The older I get, the more I notice the young people around us, and the more I feel so bad for them and the world we have left for them to live in. We have older people around us that have the audacity to complain about the way the youth of today act, but who let them be that way? It's always someone else's fault isn't it Then just to top it off, we mortgaged their future by leaving the country trillions of dollars in debt, because no way are we going to suffer and pay for our mistakes.
I propose we do something radical next year, First of all Congress must pass a true balanced budget, with an extra percentage left over to pay off on the nation's debt. Yes this will mean raising taxes and deep cuts in programs, but if we need an example go back to 1960 and just keep the programs that existed then. I was out in the world then, and no one was suffering that much. I could write a book on useless spending that goes on in our government, but I'll leave that to the historians who will write about it someday when they write about the demise of our country. Congress needs to hire a good financial planer.
Yes it would be a world of hurt for a while, but who deserves the hurt, us who created this mess, or our kids and grandkids.
Untidy reporting on vigil
I'm rather used to cleaning up after young people. It's just part of being a grandfather. So I'll get right down to Mike O'Rourke's untidiness in his health vigil article. On a light note, I'm one of those identified as Sue Brown in the early on-line edition photos. As you can see, Ms. Brown is far more attractive than I am. However, I have the feeling her views might be more attractive on The Range than in Crow Wing County.
Also, since mine was among the lonely offerings not directly quoted, but, rather, deftly mis-summarized by the diligent Mr. O'Rourke, I did not speak to the gathering against health care reform. I asked a question of Rep. Ward. I asked how the noble cause he proposed, combating six chronic diseases, would actually save money, rather than pushing costs applicable to those people down the road a few years for our children to pay for. After all, those unfortunate folks won't get left off the tab, they'll just extend the eventual tab for a few years. Health care, like life itself , is a zero sum game. I'm against leaving a tab for my grandkids. Most Vigil-Aunties were not.
As with his article on the Tea Party in Kiwanis Park, Mike is quite persnickety about identifying the political affiliations on one side, but not the other. Ms. Leiser's affiliation was mentioned, but, as district DFL chair, that is a matter of public record. One hears a lot about misinformation these days. One reads a lot as well.
I wonder why the term liberal newspaper was put in scare quotes.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The words local liberal newspaper were a direct quote of one of the speakers.
Our greedy Congress members
I recently read in the paper that the Social Security Trustees projected that there would be no increases in Social Security benefits in 2010 and 2011. I got a 5.8 percent raise in 2009. or about $720 a year. The Congress got an increase of $4,700,which raises their income to $174,000 a year.
President Obama has frozen pay for about 100 White House workers making six figure salaries, which is realistic. Congress voted last month to skip this next year's cost of living raise for themselves. House Speaker Pelosi would not commit to a bill to do away with annual cost-of-living increases. In so doing, lawmakers defeated a Senate measure to abolish automatic pay hikes and force them into the deep discomfort of casting actual votes to give themselves raises.
All these decisions are based on greed.
For more information, go to http//www.newsday.com/news/nation/congress-cost-of-living-raises-to-
Richard A Mann
Health care not that complicated
If one looks at the big picture, the health care debate doesn't look nearly so complicated as Republicans (and Democrats!) are making it.
Our current system is entirely profit-based, from insurance companies to drugmakers. (Profit is the extra money one makes without actually making or producing anything.) A profit-based system (capitalism) is based on greed, and will always try to maximize profits any way possible: that's why it abhors regulation.
Insurance company's plants and stooges have disrupted health care reform meetings by falsely hollering about death panels cutting off grandma's health care. Don't they live on this planet? What do they think the benefit deniers employed by insurance companies do all day to earn bonuses?
Anyone making easy money off someone else's health problems is going to scream and holler if we take that away, and they're forced to find honest and productive work instead.
Whether through taxes or insurance premiums, we'll pay for health care. It's not free. Our goal is to find a better, less expensive way.
It's estimated insurance/administration drives health care costs up 20 percent. (Medicare administrative costs are less than 5 percent.)
We have 46 million uninsured, about 15 percent of the population. If we reduce medical costs 20 percent by eliminating insurance costs, that would just about cover the 15 percent uninsured, plus another 5 percent for administration.
When everyone is covered by a single payer public plan, we could focus on reducing actual health care costs, the way Canada did around 40 years ago, or Costa Rica, Germany, France, etc. have done successfully.
Who would you rather see administer your health care: the people who send Social Security checks every month and those who pay the Medicare bills; or private enterprises like AIG, the big banks, General Motors, or Worldcom?
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