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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the March 30, 2017 edition of Tidbits         
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl


Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


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

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

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

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II.
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

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

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton
Why were nearly all poll statisticians thinking alike in 2016?

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

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

Economists are the idiot savants of our time.
John Stuart Mill

How ISIS Was Founded ---

The prominent U.S. attorney (Preet Bharara) fired by Donald Trump this weekend has been justly acclaimed for his pursuit of political corruption. But his treatment of the Wall Street executives involved in the financial meltdown was far less confrontational.---

The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 47% of adults (more than 200,000 individuals and half of whom have high school diplomas) in the City of Detroit are functionally illiterate, referring to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills in everyday life situations.

California’s Teacher Tax Break:   Sacramento moves to exempt public-school teachers from state income tax ---

Trump Plans Historic Cuts Across Government to Fund Defense ---
Winners and Losers in a "Skinny" Budget ---
80 Programs Losing Funding ---
Note the Bar Chart ---
Jensen Comment
This budget has a long way to travel through gnarling dogs before being finalized.
The lobbyists have barely begun to fight.

That is the power of (courteous) debate and dissent. And it is a reminder that when we shut down speech, there will be losers. Many of those losers will be the ones whose brilliance will go unnoticed without an opportunity to skillfully argue for what they believe.
Walter M. Kimbrough, President of Dillard University
Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness ---

Free Speech Is Not an Academic Value (freedom of speech comes with responsibility)
Stanley Fish

Video:  Jonathan Haidt (NYU) on "the Coddling of the American Mind" and How We Should Address It College students rather than deans are calling for less speech and expression. That should worry us all ---

The Coddling of the American Mind:  In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health
by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, 
The Atlantic, September 2015 ---

Students for Bernie Find Their Home in Growing Socialist Movements
Since Nordic nations are capitalist, the problem is finding a successful socialist nation role model in history --- something like Switzerland is to capitalism.

Yet, as is widely known and discussed, millions of middle-class Americans were left behind as the world’s economy grew. Contrary to what economists’ models assumed would happen, communities that have bore the brunt of the costs of offshoring have not been made whole. The United States is not alone in this trend. Many developed economies have seen only those at the top benefit from economic growth. In the United States, as Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman have documented, between 1980 and 2014, pre-tax income per adult grew by 61 percent, but the bottom 50 percent experienced only 1-percent growth in their incomes. Those in the top 1 percent scored 205-percent income growth.
Heather Broushey in "The Appealing Logic That Underlies Trump’s Economic Ideas," The Atlantic, March 15, 2017

Cape Town has 100 days before it runs out of water. After two years of the least rainfall on record, the average level of the six main dams that supply the city of 3.7 million people has dropped below 30 percent, one of the lowest levels on record. Even if the supply stretches until the winter rainy season starts in May or June, heavy downpours may be needed to avert outages over the next two years in the crown jewel of South Africa’s tourism industry.
Jensen Comment
I'll bet that South Africa wishes it had planned ahead like Israel.

The Secret Service keeps the USA presidential candidates and their families under surveillance. It seems entirely possible that rogue agents could share information with candidates that they favor.
Bob Jensen

There's no evidence that Rachel Maddow will leave MSNBC while aspiring to be a PwC auditor.
Bob Jensen

Laffer was recently asked about the mess that is Kansas, and he responded by saying Governor Sam Brownback had the right idea in cutting taxes. He just failed to cut taxes massively enough ---



Bob Dylan's Nobel Speech ---

As a performer I've played for 50,000 people and I've played for 50 people and I can tell you that it is harder to play for 50 people. 50,000 people have a singular persona, not so with 50. Each person has an individual, separate identity, a world unto themselves. They can perceive things more clearly. Your honesty and how it relates to the depth of your talent is tried. The fact that the Nobel committee is so small is not lost on me.
Bob Dylan

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss. 
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Bob Dylan

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Bob Dylan

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son
And what did you see, my darling young one
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

Student Loan Debt is Up to $1,424+ billion or $1.4+ trillion
Federal Student loan defaults of $137 billion are nearly half of what the USA pays ($273 billion) in Federal Pensions---

An analysis of new student loan data finds the number of federal loans in default at the end of 2016 increased 14 percent from 2015. Cumulative defaults -- defined in federal law as nine months past due -- stand at $137.4 billion, according to the analysis by the Consumer Federation of America.

