H.R. 3962

Posted by Thomas Tue, 10 Nov 2009 11:56:01 +0000

SEC. 322. PREMIUMS AND FINANCING. – Why isn’t the government earning interest on this $2B, 10-yr loan for the public option? We did it for TARP, why not here?
Too bad that people don’t mention the tax deductions for certain people, businesses when they mention the tax increases.
Which leads me to wonder why you’d want to add a 2.5% tax on medical devices if one of your primary goals is to decrease healthcare cost. Not much has been said on the increased services (well, some) that this bill provides leading to the increase in taxes.
Interesting. This section contains a “NO BAILOUTS” provision.
I read that some other countries’ systems always pay out within 5 days. Would be nice if the government run shops did this as well.
Tax credit subsidies will cover only up to half of businesses’ premium costs, and the tax deductions run out after two years.
TODO: see how much funding is granted towards “INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS”
how much is the average currently paying for healthcare (e.g. via their employer)
The possible jail time is really only in reference to normal tax evasion standards enforced by the IRS.
H.R. 3962″ table; the trends at first glance don’t appear promising
good summary: http://www.ohioverticals.com/blogs/akron_law_cafe/2009/11/health-care-financing-reform-55-cbo-estimate-for-h-r-3962/
why tax individuals w/o healthcare?
where are the reductions in spending?
tax burden summary: http://www.lifeandhealthinsurancenews.com/News/2009/11/Pages/CBO-Combs-Through-HR-3962.aspx
TODO: draw a graph of per capita medicare spending over the last 10 years against the average in the US by private insurers, the average across the top 10 industrialized nations, and the average globally
TODO: draw a graph of the year over year percentage difference per capita between medicare, the US private insurers, the average across the top 10 industrialized nations, and the average globally

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

single payer health care

Posted by Thomas Fri, 14 Aug 2009 19:28:51 +0000

My open letter to both my senators and my congressman. I’ve never done this before, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

I believe that de-facto government run health care will fail to meet any of its desired goals. I believe it will:

* not curb health care costs
* increase my taxes
* create another significant and permanent drain on the economy
* create yet another lumbering bureaucracy, being impossible to rollback
* create unsustainable inefficiencies in the market ultimately decreasing health care choices

Please vote against a single payer plan.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

2009 Bradley Symposium

Posted by Thomas Fri, 03 Jul 2009 01:31:18 +0000

Well, well, well worth the two hours it takes to watch (transcript). It doesn’t completely lack politicking/punditry, but by far has the highest content, least politicking, and most articulate and eloquent commentary on how the Republican party has gotten into its current predicament and many more or less concrete steps to take to gain back market share.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

Depressing Statistics

Posted by Thomas Sun, 07 Jun 2009 19:16:42 +0000

I’ve been playing around with the thought of a website solely devoted to educating people via statistics, specifically simple stat-bites that people can remember. I wouldn’t want it to be an activism site, as I wouldn’t want this to be agenda based, but rather try to shed some light on specific problems in the world.

While watching C-SPAN this afternoon, in a subcommittee meeting a congressman said that we (the US) spend “more than 2.5 times more in health care compared to any other country in the world”1. I thought to myself, self, that’s depressing, so I went digging to find out if this was accurate or not. A cursory inspection of 1 and 2 leads me to believe he misspoke and that what he meant to say was that we spend 2.5 times the median. This would have been a prime example of pop up news where a little bubble pops up and says “what he meant to say was…”.

In other news, I was wondering the other night if there is a point at which the economy can no longer sustain the expansion of spending. I was thinking specifically of health care at the time. If you gave everyone in the US all of the health care they required, paid for by the rich, would the rich be able cover it all? I mean it basically what you want to do is have the least number of people have to pay taxes, and simultaneously you want them to all to have full health care, there has to be an equilibrium point at which you’ve increased the non-payers such that the money they require equals the amount of revenue generated by the rich.

Equally you have to expect that as this happens you reduce incentives to become rich. See exhibits A and B. I think we’ve already seen this with industry moving from California to Texas2. Just like Ireland, the companies will gravitate to the states with the least tax burden. Despite companies acting in direct fiduciary interest (as required by US law), some are seeking to close existing loopholes.

I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens. — Obama3

Wait, isn’t that self-contradictory? How can disallowing actions companies perceive to be in their own best interest keep companies competitive? Restricting US companies participating in the global economy makes them less competitive, not more. As much as I dislike Ballmer, he agrees. There’s got to be some serious game theory on this subject around here somewhere.

Posted in Depressing Statistics, Politics | Comments Off

Ponzi scheme

Posted by Thomas Mon, 26 Jan 2009 12:28:47 +0000

I didn’t watch what I can only imagine was 24 hour coverage of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, but I can imagine that everyone was absolutely livid about it. And to that, I can empathize. But social security is no different, and I think that people should be outraged just the same, yet they aren’t. What’s wrong with this picture?

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment


Posted by Thomas Thu, 30 Oct 2008 21:34:31 +0000

When did sacrifice for a cause greater than ourselves, once a supreme fundamental strength of these United States, fall to the wayside? When did we start thinking that the solutions to difficult problems would come easily, without pain and sacrifice?

You look at Reagan’s inaugural and Kennedy’s oratory, they do not say that it will be easy, but that these things must be done now and not later, that we must do them together, that we will do them together, that we will sacrifice as one, and that we will triumph as one.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz 2008

Posted by Thomas Mon, 07 Jan 2008 21:00:15 +0000

I wonder how accurate this is. If only they had a weighting for how good of a leader do you think they’ll be.

