Sunday, August 16, 2009

My letter to the president

(No, I don't expect an answer. The book I mention is the best book I have ever read on the issue; there is nothing about killing granny in it, if you were curious).

Dear Mr.President,

I'm a registered independent who is politically moderate. I am not interested in partisan bickering. I just want solutions that work. About a month ago, I heard you say, in response to that Republican Senator who said he wants to "break you," that this debate wasn't about you. You said that you have a great insurance. That got me thinking. About a year ago I read Healthcare Guaranteed by Ezekiel Emanuel, whom I believe is one of your advisers. Why can't we do what he suggests—give every American a voucher for the plan Congress and you have? Insurance companies would not be allowed to exclude people based on preexisting conditions.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Honesty" in taxes

A letter I submitted to the Wall Street Journal today in response to Charles Murray:

I agree with Charles Murray ("Tax Withholding is Bad for Democracy,August 13) that tax withholding should end. However, Murray he makes some very misleading claims to support his case. He states that the top 1% of taxpayers pay 40% of federal taxes and pay more in federal taxes than the bottom 95%. Here he is conflating income taxes with overall federal taxes, which include regressive payroll taxes. Both his claims are false. According to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, the top 1% pay 23% of all federal taxes. The bottom 80% of taxpayers pay 31% of the federal tax burden. It is ironic that Murray discusses the "urgent need to be honest" on the subject of taxes. ( end of letter).

Conservatives are constantly distorting the truth about health care reform. Now they are lying about taxes. I'm not surprised.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Keep the government off my government program!

From Harold Pollak of The New Republic:

I talked with one retired vet carrying a sign that read, “Drop dead, I’m not paying for your health care.” I asked what he meant by that. He said, simply, “I should not have to pay for your medical care.” I asked him if he applies that standard to Medicare. Yes he does. I asked if he therefore feels guilty using the program. “I use the VA.”

(Link is here).

Oh, you want my opinion? I think commentary is unnecessary. The quote speaks for itself.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

This is Change?

The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the old saying goes. Ambassadorships are still for sale as this story shows:

John Roos, nominee for the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, said Thursday he will work hard to solidify the "special bond" between the United States and Japan if his nomination is confirmed.

If approved by the Senate, Roos, 54, one of Obama's top fundraisers during his presidential campaign, will serve as point man for U.S. policy on Japan, a key Asian ally.

Roos is almost unknown among U.S. and Japanese officials and experts. As he has no diplomatic and security experience, some doubt has been raised about his qualifications at a time when North Korea's nuclear and missile threats are mounting. (Emphasis added).

Another disturbing point, courtesy of the Nation magazine: Roos speaks no Japanese.