Comments


  • Topsarge, with all due respect, Carter was an idiot. At the time there was a severe natural gas shortage. Factories were shutting down, people were freezing in their homes, etc and etc. And what was the reason for the shortage? Well, it was because the price of natural gas was being regulated by the government - discouraging supply.

    So what did Carter do about this? Well he deregulated 2% of the natural gas supply and had us turn down our thermostats. I remember our company had to put locks on them to keep anyone from changing the setting - what a jackass.

    The first thing Reagan did when took over is deregulate gas – end of story! The link below is his speech introducing his crazy ideas.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/ind...

    April 21, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.

  • Woofwoof, Dr. Phil is gone for the weekend, but if it means anything to you a lot of people are worried and even afraid about the reckless, uncontrolled spending that is occurring. Every year it gets worse - it's totally insane.

    April 21, 2011 at 6:22 p.m.

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    April 21, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.

  • woofwoof,just in case you need a right-wing source I found this from Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.

    New York, NY, April 11, 2011 -- The U.S. economic recovery is expected to gain momentum over the rest of the year, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

    On average, the 56 economists polled downgraded their estimate of first-quarter growth but expect the problems in the first quarter to be transitory.

    The Journal said the improving outlook extends to the labor market. Economists on average see the U.S. adding about 200,000 jobs a month over the next year.

    http://tinyurl.com/3wjrk9s

    Anyway it's time to wrap it up until Monday,maybe by then you won't you won't mix me up with someone else.

    Have a Happy Easter or happy weekend and try not to let that $14.25 TRILLION DEBT ruin it for you...I guarantee you it will still be there Monday morning..:-)

    April 21, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.

  • "We should have listened to Jimmy Carter and every president since about switching to alternative fuels but the big oil and dirty coal lobbyist greased the palms of many politicians to prevent that from happening."

    I won't bother to ask for proof of this allegation, because I know it's just another talking point. BTW, did big oil stop the production of ethanol to replace gasoline? I know they are balking now at the cost to sell 15% ethanol, because it's another grade of gasoline and few cars can run on it. And didn't Jimmy Carter throw away a few billion on the gas from coal boondoggle? What ended that was the drop in oil prices at the end of the Arab embargo. The project imploded and just went poof.....and several billion or so went down another bottomless rat hole. Proving again the folly of listening to politicians about how to solve economic problems.

    And, chuckle....Obama is forming another commission to look into why gas is $4.00 gallon. He's sure there is a sinister plot out there by evil, selfish, pitiless, greedy, oil tycoons, speculators and God knows who else. Of course this has all been done before many, many times. All the oil company CEO's will be called in for a public grilling. How much did you earn last year? Did you fly in on a corporate jet.....etc. and etc? Yawn - ugh, make that a big yawn!

    April 21, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.

  • woofwoof,you must be posting on too many blogs or you have me mixed up with someone else because I don't know what you are talking about...Adult supervision? A 51% no taxpayer demanding welfare?...What's there to discuss? It's a $14 trillion debt created by both parties over decades...That amount will not be paid for in our lifetime. but your going to give yourself a big one worrying about it....We are going to be ok,it's not all gloom and doom...

    A survey from from the National Association for Business Economics finds that economists are hopeful that the broader economy is substantially improving, with rising employment reported for the fifth quarter in a row. The survey found that "companies appear to be positioning themselves for a firming economic environment," said Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Association, who analyzed the findings.

    The outlook for employment rose slightly, reaching a 12-year high. No firms reported significant layoffs, with the only reductions coming from already planned cuts.

    Sales increased for the third consecutive quarter, profit margins continued to improve and the number of economists whose firms increased spending over the previous quarter held steady. Nearly all of the 72 economists surveyed, about 94 percent, now expect the economy to grow at least 2 percent in 2011.

    http://tinyurl.com/3sjrdc4

    I know that information disappoints you but I'm not all that thrilled with 2% growth but they are forecasts.

    Posting 14.25 trillion in ALL CAPS every few hours will not bring that number down...It's not as if you on to something that is a secret.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:59 p.m.

