Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the May 16, 2017 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl

How Your Federal Tax Dollars are Spent ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover_(film)
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---


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

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

But there were worries expressed in papers and conversations that p.c.-ness has become a rigid concept, a new orthodoxy that does not allow for sufficient complexity in scholarship or even much clarity in thinking. One speaker, Michel Chaouli, a graduate student in comparative literature at Berkeley, said that "politically correct discourse is a kind of fundamentalism," one that gives rise to "pre-fab opinions." Among its features, he said, are "tenacity, sanctimoniousness, huffiness, a stubborn lack of a sense of humor." ---
Michel Chaouli in "The Rising Hegemony of the Politically Correct," 1990

Student Takeover of a College Campus
Black student group at UC Santa Cruz threatens more campus takeovers if additional demands not met

Activist Finds Left's Silence on Genital Mutilation Case Dismaying ---

WSJ:  Make the Net Neutral Again ---

Trump Has Been Lucky in His Enemies Cursing pols, screeching students and intolerant abortion advocates have become the face of the left.---
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-has-been-lucky-in-his-enemies-1493331572?mod=djemMER `
Jensen Comment
If the major media turned polite and unbiased Trump would be out of here in 2020.

The 20 Best Firms for Work-Life Balance ---
Kristen Bahler, Time Magazine, April 20, 2017
Jensen Comment
No accounting firms made the Top 20 unless you want to call H&R Block an accounting firm. H&R Block not only made the Top 20, it came out Number 1 on this 2017 round. Top accounting firms, however, increasingly provide opportunities to parents, including very flexible work scheduling and opportunities to work at home on the computer. However, when going to work travel is the name of the game in public accounting.
I like Starbucks the best if for no other reason than Starbucks provides a free online degree from Arizona State University.

Forget Trump — the Democrats' first 100 days has been awful ---

The Economist:  Donald Trump’s corporate tax plan doesn’t add up ---

The House Plan's Bad Math — Over-Estimates Of Revenue From A Border Adjustment ---

The media assault on Trump could win him a second term ---

Heavy snow forces postponement of global warming rally in Colorado at the end of April ---

The euro was meant to bind European countries together, economically and politically, while boosting investment, productivity and growth. Instead, it has coincided with crises and exposed underlying weaknesses in many countries.---
Jensen Comment
Before the days of the common currency called the Euro nations like Italy addressed heavy debts by paying them off with cheaper devalued national currencies. Now a single Euro zone nation like Italy or Greece cannot simply devalue the currency in times of financial crisis. Instead nations like Italy and Greece are dependent upon more frugal nations like Germany, Finland, and Holland to bail them out over and over and over.

Last week, every senator signed our (WCJ) letter to Secretary-General António Guterres, urging him to improve the U.N.’s treatment of Israel and eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms ---

The horrors of communist China under Mao Zedong that most Westerners don't know about (40-100+ million people slaughtered)  ---

Here’s why French voters are just as divided as American ones ---

The Atlantic:  What Trump Gets Right—and Progressives Get Wrong—About Andrew Jackson ---

A Free Course from Yale on the U.S. Civil War: Because Trump Just Gave Us Another Teachable Moment ---

Why America's Public Media (think PBS and NPR) Can't Do Its Job ---
Jensen Comment
I remember when PBS ran a wonderful and lengthy series hosted by Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman. Now the biased public media considers Freedman to be conservatism poison.

On the 'Invasion' of 'Libertarianism,' Pope Francis' Ignorance Is Showing ---

Janet Napolitano is sorry she got caught trying to rig a state audit: And she still has her job ---

Authorities haven't found 'even $1' of El Chapo's reported $1bn drug fortune ---
Why not set a $2 billion cash bail?

Thousands of Clinton Emails, Including Classified Ones, Were Forwarded to Anthony Weiner ---
James Comey, Director of the FBI

How did we get from Johnny Carson (comedian) to Stephen Colbert (Trump-bashing evangelist of hate)?

