or allow to bring any families.

  • ernaldin

    Abolishment is the answer. The ONLY course!

  • Gammi2Anna

    Before Obama was elected, and I use that term rather than ‘placed into office via fraudulent manipulation of our voting process’, he told Americans exactly what his intentions were. In a 2007 campaign interview, he said “it is my goal to bring Universal Healthcare to America. It will take a few years to ‘weed out’ the insurance companies.” During Obama’s campaign he also told us how he had studied and admired the teachings of Saul Alinsky. Sometime ago, I received a reply to a comment I had made regarding the original healthcare reform bill that Obama, Pelosi and Reid shoved down our throats in 2010. The reply contained Alinsky’s ‘How to create a Social State’ which list the 8 levels of control that must be obtained in order to create a socialist society. The first level is designated as the most important.
    #1 Healthcare-Control healthcare and you control the people
    #2 Poverty-Increase the poverty level as high as possible. Poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if
    you are providing everything for them to live
    #3 Debt-Increase debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes which will produce more poverty
    #4 Gun Control-Remove the ability for the people to defend themselves from the Government, in order to create a police
    state
    #5 Welfare-Take control of every aspect of the peoples lives (food, housing, income, healthcare, safety)
    #6 Education-Take control of what all people read and listen to and what our children are taught in school
    #7 Religion-Remove the belief in God from the government and schools
    #8 Class Warfare-Divide people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and divisiveness making it
    easier to take from the wealthy (via taxation) with the intent to redistribute the wealth to the poor
    I believe “We the people” have had the wool pulled over our eyes for the most part or have just felt helpless as we watched Obama complete the 8 levels to Socialism. Since Obamacare is noted as the first and most important step, I believe that total repeal of his healthcare law is the first solution in turning America around. If we do not have political leaders willing to carry out the promises they made in order to get elected, then we have only ourselves to blame when our children and grandchildren are forced to live in Socialist America.

  • sadnana

    Whatever happened to the free market? I will concede that state governments ought to oversee insurers to protect the public from fraud and abuse. But aside from that government should not interpose itself between insurers and insureds. The insurance industry is a business; it has customers. Government should no more get between them than between shoppers and their favorite grocery store. Do away with the nanny state. Let us take responsibility for our purchase decisions. And government should not be in the business of providing insurance or any other product. It should do nothing more than provide for the common defense and enforce the law, the Constitution as handed down to us by the Founders, and the constitutions of the individual states.

    • apzzyk

      One of the strange omissions in the Constitution is the specification of any economic system. To me this would indicate, since the Founders were contemporaries of Adam Smith and his ‘Classical’ economic system and knew of this, that they decided not to include it because they saw that the economic systems that would actually serve the people better would have to adopt to the times and the changing needs of the People.
      The ‘classical’ economic utopia was the product of the Industrial Revolution, and as a utopian system, it actually never did work in its pure form in any society. The ‘free market’ had underlying assumptions, none of which has ever been fully met. One of these is the ‘invisible hand’ of self-regulation where the Capitalists would make enlightened decisions and provide services at the lowest cost and best value for society. With car recalls, and recalls by the Consumer Products Safety Commissions, we can see that sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t – the largest inhibitor of bad products is the threat of being sued.
      What has happened in the practice of medicine over the past 70 years is an increase in technology – from lab equipment to diagnostic and treatment equipment – which all cost money, and with access to these controlled by the profit motive, many of those who could profit from them have been denied access simply because they could not afford them. Then, in the competition that is seen as being necessary more and more medical facilities felt that they had to be equiped with these expensive devices, and what that did was to lead to more expensive medical care – an MRI requires a constant trained staff, and if it is not in use, it becomes a cost center, not a profit center, so they are over-used particularly on those with the ability to pay or have paid by insurance where those who could not were excluded.
      Money, and particularly profit, should not be major factors when it comes to the health and even life of a person. How much is a human life worth?
      In all areas, when we look at it pragmaticly, we should be looking at the best value for the cost, and in medicine, where some people cannot afford to pay for health care and the private sector does not provide it, then it becomes a liability to the government.
      I am a 100% disabled vet, so I get my health care (depending on funding by the Congress) in the public sector VA system. As we have all seen with the recent ‘scandals’ vets have been denied prompt care because the system did not have the resources. About 2.5 years ago, I noticed the symptoms that the vision in my left eye was failing, reported it, and it was not until six months later – after the eye had become functionally blind, that I was finally diagnosed and treatment began. Being ‘in the system’, over the past 10 years, I have been able to really see the effects of underfunding at the VA facilities I have visited – longer times getting appointments, shorter appointment times, etc., and in my case where this delay caused me damage above that of my primary disability, constitutes malpractice. I am taking legal action to pay for my previous and future expenses cause by this.
      My eye problem is not a failure in medicine at the VA, but is rather a failure of Congress to provide funding for the care that I was promised almost 60 years ago when I enlisted if I was injured in service.
      Over 2 years ago I attended a campaign event and happened to be standing next to a man who was protesting against Obamacare, and I told him of my situation, and he asked why I did not have private insurance so that I could get private care. I told him that because of all of my pre-existing conditions that insurance would cost me about $10,000 a month, and then I asked if he would pay in cash or check and he moved away from me.

