My Photo

« Your election thread | Main | Your Orca thread »

November 09, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515c2369e2017d3d6e5c37970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Your post-election thread:

Comments

Loved this comment from the Guardian

He sounded, as he always has, like a nice guy from the 1950s who, when he hears a woman speaks about anything beyond dinner, sees in the corner of his eye a dog on its hind legs.

In contrast, the Romney campaign famously cancelled campaign workers' credit cards immediately, in the middle of the night. Staffers heading home from the election night party had to pay for their own cabs.

I don't really want to hear any more about what a nice guy Romney is. I'm glad he lost.

italiexo!

hey, check it out: in person voter fraud is real.

nobody could ever predict, not even Nate Silver with a sample size of 110 million, the party affiliation of the criminals. so don't even try guessing. you'll just have to read the article.

russell, that is just too awesome!

Am I the only one who sometimes feels like these folks are trying to behave like a charactrature of themselves?

russell: The more people saw of Romney, the less they liked him. He's the most unlikable presidential candidate I can remember. Less likable than Nixon? Yeesh!

Likeability is important for a politician -- GW Bush, remember, was "the guy you'd like to have a beer with", despite the fact that he's a recovering alcoholic.

Romney has the attitude that there are His People and The Help. Not good.

i do wish all the people crowing about the GOP's imminent dissolution would take heed of what lightning bug points out: Romney was a pretty flawed candidate. he was not a great communicator, he was hard to like, and he seemed to alienate huge numbers of people every week or so.

a slightly more likable person, championing the same set of policies, might have been able to sway enough people to the GOP to beat Obama.

not that i know who that person could have been, this time around. but next time...

Romney was a pretty flawed candidate. he was not a great communicator, he was hard to like, and he seemed to alienate huge numbers of people every week or so.

That's a very good point, but what are the alternatives? What kind of better person could have made it through the primary process? Would someone like Huckabee or Perry or Cain or Newt!!! have done any better? Huntsman might very well have, but Huntsman couldn't possibly get the nomination.

I mean, Romney actually seemed pretty likeable if you didn't look too close. And in some ways he was a great communicator: he obviously couldn't tell the truth about his policy preferences, so he just constantly made up stuff and changed his mind, but what else could he have done given that he had to survive the primary process?

cleek, I think Jon Huntsman would have been extremly dangerous.

I actually disagree that Romney is, personally, significantly more or less likeable than other politicians, whether Democrat or Republican. He strikes me as a bog standard public figure.

He doesn't have Huckabee's folksy vibe, but then again he doesn't make you feel like he'd rip your heart out and have it on toast, the way a guy like Cheney does.

He's a generic upstanding individual.

IMO what makes him unlikeable, or at least unappealing, to many folks is the way in which he is palpably unable to imagine what other people's lives are like. IMO that is what became evident during the course of the campaign.

He's very polite, doesn't seem to get angry much, no evident nastiness, doesn't demonstrate the instinct for the vindictive kill shot that is not at all uncommon in political people.

He just doesn't seem to have any freaking idea what it's like to live life without millions of dollars on tap.

Frankly, given his background, I think it would take a very special person to have that understanding. He's just not that special person.

The discouraging thing about this election is that the 47 percent video seemed to have been forgotten by the people who were swayed by the Denver debate. I mean you already had a clear notion of what Romney really thought or else you had a clear demonstration of what he was willing to say to rich people in private, and yet the debate seemed to cancel that out. It was also strange that people thought Romney would be better on the economy, based solely (AFAIK) on his record at Bain. Why? His policies, as best one could tell, were just more of what Bush had given us--cut taxes and deregulate and the infallible market will bring prosperity to all.

So it was closer than it should have been. I'm sort of enjoying the Republican meltdown, but the part of me that isn't shallow isn't enjoying it at all. You want the Republican Party to be sane. These people seem delusional on multiple levels. To take the example others have given, it's all well and good to harbor the not irrational hope that the polls were biased--that's why Nate Silver gave Romney a 9 percent chance at the end. But these folks didn't just cling to nonzero chance that the polls were statistically biased--they actually convinced themselves that Romney was the favorite, based on about as much evidence as the Bush people had for Iraqi WMD's. It's not good that such a party can get 48 percent of the vote, which is why I'm not overjoyed by the election. (Well, along with my lesser of two evils motivation for voting Obama in the first place.)

Would someone like Huckabee or Perry or Cain or Newt!!! have done any better?

god no. none of them. and no, Huntsman couldn't have made it either.

but next time they might just come up with someone who's conservative enough to get through the primaries but who's also personally likable and charming enough to sell those policies to the general public in a way that Mr Roboto couldn't.

in other words: i think the candidate counts for a lot. and there would be no discussion about the GOP's needing to change its policies if Romney had the smooth talkin' skills of Clinton, or the affable charm of Reagan, or the inspirational hook of Obama 08.

The discouraging thing about this election is that the 47 percent video seemed to have been forgotten by the people who were swayed by the Denver debate.

I gagged at the idea of a Romney presidency before the 47% video. Then there were people who agreed with what he said in that video who didn't need to be swayed by the debate. I think it was a relatively small percentage of people who were actually in play for either of those things, and they were and still are some strange people. I can't say if they're stranger than the people who agreed with the 47% video in the first place, particularly the ones who were part of the 47% without actually knowing it, but the late "undecideds" are, well ...something.

Even if the Republicans will never again nominate a presidential candidate as personally unlikable as Romney, it's also very likely that their candidate will never run in an atmosphere that's as positive for Republicans (both demographically and economically) as 2012. The nation is only going to get less white, less Christian, less racist, and less homophobic; and the economy is unlikely to be this terrible again any time soon.

think the candidate counts for a lot. and there would be no discussion about the GOP's needing to change its policies if Romney had the smooth talkin' skills of Clinton, or the affable charm of Reagan, or the inspirational hook of Obama 08.

That's a good point.

But things are different now...there's been some democratization of the primary process (fewer decisions coming from smoke filled back rooms) and there's been an increase in highly focused ideological media. It seems like the net effect is to empower the extremist factions of the Republican base at primary time. Clinton & Reagan didn't have to contend with that. I'm not sure they could have done well if they had to. Everything you say to reassure/appease the crazies at primary time becomes a liability in the general. And now there will be lots of small cameras following your ever move in the primary, building up a video library for attack ads in the general.

Another view. If immigration reform passes and more states approve gay marriage, perhaps even DOMA gets rescinded, then how does the Democratic party cobble together a 51% majority?

At the heart of the party today is a bunch of people that the Democrats used to paint Romney as a scary character. I suspect another candidate, white or black, for the Democrats probably attracts some percentage less than 90% of the Black vote also.

I would suggest that the Republicans stay the course on economic issues and tone down the rhetoric on abortion, and wait four years. The Latino and womens vote will not forever be based on social issues, they care about the economy also. And it is likely that in four years the economy will only be marginally better based on the current Democratic policy focus.

If immigration reform passes and more states approve gay marriage, perhaps even DOMA gets rescinded, then how does the Democratic party cobble together a 51% majority?