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    April 21, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.

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    April 21, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.

  • "The fed chief Bernanke said that quantitative easing would not permanently increase the money supply, since the Fed plans to reverse the policy once the economy recovers."

    When the Fed stops buying treasury bonds, who is going to pick up that slack and at what interest rate? The S&P saying our fiscal outlook is "negative" does not bode well for low interest rates. As interest rates rise the fed will get less, maybe much less for the bonds they sell. Payment for these bonds when they mature will of course fall on taxpayers in future years - so don't worry, be happy.

    As far as the Fed, more than a few board members have major concerns about inflation and their ability to control it. When the Fed starts selling securities to reduce its holdings they will compete with the Treasury who will also be selling bonds in order to finance the deficits - that will drive up interest rates. This could and probably will cause another recession.

    But "Ole Doom and Gloom" me, I'm sure given the Fed's overall track record they have this all figured out - yep you can take that to the bank maybe in a wheel barrow.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.

  • You know you got to stop whining about Bush one of these days...I never mentioned President Bush but you wear your feelings on your apologetic sleeve...Do you have a post template that you automatically send out?...I never called you a name unless you are not used to being called a genius....You have been predicting gloom and doom since January 20,2009...I bet improving job numbers and the fact that the fed chief Bernanke said that quantitative easing would not permanently increase the money supply, since the Fed plans to reverse the policy once the economy recovers.” disappoints you because it doesn't fit in your daily gloom & doom scenario....But you know better,I'm sure.....See another post without any name-calling or President Bush bashing.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.

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    April 21, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.

  • I just finished lunch, woofwoof, so let me digest your post...According to Sarah Palin & Fox News (a couple of real winners..lol) ...So, all these years I have been voting, I was supposed to remember what the price of gasoline was on a president's inauguration day,,,Because?Do you remember what it was for Reagan,Nixon,Ford,Bush..etc,or is that a brand new economic variable.....So,the rise of the stock market,13 consecutive months of positive job numbers are offset by the price of gasoline on January 20,2009.to today..What happens if the price goes down?

    We get most of our oil from Canada but OPEC said the world was over saturated with oil ,so they will not produce any more than they already are,even-thou the Asian countries are taking every drop they can handle...The speculators are nervous ...We should have listened to Jimmy Carter and every president since about switching to alternative fuels but the big oil and dirty coal lobbyist greased the palms of many politicians to prevent that from happening.....So, every few years, we are going to continue to whine about the high price of a barrel of oil, thinking we are the only country that needs it....You can believe it’s always about the United States fiscal policies but it’s not.

    Well genius, transportation cost adds to higher food prices, so does a greater world demand and more severe weather due to...Oh never mind, you wouldn't believe it anyway.

    Bottom line.there are usually several opinions,answers or solutions for economic bottlenecks...Some people have tunnel vision.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.

  • Oil like all commodities are rising because of inflation, not demand. But the fed continues printing money. They have a wolf by the ears - afraid to hold on and afraid to let go.

    April 21, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.

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    April 21, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.

  • Increasing taxes will not reduce spending....it's the spending.

    Also I've been with Aetna for 30 years I guess, they have never done me wrong. But you know it's funny my insurance premiums have exploded in the last two years - can anyone explain that?

    April 21, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.

  • $14.2 TRILLION in debt. Obama inauguration gas was $1.47 today $3.65 locally. Three wars and highest SNAP percentage in history. This is hope and change according to Fox news and Sarah Palin.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.

  • If it wasn't for slogans and other people's sayings some people wouldn't have a thing to say.....The right-wing are not the only ones that pay taxes but when they take from the government coffers ,it's called " no bid contracts."....Red-baiting scare tactics don't work anymore.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.

  • The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. "
    — Margaret Thatcher

    April 21, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.

  • It's those that want less government that do no realize what they are asking for. Our Country is what it is because of more government, more spending, more regulations, more social nets.
    Change that, or do away with it altogether, and see what happens. It will become a cut-throat America. It will become an extension of South America.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:03 a.m.

