Author Topic: Whats happening out there?  (Read 1573 times)

Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2017, 07:11:40 AM »
I did it to illustrate out the trouble with generalizations, so I'm glad you're catching on.


So... you ask others to stop making generalizations, and then you make generalizations. Got it.

You were on the forum in 2008, I told you they were here, so I'm not sure why you need me to click on search for you to prove it, but here are a few which pre-date Obama's first term:

http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=936.msg7589#msg7589
http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=1293.msg10123#msg10123
http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=1202.msg9584#msg9584


So... if the examples you post are from 2008, then what I asked before still stands...

Were you this concerned about the national debt when there was a Democrat in the White House? If not, why not?  ???
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Offline Baiter

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2017, 11:03:34 AM »
So... you ask others to stop making generalizations, and then you make generalizations. Got it.

So... if the examples you post are from 2008, then what I asked before still stands...

I don't understand where you are trying to go with this.  Those posts established a baseline that I've criticized every president or candidate due to deficit spending, regardless of party.  I've been unwavering on this, and it is a pet peeve of mine to see small government proponents turn a blind eye to deficit spending. 

I'll do your search for you, again,...fast forward 4 years when you and I were able to have some pretense of discourse on this topic:

I am certain deficit spending will be less under Obama in the next 4 years.  It's not that Obama "deserves" a second term, it's more that Romney's plan doesn't make fiscal sense. 

Again my preference is to a candidate who spends less, but if they both spend the same (as has been the last two elections) my preference is to the one spending more effort on domestic issues, especially if foreign issues do not benefit the U.S..  Even the Pentagon thinks Romney's military budget proposal is too high, and that makes me think Romney is just another spend-first candidate, not much different than Obama in that area, but Obama appears to be more focused on a larger swath of the American people than Romney.
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Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2017, 07:15:18 PM »
I don't understand where you are trying to go with this.  Those posts established a baseline that I've criticized every president or candidate due to deficit spending, regardless of party.  I've been unwavering on this, and it is a pet peeve of mine to see small government proponents turn a blind eye to deficit spending. 

I'll do your search for you, again,...fast forward 4 years when you and I were able to have some pretense of discourse on this topic:

2008...
2012...
2017... are you a year late or three years early?  ???

As to the claim of turning a blind eye to deficit spending, I assume, then, that you endorse cuts to the biggest drivers of our debt and deficit? The three largest that together make up almost half of the annual federal budget expenditures?
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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2017, 02:45:03 AM »
As to the claim of turning a blind eye to deficit spending, I assume, then, that you endorse cuts to the biggest drivers of our debt and deficit? The three largest that together make up almost half of the annual federal budget expenditures?

I assume you are talking about SS, Health, and Defense?  There should be cuts across the board...and no big increases without big reason.  You can't fix deficits by keeping spending flat unless you want to raise taxes, significantly.

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Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2017, 08:40:18 PM »
I assume you are talking about SS, Health, and Defense?  There should be cuts across the board...and no big increases without big reason.  You can't fix deficits by keeping spending flat unless you want to raise taxes, significantly.

Any idea why Medicare spending increased over 9% from 2015 to 2016? That seems like a big increase compared to all other spending, and I don't recall a big reason.  ???

Area2016 ($B)2015 ($B)% increase
Medicare588539+9.09%
Net Interest241224+7.59%
Other563528+6.63%
Medicaid368350+5.14%
Social Security910882+3.17%
Nondefense600583+2.92%
Defense584582+0.34%

Sources: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/graphic/51110-budget1overall.pdf
         https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/graphic/52408-budgetoverall.pdf
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Offline Baiter

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2017, 09:25:17 PM »
Any idea why Medicare spending increased over 9% from 2015 to 2016? That seems like a big increase compared to all other spending, and I don't recall a big reason.  ???

It's a good question.  The easy answer is the increasing number of people reaching Medicare age.  However the general cost of health care has been on a steep incline since the 80's, and accelerated even further starting in 2000.  We know the U.S. spends nearly twice as much per capita as every other country in the world, we know the drug costs in the U.S. are the most expensive in the world, and we know the U.S. is the most litigious country in the world.  There's a lot of well known reasons for the ever increasing expenses, and that's before we throw insurance into the equation (Medicare, Medicaid, or Private) which is priced as it is to cover the increasing expenses.  Health care is one of the biggest issues on the political agenda because it's quickly becoming unaffordable for most of the U.S. population, and there doesn't even exist a tangible discussion as to how to truly decrease healthcare costs.
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Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2017, 08:34:22 PM »
It's a good question.  The easy answer is the increasing number of people reaching Medicare age.  However the general cost of health care has been on a steep incline since the 80's, and accelerated even further starting in 2000.  We know the U.S. spends nearly twice as much per capita as every other country in the world, we know the drug costs in the U.S. are the most expensive in the world, and we know the U.S. is the most litigious country in the world.  There's a lot of well known reasons for the ever increasing expenses, and that's before we throw insurance into the equation (Medicare, Medicaid, or Private) which is priced as it is to cover the increasing expenses.  Health care is one of the biggest issues on the political agenda because it's quickly becoming unaffordable for most of the U.S. population, and there doesn't even exist a tangible discussion as to how to truly decrease healthcare costs.