I think the way you framed the question indicates a disconnect. LGBT voters don't vote Democratic just because DOMA is the law of the land. And if DOMA went away tomorrow, LGBT voters would not switch their allegiance to Republicans. LGBT voters believe that Republicans hate them. Once you've convinced someone that you despise them, changing laws isn't really enough. You have to convince them that (1) you don't hate them and (2), in fact, you welcome them. Ditto for Latinos.

How can you convince millions of Americans that Republicans don't despise them? Are you going to transform millions of Republicans so that they no longer believe that LGBT folk are evil monsters who must never be allowed to marry or adopt children? How would that work exactly?

When you can answer that question, we can talk about your hypothetical.

At the heart of the party today is a bunch of people that the Democrats used to paint Romney as a scary character.

It was an easy pitch, because Romney spent the entire primary period pandering to that "bunch of people" at every opportunity.

He would not have been the nominee otherwise.

Republicans won't win Latino voters until their nominee for President stops talking about "self-deportation", and until they stop giving a home to every xenophobic nutcase that wants to have open season on brown people at the border.

They won't win blacks until they stop walking around with posters of the first black President in the history of the US with a bone in his nose, and until they lose the "what blacks need to do is quit looking for handouts" rhetoric.

They won't win women until they stop showing up on TV talking about legitimate rape, and speculating at length on public broadcast media about Sandra Fluke's sex life.

They won't make any headway at all with people who work for a living and yet are not rich until they get rid of the Randian "moochers and takers" horsecrap.

I hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of straight-up nasty MF'ers in the (R) constituency. And a lot of people who straight up do not know what they are talking about, at a simple factual level.

I would applaud the (R)'s if they decided to cut the haters loose. I just don't think they have that much of a constituency without them.

Romney got about half the popular vote, at a national level. Take away the haters and the folks who have no freaking idea what they are talking about, and I think you end up with, not just not a majority, but not even a significant plurality.

Lie down with dogs, etc. It'll take them much more than 4 years to unwind the last 40 years of (R) political strategy.

As long as they keep losing, I don't care either way. It's not my problem, I'm not a Republican.

Don't take my word for it, listen to David Frum.

Personally, I think he fails to note that the folks being "fleeced" are only too happy to feast on lies, but IMO his overall point is sound.

The view from the peak is always different from that of the valley. When the dust settles, there are still trillion dollar deficits and promises to be kept. The Republican Party is a dead man walking if it can't vet it's senatorial candidates better and limit the damage done during primaries.

Immigration reform isn't just about the next election, it's about the next wave of folks moving north because their particular hellhole gives them no choice.

Maybe the split is to give current undocumented residents legal resident status, but not citizenship. Their children, born in the US, would be citizens. And then cap immigration of unskilled workers and enforce the border going forward.

Raising taxes on those who earn more than 250K isn't going to materially stall the economy, at least not noticeably, nor will it make a noticeable dent in the deficit. This is primarily so because ACA will mask any retrograde movement with its '50 full time employee' coverage mandate.

I didn't tumble to it until just recently, but apparently ACA has this brilliant mandate applying to 'large' employers, those with 50 full time employees--insurance coverage is mandatory for full time employees only. Not a problem--X number of employees have their hours and pay cut and the remainder work harder.

What company is going to add that 50th employee, going forward?

Sure Akin was an idiot, sure the country's demographics are changing, but other things aren't: the deficit, the economy, ACA. They are all here and, unlike the last four years when pro-Obama supporters could forecast all the good things to come, the next four years won't be crystal ball-reading, it will be the actual impact of past spending indiscipline and the added weight of that 2500 page piece of legislation that no one had even a clue what it contained.

As so many here have said in the past, elections have consequences. One of those, one would hope, is accountability.

"The discouraging thing about this election is that the 47 percent video seemed to have been forgotten by the people who were swayed by the Denver debate"

The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%, while the 47% were already a lost cause. So there was not reason to think it was ever going to be a factor, aside from giving some people who already loathed Romney an occasion to scream a bit.

"..., it's about the next wave of folks moving north because their particular hellhole gives them no choice."
Yeah, Canada is looking better all the time.

The Republican Party is a dead man walking if it can't vet it's senatorial candidates better and limit the damage done during primaries.

One could wonder why those kind of candidates just keep bubbling up in their selection process. When they surface in the Dems, the Dems usually disavow them

Also, iirc, that 50 employee proviso was added precisely because of the hue and cry about small business owners being bankrupted by providing health care coverage. You have to admit, you can't treat Amazon and HP like the mom and pop grocery. So you have to draw a line somewhere. If it were at 100 employees would it be better? How about 200? Hell, make it 1,000 to define large employers, cause we just lurve us small business folks. As the only OECD country that doesn't have some sort of national health coverage, the US is pissing its wealth away by not figuring out some way. If the Republicans had not said they were going to stop Obama from doing anything meaningful in office, I'm sure that a better plan could have been obtained.

"Raising taxes on those who earn more than 250K isn't going to materially stall the economy, at least not noticeably, nor will it make a noticeable dent in the deficit."

Straw man. Did anyone anywhere say that raising taxes on those who earn more than 250k is the ONLY thing we need to do? Please take a position on the more important question, namely whether raising taxes on those who earn more than 250k would hurt or help.

Are you deliberately omitting capital gains, or do you consider that part of "earning more than 250k?"

"What company is going to add that 50th employee, going forward?"

To the extent that this is a problem, it's a problem regardless of what employee count cutoff they use.

The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%

My household income puts me well, well within the 53%. Well within. I found Romney's comments offensive, extraordinarily so.

I don't care if they were sincerely meant, or if he was just flattering his audience. Either way, they were offensive.

Were you going to vote for him before the remark?

Obviously the numbers aren't really 47 and 53 percent, and there's some fuzz around the edges. The point is simply that the 47% remark was inconsequential, because it mainly just offended people who were never going to vote for Romney anyway.

And I'd still like to know what was in that "inadvertent" gap in the tape. Complete recording my flabby ass.

What company is going to add that 50th employee, going forward?

You know, I hear this a lot.

First, for this to even matter at all, some company has to be in a position where, health care costs aside, adding employee #50 would be a good idea.

In other words, there is sufficient demand for whatever good or service they provide that there is a market for them to scale up by that extra person.

Assuming that is so, one of two things will happen:

They will hire the extra person, and take on the added expense / bureaucratic hassle of doing so as part of the cost of moving from a small mom & pop to a somewhat larger business. There are many, many examples where scaling up incurs new costs in, more or less, giant steps. If you want to get to the next level, you take the jump.

If they don't do that, somebody else will step up and satisfy that unmet demand.

One possible outcome of all of this is that it will be more smaller businesses, and fewer large businesses. I don't see a problem with that.

Well, yeah, even with this there are still going to be SOME companies adding a 50th employee. It does matter, however, if there are a lot fewer of them, doesn't it?

Problem is, there are going to be companies at 51 employees, who will see the relevant choice being, "Do we comply with this, or fire several people?.

And those several people aren't going to have insurance OR a job...

A number of large service industry employers — including retail stores, restaurants, and hotel chains — have either begun limiting hourly worker schedules to 30 hours a week or say they are about to do so.

