3 of 3
3
The Inauguration
Posted: 21 January 2009 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
Mriana - 21 January 2009 08:20 PM
mckenzievmd - 21 January 2009 10:12 AM

how nearly impossible good meaningful poetry is.

As a former literature major, I object vociferously!!!! grin

You know…  Obama could have chosen Carol Joyce Oates, but I don’t think she’s done any poetry.  Regardless, there are far better writers and poets out there than the one he chose.

Can you think of ANY memorable inaugural poems? EVER? LOL

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4052
Joined  2006-11-28

Commissioned poems for state occassions are rarely the best verse. But the extension of that to the idea that poetry cannot be both good and meaningful is monstrous and will not be tolerated!!!  wink

 Signature 

The SkeptVet
The SkeptVet Blog
Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

Commissioned poems for state occassions are rarely the best verse.

Gee, wasn’t Paradise Lost written for the coronation of Charles II, but came out seven years late?  tongue rolleye

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7506
Joined  2007-03-02
asanta - 21 January 2009 08:39 PM
Mriana - 21 January 2009 08:20 PM
mckenzievmd - 21 January 2009 10:12 AM

how nearly impossible good meaningful poetry is.

As a former literature major, I object vociferously!!!! grin

You know…  Obama could have chosen Carol Joyce Oates, but I don’t think she’s done any poetry.  Regardless, there are far better writers and poets out there than the one he chose.

Can you think of ANY memorable inaugural poems? EVER? LOL

Um…  If I told you this was the first inaugural I have actually ever watched, would you believe me?  Well believe it.  LOL

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7641
Joined  2008-04-11
mckenzievmd - 21 January 2009 09:27 PM

Commissioned poems for state occassions are rarely the best verse. But the extension of that to the idea that poetry cannot be both good and meaningful is monstrous and will not be tolerated!!!  wink

That’s not what I said, I love (good)poetry, but I have never heard of an inaugural poem that went on to be taught in a comparative English or poetry class. wink

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
Occam - 21 January 2009 06:43 PM

I think the simplest way to fund universal health care is to use Social Security contributions.  And, I suggest only one simple change -  get rid of the limitation preventing assessments on income above $92,000.  It wouldn’t take too many CEOs making a hundred million to cover each year’s universal health care costs.

Occam

The cap increases a little bit each year. It is currently under $110,000. Which is still regressive.

Take Warren Buffett, the richest man on Earth. His annual income is around $50 million a year. That means less than half of one percent of his annual income gets taxed. For the richest 5% who make more than $250,000 a year that means less than half of their income gets taxed. So the wealthy are getting perks while some waitress at I-Hop doing double-shifts is seeing 100% of her income taxed.

Social Security can be vastly improved by doing away with the cap.

As for Medicare, consider this piece by Dean Baker. He addresses Medicare, the Economy and the Health Care system:

Health Care as Stimulus: The Best Way to Spend Big Bucks
By Dean Baker
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/health-care-as-stimulus:-the-best-way-to-spend-big-bucks/

The need for large-scale stimulus is recognized by economists across the political spectrum… The drop in annual consumption spending is likely to be in the range of $300 billion to $400 billion.

A boost from the government is the only plausible way to replace this collapse in spending. Most economists place the size of the necessary boost in the range of $300 billion to $450 billion annually. Paul Krugman has argued that $600 billion is a more appropriate target…

The problem is that it is not easy for the government to find ways to usefully spend this much money. There are obvious ways in which the government can get money to help alleviate the impact of the downturn and increase spending such as extending unemployment insurance benefits and increasing food stamps. But additional spending in these areas will not likely exceed $30 billion.

It can probably spend another $60 billion a year on infrastructure projects, perhaps $50 billion aiding hard-hit state and local governments, and maybe $40 billion on green investment projects. This sums to $180 billion, a figure well short of even the $300-$450 billion stimulus range.

This is where health care comes in. Health care is a $2.4 trillion sector. It can reasonably be expanded by 5-10 percent in a relatively short period of time, which would imply an additional $120 billion to $240 billion in annual spending. The jobs created in this sector would provide a substantial boost to the economy.

More importantly, we could substantially extend coverage through a stimulus package, getting much closer to the goal of universal health care system. The quickest way to get there would be with a tax credit for employers who cover currently uninsured workers. Employers who already cover their workers can get a credit for increasing the generosity of their coverage. Generous credits should be sufficient to extent coverage to most uncovered workers.

At the same time, the government could open up the Medicare system, allowing all employers and individuals to buy into a Medicare-type plan that would compete with private insurers. This step, together with rules that limit abuses by private insurers, would be important in setting up a system that allows for cost containment over the long-run.