When speaking of Trump’s first 100 days in office, Stephen Colbert dove deep into the realm of crass, witless, maliciously defamatory humor that is neither acceptable within our honorable society nor protected by the Constitution of the United States
Jensen Comment
What surprised me is that CBS tolerated such an partisan outburst in a comedy show that was not funny during this outburst

5 Cartoons That Perfectly Capture Washington's Mixed Reactions to Comey's Firing ---

Comey’s Deserved Dismissal:  The FBI chief forfeited his credibility with his 2016 interventions ---

Democratic National Committee Chair: We Just Can't Slam Trump All The Time ---

Trump Made a 'Fair Point' About Dem Hypocrisy ---
Lester Holt, NBC News Anchor

New York Times Picks 'Book Slut' to Slam Ivanka Book as Like Work of a 'Demented 12-Year-Old' ---
Watch for more slamming of Ivanka's book on the Stephen Colbert "comedy" show

U.S., Canada Both Practice Protectionism ---
Canada's dairy products wall the USA's lumber products wall.

Susan Rice Refuses to Testify Before Congress ---
Jensen Comment
She decided to join the Lois Learner Fifth Amendment Club

The best remedy against the political left's ongoing crusade to remake America in its own vulgar image is maximum exposure of its irrationality. If you haven't seen Colbert's rant, please watch it. It's titled "This Monologue Goes Out To You, Mr. President" on YouTube. There was nothing funny about it; there was nothing clever. It was just one shallow insult after another.
David Limbaugh in "Thank You Stephen Colbert"
Sadly the FCC investigation of Stephen Colbert may harm President's Trump's future re-election bid ---


FBI:  Did Bernie Sanders' Wife Commit Bank Fraud?
Also see

Obama Steered America's Navy Off Course ---

350 Islamic State Fighters Returning to the UK Pose Terrorist Threat ---

Condi Makes Her Case ---

Racist Note at St. Olaf College Was Faked, President Tells Students ---

The crop that ate America. Corn has always been a mainstay of U.S. agriculture, but its increasing profitability has driven up corn’s share of total production, while grains such as wheat and oats have steadily fallen. This has locked farmers to the rises and falls of one crop, as both domestic and export markets grow more and more tied to the dominant U.S. grain ---

Illegal Deported 15 Times Gravely Injures 6-Year-Old American ---
If it's so easy to cross back into the USA why all this whoopla about deportation?


Public Sector Fraud Per Usual in Washington DC
Former LA county sheriff sentenced to 3 years in prison ---

Public Sector Fraud Per Usual in Washington DC
Bangladesh prime minister says Clinton personally pressured her to help foundation donor ---

Public Sector Fraud Per Usual in Washington DC
Former Rep. Corrine Brown Guilty Of 18 Charges ---


Public Sector Fraud Per Usual in Chicago
Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Former Chicago Schools CEO, Sentenced to Prison  ---

Former Chicago schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was sentenced Friday to more than four years in prison for her role in steering no-bid contracts to an education consulting company in exchange for kickbacks in a $20 million corruption scheme



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 --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl

How the Islamic State managed to get supplies, electricity and food, despite being under siege ---

. . .

In the modern history of warfare, there has rarely been an example of an enemy entity having such open borders to trade, even via the states at war with it.

ISIS was able to prolong its resistance because it was never subjected to a total war onslaught, and its enemies – particularly the coalition which had the resources – were tepid in targeting it and seeking to destroy it quickly and effectively


Prisoner Re-Entry, the Problem No One Is Talking About:  In 2015, 6.7 million people were under the care of the correctional system, but only 2.1 million were in custody ---

A corollary to the debate about mass incarceration is the one about prisoner re-entry, which doesn’t get the attention it deserves even as the problem has escalated.

In 1980, state and federal prisons released fewer than 170,000 inmates each year. Today, the number is about 650,000, or roughly the population of Boston. Much of the focus in the popular press is on the number of people incarcerated, but the vast majority of people under correctional supervision are not behind bars. Instead, they’re living in the community while on parole or probation. As of 2015, 6.7 million people were under the care of the correctional system, but only 2.1 million—less than a third—were physically in custody.

That ratio hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years, and neither has the fact that ex-offenders are a major source of criminal behavior. About two-thirds of the people freed from prison commit new crimes, and the majority of all prison admissions each year comprises individuals who violated the conditions of their probation or parole.

