Only Tulsi will get Medicare for all to pass

But it won't be this year. Tulsi is playing the long game. She is building name recognition and with that name recognition, she will be publicizing her political stances. Tulsi does agree that Trump is not ideal, but those opinions are relegated to a minor point during her campaign appearances. She is forward-looking, issue-oriented. You will not hear Tulsi mentioning Trump 76 times in one speech like Creepy, corrupt Joe Biden did last week in Iowa. Tulsi will tell you about ending these interventionist wars we are fighting.

Without cessation of interminable external wars of aggression, we will never be able to reduce our military budget. Without restriction of the current $780 B FY 2019-20 budget, and likely bloated military spending yet to come in future years, there will not be enough money available except by running up a tax raise. Without making any predictions on my part about the necessary yearly M4A expenditure, we simply can't pay for it.

Democrats have not hit on the key reason we're not getting M4A now or in the near future--and it has nothing to do with Nancy or Chuckles. The American public is getting the following pushback against M4A: it's socialism, puts government in control of your healthcare (which of course insurance companies would never do [s/]). Furthermore: "you won't have your choice of doctor" (false); bureaucrats will run your health care blah, blah and blah. But the most telling argument against M4A is cost.

M4A will NEVER be accepted by the public--despite what polling says--until the specter of drastically rising taxes is removed. Even though a progressive tax increase of up to 70+% on the 1%ers would pay for a lot of stuff, including part of M4A, it will be cast in a negative light. A tax on the rich will be conflated misleadingly as a tax on all. Indeed some of the cost will have to be balanced with some increase on lower tax brackets. But the Repugs and establishment Dems will NOT make the distinction that a tax on the elites is not the same as a tax on the rest of us.

The only way to really get M4A paid for in a budgetary friendly way is to massively reduce military spending. This will not happen unless foreign military entanglements plus the new arms race are eliminated. Who is presenting a coherent policy about this? No one except Tulsi.

Don't remind me about the pseudo-doves in the Dem party, now including Bernard Sanders, who either do not or will not take on the military industrial complex. The M4A train will not leave the station until the conjunction of reduced military spending plus the positive aspects of M4A are simultaneously emphasized by a believable candidate.

So who's going to push the real reset button? Won't be Biden. That creepy criminal will say anything to get elected, just like Obama, then do a 180 once in office. The rest of the twenty mule team of Dem Klowns won't do this either--except Tulsi.

M4A is maturing slowly in the minds of Americans, just as that which is leading to the continuing ratification of public opinion, which now overwhelmingly supports the liberalization of marijuana laws. Emphasis on the last sentence is the word "slowly". We don't like gradualism which equate, rightly, with stalling on a progressive agenda. But the reality is that the grass root level, the two ideas of M4A and military spending have not yet melded.

The bogeyman here in MIC reduction is not the elites even though they are the primary beneficiaries of such a policy. The bogeyman is the politically uneducated, which comprise the majority of American voters, do not see the connection. Furthermore, the uneducated see a strong military as an essential asset for the defense of USA. This is true. But the current bloated military / MIC budget will not be necessary after cessation of imperial extensions of American bullying. The thought of reducing military spending raises reflexive fears amongst the electorate, which as stated above is majority uneducated, that America is less safe. In actuality, reducing military spending will enhance our country. Lower deficit increases money available for productive changes to the economy besides the military.

In this essay, I am concentrating on the political aspects. The political aspects of M4A are going codetermine the passage or defeat of M4A. The multi-faceted range of benefits which actually occur through M4A will not sell this program to the public.

Money, folks, is the name of the game. Isn't it always? Whether spent or received, this is always the overwhelming motive. Until the public realizes they will be spending less overall and getting better care devolving from the combination of M4A plus reducing the military bloat, M4A will not occur.

Some of us former Berniecrats, which previously included me, believe the BS of BS--he hasn't got the cajones nor political support to cut military adventures. He is a creature of the elites, despite promoting good things such as free public college tuition, amelioration of student debt, improved basic wages (e.g., minimum wage raises and stronger labor unions).

The gutsiest people in government are two. One of whom is Tulsi Gabbard. I would donate to the limit for her if she goes third party. Otherwise donation to any Dem candidate goes to the DNC and most likely to the Clintons.

So now I'm living on Tulsi Time

Play it LOUD

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gulfgal98's picture

than what they tell us. The most common figure quoted is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4 of a Trillion dollars, but when other defense related expenses are added in, it is nearly $ one Trillion. I found this article that lays out just how vast the cost of our military network is. It is shocking when you see the numbers.

The U.S. Department of Defense is the nation's largest employer. It has over 1.4 million active duty personnel and 1.1 million reservists. It also employs 861,000 civilians. There are 450,000 employees stationed overseas in 163 countries. An additional 3 million Americans receive income from DoD.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now estimated to cost us nearly $6 Trillion. Imagine what we could have done with that money if we had spent it here at home on our own people.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@gulfgal98 The linked article lists the VA budget at $93 billion, but I've found multiple articles saying the VA budget was $200 billion. I wonder if the discrepancy is due to people looking at the bill that funds the VA, _and_ funds the Dept of Energy, and "military construction", and thinking all the money is going to the VA.

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gulfgal98's picture

@tle @tle What I am finding is that any time you try to research federal budgets and spending, it seems very skewed because there are so many pots of money floating around. When I wrote two essays a while back on the missing trillions of dollars from the Department of Defense, there was not one explanation that made sense as to why the numbers were so high. And an audit of the Department of Defense last fall showed that most of the departments under the DoD umbrella failed miserably.

I think the VA budget may be similar to every aspect of the DoD. You see and hear multiple numbers quoted so you have no idea which numbers are correct.

I am not a budget person, but it appears the there are two parts to the VA's funding. The number in the article appears to apply to only those funds that come out of the discretionary funding while the larger number you cited is the combination of discretionary and mandatory funding.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

This basic argument repeatedly for a while now. That's also one of my biggest issues with Bernie, not making that connection. Its not rocket science, we already pay taxes being utterly wasted on idiotic wars. It took me a good while to really start thinking that way and I'll give a shout out there to Big Al for finally making me see it. I've told friends to make that connection to people who argue "we can't afford it" and to repeat it. Sometimes I know when I've said it to the ones who refuse to see it I can see a moment of pause before they spit out another platitude, but only a small moment until it gets hammered home again and again. I personally also hate that we're taught to say "free" college or whatever. It's not free and we all pay in one way or another. Semantics, yes, but it matters if we want to educate imho.

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gulfgal98's picture

@lizzyh7 During the four plus years I was involved in a local Peace vigil, our most effective argument against all these wars the sheer cost. When we would quote the costs of these wars, most people were shocked. The reactions were one of two. A few wanted to see it for themselves, so I would give them a reference on the internet. But most people made the connection between why we could not do good things for our people here in the US, but that we had plenty of money to spend overseas on wars.