  • apzzyk

    What we see in the above, is an emphasis on all of the largely irrelevant factors, rather than from a public health perspective. In about 1927 the majority of the population went from rural to urban and this meant a higher population density. The ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1919 became a pandemic because of this high population density in troop concentrations, and since it was air-borne it was easily transmitted from person to person. The same happened in the summer of 1957 when the ‘Hong Kong flu’ came to the US, and hit the military bases in Southern California and effectively closed them because of the easy transmission. Prior to this, the large public health efforts had been concerned with the reduction or elimination of water-borne diseases. and with this life-expectancy at birth rapidly increase from about 40 years (as it had been in Rome) in 1900 to about 63 by the time Social Security came into effect in 1937, and has increased by only about 13 years since then.
    We now have the CDC which tracks outbreaks of communicable diseases, and in this time of year it is on flu outbreaks. In the past few years we have had scares about the possible entry of a possibly easily tramsmitted disease into the US. Now, the US is extremely vulnerable, with air travel, to a similar disease which may begin anywhere in the world and arrive in the US. It is now extremely important that any possible such disease be detected as early as possible so that treatments can be developed to at least protect most of the population. With Obamacare, a person can visit his or her primary caregiver at no more than a very reasonable cost when the symptoms are detected.
    With ‘Homeland Security’ we are spending a lot of the taxpayers money attempting to detect ‘underware bombs’, ‘shoe bombs’, cuticle scissors, etc. which pose very little threat to public health and totally ignoring the possibility of a terrorist attack via the introduction of a illness into the US by someone who is really just the innocent carrier of such a disease.
    In my opinion, this threat is far more likely and more potentially dangerous than the ones that we are currently spending our taxpayers money trying to detect. It is in the best interests of all of the people of the US to have a national health care system which would be a single-payer system like those in most of the industrialized countries. This could be easily funded by simply adding a new tax to income of 1-3%, without caps, on all income, regardless of its source.
    Now, we have with Obamacare, a system where the private insurance companies make a profit on the policies that they issue on a pool basis, and the cost of these profits, if a single payer system were adopted, would cover more people at the same cost as that in place at the current time, and under the current system, with its accepted list of providers of the ones covered by insurance, it has a big gap that would disappear. For example, a young woman suffered a medical emergency and was taken to an ER not covered by her company, so she had personal responsibility for her medical debt even though she had insurance. Here, because of her emergnecy, she had no choice as to which facility she was taken, so such a problem would be eliminated with a single payer system.
    I am covered by such a system – the VA system – where I can go to any ER for emergency treatment and stabllization – I had pneumonia, and spent 6 days in the Hospital ICU, during which I was in an induced coma, and had no idea where I was or who was treating me and I survived. The State Medical Boards certify that a doctor has the minimum skill levels to provide care, and very few patients have the qualifications to decide on their actual qualifications other than bed-side manor, when it is the technical skills evaluated by the Medical Boards are those that are really important.
    Even though Obamacare has only been in effect, with more provisions to be phased in, for less than a year, and it has some problems, the idea of repealing it and not replacing it immediately with some alternative system without all of the features in place would not be possible or feasible even at this relatively early date – things medical have already changed too much to go back to ‘good old days’.