Sorry, the schadenfreude is like Thanksgiving Turkey. Schadenfreude sandwiches, schadenfreude soup stock...

here

A source within the Romney campaign agreed to share his reflections on Project Orca with Breitbart News:
It's easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn't normally do it, but consider what happened.
Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.
I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn't use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn't work, and we couldn't change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.
Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn't work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren't allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.

The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%, while the 47% were already a lost cause.

Not really. There are an awful lot of lower middle class folks (and even poor folks) who normally vote Republican. But who are smart enough to figure out that they count in the 47% Romney was talking about. It's irritating enough when you get dissed by the other side; when your own guy does it, it's really irritating.

And I say this as someone who has been a Republican for decades. And who definitely counts in the 47% for the last few years. (Working for a start-up will do that. But no "start-up exception" in Romney's remarks that I noticed. Guess that makes me a "taker" for these purposes....)

Gone are the days when you could segment your media, and nobody outside your target audience would know what you had said to the other guys. Gone are the days when you could simply draw a line based on income, and be confident that most of "your people" were on one side, and "the other guys" were on the other. In parts of the country (but only some parts) you can draw a line based on race and ethnic group. But even that's getting very fuzzy very fast.

So if your party doesn't stand for things that are popular (or at least accdeptable) across the board, you are in trouble. If you can't explain what you stand for, so that people across the board can relate to it, you are in trouble. On both counts, my party has serious difficulties.

AND, if you cannot adjust and adapt when the world changes around you,you are in big trouble. And that may be where the GOP has the worst trouble -- because if you combine a faith-based base with an information cocoon, making the internal case for change is going to be nigh impossible.

there are going to be companies at 51 employees, who will see the relevant choice being, "Do we comply with this, or fire several people?.

Brett, I'm trying to imagine a real businessman doing this. I can believe that a few would talk about doing it. Just as there was one guy on a blog I read whowas insisting the he was closing down his business if Obama won this time.

But in reality, nobody is going to go that way who would not have done so anyway. I can imagine someone hesitating to hire that 51st employee; but let people go to get under the limit? Not going to happen.

Actually, I bet there will be a number of folks who don't hire that 50th person, and I'm sure there will people who will lay folks off to get below the 50-person mark, and I'm sure there will be people who will cut everyone's hours back to less than full time to work around the new regulation.

Some of those folks will do so because they are jerks and it will satisfy them to screw over their employees in a fit of pique. And some folks will do so because they just can't make it work if they don't.

To some degree things will sort themselves out and the folks who get canned will find other jobs. Some of them will start their own companies and eat their former bosses' lunch.

And some of them will be sh*t out of luck.

There will also be employers who will gladly step up and comply with the new regulations, even if it costs them something personally.

It'll be a mix.

What all of that gets weighed against is the some-number-of-millions of people who will able to go to the doctor.

Remember them?

Nothing's perfect.

Raising taxes on those who earn more than 250K isn't going to materially stall the economy..

Well, great. Tax the crap out of them. There is more to this than the economic effects. Nothing to lose it would seem, eh?

And I'd still like to know what was in that "inadvertent" gap in the tape.

In the missing part of the presentation, Romney inadvertently gave out some remarkable clues that he is really the Manchurian Candidate for the Chinese Communist Party....some sort of babbling about a "dictatorship of the proletariat" and "sealed bacillus". Best you not know.

Complete recording my flabby ass.

I suggest more exercise.

What company is going to add that 50th employee, going forward?

A company that has, with a clear head, evaluated its past and expected future performance, reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of its balance sheet, realistically estimated demand for its product and its place in the market, and figured out a reasonable business plan based upon that information. In sum, the ACA impacts will be a negligible to nil part of the decision because its all about making money. Most successful companies will make this decision on business, not ideological criteria.

And you know this how? You repeatedly claim that "nobody" knows what is in all the mysterious 2,500 pages of the ACA, and then you pull little (and unsourced) nuggets of "well, I heard this" wisdom out of one of your bodily orifices. Earwax for the soul?

"I would suggest that the Republicans stay the course on economic issues and tone down the rhetoric on abortion, and wait four years. The Latino and womens vote will not forever be based on social issues, they care about the economy also."

The problem for all of us is that Repubican ideas don't work in the real world they way they say they will. It's snake oil. People who vote for Republicans expecting to get more jobs and a bablance budget are going to be disappointed. the Republicans will have a handy scapegoat there to blame everything on, but the fact remains their policies will neither create jobs nor balance the budget.

The problem for the Repubicans is that they canot tell the truth about what they want to do. Even their own base doens't want Medicare to be a "premium support system", the red staters don't really want an end to the massive amounts of federal tza dollars that support their state economies, and no one wants to drown the government in debt if it means a cut in whatever federal mooney or federal programs support them.

So, if Repubicans stay the course on their economic policies, we will be treated to more lies, more deficts, and more attacks on the middle class.

The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%, while the 47% were already a lost cause.

Ah, so you did drink the koolaid.

The "47%" includes a shitton of Republican voters, Brett. They were not a "lost cause" before or after the remarks.

You are suffering from the exact same delusion Romney suffered from (or at least pandered to). The 47% includes a bunch of hard-working people. Some of them are even Republicans ;)

FYI, I'm in the top 5% by household income. And yet, despite absolutely being in the "53%" AND being an employer (granted, of 1), I'm a solid Dem. Go figure.

Sure Akin was an idiot, sure the country's demographics are changing, but other things aren't: the deficit, the economy, ACA. They are all here and, unlike the last four years when pro-Obama supporters could forecast all the good things to come, the next four years won't be crystal ball-reading, it will be the actual impact of past spending indiscipline and the added weight of that 2500 page piece of legislation that no one had even a clue what it contained.

Let's take this piece by piece:
Sure Akin was an idiot, Yep, he sure was, and is. But he was embraced by the Republican party, and the Vice Presidential candidate was pretty much with him all the way!

sure the country's demographics are changing Yes they are, and "middle class values" won't be determined by a bunch of constipated white men who vote against their own interests because they're lured by racial and tribal dogwhistles. People will vote in favor of their interests now!

but other things aren't [changing]: the deficit, the economy, ACA

Actually they are! Obama has reduced the deficit during his term. The economy has added jobs (and recovered from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression). And the ACA hasn't been fully implemented. But already, a lot of people are benefitting (including children with pre-existing conditions, and young adults who can stay on their parents' plan until they're 26.) But more importantly, we can all have affordable health insurance even if we lose (or leave) our jobs, beginning in 2014. We won't be denied it just because we have preexisting conditions. We won't be slaves to our employer. I am so grateful! And Republicans are so pissed, because they know that no one will ever want to go back!!!!! (And, by the way, we even will have a public option!)

Thank you, Barack Obama!

Sorry for your sour grapes, McKinney!


I have never understood what people have against sour grapes. In moderation they are delicious.

Just to be clear:

I do not believe that just because I'm well off and I vote Dem this means something in particular. No more than a relatively poor guy voting GOP.

We all make choices, and most of us try to aim at enlightened self interest.

My point is that the 47% stuff is divorced from reality

Seriously. Really. You need to understand this. You've been fed a lie.