Despite the fact that most of us, myself included, oppose these wars for moral reasons, the best selling point against these wars is economic. This is why I am so happy that Tulsi is making that connection for the people in her speeches.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Alligator Ed's picture

@gulfgal98 Connecting useless war to economic hardship is essential before any social program improvements can be expected. Tulsi is the only one who can pull this off. She's against war and for M4A.

Go, Tulsi.

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@gulfgal98 Thank you for doing the peace vigils. That's really cool!

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gulfgal98's picture

@p cook When I joined in 2012, the local Peace vigil had been active for over nine years. They started with 35 people originally but by 2012, it had dwindled down to five including me. The problem we had was that we could not find new and younger blood to join us. Our members just aged out beginning in 2014 with a WWII veteran who finally quit at the age of 92. In the end, there were only three of us left, and one had medical issues that prohibited him from continuing. That left me and Don who was 86 at the time and the two of us continued for several months before Don finally decided to disband the vigil. He was the original founder so I had to respect that.

I loved doing them. We met every Sat. for one hour between noon and one pm at the downtown courthouse. Our town has a lively downtown so there were many opportunities to talk with people, many of whom were very supportive. We were very friendly and tried to engage people in conversations. Some older people were hostile towards us because they thought we were anti service members, but when they learned that three of the four guys in our group were veterans, we were able to tell them why we were there.

I miss it very much but going solo would not be as effective as it was with two or three of us.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@gulfgal98 In 2004 or 05 I joined 4 others at a Chicago intersection with homemade signs, "No More War". It was a north side residential area and we got quite a few positive honks. To me there is no more important issue than America's warmongering. When Dims call T-dickhead the worst president ever all I can think is, "Are you crazy?" W killed how many people in the ME?

It's good that you had veterans with you. The 5 of us were just 40 somethings hoping for a better world.

I'm just hoping Iran isn't next. Don't get me started about the magnificent history of the Persians (as well as the Iraqis!)

Peace.

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But that don't mean I'm slow.

Good for Tulsi!

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Alligator Ed's picture

@irishking I'll try to sing along

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gulfgal98's picture

@irishking is definitely worth listening to. Plus Vince Gill is also a very good guitarist himself.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

shaharazade's picture

Meh! I'm sorry but none of these so called Dem candidates are worth anything. Medicare for all? What does that mean exactly? You will still be at the mercy of big pharma, big HM)'s, big healthcare for profit. Nah.

Don't mean to be a downer but please gimmie a break. I'm going Bernie only because he just might beat the rest of these dubious candidates. Tulsi is a freaking vet from the ME horrendous, evil 'endless war' on Terra. I just can't reconcile her former self (women's rights, Yikes?) to this new cleaned up anti war, candidate. A Muslim hater from way back.

Me once again I'm going for Bernie not cause I think he's the bee's knee candidate or leader who will deliver us all from. I'm supporting him again because he might just put a dent in my hoped for Democratic Party's breakdown. It's all I sadly can 'hope' for. Guess you can tell I'm not at all political in the partisan sense anymore. Still will register as a Dem. and vote for Bernie or any city, state or national Dem. candidate that shows some guts.

So my question is do any of these endless Dem candidate oppose ICE and what this country is doing to immigrants or asylum seekers? What about these Giulia camps? What about actually standing up to the bogus powers that 'own the place' Enough with Medicare for all I want to live in a country that respects and adheres to the universal rule of law and human rights. Does Tulsi? Nah! Do any of the Dem. pols running anywhere? Fuck them all and the horses they ride in on.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@shaharazade

Enough with Medicare for all I want to live in a country that respects and adheres to the universal rule of law and human rights. Does Tulsi? Nah! Do any of the Dem. pols running anywhere?

Where's that?

No country on earth fits your bill. If you know, we can both emigrate there. Cynicism is easy but everyone, including you and me, needs to believe in some positives. You can be adowner some of the time--and that's often appropriate. But mentally healthy people must retain a positive attitude unless they fall into suicidal depression.

I'll pack my bags and travel tickets once you tell me where Shangri La is.

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@Alligator Ed

Tulsi playing 11th dimensional chess. Don't get me wrong, I like her. There is just no way in hell I'm buying that fairy tale. There is only one person in my mind that has a chance of beating Trump and that's Bernie. Sure, it could be anyone but Trump 2020 like it was anyone but Republican in 2018, but it you want more than a hope and a prayer, it has to be Bernie. He is the anti-Trump, the anti-Dem, and the anti-politician. The Dems might have done him a huge favor by chiseling I am not a Democrat on his forehead. Independents will determine this election - voting Independents, and they don't want any of them. That's Bernie.

What will he accomplish in office? More than a Tulsi, Warren or Biden for sure. A Dem President with a GOP senate is going nowhere. No SCOTUS, no nothing.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Alligator Ed's picture

@dkmich @dkmich The Dems will steal it from him. I'm starting to think that Biden is merely a place-holder for the Evil Queen. She's gonna run in 2020 because, gosh darn it, she's earned it!

Wacko

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@Alligator Ed

Camp David in the 50s to keep the riffraff out. Don't tell anybody.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Alligator Ed

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

thanatokephaloides's picture

....... other Dems could get Medicare for All to pass.

Only Tulsi Gabbard has a plan to make it work.

Give rose

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Bernie says it will cost less and that makes sense because CEO salaries and corporate insco profits are eliminated. Also, assuming current Medicare rules, prices are lowered drastically.
A typical EOB goes like this.

Provider billing $400
BCBS contractual allowed billing $320
Medicare allowance $80
Medicare paid $64
BCBS paid $16
You Owe $0 (yes zero)
If I wasn't on Medicare, BCBS would pay $320
If I didn't have BCBS, I would owe $16
If I had neither, I would pay $400
Providers are only allowed to charge 15% over the Medicare rate EVEN IF THEY DECLINE MEDICARE. That's why AMA is screaming SOCIALISM! Why Insco's are screaming is obvious.

Ideally, Medicare expansion would entail a lot more good civil service jobs for processing.
But Democrats will probably go along with contracting the function out so contractors can screw their employees and make a profit.

Sure taxes will go up, but you won't have to buy a crappy Obamacare policy anymore and/or your employer won't have to pay through the nose for good insurance (like $2,000 per month per employee) and so can afford to give you a raise if you have the sense to join a union and force him out of it.

Or maybe, one corporation can be played against another. Eliminating employer insurance will save companies a bundle. So they should be for it, just not Inscos and cheapjack companies like Walmart.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness Insuring everybody will necessarily cost more than currently because of the relatively small fraction currently covered from the general population. To assume that proportionately a greater cost per patient will occur f everybody is covered is incorrect. Many of the uncovered (uninsured) currently are as a rule healthier than an older population. Of course, one must take into account the homeless and mentally ill which currently make up a fair share of this uninsured population and the cost of whose services will be more than healthier individuals.

