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Archive for October, 2009

Although Congress suspended ACORN’s federal funding and the Census Bureau and IRS  severed ties with ACORN, the scandalized community organizing group could once again receive taxpayer dollars – and soon. In addition, the federal government is allegedly still sending money to ACORN through back channels.

In September, both houses of Congress voted to strip ACORN’s funding. However Congress was unable to pass their annual appropriations bills by the October 1 deadline. The Continuing Resolution signed by President Barack Obama holds government spending at current levels until Congress can pass the 12 appropriations bills. The current resolution is in effect until October 31. Once the bills are passed, ACORN could once again be eligible for billions in federal taxpayer funds.

“There are 12 appropriations bills, each funding different government agencies and programs. Adding the prohibition language to, say, the Transportation funding bill doesn’t stop ACORN from accessing Housing funds,” Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R – Minn.) wrote  at Townhall.com.

In other words, every appropriations bill must specifically deny funding for ACORN in order for federal funding to cease.

Meanwhile, the government had to become increasingly creative in their efforts to fund the group. Just two weeks after Congress suspended funds to the group, the Washington Times reported  that the Department of Homeland Security awarded the ACORN Institute, ACORN’s non-profit affiliate, just under $1 million in grant money intended for fire departments. ACORN would not explain how the grant money would be used.

It now appears that the grant money is no longer destined for ACORN. But last year, the group allegedly received nearly $500,000 – over half of the grant money meant for Louisiana fire departments.

In addition, the ACORN Institute is still eligible for money from the Combined Federal Campaign, a federal employee charity program. CFC is the world’s largest annual workplace charity campaign.

“ACORN Institute is one of the myriad of nonprofit organizations that function with the express purpose of sending funds to ACORN through Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI),” Anita MonCrief, a former employee of ACORN, told The US Report. Since leaving the group, MonCrief has exposed the corrupt inner-workings of ACORN.

MonCrief alleged: “During my time at ACORN I saw that ACORN Institute would apply for grants from charitable organizations that only gave to tax-exempt nonprofits, but the work described in the grant could only be done by ACORN. Like Project Vote, ACORN Institute would then ‘contract’ with ACORN to complete the promised projects. Also ACORN institute provides a way for wealthy donors like George Soros and Herb Sandler to give to ACORN and still receive a tax credit.”

In June, ACORN and its affiliated groups filed a lawsuit against Moncrief. Last week the defense fund Fight for Anita was formed to help MonCrief with the expensive legal fees and preserve her First Amendment rights.

If the government determined that ACORN was no longer worthy to receive taxpayer funding, they would have slammed the door shut on the group. But without pressure from taxpayers, the Democrat leadership will likely continue to fund and provide cover  for  ACORN.

[Originally published at The US Report]

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No Caption Necessary…

ups

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One Thousand Five Hundred and Two Pages. The Senate Finance Committee’s Health Care Bill has finally been unveiled. [Ed – If you care to do something almost no Senator will do, you can read it here. Of course, I don’t recommend printing it out, you’ll go through three full reams plus two annoying extra sheets, and the Sierra Club is notified when any citizen purchases more than two reams of paper per year.].

Upon release of this bill, Nancy Pelosi “looked shocked,” according to unnamed sources close to the Speaker adding, “of course, she kinda always looks shocked, so I’m not sure it was the bill.” Barbara Boxer was seen throwing a fit and ranting about the Finance Committee just “showing off,” and that the bill would never be accepted because it was written by “a bunch of white people.” At least, those were the words we could print.

Charles Schumer, upon hearing about the released bill, ran over two congressional pages and one little old lady from Lincoln, NE to tell CNN how please he was with their “bi-partisan achievement.” John Kerry, asked to comment as well, mumbled something unintelligible before falling back to sleep. We looked for Olympia Snowe, who was believed to be hiding in the men’s room, but we were unable to confirm that report.

Our intrepid Washington reporters will bring you additional information, as it becomes available.

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A suicide bomber killed 31 people today, including five or six senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Among the remaining dead were other Guard members, or local tribal leaders, and several dozen others were wounded. The story can be found here and here. Besides the Iranian leadership getting a small dose of their own medicine, what was really interesting is that Reuters quoted the Fars News Agency as blaming the bombing on terrorists backed by “the Great Satan America and its ally Britain,” even though a local Sunni group called Jundollah (God’s soldiers), claimed responsibility. According to Fars, a spokesman for Iran’s armed forces claimed Obama is backing the Jundollah in an effort to cause instability in the region.