Justice Department studies from the 1990s revealed that 43% of ex-felons on probation were rearrested within three years, and half of the arrests were for a violent crime or drug offense. Similarly, 67% of parolees were rearrested within three years for a felony or serious misdemeanor, and more than half were back in prison. Even prisoners considered “nonviolent” didn’t all stay that way after being released. Nearly 22% were eventually rearrested for violent crimes that included assault, rape and murder. A quarter-century later, these disturbing rates of recidivism continue.

“Overall, 67.8% of the 404,638 state prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states were arrested within 3 years of release, and 76.6% were arrested within 5 years of release,” according to a Justice Department analysis published in 2014. “Among prisoners released in 2005 in 23 states with available data on inmates returned to prison, 49.7% had either a parole or probation violation or an arrest for a new offense within 3 years that led to imprisonment, and 55.1% had a parole or probation violation or an arrest that led to imprisonment within 5 years.”

The persistence of recidivism is no great mystery. The majority of ex-convicts return to crime-plagued communities and re-establish relationships with other people leading dysfunctional lives and engaged in antisocial behavior. Re-entry programs are designed to help them deal with this environment, stay out of trouble and support themselves as law-abiding citizens. Many of these programs are small, and some get better results than others. The good ones deserve more attention from our policy makers with an eye toward funding and replicating what works.

Jon Ponder’s Hope for Prisoners program, based in Las Vegas, has been in operation since 2009 and serves more than 250 ex-offenders annually. A 2016 analysis of Hope conducted by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, found that 64% of those who completed the job-readiness training course had found stable employment and that only 6% were reincarcerated.

Texas’ Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) and Pennsylvania’s Peerstar program also provide job training, housing and life-skills training. According to a 2015 paper by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, between 5% and 7% of PEP participants recidivate within three years, and Peerstar’s re-entry program, which focuses on individuals with mental health problems, has reduced recidivism among mentally ill ex-offenders by 65%.

Robert Cherry, an economics professor at Brooklyn College whose research focuses on race and poverty, says work-readiness programs aimed at teaching basic, industry-specific job skills seem to be more effective than funneling former inmates into community colleges, which is popular in states like New York. In a new Manhattan Institute report on re-entry strategies which Mr. Cherry co-authored with Mary Gatta, a sociologist, they conclude that for many ex-cons, certificate programs “designed to prepare people for employment as soon as possible may be the best choice.”

“This is what President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative was about—getting more people vocational training,” Mr. Cherry told me. “But he was really slammed by the liberal left. They said he’s setting people up for crappy jobs.” However, given the education level of the average inmate—most are high school dropouts—this is a population that is more likely to make it through a short-term training program than through college-level remedial coursework. “There are studies that show certification programs are effective and reduce recidivism but there’s been a lack of interest among the liberal professorial class,” he said. “They think if we only provide enough support resources, everyone has a reasonable chance of getting a four-year degree.

Continued in article

The Washington Post:  Researchers have answered a big question about the decline of the middle class ---



 . . .

The implication, Guvenen argues, is that economists should search for explanations for households’ current financial woes in the youth and childhood of today’s workers.

“We are maybe looking at the wrong place for the solution to stagnation in wages and rising inequalities,” Guvenen said. “To understand higher inequality, we should turn and take a closer look at youth.”

It remains to be seen whether the situation will improve in the future for younger workers today, but their prospects seem dim. Young workers’ incomes are still declining today, suggesting that their trajectories over the rest of their careers will be lower as well.

“Things just keep looking worse,” Hendren said.

How did the ACLU end up on the wrong side—or no side—of urgent debates about free speech and due process?

Where’s the ACLU When You Need It? Its new guard reflects the left’s turn against liberal values and toward progressive politics ---

On balance, the organization has been a quiet friend more than an active opponent of campus censorship. How often have you heard the ACLU speak out against progressive censors? How often have you seen it quoted defending speech in coverage of censorship news, like the violent protests of Charles Murray’s talk at Middlebury College? Did you hear it criticize the wrongful removal of several Jewish students from a pro-Palestinian lecture at Brooklyn College? Did you hear the ACLU condemn the vilification of former Yale instructor Erika Christakis for urging students to “think critically” about rather than demand bans on “offensive” Halloween costumes? We didn’t.

Instead, the ACLU responded to the Yale incident by chastising free-speech advocates for their “refusal to confront . . . discrimination and inequality on campus.” Local ACLU officials offered a perverse free-speech defense of Muslim students who attempted to exercise a heckler’s veto and shut down a speech by Israel’s then-ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, at the University of California, Irvine.