    • conductor1

      I’d prefer to let the free market actually work. Sorry, no new taxes, with government spending, waste, fraud, and incompetence going through the roof. When I lived in Oregon until 2011, we had three companies to choose from as employers, one in bed with government and plagued with fraud and mismanagement. Similar issues exist in other states, so we don’t have proper competition. Health insurance companies should have had an opportunity to address reasonable goals, and invited to appear before Congress in 90 days with their plans. Start with major goals such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and the uninsured, and allow choice across state lines. Observe what happens to premiums. If those efforts work, the public and employers will support additional goals.

      Obamacare may not be repealed per se, but I anticipate it will become unfeasible through defunding and upcoming court decisions. We cannot tolerate a system that we know was conceived in deceit. We should not attempt to “fix” a 2500 page law with its accompanying 22,000 pages of regulations and social engineering. Democrats made sure the House of Representatives (i.e. Republicans) did not get a vote on Obamacare. Now the GOP is in charge. The ball is in their court to start fresh and come up with ideas that will actually provide better coverage, lower costs, and preserve patient centered healthcare. I think they can do so, and if Democrats are smart, they’ll help.

      • apzzyk

        First, my formal education ended with a Ph.D. in Applied Statistics from a major U in TX. I have worked in such diverse areas as Mental Health, Banking (Citi), nuclear weapons quality control and the pharm industry (pre-clinical and clinical research). Many of my professors in Stat were actually economists, so I know something about the field and in particular its history. The most important idea in my field is the ‘Heisenberg Principle’, which simply says that the more certain you are the less certain that you can be because things, and the way they are measured, are always changing.

        While Adam Smith is considered the father of Classical Economics, he was actually just another of the ‘Social Philosophers’ of the 18th century, who happened to use or coin the terms that we now use in economics. Because he was a close follower of the early Protestant Theologians, Jonn Calvin and John Wesley, and borrowed heavily in his thinking from them his ideas were not incorporated into the Constitution which makes no mention of an economic form, the inclusion of any mention of his ideas in the Constitution would have violated the 1st Amendment establishment clause.

        In looking at the history of the period when Smith wrote – toward the end of the Industrial Revolution in England – he was describing and advocating for a utiopian economic system, which incorporated and advocated for the principles of Calvinism. There is no evidence that, as Smith described it, this economic system in its pure form has ever worked unless they were imposed upon a state or country, and if they were, the state or country failed.

        In the late 19th century, right here in the US, we can see how it didn’t work – the goal or the robber barons and monopolists was to get rid of competition. We had the Rockefelles in energy – not just Standard Oil but in the coal industry; Morgan in the Banks, etc. and these were NOT competitive – NO free market, just charging what the market could bear. Here, under Smith, the actions of the monopolists should have been limited by ‘enlightened self regulation’ – considering the good of the whole rather than just their interests – they did not do this, so we had the breakup of the monopolies and trusts so that there would be competition, and other countries have found the same. The EU keeps suing Microsoft and other companies for their monopolistic practices – no competition.

        Going back to Heisenberg, the math and stat models which are used to predict everything have to be as complex as the phenomena they are attempting to predict, and once enough factors change in a complex model, such as our economic system change, the model is no longer predictive. In this case, the model proposed by Smith did not work, so the government stepped in to try to make it work, but the orientation of business is still toward the monopolies, so we have laws and regulations to try to keep what happened in the past from happening again, and as new sectors in the economy emerge, we can try to apply the old laws and regulations, but if we do we really risk the early failure without recognizing the differences. That is, we can’t regulate the pharm industry in the same way we do to regulate auto companies.

        Here, we must also realize that there is no practical ‘free will’ as described by Smith and others – choices are limited – I would like to buy a 2015 Studebaker – does not exist; or 2017 Ford – does not exist yet.

        There are only 2 Constitutional mandates of the Administrative branch – the Postal Service and the Census. When I was born in 1939 the population of the US was about 130 million, and now it is over 300 million. As we all should know from our own experience, the more parts, the more complexity, and the more the need for laws and regulations. Our prisons are full of people who could not follow these, and if corporations were really people we would need far more jail space. There must be a crime before there is a law, and dating back to the homicide law of Draco, a function of the government is to regulate interactions between people, and now between people and the corporations rather than to have the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s, and as in all things human there are always things that some people consider wasteful or fraudlant. I do not expect that I am alone in wasting my resources and in either committing fraud (I stole that fair and square) or having fraud committed on me. The reason that we tend to see this in government is because it, in one form or another, is all around us, and one thing that a person considers wasteful may be a necessity to another – it is about sharing the wealth, and the risks.

