Discussing Healthcare and Rights

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I used this meme back last year in a post on whether people have a right to healthcare or not. Of course, I argued that people did not, as it does not naturally exist, and is the produc of other people’s labor. Still, many think they’re entitled to it, and for free as well. Recently, I responded to a few comments on this, and I will go ahead and post those below.

The first set are the criticisms that the Rand Paul argument received:

#1 – officermilky

Call me naive, but wouldn’t he be paid through taxes? He wouldn’t be working for free. The argument to that, of course, would be “robbing peter to pay paul” but healthcare would be taxes that, you know, a society would all agree to go in on because they democratically believe it’s the right thing to do?

I’m not even saying that’s a perfect solution to everything, but the Rand caption seems faulty.

#2 – ramblingferret

Yes just like in Canada and Europe we round up doctors and force them to work against there will. Like my poor shrink who works 8-5 with Wednesdays off.

#3 – sweertomato

And now, here is how I responded to each one of them:

@officermilky He would be paid under a market wage that he would have regularly earned, due to government price setting (both on goods and wages). Your main mistake is that you will not have all of society agreeing to this universal healthcare plan. You would only need 50% +1 to make this happen, and that doesn’t sound in any way like it “society would all agree to go in” with this, as you say. THAT WOULD BE THE CASE.

@ramblingferret You mention Canada’s system, and I’d be a bit careful with that. They tried to first off ban private insurance, which was ruled unconstitutional. Canadian healthcare wait times are far longer than American wait times.

canada healthcare times

In addition to this, Canada’s system is lagging in adopting to new technology and practices to improve the quality and speed of care. And I’d be even more careful to use Canada’s system, since it’s projected to eat up 97% of government revenues over time. If that’s something America should copy, I’d be skeptical. And if you still don’t believe I should be skeptical, I would ask the 40,000+ Canadians who sought medical treatment outside Canada due to these problems, and more.

@sweer-tomato You mention that it would be free. About that…

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And if that is the route you wish to take (in saying that universal healthcare is free), then this also applies:

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Weird how neither me nor Rand actually said the “ and saying oh “Survival of the fittest” if you get seriously ill / injured you deserve to die is the most barbaric and jackass thing you can say.” I honestly wonder where this even comes from, but I don’t think I care.

Now, under the current ACA, quality of care has gone down, and prices have gone up (especially when you’re not subsidised, like regular people with their own healthcare or through their business). Under the universal system, the costs become simply unseen by the everyday taxpayer, but is still felt on April 15, and don’t think for a second this is going to be in any way cheap, especially for people who are poor or have pre-existing conditions. Not when the plan require a bunch of crap that a) shouldnt be part of health insurance, and b) is mandated by government fiat.

And let’s chat about government mandated bull. I’ve yet to hear someone explain logically how the government can require health insurers to cover something, and the health insurers won’t raise their prices. The health insurers know they can simply jack up their prices all they want, because it’s now mandated that “x” service be covered. You wanna know why healthcare costs keep going up? It ain’t corporate greed that is the main problem. I’ll tell you that.

And let’s talk about 2016. If you’d like to see more poor people, go ahead, enact your universal healhcare system. Bernie’s plan sure ain’t cheap, since you’d have to come up with $3.2 trillion in new tax revenue per year (equalling $32 trillion in total, more than his original projections were) over the next decade to pay for just the healthcare costs. Since the Sander’s plan already boasts of tax hikes on the wealthy (aka the one’s who currently pay the majority of taxes), where is the rest of the money coming from? Hint hint, he will HAVE look lower. But don’t worry, you might be audited by the IRS after not paying taxes because you can’t afford them, but you’ll have healthcare still… that is, as long as they haven’t cut you off.

It’s 2016: let people actually keep their money for a change and get the damn government out of healthcare, so people can afford it and not go broke should something bad happen.


