Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the February 29, 2016 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley,

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

This $14-billion (French) machine is set to usher in a new era of nuclear fusion power ---

Scientists in Germany today switched on a new kind of nuclear reactor, the latest experiment in the quest to produce clean, sustainable power from controlled nuclear fusion ---
Jensen Comment
Ir will give me great joy the day fusion power renders bird-killing wind power turbinesobsolete.

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates ---
Hay Leno

The problem with political jokes is that they get appointed to office ---
Henry Cate

Interest on debt, that minimum credit card payment, is projected to eclipse military spending by 2021, putting the squeeze on other fiscal priorities ---
Jacob Davidon, http://time.com/4214269/us-national-debt/?xid=newsletter-brief

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

National debt just reached a record $19 trillion (plus over #100 trillion in unbooked entitlements burdening future generations in the USA)
Martin Matishak and Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times
Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements

It’s perhaps a little surprising, but it seems that Scalia was often on the same side as copyright reformers—helping to define fair use, insisting trademark not be permitted to trump the public domain, and feeling Aereo should have been permitted to continue. Of course, the cases where he wasn’t were some of the more important ones—most notably Eldred v. Ashcroft and Golan v. Holder.
Chris Meadows --- http://www.teleread.com/copyright-and-other-legal-news/justice-scalias-copyright-legacyand-what-his-loss-means-for-e-book-cases/

Scalia Was Almost Never The Most Conservative Justice On The Supreme Court
At the time of his appointment, Scalia was on the right; indeed, only Justice William Rehnquist was more conservative. Our measure indicates that from 1986 to 2000, Scalia drifted more to the right. During the same period, Rehnquist became more moderate, perhaps because of his role as chief justice. And, in 1991, Clarence Thomas joined the court as the most conservative justice, a position he has held for his entire career. After 2000, Scalia tracked slightly to the left, yet he remained the second-most conservative justice until the 2012 term, when Samuel Alito slipped into that position. Even though Scalia never ranked as the most conservative justice (except for a few months in the early 1990s), he was always a core member of the conservative block.
Andrew D. Martin and Kevin M. Quinn --- http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/scalia-was-almost-never-the-most-conservative-justice-on-the-supreme-court/

The New York Times: The Learning Network Blog: Lesson Plans --- 
The Official Newspaper of the Democratic Party

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,’ Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. ‘The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice [John Paul] Stevens replaced by another [Chief Justice John] Roberts, or Justice [ Ruth Bader] Ginsburg by another [ Samuel] Alito.’” Mr. Schumer went on to say that he would recommend to his Senate colleagues “that we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-schumer-precedent-1455580421?mod=djemMER

Can somebody attack me, please ---
Ben Carson

I'm not allowed to endorse anyone. You can make some inferences from what I've said. I'm pretty critical of Bernie Sanders and I'm extremely critical of Republicans.
Paul Krugman --- http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-interview-china-greece-brexit-2016-2
Jensen Comment
I assume that Paul is not allowed by NYT to endorse a candidate since hie has a popular blog hosted by the NYT.

Hit the road, Barack: Why we need a new president
A Shocker Cover Story from Newsweek by Harvard's Niall Ferguson --- http://www.newsweek.com/niall-ferguson-why-barack-obama-needs-go-64419

Republicans Are Campaigning to Lose :  The candidate brawls and party disunity are setting up Clinton or Sanders for a win in November
Fred Barnes --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-are-campaigning-to-lose-1455752338?mod=djemMER

The problem with socialism is that it takes up too many evenings ---
Oscar Wilde --- http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2016/02/why-are-we-sometimes-so-reluctant-enjoy-ourselves-even-when-were-allowed

Since peaking in January 2015, Wal-Mart has lost more than one-quarter of its market value, while the S&P 500 has only dropped slightly
Steven Russolillo --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-is-feeling-boxed-in-1455737490?mod=djemCFO_h

A Former Sex Slave of ISIS Described the Horrific Conditions She Lived in:  "They Did What the Mind Could Not Imagine" ---

The Connections Between Poetry and Rap
Poetry Magazine

In hop-hop and rap, while some musicians are more talented than others, and while rap lyrics do possess musicality (repetition, assonance, alliteration), that musicality is incomplete without the beat and notes of the sampled music. Caplan provides a number of examples of rap lyrics, and some are rather good, but even the best don’t stand on their own as pieces of great artistry for the simple reason that they were not written to do so. They were crafted to go with external rhythm and notes. So, it seems to me, the only sense in which rap is poetry is as incomplete poetry, which doesn’t do either rap or poetry any favors.
Micah Mattix --- http://www.theamericanconservative.com/prufrock/is-rap-poetry/

Anti-Israel sentiment mixed with age-old anti-Semitism has reached a fever pitch at Vassar College. It is time that faculty and administrators take a stand against this toxic brew on behalf of academic values
Mark G. Yudof and Ken Waltzer --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/majoring-in-anti-semitism-at-vassar-1455751940?mod=djemMER

Donations to U. of Missouri Fall After Football Team Boycott ---

Pope Francis is a socialist ---
Bernie Sanders --- http://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-pope-francis-socialist-2016-2
ensen Comment
Bernie Sanders himself has a Jewish heritage but claims he's not religious. Pope Francis claims Donald Trump cannot be Christian.

New Jersey man completes 30-year murder sentence only to kill mother two days later ---
Jensen Comment
Bernie Sanders wants to let a half-million of them out sooner. This way we wouldn't have to wait so long for them to kill again.
"The Myth of Mass Incarceration:  Violent crime, not drugs, has driven imprisonment. And drug offenses usually are for dealing, not using," by Barry Latzer, The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2016 ---
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-mass-incarceration-1456184736?mod=djemMER .

