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Monday, August 13, 2012

If you were born after 1958..Play close attention

The 2012 presidential election will be the most important one in our lifetime because voters will get to vote on the direction of the country. It’s possible that the presidential candidates will nominate at least one Supreme Court judge in the next four years but most importantly the eventual winner will decide the direction our country will  take in reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and defense spending.

Mitt Romney made an outstanding choice, but it was one he had to take since he was boxed in. The Romney campaign saw that the numbers were definitely in favor of the president. Mitt Romney has changed the topic from being about his tax returns, now  that he's picked a person who will share the criticism from  the Democrats. The choice pleases the conservative base and the opposition party. Congressman Ryan is a decent well -liked family man who knows his supply-side economics'. Paul Ryan is supposed to be a deficit hawk, but he voted for the two Bush tax cuts, the two wars, a prescription-drug plan that was not paid for and the Bush bailout of Wall Street, and the GM bailout, President Bush started. Saturday, Paul Ryan admitted that President Obama was left with a bad hand but said that he left the country in worse shape; which is impossible since the Obama's administration inherited losing 750,000 jobs a month? He went onto say that the president controlled both houses and he got everything he wanted, which was not true. He left out the part where the Senate used parliamentary tricks and the filibuster to deny the president. The president got what he could barely pass because the GOP fought him on every proposal. That's history; we will now have discussions on the serious matters.

It's important to know that Paul Ryan's first budget included a voucher(he called it premium support) to replace Medicare as we know it, but he got a lot of flak from his fellow Republicans, so he changed it and got one democratic senator to co-sponsor Ryan II, which included an option to opt out.The Ryan II bill passed the house but failed in the Senate. Last night, Mitt Romney slammed the president saying he stole $700 billion from Medicare to finance Obama Care. Right next to Romney sat Paul Ryan whose budget does the same thing but Ryan's cuts will go to the beneficiaries, and Obama's cuts are on the providers. The president's action saved Medicare an additional eight years, which is not enough, but it's a start. The Republicans know after many years of losing the Medicare fight that this popular program is considered a Holy Grail. The first thing that they will say, " if you are currently on Medicare your benefits will remain the same" that's not exactly true because prescriptions drugs will be higher if the Republicans repeal, the Affordable Care Act and the doughnut hole goes unfilled. Those people younger than 54 will have to consider that but probably won't. The younger folks will also have to entertain the idea of buying health insurance at age 65 with a voucher capped at a certain percentage of GDP. It's basically putting the extra cost on the beneficiary instead of the federal government. Paul Ryan's budget will issue block grants to the states for Medicaid. I can see rest homes being a thing of the past and about 17 million poor people without any form of health insurance. Those younger than 54 better take out a membership in a health club,stay active, cut back on your sugar intake and live a health lifestyle or you will have a rude awaking when you turn 65. A large savings account won't hurt because I don't think the private insurance companies will be cheap.

I'm reading an interesting book about how progressives are letting the conservatives identify the issues and the answers. Progressive should be arguing against the upward redistribution of wealth. We could solve the healthcare issue, but the ideas wouldn't pass Congress because it would hurt the health professionals, pharmaceuticals, and hospitals. I'll start with a free market cost analysis. For example, a heart valve replacement costs $160,000 in the U.S. and only $9000 in India and a knee replacement costs $40,000 in our country and only $9000 in India. Using those numbers ,the government could send their Medicare, Medicaid and VA patients to Canada, India, and Singapore and save some big bucks. The savings would offset future premium costs for those patients and dramatically bring down the cost of healthcare. Many would not want to go overseas but there is a way and the free market would force our health care providers to compete. The free market principals' conservatives’ use are always aimed at the people at the bottom. The lower wages and benefits cuts they seek ,consistently come from those who can least afford it. To emphasize a point, the Obama Administration made deals with the pharmaceutical companies, and the American Medical Association and other special-interest groups that defeated the Clinton initiative in 1992. The Obama Administration didn't figure that the healthcare lobbyist would play both sides of the fence, so the Affordable Health Care Act was demonized anyway. The main point is that we outsource jobs that eventually hurt the non-professional, but we would never think about outsourcing the professional workforce. The middle –class are never considered in our trade talks.