The folks who don't earn enough taxable income to owe federal income tax are not all "takers" or looters or whatever and they're certainly not automatic Dem voters. The Dems do win the low-income group. But it's nothing like a landslide.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/does-your-wage-predict-your-vote/264541/

Poor folks go Dem something like 70-30, and it rises from there. It evens out around $70k/yr, and climbs to something like 55/45 at the upper end.

The "47%" are not, at all, a lock for the Dems. Especially once you consider how people can bounce in and out of that category (people can be in "the 47%" for 1 year of their lives, and never be there again. Or be there 5 years. Or 50. It rather depends).

I haven't been in the "47%" since I graduated from college, at the age of 21. Despite this, the bog-standard GOP beliefs on this disgust me. You're damn right I wasn't gonna vote for Romney even before the video came out. I'd been hearing that argument FOR YEARS. From family. I was very, very familiar with it. And I'd already decided it was for shit. But some people apparently hadn't heard it in all its glory. :)

I have never understood what people have against sour grapes. In moderation they are delicious.

Fermented, yes. Sour, not so much.

In order to decide not to hire that 50th full-time employee because of the insurance requirement, you have to have 49 you're not already insuring. I don't know what percentage of companies with that many full-timers don't insure them, but I'd hazard a guess that it's a bit greater than zero (even if it's less than a hundred).

What the business owners of companies with 45-55 employees would do re: ACA would likely vary depending on what the business does. Small companies trying to attract skilled/creative workers are usually already providing benefits well before they hit the 50 mark. Large theme/sports bars or small agricultural processing facilities probably not so much. So if you're 1 of 53 workers at a chicken house you'll likely lose hours, or possibly your job. If you're at a law firm, probably not.

why would i vote for Rmoney when i knew he would blow the budget/more tax cuts for the 1%, and destroy/privatize Medicare/Social Security aka the Ryan Plan. and still keep the taxes on the working poor going up higher and higher. who else would pay?

i have seen no proof of job makers creating jobs here. i see lots of jobs moving to China. Sensata in Illinois aka/Bain Capital for example during the election is proof of Rmoney investment strategy. good for the 1%, bad for American workers.

gosh, i have wondered how long before the wonders? of the Republican Trickle Down would trickle down to enough Americans. apparently this is the beginning of this Trickle down "reality".

plus. women being told they have no right to get birth control, no right to have sex unless they give birth. and then the ultrasound for violating women in the laws by the Right wing state Governments.

just amazing to think the Republicans thought this would fly. that all the "losers/takers" would accept the word of their "Lords and Masters" who decreed the new laws we would all be following.

Republicans now need to use some form of "reward" to entice the "others" votes from now on. the Obey Authority plan didn't go over too well this time. if Obama screws us over again, the Republicans can try again. i just think the present Republican methods of dissing the rest of the American populace is not a winning electoral plan.

A long-dead, 19th century British naturalist received nearly 4,000 votes against incumbent Georgia congressman Rep. Paul Broun (R) after the House member’s controversial comments at a Christian fundraiser were made public earlier this year. According to the Athens, Georgia’s alt weekly, Flagpole magazine, the list of names written in against Broun’s stretched to an impressive 371 pages and is available for download as a .pdf here.
[...]

Charles Darwin gets 4,000 votes against ‘lies from the pit of Hell’ congressman

"In order to decide not to hire that 50th full-time employee because of the insurance requirement, you have to have 49 you're not already insuring."

Not true: The mandate isn't that there BE insurance, but that it meet quite exacting (And expensive!) standards. My own quite good insurance, which got me through cancer treatment costing as much as a nice house without the slightest complaint, doesn't cut it, and we have already been informed by HR that our share of the cost of our insurance is going up perhaps 50% next year, as the requirements kick in.

Which is, of course, why they were set to kick in next year, not this year... Wouldn't have done to have the people voting in full knowledge of what Obamacare was really going to do.

"Again it’s on display: The conviction that your political opponents agree with you about the relative merits and dis-merits of various policies, and adopt policies different from yours’ because they have evil motives."

Andrew Sullivan link

I know some here think Sullivan is an idiot and sometimes he is. But the link above is worth reading--he's collected a bunch of comments about the Romney campaign's utter incompetence and what that might say about the alleged managerial expertise of Romney. Part of being a great leader is picking people who aren't morons. Another part is not fooling yourself about reality. I can't get over the fact that they were actually convinced they were going to win. I thought that was just a necessary political bluff--they had to fake confidence in order to have any chance of winning. But no, it was the real thing.

The link was broken. I think my cut and paste job missed a letter at the end. Here's another attempt.

link

The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%, while the 47% were already a lost cause.

so... the 47% are 100% Democratic? and Obama won all them?

WTF?

Even with the incompetence, he would have won under normal circumstances. This should have been the mother of all vote suppression elections and I am still very surprised that the combined efforts of Republican officials in the states did not suffice. My guess is that it was their impatience. Had they waited with their anti-Roe crusade (or just still followed the until then highly successful salami tactics) until their guy had won the WH, they might not have awoken the sleeping enthusiasm of the non-GOP voters. Had they held their fire, we could now be in the situation of both chambers of Congress and the WH in GOP hands plus many state legislatures and governorships. Then they could have driven the steamroller virtually unopposed over all the stuff they wanted to kill for decades. But they wanted instant gratification on the union and choice front and blew it. And now there is even a remote chance that the election system will get overhauled and at least partially immunized from the disenfranchisement virus. Now their hope must rest with SCOTUS and that the robed ones will kill the Voting Rights Act before a Dem president can replace one of the 'reliable' ones.

The point is simply that the 47% remark was inconsequential, because it mainly just offended people who were never going to vote for Romney anyway.

No. The point is that, as Rob says, the 47% remark was divorced from reality. So here's Romney, who likes to talk about how the people at Bain were absolutely obsessed with getting accurate numbers and running spreadsheets and analyzing and so on, spouting total BS, and seemingly believing it.

And this characterized his campaign, of course. It was one lie after the other, from start to finish, and when it was caught red-handed it kept right on going.

Fortunately for the country, the fact that Romney and his campaign inhabited an alternate reality did finally bite him in the butt.

"so... the 47% are 100% Democratic? and Obama won all them?"

That was kind of the substance of the 47% remark, wasn't it?

I'm pointing out the mistake of thinking a Republican necessarily hurts himself by saying things Democrats find objectionable. The people that remark tended to upset were not in play anyway.

Lots of Republican voters don't pay income tax: active duty soldiers, low income retired people, blue collar unemployed males.

I think that you are assuming that those people who need government programs of some sort or who are employed by the government will recdognize that it is in theri interests to vote for Democrats. Alas, it's not so. Republican voters are the ones with the sense of entitlement since they think that the government should serve THEM, but no one else and should do so on someone e;se's dime. Thus it is not uncommon at all for a person to be low income, on disability, unemployed, retired or in the military and think that Republicans politicians who complain of people depending on the government are talking about someone else. Not them. To its all those other people...

That was kind of the substance of the 47% remark, wasn't it?

Yes, it was the substance of his remark. And amazingly enough, he was freaking wrong. About that, and a lot of other things.

For a smart guy, he's done a great job of playing a blooming idiot for the last year or so.

Well, people have areas where they're smart, and areas where they're stupid; Nobody's smart about everything.