The group examined new data posted by the Office of Federal Student Aid last week. The analysis also found that 1.1 million federal direct loan borrowers defaulted in 2016.

"Three thousand preventable student loan defaults each day in America is 3,000 too many," said Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at the federation and the former student loans ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, of the direct loan defaults last year. "Our broken system works well for the student loan industry but is failing borrowers, taxpayers and our economy."

Read the analysis ---

Bob Jensen's threads on pending entitlements disasters ---

Should Robots Be Taxed? ---

Jensen Comment
For example, if a robot displaces most workers in a warehouse should those robots be taxed to contribute to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social programs funded with payroll taxes. And should employers of robots have to match the robot payroll taxes like employers have to match human worker payroll taxes?

This begs the question of what is a robot? A robot boxing up your groceries is pretty easy to define. A self-driving truck with no "robot" at the wheel is a little more difficult to define. Is a drone a robot?

Time Magazine:  Donald Trump's 2005 Tax Return Reveals He Paid $38 Million in Taxes on $150 Million Income ---

What Trump's 2005 Tax Returns Reveal ---

Jensen Comment
What the release of this tax return does not reveal, at least to me, is that it's not fake from "an anonymous source" who left it in reporter David K. Johnston's postal box. At least Woodward and Bernstein of the Washington Post verified the source of their "Deep Throat" information about Nixon's Watergate before publishing the the revelations in the Washington Post. Since Johnston is a highly respected reporter must we assume that he verified that the tax return was genuine?

The IRS Scandal, Day 1410: Judicial Watch Forces Disclosure Of More Documents ---  ---

. . .

The corruption at the IRS is astounding. Our attorneys knew that there were more records to be searched, but the Obama IRS ignored this issue for years.

Remember that in July 2015, we released Obama IRS documents confirming that the agency used donor lists of tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits. The documents also show that IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” from the IRS.

In September 2014, another JW FOIA lawsuit forced the release of documents detailing that the IRS sought, obtained, and maintained the names of donors to tea party and other conservative groups. IRS officials acknowledged in these documents that “such information was not needed.” The documents also show that the donor names were being used for a “secret research project.” The Obama IRS scandal continues, and President

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
IRS former manager Lois Lerner confessed to targeting conservative fund raising groups and apologized for her illegal actions when resigning from the IRS. But she still refuses to testify under oath whether the orders to target conservative fund raising groups came from the White House.

This makes me wonder how the White House with or without permission of any President could order the Secret Service to conduct illegal surveillance on a presidential opponent. Remember the Secret Service "protects" both Democratic and Republican candidates. One Service Agent alleged she would take a bullet for candidate Hillary Clinton but not candidate Donald Trump. This sort of makes me wonder if she would also would've conducted surveillance on Donald Trump at the behest of the White House..

Automation of the 1940s Cotton Fields ---

Automation is a bit of a Rorschach test for anyone interested in workers’ rights. Employers warn fast-food workers that fighting for higher pay will just let robots take their jobs. Techno-optimists hope advanced machines will free up human labor for more interesting work. While almost everyone sees technological process as a good thing for the economy, who benefits and who gets hurt by it has more to do with politics than anything.

. . .

Landowners even supported an African-American newspaper that urged sharecroppers to remain where they were and accept their sharecropping system. “Many people who have sold their possessions and have gone into northern industries will be flocking back this way after the war, empty handed, depressed, and embarrassed,” the newspaper’s editor wrote. “Negros will have mechanized farming behind him, employment before him and starvation on either side.”