Florida ex-convict with an extensive history of shoplifting says he should be released from jail in DuPage County because police have apparently misplaced his personal possessions, including his Mr. Froggy plush toy. ---

Calisphere: The Free Speech Movement ---

Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/


Election Gaming "Fraud" in Primary Elections in the USA:  Making Sure Your General Election Opponent is a Real Loser

Table of Contents

Funding Losers

 Communications Juggernauts in Crossover Voting Frauds

Funding Opponent Scandals

Top Republicans are working hard to help Bernie Sanders ---

Is Donald Trump a Democratic secret agent?
Anthony Zurcher --- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35066940 


Trump part of conspiracy to ensure Clinton presidency ---
Jeb Bush --- http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/8/jeb-bush-suggests-donald-trump-part-of-conspiracy-/
Jensen Question
Is such a conspiracy necessary given the slate of losers running as GOP candidates for President in 2016?

The Black Panther: Newspaper of the Black Panther Party ---  https://libcom.org/history/black-panther-newspaper-black-panther-party

There's an important fact Bernie Sanders fails to tell you when he advocates taxing Wall Street transactions to pay for free college in the USA. What he never tells you is that Wall Street will not pay those taxes. Those transactions taxes will be passed along to hundreds of millions of Main Street pension and other investors in the USA and in other countries whose investors invest in Wall Street traded stocks and bonds. For example, professor's TIAA-CREF balances will take a big hit every year.
Bob Jensen

This $14-billion (French) machine is set to usher in a new era of nuclear fusion power ---

Scientists in Germany switched on a new kind of nuclear reactor, the latest experiment in the quest to produce clean, sustainable power from controlled nuclear fusion --- https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600712/experimental-fusion-reactor-switched-on-in-germany/#/set/id/600713/ 
Jensen Comment
 It will give me great joy the day fusion power renders bird-killing wind power turbines obsolete.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch vs. Scalia: A Liberal Daily Newspaper Trashes Conservatism ---

Liberal bias in academe and the media ---

"The Myth of Mass Incarceration:  Violent crime, not drugs, has driven imprisonment. And drug offenses usually are for dealing, not using," by Barry Latzer, The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2016 ---
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-mass-incarceration-1456184736?mod=djemMER .

. . .

Unquestionably, in the last decades of the 20th century more defendants than ever were sentenced to prison. But this was a direct result of changes in policy to cope with the escalation in violent crime. In the 1980s, after well over a decade of soaring crime, state incarceration rates jumped 107%.

When crime began to drop in the mid-1990s, so did the rise in incarceration rates. From 2000 to 2010, they increased a negligible 0.65%, and since 2005 they have been declining steadily, except for a slight uptick in 2013. The estimated 1.5 million prisoners at year-end 2014 is the smallest total prison population in the U.S. since 2005.

Those who talk of “mass incarceration” often blame the stiff drug sentences enacted during the crack-cocaine era, the late 1980s and early ’90s. But what pushed up incarceration rates, beginning in the mid-1970s, was primarily violent crime, not drug offenses.

The percentage of state prisoners in for drug violations peaked at only 22% in 1990. Further, drug convictions “explain only about 20% of prison growth since 1980,” according to a 2012 article by Fordham law professor John Pfaff, published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

Relatively few prisoners today are locked up for drug offenses. At the end of 2013 the state prison population was about 1.3 million. Fifty-three percent were serving time for violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape or aggravated assault, according to the BJS. Nineteen percent were in for property crimes such as burglary, car theft or fraud. Another 11% had been convicted of weapons offenses, drunken driving or other public-order violations.

That leaves about 16%, or 208,000 people, incarcerated for drug crimes. Of those, less than a quarter were in for mere possession. The rest were in for trafficking and other crimes. Critics of “mass incarceration” often point to the federal prisons, where half of inmates, or about 96,000 people, are drug offenders. But 99.5% of them are traffickers. The notion that prisons are filled with young pot smokers, harmless victims of aggressive prosecution, is patently false.

The other line of attack is that the criminal justice system is racist because blacks are disproportionately imprisoned. About 35% of all prisoners, state and federal, are African-American, while blacks comprise about 13% of the U.S. population. But any explanation of this disparity must take blacks’ higher rates of offending into account.

From 1976 to 1995, blacks were identified by police as the perpetrators in more than half of homicides, according to FBI data compiled by the BJS. During this same period, individuals interviewed for the national crime-victim survey described robbery perpetrators as black more than 60% of the time. While the rate of black violent crime fell dramatically after the mid-1990s, it remains disturbingly high. From 2000 to 2014, African-Americans were murdered eight times as often as whites per capita, nearly always as a result of black-on-black assaults.

Such serious crimes are still the main driver of African-American incarceration. The latest BJS figures, from the end of 2013, show that 57% of blacks in state prison were convicted of violent crimes. Only 16% were in for drug crimes. Those numbers nearly match the figures for the state prison population overall.

Nor have blacks always served longer sentences than whites once incarcerated. In 1993, at the peak of the prison buildup, blacks and whites in state prison served identical terms, a median 12 months, for all offenses. For drug crimes, whites actually served slightly more time than blacks, 12 months to 11 months.

A growing consensus now supports making the criminal-justice system less punitive. But prison rates won’t drop dramatically unless serious crime declines further, which is unlikely. It certainly didn’t happen in 2015, when homicides in the 50 largest U.S. cities increased 17%. Nor are racial disparities likely to diminish so long as African-Americans commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes.

Mr. Latzer, an emeritus professor of criminal justice at the City University of New York, is the author of “The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America” (Encounter Books, 2016).


CNBC:  Fannie Mae at risk of needing a bailout ---

Fannie Mae, the state-sponsored U.S. mortgage backer, is at risk of needing a government bailout that could shake confidence in the housing finance market, senior officials have warned.

Fannie Mae's chief executive and its regulator are sounding the alarm on a decline in the institution's capital cushion, which is on course to vanish in 2018, when it would have to ask the US Treasury for emergency funds.

Their warnings highlight Washington's inaction on housing policy and its failure to reform the institution, which guarantees nearly $3 trillion of securities and enables 30-year fixed rate loans, following the last financial crisis.

Since 2008 Fannie Mae has been in the post-crisis limbo of state-sponsored "conservatorship," neither fully nationalized nor private, following several unsuccessful attempts by Congress to overhaul it.