Romney was somewhat handicapped by the fact that political reality required him to run as a conservative to get the nomination, something he isn't. Takes a freaking genius to do a good job of being something they're not, and Romney wasn't that genius.

Doesn't mean he's not a smart guy. Just means he's not the smart guy he needed to be, to run effectively as the Republican nominee. This was a job for somebody who didn't have to use half their brain remembering what they were supposed to be pretending to be.

Obama has his own limitations, being a perfect example of the fact that skill at campaigning doesn't translate into skill at governing.

I'm pointing out the mistake of thinking a Republican necessarily hurts himself by saying things Democrats find objectionable.

do you actually believe that "the 47%" are all Democrats? and that Obama won them all?

Romney was somewhat handicapped by the fact that political reality required him to run as a conservative to get the nomination

Tru dat.

His choice, however.

One could wonder why those kind of candidates just keep bubbling up in their selection process. When they surface in the Dems, the Dems usually disavow them

Akin was roundly and immediately disavowed.

But he was embraced by the Republican party, and the Vice Presidential candidate was pretty much with him all the way!

Seriously? This is such a gross distortion of what actually happened, it makes having a conversation difficult if not impossible.

"middle class values" won't be determined by a bunch of constipated white men who vote against their own interests because they're lured by racial and tribal dogwhistles. People will vote in favor of their interests now!

I'm guessing the irony here eludes you.

plus. women being told they have no right to get birth control, no right to have sex unless they give birth. and then the ultrasound for violating women in the laws by the Right wing state Governments.

Yeah, I heard this a lot too. Good Lord.

One possible outcome of all of this is that it will be more smaller businesses, and fewer large businesses. I don't see a problem with that.

So, the size of a given enterprise is driven by gov't fiat and that is not a problem?

Also, iirc, that 50 employee proviso was added precisely because of the hue and cry about small business owners being bankrupted by providing health care coverage. You have to admit, you can't treat Amazon and HP like the mom and pop grocery. So you have to draw a line somewhere. If it were at 100 employees would it be better? How about 200? Hell, make it 1,000 to define large employers, cause we just lurve us small business folks.

First, there was no 'hue and cry' because this, and so much else contained in ACA, was never publicized in the 3 day period the bill was made available for "debate". Second, people who work for small businesses and like to eat, pay rent etc would probably like to remain employed. Third, as nice as health insurance is, it doesn't pay the rent or buy food.

The reality based community doesn't seem to grasp the arithmetic of compelling a small margin, small business to incur a substantial, mandatory addition to the bottom line. If the business folds or cuts back significantly, not only do people remain uninsured, many are then unemployed.

My point is that, having won the election, the deficits and the fallout from ACA are now the Left's. Good luck growing the economy.

Akin was roundly and immediately disavowed.

And then let back in thru the side door.

The rest wasn't what I said, until the last part, (and it helps to clarify things if you attribute what people said to the actual people who said those things) so I'll let other folks defend it.

However, the 'hue and cry' that I was mentioning was not after the ACA, it was before the ACA, when lots of people were claiming that the ACA was going to sink small businesses because of the health insurance requirements. It also ignores my implicit question, which is, if you want to separate out small business from the onerous burden of providing health care, how to you define small business? Not drawing a line and then complaining about how badly the line is drawn seems more like someone who wants to prevent health care from ever happening than someone who thinks that this might be putting the US at a comparative disadvantage with other OECD nations.

I'm guessing the irony here eludes you.

I'm guessing you don't have a substantive reply to the statement. As Hartmut pointed out, the red states are where the people who receive most of the services live. And many of the people who receive them (white folks) are the ones who've been brainwashed to think that government is bad. I guess the irony there eludes you.

So, the size of a given enterprise is driven by gov't fiat and that is not a problem?

I would say that the distance between "a given regulation may have a certain result" and "government fiat" is correctly measured in light years.

Favorable capital gains rates arguably encourage people to invest. Do we say that Uncle Sam puts a gun to their head and requires them to do so?

Amazing as it may sound to you, I would be perfectly happy on principle for the government - any government - to have no involvement in health insurance at all.

Unfortunately, the result of that would be that a lot of people would have none, and would therefore be unable to get medical care in anything like a reliable way, or at a reasonable cost.

My evidence for saying this is because that is the reality now. And, that in a context where the old, the poor, folks with some very expensive specific diseases, and anyone in the active military are not even in the private insurance market.

So, I'm fine with the ACA, and in fact, if it was politically feasible, I'd love a government run single payer program for basic health insurance. As far as I can tell, the feds are damned good at running insurance programs, I'm sure they'd do a perfectly good job.

As a practical matter, government regulations often exempt small operators, and they do so in this case as well.

One consequence of that is that it adds one more to the very long list of giant steps that private operations have to take to scale up. Most, by far, of those giant steps are not due to regulation at all, they're just inherent in the process of growing a business.

In My Personal Opinion, that's a reasonable trade-off for making health insurance accessible to several millions - millions - of people who find it really hard to get now.

YMMV. Fine with me.

But none of this amounts to a "government fiat" on the size of private companies.

Some time when I have an unusual number of hours to burn I'll fire up the great gizoogle and make a list of all the things the feds do to HELP small businesses grow. We'll see how many folks put their hands up to complain about government interference in the free market via those initiatives.

Nothing's perfect, and one of the roles of government is to provide a way for a society to negotiate the demands of different, competing interests.

You can't win 'em all.

Third, as nice as health insurance is, it doesn't pay the rent or buy food.

Haha, this is about the baldest statement of privilege as I have ever seen from you. Kudos!

You know what else doesn't pay the rent? Being sick or dead because you can't afford to see a doctor.

"The thing you seem to have missed is that the 47% remark didn't offend the 53%, while the 47% were already a lost cause. So there was not reason to think it was ever going to be a factor, aside from giving some people who already loathed Romney an occasion to scream a bit."

Posted by: Brett Bellmore

This is simply not true, and has been covered. I'll leave the Google search to you.

Third, as nice as health insurance is, it doesn't pay the rent or buy food.

Seriously, what phil said.

In my area and market, buying health insurance for a family is more or less like having a second mortgage.

Not having health insurance means you pay out of pocket for any service you receive, or you don't pay at all and go the ER. Either way, it's time and/or money, which then doesn't go toward paying the rent or buying food.

Little known fact: it's very expensive to be poor. You wouldn't believe the efficiencies that come from having even a small amount of surplus cash.

And it's not "nice to have", it means you and your kids don't live with illness and physical damage from completely preventable and treatable conditions.

It means you don't go personally bankrupt if someone in your family gets sick in any sort of serious way.

It means you don't live in freaking fear every time something weird happens with your body.

If you have to minimize or dismiss stuff like going to the damned doctor to make your point, maybe you need to revisit your point.

If you have to minimize or dismiss stuff like going to the damned doctor to make your point, maybe you need to revisit your point.

If you don't have a job, or just got laid off, because employers can't afford to hire, it is some consolation perhaps, that you can go to the doctor and not have to pay for that. Still, a lot of other stuff is left that isn't being paid for.

