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prfsr

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #80 on: September 27, 2008, 06:45:43 PM »

SInce the venerable old mod  ;D lamented "no one wants to think through issues, no one wants to listen (let alone understand) to each other, .." I will invite him or anyone else to discuss the McCain economic plan. I have read the 15 pages linked to in a previous post in this thread. I am happy to read any other link posted. What else can I do to understand the opposite point of view? (No I will not enrol in UChicago Economics --- sorry!)
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ramshorns

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #81 on: September 27, 2008, 09:41:58 PM »

Lot of fascinating talk going on here.  Who actually on this DG can have a say in this? Meaning vote on Nov 4th.  I know the following can.  But anyone else????

Rams, WN, SSL, Ruchir, CP.

I am sure of Kban and CLR.  Anyone else????

I lament Ruchir and CP being on the voter list since they vote republican unless CP wants to vote for the Senator from Illinois a place he resides in. :)
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prfsr

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #82 on: September 27, 2008, 10:20:20 PM »

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prfsr

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2008, 11:25:36 PM »

I am sceptical of both health plans because ANY health plan is going to be expensive. This person concurs

http://www.newsweek.com/id/161203

Got Insurance?
Why the candidates' plans might not deliver on universal health coverage

By Mary Carmichael | NEWSWEEK
Published Sep 27, 2008


Barack Obama and John McCain have put forth radical—and radically different—proposals to change the way Americans do, or don't, get health insurance. Is it really possible to make sure everyone's covered? Are the candidates even trying for that? And what lessons can we learn from Massachusetts, which has embarked on its own experiment with universal health care? NEWSWEEK's Mary Carmichael spoke with Katherine Swartz, a professor of health policy and economics at Harvard who studies insurance and recently published an in-depth analysis of the McCain plan:

CARMICHAEL: McCain wants to take away the tax break workers get on health insurance at their jobs, and instead give people who buy their own insurance $2,500 in tax credits. Families would get $5,000. What do you make of this idea?
SWARTZ: The positive part is that it would reduce favoritism in the tax system. If you're unemployed, or if you're with a small employer who doesn't provide health insurance, you don't get any special treatment [taxwise] on insurance now. The bad part is that the tax credit could make it harder for low-income people to get insured. In the current system, a lot of low-income people with jobs are getting insurance they could never afford on their own.

The credit is supposed to help.
But you have to purchase health insurance to get the tax credit, and low-income people still may not be able to do that. For a family, insurance premiums in the nongroup markets are typically above $700 a month, and that's with a deductible of at least $5,000. We're talking $8,400 a year in premium payments, but the tax credit is only for $5,000. You still have to pay $3,400, plus the deductible, before the insurance covers medical expenses. Also, the type of coverage on the individual market typically does not cover as many services as group policies. If you buy your own policy, when you get sick, you are going to pay more out of pocket.

Can you explain McCain ' s plan to help out people with previously existing conditions by expanding " high-risk pools " ?
We've had state-sponsored high-risk pools for several decades, but they cover fewer than 200,000 people. They were set up so insurance companies could essentially cede people who they predicted would have very high health-care costs. At one point McCain said he would subsidize high-risk pools with between $7 billion and $10 billion a year. That would cover maybe 3 million people, which is not much of a dent in the 47 million people without insurance now.

How many people would be insured under McCain ' s proposals, compared to today?
My colleagues and I have predicted that around 21 million people in the first year would lose access to health insurance because their employers would stop offering it. About 21 million higher-income people would take the tax credits and buy their own insurance. So it would be a wash in the first year. We worry that within five years, more employers would stop offering insurance, and we'd end up with more people uninsured than there are now.

Now let ' s look at Obama ' s plan. What exactly is an insurance exchange?
The one he's proposing looks a lot like the Health Connector we have in Massachusetts. It acts as a clearinghouse where people can buy insurance policies that are essentially given the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval by the state. In the Obama plan, there's a minimum set of benefits every plan has to offer, and if your income is below some threshold yet to be specified, you would get a subsidy. Small businesses could also use this exchange to provide health insurance. This has worked very well in Massachusetts.

And his national health plan?
It's basically one more choice offered in the exchange. It sets a floor for what kinds of services the other plans would have to offer. Here's where we have to start thinking about the total cost. If the national plan is quite generous in terms of services covered, the proposal's cost will be more than the campaign is estimating.

In Massachusetts, costs have already gotten out of control.
Costs are higher than expected, but that's partly because the original projections underestimated the number of uninsured people who were eligible for subsidies. It's also partly because health-care costs are rising—and that's the case everywhere.

Obama would also require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Wouldn ' t insurers raise premiums?
Yes, premiums may be higher. I think people need to consider the alternative—if patients are closed off from coverage, they still go to the ER, and we all pay for that.

Does the Obama plan actually provide universal coverage?
No. It requires that children be covered, but there's no mandate for other individuals. Some adults would continue to be uninsured—roughly 6 percent of the nonelderly, compared with 17 percent now, so many more people would have insurance than do now.

Obama ' s plan is very ambitious. How on earth can we pay for it?
Given the federal deficit, that's a problem for both plans. McCain's plan is not cheap either. I think it will be hard for either candidate to do much in the next few years.