  • Kyle
    That's a very good point and as MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell likes to point out " we are not really a country of individualism (as the right would have us believe) because most of us have a public education, travel public highways and take advantage of several public programs."...Of course Mr. Donnell admits he is a Socialist because he likes Social Security, the VA, Medicare, and Medicare because they are all government run...In fact every industrial nation in the world has a Socialist component to it.

    The extremes are recycled red-baiters from the cold-war era.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.

  • born2Bme

    This morning I heard, economist Jeffery Sachs, say that we will never get to the meat and potatoes of Medicare because of the distractions the lobbyist for the private insurance companies put up...We never get to discuss the driver behind the high Medicare costs because the lobbyist threw up smoke screens like death panels and government rationing, when it's the private insurers that are finding ways not to play claims, reasons to raise their premiums and rid themselves of high risk customers....Mr. Sachs said we have a high private overpriced system.....Yesterday, I told my doctor that Aetna wrote me a letter about two months before I was eligible to go on Medicare, telling me what they will not cover..My doctor told me it was a game they played because they know that they will have to pay whatever Medicare covers, because Aetna is my secondary provider and no longer have a say.

    Things are turning because the people that are hurting are no longer buying that line "if you tax the top 2%, you will kill the job market."..Paul Ryan found that out at his town hall meeting Monday...He was booed and shouted down when he tried to use the "job killing "talking point.....If it takes 10 workers to produce 2000 widgets, companies will start hiring when a contract calls for 3000-4000 widgets, so it's not about protecting the wealthy...I saw several polls in the high 80s for raising taxes on the top 2%, instead of privatizing Medicare or issuing block grants for Medicaid.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.

  • As much as the media likes to warn us against a road from Socialism and Communism we must not forget that certain forms of Libertarianism are only a few bus stops along the route to states of Anarchy.

    Social cohesion is dependent on a constantly dynamic ideological balancing act that leans one way or another as determined by the push and pull of the extremes.

    April 20, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.

  • And there isn't rationing going on now? If Obamacare is overturned, then there will be major rationing going on again in the form of insurance companies not taking on patients with pre-existing conditions.
    In some instances there needs to be forms of rationing. So many people make unnecessary office visits, ER visits, child appts. Goodness, when I was young and even though we had a very good insurance that paid for everything, and I mean everything, we didn't go to the doctor unless we were practically dying. We had a sense of not wasting and/or using something that was not needed.
    Now days, kids are going at the first sign of a sniffle or a slight cough. It's all so unnecessary. Kids need to be allowed to build up their immune system and not subject it to drugs and antibiotics at every turn.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:54 p.m.

  • B2BM, I agree those currently on SS and Medicare should stay on it. But those coming later will not have the same benefits - both political parties are going to do this, it's just a question of who gets the blame.

    BTW, Obamacare is going to cut Medicare benefits in fact they've already started. When it fully kicks in your healthcare will be put in the hands of the "Independent Payment Advisory Board."

    Yeah that sounds swell doesn't it? They will set the payments to doctors and other providers. They will cut cost by "screwing down its price controls" as the Wall Street Journal put it. Obama even said that many doctors and hospitals will not be able to survive. This board is completely independent of Congress and the President.

    So there will be, I repeat there will be healthcare rationing. So even if you can afford health insurance you may not be able to get the healthcare you need.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.

  • @rollinstone

    A better question is who is going to make an investment when there are no customers?

    I did not even imply that we need to keep spending, but the answer is not to place our vulnerable senior's fate in the hands of insurance companies. So many seniors rely on SS and Medicare as their only source of benefits and income. How are they going to take what could be half of their yearly income and pay for health insurance? Many of them won't and will just gamble and hope their luck holds out. Why should they be the ones who takes all of the cuts? They paid into it all of their teen and adult lives and those few dollars taken out of their checks sometimes really hurt. You simply cannot ask them to change courses so late in their lives, after they had it all planned out. It's not fair, and you know it. Not when those who are very well off and very comfortable in their lives do not have to do without a single thing. Many of them got what they have on the backs of those who they want to carry the burden for their tax cuts.