Because the government does not let Fannie Mae retain profits, Tim Mayopoulos, its chief executive, told the Financial Times on Friday that its capital buffer, which has dwindled from $30 billion before the crisis to $1.2 billion today, was on track to disappear by January 2018.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The fact that mortgages (many fraudulent) sold on Main Street could be sold upstream to Fannie Mae and Freddie mack was the major cause of the economic meltdown of 2008 ---


"Gordon and Bud Did It. Did You? Insider Trading Gets a Rethink," by Neil Weinberg and Patricia Hurtado, Bloomberg, February 16, 2016 ---

Insider trading used to seem so simple.

Pass a tip: “Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.”

Make a killing: “It’s all about the bucks, kid.”

And, just maybe, get busted: “At that moment, man finds his character.”

That, anyway, is the Hollywood version, circa 1987, in “Wall Street.”

On the real Wall Street, insider trading has rarely been that clear. And now, the prickly legal questions around it -- questions that have been around since the days of Gordon and Bud -- could get even thornier.

Almost three decades after the film, and seven years after the start of another dragnet that ensnared dozens, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to take up the issue in a case involving brothers-in-law.

But before that happens, Judge Jed S. Rakoff -- who wrote the opinion headed to the Supreme Court -- is getting another chance to weigh in.

Simple Answer?

This week, Rakoff, a Manhattan federal court judge, is set to preside over a case that highlights a question that has many traders on edge: Just what is insider trading anyway? The answer might seem simple, but it’s not and never has been.

Part of insider trading requires that tippers, or people who pass inside information, get a “benefit.” After a pair of appeals court rulings since December 2014, it’s now unclear what counts as a benefit. Cash? Yes. Career advice. No. But say the tipper and the trader are just brothers-in-law and no money is exchanged. Or roommates who occasionally share secrets. Is that insider trading?

That’s what this trial is about.

Tuesday’s case was brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against two brokers, and it centers on a merger tip passed from one roommate to another. The tip was about a billion dollar deal that made its way to the two brokers now on trial.

Lawyer’s Tip

According to the SEC, a lawyer who worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP told his friend, a stock trader, about International Business Machine’s acquisition of SPSS Inc. in 2009. The friend in turn bought shares in SPSS and told his roommate, who then tipped broker Daryl Payton and two colleagues. One of those brokers told another colleague, Benjamin Durant.

Rakoff said in rulings last year that the SEC may have a case against Payton and Durant, who are on trial. The evidence may well show that the tips were swapped in exchange for “past and prospective services rendered” by one roommate to the other. If the jury agrees, that would be enough to establish the benefit required under insider-trading law, he said.

“They together ate dinner, drank beers, played video games, watched TV, used drugs and discussed their respective days, current events and personal details of their lives,” Rakoff said, summarizing the SEC’s claims. One roommate “took the lead in organizing and paying shared expenses, and resolving problems at the apartment.”

Nine Months

Lawyers for Payton and Durant are expected to argue that the tip to the roommate didn’t include a benefit -- so neither that, nor anything that followed, was insider trading. The lawyers say the roommates didn’t have a close relationship; they lived together for only nine months, didn’t share details about one another’s work, and hadn’t met one another’s families or friends. Payton and Durant knew even less about the roommates’ relationship, their lawyers say.

Hoary legal definitions -- in fact, no single U.S. statute covers insider trading -- have complicated the issue for years, as have different views from different global jurisdictions. Pretty much everyone is confused, from traders, to prosecutors to corporate executives.

“It’s a scary world when nobody knows how to conduct themselves,” said Jeffrey Robertson, a Washington-based lawyer who represents clients in securities litigation. “Obviously, it’s a state of flux.”

It’s so confusing, in fact, that Payton and Durant were criminally charged with insider trading, only to see those cases dismissed after a federal appeals court changed the law in December 2014.

California Case

The Supreme Court may at last provide guidance. Last month, it agreed to review a case from California in which Rakoff -- who was sitting on the appeals court there as a visiting jurist -- wrote an opinion on benefit that was favorable to prosecutors.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In my opinion, the more insider traders get away with exploiting private information the more investors will abandon the market. It's as simple as that. To protect the market you have to both discourage and punish insider trading even if its an accidental mistake.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

"The Young and the Economically Clueless:  Millennials are flocking to Sanders, and in the GOP they favor Trump. Why are young people voting against their own interests?," by Daniel J. Arbess, The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2016 ---

. . . 

The college graduate living in his parents’ basement and working a marginal job to service a student loan is by now an archetype of the Obama era. And while the headline unemployment numbers are down, and the administration congratulates itself on a tepid “recovery” that was almost exclusively dependent on Fed-engineered financial-asset inflation, there is every reason to be skeptical about the health of the labor market. The labor-participation rate languishes at its lowest level in 40 years, and credit creation, government and private investment aren’t faring much better.

Both Democrats and some Republicans keep blaming it all on “Wall Street” (Bernie Sanders’s all-purpose boogeyman) for “getting away with murder” (Donald Trump on hedge funds). Don’t they realize that the financial markets are the lubricant of the entire economy—that Wall Street’s capacity to provide liquidity and to broker capital is the lifeblood of American companies? History will probably judge the misguided post-crisis regulations like Dodd-Frank and retribution against Wall Street to have sown the seeds of the next financial crisis. For now, the vilification of Wall Street in the presidential campaign is irresponsible.

The sluggish growth of jobs and the economy has a lot more to do with the transitioning from American manufacturing and services to information technology than with the 2008 financial crisis and its supposed perpetrators. And the Fed alone can’t do much more to promote its employment-and-inflation mandates.

Why? Because the economy is facing complex structural headwinds for both: Artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms are efficiency-creating and cost-reducing, and soon they will be displacing service professionals and Ph.Ds just as they have factory workers. The Bank of England projects that 45% of jobs done by people in the U.K. will eventually be performed by robots. ArkInvest expects the U.S. to shed 75 million jobs in the next two decades.