The degree to which the costs per patient are relatively higher than the currently insured elderly population on Medicare is unlikely to be much--indeed cost per patient for the uninsured population as a whole is likely to be lower. Medicare disbursements are currently farmed out to private companies. Yet administrative costs for Medicare are much lower than for private insurance.

Current law, depending on State, limits private insurers to 20% profit or 15% profit. To account for this limitation, private insurers restrict the provision of medicines, procedures, and even consultations. As the Insco greed persists and grows, like the cancer it is, squeezing patients becomes stricter. The utilization of death panels is much more likely under private insurance than currently under Medicare. Those with Medicare and Medicaid do better since copays are almost non-existent.

The argument of unmanageable costs for universal coverage will become moot if military spending can be meaningfully reduced.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Alligator Ed

...to figure out that the nation's health care costs — as a percentage of gdp — will drop profoundly.

You can do it all with simple logic and common sense.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic How common is that? Not very. Talk to people who still believe El Trumpo is a Russian agent.

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gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic Here is one chart that lists major countries and their health care costs as a percentage of gdp. The United States has the highest health care costs by far under this metric. with costs in 2017 reaching 17.2% of gdp. The next most expensive country was Switzerland where costs run 12.3% of gdp.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@Alligator Ed

the relatively small fraction currently covered from the general population

Most people are covered by something, even a crappy Bronze policy.
What do you consider a small fraction?

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Alligator Ed's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness I am talking about people who are uninsured by anybody. If thirty million citizens have no insurance of any kind, whether it be bronze or iridium, that is 9% of total population. Adding them to M4A instantly increases that population by about 50% (a rough estimate). Just considering the currently uninsured alone, this group will likely be less expensive than the elderly population currently enrolled for the reasons discussed above. For darn sure, those covered by for-profit Inscos will come to M4A without the 15 to 20% profit margin assured to private companies. Current Medicare administrative expenses are about 4%. How can private insurance compete with that? If one considers only private insurance pay outs, not total premium, the total health expenditures necessarily must be less than the current for profit model. How could this be otherwise?

Democrats are stupid. They should include in their discussions private insurance payouts as a measure of true cost of the currently insured (under-insured, too) population. So when they talk about M4A, if they ever do, they should make it clear to the citizenry that under M4A total healthcare expenditures, as opposed to premiums, means lower overall Medicare costs. The comparison must be made to the total anticipated cost with M4A to the current actual cost of premiums--this is a distinction not being clarified currently. Instead the Dems focus on comparisons between the US and countries which do cover everyone. That's fine--but that's not enough. People need to know how much they are getting ripped off as a whole right now, right here in the USA.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Alligator Ed

Another factor: Administrative costs will be much lower for everyone in the supply chain because of a single payer. Anyone who does patient billing, from doctors to hospitals. And, negotiations in prescription drugs will result in a profound drop in overall health care spending per capita. For example:

US taxpayers already pay much of pharma company R&D costs. And they never get paid back from the profits. Wait until Americans figure out how much they've been robbed over the years to return extreme profits to the very wealthy — from their illnesses and misfortune.

Or maybe they won't figure it out.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic
care under any sort of single payer regime might be the drop in the cost of health care benefits for health care workers.

i have no idea whether anyone has ever incorporated that 2nd (3rd?) order effect into their calculations. i do know that when a study was done several years ago on rising costs in post-secondary education, they found that health care benefits were one of the big drivers -- I would guess that the same is going to be true in any other large institutional setting with runaway costs. ultimately, lowering the overall per-worker health care expense creates an nth-order unwinding effect of lowered cost (EDIT to add clarification) throughout the economy.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@UntimelyRippd

But I don't understand the rule that would cause the embedded work groups to have health care costs so high. It's counter-intuitive.

I looked at the degree of difference between the US and other wealthy nations. I find it amazing that something this radical was allowed to go on for so long. Especially considering the fact that their outcomes are better than in the US.

::

There were some extreme spreads in the hospital sector, too. Some of the differences are probably due to cost shifting. It's also clear that having a sizable, non-insured population is very expensive for everyone in the long run. It may be less expensive for the US to pick up the insurance tab for those who cannot afford it. That group will stay much healthier for a much longer time, and they won't have to rely on expensive hospital resources as their first line of care. Paycheck-to-paycheck workers and the poor are economically locked out of the less costly points of health care access. The retail cost of the health care they must use is the most expensive there is — and the bill is pushed onto the nation's hospitals. That has pushed up medical costs and insurance costs for all Americans. Single-payer price negotiations could bring a steep cut in costs for all parties involved.


.

And then there are devices and diagnostics costs, and the costs associated with medical procedures. These are negotiated, although I don't know if the negotiated costs are fairly represented here. The breakdown doesn't really inform us beyond the general recognition that the problem is systemic. The Annual health care costs are real, however, and are tracked historically. Technology and efficiency advances have kept those real costs level in most OECD nations. But the US total per capita health care costs continues on a steep incline.

I believe we are looking at the most predatory form of capitalism and social asset-stripping on the planet. When the American health care casino closes, it will end this era of predatory extraction for health care insurers and pharmaceutical racketeers. There are no other "free markets" to exploit. No nation would put up with it.

There are many intricate cross tabs involved in the medical economics apart from the medical outcomes. They don't necessarily correlate. I suspect you are something of an expert in analyzing this sort of data. I must say, the situational ethics involved can be very alienating.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic No, heavens no. Just think about this. Such an approach could make the population healthier--drug companies don't want that.
Are you suggesting that better rehabilitative and pre-treatment of law offenders to prevent incarceration? No, we can't have that--the Prison industry won't stand for it
Are you suggesting that sponsored job training might benefit displaced workers? No, can't have that say those who rely upon cheap domestic labor.
Are you suggesting that financial gouging of predatory lenders, which includes the banks, be reined in? Can't have that say the banksters.

I mean, really, where do you get such crazy ideas?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Alligator Ed

Progress has always been a moral hazard for the peasant class.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic
that large institutions that:
a. have a significant fraction of salaried professional employees
b. provide services that are perceived in most countries to be public goods
c. in the US may be private, but still may be "competing" with government operations, both for employees and for clients ...

tend to have some of the best -- ie, costliest -- employer-provided healthcare plans.

In my experience schools and colleges, hospitals, insurance companies, and most public agencies (fire departments, police departments, state governments in general) spend a LOT on healthcare benefits -- and the $12/hour custodians and clerical workers get exactly the same benefits (as long as they're full time -- and they're not contracted out, as sometimes happens with cleaning staff for example). There are probably people who work where I work, whose healthcare benefits represent 30 to 40% of their overall compensation.

