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Is Healthcare the issue or is it more fundamental?

A very dear friend of mine sent me a piece from the NY Times the other day and asked me for my comment.  It made my blood boil.  Once I calmed down and thought about it, I realized how few people really understand what is going on and how columnists such as Paul Krugman can get away with outrageous statements.  I publish for you my friends email with the original text and referenced column, but with his name redacted.  Draw your own conclusions...


  > Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:01:14 -0500
> From: xxxx@ptd.net
> To: zzzz@hotmail.com
> Subject: Willie Sutton Wept - NYTimes.com
>
> www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/opinion/18kru...
>
> An interesting point of view. What say you?
>

My take?  Forget the individual statements for a moment.  Krugman chooses silly arguments while he ignores facts.  I really don't have much respect for him as a columnist so let's just talk about the subject itself rather than a self-serving, one sided, I'll prove my point with ridiculous stories because people don't know better Op-Ed piece.  Calling last years health care bill financial reform is like calling a Wall St banker a caring individual who only wants to help people get the financing they deserve.  By the CBO's own numbers, the cost of this bill is astronomical at it's most conservative end, and a monetary disaster at worst. 

Rather than quibble on who's facts are more relevant, lets talk about some general things I think we can all agree on.  First of all, we are BROKE.  The credit card is maxed out and we find ourselves unable to pay for the bill because we just plain owe too much money.  In terms of real money, we are in worse shape than Greece.  The only difference is they can't print their own money or devalue their currency.  Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, we can.  The fact that we are the worlds reserve currency gives us an advantage that no other country on earth can claim.  I ask you to watch this presentation below because it's the best education I've seen on the subject yet.  What he is selling at the end is neither here nor there but he is a serious investor who has his own take on things, and unfortunately, I think he may very well be right.  BTW, I can confirm all the things he says in his presentation as fact.  I have read them on Bloomberg, CNBC, and other mainstream websites as well as my own subscriptions.  Unfortunately, what he says is correct.  The presentation is:

www.stansberryresearch.com/pro/1011PSIEN...;

Please take 20 minutes and watch it!!!! 

The sad fact is that neither party has a way out.  The reality is we can't afford our way of living any more and it's about to get worse.  Much worse.  Wisconsin is just the beginning.  There is no question we have to cut the budget.  The question is:  Who's ox gets gored?  Even if you cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the military all  by 25%, it's still not enough!  No politician wants to make the hard choices on either side.  No one wants to offend the voters with only a couple exceptions.  The Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker and Gov Christy from NJ are the first 2 who don't care about re-election and are trying to save their state from defaulting.  BTW, once one of our states defaults, we will lose our credit rating just like Europe and our rate to borrow will go through the roof, putting us further in the hole.  These guys (and a few others) started with the teachers, not because they hate teachers, but because of the crazy benefits they get that no one else has, not even close.  Wouldn't it be great if we all got 100% free health care with NO co-pay and couldn't ever be fired?  Wow, what a job!  There is no other job class in the world with these benefits, so they are unfortunately just the first to be targeted.  State and Municipal workers are next.  Medicaid probably comes after that.  Higher taxes, less services, and on and on after that.  This is just the first volley.  The reality is we can't afford this any more.  It will be a hard reality that people are going to have to face in the next 2 years. 

If you want to discuss the cost of the Obamacare, the sad part is that the number 1 thing we could do to reduce the cost of medial care across the board is to do tort reform.  Since the entire Congress is beholden to the lobbyists, and one of the most powerful lobby's is the lawyers, it was not surprising that even though almost every group weighed in on the health care bill, the one that was conspicuously silent was the legal lobby.  It should be of no surprise that in over 2000 pages of legislation for the health care bill, not one page, not one mention is there regarding this issue.  In addition, why in God's name is this bill over 2000 pages?!?!?!   Why did they make Congress vote on it before they had a chance to read and understand it?  We are still finding things out about this bill months later because it is so complicated.  The entire US Constitution, which is the guiding principle of law and governance in this country is only 4 pages long. 

Rather than continue this debate on health care, as it is only 1 of many problems we face, it is clear that our legislators are incapable of leading us out of this mess.  That means both parties.  If we are serious about reform, then we must impose term limits or we face certain doom.  I find it interesting that the Tea Party candidates and the 2 Governors we discussed above are all about the one overriding issue of our day, and were elected to do something about this problem.  Unfortunately, these people face a perilous problem as well.  If we cut everything, more people will lose their jobs.  With our economy so fragile as it is, could that be societal suicide as well?  We are in my opinion in a no-win, can't win, lose-lose situation.  -IF- we had spent TARP 2, and QE2 on creating jobs, then we might be in better shape as more jobs = more tax revenue and we'd stand a chance whittling down the budget shortfall and national debt.  Unfortunately, we did not.  We chose instead to give it to the banks in the hope they would stimulate the economy.  Care to guess how that turned out?  This recovery has 2 visual versions to it; a V shaped recovery in the stock market, but a L shaped recovery in terms of employment.  The V shaped recovery does not help the common man, corporations have NOT rehired and unfortunately will not rehire, no matter what happens.  I could spend 2 pages explaining why but my fingers are getting tired.  Most likely, this recovery is only temporary and once you watch the presentation I listed above, you will understand why better. 

Xxxxx, we are in trouble.  BIG trouble.  I don't know how we will get out of this mess.  Even I can't see a way out with things as they are today.   All I and you can do is protect the assets we have today.  I know you've read my blogs and I've spoken about this for a few months now.  If you haven't read my articles, for yours and Yyyyy's sake, please do so now.  In my estimation, we may only have a year or so more before the dominoes fall.  Once they fall, it will be too late to do anything.  This is not something new.  It has happened many times in history, and is about to again.  It has happened as recently as the mid '90's in Europe and Argentina and is happening right now in Zimbabwe. 

I could talk for hours on all this so I encourage you to; read this, watch the presentation and call me some night.  This has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, libertarian or crazy right or left winger.  It affects every American and mostly no one knows how much trouble we are really in and what WILL happen soon.  Oh.  By the way, in contrast to what Krugman said in the article, (That’s why I say that Mr. Obama gets too little credit. He has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president.)  This administration has spent more money than EVERY single administration since George Washington COMBINED!!!!  That is a fact.  Please ignore Drugman from now on.  He is the worst kind of political hack there is.  Disgraceful 

I hope this answers your question. 

Bob


I'd love to hear your comments on this.  Just reply to my blog or send me an email.  Thanks.