And when the Northern California ACLU belatedly conceded Ann Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley, it did so equivocally, condemning “hate speech” and asserting that the Constitution does not protect speech that “harasses” individuals. In fact, the Constitution protects a lot of speech labeled harassment, at least by today’s campus standards. ACLU national legal director David Cole subsequently issued a stronger statement disavowing the heckler’s veto against Ms. Coulter, which we hope signals a new willingness to criticize student censors.

The ACLU even sided with the Obama administration’s crusade against due process for college students accused of sexual misconduct. “Title IX is pretty awesome because it is expansive,” declares a 2014 ACLU blog post, referring to the antidiscrimination statute. “Title IX pushes universities to do a better job of creating a campus environment that discourages and, ideally, prevents sexual violence.” The ACLU has been silent about the widely documented proliferation of campus kangaroo courts that presume guilt and deprive the accused of the most basic procedural protections. (The official who oversaw these directives for the Obama administration’s last four years was a former ACLU attorney.)

How did the ACLU end up on the wrong side—or no side—of urgent debates about free speech and due process?
In part the organization’s transformation is a result of generational shifts: The old liberal guard of ACLU leaders is aging. The new guard reflects the left’s turn away from traditional liberal values toward a “progressive” politics with expansive definitions of discrimination and restrictive approaches to speech.

New generations have wrought policy changes before. The ACLU became more concerned about discrimination in the 1960s and ’70s thanks to an influx of younger leaders shaped by the civil-rights movement. But for decades that agenda focused primarily on discriminatory actions, not speech, and the ACLU managed to balance the occasional conflict between civil liberties and civil rights.

Periodically its left wing, concentrated in Southern California, proposed adoption of an economic justice agenda, and periodically the proposals were defeated. Today, however, the left is the organization’s center of gravity, and achieving economic justice is an explicit ACLU mission.

Partisanship is an obvious pitfall for this ACLU, as its comprehensive—and enormously profitable—opposition to the Trump administration makes clear. Executive director Anthony Romero has tried to pre-empt or defuse charges of political partisanship with an unusual statement defending the ACLU’s anti-Trump initiatives, like the creation of a grass-roots “people power” project led by a former adviser to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

“We will be moving further into political spaces across the country as we fight to prevent and dismantle the Trump agenda,” Mr. Romero says, vowing “to fight him at every step—both on traditional civil liberties fronts and new ones.” This is nonpartisan, he claims, because the Trump administration “poses an unprecedented threat to our civil liberties.”

That begs the question. Some of the ACLU’s objections to the administration’s policies are well-founded. The organization’s constitutional challenge to the travel ban is justified by the defense of due process and religious liberty.

Continued in article

Massachusetts gave GE a “mega-deal” to move, but did it matter?

. . .

As Norton Francis and I outline in our new report, states use three strategies to attract firms and encourage economic development, each of which came into play in the GE deal:

  1. Investments in business. Boston gave GE $25 million in property tax incentives, but the investment didn’t stop there. The city and state also provided “concierge” services to assist GE in moving its headquarters and people. This included promises of attention from key staff in the governor’s and mayor’s office, identification of temporary office space, and establishment of a mobile office for GE employees relocating to Massachusetts. General Electric also received access to the airport and parking for aircraft, preferences few other businesses in the state enjoy.
  2. Investments in the workforce. Massachusetts offers workforce programs that any firm can use, but the state agreed to provide GE $1 million in customized employee training and, as part of the concierge services, to help identify other appropriate state programs. For example, GE has already begun posting jobs on Massachusetts JobQuest, an online job board hosted by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
  3. Investments in community. Infrastructure investments were the bulk of the incentive package, accounting for $250 million. These included targeted improvement projects at the selected site location ($120 million) and a bridge renovation and transit upgrades that will benefit the entire Boston community ($125 million).

So what part of this mega-deal convinced GE to move?

Tax incentives are alluring to policymakers because they usually have a higher short-term political return than long-term policies like investments in education or infrastructure. These latter investments and the Boston labor force, however, are likely part of what made Boston an attractive option for GE.