    April 20, 2011 at 6:31 p.m.

  • B2Bm, so all we have to do is keep spending. Ahh, that sounds so simple and then tax the people and give that money to the poor, the wretched, the unemployed, the deadbeat hanger ons, government bureaucrats, etc... Money from helicopters, sounds like a plan.

    But one question, who is going to make the investments to create the jobs. Oh wait I get it, no one really needs to work or do anything useful just spend money.....why that's beautiful!

    But I keep thinking if we pay a lot of people not to work or do nothing useful, then the people who are working to produce the things we need will have to get by with less.

    And here's the good part the people doing nothing useful will create a demand for goods and services, bidding up the price of everything putting even more of a squeeze on the poor slobs really working. But who really cares, we can't be bothered with things like that, it's money for nothing....man!

    April 20, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.

  • @rollinstone

    It's not tough to get a job now even when there are tax breaks to all the upper tax brackets and major corporations, including oil companies? How did that help anything? It didn't, it just sunk this Country deeper into oblivion.
    There's a reason why wealth of any kind starts at the bottom and moves up. It's the natural flow when it comes to an economy. People need money to contribute to the ecomony. When there is no money to contribute to the economy, guess what? The top crumbles in time too. The world economy depends on consumers/customers.

    April 20, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.

  • Ok, but who is saving their Medicare payroll deduction?..:-)

    April 20, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.

  • Actually, $725 for 30 years at a 5% yearly interest is worth about $50k. :)

    April 20, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.

  • B@BM, the poor and everyone else is being asked to pay more because the government is causing inflation - you know the hidden tax.

    Tax the rich I don't care just be done with it and then shut up! But don't come whining to me when it becomes tougher to get a job or your welfare payments don't keep up with inflation.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.

  • I really don't know what is so bad about raising taxes on those who do not need it to survive. This behemoth of a Country we have, takes a lot to run and a lot to keep it running.
    America, (meaning the taxpayers) is what is giving the very rich the vehicle it needs to make their millions. Without the taxes, and the things those taxes pay for, this Country would be like Mexico and other very poor countries and worth very little to anyone
    Mathematically, it is a given that the rich pay more in taxes than do the lower 80% (?) DUH!! It's because they make more than 80% combined. They will not miss a few extra bucks. It just means that they cannot put more money in the back, into stocks, into real estate, healthcare, etc.. People buy what they need and then horde the rest. We've learned that giving those people all of the tax breaks does nothing to create jobs, or we would have been swimming in jobs during the Bush tax cut years. That theory is a joke.
    On the other hand, those who can barely afford paying for the bare basics are being asked to pay more? Should they really have to choose between food, electricity, a roof over their heads, medicine, clothes, etc just so the super well-off can have more money to add to their already bloated bank accounts?
    It's a no-brainer for me. Since you cannot get blood out of a turnip, you must go to the bloodbanks and ask that they donate a little more blood to save the country that makes it possible for them to be rich. Afterall, they use the roads, airports, public electricial system, sewer system, public utilities, just like everyone else does. Not to mention that those on public aid use our tax money to make the rich richer. How many of those people would be where they are today without someone to buy their services and the products they make? Do any of you realize what will happen if that public money stops going back into the economy? As it is not, everything the middle class, poor and elderly, makes goes right back into the economy. You get too much in the hands of the top 1 - 2% and they don't spend it...this economy dies. That is what is happening now and some of you are too blind to see it. These government programs may be going in the hole, but it will be so much worse if they cease to exist.
    What will the government use to pay down the debt, or for other pressing needs if they do not have the surplus to rely on? Yep, you guessed it, higher taxes on everyone and since the poor will only have enough to live on anyway, then it starts trickling up. How far will it trickle up? It's going to have to go a long way up to compensate for what the Republicans are trying to do to our economy.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.

  • If the estate tax is so small why even bother? Why not just leave people alone? Yeah I know liberals can't do that.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

  • If hanging on to life is free then yes a person is going to hang on. But why should I make my neighbor or someone I don't even know pay for it? Maybe that person has problems of his own and needs his money. That money could be used to save an old geezer or it could be used to create a job for a young person just starting out.