My point, which has nothing to do with 'privilege' (whatever that is), is that we have (a) huge deficits, (b) a huge new entitlement and (c) an economy in recession with attendant high unemployment. We need the economy to grow, we need people to get work and we need broad based tax revenues to address the deficit. Imposing added 'cost of doing business' requirements on low-margin businesses and penalizing low-margin businesses by limiting growth may be effective in isolation if expanding insurance coverage is the sole goal. However, it isn't. Getting people back to work, addressing the deficit and dealing with current, out of control entitlement spending are also pressing issues. ACA doesn't mitigate any of these other issues. If anything, it exacerbates.

Gay marriage (which would be nice), immigration reform (which will have to depend on what is proposed) and ACA may all, in and of themselves, be awesome. But what about the rest of the stuff, stuff that will matter very much to everyone if not addressed.

Put differently, how are we going to pay for all of this and grow the economy?

McKinney, I believe that the number of people who have been unwilling to start small businesses because they were afraid that health care costs would be unaffordable (therefore they remained stuck working for somebody else) is probably larger than the number of small businesses that are going to lay off employees because they have to provide some health care coverage. (And, by the way, the small enterprise for which I work got a refund from our health care company this year since, under the ACA, there is a cap on its profits.)

The good that the ACA will do the economy will probably outweigh the bad, but we'll see. My guess is that, in any case, Republicans will make up their own reality about the effects of the ACA, just as they have about the "job-creating" effect of tax cuts, the deficit under Obama, and employment numbers.

It is really bizarre how this whole discussion is taking place as if the ACA wasn't scored as being deficit reducing. Now, maybe you disagree with the CBO about that (in which case you should argue that point explicitly), but to just act like the ACA balloons the deficit seems...out of touch with reality.

but to just act like the ACA balloons the deficit seems...out of touch with reality.

Projections and reality are two different things. Even if direct federal outlays for ACA are revenue neutral--if they aren't and if it was a BS effort to gain support, that's another conversation and one, quite frankly, that I expect we WILL have in the out years--not all costs are direct. If X company's revenue falls and if X company lays people off because of ACA, the shortfall in revenue produces a shortfall in taxes as does the contracted payroll. You can't shrink revenues on the private side and increase tax revenues. If the compliance costs of ACA--and these will be significant--that will be yet another drag on private sector revenues producing further reduction in federal revenues and private payroll.

As for deficits, Sapient, I don't know what reality you are talking about. They are currently running a trillion plus and have done so for the last four years. What concrete measures has Obama proposed to *materially* affect this? Slarti has, in recent discussions, pointed out that going to a 39.5% marginal rate on relatively high earners won't accomplish much of anything, so what will Obama and his reality based community do to address this reality?

not all costs are direct

The CBO accounts for indirect costs (and benefits) in its modelling.

Look, if you want to critique the CBO's scoring assumptions, then do that. But I'm really not interested in reading a critique written by someone who doesn't know anything about econometric modelling. And based on what you've written here, I don't think you know enough to even tell of a critique is totally nuts, let alone enough to make one yourself.

McTex, I get that you're a conservative, but, believe it or not, there was a year long period where leftists got down into the weeds arguing about CBO scoring assumptions and the limits of their methodology. Some of the claims made in those discussions are just wrong, but all of them were made at a far more sophisticated level than any conservative critiques I've seen.

Eventually, you start losing points with the court for submitting briefs scrawled in crayon.

The CBO accounts for indirect costs (and benefits) in its modelling.

Really? Perhaps you can direct me to the pre-vote, public CBO scoring of the precise 50 employee break point currently under discussion, because I don't remember either the modeling or the break point being anywhere in the public domain when ACA was being worked out, in secret, by the Democratic leadership.

You assert that this scoring was done. I'd like to see it. Similar to briefs in crayola is citing to evidence that turns out not to be in the record.

Perhaps you can direct me to the pre-vote, public CBO scoring of the precise 50 employee break point currently under discussion

You can start by looking at some CBO work around page 336. From there, I'm sure you can use the CBO search engine to find all you need to find.

The main driver of ACA's effect on the labor market though is going to be fewer people working because they no longer need to cling to their jobs for dear life in order to keep their health insurance. That seems like a win to me.

McKinney, perhaps you should quit relying on Fox News. Obama has cut the deficit: "The federal government’s fiscal year 2012 has come to a close, and CBO estimates, in the Monthly Budget Review, that the federal budget deficit for the year was about $1.1 trillion, approximately $200 billion lower than the shortfall recorded in 2011."

Sometimes reality is a nice place to live.

By the way, thank you Turbulence for reminding people that the ACA was designed not only to pay for itself but to reduce the deficit.

I have to do some reminding too though: Republicans only care about the deficit when Democrats are in power.

You can start by looking at some CBO work around page 336. From there, I'm sure you can use the CBO search engine to find all you need to find.

I looked--not a word having anything to do with scoring the likely or projected indirect cost to the economy of the 50 employee break point. Not there. Anything else you want to call to my attention?

McKinney, perhaps you should quit relying on Fox News. Obama has cut the deficit:

In court, the answer to this is: "objection, non-responsive."

The deficit declined in one year out of four, but still remained above a trillion for that year. My question remains: what does Obama and the reality based community plan to do to address this? Telling me not to watch Fox News is a non-substantive answer and not worthy of the reality based community.

By the way, thank you Turbulence for reminding people that the ACA was designed not only to pay for itself but to reduce the deficit.

Agreed. It was sold on this basis. The points now being raised are: was this an honest, realistic selling point? Did anyone even discuss the 50 employee break point at the time? Did the discussion extend to analyzing and scoring potential adverse impacts?

If you want to carry on about how fact-based, objective and generally wise you and these policies are, then answer the questions directly with actual evidence. It's called the burden of proof, to extend our legal analogies a step further. The left/Obama ran a campaign assuring us that it/he could lead us out of these problems. Which is to say, you and he have assumed the burden of proof. So, carry your burden--what's the damn plan? Hint: Riffing on Republicans isn't a plan and it isn't an answer.

McTex, the claim of yours that I addressed was that the CBO only considered direct costs. See the very first line of my comment to verify that. Now, you seemed to believe that the CBO only considered direct costs in its analysis. That is completely wrong; it is the sort of thing one can only believe if they are completely ignorant about how the ACA was scored and about the many public discussions on these issues that happened years ago.

My point was to show that the CBO considered more than just direct costs. Did they consider every imaginable indirect cost? I don't know. You can go do the research for that yourself.

McKinneyTexas: ACA doesn't mitigate any of these other issues. If anything, it exacerbates.

Do we have to figure out which of you kids "started it" to decide where the burden of proof lies?

My question remains: what does Obama and the reality based community plan to do to address this?

The Obama party line on long term deficit reduction.

A little more detail.

Even more detail.

I can't tell you how well or badly all of the above holds up. I feel fairly confident that it is, at a minimum, no larger a pile of dung than what Romney and Ryan were selling.

Long story short, if you want to know what the plan is, there's the plan.

I feel fairly confident that it is, at a minimum, no larger a pile of dung than what Romney and Ryan were selling.

Long story short, if you want to know what the plan is, there's the plan.

This answers the question and answers it fairly.

My concluding statement in my initial comment was this: "As so many here have said in the past, elections have consequences. One of those, one would hope, is accountability."