Research suggests that real economic activity is fairly unresponsive to changes in taxes and that firms care more about workforce development and infrastructure. In 2016, firms ranked highway access, availability of skilled labor, and cost of labor as the most important business location factors, with tax incentives and rates ranking fifth or lower.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
The high tech labor market seems to be a necessary condition for companies like GE --- which in turn means being near great research universities. In California, Silicon Valley evolved from such universities as Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other nearby universities of note. In Texas Austin became a hub for high tech industry largely due to the University of Texas plus surrounding greats like Texas A&M that serves both Austin and Houston. It's no secret that Boston became a high tech hub due to MIT, Harvard, and the many other great universities in the Boston metroplex. Also very important is being in a city with that's an international airport.

Tax incentives probably play a major role only after the necessary conditions are first satisfied. The article suggests that perhaps cities become overly generous with tax and other financial incentive honey pots for companies wanting to move.

Boston did not have to offer tax and financial deals nearly as great as some other cities probably did or would have offered GE.

The point here is that a state may attract tech companies more by investing tens of millions in research universities and airports than in wasting tens of millions on tax incentives and professional sports stadiums. I doubt that GE would've even considered moving to Las Vegas even if Las Vegas offered twice the tax and other financial incentives as Boston.


As Robots Displace Workers, Higher Ed ‘Will Change a Great Deal,’ Researcher Says ---

. . .

In the meantime, the MIT researcher is skeptical of ideas like universal basic income, a government stipend that some of his peers suggest could be a stopgap against the poverty and hopelessness that have ravaged formerly middle-class workers.

Mr. McAfee talked with The Chronicle about how the robot-human war might unfold in the coming years, and the role higher education has to play in it. 

The political rhetoric about the middle class has been the same for a while, but the composition of the middle class has changed, and a lot of that change has had to do with technology and automation. What middle-class jobs are robots currently poised to take over for good?

The best way to answer that question is to look at the recent trajectory. The recent trajectory has been that technology has been automating lots of routine work. I mean both routine physical work (think about an assembly-line worker in a factory) and routine cognitive work (think about the payroll clerk in that same factory). There are a lot fewer of both of those jobs than there used to be, even though we still actually have a lot of factories in America and we turn out a lot of manufactured goods.

By far the most likely scenario is that that is going to continue and that is going to expand. It used to be the case that if you wanted to listen to another human being talk, figure out what they wanted, and satisfy their request, you had to have a human being involved in that work. That is not true anymore. I can easily envision lots of customer-service type jobs or customer-interaction type jobs that are going to be automated away at the same time. Jobs that don't look routine, but ­really are, are going to confront automation.

You mentioned customer-service jobs. There are other jobs you’ve mentioned as being at risk of being taken over: clerks, warehouse workers, cab drivers. …

Continued in article


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

Tapper:  Democrats' Obamacare Pitch Was Dishonest ---
Jake Tapper, CNN

Fact Checking Health-Care Hysteria:   It’s as if Democrats didn’t even bother reading the GOP bill before attacking it ---

After the House voted last week to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Democrats quickly launched a barrage of false attacks. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asserted that the bill would “gut” protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Never one to shy away from melodrama, she added: “This is deadly. This is deadly.”

Apparently the GOP proposal is the second health-care bill Mrs. Pelosi didn’t read. The legislation makes clear: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”

On Fox News Sunday, the MIT economist Jonathan Gruber came from a different angle, alleging it was dangerous to grant states waivers from some ObamaCare requirements. He suggested insurers could now “literally say, just because the genes you were born with, you’re going to pay more for health insurance.”

Apparently Mr. Gruber is also averse to reading. States may seek waivers from some ObamaCare provisions, but the law explicitly prohibits waivers on pre-existing-condition protections. To receive a waiver insurers must prove it would lower or stabilize premiums, increase coverage, or expand the choice of health plans.

People in waiver states who never had insurance or let their policies lapse would be guaranteed coverage, but to keep them from gaming the system, insurers could take their health into account when determining premiums. After one year, premiums would drop to the standard rate. This rare occurrence is a long way from Mr. Gruber’s charge that people would pay “many, many multiples more.”