And yes, the new tech-economy wealth is increasingly concentrating in the hands of relatively few innovators and financiers, leaving the middle class and its consumer demand lagging behind. What is the appropriate role of government in redressing this?

Why wouldn’t young voters want “free stuff” paid for by the rich, as the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton narrative promises? Because the no-free-lunch axiom is still true: Mr. Sanders’s socialized education, health care and other policies would cost up to $20 trillion, according to analysts, requiring tax collections to increase up to 47%. And have we not at least learned from the collapse and dismantling of socialism over the past quarter century that governments lack the incentives and resources to effectively allocate and manage capital in the microeconomy? The eldest of the millennials were in elementary school when the Soviet Union collapsed, so they might be forgiven for their unfamiliarity with the failure of socialist economics. But Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, Vt., and Hillary Clinton the first lady of Arkansas—what’s their excuse for revanchist economics?

The economic culture of the U.S. is different than that of any country in the world. Americans have always admired each other’s economic success and striven for the chance to achieve it for themselves—by building, not taking the wealth from their neighbors’ pockets. Donald Trump is unabashedly proud of his success—no wonder he’s so popular. As a political leader, though, he needs to up his economic game quickly from “There’s going to be a bubble popping” and “Nobody can solve it like me.”

Real solutions demand real leadership, not polarizing Twitter -length rhetoric. An America-appropriate policy response to the inequality challenge needs to be focused on equalizing opportunities, not outcomes. At the very least, removing barriers to social mobility will require tax, regulatory and educational reforms to give people the qualifications and liberty to improve their lives in the new economy.

At this point in the presidential campaign, all the ideas for stimulating growth are coming from the Republican side: Marco Rubio has discussed the transformational challenges of the tech economy, and he has proposed alternatives to traditional campus-based higher education (online college and flexible vocational training); innovative student-loan programs; and corporate tax and regulatory reforms. Jeb Bush and John Kasich are also reform-minded, including promoting initiatives to ease the burden on small businesses that power job growth.

Yet millennials, who would most benefit from a real economic recovery, replacing the false one of the past several years, so far seem intent on voting against their interests. There is still hope. We’re moving past the peak of the “authenticity” phase of the campaign cycle, when voters unfamiliar with the field of candidates are initially drawn simply to candidates who seem willing to bluntly speak their minds. John Kasich’s strong performance in New Hampshire might herald the transition to a more constructive phase, when voters—including millennials—are readier to listen to a more nuanced, realistic economic message. If not, today’s young voters may not like the world they inherit, and members of the aging generation risk eventually finding themselves short of the Social Security benefits they thought they had coming.

Mr. Arbess, the founder of Xerion Investments, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founder of No Labels, promoting political bipartisanship.



"Bernie and the ‘Lunatic of One Idea’;"  The dangers of monomania, from Freud’s belief that sex ran everything to Sanders’s ‘Wall Street’ obsession," by Joseph Epstein, The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2016 ---
http://www.wsj.com/articles/bernie-and-the-lunatic-of-one-idea-1455668590?mod=djemMER .

In his poem “Esthétique du Mal,” Wallace Stevens refers, in a memorable and useful phrase, to a “lunatic of one idea.” The phrase refuses to leave my mind whenever I hear Bernie Sanders—and I have heard quite a lot of him in past weeks—campaigning or debating or making, most recently, victory speeches. Mr. Sanders’s one idea is what he takes to be the stark economic injustice of too few people having too much money, and through the power of their money having tilted American life in a way that is vastly unfair, unjust, flat-out morally wrong. He has repeated this one idea so often, and with such ardor in its expression, as to make Johnny One-Note look like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mr. Sanders’s synecdoche for his idea is Wall Street. Everything wrong with American life can be charged up, in his telling, to a small neighborhood in lower Manhattan. Something old-fashioned there is about blaming Wall Street for all the country’s deficiencies. But, then, lunatics of one idea, basking in the pleasure of Manichaeism, like to focus all their enmity on one target.

For the old American Communist Party this enemy was “the bosses.” But a street with a symbolic name is even better. Wall Street was viewed as villainous long before Mr. Sanders. For a span it was replaced by Madison Avenue, understood as a hive of hucksters inflaming our desires for things we didn’t need. Bernie Sanders has now brought back Wall Street, with as he claims its big-money ability to rig elections and hence destroy all possibility of the good society that socialism, left to its own inner devices, would surely achieve. One idea, and one idea only; it isn’t that complicated.

Lunatics of one idea have been immensely influential, though it is far from certain that this influence has been beneficial. Think of Karl Marx, whose one idea—not so far removed from Mr. Sanders’s—was the class struggle. This is an idea that ended in the formation of the Soviet Union and seven decades of pointless suppression, suffering and murder on a scale never before known.

Think of Sigmund Freud, whose one idea was that sex is at the absolute center of human existence, eclipsing all else in its importance for the development of human character. This is an idea that has skewed thinking about human nature for more than a century, and, even though Freud’s thought is now no longer assigned intellectual respectability, the hangover from it continues nonetheless to influence Western culture. One idea—that’s all that it takes.

Being a one-idea lunatic makes life a lot simpler. For one thing, it permits one to eliminate any interfering complexity from the intrusion of other or contradictory ideas, not to mention common sense. The one idea—class struggle, sexual determinism, evil Wall Street, vile Madison Avenue—becomes talismanic. Merely utter the words in which the idea is encased and all becomes plain: inner meaning, outward significance, morality, plan of action. That the one idea may not comport with reality is beside the point. As the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset said, create a concept and reality leaves the room. But let that pass.

More interesting than Bernie Sanders’s threadbare idea is how it has caught on with the young. In generous readings, is it their idealism that puts the young on his side? Is it his relentless moralizing that attracts them? Mr. Sanders is, as they say in social psychology, a contrast gainer—next to Hillary Clinton, with all her cumbersome political baggage (all of it Louis Vuitton, of course), he looks good. Yet when he utters his mantra at large gatherings, “Are you ready for a political revolution?” one wonders: Does this generation that has grown up with a greater sense of entitlement and protection than any other in history really want the revolution Mr. Sanders is selling? Can they have so little sense of the past not to know that the promise of socialism—“democratic socialism,” the senator would interject here—has ended up in gulags and brutal cultural upheaval?