In the end, though, the planters couldn’t stem the migration of workers from the South. After the end of World War II, Delta Council President William T. Wynn observed that a third of the region’s farms had stopped production and “forty percent of the houses are vacant, forty percent of the labor is lost.”

Writes Woodruff, “Planters lamented the loss of their labor without admitting that the decision to mechanize their operations has led to the very conditions they criticized.”

Jensen Comment
When I was a kid on an Iowa farm my Uncle George, his wife Martha, and four kids made a living on 80 acres of Iowa farm land on the edge of tiny Ringsted. My dad and his brother Millen farmed 240 acres that that was considered a relatively large farm supporting Millen's family of five children and my dad's family (I was an only child). Today I doubt that 240 acres in Iowa is enough to support one family. It probably does not pay to invest in costly (think well over a million dollars) machinery to farm less than 800+ acres. As a result the small rural towns like Ringsted in Iowa are largely boarded up due to the greatly reduced numbers of surrounding families.

Soon farms will be "farmed" with self-driving tractors, fertilizer and herbicide sprayers, combines, and even trucks that haul the grain to market without drivers. Livestock is already raised in self-cleaning containment feeders that I call inhumane.

Fast-food robots won't affect Ringsted these days. There's no need for a fast-food restaurant.

We did have some self-driving vehicles when I was a kid on a farm. I sometimes got to drive a team of horses pulling a grain wagon into the elevator in Ringsted. The horses generally had to be driven away from the farm. However, after the wagon was unloaded all I had to do was tie up the reins on the wagon in Ringsted and let the team pull it back to the farm without a driver. The horses did not need a driver to make their way back to the barn. I would go to the Main Street drug store for an ice cream cone and orange soda. Then I would wait around town until someone was headed back in the direction of our farm with a car. On occasion we sometimes passed my team of big horses plodding their way back home.


Finding and Using Health Statistics ---

Bernie Sanders:  Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind ---

Bernie estimates a cost of $1.38 trillion per year for covering doctors, hospitals, ambulances, and medications of roughly 350 million people give or take depending upon the coverage of undocumented residents.

But since Medicare and Medicaid currently costs $1.14 trillion per year Bernie must have left out all the people currently covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Adding $1.38 trillion to $1.14 trillion brings the total cost to $2.52 trillion. However, since currently Medicare only does not pay 20% of the expenses we need to add another $228 billion bringing the total estimated cost to $2.52+$0.23 = $2.75 trillion per year.

Dividing $2.75 trillion by 350 million means the estimated cost is nearly $8,000 cost per person ignoring medical expense inflation. For a family of four this would be $32,000 in average outlays per year. There are also uncertainties regarding how much of mental health, home nursing care, and nursing home care would be covered. Plus Medicare D only covers a portion of medication costs per person such that it is not unrealistic to assume that the Bernie Sanders proposal would start out costing about $10,000 on average for every man, woman, and child in the United States plus the added costs of nursing home care and long-term mental health coverage.Plus Bernie did not add in the hundre of billions paid for malpractice insurance and claims that are paid by hospitals, doctors, and liability insurance companies.

Of course my estimates are subject to a huge margin of error. However, the bottom line is that the funding proposal proposed by Bernie Sanders would only pay for a small portion of the cost extending Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in the USA.

On top of that the USA medical system does not have the capacity to provide anything but lowest quality care on average to 350 million people. Hospitals currently lose a considerable amount serving ACA and Medicaid patients --- which is why so many doctors and hospitals refuse to serve ACA and Medicaid patients


Harvard:  Where Both the ACA and AHCA Fall Short, and What the Health Insurance Market Really Needs ---

Jensen Comment
The biggest problem for Medicaid and other lower-end covered ACA people is that the medical coverage is crap coverage.