The bill also includes $8 billion over five years to help states with waivers set up high-risk pools to cover people with expensive illnesses. Mr. Gruber dismissed this as “trivial.” Yet the Kaiser Family Foundation found in 2011—before ObamaCare kicked in—that 35 states had high-risk pools covering 226,000 people with $2.6 billion in claims. Some $1.4 billion was covered by the premiums these patients paid, and the states had to toss in only $1.2 billion. That’s $400 million less than would be available each year under the GOP bill. Even the New York Times reported that if states tapped all the bill’s available money for high-risk pools, it would total $138 billion. And who thinks 35 states will seek waivers?

This hardly exhausts Democratic complaints. Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.) said last week that Republicans had voted to impose an “age tax,” because the bill would allow premiums for older ObamaCare policyholders to be five times those of younger people. (Now insurers can charge older people only three times as much.) Yet the older age group’s health expenses are, on average, nearly five times as high. Today everyone under 50 on ObamaCare is paying higher premiums to subsidize the policies of those above 50.

So in reality, Republicans are repealing the “age tax” Democrats placed on the younger 80% of ObamaCare policyholders to subsidize the older 20%. This despite that older ObamaCare policyholders are in their prime earning years and likely have higher incomes, greater wealth and lower child-rearing expenses.

There is also Mr. Gruber’s startling claim that the Republican bill will cause 24 million people to lose their insurance. How can 24 million people lose ObamaCare coverage when only 11 million people bought the policies? The claim is a distortion of the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that abolishing ObamaCare’s individual mandate would lead 24 million people to forgo purchasing insurance in the future. Freed of ObamaCare’s penalty—a 3% tax on their income—people may decide to do something else with their money.

The CBO is notoriously bad at estimating the benefits, such as lower prices, that come from a consumer-driven system. The Republican bill would enable more competition, expand health savings accounts and promote inexpensive catastrophic coverage.

Mr. Gruber was similarly misleading in claiming “the House bill cuts Medicaid by $880 billion over the next 10 years,” hinting the program would wither away. Federal Medicaid spending this fiscal year is $389 billion. Under the GOP bill, it will be $469 billion in fiscal year 2027. The bill restrains future Medicaid growth. It doesn’t reduce spending.

From his academic bubble, Mr. Gruber said last year that ObamaCare is “working as designed” and “there’s no sense in which it needs to be fixed.” Yet since its passage, Americans have lost plans and doctors and watched as their premiums and deductibles skyrocketed.

Continued in article

The Australian Health Care System Sounds a Whole Lot like the German System of a Choice Between a National Health Care Plan or a Private Insurance Plan
Obviously the private plans would not survive unless there was value added when paying for private insurance

Is Australia's Health Care Plan Better Than Ours ---

Jensen Comment
Since Australia has slightly over 30 million people with relatively few medical schools compared the USA with over 320 million people and many more medical schools, one has to question whether Australia can provide the highly specialized services (think neonatal care) available in the USA and India and other nations having many more medical schools for research and clinical service. For example, medical schools in the USA do a lion's share of the clinical testing of new drugs and devices for big pharmaceutical companies.

National health care systems, including the Australian system, handle malpractice claims more efficiently than in the USA where medical malpractice insurance alone can cost over $200,000 per year for some physicians.---

Canadian Malpractice Insurance Takes Profit Out Of Coverage," by Jane Akre, Injury Board, July 28, 2009 --- 
Click Here

The St. Petersburg Times takes a look at the cost of insurance in Canada for health care providers.

A neurosurgeon in Miami pays about $237,000 for medical malpractice insurance. The same professional in Toronto pays about $29,200, reports Susan Taylor Martin.

A Canadian orthopedic surgeon pays just over $10,000 for coverage that costs a Miami physician $140,000. An obstetrician in Canada pays $36,353 for insurance, while a Tampa Bay obstetrician pays $98,000 for medical malpractice insurance.


National health systems, including the Australian system, avoid much of the useless cost of keeping terminal patients hopelessly alive in near vegetative states.
On November 22, 2009 CBS Sixty Minutes aired a video featuring experts (including physicians) explaining how the single largest drain on the Medicare insurance fund is keeping dying people hopelessly alive who could otherwise be allowed to die quicker and painlessly without artificially prolonging life on ICU machines.
"The Cost of Dying," CBS Sixty Minutes Video, November 22, 2009 --- 
As I read it its much more common to withhold life-sustaining treatments for terminally ill patients in Australia.