Consequences are a two way street. The losers lose and their program is off the table. The winners win, but they have to deliver. Obama promised a lot in '08, including a much rosier economic picture than what we have--higher growth, deficits cut by half, etc. His deficit reduction plan promises a lot too, most of it postponed until after he is out of office.

He's made his promises and won his election. He and his supporters must now deliver. And be held accountable. This is also a consequence of election.

"And be held accountable. This is also a consequence of election."

Strictly speaking, isn't this wrong, given that Obama can't run again? Of course, Dems as a whole will be held accountable.

Is there no symmetrical cry for accountability on the part of the Republicans in the House?

Strictly speaking, isn't this wrong, given that Obama can't run again?

Mid-terms, 2016.

Is there no symmetrical cry for accountability on the part of the Republicans in the House?

Not a *symmetrical* outcry, but, yes, accountable to the extent they act or fail to act. And, their supporters as well.

I think it's hilarious that McKinney asks for evidence when he's the only commenter here who consistently makes statements of "fact" without any support whatsoever. It's called being full of %&$^.

For yet another chunk of evidence from the reality-based community to those who talk out of their ass, there's this. Again, whose policies cost more money? The "job-creator" tax reduction squad? Hardly.

McKinney, where's your evidence?

And so, brother McKinney, what are you planning to do about health care? Rationing it by people's ability to pay? You don't even need to use the google to answer that. Or you could - and maybe I'll help you out!

Strictly speaking, "rationing by ability to pay" is a misuse of the word "ration". If you're going to use the term that way, essentially everything is "rationed", and the word is stripped of it's meaning.

"Rationing" is generally understood to mean a third party deciding who can have how much of a thing, even if you're willing to pay to get more of it. The fact that I can't, for instance, afford to eat steak every day, doesn't mean steak is being "rationed".

Now, if I could afford it, and somebody decided that the butcher wouldn't be permitted to sell it to me, THAT would be "rationing".

Obama promised a lot in '08, including a much rosier economic picture than what we have--higher growth, deficits cut by half, etc.

IMO this is a fair criticism. Obama is certainly not the only actor involved, and responsibility for current circumstances can be assigned pretty broadly, IMO.

But the nature of the job is that "the buck stops here", and anyone who wants the job knows that full well on day 1.

Now, if I could afford it, and somebody decided that the butcher wouldn't be permitted to sell it to me, THAT would be "rationing".

Fortunately, THAT kind of rationing is not a part of any plan currently on the table as regards health care.

If you are willing to pay, and are able to pay, to get more of it, nobody will stand in your way. Not under Obamacare, not under Ryancare, not under no federal program at all.

If you have the cash in hand, you can have anything you want.

Now, if I'm willing to pay less to get less, THAT somebody will stand in the way of. Under Obamacare my quite decent insurance is due to go up a lot in price over the next couple of years, because somebody decided the policy I was happy with wasn't good enough to be legal to offer.

But you can't really call it "rationing" if the government decides you have to buy steak instead of hamburger, and never mind that you were satisfied with hamburger, and your budget won't support steak. This might be bad, and next year I might be moving into a mobile home park because of what it's doing to do to my take home pay, but it's not "rationing".

So, I agree, nobody is suggesting rationing. It's not even on the table.

Let's just not pretend that the normal operation of the free market is "rationing". It's not.

McKinney: Obama promised a lot in '08, including a much rosier economic picture than what we have--higher growth, deficits cut by half, etc.
russell: IMO this is a fair criticism. Obama is certainly not the only actor involved, and responsibility for current circumstances can be assigned pretty broadly, IMO.

IMO this is all bullshit. In 2008, people were predicting what effect the unprecedented (in ANYONE's lifetime) economic crisis would be. Obama had a slightly rosier picture than what was actually the case. As compared to McCain's promise to balance the budget by the end of his first term. Pleeeeez.

McKinney, tell me, how would he have done that? Hahahahahah!

russell, tell me, who was being the most honest?

You both have lost all credibility. Time to look at things in context.

By the way, McKinney, still think that Romney won?

I don't know that the 2008 predictions by the Administration, and others, demonstrate that it wasn't honest, but I think they do demonstrate that a great deal of skepticism is in order when economists claim they can predict things.

The problem is that most of our economic policy is based on the belief that they CAN make accurate predictions.

Brett Bellmore: Let's just not pretend that the normal operation of the free market is "rationing". It's not.

I just had a long talk with a dear, fairly libertarian, friend of mine. One topic we discussed was health care. Perhaps you will find it odd that he and I agree on quite a few points.

"Rationing" is a loaded term; the truth is that when resources are limited someone has to decide where to draw the line -- above the line things happen, below the line they don't. Whether a private "faceless bureaucrat" or a public one makes that decision is the question. Let's not pretend that this doesn't happen.

The concern my friend had about the ACA is the fact that when a Medicaid patient gets notification that some procedure isn't covered there's no real pressure for the patient to pay. Ignoring the notice has no consequences -- the doctor might not be paid but the patient doesn't care.

So I said, "ah, there might have to be more policing and we have to allow for the cost of that. But, should policing this be handled publicly or privately? That is a no-brainer." He agreed.

Policing is strictly a public function. Private policing is a bad idea.

Let's just not pretend that the normal operation of the free market is "rationing". It's not.

No, it's letting people die if they're too poor. That's the way an absolutely free market works. If you can't afford food an absolutely free market says you're free to die of starvation. Happened all the time back in the nineteenth century in the UK and the US. Happens today in Third World countries.

Food rationing was introduced in wartime in the UK to *prevent* the poor starving. So when there was a shortage of food, the rich couldn't buy it all up. Rationing is intended to ensure that everyone gets a fair share of vital goods. Judging by Romney's comments on the 47%, Republicans think that other Americans have no right to food. So of course they don't think that other people have any right to healthcare. All they have is the freedom to die.

There is no overall rationing of healthcare in the UK. If you want to have private medical insurance and private hospital care you can have it. My husband's firm offers this and he's used it to get private treatment sometimes.

Not all companies offer health insurance - they don't need to, because of the NHS. It's never been the deciding factor in any job either of us have taken. I've also had private treatment myself for some services where the NHS waiting lists are longer than ideal. But for the bigger things we've always used the NHS (and so have our friends) and it's worked pretty well.

Is there rationing in the NHS? Some, yes. The NHS only funds treatments it considers are cost-effective. But as I said, there's private health care as well, so if you don't like NHS hamburger, you can get private steak. The thing is, though, that it turns out if everyone can get hamburger, there aren't too many people who want to spend vast sums of extra money having steak.

And, in terms of government spending on healthcare, the UK spends less as a percentage than the US, as Dr Science showed back in September. I'm sure the response now will be "socialism!", "death panels!", but I still often wonder why a system that is less effective and costs more is preferred by so many Americans.

You know what, magistra? Everybody dies. So the fact that, under some policy, people die really isn't much of a point, though it sounds bad when you yell about it in an aggrieved voice. It's not much of a point because they're going to die under EVERY policy.

Medical care isn't very much like food. Food, there's an identifiable minimum you get, and you're set. Spending more might get you tastier food, but you'll be just as healthy, maybe healthier in many cases, eating beans and rice at a couple dollars a day. Not only is there an identifiable minimum, it's pretty darned cheap.