The Republicans are going to try to make this election about government vs. the free market, but they will use their interpretation of the free market. In all of Ryan speeches so far, he has ended it by saying, “you built that business" and Mitt Romney emphasizes that by saying, " yes the school bus driver took you to school, but he can't take credit for your good grades." I'm paraphrasing, but it's enough to give you a good picture on how they will run. It's a top-down strategy where government is a wedge issue.

I see where the Romney people are coming out of the woodwork since the announcement of Paul Ryan as the vice president pick. It wasn't lost on the locals because they too are starting to write letters praising Romney after months of silence and obvious disappointment in their GOP's nominee.

There is no doubt that Medicare,Social Security, and Medicaid need some serious reform but so does defense spending. We mustn’t make all the cuts on the social programs without touching defense and asking the wealthy to pay more. I think it’s stupid  and selfish of us to take a 20% tax cut rate (including the wealthy) on the backs of the poor,handicapped,students and the elderly.


Mike said...

On my previous blog EA posted
"Paul Ryan used to drive the weinermobile.
Once a weiner, always a weiner?

You’ve got to understand GOP speak:-)

A Washington insider has been a negative for the Tea Party (Paul Ryan is that) and a man without private sector experience is also bad (Ryan has none) but that's only if it's the opposition they are talking about. For the first time the GOP will field a team extremely weak on foreign policy.

Romney has “lotsa 'Splainin" to do on his next trip to Florida...You can't mention Medicare and change in the same sentence to those folks.

dale said...

Do you have any good news? Looks like Romney got the "Paul" name correct. :) But what good is a VP except on the funeral circuit?

Mike said...

I understand what you mean dale.
This is similar to President George W. Bush's choice of Cheney who ran foreign for 6 years...

VP is a lot more important in modern day presidential politics but it has yet to play out.

born2Bme said...

What if you are born "in" 1958?

Mike said...

Ryan's Medicare exchange would start in 2023;so if you are 65 on that date it goes in,you will have the option to pay for your own plan with a voucher (with a cap on % of GDP). If the plan is cheaper than Medicare, then seniors get a rebate

born2Bme said...

so I'll be 65 in Feb., 2023. Why is it that I'm always on the bubble? I swear, it is the story of my life.

I can only hope President Obama gets reelected, or Democrats have control in Congress, or they can delay it long enough for them to change that year.

How do they think that people that age can adjust their plans that quickly? They should phase it in, instead of just hitting reset.

Mike said...

A couple of things, Ryan’s plan also would gradually raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67 and skeptics like me- think that the main goal is to shift the extra costs to the beneficiaries and not to cut costs.

I don't think anyone can adjust to the plan because private insurance companies cannot afford to do what Medicare has done for seniors. When people near the age of 60 or so, their medical cost will become more expensive and that's a fact that's not factored in the Ryan plan.

born2Bme said...

I have my pre-medicare bcbs through Alcoa, but no telling how the new plan will change that. Just thankful my husband is 58 right now, so he is not effected....yet!

born2Bme said...

And, I'm hoping the Democrats can paint a really good picture of what is coming if Romney wins and the GOP take control of both houses. If they can do that, they have a good chance of winning. You just don't go messing with Senior citizens when their options are diminished so much.

My husband has been joking about moving to the Czech Republic to escape the insanity over here. At least, I hope he was joking!!

Mike said...


My wife got a rude awakening (she's 3 years younger than I am) when she got her pre-Medicare package but now she can't wait until she gets on Medicare...:-)

I'm pretty sure the debates will point out the differences in their approach of maintaining Medicare. The media needs to step up and educate the masses. And Democrats need to be Democrats and fight for the basic principles of the Democratic Party. There are several things that can be done to save Medicare besides privatizing. For starters, put in co pays, do some means testing, raise the payroll rate from 1.45% to 2.0% and eliminate the exemption of Schedule E and S-Corp fliers.

Congress will not have to live by their decision because their healthcare is the best there is.

You are right about the seniors; Romney & Ryan were hit with a lot of questions about Medicare....It's funny how Paul Ryan and Tim Pawlenty submitted several years of tax returns to the Romney vetting committee but Paul Ryan said he will only submit two years of tax returns because any more than that will undermine the logic of his boss.

Mike said...

Just a tidbit but worth noting.
Those advocating for a strong dollar should reconsider and learn the facts.