As we've seen, right now health "care" soaks up approximately 20% of our entire GDP. Slicing out a third of that cost while at the same time extending care to 100% of the population will be the economic equivalent of stripping down an old, gunk-filled complex machine, cleaning the grit and grease out of all of its gears, and reassembling it with high-tech synthetic lubricants at every point of friction. Everything is going to be more efficient and less expensive, but some components are going to be especially so -- including, I believe, healthcare itself. If the cost of health benefits currently accounts for 25% of a hospital's labor costs -- an estimate I do not think excessive -- we're talking about slicing that in half. What savings that represents on the bottom line I can only guess -- 5% of costs? -- but it's real, and should be factored into people's models.

It's only a small fraction of the total savings of course -- but when you're talking about an overall GDP savings of a trillion dollars, hey, a few percent of that is still 20 or 30 billion dollars.

The real savings, of course, are to be found in:
a. slashing administrative costs (including marketing costs -- which I've never seen discussed, outside of the pharma problem)
b. slashing redundancy (every hospital in a city needs to have one of every new "gadget" that comes down the pike -- in a field where a "gadget" can cost 10 million dollars).
c. slashing expenses for fixing problems that could have been prevented had the patient had access to ordinary, routine care
d. slashing pharma expenses by fixing prices at something reasonable. We spend twice per capita what other countries spend -- it's about 15% of our total healthcare budget.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed

raise costs for some. (Including Mr M and I.) Anyone can figure this out by simply doing the math.

FWIW, Bernie didn't include an illustration of what one would pay on his 2020 website, although the 2016 site had the computation for a Family of 4. Heck, his campaign didn't even include any of the text of his UMFA Bill, or a link to the Bill. At least, not under the 'Issues' healthcare tab.

Needless to say, comparing the premium costs of a family of 4 that's currently enrolled in private sector health insurance to premium costs for a senior enrolled in Traditional/Original Medicare, is an "apples to oranges" comparison, at best.

One pubic option proposal being offered, called Medicare For America--also, "managed care"--at least acknowledges this cost/premium increase on many Medicare beneficiaries.


My Words: When this public option proposal goes into effect, it allows all currently enrolled Traditional/Original Medicare beneficiaries to pay premiums based upon the current TM/OM premium formula--instead of using the half-backed ACA-like formula. If they choose. IOW, whichever is cheaper.

Below is an excerpt from a summary of this "Medicare For America" Public Option proposal,

What Does It Cost Me?

Premiums, to be established by the Secretary, will be no more than 8% of individuals’ or households’ monthly income.

Current Medicare beneficiaries will pay either Medicare’s premium (how it is presently calculated) or Medicare for America’s, whichever is cheaper.

And, individuals and families between 200 and 600 percent of the Federal Poverty Level will receive subsidies. Those below 200 percent will have no premiums or cost-sharing. There will be no deductibles under Medicare for America.

Maximum out of pocket costs for an individual (including seniors and current Medicare beneficiaries) will be $3,500; $5,000 for families (based on a sliding scale for individuals and families between200 and 600 percent of the Federal Poverty Level).

Note: Some of us--those of us who are enrolled in Traditional Medicare and Plan F Medigap plans--would incur substantial OOP costs that we don't currently pay.

IOW, a 'couple' could go from paying '$O' to $7,000 per annum Out-Of-Pocket Costs.

BadWhat's wrong with this picture?

(Pushed for time--sorry this is a mess! Smile )

Mollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Alligator Ed

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Granma's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness and they mess with what Medicare will cover. I think of it as a hidden way of cutting Medicare benefits.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Granma I'm in the business of healthcare and see first hand what goes on with patients and their insurance issues. I have written many letters to insurance companies, including CMS (which includes administration of Medicare and Medicaid), trying to persuade them to a patient's needed testing or treatment.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

He ia also Talking about it here:

Sanders proposes deep cuts to military funding at campaign launch

March 02, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders, proposed deep cuts to military spending in in favor of ambitious government programs at his campaign launch Saturday.

In front of an open crowd and freezing weather in Brooklyn, N.Y., the independent-turned-Democratic-presidential-hopeful held his first rally of the campaign, where he laid out a broad road map to what a Sanders presidency would look like. Included in the plan is scaling down the Pentagon's budget.

"Today, we say to the military-industrial-complex that we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military — more than the next 10 nations combined," the White House hopeful told the crowd. "We're going to invest in affordable housing, we're going to invest in public education, we're going to invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure — not more nuclear weapons and never-ending wars."

.
And then there's this:

Bernie Sanders Is the Only Candidate to Vote Against All 3 Trump Military Budgets

NATIONAL VFB (April 5, 2019) — Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to end American military involvement in Yemen, an effort spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the original Senate resolution. Never before in U.S. history had Congress invoked the War Powers Act, until now.

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9 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Pluto's Republic's picture

...as a nation and a society without national health care.
And, while I would like to see the US physically devolve into the shithole dystopia that it really is — where horse-drawn Carts drive through America's neighborhoods every day and drivers call out: "Send out your dead!" — that's probably not going to happen. And that's too bad because we really should keep it real to educate the people.

Instead, to avoid the international publicity surrounding the Carts, Our Overlords will throw both health insurers and big pharma under the bus, and then pass universal healthcare — so they can keep their precious capitalism. The people will insist that Congress share the same health care system that they have. — This last bit is actually what's holding it up. For real.

@Pluto's Republic

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5 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Alligator Ed's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Our Overlords will throw both health insurers and big pharma under the bus, and then pass universal healthcare — so they can keep their precious capitalism.

This is exactly what FDR did to save capitalism during the Great Depression.

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4 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic Is that chart for Fiscal Year or calendar year? In 2018, Tulsi voted NO on the FY 2019 NDAA (HR 5515) - twice; once on initial passage, and once on the conference report. And I thought the 2020 NDAA hadn't been voted on yet.

In researching NDAA votes from when Tulsi was first elected, I found that she voted YES on the NDAA in 2015 (2014 was apparently such a consensus vote that they did a voice vote), but nowhere else.

Bernie always voted NO, although he did vote YES some times during the years Biden was in the Senate. BTW, Biden always voted YES.

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4 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic to devote the entire streamlined defense budget to the F-35?

Don't ask because he won't tell.

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3 users have voted.

California's MediCal system robs poor seniors of their last asset, their home. Gee, California is steeped in homelessness, what a coinky-dink.

The US government still does not have the technological capability to implement M4A on a national scale anyway, the system will crash on the first day and every day thereafter. Just look at how the ACA fucked up digitizing of health records. No privacy, NO SECURITY, duh. Who was regulating the shitty web contractors? NOBODY, it seems. Medicare is now a twisty maze of alphabetic insurance barf. Medicare Part Z why not. The proposed legislation will not get rid of the fraudsters, it will attract them like flies on shit. Legal bribery still exists, that's the system.

Today I read about City of SF investing in finding old underground creeks and stuff, running through the sewer systems because of course. The money goes to the profit seeking industries and their sold-out union lobbyist partners. Nurses are for nurses, it's not called the National Patient's Union, embrace the suck. Democrats are saving the environment for their upper class friends, not for lowly poor immigrants, or the coming wave of seniors who have no savings, thanks Obama.