Major hospitals in Chicago will no longer serve patients insured in Obamacare exchanges (except in true emergencies) ---

News Item Prior to November 8 Election of President Trump
Major Chicago Hospitals Not In 2017 Obamacare Marketplace Plans -

Some of Chicago’s largest hospitals said they will not be part of any Cook County Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in 2017.


University of Chicago Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center both said they don’t plan to be in network for any Obamacare marketplace plans next year. 



The change means patients with doctors at those hospitals will either need to find a plan off the marketplace, and lose Obamacare subsides, or find a new doctor.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital said it will also be out of the marketplace, but will have exceptions for some of its partner hospitals.

Continued in article

According to emergency room physicians Obamacare made it much worse for emergency rooms.
American College of Emergency Room Physicians
The Uninsured: Access to Medical Care Fact Sheet ---


Medicaid Is Free. So Why Does It Require a Mandate?

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the House Republicans’ ObamaCare replacement, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The CBO’s report includes an implicit but powerful indictment of Medicaid, America’s second-largest health care entitlement.

Medicaid has been around since 1965; it was a core part of LBJ’s Great Society entitlement expansion. The program’s idiosyncratic design requires states to chip in around 40% of the program’s funding, while only getting to control about 5% of how the program is run. The federal Medicaid law—Title XIX of the Social Security Act—mandates a laundry list of benefits that states must provide through Medicaid, and bars states from charging premiums. Copays and deductibles cannot exceed a token amount.

Medicaid is the largest or second-largest line item in nearly every state budget. But for all practical purposes, the main tool states have to control costs is to pay doctors and hospitals less than private insurers pay for the same care. As a result, fewer doctors accept Medicaid patients, making it very hard for Medicaid enrollees to get access to care when they need it. Poor access, in turn, means that Medicaid enrollees—remarkably—have no better health outcomes than those with no insurance at all.

That brings us back to the AHCA. According to the CBO, able-bodied adults on Medicaid receive about $6,000 a year in government health-insurance benefits. They pay no premiums and minimal copays. You’d think that eligible individuals would need no prodding to sign up for such a benefit.

And yet, according to its analysis of the GOP ObamaCare replacement, the CBO believes that there are five million Americans who wouldn’t sign up for Medicaid if it weren’t for ObamaCare’s individual mandate. You read that right: Five million people need the threat of a $695 fine to sign up for a free program that offers them $6,000 worth of subsidized health insurance. That’s more than 1 in 5 of the 24 million people the CBO (dubiously) claims would end up uninsured if the AHCA supplanted ObamaCare.

On its face, there’s reason to doubt the CBO’s view. The mandate is enforced through the income-tax system, and enforcement of the mandate has been spotty for those in low tax brackets. Many of those eligible for Medicaid don’t work or file returns. Under rules established by the Obama administration, those who do can leave the “I have insurance” box blank and face no penalty.

Still, it’s remarkable that the CBO believes people need to be fined into signing up for Medicaid. That tells us something about the CBO’s assessment of Medicaid’s value to those individuals—and it buttresses the GOP’s case that Medicaid needs substantial reform.

Not coincidentally, the AHCA represents the most significant Medicaid reform since 1965, and thereby the most significant entitlement reform in American history. The 1996 welfare reform law is hailed by many conservatives as the most important domestic policy achievement of the past 25 years. Fiscally speaking, the AHCA is 10 times as significant.

The AHCA would put Medicaid on a budget, increasing Medicaid spending per beneficiary at the same rate as the medical component of the Consumer Price Index. This isn’t a far-right concept; President Clinton first proposed reforming Medicaid this way in 1995, as an alternative to the GOP idea of block grants. The 1996 law ended up including neither provision.

Combined with administrative reforms that may come from the Department of Health and Human Services, the bill would give states more flexibility to manage Medicaid’s costs in ways that could increase access to doctors and other providers, while reducing Medicaid spending by hundreds of billions in its first decade and trillions thereafter.