Health care is very unlike this, as there's no real point where spending more stops providing real benefits. People are capable of consuming, and benefiting from, an amount of health care it would bankrupt the world to provide in just one country. (I don't think this is always going to be the case, but it's going to be the case for decades to come.)

You're either letting people die because THEY can't afford any more medical care, or you're taking the money from somebody else, and somebody who COULD have afforded the medical care gets to die instead, to make you happy.

Wasn't allowed to spend the money, you taxed it away from them so they couldn't spend it, what's the dif?

But, please, stop screaming about people dying under free markets, unless you can point to some socialist country somewhere, where people aren't dying.

russell, tell me, who was being the most honest?

Honesty wasn't what was being discussed. What was being discussed was performance.

There are a million reasons why Obama wasn't able to make all the things he campaigned on in '08 happen. 999,000 of them were beyond his control.

All of that being said, it's reasonable IMO to hold public figures to account for what they say.

Frankly, I think Obama himself would acknowledge that he hasn't been able to make all of the things he ran on come to pass. I would expect him to do so, and would personally think of less of him if he did not.

It doesn't mean he isn't doing a good job, it doesn't mean he isn't the best available person for that role, it doesn't mean he doesn't have your support.

People are accountable for their performance. It's just a basic reality of life. It's one we all live with, not just the President.

Under Obamacare my quite decent insurance is due to go up a lot in price over the next couple of years, because somebody decided the policy I was happy with wasn't good enough to be legal to offer.

This seems, to me, like a reasonable objection to the ACA.

Without meaning to be a jerk, it also seems to me that anything done at the public level ends up being less than ideal for some people.

The alternative is to do nothing, which has enormous drawbacks of its own.

Long story short, I can see why you would prefer to not have the ACA be the law of the land.

You know what, magistra? Everybody dies.

Hard to argue against that point.

What isn't hard to argue against is that there is value in addressing situations that cause large numbers of people to suffer and, yes, die, from causes that readily preventible.

Ultimately, we could roll it all back - no standards or regulations for anything concerning public health or safety. Perhaps you would find that congenial, but you'll find it hard to sell to the rest of us.

And as a point of fact, health care is more like food than I think you acknowledge.

You both have lost all credibility. Time to look at things in context.

If I've lost all credibility along with Russell, I'm in good company and happy to be there.

For yet another chunk of evidence from the reality-based community to those who talk out of their ass, there's this. Again, whose policies cost more money? The "job-creator" tax reduction squad? Hardly.

McKinney, where's your evidence?

Sapient, you're off topic, but briefly: on the tax cuts, you can't have it both ways--either you reinstate them across the board, or just for the top earners. Obama is going with the top earners. That is a fraction of the 1.5 billion attributed to those cuts. The two wars, voted for by both parties, certainly add to the deficit. The key distinction is that neither is a structural, permanent spending program (and if you don't recall my many comments saying get out of both, going back several years, that's your issue, not mine).

More generally, when I raise questions about Obama's policies, it isn't incumbent on me to defend McCain or Romney (can someone find McKinney's "why I'm voting for Romney" comment? Good luck with that) or the Republican party. Finally, on this discrete point, over the years, I've routinely been taken to task for generalizing about 'liberals' or 'the left' or 'Democrats'. In fairness, let's hold everyone to the same standard.

And so, brother McKinney, what are you planning to do about health care?

Perhaps inadvertently, a fair question enters the picture. First, I don't think health care is a right. A 'right' is something one can go to court and enforce. It is defined and, in practice, involves minimal-to-no intrusion on the lives/property of others. A 'right' isn't measured or metered over time and isn't subject to budgets or resources, except minimally, e.g. the cost of a court system.

So, rather than being a right, health care is a 'conferred benefit'. We can agree among ourselves, as a country, to confer this benefit, but only if we have the means to pay for it without undue imposition on those who are writing the checks. What we lack are the means. We have over-conferred on the benefit side.

As imperfect as the status quo ante was, it had the virtue of relative affordability in the near term with long term sustainability still being in doubt.

Many years ago, here at ObWi, I suggested forming a 'high risk/catastrophic loss' pool for those whose health care needs were beyond anyone's budget and various tweaks to current insurance law as specific near term moves that would let us, as a country, assess efficacy in an incremental, step-by-step approach, that would have the virtue of not creating a third enormous entitlement in one fell swoop.

the truth is that when resources are limited someone has to decide where to draw the line

Correct. No matter what, benefits (which is exactly what they are) will be limited. The "Advisory Board", which is anything but *advisory* will ration health care by determining what is covered. Protocols will be put in place that will make most current private plans look lavish in hindsight (my prediction, feel free to bash away).

but I still often wonder why a system that is less effective and costs more is preferred by so many Americans.

Less effective in what way? What are wait times for elective surgery in the UK vs the US? Cancer survival rates?

Every major European country, all with populations of less than a third of the US, are financially underwater except for Germany. They are not underwater because of defense spending or two wars. They managed to get their on precisely the kind of spending we are talking about here.

If sustainability is a huge problem for much smaller countries, why does anyone think a country as large as the US will fare any better? Economies of scale don't work when delivering personal services like medicine. If, by enacting ACA, we have bitten off way more than we can chew, people will have whatever health care the system produces for a time but not forever. Eventually, we will run out of money. If we haven't already.

Sapient, you're off topic

Off topic? I thought this was the post-election thread.

Every major European country, all with populations of less than a third of the US, are financially underwater except for Germany. They are not underwater because of defense spending or two wars. They managed to get their on precisely the kind of spending we are talking about here.

No. Actually, they're underwater because of the financial crisis, because it the government took the private debt on with bank bailouts. The crisis was then handled with austerity measures. And it doesn't help that Europe doesn't have a strong central bank. It isn't because they can't afford health care.

For example, Iceland has recovered from the financial crisis. Iceland has universal health care. Health care does not mean financial crisis.

Iceland has universal health care. Health care does not mean financial crisis.

Iceland, population 319,000. Impressive.

"But, please, stop screaming about people dying under free markets, unless you can point to some socialist country somewhere, where people aren't dying."

Brett, I have repeatedly read that there are many EU countries (and maybe others) that have lower per-capita healthcare expenditures with better outcomes across the board.

I am not going to bother to read what the person you're castigating said, but I think it's important to note that I (and most liberals) do not claim that people die in free markets but do not die in socialist economies.

Instead, what I (and maybe Paul Krugman, I don't know) claim is that our healthcare system saves fewer people, and costs more money, than some European ones.

Do you disagree with that?

Well, there are fewer of these inbred Vikings (that are forbidden by law to have family names) than would qualify for city status in a major US state. ;-)
And do you know how expensiveit it is there ($10 for a bottle of beer in a restaurant can be considered a bargain)?
Ísland er dyrt og undarlegt land á meðan Bandaríkin eru orðinn vitlaus veð Þingi sem er læpsamlegt geðvikrahæli.

Sorry, misspelled. It is of course geðveikrahæli.

And its glæpsamlegt for Píturs sake.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


  • visitors since 3/2/2004

October 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad

QuantCast