    When the government gets involved in these life decisions reason, logic and economics goes out the window - but in the end there is no tooth fairy or free lunch.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.

  • jbj

    I'm sure we have been over the estate tax before but we still disagree because the beneficiaries were never taxed and not that many people lose their business because most use some sort of bypass trust avoiding the tax...They need to stop whining and do what everyone else does... Not that many people pay the estate tax Basically, with an estate tax level at about $1 – 1.5 million, right around 1% of decedents will pay any tax at all. At the $2 million level, that percentage drops to about 2/3 of 1%. If Congress proves to be paralyzed, by partisanship or otherwise, and the estate tax drops back to the $1 million level in 2011, then about 1% of decedents’ estates will, presumably, have to pay estate taxes....I understand the your reasoning and it is valid but I disagree.

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trus...

    Yes we do pay Medicare all of our life but only at a measly 1.45%....On $50,000 that's $725 a year. ..If a person works for 30 years that's only $21,750...If you pay Medicare part B that's and extra $13,200 if you are age 75....One heart attack will wipe out the $ 34950 you paid in...I'm using some high numbers. ...A long time ago we should have been doing some means testing,gradually increasing the payroll tax to accommodate all the baby-boomers who are coming into the system....The GOP Part D (which was not paid for) also added to the problem....Both parties and taxpayers are to blame...There are polls out showing that even the Tea Party doesn't want to touch Medicare,Social Security or Medicaid by a margin of 70%...It was the Holy Grail but I hope it is now on the table.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.

  • I missed the AARP comment. If you posted one, I didn't see it.

    I don't like the estate tax, that money has been taxed. But 5 million is more fair than two. I just hate to see families lose businesses that have been in the family and this does happen.

    We may as well accept the fact that the elderly and dying will use more money than the young. It would be an issue with me if the elderly were not an ever changing group of which most of us will belong someday. We pay for Medicare all our lives, and although adjustments must be made as our lifespans and costs change, we do need something for everyone who is ill, and those funds must be there for those who need it, with decisions on limits made by the patient's doctor and the patient or their family. This is the bulk of our health care expense, it is not a small portion of it. And we need to deal with it as such. If we have health care, it needs to be about every person who has health needs. Especially those who have paid for the care all their lives.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.

  • jbj

    I was never talking about corruption, socialism, or communism; those are subjects that you will have to have with your self or someone else. I just inserted Alan Greenspan as a former followers of Ayn Rand and how he regrets that. It's common knowledge that greed exists in all shapes, forms, and sizes and entities.

    You want to learn about Paul Ryan? Read his book.... His views are important and they are representative of the Republican Party because he's the ranking member of the budgetary committee.... If you want to know about a person's values; see how they vote on budgetary matters. If all but 4 republicans in the house voted for the Ryan budget; it tells me that the GOP is in lockstep with Paul Ryan.... I didn't say that they're in lockstep with Ayn Ryan.

    I don't shun Ayn Rand supporters because when Ron Paul is interviewed; I always take time to listen. Yesterday, he was being interviewed by Chris Matthews in which he said some profound things about our foreign policy and our enormous debt..Then he proved that he was just another politician because he tried to dance around the birther issue but Matthews wouldn't let go... He finally had to admit that he was not a birther..... So,jbj, you onto something because a lot of people have a lot of grey areas but they want to be known as fundamentalist. I'm still going to listen to what Paul Ryan says because he's an important part of the Republican Party which control 1/3 of government.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.

  • The concluding remark, chuckle:

    "Next time, I hope regulators pay more attention to economic fundamentals (like the ratio of house prices to incomes). In both the housing and dot-com bubble, the fundamentals were flashing bright red."

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

    Hmmmm, "flashing bright red" were they? What were the regulators asleep at their desks - kinda like the air traffic controllers, eh? BTW:

    Wasn't it the regulators that relaxed the lending standards so that people with low credit ratings could get loans?

    Didn't HUD demand that the banks and particularly Fannie and Freddie make more loans to these same people?