Continued in article



Anti-Israel sentiment mixed with age-old anti-Semitism has reached a fever pitch at Vassar College. It is time that faculty and administrators take a stand against this toxic brew on behalf of academic values
Mark G. Yudof and Ken Waltzer --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/majoring-in-anti-semitism-at-vassar-1455751940?mod=djemMER

Anti-Israel sentiment mixed with age-old anti-Semitism has reached a fever pitch at Vassar College. It is time that faculty and administrators take a stand against this toxic brew on behalf of academic values.

The campus of this private liberal-arts college in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has experienced more than its share of anti-Israel activity. In the spring of 2014, the boycott of a course in the International Studies Program—because it involved a trip to Israel—included heckling students and picketing the class. During the fall of 2015, attempts were made to boycott Sabra hummus because the maker of this popular food is partly owned by an Israeli food company.

The most recent incident was a talk on Feb. 3 by Jasbir Puar, a Rutgers associate professor of women’s and gender studies. The address, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters,” was sponsored by eight Vassar departments and programs, including Jewish Studies and American Studies.

Ms. Puar began by exhorting the students to support a boycott of Israel as part of “armed” resistance. As reported by several in attendance at the speech—the professor introducing her requested that it not be recorded—Ms. Puar passed on vicious lies that Israel had “mined for organs for scientific research” from dead Palestinians—updating the medieval blood libel against Jews—and accused Israelis of attempting to give Palestinians the “bare minimum for survival” as part of a medical “experiment.”

When asked, she agreed with a questioner that Israeli treatment of Palestinians amounted to genocide but objected to the term itself, which she said was too “tethered to the Holocaust.”

Ms. Puar’s speech was co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program, yet faculty members of the program remained silent in the audience during the event. This is a testament to the spell that anti-Israel dogma, no matter its veracity, has spread over the campus.

Wild charges against Israel have often been aired on U.S. campuses over the past several years, and their moral perversity pointed out. But Ms. Puar’s calumnies reached a new low. She spoke of Jews deliberately starving Palestinians, “stunting” and “maiming” a population. The false accusation that a people, some of whose members were experimented on at Auschwitz, are today experimenting on others is a disgrace.

Yet characterizing Israel and Zionism in ways that anti-Semites formerly characterized Jews has become a stock in trade among anti-Israeli activists on college campuses. And it exposes the real motivation of those who profess to criticize only the Israeli government’s policies with regard to the West Bank, not Jews themselves.

Now there is a resolution before the Vassar student union, in part seeking a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s, on the grounds that the company—founded by two Jews—sells ice-cream “transported on Jewish-only roads to be sold in Jewish-only settlements.” This is part of a broader divest-from-Israel resolution to be voted on this spring, which also includes other U.S. companies.

These events are transforming a prestigious institution into a parody ripe for ridicule—a place embarrassing to prominent alumni and worrisome for prospective Jewish students.

In January 2014, Vassar President Catharine Bond Hill forthrightly rejected the boycotts of Israel that were being proposed by a variety of academic associations. This time her response—posting a letter in the alumni magazine defending the college’s reputation and stating that some may have found Ms. Puar’s talk “objectionable”—is too tepid.

She did add that Vassar will organize a series of lectures with different viewpoints on Israel. But we think her letter should be addressed to students and faculty—and that hatred of Israel and Jews should not implicitly be characterized as merely another perspective to be debated.



The Best and Worst States for Business ---

Jensen Comment
The best states for business are not all red (conservative, low-tax) states as evidenced by IBM's recent headquarters move to Boston. The least friendly states for business growth are mostly in the south with the exception of Hawaii, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. You would think that the states near the bottom would do more to retain and attract businesses.  Some are really hurting from the highest proportions of unfunded pensions for state workers.

Williams College President Calls Off Speech by Controversial Conservative Writer ---

  • "The End of History, Part II:  The new Advanced Placement U.S. history exam focuses on oppression, group identity and Reagan the warmonger," by Lynn V. Cheney, The Wall Street Journal,  April 1, 2015 ---

    If you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
    —President Ronald Reagan, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 1987

    President Reagan’s challenge to Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev remains one of the most dramatic calls for freedom in our time. Thus I was heartened to find a passage from Reagan’s speech on the sample of the new Advanced Placement U.S. history exam that students will take for the first time in May. It seemed for a moment that students would be encouraged to learn about positive aspects of our past rather than be directed to focus on the negative, as happens all too often.

    But when I looked closer to see the purpose for which the quotation was used, I found that it is held up as an example of “increased assertiveness and bellicosity” on the part of the U.S. in the 1980s. That’s the answer to a multiple-choice question about what Reagan’s speech reflects.

    No notice is taken of the connection the president made between freedom and human flourishing, no attention to the fact that within 2½ years of the speech, people were chipping off pieces of the Berlin Wall as souvenirs. Instead of acknowledging important ideas and historical context, test makers have reduced President Reagan’s most eloquent moment to warmongering.

    The AP U.S. history exam matters. Half a million of the nation’s best and brightest high-school students will take it this year, hoping to use it to earn college credit and to polish their applications to competitive colleges. To score well on the exam, students have to learn what the College Board, a private organization that creates the exam, wants them to know.

    No one worried much about the College Board having this de facto power over curriculum until that organization released a detailed framework—for courses beginning last year—on which the Advanced Placement tests on U.S. history will be based from 2015 onward. When educators, academics and other concerned citizens realized how many notable figures were missing and how negative was the view of American history presented, they spoke out forcefully. The response of the College Board was to release the sample exam that features Ronald Reagan as a warmonger.

    It doesn’t stop there. On the multiple-choice part of the sample exam, there are 18 sections, and eight of them take up the oppression of women, blacks and immigrants. Knowing about the experiences of these groups is important—but truth requires that accomplishment be recognized as well as oppression, and the exam doesn’t have questions on subjects such as the transforming leadership of Martin Luther King Jr.

