tigerarmy247 (Andrew Dufour)

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Kansas tax cutting model tarnished by sales tax increase

"Taxes matter, but so does responsible budgeting," said Joseph Henchman, a vice president at the Washington-based nonpartisan but conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. "You can't just cut taxes and keep your spending the way it is and expect some sort of magic to balance it."

This quote infuriates me. "Magic" is exactly what the Laffer curve promises. It claims that you slash taxes and grow revenue not by taxing more of the pie but rather by making the pie larger. Brownback promised a "shot of adrenaline" to the arm of the state. This quote effectively admits that the Laffer Curve is B.S. and the whole point behind cutting taxes is actually to cut spending not to grow revenue.

June 15, 2015 at 8:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

Polls of peoples feelings about the law are valid to an extent they put a pulse on the country and how the country feels about a law. However, there are other metrics by which we can measure the value of the law. And no I don't think Vox is a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration. If you think that I highly doubt that you've spent a long time perusing the site, it actually does a good job of pointing out problems with the administration and liberals in general. I won't argue it leans left but it's far from an Obama mouthpiece.

The argument that I'm making is this. While the law is unpopular and there is a feeling amongst the public that it has hurt them the statistics don't back that up. We can debate whether the $2,500 was a lie or misstatement. one could argue that by reducing the speed at which premiums increase it is saving people money even though it's not actually reducing premiums.

There are problems with the law but they're not necessarily things caused by Obamacare. One major complaint is the people that lost policies that they liked or lost doctors. The reality is that in an effort to reduce premiums insurers had to cut the risk and costs in areas. Obamacare mandates more robust benefits which costs more but also benefits the consumer by ensuring that they don't have a sub par insurance policy that doesn't actually cover anything. Knowing that issuers had to cut costs elsewhere, in some cases this meant higher deductibles ore more narrow networks. For many people this is a negative as maybe they lost their doctor or maybe their out of pocket costs increased. However, it doesn't make the law an abject failure. Higher premiums reduced networks and higher deductibles have been issues in the insurance industry long before Obamacare.

By many metrics the law is doing a lot of good. And no of course it's not perfect there are always going to be people hurt by a huge overhall of any system. The best question to ask isn't necessarily whether some people were hurt but whether it's helping a greater number and many of the available studies indicate that it is.

April 16, 2015 at 4:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

Oh my goodness Kevin. I'm not saying they voted for Obamacare. I'm saying that pieces of Obamacare were prior GOP platforms or things that the GOP supported. The economist article I pointed to pointed out that roughly 27% of the law contained language in it that was previously in language in proposed GOP healthcare reform bills.

Reneging on the public option in favor of a more market friendly law was not a concession to the Dem base it was a concession to the GOP. I don't know how you think moving a law from the left to the right is a concession to the left. Yes there were roughly 5 democrats that wouldn't support the public option but to say that scrapping that only counts as a concession to those 5 and not the 40 GOP that also didn't want the public option is simply untrue.

You're really completely unwilling of accept the premise that pieces of Obamacare were previously supported by members of the GOP. I'll give you a couple. Risk Adjustment and the transitional Reinsurance Program. The Individual Mandate. Temporary High Risk Pools. Exchanges. A Market Centered reform plan.

April 16, 2015 at 4:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

New Kansas rules would limit spending of welfare benefits

Josh, I'm sorry but this is an incredibly callous way to look at the poor. I'll just point out a couple things first, smartphones are ubiquitous in our society and you pretty much cannot function without a phone especially if you're trying to get a job, try applying without a phone number. A cell phone bill is often less than a land line would be and it makes you more accessible. Also as I'm sure you know a cell phone is generally free when you sign up for an agreement.

Next, television and cable. Sure cable is probably something that is a bit of a luxury and may not be entirely necessary but depending on the package you have it's pretty cheap. Flat screen TVs are basically all you can buy these days and you have no way of knowing whether the TV was a gift or if they bought it while they were working etc.

Regarding kiddos, again you don't know when people have their kiddos they very well could have had them prior to being on government assistance. Also, being wealthy is not and NEVEr should be a prerequisite to having children. There are certain things that should simply be left to the individual to decide.

The state and the taxpayer in this country since the 1940s have been there to provide a cushion for people who are down on their luck. The reasons for that are largely irrelevant. The amount of fraud and waste in our government programs are remarkably low and often that waste is primarily due to ineligible people mistakenly getting benefits. Those who are broke and genuinely need the help are generally pretty good at using the money for its designed purpose. This article itself mentions that 14mn was paid out last year and less than 200k was improper and most of that was due to improper eligibility determinations.

I understand it's comfortable to think that the only reason someone is broke is because of poor life choices and that they must be continuing those choices to stay broke but it's simply not the reality for many people living on assistance in this country.

April 16, 2015 at 3:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/03...

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphi...

The simple fact is that the Dem's knew that what they really wanted "public option" couldn't pass the house and senate. So they started with a much more balanced plan. A plan that attempted to borrow pieces of reform from both parties that had been proposed over the course of decades and put them all into one law. You may not want to accept it but much of what is on Obamacare was put in there with the sole hope of garnering GOP support.

The problem is that no only would the GOP not support a law they once proposed they also didn't work in any meaningful way to change the law to fit their worldview, they simply voted against it. I know I'm not going to convince you and I'm not going to sit here and argue that the process used to eventually get the law passed was totally above the board, it was rushed through in the 11th our when the dems still had their super majority. But can you at least admit that there are pieces in the law that the GOP is supposed to like and used to support.

April 16, 2015 at 3:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

Please explain to me what part of Obamacare is "radical." It's actually a version of a program that the GOP supported in the past and still supports. And I'm not just talking about the fact that the individual mandate was initially proposed by the Heritage foundation. Obamacare is basically a voucher program. Individuals are provided federal dollars to obtain health insurance on the private market. This is exactly what the GOP is currently proposing for Medicare so if it's radical then any voucher program proposed by the GOP (medicare, private schools is also radical).

I agree that a socialized system of healthcare would be a radical change from the traditional American system of health care. However, I think calling it a "radical" program is a bit extreme as it exists in many other countries and they seem to function just fine. Every program has problems but socialized medicine has not brought about the downfall of Europe or Canada.

Finally, as to the Civilian security force. I have a hard time refuting a 20 second video clip of the then Senator Obama mentioning something during a speech. I have no idea what he meant by that and I'm sorry to say but you don't either as it has never been explained with any degree of detail. Now we could debate a ton of conspiracy theories about what he meant and how it's going to systematically destroy the US or we could just admit that since it was never seriously proposed it's not really relevant.

April 16, 2015 at 3:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

I named a number of concessions Kevin. Did you not read my post.

April 16, 2015 at 2:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

I figured you would just dismiss it out of hand because it was from Vox. Don't try and dispute any of the statistics presented just say it's slanted and make the same claim that more people have been hurt than helped. You know you posted to a blog post by Ed rogers who is a republican strategist so I'd love to debate the merits of our sources.

April 16, 2015 at 2:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

Yes I do think it's wrong to knee jerk obstruct a president. do you? Also please point to some "radical" policies that Obama has proposed. I"ll give you one from bush, privatizing social security. your turn.

April 16, 2015 at 2:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Judging Reid

Did you notice that the only statistic that your article pointed to was polling data. Here I've got one for you that actually addresses the area where the ACA has had a meaningful effect and it actually references real world stats beyond simply polling data.

http://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/8410585/...

April 16, 2015 at 11:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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