The Problem with American Politics

By James Kwak

Or, How the Republicans Get Away with It:

“When Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed ‘ending Medicare as we know it’ — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

From Robert Draper’s article on Priorities USA Action.

19 thoughts on “The Problem with American Politics

  1. The quote “ending Medicare as we know it” seems to be a quote of words Priorities said to their focus group. Did Romney say that?

    On the other hand, would you object if the PPACA were characterized as “ending healthcare as we know it”? I thought that was the whole idea, to entirely change how health care is delivered in the US. That is, make it rational and efficient through detailed regulation.

  2. Doubtful Romney did or would — he’s too busy whoring. But that is in fact what the Ryan budget plan says, even if not in those words.

    BTW, the use of the shorthand “healthcare” has distorted this entire discussion. What’s been under discussion and legislation is health INSURANCE. PPACA is primarily about the institution of insurance, not the actual care.

  3. You need to end education as we know it before anything else. Always puttin the cart before the horse.

  4. Pity the exploited throughout the ages. If the sheeple only had a brain. But then we wouldn’t have the marvelously wealthy parasitical moneychangers, the foundation of the American predator economy, politics, and life.

  5. @Andrew M Garland, “…PPACA goes well beyond insurance. It is going to advise and regulate all aspects of health delivery, cost, and insurance….”

    If they are going to “advise and regulate” then they need DATA that is real.

    Good luck with finding that DATA!

  6. ‘The most know board created is the Consumer Advocacy Council
    for Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which is to decide which treatments are effective and for whom.’

    Or, as Sarah Palin astutely described them, ‘death panels’.

    What is wrong with American politics is most of the electorate is ignorant and/or apathetic, and politicians are aware of this and exploit it for their own ends.

    This comments section is a perfect example (about 95% of the time).

  7. ‘If they are going to “advise and regulate” then they need DATA that is real.

    ‘Good luck with finding that DATA!’

    Precisely. As this guy put it;

    ‘…the “data” from which the economic calculus starts are never for the whole society “given” to a single mind which could work out the implications and can never be so given.

    ‘The peculiar character of the problem of a rational economic order is determined precisely by the fact that the knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess. The economic problem of society is thus not merely a problem of how to allocate “given” resources—if “given” is taken to mean given to a single mind which deliberately solves the problem set by these “data.” It is rather a problem of how to secure the best use of resources known to any of the members of society, for ends whose relative importance only these individuals know. Or, to put it briefly, it is a problem of the utilization of knowledge which is not given to anyone in its totality.’

  8. @Patrick – not that complicated, my friend. You go to the doctor with ick on you d–k, it’s a fact. You hope there’s something to cure it. And in order for your ickydicky not to be made public on Facebook the next day by the claims processor at the insurance company who saw it, it means that the record of the prescription is off her books.

    I’m not THAT old :-), but old enough to have paid a LOWER rate for the cash transaction after being stung by a wasp because the Doc pocketed the whole amount – none went to admin costs. Give the Docs a TAX INCENTIVE for keeping it out of the insurance spin cycle where at least 50% of the time, they have to put down something other than what it was in order to get paid…

    We’re not floating in metaphysical ethers untethered to any reality of life maintenance – the entire freekin’ PLANET was designed to support life! – beginning with an atmosphere that allows the perfect amount of sunlight to reach the soil in order to support all life forms. There is a man to land ratio that is sustainable and like it or not, it LIMITS the speed of profit-taking. Sorry to burst your bubble about no one person knowing it all…

  9. I would say medical care is rational and efficient and based on regulatory precepts as to what constitutes proper medical care for a given condition…….ending MEDICARE has all the earmarks of an un-mitigated disaster.

  10. ‘Sorry to burst your bubble about no one person knowing it all…’

    It’s the bubble of a guy writing in the AER, for which he eventually received the Nobel prize in economics. Somehow I don’t think you have the intellectual horsepower to even understand him, much less ‘burst it’.

  11. Nobel prices should be reversible… I got at least two economists in mind!

  12. @Paddy – you using his genius in support of it being irrelevant that there is no DATA on what the medical needs are, for real, is proof that you don’t get what he is talking about.

    If I don’t know what icked your d-ck, I at least know how to approach the problem based on THOUSANDS of years of previous experiences in life maintenance. The world of knowledge did not start to exist when you and your laptop learned how to cut and paste using microsoft word…

    Mechanizing health care just means that no one is left delivering “health care” who can cure the ick so say goodbye to your d-ck. Probably not until you share the ick with others, though, huh?

    Providing proper maintenance for living bodies is NOT the problem – hatred and selfishness and the mental incompetence brought on by megalomania is the problem.

  13. Garland:’Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which is to decide which treatments are effective and for whom’ This simply false. The IPAB’s mission is to pilot projects and develop more efficient methods of payment (e.g bundled care instead of fee for service; promote integrated care to eliminate redundancies, etc.) It and all health related agencies are specifically PROHIBITED from even endorsing, let alone prescribing any individual treatment or class of treatments in any way. It is also prohibited from developing rules that could result in any kind of rationing. It specifically protects the Dr. – patient relationship re: prescribed therapies….the first time such protection has been codifed in law. This is a little acknowledged fact, for all the political attacks on the law. Mr. Garland ought to get out his google machine….the info is easy to find….before displaying ignorance.

  14. I have a question.

    When Hank Paulson became Treas. Sec. he was able to pocket the entire profit of his stock sale (sans the taxes). If Mitt Romney becomes President, will he have to sell his stocks and will this result in a tax-free windfall for Mitt, too?

  15. Heck, I welcome the smartest people on the planet from every billion $$$$ homeland security apparatus, every “religious” global war/drug/slave lord and anyone else who is curious on the planet (lots of bank records already tossed around the planet to cheaper employees, anyway) to paw through and micro-critic-eyes and PSYCHObabbalize every detail on every IRS tax form I filed since I started filing them. By all means, party on and tell me what you see…

    Vote for Annie :-))

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