        With taxes, the only two things certain about life is death and taxes. We in the US now do not want to pay the price of democracy: taxes. If you are over 40 (life expectancy from Rome until early in the 20th Century) you would probably be dead if it were not for taxes and someone else paying them – just think, no clean water, no sewage treatment, no schools, no internet,no order to society, etc. – all paid with other people’s taxes, and now it is your turn. The real problem with them is who pays them and how much.

        Send something back and I will try to explain why our taxes now appear to be so high.

        • conductor1

          One’s education makes no difference to me in relation to Obamacare. Americans have been lied to and manipulated repeatedly by “experts” on Obamacare and so many other issues. Distrust of government is at an all-time high.

          More than my degrees, I value common sense. There is no perfect system, and certainly none better than what we have in America. Our government has grown too large and intrusive, and strayed too far from founding principles. The main difference between robber barons and Progressive Socialists is that the former are more honest than the latter regarding power and wealth. Regardless of the label you choose, any collectivist scheme ultimately reduces to power and wealth in the hands of a few. So, I’ll take what the Founders gave us, a system with the greatest amount of individual freedom in history. Common sense says that precious gift is far more valuable than the latest political correctness and utopian scheme.

          Thank you, but I don’t need an explanation of why our current tax and economic policies are anti-growth. I ventured some observations and forecasts relative to Obamacare, which was the topic. We shall see.

          • apzzyk

            I don’t think that the actual distrust in the government is the highest that I have ever seen, but, because of the polls, the 24 hr. news cycle, and preexisting rifts, that it appears higher – I am 75 so I may have experienced more than you in this area.

            I think from my experience that the greatest period was during the 1960’s and 1970’s – the baby boomers coming of age through water gate with the backlash happening with the election of Reagan in 1980.

            Here, in looking back to see how we got here is probably not PC, because it leads to the distribution of blame rather than just focusing it on the present and the present administration.

            I see that the commonality between the Robber Barons and the Socialist/Progresives – of which I am one – is that they were and are still about the distribution of wealth, and with wealth comes power – as we have seen in Citizens United and the attack ads. With this we saw the entire focus on the negative. For example, Cory Gardner campaigned on the failure of Obama to keep his promises that people could keep their doctors, etc, and citied the figure that something over 300K people in Colorado had lost their insurance and providers. The number sounds big, but actually it is less than 10% of the population of CO, but if you just tell one side and harp on them enough, people will see the exceptions as being the rule regardless of their own experiences – a survey in CO about satisfaction with the ACA being at over 60% with even about 50% satisfaction by Republicans who had opposed it. I have VA heathcare benefits (when I can get in), so I have no personal experience.

            Then we have the focus of the people on the mistakes of government, without having any opportunity to look at the mistakes of the private sector. About 35 years ago I worked as a policy analyst for a branch of Citi, and while they appeared to be very frugal, they were also making so many mistakes, which could have been corrected, that money was just pouring out the door. My demise was probably hastened when I said at a meeting the it seemed to be our goal to give away money, and that we could just fire everyone, and just burn a wastebasket of $5 bills as needed in the parking lot to keep our net losses up. At that time, as a disagreeable insider, I was able to point out specific problems and suggest solutions which were, in my opinion, far more reasonable than burning the basket, but I saw that the resistance to change – conservatism – being an overwhelming obsticle that would eventually – in about 25-30 years from then, bring down the system. They did not appreciate this prediction and I went away, but I got it almost right on, and from what I have been able to learn, for the reasons that I gave. When I was there, they had a model that was beginning to fail, and they kept operating as if it were working as it had in the past, and every time they bent the line, they weakened the trunk and roots, and these finally snapped in 2008.