Not in the distant future, we [Iran] will take revenge…

Of course, our State Department denies any involvement and condemned the attack.

Reports of alleged U.S. involvement are completely false.

Is this what Vice President Biden was talking about when he said the world would test Obama?  Probably not.  It will however damage the talks in Vienna due to begin tomorrow.  We know this because we can  use what we know of Iran’s leadership (i.e. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is flippin’ crazy) to come up with an educated guess of their intentions.  While I would not doubt Ahmadinejad is capable of hiring a bomber to kill his own people in a publicity stunt, and you must admit – the timing is perfect, whether he did or not is irrelevant.  He will use this to his advantage in two ways.  One, it will give him a reason to delay, cancel, or otherwise disrupt the talks being held to reign in Iran’s nuclear arms program.  Claiming one of the nations at the table just killed some of your crew will put a damper on negotiations.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall.  Two, he will also use this to foster additional hatred against the West, and America in particular.  This will make it easier to drum up popular support for an all out war against us, should Obama do what is necessary to eliminate the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran.

Since Iran’s army is a bit lower class than Saddam’s army, the fight – if you could call it that – would be over quickly, even with Obama’s ridiculous changes to our rules of engagement.  But Ahmadinejad doesn’t need to engage us directly.  He could easily use this as a recruiting tool to find hundreds, if not thousands, of suicide bombers to send against our interests in the Middle East, or against us directly back home.  I picture something like every Iranian driven cab in New York City blowing up simultaneously during rush hour…which would be almost all of them.

Any country crazy enough to lie to their population about the origins of a terrorist attack, to drive them into a frenzy against the most powerful country in the world either deserves the smackdown we would give them, or has an ace up their sleeve.  I trust Ahmadinejad about as far as I can throw a pregnant camel, but at least we can be sure of one thing: Obama had nothing to do with this bombing.  How do I know that?  If he had a suicide bomber at his disposal, and had the balls to use him, I think his target would be something much more prescient…like the Fox News Building.

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If you’ve been on the Internet, watched just slightly more TV than is healthy, or talked to more than 5 people, you have probably heard about the looming disaster which will spell the end of life as we know it. The prophesied date – Dec 21, 2012. Like many “End of the world” dates, this one will pass as well without so much as a hiccup, though it may not be safe to go outside on that day because of all the crazies.

But there is a much more important date we should all have on our minds, November 2nd, 2010 – Election Day. That day will mark what should be the ultimate Tea Party. That day must be the Conservatives “Line in the sand”. Election Day is the culmination of the Tea Party Movement, and will be the deciding battle in the struggle between Conservatives and Progressives which has been waged in this country since the Pragmatic Era of the 1920’s and 30’s.

Some may even place the ideological birthing of this struggle back in the founding of our country as evidenced in the fight between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. However, I think we all can agree that both Thomas Paine and Alexander Hamilton would be dismayed and saddened by our government today. Actually, the Anti-Federalists would probably be shaking a finger saying, “I told you so!”

With the death of the Federalist Party in 1824, those longing for a stronger government had to wait just about 80 years for the Progressive Movement to cross the pond and be planted in the fertile soil of our intellectual elite. While the exact date is almost impossible to pin down the entire movement seems to have begun with Otto von Bismark and Richard Ely. Ely was the originator of the Wisconsin Model of socialism, a professor of Woodrow Wilson, and mentor to Teddy Roosevelt. Herbert Croly, author of The Promise of American Life in 1909, founding editor of the New Republic and the man behind the curtain of Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism”, was arguably the most influential Progressive of the era.

Croly himself was not only influenced by Bismark, but also, through his father, by Auguste Comte, a mystical French philosopher with a then strange idea about the progress of mankind. To Comte, humanity progressed through three stages, the final stage, saw mankind throwing away Christianity and replacing it with a new “religion of humanity” which fused religious passion to science and reason. He called this new religion Positivism. Croly was also a follower of Mussolini and a fascist.

Ask any modern liberal today to tell you about Herbert Croly, and they will probably just give you the same look my dog does when I ask him to get me a cup of coffee. Very, very few know the history behind the progressive/fascist movement in the U.S. They have merely been taught to parrot “Bush Lied”, “Bank Executives are crooks”, and the like.

