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Friday, June 19, 2009

Now the Really Smart Criminals Want to Take Over Healthcare

Fortunately for law-abiding citizens, dumb criminals eventually end up in jail. But these are no ordinary criminals. The banditos I'm talking about are the smartest desperados ever to brandish a filibuster. I refer to them as "really, really smart criminals (RRSCs)." RRSCs don't waste time on petty theft. They head straight for political power where they can pickpocket the American people—legally. RRSCs embezzle their constituents by legalizing their crimes before they commit them. No longer is “organized crime” at odds with Government; they are bedfellows!

With the same recklessness that a crack addict pursues a fix, RRSCs will destroy anything that gets between them and their lust for power. For the time being anyway, a bunch of these power junkies have managed to gain a majority in the highest political assemblies in the Land. As we have seen at an alarming pace since the 2008 presidential election, RRSCs and political power make a volatile mixture. Unfortunately for true patriots, America's RRSCs are using the US Constitution as kindling for their national version of "Bonfire of the Vanities" and our liberties are going up in smoke. Next up for the pyre? The finest healthcare system in the world—ever.

Using the same technique they employed to defuse suspicion over the "Porkulus Bill” by calling it the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” RRSCs are again flawlessly executing the "Give Your Bill A Name That Jukes Your Constituents" strategy spelled out in the "Really, Really Smart Criminals Handbook (RRSCH),” as they “grease the skids” for their next legislative caper by calling the "Now Your Representatives Are Going to Destroy US Healthcare” bill the "Affordable Health Choices Act.” These guys are good—really good. I'd feel less violated by a thief pointing a gun at my head than I do when my representatives steal my wealth and liberty under false pretenses. At least the guy with the gun is being honest.

To those who are clamouring for Government-sponsored health care reform, I would suggest an honest review of Federal Government performance with other major federal social programs such as, Social Security, Welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, and the federal income tax:

Social Security: In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, the original tax rate was 2%, 1% for employers, 1% for employees, on the first $3,000 of wages earned. Since its inception, the Social Security tax rate has climbed to 15.3%, 7.65% for employers, 7.65% for employees, on the first $102,000 of wages earned. Social Security is expected to be insolvent in about ten years.

Welfare: Before Welfare, the “poorest of the poor” in America received aid from private individuals and organizations such as churches, and small state-based programs. In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the “Aid for Dependant Children (AFDC)” bill into law. This initial “welfare” bill provided $18/month for one child and $12 for each additional child. According to Michael Tanner in, The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society (August 2003),

“… Welfare may have started with the best of intentions, but it has clearly failed. It has failed to meet its stated goal of reducing poverty. But its real failure is even more disastrous. Welfare has torn apart the social fabric of our society. Everyone is worse off. The taxpayers must foot the bill for programs that don’t work. The poor are dehumanized, seduced into a system from which it is very hard to escape. Teenage girls give birth to children they will never be able to support. The work ethic has eroded. Crime rates soar. Such is the legacy of welfare.”
Tanner is a Sr. Fellow and Policy Scholar at the Cato Institute and leads research into a variety of domestic policies with an emphasis on health care reform, social welfare policy, and Social Security.

Medicare and Medicaid: In 1945, President Harry Truman asked Congress for legislation establishing a national health insurance plan. Contentious debate ensued with opponents warning of “socialized medicine.” By the end of his administration, Truman had abandoned his plan for universal health coverage. On July 30, 1965, however, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law pursuant to his vision for a “Great Society.” In 1966, 19 million people enrolled in Medicare and 4 million in Medicaid with combined federal outlays for both programs of $4.4 billion in 1967. Today, 43 million people are enrolled in Medicare and 51 million in Medicaid with combined federal outlays for both programs totaling $514 billion, 21% of the federal budget. Doctors facing the prospect of already below-cost Medicare payments being further reduced, are reluctant to participate or are abandoning federal health insurance programs altogether.

Federal Income Tax: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1862 into law to help fund the American Civil War. The act also established the Commissioner of the Revenue and specified that the Federal income tax was a temporary measure that would terminate in "the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six.” Annual incomes above $600 were taxed at a rate of 3%. Incomes over $10,000 were taxed at a rate of 5%. Employers were required to withhold taxes and send the withheld funds to the Commissioner of the Revenue. Tax revenues reached a new high in 1866, totaling $310 million. By 2007, total tax revenues as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had mushroomed to 28.3%. The amounts working Americans pay in taxes each year have reached obscene levels. We’ve come a long way since “the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six” when the “temporary” Federal income tax was supposed to end.

It would take much less time to write or read about every successful Federal social program because the page would be blank. Given its track record, what would possess the American people to turn the best healthcare system in the world over to an organization that has mismanaged every social program it has ever supervised? If we, the American electorate, allow our Federal Government to seize control of our healthcare system, then we have become the proverbial abused woman who, believing her man’s assurances that “it will never happen again,” goes back for more.

In behavior that suggests self-loathing taken to a new low, Americans are about to turn the best healthcare system ever over to a bunch of really, really smart criminals who have proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they are not up to the task. Have we lost our collective mind?!! If we do this, we prove our own stupidity and deserve the abuse we will get.

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