But mentally healthy people must retain a positive attitude unless they fall into suicidal depression.

So just go on and make up any old story to fit the dopamine fed narrative? No thanks. Phony futures are not stopping anyone from committing suicide in Sonoma County anyway. Shit is real now, it is a Destination Point for those who'd like to end it in the ocean I guess. Cheap shitty insurance for all is not going to help citizens here, the same crooks will skim the profits elsewhere. get real

And the mental health system hasn't already collapsed? That must be why I see psychotic homeless people on the river path daily. Poor Always Talking Man has been off his rocker with nowhere to go. I saw my future visiting the subsidized senior warehousing facility nearby. They gifted me pounds of "free food", omg it made me so sick I couldn't eat it. The famous "bleached chicken", frozen in family-sized shatter packs, the sulfate laden dates, the stale white sourdough, the expired bag of white pita bread, the salt laden cans of tomato sauce. I kept the wheat pasta, and ate the cucumber. The rest of it made me sick, how do people live on it? I don't know. If I ate food like that all the time, I'd have to go to the doctor too. Huh, another coinky-dink. OIC lol ~shrug~

PEACE

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9 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@eyo Since I am a California doctor, you can visit me, where, for a reasonable fee, I can solve all of your health problems, with one hand tied behind my back. s/

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3 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed
can solve all of my health problems ... I do not find it reassuring.

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5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd such a deal! He's not even charging 25 cents for that service, the system digests those costs internally. lol
edit: oops, too much presumptive liberty, maybe Al Ed charges more than a quarter for a stop and drop appointment. His dental bill must be yuge with all those rows of teeth. worth it

peace & love
thanks a lot

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3 users have voted.

I do have a couple of points to add.

1. There are at least two potential sources of funding for needed domestic spending. In addition to the much needed wind-down of overseas military commitments, there is also the Verboten on the left, probably because donors won't allow mention, possibility of raising revenue with a tax on financial transactions. Almost everyone is capable of understanding the concept of a sales tax; most of us do have to pay them for our purchases.

2. Support for the military establishment also comes from the large ecology of salary earning apparatchiks who hope for or have prestigious overseas job assignments, in business, govt. or NGOs, and who tend to believe that their personal safety requires the protection of the US military. These folks do vote, and do understand very well that reduction of Defense, so-called, spending will severely shrink their job prospects.

3. In almost every American town and neighborhood, ins. companies especially are a source of nice, clean, well-paid and prestigious office jobs. Ins. companies have been at pains to recruit from non-
WASP communities for two reasons. One is so they can sell their products in those communities; the other is to gain the political support of those communities.

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4 users have voted.

Nastarana

@Nastarana Especially high-speed trading. How about a 5% tax on all transactions in which the asset is retained for less than 5 minutes?

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4 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@tle

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7 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@Nastarana Your comments 1 and 2 are especially appropriate. They should be used as secondary discussion points to support the nexus of M4A and MIC spending.

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2 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

promises and we got Obamacare. Imo, no way will we get anything close to what we need out of this duopoly political system, no matter who is president. I would have thought Obama proved that beyond a doubt, but here we are.
The only way we're going to get a truly nationalized, non-profit, equal health care system for all is if enough people rise up and demand direct democracy in this country.
I'm certainly not going to count on the democratic party for such an important issue for my grandkids and kids.

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5 users have voted.

Congress is given the power to print money out of thin air. It can pay for any damn thing it wants and could pay off the federal debt tomorrow. It can't go bankrupt because it can print money to pay for any damn thing it needs to. It just doesn't because the banks captured the government a long time ago and prevent the government from printing money as the Constitution allows. Banks want to print the money out of thin air and they do.

It amazes me how the people never get a clue about this simple fact.

Do the banks want wars? Hell yes. All wars are bankers wars.

So until the government takes the money power from the banks as it has half-ass done on a few occasions to preserve itself (Lincoln's greenbacks the most notable example that preserved the Union), we will continue to get wars and continue to be told that the government can't afford XYZ, whatever XYZ happens to be at the time.

The good news is that the EU is falling apart, the Euro will probably collapse, and some European nations are already trying to take their countries back from the banks. And if the banks of Europe collapse, maybe ours will to, and our government can get the money power back.

Getting the money power in the hands of the government may be the only way we ever get M4A. Otherwise we will always hear the canard that we can't afford it.

When you are blaming wars as the reason we can't have good stuff, you are sniffing in the right spot. You just need to dig one layer deeper to why the wars never stop. Nothing makes a banker more happy than war debt.

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6 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@davidgmillsatty Your comments are right on target. What we need, in part, is to get rid of the Fed. Put the power of money creation back into the Treasury Department. At least then it would putatively be under civilian control. Of course that doesn't mean such a move will benefit us lower level creatures.

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@Alligator Ed Not to be nit picky, but there are two kinds of fiat currency, and they should not be confused with each other. Fiat just means order of the government. So the government can order that banknotes (like our federal reserve notes) or bank coins can be currency; or it can order that government coins, government notes or government bills of credit be currency. Both methods are considered fiat currency.

We currently have both types, as our coins are government issued (comprising way less than one-percent of the money supply, with a clamor to get rid of even them) and we have federal reserve bank notes (that comprise the remainder of the money supply).

At present we have no government notes or government bills of credit as fiat currency. If the government issued bills of credit as currency (like Lincoln's greenbacks were), it could order the populace to accept the bills of credit as payment for any federal or state debt. The banks hated it when Lincoln did it. Some people even claim that Lincoln was assassinated for it.

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3 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@davidgmillsatty My epidermis, being thick and scaly, is not susceptible to nits--but very susceptible to a certain type of rat, a demonrat to be precise, getting under it, causing me to go crazy (a bridge not very far). We should be talking about fiat Russians, which can be minted by the Demonrats with great alacrity but little judgement.

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1 user has voted.

@Alligator Ed Many people claim that printing money causes inflation. It happens far more often when the fiat money is bank notes than it happens when the fiat money is actual sovereign currency. When a sovereign prints and spends money into the economy for things like roads, bridges, schools, health care and the defense and welfare of the people, it is seldom inflationary because the government is actually getting something of value for its money. That does not happen when the banks print money. They are very often guilty of creating inflation because they only care about making interest on the money.

So when people claim that printing money causes inflation, you have to ask what kind of fiat money system they are talking about. It is generally true when the banks and generally not true when a true sovereign government does it.

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@davidgmillsatty When the government prints money and spends it into the economy it does not have to tax or borrow to do it. And so lawmakers and citizens can't complain about taxes or about government debt. So the argument of we can't afford it is total bullshit.