In a recent, and highly unscientific poll mind you, I conducted recently, I asked a few dozen liberals to name the author of this quote:

Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other…It is between two kinds of deficits – a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy – or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, produce revenues, and achieve a future budget surplus. The first type of deficit is a sign of waste and weakness – the second reflects and investment in the future.

Most placed it in the mouth of Ronald Reagan, a couple in GW Bush, fewer still in his father’s. Not one got it right – John F. Kennedy. When I revealed this fact, almost all though I was lying, because JFK has been hailed as a great Progressive. His history has been whitewashed to the point where I hear many liberals claim he was shot by a “right wing nutjob.” Truth be told, if JFK were alive today, with his beliefs intact, he would be a member of the Republican Party. Possibly a moderate, but still a Republican.

So while the progressives are largely ignorant of history, they are nonetheless followers of this same movement, and carriers of Bismark and Croly’s torch.

Since Croly, all Progressives have longed for, in Croly’s words, a “national reformer in the guise of St. Michael, armed with a flaming sword and winged for flight,” to redeem a decadent America from “devil-take-the-hindmost” individualism. “An individual,” wrote Croly, “has no meaning apart from the society in which his individuality has been formed.”

While most Progressive or Liberal presidents have been placed on a pedestal, none have been heralded as Croly’s “imitator of Christ” more than our current president, Barak Obama.

Carol Hoening, a writer for the Huffington Post, claimed that when Obama said we are not a Christian Nation, that he was “actually more Christ-like than I’ve seen from many fundamentalists.”

An artist, Michael D’Antuono, painted a portrait of Obama in celebration of his 100th day in office. It showed Obama with outstretched arms and a crown of thorns on his head.

Micah Tillman of The Free Liberal wrote, “So maybe Obama’s picks don’t show him to be incompetent, but to be—like Christ—in the business of redemption.”

And who could forget Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s creepy video in which they pledge “to be a servant to our President…”

I could go on, literally for days. The point, however, is that the Progressive Movement has found their St. Michael, and they are moving forward with their agenda at warp speed. Knowing their agenda is one part of our battle, and one cannot know their agenda without knowing the history of the Progressives. In a nutshell:

Individualism – OUT
Capitalism – OUT
Private Property – OUT
Inalienable Rights – OUT
Freedom of Thought – OUT
Constitutional Limits on Government – That has been gone.

Today’s Progressive movement has been joined by another movement, that is related, but is more of a new sprout in the same pot. The Communitarian Movement. The Communitarians are after nothing less than a One World Order, and through a program called Agenda 21, which has spread to 177 countries, is making that happen.

Because the Progressives and the Communitarians sprouted from the same tree, both share the same overall Marxist economic theories and egalitarian dreams. The difference is, while our progressives are nationalistic, the Communitarians want to outlaw nationalism world wide as they are on the brink of doing in the European Union.

Those of you who have been paying attention to the massive amount of paper spewing from Congress in the way of new legislation, you know, actually reading the bills that our own representatives can’t or won’t read, if familiar with Community Law, will see the threads of this vile legal system throughout the language.

It goes back even further to CAFTA (one of the Free Trade Agreements), approved by Congress in 2005 and signed into law by GW Bush. CAFTA contains language requiring our legal system to be overwritten with Community Law. The recent Kelo vs. City of New London eminent domain case was one such rewrite.

The number of groups behind both the Progressive movement and Agenda 21 is truly staggering, as is the amount of money being thrown at the problem of converting the United States into a Socialist or Fascist nation who is subservient to the United Nations – and eventually the Communitarians.

Most of us have not been paying attention to this march. A few have, but were brushed off as kooks by the Republicans and completely ignored by the compliant media. Because we have been losing the battles for over 100 years, many by just not showing up, the wall of opposition we face is legendary. Heck, just look at the opposition Rush Limbaugh faced, and all he wanted to do was be a partial owner of an NFL team. Fortunately, Conservatives outnumber the Progressives – by a wide margin. We have the force of true history, economics, and facts about the dismal performance of their programs on our side. What we forget is who the enemy is. I debate dozens of Progressives on almost a daily basis, either through my blog, email, or twitter. A couple things I have discovered are 1) they are ignorant of history, economic reality, and facts. 2) they hate us with a passion.

A recent picture sent to me by a liberal, in the midst of a discussion on the Washington Tea Party, was of another “conservative group” marching in Washington in 1934. It was the KKK. Little did he know that some of the first targets of the KKK were merely Republicans – largely because we supported civil rights for all minorities. But it shows the mindset of these people.