Ultimately, Medicaid for able-bodied low-income adults should be merged into the system of tax credits that the AHCA proposes for those above the poverty line. In that way, all Americans, rich and poor, would have the ability to choose the health coverage and care that reflects their needs, and build nest eggs in health savings accounts that could be passed on to their heirs.


"Chuck Schumer: Passing Obamacare in 2010 Was a Mistake:  The Senate’s No. 3 Democrat says that his party misused its mandate," by Sarah Mimms, National Journal, November 25, 2014 ---

Chuck Schumer upbraided his own party Tuesday for pushing the Affordable Care Act through Congress in 2010.

While Schumer emphasized during a speech at the National Press Club that he supports the law and that its policies "are and will continue to be positive changes," he argued that the Democrats acted wrongly in using their new mandate after the 2008 election to focus on the issue rather than the economy at the height of a terrible recession.

"After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them," Schumer said. "We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform."

The third-ranking Senate Democrat noted that just about 5 percent of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, arguing that to focus on a problem affecting such "a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense."

The larger problem, affecting most Americans, he said, was a poor economy resulting from the recession. "When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, 'The Democrats aren't paying enough attention to me,' " Schumer said.

Continued in article

"Sen. Chuck Schumer: Obamacare Focused 'On The Wrong Problem,' Ignores The Middle Class" by  Avik Roy, Forbes, November 26, 2014 ---

Despite the enduring unpopularity of Obamacare, Congressional Democrats have up to now stood by their health care law, allowing that “it’s not perfect” but that they are proud of their votes to pass it. That all changed on Tuesday, when the Senate’s third-highest-ranking Democrat—New York’s Chuck Schumer—declared that “we took [the public’s] mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform…When Democrats focused on health care, the average middle-class person thought, ‘The Democrats aren’t paying enough attention to me.’”

Sen. Schumer made his remarks at the National Press Club in Washington. “Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them…Now, the plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed,” Schumer maintained. “But it wasn’t the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs—not changes in health care.”

“This makes sense,” Schumer continued, “considering 85 percent of all Americans got their health care from either the government, Medicare, Medicaid, or their employer. And if health care costs were going up, it really did not affect them. The Affordable Care Act was aimed at the 36 million Americans who were not covered. It has been reported that only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote…it made no political sense.”

The response from Obama Democrats was swift. Many, like Obama speechwriters Jon Lovett and Jon Favreau and NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor, took to Twitter. “Shorter Chuck Schumer,” said Vietor, “I wish Obama cared more about helping Democrats than sick people.”

The Economist Magazine in March 2017:  Admit it: Republicans’ proposed Obamacare overhaul offers relief for some middle earners ---

WHAT is the best part of House Republicans’ proposed reform of Obamacare? There isn’t one, if you believe much of this week’s commentary. The bill will benefit the young and healthy, by bringing their premiums down, but only at the cost of the old and sickly. But most writers are overlooking the help the bill would offer to one group that has clearly suffered unfairly under Obamacare. So long as Paul Ryan’s reform does not send the market into a death spiral—which is not a sure thing (see article)—this group will get some needed financial assistance under the Republican plan.

I'm talking about people who buy health insurance for themselves, rather than through an employer, and who do not get the subsidies which shield those on low incomes from Obamacare’s high premiums. It is easy to overlook this group, because the vast majority of the 10m people who buy insurance through Obamacare’s websites (or "exchanges") receive subsidies. For example, here is Jared Bernstein, Vice-President Joe Biden's former chief economist, in the Washington Post:

Of course, there’s the infamous, headline-generating 2017 premium increases in the non-group market. After growing 2 and 7 percent in 2015 and 2016, insurers in the state-based exchanges raised the cost of the benchmark plan by an average of 25 percent. To Obamacare critics, this was proof of the program’s unsustainability. But because 85 percent of participants in this market (state exchanges) receive premium tax credits to offset the cost of coverage, they do not face the full shock. 