    The framework requires that all questions take up sweeping issues, such as “group identity,” which leaves little place for transcendent individuals. Men and women who were once studied as inspirational figures have become examples of trends, and usually not uplifting ones. The immigrant story that the exam tells is of oppressed people escaping to America only to find more oppression. That many came seeking the Promised Land—and found it here—is no longer part of the narrative.

    Critics have noted that Benjamin Franklin is absent from the new AP U.S. history framework, and perhaps in response, the College Board put a quotation from Franklin atop the sample exam. Yet not one of the questions that were asked about the quotation has to do with Franklin. They are about George Whitefield, an evangelist whom Franklin described in the quote. This odd deflection makes sense in the new test, considering that Franklin was a self-made man, whose rise from rags to riches would have been possible only in America—an example of the exceptionalism that doesn’t fit the worldview that pervades the AP framework and sample exam.

    Evangelist Whitefield, an Irishman who preached in the colonies, was a key figure in the Great Awakening, an evangelical revival that began in the 1730s. Here, however, he is held up as an example of “trans-Atlantic exchanges,” which seems completely out of left field until one realizes that the underlying notion is that we need to stop thinking nationally and think globally. Our history is simply part of a larger story.

    Aside from a section about mobilizing women to serve in the workforce, the sample exam has nothing to say about World War II, the conflict in which the U.S. liberated millions of people and ended one of the most evil regimes in the history of the world. The heroic acts of the men who landed on Omaha Beach and lifted the flag on Iwo Jima are ignored. The wartime experiences that the new framework prefers are those raising “questions about American values,” such as “the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb.”

    Why would the College Board respond to criticism by putting out a sample exam that proves the critics’ point? Perhaps it is a case of those on the left being so confirmed in their biases that they no longer notice them. Or maybe the College Board doesn’t care what others think.

    Some states are trying to get its attention. The Texas State Board of Education, noting that the AP U.S. history framework is incompatible with that state’s standards, has formally requested that the College Board do a rewrite. The Georgia Senate has passed a resolution to encourage competition for the College Board’s AP program. If anything brings a change, it is likely to be such pressure from the states, which provide the College Board with substantial revenue.

    Some 20 years ago, as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, I made a grant to a group to create voluntary standards for U.S. history. When the project was finished, I had standards on my hands that were overwhelmingly negative about the American story, so biased that I felt obliged to condemn them in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal called “The End of History.”

    I learned an important lesson, one worth repeating today. The curriculum shouldn’t be farmed out, not to the federal government and not to private groups. It should stay in the hands of the people who are constitutionally responsible for it: the citizens of each state.

    Mrs. Cheney, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes about history. Her most recent book is “James Madison: A Life Reconsidered” (Viking, 2014).

    Jensen Comment
    I recall when I was living in Texas that the history textbook required in all public schools in Texas claimed the USA dropped an atomic bomb on North Koreans during the Korean War. So much for truth in academe. Even North Korea does not make this absurd claim.

    Liberal Bias in the Media and Academe ---



    Finding and Using Health Statistics --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics and databases ---

    Medicare Fraud is Rampant ---

    Obamacare Fraud is Rampant
    Obama Administration Breaks Law to Enrich Health Insurers ---
    by Betsy McCaughey
    Creaters, February 24. 2016

    The Obama administration will tell any lie and break any law to prevent the president's signature health program from collapsing. Insurance companies, such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, are losing billions trying to sell Obamacare plans, and the risk is they'll drop out at the end of 2016. No insurance companies means no Obamacare. In 2014, the White House tried to avert that disaster by promising insurers a bailout funded with taxpayer dollars, but public outrage and quick action by Senator Marco Rubio put a stop to it. Now the administration is at it again.

    Desperate to keep insurers on board, the administration scrambled to find another source of money. Unfortunately, a big part of that money pot belongs to the public. Disregarding that fact, the administration announced on Feb. 12 that the money will be handed out to insurers — a whopping $7.7 billion this year alone. That huge handout to the insurance industry violates the law.

    This is money you and everyone else who already has insurance is forced to pay, called a reinsurance fee. You pay the fee whether you buy your own plan or get covered at work, even if your employer self-insures. You may be clueless about it, but the fee is buried in your premium or taken out of your compensation.

    The language of section 1341 of the Affordable Care Act, which details what this money can be used for, is clear as a bell. Some of these annual fees — adding up to billions a year — belong to the public, not the insurance companies. The law states a fixed share "shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States and may not be used" to offset insurance companies' losses. But the administration gave all of it to the insurance companies last year, and got away with that heist. So they're trying it again.

    Anyone in the corporate world who misused funds that way would be headed to prison. This rogue administration is going to any length — including running afoul of the law — to keep insurers hooked into Obamacare.

    In the words of University of Houston law professor Seth Chandler, who tried to call attention to the crime several months ago, this is an illegal "diversion of funds to enrich insurers." Last year alone, Cross Blue Shield of Texas got $549 million of these reinsurance funds, while Anthem Blue Cross of California got $401 million.

    How did this fly under the radar last year? Because no one — especially members of Congress — has read the law. Insurance companies weren't about to object to getting more money than the law allows. Plus, the announcements of these payments were buried in mind-numbing federal agency releases. The latest such disclosure came late on the Friday of a holiday weekend. The business press reported the announcement but didn't go back to read section 1341 of the law and find that the payouts are illegal.

    Last week, a few health scholars took notice, including Doug Badger, senior fellow at the Galen Institute. He says the illegal maneuver is "designed to keep a sinking ship from hitting rock bottom."

    Congress should step in immediately and exercise its oversight duties to stop this looting. The next payments to insurers are promised for March. No time to waste.

    Obamacare was sold on lies: You can keep your health plan if you like it. And you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor. Then, once it was passed, the administration resorted to a long string of lawless executive actions to keep an unworkable scheme going, despite the damage being done to employers, doctors and consumers.