65% Bill Richardson
64% John McCain
60% Chris Dodd
60% Tom Tancredo
58% Mike Huckabee
57% Mitt Romney
56% Fred Thompson
55% Ron Paul
54% Barack Obama
54% John Edwards
53% Hillary Clinton
52% Joe Biden
45% Mike Gravel
44% Rudy Giuliani
39% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

Debate Prep

Posted by Thomas Tue, 27 Feb 2007 00:02:30 +0000

Mr/Mrs. Presidential Candidate:

What is the single greatest action the United States should do tomorrow to directly reduce the United States’ contribution to the global warming crisis?

If your foreign policy were to return the United States to a time when we were respected around the world, how do you propose to mend ties to our allies, to rebuild old bridges and build new ones, and to reach out at a time when our friends are few and far between?

I wonder would Al Gore take another shot at the Vice Presidency to further his global warming message? Surely the second highest office in the land would be the best place to further his cause…

Which is the greatest folly, that the electorate imposes the expectation that one person can solve all of the United States problems, or that all of the politicians’ opiate laden bullet points, detailing their nine-point plans, can save us all from impending doom?

Other major policy issues in the upcoming presidential race that I’m to lazy to postulate questions about:
privacy, war on drugs, healthcare, social security, education, war in iraq, foreign policy, energy policy, nuclear energy, terrorism, fear

And, to top it off, what we really need:
unification of the two halves of our country; a leader to unite the people, to bring a sense of nationalism back to the masses, a single common goal, worthy of a national charge, benefiting the United States and the world

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

Potential Presidential Sound Bites

Posted by Thomas Fri, 09 Feb 2007 23:20:46 +0000

This is the terrorism stance I would use if I were running for president:

“It’s time to chill the f*ck out. To quote some old dude, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. Enough said, next question.”

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

It has begun

Posted by Thomas Mon, 22 Jan 2007 02:12:00 +0000

I’ve felt of late that over the weekend I tend to post several short, disjointed posts, so I figured I’d save up and just post once this time.

Hilary and Barack and who knows who else have formed presidential exploratory committees.

“You pick the smartest, most capable, most honorable individual you can think of…”
— Leo McGarry

I think that sentiment will be driving my decision. A person who is honorable, trustworthy, dare I say patriotic, who would adhere to a more strict interpretation of the Constitution. Actually, I don’t think I can use patriot as a criteria. It has been twisted. I don’t mean it in its current connotation, but that connotation from the Colonial era. A statesman, a patriot, a federalist, a contitutionalist.

I finally just put 2 and 2 together. For the past day or so, I’ve noticed a severe slowness in the responsiveness of one of my shells in a screen session. I had also noticed in a “ps axf” that there was an ssh session open to wesley. Neither of these things were adding up. I just realized that most likely I had ssh’ed to wesley, then back again to argento. The reason for the slowness wasn’t due to high load or low memory, but simply network lag and overhead of going to Texas and back again. Oops…

I have spent a good deal of this weekend again working on the home network. I installed a new Xen image for my database machine, figured out that Samba can’t do straight Kerberos authentication (only with real AD :(), packaged Resin for Debian for real this time (yay! finally!), watched a bunch of Scrubs, watched a bunch of movies over again, got Azureus working headless on my new shell server (compute0), did some laundry, stayed up too late, got up too late, found out my internet connection can push 15Mbps+, setup cricket for snmp monitoring of all of my new machines, hmmm, that’s all I can think of right now…

I haven’t fixed the car door and it’s been too cold to ride or finish the table.

I’m out of photos now. Must take more.

Posted in General, Politics, Technology | Comments Off

There was a dream that was Rome

Posted by Thomas Sun, 31 Dec 2006 03:01:48 +0000

If you would have told me any number of years ago that I would be in favor of impeachment of a president, I wouldn’t have believed you. I no longer hold that President Bush is a steward of these many states and their people. I am of firm belief that he has in his own mind perverted and twisted his purpose and authority as Commander in Chief and is in fact subverting and eroding those freedoms and liberties he himself believes he is protecting.

I have recently read some of the surrounding commentary given by the founding fathers on the subject of the second amendment, in regard to the right to bear arms.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

I ran across a web page listing a dearth of quotes to the effect (as I perceived it) that the right was not granted out of the need for self defense by individuals or whatever tripe gun toter spout as legal grounds for their ability keep their weapons. I believe this right was granted as a guarantee of liberty. It was further proof that government is not to be trusted. The framers had just been screwed by their previous government and when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. This is the meaning. This is the reason. We are the government; We, the People. I believe our right of arms stems from this, that as a final and last resort, that the people would be equipped to take back what is rightfully theirs.

Things like this. Arguments given without context infuriate me. And these arguments of government seem very similar to many arguments of religion in my mind. The Bible is the written word of God. It is a Book, I dare say merely a book. What it represents is much greater than the sum of its many words. No one passage or phrase sums up its meaning. Yet so many arguments by ecclesiastical zealots hang solely upon one passage, one verse of Scripture. All too often the letter of the law becomes more important than its spirit. The Bible isn’t God, just as the passages together are not God. Only God is God. The Book exists to convey the concept, the proof that was and is, the relationship, the reasons.

I do not know if Bush should be impeached or not. For all my words here, I am not a lawyer. Perhaps he has lied to further his foreign policy agenda. I wouldn’t doubt that other Presidents have done the same. And other Presidents have undoubtedly ordered terrible things against their own people over these many years, but I doubt that any has done so with the brazen and blatant abandonment of personal freedoms and liberties as this President. Maybe I am wrong, but I hope that the Presidents before buckled to treason with more introspect than I believe this President has.

Give me liberty or give me death.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off