We can prepare for dramatic increases in Medicaid expenditures, as well, thanks to the program's expansion due to the unfortunately named "Affordable Care Act". What makes matters worse is the number of people on assistance who eat poorly, smoke, and drink who are going to prove even more costly to treat because they don't take care of themselves. I'm fine with providing food assistance to people who need it, and I get that people shouldn't be forced to make healthy choices and shouldn't be deprived of the joys of life, but I can't recall how many reports in the media that I've read of multi-generational families all on assistance, that include details about the cigarettes they smoke and the number of Mountain Dews they consume in a day.

You also have the super-litigious culture here in America, as you said, where if you go see a doctor for a sprained ankle, and they don't detect your incipient throat cancer, then, sue, sue, sue... So, every trip to the doctor includes a round of every test imaginable to provide cover for themselves. You then have health insurance, which distorts the cost of care and treatments and tests even further. We need to pay health care professionals based on results, not on the number of tests they order, and we need to keep people accountable for their own health and well-being. I'm afraid the only thing the "Affordable Care Act" accomplished was redistribute health care costs to those who could afford them, from those who couldn't, and that's not really a viable long-term solution.
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Offline Baiter

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #52 on: August 11, 2017, 07:03:28 PM »
We can prepare for dramatic increases in Medicaid expenditures, as well, thanks to the program's expansion due to the unfortunately named "Affordable Care Act". What makes matters worse is the number of people on assistance who eat poorly, smoke, and drink who are going to prove even more costly to treat because they don't take care of themselves. I'm fine with providing food assistance to people who need it, and I get that people shouldn't be forced to make healthy choices and shouldn't be deprived of the joys of life, but I can't recall how many reports in the media that I've read of multi-generational families all on assistance, that include details about the cigarettes they smoke and the number of Mountain Dews they consume in a day.

Expansion of health insurance is intended to get all the healthy people paying for insurance to offset all the sick people who are typically already on insurance, or already getting free care because they can't afford it... and that is supposed to have a positive effect on rates.  There's been a fair amount of progress toward adding tobacco penalties on insurance, and many employers offer credits for exercise and other healthy choices, so at least part of what you bring up is already being done.  Beyond that it's all about education.
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Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #53 on: August 11, 2017, 08:35:38 PM »
Expansion of health insurance is intended to get all the healthy people paying for insurance to offset all the sick people who are typically already on insurance, or already getting free care because they can't afford it... and that is supposed to have a positive effect on rates.

That's what I said:   8)

I'm afraid the only thing the "Affordable Care Act" accomplished was redistribute health care costs to those who could afford them, from those who couldn't, and that's not really a viable long-term solution.
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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2017, 04:36:53 PM »
Not exactly, but I don't think we entirely disagree on those points either, except that ACA goes well beyond Medicaid expansion.

But lets be honest, no one believed the ACA was the be-all-end-all solution to our health care problem.  It was just a step in an era where health insurance and health providers and drug companies have the upper hand on 17% of our GDP and growing.  It's not even an expense that anyone wants, it's a need... sort of like eating, except eating is more regular.  You already said you were ok feeding the poor, I'm not sure medical care is that different.  It is this situation where government seems to be the only entity with enough clout to step in and do something to rein in the costs, because the free market is not doing that... it's one of those high-barrier-of-entry markets that is dominated by a handful of very large companies, that while they compete with each other, they are all expensive.
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Offline briefcase

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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2017, 08:03:04 PM »
It's not even an expense that anyone wants, it's a need... sort of like eating, except eating is more regular.  You already said you were ok feeding the poor, I'm not sure medical care is that different.

Food and medical care couldn't be more different. ??? You can determine the average cost to provide a month's worth of food (not eating out) for an adult, and there's not going to be a lot of variability in that number. Let's say, $300/mo. or so (I don't know if this is the actual number; it's used to illustrate the point, not to say "this is how much it costs to feed an adult for a month")... If someone required $600/mo., that would be an aberration and would likely mean they are eating out regularly (or eating all-organic or using other high-end ingredients), let alone $1,000/mo. or $3,000/mo.

Medical care, on the other hand, has a high degree of variability, and it's this addition of the previously uninsurable (or insurable at very high premiums and co-pays) that has roiled the insurance markets. If the average cost to provide health care is $400/mo. (again, I don't know if this is the actual number), it's a given that you have people who currently require care that costs $1,000/mo., or $2,000/mo., or $10,000/mo., or more.

The Obama administration (and, to date, the Trump administration) paid subsidies to the insurers to absorb some of this shock to their system. That model, however, is hardly sustainable without adding to the debt and deficit, which you say you are against, and you simply aren't going to be able to tax the rich enough or cut the military enough to keep the insurer subsidy plates spinning in perpetuity.
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Re: Whats happening out there?
« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2017, 12:24:48 AM »
Food and medical care couldn't be more different. ???

Per capita food consumption is $2400 annually.  Health care is nearly 4 times that.  So as a cost, they are far different, but they are both necessary expenditures.

The Obama administration (and, to date, the Trump administration) paid subsidies to the insurers to absorb some of this shock to their system. That model, however, is hardly sustainable without adding to the debt and deficit, which you say you are against, and you simply aren't going to be able to tax the rich enough or cut the military enough to keep the insurer subsidy plates spinning in perpetuity.

You can absolutely raise taxes and/or cut the military to fund healthcare... there 58 other countries around the world that do just that.  Even so, cost containment still needs to be solved in this country, and the topic that politicians keep avoiding.
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