After two years the credits could be phased down to the earnings-based subsidies advocated by President Obama during his campaign. In the longer-term, steps could also be taken to fill the gaps to ensure that people still left behind get covered.

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
truthaddict - 21 January 2009 03:58 PM

Problem is SS is solvent through 2049 with no changes being made, and this is without noting the regressiveness of the income cap, and Medicare is facing problems because of the health care system, not internal issues.

Social Security is just one of a set of entitlement programs that make up more than one-third of the total federal budget as things stand.

CBO has projected that 2049 is the year in which the balance
in the trust funds, and thus the trust fund ratio, will
fall to zero. But, as shown in Figure 3, there is a 10 percent
chance that the trust funds will be exhausted in 2034
or earlier and a greater than 10 percent chance that they
will not be exhausted before 2082.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/96xx/doc9649/08-20-SocialSecurityUpdate.pdf

Rest easy until 2049?  No way.  Social Security as it is structured is a disaster waiting to happen.  Could a rise in unemployment shorten SocSec solvency? You bet it could.  I credit Obama for expressing a willingness to address the issue.  Now let’s see if he is pilloried for it.

As for the supposed regressiveness of the income cap: Social Security is supposedly designed to pay you back according to what you pay in.  There is a cap on the payroll tax because there is a cap on benefits.  Truthaddict may have no idea that’s the reason, but there it is.  If you start increasing the payroll tax for high wage earners without increasing the benefits, the Social Security has changed fundamentally from a government-run individual retirement benefit into yet another program for the redistribution of wealth.  I have no doubt that some will emit a satisfied sigh or clap for joy over that prospect—but is that the type of system that results in a strong economy?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
Occam - 21 January 2009 06:43 PM

I think the simplest way to fund universal health care is to use Social Security contributions.  And, I suggest only one simple change -  get rid of the limitation preventing assessments on income above $92,000.  It wouldn’t take too many CEOs making a hundred million to cover each year’s universal health care costs.

Yes it would.

Health care spending is about 15% of GDP (over $2 trillion).  It would take 20 CEOs making $100 million to approach it if even if you confiscated every penny they made.  How many CEOs do you think make that kind of money?  And how many of them make that as part of their base salary (the sort of thing to which a payroll tax applies) and not as stock options and the like?

Here’s Fortune‘s list of the top 25 highest paid men in America.  They run out of guys making over $100 million before they even leave the top 10.
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0809/gallery.women_men_highest_pay.fortune/index.html

So maybe you should re-think your plan.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1161
Joined  2007-07-16
Bryan - 22 January 2009 10:31 AM

Social Security is supposedly designed to pay you back according to what you pay in.  There is a cap on the payroll tax because there is a cap on benefits.  Truthaddict may have no idea that’s the reason, but there it is.

No, it wasn’t. It was designed to provide “social insurance” to those facing hardships and is still designed to do just that. The problem is it is taxed regressively and that is affecting the solvency.

Historical Background and Development of Social Security
http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

PS: That worse case scenarios show that the solvency could be exhausted in thirty years still says a lot about the solvency of the program. What company or government program can boast of such solvency?

 Signature 

“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21
truthaddict - 22 January 2009 11:03 AM
Bryan - 22 January 2009 10:31 AM

Social Security is supposedly designed to pay you back according to what you pay in.  There is a cap on the payroll tax because there is a cap on benefits.  Truthaddict may have no idea that’s the reason, but there it is.

No, it wasn’t.

Yes, it was.

It was designed to provide “social insurance” to those facing hardships and is still designed to do just that. The problem is it is taxed regressively and that is affecting the solvency.

Amazing.

For most insurance plans, those at high risk pay the most for their insurance.  Social Security turns that relationship upside-down.  It exacts a premium from all.  Now, if the insurance plan were to charge the types of premiums you suggest (no cap) then it would be absolutely plain that the wealthy are buying an insurance rip-off.  If Roosevelt was doing what you say he was doing then he was the very worst sort of liar.  There’s one reason why the payroll tax was capped.  To recognize the point at which SS benefits themselves are capped.

What you favor, TA, is a welfare entitlement program, not retirement insurance in the ordinary sense of “insurance.”

Historical Background and Development of Social Security
http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

You’re allowed to quote government sources pretty freely without copyright concerns.

PS: That worse case scenarios show that the solvency could be exhausted in thirty years still says a lot about the solvency of the program. What company or government program can boast of such solvency?

Any such program for which compliance is achieved through the threat of force, and any for which the entity can invent its own line of credit by printing money when it deems it necessary.  The SocSec program is about as solvent as the United States government.  The more IOUs it takes out, the less solvent is the government.  The Obama administration is now proposing to roughly double the federal deficit through a stimulus plan that includes precious little economic stimulus (as judged by the CBO).

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 3
3