Thought experiment. Think of a coin. Does the government tax to mint it? Does the government borrow to mint it? Do people complain about taxes or debt when the government mints coins? The government could mint a trillion dollar coin and it would not have to tax or borrow to do it. In fact one of the leading figures of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT for short, which advocates the sovereign issuance of money) proposed just that to make a point.

Major economists didn't get it. They don't get the idea of the government printing money any more than health insurance execs get the idea of M4A. They don't get it because they don't want to.

Interestingly, Bernie Sanders' economics consultant in 2016 was Stephanie Kelton, a noted MMTer.

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@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty
point me to one single "major economist" who literally "doesn't get" the MMT argument. everybody with 12 credits of economics can understand the argument. not everybody agrees with:
A. The semantics of the argument
B. The accounting principles of the argument
C. The rather dramatic and untestable hypotheses regarding the potential inflationary character of such policies.
... and a few other things as well.

Mainly, when people, whether sophisticated or unsophisticated, wonder "how we can afford" programs, they aren't wondering about where we will get the tokens (digital or printed on paper) with which to facilitate the necessary exchanges of financial wherewithal. What they're wondering is, who in the end will be on the hook for providing the goods and services that will serve the financial tokens that have been handed over to individuals and corporations as compensation for whatever work the government is paying them to do.

What amazes me is that MMT'rs are always running around telling the rest of that we don't understand, when somehow they remain oblivious to the reality of tokenized finance, which is that those tokens command economic capacity. If the government prints a dollar bill and hands it to somebody, every one of the rest of is on the hook for providing 1/300,000,000th of a dollar in compensatory goods and services to the person holding on to that bill. It is trivial to demonstrate the inevitable inflationary effect of this in the extreme case, whereas it is for all practical purposes impossible to demonstrate a priori that any particular level of unbalanced release of currency is "safe" with respect to the stability of the currency.

And finally, it is disingenuous for anyone proposing the MMT "Just print the money we need" approach to suggest that taxation will be unnecessary. Taxation absolutely will be necessary, or there absolutely will be uncontrolled inflation. The fact that the taxation happens "after the fact" of releasing the currency into circulation is invisible to the people who, having received that currency in compensation for their work or their ownership of some concern, now see it being confiscated by the government. J O'Nazareth's imperative notwithstanding, they will resist tooth and nail the rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Alligator Ed's picture

@UntimelyRippd

The fact that the taxation happens "after the fact" of releasing the currency into circulation is invisible to the people who, having received that currency in compensation for their work or their ownership of some concern, now see it being confiscated by the government.

Alas, I remain ignorant of whether to keep my money under the mattress or invest in the stock market. Help!

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1 user has voted.

@Alligator Ed
the markets are not rational. this makes it impossible for me to think clearly about them. so i don't think about them at all.

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Alligator Ed's picture

@UntimelyRippd The best place at a market is behind the vendors's displays where the leftovers are thrown. Go there and never be in want. It's Alligatornomics. We don't follow the money, we follow the food. The rest is just window dressing (balsamic, please).

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2 users have voted.

@UntimelyRippd Is that money is not always debt. Money can be issued as a credit as coins are and as bills of credit are and this changes the entire paradigm. This is my (a lawyer's problem ) with basic economics. The founding fathers were absolutely clear that the minting of coins was something only the federal government could do and coins are not debt instruments. And the Supreme Court has made it clear that the federal government can issue bills of credit and they are the paper equivalent of coins and are also credit instruments. Thomas Jefferson and many other founders hated the fact that the Constitution allowed the federal government to borrow, as the banks wanted and their supporters wanted.

Regardless of what the Constitution says and what the Supreme Court has said, economists of all kinds have pushed the notion that money is a debt and have propagandized this to the nth degree. And is just legally wrong.

My problem with MMT is that all of their arguments are flawed when they conclude that all money is debt. They are right that the federal government can not go bankrupt and that it doesn't need to budget like a household. But that is because the federal government can print money as a credit. When you operate from the point of view that money is a debt you will always face the argument that the government can't afford this debt, and austerity arguments win. And they will win no matter how many times you argue the government is not like a household and can not go bankrupt. People will only believe this when the government has no debt.

Coins are not debt and it is an easy legal analysis. Who is the debtor? It is not the federal government and it is not the holder of the coin. Same goes for bills of credit like Lincoln's greenbacks.

When you issue money as credit and not a debt, and people begin to understand that the government can indeed issue money without going into debt it will be a paradigm change. People would not be able to complain about government debt or that we can't afford whatever the government wants to do.

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1 user has voted.

@davidgmillsatty
about this that I do not, you left the rails of reality, obviating the need for any further response from me. Nonetheless, I'll leave you with this: You are wrong. Money is debt. That is everything and all that it is. Every bank note and every bank balance is a "We owe you" from all of us to whomever holds the note or owns the balance. Money is debt. Say otherwise, it will not change the truth of this. There is no arguing your way around it, nothing even approaching a clever sophistry that somehow can undermine this simple fact, that Money is just a formal and fungible declaration of indebtedness. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else. And every time henceforth that you assert otherwise, you will be asserting a nonsense, a nonsense that has been exposed to you, to no particular benefit other than it made me feel slightly better to flash out a small bit of truth to a small audience, on a morning otherwise philosophically indistinguishable from all the other desperate mornings of my life. Now, at least, I will know that I tried, however vainly, to enlighten someone who might have profited from being enlightened. It's a poor substitute for sex and love, but it's all I've got left.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd This is absolutely wrong in every legal sense I know of. That analysis would not last a minute in court. See my explanation below. The Constitution of the United States clearly says otherwise. The Supreme Court of the United States has clearly said otherwise. Why do economists think that they have the right to define these terms as they see fit.

Sometimes their analysis is so bad that they should spend some time in jail to think about they harm they cause with their disingenuous interpretation of language. And arguing that money can only be debt is one of them.

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1 user has voted.

@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty
NOW I understand the difficulty ... you (being a lawyer) are under the mistaken impression that the highly constrained definitions employed as technical terms of art within your own professional milieu have something to do with anything outside of that milieu.

Well, they don't. "Debt" and "Credit" are terms having functional application when discussing economic behavior, entirely apart from your "laws". Your laws, after all, are arbitrary inventions of any and every individual jurisdiction, whereas the matter at hand regards the universal function of money.

You have made an epistemological error so large and rich and remarkable that it is gaspworthy. It is as if a mathematician decided to have an argument with me about whether a narrative can have imaginary roots, and he patiently explains to me that "imaginary roots" only exist for polynomials having specific characteristics.

Goodness, me. No, no, I will not disagree with you anymore. What is the point? We are comparing apples and carburetors. Mind you, since I'm the one discussing carburetors, and the subject is efficient and effective burning of fuel in internal combustion engines, I think I've got the upper hand, but go your merry way, I will not tarry me no longer, nor delay your journey further.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@davidgmillsatty
are the legalists, who consider it a point of pride to be able to twist and torture words into whatever meaning suits their "ethical" obligation to pursue their clients' interests to the furthest extremes. Beginning with their interpretation of the word "ethical", as they suppose it to apply to their professional activities.