Any one here been called a fascist? GW Bush was a fascist, Reagan was a fascist, so on and so on. Why, when FDR was the closest thing to a truly fascist president we had? – before Obama that is. In 1946 George Orwell wrote an essay called Politics and the English Language. In it he said “The word fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” The word could be literally translated “Heretic” of the Church of Liberalism.

Language has been changed by our opponents to the point where Classical Liberal is no longer understood to mean Conservative by the general public. I have also seen a resurgence in the word “reactionary” flung with venom at us. All of these are merely projection by an opponent that will literally lie, cheat, and steal to see his vision of heaven be created on Earth.

I wanted each of you to have no illusions about who, and what we face. I hope to inspire all of you to increase your efforts for the all important 2010 elections. If you are not running for office, volunteer for someone who is. If you can’t volunteer, donate money to truly Conservative candidates. If you can’t donate money, put a sign in your yard – talk to your neighbors, and the grocery store clerk, and the guy helping you find the right shoes, and so on, and so on.

We have no choice but to win this election. If true conservatives do not win control of Congress, we will be completely unable to stop and reverse these destructive bills such as Health Care or Cap-and-Trade soon to be before Obama. We will be completely unable to stop ACORN who will undoubtedly do anything to see Obama re-elected in 2012.

Why do I say true conservatives? Because at this point in the game, the differences between Republicans, Libertarians, and others is literally moot. Let’s wait until after we win to have those debates. What is important is that we band together with those running for office – all offices, both local, state, and federal, who vow to do everything in their power to not just slow the ship down, but to spin the wheel and turn it around. They must vow to do so in the face of what will be murderous slander by the press. They must vow to do so in deference to any re-election campaign. They must vow to do so for America and her citizens.

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Bailouts for terrorists

With Obama in the White House, even terrorists receive a Stimulus!

Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse (from The Times)…

The Obama administration is considering outbidding the Taliban to persuade Afghan villagers to lay down arms as it struggles to find a new approach to a war that is fast losing public and congressional support.

Didn’t we send troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban? Now the Obama administration is wanting to legitimize yet another terrorist group:

Apart from training more Afghan troops, the focus has shifted to accepting a political role for the Taliban, while also trying to weaken them by winning some over.

Once again, it is impossible to win over people who have a religious duty to eliminate our civilization through jihad. There is no middle ground, and they will only use our money against us. The even bigger problem I believe is that the Obama administration has to know this.

Here’s what passes for war strategy when community organizers and revolutionaries run the government:

Paying Taliban foot-soldiers to switch sides could spare US lives and save money, say its advocates. A recent report by the Senate foreign relations committee estimated the Taliban fighting strength at 15,000, of whom only 5% are committed idealogues while 70% fight for money — the so-called $10-a-day Taliban. Doubling this to win them over would cost just $300,000 a day, compared with the $165m a day the United States is spending fighting the war.

These “advocates” are so far off base this isn’t even worth analyzing. But I had been under the impression we sent troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda-associated movements – not to save money! I wonder why we didn’t just pay off the Wermacht in 1944 rather than invade Normandy.

At least someone has a clue:

Some experts disagree. Gilles Dorronsoro from the Carnegie Institute insisted: “You cannot break an insurgency that strong with money. It’s not a mercenary force — it’s a very powerful movement.”

The thing is that the Afghans know that the U.S. is about to cut and run just like every other civilization that has occupied Afghanistan throughout human history. The ones who take the money will be left high and dry when Obama decides enough is enough, but the Taliban are there to stay, and will remember who wasn’t willing to continue the jihad. All this would be is another collosal waste of taxpayer money, which the Taliban will end up appropriating anyways.

This is obviously a UK story because they actually found more than one person who isn’t in lockstep with the administration. Obama is getting caught up in his own words:

Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that the president has only himself to blame. “It was Obama who insisted in March and again last month that this was a ‘war of necessity’ and must be fully resourced rather than looking at what we really have at stake in Afghanistan.”


Originally posted at Unto the Breach

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The “Health Care Debate” is just about the largest national debate I have ever witnessed.  Opinions, facts, figures, lies, misdirection, and propaganda are flying about like trailer parts in a tornado.  Both sides are guilty of spewing mis-information, however, since I check all claims, I would say that the bulk clearly comes from the proponents for a national health care plan.  As an example, I offer 10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted.  This blogpost has been passed around on Twitter by NHC supporters, and it is anything but balanced.  Insults begin by the second sentence and condescension drips through the entire piece.  Let’s take a look at the mythbusting of Sara Robinson.

1. Canada’s health care system is “socialized medicine.”
False. In socialized medical systems, the doctors work directly for the state. In Canada (and many other countries with universal care), doctors run their own private practices, just like they do in the US. The only difference is that every doctor deals with one insurer, instead of 150. And that insurer is the provincial government, which is accountable to the legislature and the voters if the quality of coverage is allowed to slide.

The proper term for this is “single-payer insurance.” In talking to Americans about it, the better phrase is “Medicare for all.”

Ms. Robinson defines socialized medical systems, declares that Canada does not have one, then proves that they do by her own definition. You work for who ever pays you. The doctors in Canada get paid by the insurer, which “is the provincial government”. That they “run their own private practices” is irrelevant. If the government pays the doctors, then the doctors work for the government, therefore her first “myth” is true.

2. Doctors are hurt financially by single-payer health care.
True and False. Doctors in Canada do make less than their US counterparts. But they also have lower overhead, and usually much better working conditions. A few reasons for this:

It cannot be a “busted myth” if the answer is “True and False”. Doctors in Canada either make less or they do not. Since their overhead is included in what they make, what we need to find is the average take home pay for doctors of both countries, something Ms. Robinson fails to include.

From 2003 – 2006, the average income from 59 specialty fields in the U.S. was about $299,850. This is income after expenses, but before taxes (source).  Data on Canadian doctors is tougher to find, but from what I gleaned from this source , here, and here the average appears to be around $185,500.  Of course, there are differences by area in both countries, and salaries vary widely by specialty as well.  But, overall, U.S. doctors receive over $100,000 more per year in compensation than the Canadians.  This explains why so many Canadian doctors move to the U.S. to practice (several sources estimate the number at close to half).

Ms. Robinson’s next three paragraphs are purely subjective, and speculative, and are thus irrelevant banter, though she is correct that Canadian doctors spend far less time in administrative work and that getting paid is fairly painless by American standards.  The next point she makes is about the average debt medical students have by the time they begin working.  Again, she has completely made up, and left off, key figures.

Third: The average American medical student graduates $140,000 in hock. The average Canadian doctor’s debt is roughly half that.

Relevant information can be found again from MedPageToday.com:

A medical education is a costly affair on both sides of the border.

According to the American Medical Association, doctors, on average, leave medical school owing about $140,000.

Canadian figures are similar, according to the physician survey in 2007, although varying exchange rates make comparisons difficult. The year 2007 is particularly hard because the Canadian dollar rose from 85 cents U.S. in January to $1.02 at the end of December. At this writing, the Canadian dollar is worth 93 cents in the U.S.

Of the more than 1,000 third- and fourth-year medical students who took part in the survey, 27% expected debt between $60,000 and $100,000 by the time they finished medical school and an additional 31% expected their debt to be more than $100,000.

While exchange rates have been up and down over the past few years, those figures probably represent a slight advantage for Canadian doctors.

On the other hand, in a separate 2007 survey, the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents found that residents owed an average of $158,728.

So, the debt difference is negligible. Next, Robinson mentions another irrelevant fact to her overall point. Malpractice insurance is lower in Canada, but since our pay is based after expenses, the conclusion is unchanged. Same debt, lower pay, higher taxes, Canadian doctors are definitely worse off. On this point I would like to add that Tort Reform, while necessary, is not even close to the “silver bullet” many opposed to universal health care would like it to be. CBO numbers state that a savings from some sort of national reform might save about 3-4% overall – not even close to what could be saved from simply recovering money wasted through medical insurance fraud, especially in the government programs.

3. Wait times in Canada are horrendous.
True and False again — it depends on which province you live in, and what’s wrong with you. Canada’s health care system runs on federal guidelines that ensure uniform standards of care, but each territory and province administers its own program. Some provinces don’t plan their facilities well enough; in those, you can have waits. Some do better. As a general rule, the farther north you live, the harder it is to get to care, simply because the doctors and hospitals are concentrated in the south. But that’s just as true in any rural county in the U.S.

Robinson really doesn’t seem to be selling herself too well. She also provides no data to support her claim. In 2004-5 the Canadian government thought that wait times were bad enough to dump $4.5 billion into a new program designed to reduce them. The First Minister’s words in 2004:

Foremost on this agenda is the need to make timely access to quality care a reality for all Canadians. First Ministers remain committed to the dual objectives of better management of wait times and the measurable reduction of wait times where they are longer than medically acceptable.

So there is a problem, the Canadians know about it. While I don’t live in a rural area, I also do not live in a very large city either. I have been treated for a variety of ailments and seen multiple specialists from internal medicine to cardiologists and neurologists. Never have I had to wait more than a week for an appointment to see any doctor or have any test done. If I did, most likely it was a self-imposed scheduling conflict. I also have never waited more than 30 minutes for any appointment. In fact, my only long waits have been at a Doc-in-a-box which is walk-ins only. Limited resources, plus high demand will either drive up prices, limit access (longer waits) or both. There is no other possible outcome. In Canada there are fewer doctors per capita than in the U.S. (2005 numbers show 2.4 per 1000 in the U.S., 2.2 per 1000 in Canada). There are fewer high-tech machines such as MRI’s. Since pricing is controlled by the government, wait times in Canada must increase. There is no other possible outcome.

Robinson’s points 4 and 5 are not really problems often debated, not by anyone serious anyway. Moving on to number 6 she states is true, so she misnamed the title of her piece. The interesting thing is that with all of the talk of Canada’s wonderful socialized medical system, and their high taxes, people still must come out of pocket for their care. The employer contribution is still out of pocket, you just never see it, so let’s not let that cloud the debate. Granted, the fee for top-notch coverage is small, about $100/month per person, but it is there. My own insurance is just over twice that, my taxes are significantly lower, and I don’t have to wait. Hmmm…

If anyone ever says that Canadian drugs are not the same as American drugs, they are obviously making stuff up. The average person should know that without being told, so her 7th point is also irrelevant. Her 8th point about rationed care may not be true in Canada – but no one is claiming that. The people designing the health care bills here are on record as stating that the elderly must give way to pay for health care for those with more years ahead of them. So, Robinson is confusing a critique of what our version of UHC would look like.

Her 9th point is also more a critique of Americans than the Canadian system. Americans are no where near as good at taking care of something they did not pay for themselves. Most would eat all of the greasy burgers and fatty foods we could get our hands on if we know that the Lipitor and angioplasty will always be free. We invented the hot dog, pizza, and still have yet to find something we can’t throw bacon on to. Yet, having said that, I have seen a surge in people at least trying to be healthier. This is good news for everyone, but especially their families.

On the other hand, Canadians do get a couple more prescriptions filled each year than we do in America (12 to 10.6), and yet there is no national drug coverage.  About 2/3 of Canadians purchase prescription drug coverage, and one study found that as many as 20% of Canada’s sicker citizens did not fill prescriptions due to the cost (source).  Yes, the prices are lower there, from 1/3 – 1/2 the price of the same drug here.  A large part of that is Mediare/Medicaid being legally prevented from negotiating prices with drug companies, though I’m sure there are other reasons as well, probably due to supply chain costs.

Robinson closes with a “myth” about Canadian taxes, and the financial strength of their system.  The taxes are higher (this blog post has a good explanation), sure, but ours would actually skyrocket if Medicare and Medicaid’s unfunded liabilities (around $50 Trillion) were included in the budget and dealt with properly.  Canada as a country spends about half as much as we do on medical expenses, both as a percentage of GDP and on a per-capita basis.  But this is not a critique of our system.  Spending more is not necessarily a bad thing.  We spend more for houses, cars, TV sets, and popcorn than any other country in the world as well.  Sure, we would all like health care to be cheaper, but we want EVERYTHING to cost less.  If we didn’t, Wal-Mart would never have grown to the superpower it is.

On another note, Americans have a long history of  individualism coupled with a strong sense of “helping our neighbor”.  What we do not have is a sense that our private actions may impact our fellow Americans financially.  If I fall off a ladder cleaning my gutters and break my arm, I, and my insurance company, are responsible for the costs.  I may impact my own insurance rate with risky behavior, but I do not make the costs go up to fellow citizens.  Those who do not pay into the system, such as illegal aliens, they help make my insurance rates go up by taking advantage of our system.  There is no philosophical difference between that and Wal-Mart raising prices of good slightly to make up for items stolen from their shelves each year.  Theft is theft.  Now, granted, there are people who need care and cannot afford it.  We should never be callous enough to deny care to the destitute.  But there also must be reasonable limits to that generosity and one limit must be citizenship unless the patient’s life is in immediate jeopardy.

“10 Myths” has just been busted.

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