    The administration's diversion of public funds to its insurance company cronies is just the latest defiance of the law. The president has illegally delayed the employer mandate repeatedly. He's handing out free Obamacare plans to illegal immigrants. Statutory deadlines are routinely ignored, and funds are slyly shifted from one program to another — the law be damned.

    Inspector General's report warns that billions in federal loans might not be repaid.
    "Obamacare’s Government-Backed Nonprofit Health Plans Are a Disaster—and Could Cost Taxpayers Billions," by Peter Suderman, Reason Magazine, July 31, 2015 ---

    The federal government shelled out $2.4 billion in loans to a series of non-profit health plans under Obamacare, but now they’re struggling to stay alive.

    The plans, dubbed CO-OPs (Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans) were intended to increase competition in the insurance market and serve as a check on private insurers by providing an alternative that wasn’t focused on profit. They were a compromise measure intended to satisfy liberals who wanted the law to set up a fully government-run health insurance option. 

    As it turns out, Obamacare’s CO-OPs weren’t focused on profit—or, it seems, financial viability of any kind.

    The CO-OPs have struggled to meet enrollment targets, with 13 of the 23 non-profit plans showing “considerably lower” enrollment than projected, according to a report by the Health and Human Services Inspector General. Finances were shaky all around with 21 of 23 plans incurring losses through the end of 2014, the report says.

    This isn’t just a problem for the CO-OPs. It’s a problem for the taxpayers. The $2.4 billion in loans given to these startup plans were supposed to be repaid to the government with interest. Loans given to start the plans were supposed to be repaid in five years; “solvency” loans were supposed to be repaid in 15 years.

    Continued in article

    "No, Donald Trump, Single-Payer Health Care Doesn't 'Work Incredibly Well' In Canada & Scotland," by Avik Roy, Forbes, August 7, 2015 ---

    . . .

    Martin Samuels, the founder of the neurology department at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found this out when he worked as a visiting professor in Canada. “The reason the Canadian health care system works as well as it does (and that is not by any means optimal) is because 90% of the population is within driving distance of the United States where the privately insured can be Seattled, Minneapolised, Mayoed, Detroited, Chicagoed, Clevelanded and Buffaloed,” Samuels wrote recently in Forbes. “In the United States, there is no analogous safety valve.”

    . . .

    In that study, the U.S. performed better than every country in western Europe. The United Kingdom came out second-to-last. The researchers broke out the data for Scotland, and the results are revealing. If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S., you have an 84 percent chance of living for five years. In Scotland, it’s 71 percent. If you have colon cancer in the U.S., you have about a 60 percent chance of surviving five years. In Scotland, it’s 46 percent. If you have prostate cancer in the U.S., you have a 92 percent chance of living five years; in Scotland, it’s 48 percent.

    Continued in article


    "ObamaCare’s Wallet-Buster Health Plans:  While insurance premiums and deductibles soar, Hillary Clinton takes credit for the president’s mess," by Nathan Nascimento, The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2016 ---

    . . .

    Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, where I work, has analyzed all publicly available information for health-insurance premiums from healthcare.gov and state insurance departments. It then calculated the weighted averages for all health-insurance plans available on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. The weighted average gives a more accurate view of overall premium increases, because it takes into account each insurance plan’s market share.

    The findings: Nationally, premiums for individual health plans increased on average between 2015 and 2016 by 14.9%.

    Consumers in every state except Mississippi faced increased premiums, and in no fewer than 29 states the average increases were in the double digits. For a third of states, the average premiums rose 20% or more.

    Health-insurance premiums rose by more than 30% in Alaska and Hawaii; Oregon’s average rate increase was 23.2%. California’s premiums on average rose by a modest 1.5%.

    Consumers in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois faced increases exceeding 20% on average. The East Coast north of Maryland was the least hard hit (New York’s average premium increase was 6%), although Pennsylvania and New Jersey consumers faced premium increases of 14.6% and 13.1% respectively.

    In 11 of the 16 states defined as southern by the U.S. Census Bureau, premiums rose by more than 10%. Premiums rose on average by 13.9%, and by more than 20% in Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina and Oklahoma. In Texas, where data was only available for 98.5% of individual-market health-care plans, premiums rose by 14.1%.

    Average premiums in Tennessee rose 35.2%—mostly because of the state’s largest individual-market insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which sold 82% of all exchange plans in 2015. After losing $141 million on these plans last year, the company had little choice but to request average premium increases of 36.3%. The state insurance commission approved this request, lest the company leave the exchange altogether and leave 231,000 Tennesseans in the lurch.

    Minnesota holds the dubious honor of having the highest year-over-year premium increases, 47.7%. Why? Because that state’s BlueCross BlueShield, the largest insurer, with over 90% of the market, lost tens of millions of dollars during the Affordable Care Act’s first two years. The company requested an average 49% rate increase, which was approved by state regulators.

    Remember: These premium increases are only one piece of the health-care cost puzzle. Deductibles are also rising under the Affordable Care Act. Silver plans—the most popular on the exchanges—had average deductibles of nearly $3,000 in 2016, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This represents an 8% increase over last year.

    Millions of Americans are coming to believe that the Affordable Care Act’s costs far outweigh its benefits. In 2014, the latest year for which data is available, roughly 7.5 million Americans paid the IRS penalty rather than purchase the law’s insurance. This penalty is rising to an average $969 per household in 2016 in an attempt to force people onto the exchanges. Yet even a $1,000 fine is cheap compared to thousands—and sometimes tens of thousands—of dollars for an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan.

    Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton refuses to acknowledge the law’s widespread problems. At the Dec. 19 Democratic presidential debate, she responded to a question about rising premiums and deductibles by calling them “glitches,” and a month later she was claiming credit for the health-care law altogether. But if ObamaCare is HillaryCare by a different name, shouldn’t voters hold her responsible?

    Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

    "ObamaCare in Arrears:  The losses keep piling up for private insurers on the exchanges," The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2016 ---

    In her confrontation with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton always promises to “build on the successes” of ObamaCare, so allow us to recommend a follow-up question: What would those be, precisely? The entitlement is becoming less stable and less entrenched, not more, as it gets older.