            Back to the ACA, it seems to be seen as an intrusion into the making of individual decisions, and the intrusion is more apparent than real – it is not that much of a big deal, all things considered. What I see is that for a very long time, on the national level, insurance companies had been largely unregulated, and the ACA makes some changes to that, which the insurance companies do not like – such as actually paying benefits. Before it, there were probably more policies canceled because of pre-existing conditions than there have been because of the ACA – since we do not know the numbers before and after we cannot make a comparison, but it was enough to justify the passage of it by a majority of Congress – at the time. Here, coming right after the shut down of the Govt by the GOP, the roll out was a mess that should have been anticipated – no president for the numbers or the technology, and with tighter budgets, no more hardware to have readily available – the guns were in place but the ammo was still stuck on the beach. If the roll out had been smooth, the issue probably been on the shut down and the damage that it caused, and the fact that it will cost the taxpayers more money to fix the problems that it caused than ever would have been saved had the GOP prevailed. We now have less than a week before a new budget is required or another shutdown, but this time the issue is Obama’s Executive Order, so, since the last one did not get that much attention that lasted, we will probably do it again.

            What I see in Medical care, is that it has only been somewhat readily available for about 100 years – when one of my twin uncles bit the lobe off the others ear in about 1895, grandma got out her sewing kit and put the severed lobe back on and it worked. I saw other of her medical handiwork and it did work – not bad on an 8th grade education. One of here favorite skin medications were fresh cow pies.

            On personal taxes – with the exception of the Civil war period, we got along fine on revenues from trade – duties and tarriffs – and returned to that until WWI, when trade was again interrupted and even in both of these cases the personal taxes did not directly effect over 90% of the population – they did not make enough money to have to pay them so they did not worry about them. Now, with all of the free trade agreements, outsourcing, etc., we no longer have a real tax base on international commerce, so this burden has been suddenly shifted to falling mostly on the personal income tax. However, it is now the case where the wealthy actually pay higher marginal rates than do the remaining 90% of the population, and most of what we have seen in terms of increase in wealth over the past 5 years has also gone to the wealthy, leaving with this high disparity in both wealth and power. These are the same conditions which are considered significant factors leading to both the French and 1st Russian Revolution of 1917, and to a certain extent in the ‘Arab Spring’. From my reading, the closest that the US came to having an actual class war was during the depression, and had conservatives had their way of letting the private sector do the recovery, instead of WWII we may have had another Revolution then.

            In my opinion, these things like the ACA, the new gun rights nuts who want to have access to all armaments of the government are just distractions – if a person has a choice between keeping his gun and having food, which will he probably choose to abandon? I think that the next bubbles are going to be the combination of consumer debt and student debt. People have been living on fairly easy credit for some time and when they hit their limits consumer spending will fall – the rate is yet to be seen, and in a consumer economy that will be bad, and then there was the great mistake of about 12 years ago when student debt could not be discharged in bankruptcy although, Detroit could still do it, as could major corporations – does not seem fundamentally fair..

          • conductor1

            I support a former student’s loan payments being delayed or adjusted to fit economic circumstances, but such commitments should be honored. I am still paying off a loan toward an advanced degree, and presumably you repaid yours if you had one.

            In conclusion…our Progressive Socialist-in-Chief said: “I’m not on the ballot this Fall. But make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot.”

            America acknowledged that on Nov. 4. It is time for the President to do so. Republicans, Independents, and even moderate Democrats have a historic opportunity to improve on what Progressives have done. I hope to God they are up to the task. It really shouldn’t be that difficult.

          • apzzyk

            I did have a student loan, but it was through the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1957. It was a totally government program, and there was no interest until graduation with a terminal degree, and if I taught, there was a10% (later 20%) loan forgiveness for each year of teaching, and no interest while teaching, and with very low tuition (max of $375/yr as an undergrad), my total debt was about $4000/ $800 was forgiven while I was teaching at the U level, and so my monthly payments were less than about $60/mo, and it also had the provision that if I became totally disabled that the remainder of the loan would be forgiven.

            I was 23 when I began my studies had had experience with debt, so I knew something about it, where today’s student probably does not, and with the provisions of the NDEA I saw that when I graduated, even if I did not go into teaching that the payments would be reasonable for the times.

            Because the NDEA offered competition to potential private loans, it was replaced with the NEA, which gave the loans to the private sector with a govt guarantee – in other words, the private sector really had no risk, but began charging interest at day one, and with increased cost of tuition and supplies, the debts were larger, and there was no possibility for forgivness or even for total disability students remained on the hook – then there was the panic provision that they could not be discharged in bankruptcy this has led us into a very bad situation.