    Wasn't it the bank regulators that allowed banks and investment firms to increase their leverage to unsustainable levels?

    Wasn't it the regulators that required investment firms and banks to purchase credit default swaps in order to get good credit ratings?

    Wasn't it the regulators who didn't notice that AIG who was issuing the credit default swaps with hardly any reserves to back them up?

    Well if you answered yes, to all of these then be quite proud, you scored 100%.

    And by the way this Ayn Rand crap is a "red herring" design to change the subject and discredit people who are at least trying to correct a problem before we go over the edge. The comments from the S&P about our nation's credit risk should have sent a chill (not a trill) up everyone's leg, it did mine.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.

  • Mike, I agree that moving back in some areas might be necessary. But greed and corruption exists in socialistic and communistic societies, also.

    Oversight is necessary, but it didn't help Fannie and Freddie. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying there should not be oversight. Sometimes we need oversight over those who oversee.

    I have been impressed with the huge amount of greed and corruption I see in big business, but also in our government. It goes back to what you said about money and power being what it is about. We can see, the more money, the more power they buy, the more greed and corruption.

    I would like to talk to Paul Ryan about his position regarding Rand. I would bet that he does not embrace her entire philosophy. If so he will find himself out of favor with many Republicans.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.

  • On Jan. 1, 2011, the estate tax returns. According to a new law enacted in December 2010, estates valued at $5 million or less are exempt from the tax. Estates worth more than $5 million are taxed at a 35 percent rate.....I guess you have a $5 million estate that you are worried about.

    Read more: 2010-2011 estate tax and gift tax amounts http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes...

    I going to ignore the AARP comment but I will clarify the funding from Medicare..I didn't believe the democrats when they used to tell the seniors that the GOP was trying to take away their Medicare when all they were doing was reducing the rate of growth...Spending is still going up....BTW republicans have to be careful using this talking point because you can't go around saying that the democrats don't want to cut entitlements when that's what you are accusing them of...:-)

    Medicare spending is now slated to increase less than previously projected. The government also cut out the Medicare Advantage subsidy they were paying.

    First the full Health Care Law won't go in effect until 2014 and Ryan's plan is based on assumptions. Ryan is assuming that if Americans have to pay most of the cost they will shop carefully and use it wisely....Good concept but not practicable..Today, insurance costs are 2.5% above inflation and rising. Most of those costs relate to a small percentage of the elderly. Eighty Five percent of the costs of Medicare are generated by 25% of patients. A lot of those costs are in the last 6 months of life.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.

  • jbj

    I didn't say the GOP adopted the teachings of Ayn Rand and I specifically named those that do. Alan Greenspan used to be a devout follower of Ayn Rand until the financial crisis hit...I used to admire Paul Ryan until I read about his ties to the Ayn Rand teachings.

    Here’s a fascinating exchange between Alan Greenspan and Representative Henry A. Waxman from today’s hearing on Capitol Hill (as reported by Michael Grynbaum):

    Referring to his free-market ideology, Mr. Greenspan added: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”
    Mr. Waxman pressed the former Fed chair to clarify his words. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said.
    “Absolutely, precisely,” Mr. Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

    Over the last 30 years or so years, the world has been deeply influenced by a laissez-faire economic philosophy, which has shifted the world toward an embrace of markets. And markets certainly do many things very well. (Can you name a country that has prospered without relying to a great extent on an open, market-based economy? Or at least moving toward one?)
    But it certainly seems as if this country, at least, went too far toward laissez-faire economics. I wonder whether we might now be at the beginning of a period in which we move back somewhat in the other direction. And I wonder if historians will someday look back at that exchange between Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Waxman as a sign that the change was coming.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

    April 20, 2011 at 9:29 a.m.

  • Pat B.

    Yes she did receive Social Security and Medicare payments under the name of Ann O’Connor, her husband's name was Frank O’Connor...It's confusing on how she justified it...She linked it to taking a public scholarship."The right to accept them rests on the right of the victims to the property (or some part of it) which was taken from them by force.