There's a United States Costco located a few miles from Canada where it's hard for American's to get in to shop because Canadians are flocking to it. Why is that? Canada have a stronger dollar than us, meaning that their goods are more expensive....A Canadian customer says that she saves $20-$30 on every shopping trip...American consumers are asking for a special day for American shoppers only...:-)

If we could only buy our prescription drugs from Canada.

Mike said...

Little off topic but I'm mystified because I can't imagine why people would think that people living in the shadows would risk deportation by voting for an issue or a person they don't like likely know anything about.... That's been an urban legend for years and I've yet to see the proof. I don't want to go back to Duval County.

The question that was asked for the umpteenth time stirred up the likely responses but it didn't need to be that way. “Should voters be required to show voter ID?"

I would say that if there were a break-out of massive voter fraud cases, then "YES" ,implement tougher voter laws requirements. If the answer is "NO" and you just want an "ounce of prevention," make sure you don't influence the current year's election. There's time to phase in this law but I think that everyone who's entitled to vote should get the opportunity to vote. We could have it ready by the 2014 off-year election without an outcry from either party.

The voter ID law is not about pulling out your driver's license for a credit card purchase, renting Section 8 houses or to buy the latest iPhone.

I have seen the video where a GOP state legislator admitted that the Pennsylvania voter ID. Law made it easier for Mitt Romney to win in that state…The Secretary of State of Pennsylvania told the court that they did not have any proof of voter fraud.

Republicans saw the demographics and acted accordingly….:-)..I didn’t fall off the watermelon truck.

born2Bme said...

You and I know it's not about keeping fraud from happening and anyone with more than a pea brain, knows that too.
Those top few %'s have figured out that there are more of us little people than there are of them, and they are trying to even things up a bit. So basically, they are peeing their pants knowing that President Obama could be voted back in unless they do something.

You are right. No one in their right mind would go vote not knowing if that other person had already been there, voted absentee already, knows people handling the voting, or a number of other issues. Would they risk getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar like that? I don't think so. That one vote is not worth being charged with a crime over.

Mike said...

I'm glad I didn't have to match wits with Victoria's know-it-all Scott Hanson..He usually posts a boring C&P from what he thinks is bound to convince

I've also noticed that he hasn't produced any proof of voter fraud.

You're right what does the Texas GOP fear? The state is gerrymandered in their favor where Democrats don't stand a chance but our time is coming.

It's they want everyone to believe their voter ID. law was passed with good intentions without any political

I've still have the Guadalupe River bridge for sale and at a discount for the gullible people who bought the fraud prevention lie.

Legion said...

lol @ the Hanson, Speakout1968, remark. I agree the voter ID should be fazed in.

Back to the Presidential election rhetoric, I don't see how R@R can be elected with their plans for SS and Medicare anyway.

The thing that really makes me nervous about the GOP ticket, is Iran.

I seem to remember something about the end days, before the Messiah returns, in the Bible that involved the Assyrians and Persians, Persians being what is now Iranians.

President Obama has been keeping Israel in check for the most part, but with comments by R@R they see a opening for support for a attack on Iran.

"In remarks to reporters in February, Dichter said that Israel "is not a superpower" and should "not lead a world offensive against Iran" although it needed to prepare in case the world did not take action."

I might be wrong but all this Iran war talk seems to be a self fulling prophesy by Israel and almost every Christian, Mormon or even Catholic politician,to make sure what the Bible says actually happens.

Mike said...


Sunday I thought John McCain was going to explode because we are not doing anything about the recent causalities in Syria, saying it was because of the inaction of the president and that he was AWOL in the Iranian uprising. I believe things are being done through back channels but it's got to be kept quiet.
Yesterday we had 14 causalities in Afghanistan, so it's time for President Obama to rethink staying in that God forsaken country..A police officer we trained killed a couple of our guys.They'll never be able to protect their corrupt country, so we are just fooling ourselves....IMO

Romney and his neocons need to stop stroking the fires between Iran & Israel. We both know that Israel
doesn't encouragement....It's time for Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to step up and arm the the rebels in Syria because if they don't al Qaeda will and they are.

I've heard the bible prophecy before but wouldn't the evangelicals have to make the Jews convert to Christianity?
I give way to someone with a lot more knowledge..:_)