All in all, I haven’t done a good rebuttal like this in a while, and I probably could have done tons better, but this still came out good, and still hasn’t been rebutted by any of these three posters. I’m not expecting it to, but hey, we shall see.

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Rand Paul vs. Tax Treaties

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“I’m calling on the Senate, in particular Sen. Rand Paul, who’s been a little quirky on this issue, to stop blocking the implementation of tax treaties that have been pending for years,”

Someone sounds a little upset. These are the words of President Obama, who was talking about tax treaties that he’s really wanted to be passed in the Senate. The reason why he wants these treaties put through? So he can stop “tax evasion”, a problem which he is looking to address.

Now, on the surface, this doesn’t look like it should be much of an issue. You need to understand that nothing in Washington is simple though. What these tax treaties would do is allow for law enforcement to basically act as if it were unbound by the 4th Amendment, and become almost NSA-like, since it would have the power to allow law enforcement to see what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and what comes in and goes out. Yes, this can all be seen from bank activity. Scary, isn’t it?

So what about tax cheats? To be honest, these are the symptom of a much larger problem: a tax system not many know how to properly navigate, and many would like to just avoid all together, seeing as how there is no hope in trying to figure it out while keeping their costs low. And compliance? Haha, that’s a funny one.

2 of these treaties are with Switzerland and Luxembourg, two of the wealthiest nations on the planet, and since they see a lot of monetary traffic, the White House feels like it would be wise to have access to their records, so they can be used in tax investigations by the IRS if needed.

Going further into some research, I can across this gem over at Accounting Today:

Of the eight treaties, seven of them are bilateral agreements with various countries to facilitate cooperation to avoid double taxation and to lower compliance costs. Regrettably, these agreements also unnecessarily change the standard for providing personal financial information to law enforcement agencies from probable cause of criminal behavior, such as fraud—which Paul correctly regards as the only constitutionally permissible standard under the Fourth Amendment—to what amounts to wholesale bulk collection on the pattern of the NSA’s violations of email and phone privacy.

This is Paul’s only concern with these seven bilateral treaties. A simple amendment could conform them to constitutional standards and they could move forward expeditiously.

However, that reasonable solution is not acceptable to Secretary Jack Lew’s Treasury Department. That’s because the Department also insists on using the treaties as a Trojan Horse for one of the most dangerous and dysfunctional laws enacted under the presidency of Barack Obama: the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA. 

FATCA, which few Americans have ever heard of, was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010, supposedly as a weapon against “fatcat” offshore tax evasion. Disdaining the constitutional path of investigating individuals who are suspected of wrongdoing and securing a warrant for accessing their private records, FATCA takes the NSA approach: to require all non-U.S. banks to hand over information on U.S. private persons (not corporations, by the way) absent any requirement of reasonable suspicion, due process, or a court order. If banks fail to do so, they face crippling sanctions that essentially shut them out of the American market. FATCA has led many foreign banks to deny services to Americans rather than deal with the burdens and crushing compliance costs, thus impeding U.S. business and export opportunities and risking economic harm.

*bolding is my own*

Now you see why Obama wants these treaties passed in Congress, don’t you? There’s always another reason than just something like “tax evasion”. There’s always something more to it.

Rand Paul is right to be in opposition to these, and the thing is, is that these cannot pass while there is still opposition to them. Meaning, that as long as Rand keeps saying “I object”, then these cannot move on at all. They’ll just continue to sit around and collect dust.

The Similarities Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

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Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: these two clowns are going to be their parties nominee’s for President, and since no one is left on the Republican side, and Bernie’s chances have evaporated on the Democrat side, there is little hope for anything different at this point. In this post, I will be going over some pretty interesting similarities between the two parties presumptive nominee’s, to show you that these two aren’t really much different.