    The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships, have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims."

    http://tinyurl.com/3op94rm

    April 20, 2011 at 9:13 a.m.

  • Didn't it turn out that she got government help with her medical condition after she cntracted lung cancer from years of smoking. I think it was under her husband's name.
    Patrick Barnes

    April 20, 2011 at 8:27 a.m.

  • Mike, you see Ryan's budget as selling out Medicare. I saw Obama's health care law as doing the same thing. Not only did he take funding from Medicare, he instigated the sell out of the American seniors by AARP. Where have those worried about senior citizens been?

    I really don't see Ryan's budget getting anywhere, I think any health care plan that does not address care of the elderly adequately is not a health care plan.

    I agree with born2be, giving everything to the kids and going to the ER may be the answer to two problems. Health care for elderly and the estate tax.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:32 p.m.

  • I don't find Rand's outlook on life to be an issue. She grew up in Russia, lived through enough of the horrors of revolution and communism to have some strong feelings. She had little or no concept of religion. So it is not strange that she rejected it. Now that we have stated where she was coming from, maybe we can understand her philosophy. A person with her background of oppression might come forth with what today's American might see as an obsession with self. Her writings, which by the way, were fiction, do reflect her philosophy.

    She finally was able to come to America, had a successful career, and married a man she spent the rest of her life with. She was a strange person, from what I can tell, but what she believed was just that, and came from what she lived, probably mostly affected by her youth.

    Most Republicans do not "study the teachings" of Ayn Rand. They do see a correlation between Atlas Shrugged and some things that are happening in our country today. And there is a new interest in Rand and her works. This does not mean that Republicans believe in everything she did or said. Smaller government is a popular idea with many Republicans and was before we started hearing about Rand.

    I can think of many more controversial figues which politicians seem to be following today.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.

  • The real reason we have Medicare is not what is causing the problems. Fraud, doctors who cheat, multiple tests and treatments (doctors who cheat), is what's at the heart of the problems.
    Medicaid is so far into fraudulent claims that it will take a Genie to fix it.
    You don't destroy the programs, you weed out the fraud and streamline the process.
    How many people do you know that claim they cannot work who actually can? I bet we all know a few of those people.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.

  • Sounds like a call for "Justifiable selfishness."

    April 19, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.

  • One more time... In full context "I don't think he can justify making those 55 years old and younger paying the full cost of medical care. Everything should be a shared sacrifice because people in my age group should not benefit on the backs of the working middle class"....... That means if we are going to reform Medicare; let's involve those 55 and older in the spirit of a shared sacrifice.... That might be political suicide but that's what it's gonna take....When those younger than 55 get of age they will ...Never mind it's a moot point.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.

  • But you said "...paying the full cost of medical care." That is not true and you should have known that when you wrote it.

    rollinstone, the best comment I have seen on government-forced "altrusim" came from Walter E. Williams. He said "Reaching onto one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation."

    April 19, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.

  • "Altruism is the motivation to help others or the desire to do good without reward."

    Is it the duty of the federal and state governments to make us altruistic? The politicians end up getting the credit "their altruism." They are doing this using someone else's money - rewarding their constituents for their own benefit. That hardly fits the definition of "charitable."

    Speaking of our "charitable" welfare system is I heard from a pharmacists recently that, "you would not believe what goes on with Medicaid. The same people go to doctors two and three times a week and/or bring in prescriptions to be filled with the same frequency, I don't know what they are doing with all those drugs." I do!

    I've heard the same story about food stamps and social security claims. There appears no way to oversee these programs and graft and corruption is rampant. In fact IBM was denied permission by the administration to help with the monitoring of Medicare. They claimed they could reduce the cost of the program by 20 to 25%.

    Social Security is also on an unsustainable path. Today three workers provide benefits for each SS recipient. In twenty years that ratio will drop to 1.5. We will have no choice but to go after the rich.

    In 2007 the top 10% had an "adjusted gross" income of $ 4.23 trillion. Their income tax amounted to about 0.8 trillion or about 19%. Their taxes would have to be raised to 2.4 trillion to cover our current deficits or a tax rate near 60%. Adding on state, county and city taxes their rate would be 70 to 80% - no one will work or invest, particularly invest with those tax rates.