Good lord, to be chided by a lawyer on the matter of language. Do me a favor. Go read up on Wittgenstein. Then go read up on computer science and programming, and the nature of symbolic representation. Then spend some time introspecting on what you've learned, and how violently the art you currently practice violates every good principle of language, symbolic representation, reason, and defensible epistemology. And when you are done -- five or six years, if you're going to do the job right -- feel free to come back and talk to me about whatever insights you've gleaned.

None of which is meant to imply that the practice of law isn't a worthwhile endeavour, but only to say that it is the exact opposite of a suitable preparation for epistemological pursuits outside of the jurisprudential domain.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd None of what you say means a damn in court. So who decides who is right, the legal system or is the economic system above the law?

Are economists now elevated above the Supreme Court of the US? Is that the way it works. Or maybe economists are above and beyond the reach of all governments.

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2 users have voted.

@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty
on the matter. You think we are talking about contract law. We are not. We are talking about how money functions. As a fungible instrument of particular and individualized credit, any banknote -- say, a dollar bill -- functions equally as a fungible instrument of aggregate debt: Of an aggregate, dispersed, diffused obligation to provide goods and services so as to redeem that note. That the debt is not assigned in a contract to any individual does not matter -- we are not talking about a legal contract, we are talking about a system of exchange in which every dollar must, as a matter of practical necessity, command the same aggregate indebtedness as every other dollar, or the money will lose its functionality: The purpose of the money is signify a claim on the goods and services that are output by the economy.

Jesus save me.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd
we are not talking about contract law. We are talking Constitutional law. And economists just decided years ago that the Constitution doesn't matter.

We are talking about a system put in place by our Constitution. So we either have a system the Constitution put in place or we have a usurping system.

So since 1913 we have had this system in place, which is a usurper system, that creates vast inequality, and frustrates democracy. And it takes the power to create money out of the hands of the government and puts it in the hands of the banks.

And when you defend this usurping system as you have done so vigorously, then it begs the question why are you on a board like this one?

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1 user has voted.

@davidgmillsatty

The Congress shall have Power To...coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin....
Article I, Section 8, Clause 5

"Pointing to the crisis occasioned by the Civil War, Knox v. Lee (1871),upheld the power to declare paper money to be legal tender. In Julliard v. Greenman (1884), the Supreme Court extended Knox, upholding the validity of legal tender laws during peacetime. The Court held that the federal government's monetary power was inherent in its sovereignty; thus it need not be enumerated in the Constitution."

https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/1/essays/42/coinage-cl...

When you take away any sovereign government's money power, you take away its ability to maintain its sovereignty. And this is what has happened in Europe with the EU and the Euro. That is why the PIIGS are in such trouble. That is why we have Brexit. And that is why the EU is doomed to failure.

It is also why we are now being more and more unable to compete with China, whose government can spend whatever it wants to upgrade its infrastructure, its military, and the welfare of its people.

The infrastructure that China is putting up puts us to shame. China has control of its money power. And we don't.

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1 user has voted.

@davidgmillsatty
do you not realize yet? is it possible that you never will? you have seriously, seriously embarrassed yourself. I mean, 30 minutes ago, I was drinking whisky, missing a woman, and reflecting with some misgiving on the fact that I had, without intending it, actually humiliated you. yet here you are again, growling like a terrier with a chew toy, further disturbing my quiet Sunday sulking despair. you've been debating -- and obviously not just with me -- this particular point, presumably for some time now, from a perspective that has no meaning within the matter. you're wondering where economists get the nerve and the justification to ignore The Constitution and The Supreme Court, as if the conversation had anything at all to do with either. It does not. The language of economists is not the language of constitutions or supreme courts. (It was not for nothing that I referred you to Wittgenstein, who understood these things better than ... well, better than anyone, insofar as he was never willing to admit that anyone else fully understood what he was trying to say.)

It's like you've invented a particularly idiosyncratic version of the anthropocentric fallacy -- the "American Jurisprudocentric Fallacy". Nothing that economists have to say about money requires there to have ever been a United States of America, nevermind any ruling by the SCOTUS with respect to anything that the US Constitution might have to say about credit or debt or the right to issue currency or anything else at all. Money was what money is long before there was a USA, and it will most likely continue to be so, long after there no longer is a USA.

Economists do not speak to legal questions about who must pay, or should pay, or shall pay, or who specifically might owe what to whom, or who might be imagined to be absolved of any such debts. Normally, they do not speak to the question of what the US Constitution allows or forbids -- though you can of course imagine any member of the class of economists enjoying the opportunity to testify before Congress or the Court about what that individual imagines to be some truth, but is probably just a matter of some scholastic dogma.

They do speak of the practical implications of laws or cultural conventions that might be found, or proposed, here or there or anywhere. Many of them, blinkered by their dogma and their own socioeconomic interests, make the mistake of confusing their ideology and (usually indefensible) moral codes with some sort of scientific TRVTH; but that error should not itself be mistaken for a broken understanding of the difference between what a government can do versus what a government should do. Economists are all about debating, usually in practical terms, sometimes in moral terms, the "should"; they rarely concern themselves with the "can", as they mostly agree on what governments "can" theoretically do, as far as first-order policy implementations go. No economist I've seen doubts that the US government "can" mint a trillion-dollar coin, as a matter of economic theory. (There might be some who, fancying themselves knowledgeable of the law, might pipe up on the legal debate -- but if so, they are not arguing as economists.) Most economists who've commented anywhere that I've come across it, argue that this would not be wise -- that its negative consequences would outweigh its positive consequences. Maybe they're right about that, and maybe they're wrong -- but that is the only question to be entertained -- and in the context of that argument, nothing that the world of US law or Chinese law or ancient Assyrian law has to say about debt or credit or fiat currency changes the reality that minting such a coin, and thus creating a trillion-dollar credit on the books of the government, creates an offsetting practical, functional, non-contractual, effective aggregate debt throughout all the realms that care to entertain the dollar as a unit of economic exchange.

ugh.
ughitty ugh ugh.
my weariness amazes me.
so much written, to so little effect.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd As usual what you say is the tired old economic jibberish. Economists obviously do not care what damage they do to a sovereign state. This exchange has been enlightening for me to hear from someone like you. Because most economists will not engage me on the issue of sovereign money power. It is an eyeopener for me and if you represent the economic mainstream, unfortunately, for me it lets me know there is not much hope for the USA, we are doomed to a new World Order government and there is not much we can do short of a violent revolution. I worry for my kids and grandkids.