#1. Healthcare

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump believe that everyone should have healthcare, a fallacy and utopian ideal in reality. This has also been seen in his fairly recent support for Universal Healthcare, which is contradictory to his healthcare plan released by his campaign. And furthermore, his healthcare plan has no mention of even trying to deal with the FDA and it’s effects on the pricing of new and general prescription drugs entering or already on the market, which he should have covered, seeing as how it’s a part of the reason why healthcare costs are rising. At least Hillary Clinton will talk about them, but recommends the completely wrong treatment though.

#2. Taxes

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are fine with continuing the progressive income tax that is currently in place. And while Trump’s plan looks like it may lower taxes, Trump’s rhetoric has been that of raising taxes, specifically on the highest income earners (which his plan proposed lowering the rate from 39.6% to 25%). When pressed on this contradiction:

Pressed on the contradiction between his latest comments on taxes and the September tax plan, Trump said that he expected his original proposal was a “a concept” and he expected that it would be changed following negotiations with Congress.

“By the time it gets negotiated, it’s going to be a different plan,” Trump told ABC. He emphasized in interviews with both ABC and in a separate interview with NBC’sMeet the Press that his priorities were lowering taxes on the middle class and businesses.

I wonder how much of it will change, seeing as how this plan is now only “a concept”.

#3. Minimum Wage

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree that the Minimum Wage should be raised. And for Trump, this is troubling, because he has flip-flopped on this issue a lot, even saying today (May 9th) that the Federal Minimum Wage should now be eliminated. Someone needs to make up their damn mind and stay there.

#4. Foreign Policy Advisors

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have foreign policy advisors from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which has been behind the neo-conservative, interventionist foreign policy the country has had for a very, VERY long time. He has met with them, and talked with the group’s head as well. Notice that the non-interventionists have not been involved with CFR.

#5. Tariffs

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump want to impose new tariffs against Chinese Imports. Their rhetoric on currency manipulation is actually quite the same, making one wonder where they get it from.


Could I go on? Probably. But, these are just a few of the similarities between the Donald and Hillary. Both of these two’s supporters will vehemently deny any of this, and will probably bring up something about the mainstream media, or you being an idiot who is brainwashed and doesn’t know the truth. That, however, is wrong, and these people need to realize that the candidates they support really aren’t that different.

Marco Rubio Needs To Be Stopped

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Let us discuss Marco Rubio, and just how terrible he really is. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a Floridian, and Rubio is my Senator… well, part time, that is. Rubio is a neo-conservative who snuck his way in with the Tea Party wave back in 2010, and even then, I had a bad feeling about him. Over time, I had my feelings confirmed, and it wasn’t a surprise at all to me what he wants to do now.

But, let me go over a few things now:

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My Thoughts On Bernie Sanders: Improving The Rural Economy

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We’re talking about Bernie Sanders again, and in this post, I’ll be going over my houghts on Bernie’s “Improving The Rural Economy” portion, which dives into what he’d do, as President, for people in more rural areas. Looking through this, he’s got A LOT of stuff here, and some of it’s the usual banter you’d expect from him, but some of it’s sorta vague as well. Let’s dive in, shall we?

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The Fair & Flat Tax Revisited

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The Tax Foundation, which has been looking at the tax plans of the Republican candidates, has revised some of it’s stats on Rand Paul’s plan after receiving new data and models to use. They no longer have the old data up, as they revised their article, so here are the new numbers.

Overview:

The Tax Foundations found:

Senator Paul’s plan would grow the economy by 12.9 percent in the long run, create 4.3 million jobs, and cost $1.8 trillion over ten years on a static basis and raise $737 billion when accounting for economic growth.

Structure:

Eliminates the current 7-bracket confusing, too big system

Tax Rate: 14.5% (Flat)

What that rate applies to:

  • Wages/Salaries
  • Capital Gains
  • Dividends
  • Interests
  • Rents

Standard Deduction: $15,000 (per filer)

Personal Exemption: $5,000

For a family of 4:

A family of four would pay nothing on the first $50,000 of income. This is due to the standard deduction on both parents ($15,000 each, $30,000 over the 2), and then each family member having the personal exemption ($5,000 each, $20,000 over all 4).