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prfsr

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #84 on: September 28, 2008, 12:36:10 AM »

http://www.newsweek.com/id/161218/output/print

A Freddie Mac Money Trail Catches Up With McCain
Michael Isikoff and Holly Bailey

NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Oct 6, 2008


Few advisers in John McCain's inner circle inspire more loyalty from him than campaign manager Rick Davis. McCain and his wife, Cindy, credit the shrewd, and sometimes volatile, Republican insider with rescuing the campaign last year when it was out of money and on the verge of collapse. As a result, McCain has always defended him—even when faced with tough questions about the foreign lobbying clients of Davis's high-powered consulting firm. "Rick is a friend, and I trust him," McCain told NEWSWEEK last year.

Last week, though, McCain's trust in Davis was tested again amid disclosures that Freddie Mac, the troubled mortgage giant that was recently placed under federal conservatorship, paid his campaign manager's firm $15,000 a month between 2006 and August 2008. As the mortgage crisis has escalated, almost any association with Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae has become politically toxic. But the payments to Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, are especially problematic because he requested the consulting retainer in 2006—and then did barely any work for the fees, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement who asked not to be identified discussing Freddie Mac business. Aside from attending a few breakfasts and a political-action-committee meeting with Democratic strategist Paul Begala (another Freddie consultant), Davis did "zero" for the housing firm, one of the sources said. Freddie Mac also had no dealings with the lobbying firm beyond paying monthly invoices—but it agreed to the arrangement because of Davis's close relationship with McCain, the source said, which led top executives to conclude "you couldn't say no."

The McCain campaign told reporters the fees were irrelevant because Davis "separated from his consulting firm … in 2006," according to the campaign's Web site, and he stopped drawing a salary from it. In fact, however, when Davis joined the campaign in January 2007, he asked that his $20,000-a-month salary be paid directly to Davis Manafort, two sources who asked not to be identified discussing internal campaign business told NEWSWEEK. Federal campaign records show the McCain campaign paid Davis Manafort $90,000 through July 2007, when a cash crunch prompted Davis and other top campaign officials to forgo their salaries and work as volunteers. Separately, another entity created and partly owned by Davis—an Internet firm called 3eDC, whose address was the same office building as Davis Manafort's—received payments from the McCain campaign for Web services, collecting $971,860 through March 2008.

In an e-mail to NEWSWEEK, a senior McCain official said that when the campaign began last year, it signed a contract with Davis Manafort "in which we purchased all of [Davis's] time, and he agreed not to work for any other clients." The official also said that though Davis was an "investor" in 3eDC, Davis has received no salary from it. As to why Davis permitted the Freddie Mac payments to continue, the official referred NEWSWEEK to Davis Manafort, which did not respond to repeated phone calls. One senior McCain adviser said the entire flap could have been avoided if the campaign had resisted attacking Barack Obama for his ties to two former Fannie Mae executives, which prompted the media to take a second look at Davis. "It was stupid," the adviser said. "A serious miscalculation and an amateurish move." Still, this adviser said, McCain's faith in his campaign manager remains unswerving.

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kban1

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #85 on: September 28, 2008, 01:19:42 AM »

Quote
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Quote from: kban1 on Today at 10:19:02 AM
Now wait for WN to provide the list of 500 Wall Street and corporate CEO's backing McCain.   :P


aap bulaye aur hum na aaye.. aise to haalaat nahin!!

on cue

:notworthy:

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Markets rule prfsr, even the ones crumbling and in need of communist bailouts --  when will you learn that ?
 

YES.. and communism rules .. we all envy the prosperity in Cuba, N Korea


No, you missed the point. The point simply is people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw stones at others.

And this is not directed at you but the irrational fear of socialism that every common man in America has --as if socialism as an idea were the great evil -- 50 years of economic and military wars (yes the cold war), has been carried out --  predicated on the delberate and intentional conflation that equates communist govt with socialistic ideals. The reason I used deliberate was because politicians needed an idelogical adversary to justify what was essentially an opposition borne of the need of two powerful entities to rule the world.

if socialism were really that bad, then the market economies would not have any semblance of a mixed model diluting the "infallibility" of free markets. And if capitalism was really that bad, the communist countries would have stopped world trade a long time ago as well as abolished any market based mechanism in their respective economies.

The point I made was to drive home the futility of these labels that some of us love to associate, indoctrinated as we are with idealogical tripe rather than pragmatic comprehension.

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Great.. good to see that we have fallen to exactly what is wrong in the debating atmosphere and public conversation in this country .. first label each other based on either one's stated or perceived affiliations/leanings.. then associate them to the extreme of that side while taking the other extreme yourself.. then get into a "debate" by shouting at each other while finding all the material (print, audio, video - and there is plenty available these days) to support one's argument..

while doing all this - no one wants to think through issues, no one wants to listen (let alone understand) to each other, no one wants to solve the real problems. It is all about slogans and ideologies - Free markets are evil, Government is not the solution it is the problem...

The sad and most disturbing reality is that the current generation thinks that this is the real world and ironically, they are the least equipped/trained/skilled in discerning fact from fiction.

You watch either Fox or MSNBC, you read either Kos or Drudge, you follow either WSJ or NYT... and there is plenty out there to create one's own cocooned world that suits one's ideology. A world where all facts are opinions and everything can be spun to suit your perceptions and viewpoints .

God bless us all! 


Bauji

This is exactly what I said (read my explanation above), albeit in the form of a one line joke (admittedly at your expense). Sorry, my one line executive summary didnt make an impression.

I shall stick to my nuanced expositions going forward   ;D

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prfsr

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Re: 1st presidential debate.. discussion thread
« Reply #86 on: September 28, 2008, 12:00:16 PM »

Obama won very big among independents, says http://mediacurves.com/

All results are presented graphically - so cannot paste here.
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