What Mr Bernstein does not mention is that another 8m Americans buy coverage directly from insurers, without going through the exchanges. These buyers get no subsidies. But they must pay the same prices as those who do, because the law forces everybody in the individual marketplace—on or off the exchanges—into the same “risk-pool”. 

In total, there are 9m unsubsidised buyers for whom criticisms of Obamacare resonate strongly. Most of these people are not rich: a family-of-four stops receiving subsidies at an income of just under $100,000. Obamacare forced such buyers onto the same plans as a lot of people with pre-existing medical conditions who could not previously afford insurance. That pushed their premiums and deductibles up—and they have risen further over time. Here’s an example from a piece I wrote last September:

Before the law, Brian Anderson, a 30-something orthodontist from Nashville, paid $80 a month for insurance that came with a $5,000 deductible. In 2014 his insurer cancelled the plan, as it did not now comply with the law. His new plan, from, provides, in his view, essentially the same coverage—the deductible is in fact higher—but costs fully $201 per month. Mr Anderson says he is glad many more people now have insurance. But the estimated 2.6m others whose plans were cancelled that year may not all be as understanding.  

Since I wrote that, Mr Anderson’s insurer has dropped out of his local marketplace, and he has had to switch to a plan costing over $400 a month. You can understand why someone who has seen their premium go up by over 300% would be disillusioned with the law.

Does this matter?  A family-of-four earning $100,000 is clearly not poor. However, they face very high prices for health insurance. In much of Arizona, for instance, they would have to pay over $22,000 per year—almost a quarter of their pre-tax income—for “silver” coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Obamacare calculator.  And that is before you count their out-of-pocket medical costs. When Donald Trump says that Obamacare is a “disaster”, such a family would look at their health insurance options and agree.

The House Republican plan offers this group some help. Individuals earning less than $75,000, and couples earning less than $150,000, will get a big tax credit to help them with their premiums. (Minnesota has already passed “premium relief” for such buyers).

Is that a good thing? Obamacare explicitly tries to spread the costs of health insurance around, in order to increase coverage. Unfortunately, it does so only in the individual market. The 155m Americans who get health insurance through their employers need not foot the bill for unhealthy people on the exchanges. Not only that, but this coddled group also gets a tax break on their coverage. People in the individual market have a right to feel hard done by. The best thing about Mr Ryan’s tax credit is that it begins to redress the imbalance. 

I am not suggesting that helping this group justifies removing means-tested subsidies for the poor. But I am pushing back on the idea that Obamacare's redistribution only hurt the "rich". Here is Matthew Yglesias at Vox (emphasis added):

Policy-minded conservatives have serious criticisms of President Obama’s health care law. They think it taxes rich people too much, and coddles Americans with excessively generous, excessively subsidized health insurance plans. They want a world of lower taxes on millionaires while millions of Americans put “skin in the game” in the form of higher deductibles and copayments. Exactly the opposite, in other words, of what Republican politicians have been promising.

Mr Yglesias portrays Obamacare's redistribution as flowing primarily from rich to poor. But his chart shows something else: that it hurts middle-income groups most. That is consistent with the experience of millions of Americans in the individual market who have seen their premiums soar while they have received no help from the government. They are treated unfairly by the system as it stands, and should not be ignored when thinking about health care reform.

Continued in article

Will 90 Become the New 60?
What will this do to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as job turnover (think tenure)?

Wharton:  Will the USA Face a Shortage of Nursing Homes for Baby Boomers?
Capacity of nursing homes is on the decline (think of a changing regulatory climate that causes costs to soar) in the face of demand building up like flood water behind a dam that eventually overflow with gaga old folks.

Jensen Comment
It would seem that some national healthcare plans that fund nursing home care might have more capacity to handle increases in the aging population. However, there are some reports that in nations like Canada and the U.K. the rise in demand for funding long-term  nursing care is reaching crisis levels ahead of the USA ---




Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging ---

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives --- 

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals ---

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---