    The latest jolt is the $475 million loss UnitedHealth Group booked on the insurance exchanges in 2015, which the largest U.S. mega-insurer by membership expects to rise this year to another $500 million. Only three months ago the company projected losses of $400 million to $425 million. Every other line of UnitedHealth’s business is thriving, but the ObamaCare money-pit sunk its year-over-year profit margin to 3.7% from 4.3%.

    The explanation for this underperformance: Too many people bought UnitedHealth’s ObamaCare products—despite what CFO Dave Wichmann told analysts was “a comprehensive set of actions to contain membership.” These include raising premiums, eliminating advertising and insurance broker commissions, narrowing the provider network, cutting the customer service budget and “intensified clinical engagement and medical management.” Another term for that last one is bureaucratic nuisance.

    Despite UnitedHealth’s labors to seek fewer customers, enrollment has risen to 700,000 from about a half-million. The only recourse left would be to exit ObamaCare altogether, as the company is threatening to do in 2017. Humana has also warned investors that it is taking losses on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, though it hasn’t released a number.

    ObamaCare mandates that commercial insurers cover anyone who applies and to charge more or less the same premiums. Supposedly this prevents “discrimination.” But the natural result is that young people who should be cheap to insure don’t sign up to avoid artificially inflated prices, and the risk pool skews older and more expensive. Insurers that charge average premiums thus lose money on every customer. UnitedHealth estimates it loses 15 or 16 cents for every dollar of revenue on the exchanges.

    ObamaCare’s rules also make it economically rational for patients to wait until they are about to incur major medical expenses to get covered, which the company says contributed to losses. An annual enrollment period from November to January is supposed to deter such gaming, but the Health and Human Services Department turned it into Swiss cheese by creating “special enrollment periods” for virtually all life events.

    A lost job or divorce qualifies—but so does unspecified “confusion” about the health-care system, HHS’s own incompetence and, incredibly, failing to meet the normal enrollment deadline for any reason and lost coverage due to being a premium deadbeat. HHS has no process to validate the claims people make when claiming one of these exemptions.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on health care --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

    "Bernie Sanders' healthcare plan would cost $13.8 trillion over 10 years," by Eric Pianin, The Fiscal Times,  January 20, 2016 ---

    "The Fiction Behind Sanders' Health Plan:  You can’t demand more without paying more," by Steve Chapman, Reason Magazine, January 21, 2016 ---

    . . .

    It would encompass "the entire continuum of care," including long-term care and dentistry. There would be "no more copays, no more deductibles, and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges." In sum: Every person will have everything he or she wants in the way of care and will pay zero at the point of service.

    Contrast that with Medicare, which doesn't cover long-term care or dentistry. It also imposes a deductible for hospital stays and a copay on doctor services. In 2010, the average Medicare recipient spent $4,734 for out-of-pocket costs.

    Such obligations are an inconvenience and a burden to patients, but they serve two useful purposes: reducing what taxpayers have to pay and discouraging care that is only marginally helpful. This approach serves to contain costs. Sanders' change would serve to increase them.

    He argues that his system will be more far cheaper than private insurance because it will cut down on "overhead, administrative costs and complexity." But a lot of private insurers' costs come from scrutinizing claims to prevent fraud, overtreatment and unnecessary treatment. Agreeing to pay all charges without review, as Sanders proposes, is an invitation to be fleeced.

    One reason he thinks the single-payer approach will work so well is that countries like Canada and Britain use it and spend far less than we do on health care. He takes care not to mention one major tool they use to hold down costs: limiting access to procedures that insured Americans take for granted.

    "One in four Canadians reported waiting four months or more for elective surgery, similar to the proportion of patients in the United Kingdom (21 percent) but much higher than in Germany (almost 0 percent) and the United States (7 percent)," the Canadian Institute for Health Information found in 2012. One in five Canadians needing knee or hip replacements has to wait more than six months.

    The Guardian newspaper reported in 2012 that Britain's National Health Service "has come under growing criticism for making it harder for patients to have operations for routine conditions such as hernia, cataracts, grommets, wisdom teeth, or hip or knee replacement, and denying infertile couples IVF."

    Single-payer advocates will argue that such limits are a small price to pay for guaranteeing coverage for everyone. It's a plausible cause that Sanders, alas, is unwilling to make. He would have us believe there will be no limits.

    He's hardly unique in pretending we can all get everything we want for a pittance. George W. Bush did the same thing in pushing a new program of Medicare prescription drug coverage without raising payroll taxes to pay for it. It cost the government $78 billion in 2014—only 15 percent of which was covered by premiums from seniors.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Add to this another $10 trillion for free college education for all and you've got a monumental obligation to be paid by government. But there's really no sweat since the Fed has already proven that printing money is the best way to pay government bills to avoid taxation and debt.

    After paying into the Medicare Trust Fund for so many of my working years, Medicare in retirement is far from free and are based upon retirement income ---
    And the Medicare only pays 80% of qualified expenses.
    And many of the top physicians and medical clinics will not accept Medicare patients, especially if they do not have expensive supplemental private insurance.
    With the Medicare premiums. the supplemental Medicare premiums, and the out-of-pocket costs for medical services and medication expenses beyond Plan D coverage, our out-of-pocket medical costs are nearly $20,000 per year.  What's this about Medicare being free after paying in all those years? That's bull sh##!!
    And Medicare does not cover long-term care (which we don't need yet) and dentistry (which we do need). Adding these to Medicare would be exceedingly costly to the government.

    Actually I'm in favor of a basic national health care plan. But it should be funded with tax dollars so that revenue streams cover costs. The more you add in coverage, the more you tax. And all covered persons should pay something toward their national health insurance, including low income people taxed at progressive rates for medical coverage.

    Long term care should entail estate taxation when care is needed. For example, when grandma is put into a nursing home here home and investments should bear much of the cost. Penalties for fraudulent advance bleeding of estate values should be severe such as fraudulent reverse mortgage frauds.

    Bob Jensen's threads on health care --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm


    Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm 

    Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/