For a family of 5:

A family of five would pay nothing on the first $55,000 of income. This is due to the standard deduction on both parents ($15,000 each, $30,000 over the two), and then each family memeber gaining the personal exemption ($5,000 each, $25,000 over all 5).

Deductions:

  • Home Mortgage Deduction
  • Charitable Deduction
  • All others are eliminated completely

Credits:

  • Earned Income Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • All others are eliminated completely

Taxes Eliminated:

  • Payroll Tax
  • Estate Tax
  • All Customs Duties and Import Tariffs

Business Rate: 14.5% (Business Transfer Tax)

How:

This tax would be levied on a business’s factors of production and tax all capital income (profits, rents, royalties) and all labor payments (wages and salaries).

Business Expensing: All capital expenses (machines, buildings, equiptments, etc…) are fully expensed in first year. Does away with depreciation scales.

Others This Applies To: Governments entities and Nonprofits

Economic & Revenue Estimates

Increase/Decrease in GDP: +12.9% (over 10 years)

Increase/Decrease in GDP: +1.2% (per year additional)

Due to:

This growth is largely due to a cut in the service price of capital, which is a result of lower taxes on businesses and investment, specifically the tax cut to 14.5 percent on business profits, the 14.5 percent rate on capital gains and dividends, and the shift to full expensing. These tax changes result in an increase of the capital stock of 40.5 percent by the end of the adjustment period and results in higher after tax wages of 5.5 percent.

Capital Stock: 40.5% increase

After-Tax Wages: 5.5% increase (to 11.4%)

Effects:

Additionally, the tax cut on wage income to 14.5 percent also increases the incentive to work and results in 3.5 percent additional private business hours of work. This is equivalent to 4.3 million full-time jobs.

New Jobs Created: 4.3 Million (full-time)

Federal Revenues

On a STATIC Basis: (meaning no growth)

Losses: $2 Trillion (over 10 years)

Losses per year: $200 Billion

On a DYNAMIC Basis: (meaning growth)

Gains: $737 Billion (over 10 years)

Gains per year: $73.7 Billion

Distributional Analysis

On a STATIC Basis: (not considering growth)

Across the board: 4% Increase in After-Tax-Income across all taxpayers

0% change for those making $10,000, and varying degree’s for above

On a DYNAMIC Basis: (considering growth)

Across the board: 16% Increase in After-Tax-Income across all taxpayers

Taxpayers making <$10,000: Increase in Income by 11%

Taxpayers making $20,000-$150,000: Increase in Income by 14%

Taxpayers making $150,000-$250,000: Increase in Income by 15%

Details on Update:

We had previously estimated that Senator Paul’s tax proposal would be strongly pro-growth, highly beneficial for American workers, but expensive for the federal government in terms of tax revenue. The updated numbers suggest that Senator Paul’s plan would generate a larger growth dividend than we had estimated earlier this year and be less costly for the U.S. Treasury.

One reason for the difference in the growth and revenue estimates is that the October TAG Model employs a more detailed Individual Income Tax calculator than in the old model. The primary explanation for the higher growth estimate is that the new version of the TAG Model does a better job evaluating the effects of a value added tax. Senator Paul would replace the Payroll Tax and the Corporate Income Tax with what he calls a Business Transfer Tax (BTT). To a tax analyst, a BTT is a type of value added tax, although it looks nothing like a European-style VAT because it employs a much simpler and more straightforward collection method.

Two other factors also affected the revenue estimates. In June, we used the personal exemption and standard deduction amounts stated in Senator Paul’s plan. Because the TAG model’s Individual Income Tax calculator uses microdata from the IRS’s 2008 Public Use File (an anonymized sample of approximately 140,000 tax records), we should have converted the amounts into 2008 dollars for consistency, and have now done so. Further, the model’s 10-year revenue estimates are calibrated to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline. CBO released a midyear update in August, and we have calibrated the 10-year revenue estimates in the October version of the TAG model to CBO’s newest baseline.