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1 user has voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

@davidgmillsatty Dear gentles, you two are going at it hammer and tongs. This debate has left me more confused than I was already. Is some one contending that the quarter in my pocket is my debt? Or maybe it's the government debt? Or exactly what do you two mean by your swirling debate on the power of the purse? As far as Wittgenstein, I read Ludwig and find his prose to be near impenetrable--but that's by the bye. I also had trouble with Kant. But I do agree with Kant's "categorical imperative", i.e., on this site please do not demean each other with personal attacks. As they say in the City, take to the alley and then duke it out. In the mean time my overcrowded reptilian brain cannot fathom the differences between you except that the law says one thing and "economists" say another.

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0 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed The law says one thing and economists say something else. Probably why lawyers and economists don't agree on much. This long standing feud probably goes back a couple hundred years at least.

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1 user has voted.

@Alligator Ed Maybe we don't get along because economists are like clerics. When lawyers tell them they are breaking the law, they retort by telling their accusers they take their instructions from a higher authority.

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1 user has voted.

@davidgmillsatty

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd Insults don't get you very far.

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@davidgmillsatty
Elaborately, and at considerable investment of time. You dismissed it as gibberish.

Except it wasn't gibberish at all. Not at all. 'Cause guess what? My English skills and reasoning skill are superior to yours. You just preferred to not understand it -- since understanding it would have required you to abandon a position to which you've clearly become very sentimentally attached.

Anyway, to avoid coming to terms with my argument, you just moved goalposts and changed the subject and cobbled together one or two strawmen and did all the sorts of things that the kind of lawyers who give other lawyers a bad name do when their argument has collapsed in a smoking ruin. I've no interest in arguing further with you. You're wrong, you'll always be wrong, and you're never going to get even a glimpse of how and why you're wrong.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd Know a debt from a credit and then says all money is debt per the highest authorities of economics? It is patently absurd statement to say that all money is debt when it is clearly not. I explained the difference already between debt and credit and this time I will add another point for you to ponder that makes it even clearer that all money is not debt.

Say you have a coin that is one ounce of silver. It would probably be accepted as money all over the world, once it is established that it is in fact silver. How on earth is this coin a debt? Who is indebted to whom? Is the holder of the coin indebted to someone? Is the receiver of the coin a debtor? No and no.

If you claim otherwise, you are just talking gibberish. Can you do any analysis of this situation? I have asked you repeatedly to refute my claim that all money is not debt. You simply can not do it. And apparently all of modern economics rests on this false assumption that all money is debt, making the rest of economic theory highly dubious.

And as for intellectual capacity, I could care less how smart you think you are.

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@davidgmillsatty
You simply do not know what you are talking about. Not even a little. You're completely out of your knowledge domain. It baffles me that you do not realize this, but whatever. It's like talking to a guy about how fast a Corvette can go, and he keeps saying that it can't go faster than 80, because that's the speed limit.

Now go away and leave me alone.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd - let us know. But, my advice to you would be that you probably should not be drafting promissory notes any time soon.

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@davidgmillsatty

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Alligator Ed's picture

@davidgmillsatty I have appreciated your advice on things monetary in the past. I love your following explanation:

When a sovereign prints and spends money into the economy for things like roads, bridges, schools, health care and the defense and welfare of the people, it is seldom inflationary because the government is actually getting something of value for its money. That does not happen when the banks print money. They are very often guilty of creating inflation because they only care about making interest on the money.

This a helluva lot clearer than Alan Greenspan would ever make it. But he has to go home to Andrea Mitchell--joy!

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@Alligator Ed That is probably why Alan Grenspan was crazy.

Even though I think MMT is the best economic theory going, the proponents are still wedded to this notion that money is debt. I just read that tenet (almost as if it is an article of faith) on the blog New Economic Perspectives, which is written by prominent MMTers.

But my question would be: "Is a quarter (25 cents) a debt? If so who is the debtor? The simple answer is no it is not debt. It is actually a credit. The holder has twenty five cents worth of credit with the US treasury, (not the Fed). Lincoln's bills of credit (the original greenbacks) also gave the holder credit with the US treasury.

As long as economists are wedded to the notion that money can only be debt, and never a credit, we will face the prospect of taxes and debt and the argument that the government can't afford XYZ. But the US treasury can issue bills of credit till the cows come home. It can issue tax credits till the cows come home and in essence that is what a quarter is -- a tax credit and bill of credit has the same effect.

Economists just make lawyers want to pull their hair out at times. And our founding fathers got this concept so right and modern economists have it so wrong.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@davidgmillsatty Now how will this information help me decide whether or not to continue hiding money under my mattress or invest in the stock market?

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@davidgmillsatty
concept that money is debt. You've only said that it isn't.

The problem, of course, is that it is debt. That is precisely what it is, and in fact, that is everything and only what it is. I cannot fathom how you imagine yourself (or anyone else) to have constructed some sort of definition of either "money" or "debt" that somehow dances the two of them away from each other.

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0 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@UntimelyRippd

because we believe what we're told. If this argument sounds circular, it probably is.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven @TheOtherMaven

up
1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@Alligator Ed

When a sovereign prints and spends money into the economy for things like roads, bridges, schools, health care and the defense and welfare of the people, it is seldom inflationary because the government is actually getting something of value for its money. That does not happen when the banks print money.

... is an article of faith, not a conclusion from scientific investigation.

There are a couple of different theoretical models of inflation. In the end, they share one characteristic: More money chasing the same output of productive resources. Roads are nice -- but they are inflationary, unless they improve productivity. Bridges are nice -- but they are inflationary, unless they improve productivity. Schools are nice -- but they are inflationary, unless they improve productivity.

Social security really is a Ponzi scheme, because the money being collected from workers today is not being used to create the productive infrastructure that will support them -- feed them, house them, doctor them, transport them, clothe them, medicate them -- when they are no longer producing anything. It is not being used to train caregivers, or build nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or train gerontologists, or blah de blah de blah. It is just being loaned out to the federal government, which will then spend it ruining other people's countries and spying on all of us. It matters what money gets spent on.

up
2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Alligator Ed's picture

@UntimelyRippd I thank you for again an excellent analysis. For myself, financial knowledge represents knowing how many cracks at the piggy bank before it breaks. But, what the hey! When economies expand without increased productivity, a drop in the standard of living must occur. What is the effect of this drop--inflation or deflation? Inquiring minds want to know. Help please.

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@Alligator Ed
is almost definitively inflationary is defense spending, which was one of the items in that government laundry list that is supposed to be non-inflationary because "the government gets something for their money." that's a very, very strange thing to say. if the government issues itself 500,000,000,000 worth of bank credit, and then transfers that credit to various contractors who build ships and airplanes and tanks, then those government dollars are bidding for all of the resources involved in that production -- labor, metals, energy, etc. -- on the open markets against you and me, or at least, against the companies who produce the things that you and i want to buy. LOTS more dollars chasing the same resources. this can hardly fail to be inflationary, and in fact, AFAIK defense spending always has been, everywhere, in all the history of the world, whether in a fiat-currency economy or a hard-metal economy.

up
3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

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