    In fact at those tax rates revenue will probably stay about the same or even decline - sorry that thing about a "tooth fairy" is just a big lie.

    And finally what about all the people that are going to lose their jobs? And how will people just entering the work force get a job? How will we ever build and maintain our infrastructure? Does anyone give a crap about these things? Oh, I know maybe we can continue just printing money - yeah that'll work!

    April 19, 2011 at 4:33 p.m.

  • Are you the official spokesman for the "rest of us?" ....Ryan's Medicare privatizing plan will pay as he calls it " premium protection" but it's a VOUCHER of about $15,000.... But as I stated; what happens after that? I can't even imagine private insurance companies insuring the 55 year old and if they do; it's going to cost plenty..... I pay for Medicare Part B and Aetna; I can only imagine what an insulin dependent diabetic with hypertension would pay for a private plan ONLY...... It's a moot point because his plan will not pass the senate nor a presidential veto.

    Last week Rep. David McKinley, R-WV,was asked why he cast one of only four Republican votes against Paul Ryan's budget. I've printed his entire answer below, but here's the key bit:
    My home state of West Virginia has the highest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries in the country, and I cannot support a plan that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined would nearly double out-of-pocket healthcare costs for future retirees. Unfortunately, Medicare is on a path to bankruptcy unless action is taken. However, I am not convinced that such a dramatic overhaul of benefits for future retirees is necessary to save the program.

    http://tinyurl.com/3baq2m8

    April 19, 2011 at 4:31 p.m.

  • Please point out to the rest of us where in Rep. Ryan's proposal does it state that those 55 years of age and younger will be "...paying the full cost of medical care." Seems I missed that one. I thought he was proposing a substantial Federal subsidy for that age cohort to purchase health insurance in the private sector; a subsidy that could cover the entire cost of coverage, depending upon what insurance plan the individual chose.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.

  • Objectivism does respect the right of others but anything that is placed as more important than your own life is wrong, and if it is harmful to you (even if it's beneficial to others), it's evil...I now see where "lifting yourself by your bootstraps" came from but MLK said ""It's all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps,but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps." Martin Luther King (1957-1968).

    April 19, 2011 at 3:38 p.m.

  • Only if you can't spell!

    April 19, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.

  • However, according to Rand, we are just seeking our own individual's existence and the virtue necessary for this is "selfishness." Perhaps Rand forgot that she was born into a family and therefore man is both an individual and relational. Granted Rand has mentioned some good things, but her individualism she proposes doesn't square with my thoughts nor my lived reality. In fact, I think it is in giving away yourself that you truly find yourself.

    Thanks for the post Mike, I look forward to the discussion.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.

  • I agree, every poll out there indicates that people don't want politicians touching Social Security or Medicare but we don't need a poll to reinforce what we already know.,,Seniors are a large voting bloc and they vote...Of course that makes it hard to say "if we want to continue the program we will all have to pay a little bit more."

    April 19, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.

  • I don't think anyone who wants this will get elected. Anyone over 40-50 will not vote for anyone that is after their future livelihood. Many, many people have lost their savings, lost their retirement in stock market. They will be in no mood to vote for someone that wants to tell them "screw you". Many of these people have paid into it since they were 16.
    Yes, it needs to overhauled, but a voucher system is not the answer without lowering healthcare and insurance costs. That's like spitting against hurricane-force winds.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.

  • The Ryan plan doesn't stand a chance for the next two years but in 2012, republicans have a good chance to take the senate because 23 democrats are up for reelection compared to only 10 republicans..... If the GOP maintains the house, it will give them enough votes to override a presidential veto; then it'll be time for those 55 and younger to be phasing in the the born2Bme plan...:-0...... The time to act is now.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:32 p.m.

  • I'm 53 and I'm not too happy. I guess the answer is to deed everything we own to our kids, retain a life estate, and then just go to ER rooms like the rest of them. I'm not going to spend that much money on insurance.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.