More on the comparisons of national health care systems ---

Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---

For years I've been a proponent of a national healthcare plan supplemented with discretionary private insurance much like the system in Germany. Some other national healthcare plans are falling apart --- 

Nationalized healthcare is not all it's cracked up to be ---

. . .

Back home, though, Canadians seem far more critical of the system. If you follow the internal Canadian debate, you’ll hear the word “crisis.” In fact, many Canadian healthcare economists warn that their system is headed for a major collapse. The aging population has continued to stress an already fragile system. This is the same system that many proponents of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, pointed to as a model.

Another model of national health care cited by fans of the ACA is the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Like the Canadian system, there seems to be one attitude for export and another for domestic consumption. You may recall the odd tribute to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. The NHS was portrayed as a sea of Mary Poppins bliss. At home, though, Brits had reason to complain. The UK was rated as having the worst patient care and lowest cancer survival rates in the Western World.

The NHS is in even worse shape now, and complaints are growing louder. According to the committee that represents UK hospitals, the NHS is on the verge of collapse. The former health minister Paul Burstow warned of this outcome two years ago. At the time, increases in the NIH budget were limited to the rate of inflation. But that did not allow for the increased cost of a growing elderly population. The NIH effort to find £30 billion in “efficiency savings” was already putting enormous strains on the system.

When a healthcare system is overloaded, it’s not just the aged who suffer. A Lancashire man operated on himself when he was put on a long waitlist for a surgery that he badly needed. With waitlists growing, the Royal College of Surgeons reports that financially challenged clinical groups are denying services to patients who are obese or smoke. Often, delayed treatment will increase medical costs in the long run.  

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Affordable Care Act, which was inspired by the Canadian and British systems, is in deep trouble. Though I predicted it, it is worrisome when the act’s biggest supporters, including The New York Times, admit the program’s flaws.

The growing aged population is a huge financial burden

Obamacare doesn’t deal with the real source of rising healthcare costs: the increase in age-related diseases due to a growing elderly population. It is mathematically impossible to cut societal medical costs while at the same time providing adequate healthcare to a growing and increasingly expensive older population.

This is not just a problem with health care. Social Security and pension funds are running deficits, which will also worsen. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently said that he has lost the optimism that he has long been known for. The reason is that “we have a 9 percent annual rate of increase in entitlements, which is mandated by law.  It has got nothing to do with the economy. It has got to do with age and health and the like.”

Greenspan points out that politicians refuse to deal with the “third rail” of entitlements. I agree, but I think there’s a solution. Politicians claim that voters won’t accept delayed retirement. But the evidence shows that most people would like to work longer and save more to pay their own way. Zoya Financial reports that almost two thirds of Americans have to retire earlier than planned, largely due to problems with their own health or a spouse’s.

Anti-aging biotechnologies are in labs right now that could lengthen health spans and working careers. This would allow us to save our entitlement systems. But economists and politicians still have no clue about the biotechnological progress that has marked the start of the 21st century. This will change because it must… but I hope it happens soon

Continued in article

OECD Health Statistics 2016 --- http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm

How to avoid getting ripped off at the hospital According to a doctor turned health care journalist ---
Jensen Comment
It's been repeatedly shown that nearly all billing errors are in favor of the hospital and that most of those errors go undetected. Here's a scenario described by me recently with a neighbor-physician still lives near Boston and vacations up near us. He said that if Intensive Care beds are empty it's common practice for the emergency room to recommend a night or two in ICU when the very expensive ICU services are not necessary relative to a a lower-priced hospital room. This happened to my wife a couple of times under suspicious nights in ICU. Of course, there's the night she really had a heart attack in an ICU that probably saved her life.

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on May 11, 2017

Aetna to pull out of Affordable Care Act exchanges
Aetna Inc.
said it would pull out of the Affordable Care Act exchanges in Delaware and Nebraska next year, confirming that the insurer will exit all of the marketplaces where it currently sells plans.

The Atlantic:  Why So Many Insurers Are Leaving Obamacare ---
This article really does not get at the reasons why.

2017 is shaping up to be the most profitable year ever for drug cartels peddling heroin ---


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

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives ---

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

Rotten to the Core --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

American History of Fraud --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

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  --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
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 http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

Bob Jensen's threads --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

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