TL;DR:

So yeah, this still applies, but the rates fo growth have been made a lot better.

The Fair And Flat Tax

Okay, so taxes are an important issue in the GOP. Tax plans, as a Presidential candidate, are important. It serves to show people what you plan to do, and how you would like to go about it. Let’s look at Randal’s, which was recently released.

Key Points:

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  • Flat rate of 14.5%
  • Applied to both personal income and businesses
  • Major cuts in deductions
  • Would mean $2 TRILLION in spending cuts
  • Grow the economy

Personal Income:

The tax rate for personal income would be set at 14.5%. That’s it. This would apply to:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Dividends
  • Capital Gains
  • Rents
  • Interests

There would only be two deductions left to be claimed. The rest would be completely eliminated. They are:

  • Mortgages
  • Charitable Contributions

Things that are good to know:

  • The first $50,000 of income for a family of 4 would not be taxed
  • The Earned-Income Tax Credit would be retained for low-income families

Business/Corporate Income:

The rate would still be set at 14.5%. Here’s how it’d work:

  • Levied on revenues
  • There would be allowable expenses (such as parts, computers, office equipment) that would be subtracted from the revenues.
  • Capital purchases would be immediately expensed, ending complicated depreciation schemes

What Would It Do?:

These are the Senator’s own words now:

“The immediate question everyone asks is: Won’t this 14.5% tax plan blow a massive hole in the budget deficit? As a senator, I have proposed balanced budgets and I pledge to balance the budget as president.

Here’s why this plan would balance the budget: We asked the experts at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation to estimate what this plan would mean for jobs, and whether we are raising enough money to fund the government. The analysis is positive news: The plan is an economic steroid injection. Because the Fair and Flat Tax rewards work, saving, investment and small business creation, the Tax Foundation estimates that in 10 years it will increase gross domestic product by about 10%, and create at least 1.4 million new jobs.

And because the best way to balance the budget and pay down government debt is to put Americans back to work, my plan would actually reduce the national debt by trillions of dollars over time when combined with my package of spending cuts.“

Objections:

Let me put up a few possible objections, and then go ahead and address them.

“But the rich will be taxed less than everyone else!”

To quote the Senator, “Though the rich will pay a lower rate along with everyone else, they won’t have special provisions to avoid paying lower than 14.5%.” Even though they won’t be paying as much as people thought they were before,  they won’t be able to pay lower than that 14.5%.

“But what about deductions?”

As stated, there will only be the two stated earlier in the post. There won’t be any other deductions then. Those two will be it. There wouldn’t be any special one’s for rich people, corporations, etc…

“But what about the special interests!?”

Steve Forbes ran with a flat tax idea in 1996. t was liked by voters for it’s simplicity it’s capacity to help the economy. Cronyists didn’t like it. But this isn’t 1996 now. The GOP of then isn’t the GOP of now. Now, Conservatives are a lot more anti-corporate welfare than before, and I see it becoming more popular within the party too.

This plan relies on two things: electing competent people to office who are willing to stop the expansive growth in government, and their constituents making sure they do what they said they were going to do. Without either of those two, this plan may seem nice, but it’d be bound for deep troubles.

“Why should we do follow along and support this?”

Because it’d mean more money in your pocket for you to control at the end of the day. It means people will be able to build their savings, plan for retirement, set money aside, not worry as much, and be able to live a better life. That’s what it means. At the end of the day, it means you being able to live and do more as you please.

Credits:

Noteworthy people to mention in bringing this to life:

Steve Forbes (Forbes)

Stephen Moore (Heritage Foundation)

Arthur Laffer (Former Reagan Economist)

Rand Paul (R-KY)

Information from Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal