Come out of your closet and take your licks. How can you back an explicitly pro-religion party that thinks women are second-class citizens, chattels of their husbands and The State, and who favors widening the gap between the rich and non-rich even more?

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The reason why I brought in the dilemma is that AARP or AMA are actually bigger threats than Wall Street or Big Oil to the US economy and personal economy of its citizens. The two first lobby to drive expenditures up, the two latter to decrease revenues. Whether you see the problem of the massive deficit in the US to be that expenditures are not in line with revenues, or vice versa, tends to correlate with political view. 

Now Americans finally got a shoddy healthcare bill passed, but with no plan on financing it. The largest source of income for civilized countries is the VAT, which neither political party in the US would ever seriously consider implementing because the average voter would go apeshit on them. This is the point, the electorate has ganged up and demanded healthcare, but don't plan on paying for it themselves - a benefit for them, paid by others. Therefore the distraction about the income tax for the wealthy, not consumption tax for all - Dahl's Democratic Dilemma indeed.

That's not to say the income tax code should not be simplified and deductions removed, but the major problem the US faces is the lack of that prime source of revenue that VAT is and also that it hurts exports. Another issue is that the corporate tax rate is the highest in the OECD. The insistence of the voters of not taxing their consumption is landing them out of a job as companies are moving overseas to gain the VAT advantage and escape punishing corporate tax rates.

To say it again: The tax on wealthy is a distraction by the left to avoid the difficult question that everybody needs to pay more in taxes. At least the right is honest enough to say that they want people dying in the streets.

...the electorate has ganged up and demanded healthcare, but don't plan on paying for it themselves - a benefit for them, paid by others.

That's a fair description of insurance in general, isn't it? Those making claims beyond what they have put in rely in the money put in by others to pay their bills. 

Beyond that, we already have a system that subsidizes the insurance of some on the backs of those who can't get it. In effect, it is the job of some people not to have health insurance in order to keep rates low for those who can get it. 

The insurance system we have now, based on "fee for service" rather than "reward for outcome" inflates insurance costs. The way for a doctor to make more money is by getting patients into the office and by ordering tests (more and more done in the doctor's office). Sure some tests are needed, some are CYA, but some are unnecessary and are done because there's no harm to the patient in doing them and they generate revenue. 

The current system is unsustainable anyway, so something needs to be done and if it can provide adequate healthcare for all, so much the better.

Romney's solution, apparently, is to let things get so bad it results in an ER visit. But the ER is no substitute for real healthcare. If I went to the ER and asked for my annual physical checkup, I'd be tossed out on my ear.

Whatever happened to the idea that adequate healthcare actually SAVES MONEY in the long run? Apparently you don't believe it.

The description isn't relly fit for insurance in general, which is basiclly a simple eqution of probability of something bad happening mulitplied with the cost of that bad happening. I.e. a house worth $300k with a probability of 0.5% - or once in 200 years - that it'll be somehow destroyed in a given year would give a homeowners insurance premium of $1500.

I am all for socialized medicine, don't get me wong, but I doubt the average american taxpayer is particularly interested when they get to know the cost. Seeing as VAT of 15% would bring in something like 1.5 trillion or a $2/gallon gas tax which would bring in $200b per annum is political suicide, the only fighting being done is over higher taxes for the wealthy which bring in $75b - a pittance in comparison.

The ideal system for me is if governments just provide doctors with an average salary of something like $150k per year and just let them work. Also remove the malpractice lawsuit and have a federal fund which would pay out a reasonable amount to victims instead of idiot elected judges and dumbass jurors awarding outrageous sums based on emotions.

I'm with you on that, Arcus.  Why not have a formula for awards, with a cap on it, along with a cap on what lawyers can charge?  If it was not possible to be awarded a few million dollars for a hot coffee spill, etc, then I am pretty sure insurance companies would be less able to charge the premiums they do.

2000 déjà vu all over again - if you can't win it, steal it --

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — What first appeared to be an isolated problem in one Florida county has now spread statewide, with election officials in nine counties informing prosecutors or state election officials about questionable voter registration forms filled out on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida.

State Republican officials already have fired the vendor it had hired to register voters, and took the additional step of filing an election fraud complaint against the company, Strategic Allied Consulting, with state officials. That complaint was handed over Friday to state law-enforcement authorities.

A spokesman for Florida's GOP said the matter was being treated seriously.

"We are doing what we can to find out how broad the scope is," said Brian Burgess, the spokesman.

Florida is the battleground state where past election problems led to the chaotic recount that followed the 2000 presidential election.

The Florida Democratic Partycalled on the state to "revoke" the ability of state Republicans to continue to register voters while the investigation continues. Oct. 9 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 presidential election.

"It is clear that the Republican Party of Florida does not have the institutional controls in place to be trusted as a third-party, voter registration organization," said Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party.

The Republican Party of Florida has paid Strategic Allied Consulting more than $1.3 million, and the Republican National Committee used the group for work in Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.


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