            For example, a friend’s son got his Masters about 10 years ago, had debt, but because of the economy he could not find a job, and during this period of unemployment he was not only unable to make the payments but the interest continued while the value of his degree decreased. During this period he was not counted as being unemployed since he was never eligible for unemployment compensation. He worked under the table at part time jobs that were at the survival level and finally found a full time job about 18 months ago that paid a whole $20/hr – half of his take home pay is taken by the govt to pay for the debt, and so his actual take home pay is less than he made under the table and has no possiblity at this rate of ever being able to pay off his debt.

            He inherited a home from an aunt, but the property is in his father’s name so that it cannot be seized to satisfy the debt, but he has trouble saving to pay the property taxes.

            When he began his studies, his field demanded rather high level starting salaries, but when he graduated there were no jobs, and this should be taken into consideration, but are not. Now his only hope of ever being able to lead a ‘good life’ is to follow some of his fellows and emigrate to some country where he can rebuild his skills and not have to worry about repayment.

            When I started in College, we did really have a Socialist system where the public and their taxes, paid for most of my education under the premise that I would be able to get a better job with my degree than without it and with this I would be able to pay more taxes to help the next generation get the same or better education than I, and keep the cycle going. However, by increasing tuition, and with the rapid change in the job market, what was in demand 4 years ago may not be the case at graduation and there is no provision to adjust for that in the debt repayment.

            Under a socialist or progressive system, college education costs would be based on the ability to pay and to repay. We still need teachers, but the salaries that they are paid relative to their debt means that a person who enters teaching will be in debt for ever, so those who would make the better teachers have to go into other fields, and so that may explain why we have so many poor teachers in the classrooms For those who made a diligent effort to obtain a job in the private sector, but were unable to do so after a reasonable period after graduation, the public sector should be able to find jobs and subsidized them as necessary so that the graduate could at least retain his or her college skills, rather than let them deteriorate to the point that they are irrelevant – keep the pool of talented still talented until the private sector can take up the slack.

            In my friend’s sons case, he was trained as an engineer, graduated Sum Calude, so he had the skills, but no place to put them into application, and at the same time there were many public projects, which if funded, could have used these skills – he could have worked in historical preservation, but there was no funding for this, so now there is ‘historic restoration’ – which costs more money, and now his skills are questionable.

            What has happened over the years, is that when or where the private sector finds no profits to be made, or too slow a return on investment, the role of the government is to do these things in the interest of the public. During the Reagan years a friend was an architect for the National Parks, so he went to them to look at structures which needed some preservation work, drew the plans for these projects, and then went on the the next, but after just a year or two to see if his plans were still valid, and found that in over 90% of the caes that thy were not because of further deterioration. and that some of the buildings actually needed to be rebuilt – the failure to fund these necessary projects had led to even greater costs to the public. Here, with something like a new Civilian Conservation Corps, such as the one were my dad worked for a summer in the 1930’s, we would now have many more historical buildings for our children and grandchildren to see so that they could understand the times in which their ancestors lived – no plumbing, no electricity, etc. and see how relatively well they live now.

            A rather recent example of where there private sector does not work is in the Pharm area. The last major pharm company that had research in progress to develop the next generation of antibiotics closed its facility less than a year ago, because, according to their projections, they would never be able to even totally recover the costs of development, much less make a profit if they were able to make the product, so they just quit. As a matter of public health – considering all of the strains of bacteria that are becoming resistant to current ‘cillians’ this is going to be needed, but the profit potential is too low for private development. With that being the case, who else but government could pay for this development – all for the welfare of the people?

  • fxr60

    Sounds like a good plan, better than Obummer’s lead to Socialized medicine. Obummer has spent MILLIONS AND MILLONS on this healthcare , along with all the computer glitches. He could have given the 30 million or less ( deadbeats without insurance) a Million dollar policy and still have tons of money left over if he had chosen that path. The taxpayers will pay for all these millions he has spent on people to lazy to work or illegals!!

  • Diana Brooks

    What went in there has already shown their true colors it is BUSINESS AS USUAL!