The Ryan Budget

Over at American Times I have an alternative to the Paul Ryan ‘path to prosperity’ budget (and mine is shorter so that’s better – really all laws should be written as blog posts because long laws are inherently Evil). Basically, I find the whole notion of privatizing Medicare absurd – especially given how completely screwed up our current healthcare system is. And the dismantling of Medicaid tells you exactly the sort of priorities the Republicans have – cuts to the poor, tax cuts to the rich. Rinse, repeat.

I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare. The problem with Ryan’s Medicare plan is that it assumes vouchers are a magic bullet. They aren’t. And we all know what states will do with ‘block-grants’ for Medicaid.

Anyways, like I said, I have an alternative and it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t even screw the poor in the process, and for that matter, I don’t really even soak the rich. We could do both, but we don’t have to.






104 replies
  1. 1
    joeyess says:

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    And I write this as someone who doesn’t believe in unicorns.

  2. 2
    Martin says:

    I’m going to repost this from a number of threads back:

    Ryan’s budget is going to backfire worse than the villagers understand. From age 55 to 65, individuals steadily allow their health insurance to lapse and that really picks up at age 61 when people retire and start to draw SS. 55 year-olds aren’t waiting 10 years to feel that pain because quite a lot of them expect to float across their early 60s without health insurance knowing that the Medicare life raft is waiting for them at 65. Everyone in that group, plus everyone probably back to age 50 that’s starting to count down years to retirement are going to collectively freak the fuck out.

    Ryan has no fucking clue what its like to go without health insurance, nor do any of the very serious people. They has no idea what a Pandora’s box he’s opening.

  3. 3
    Stooleo says:

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    Doesn’t anybody find it immoral that one person’s health is another person’s profit motive?

  4. 4
    WereBear says:

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    I thought market-based solutions require PROFIT. Just how much profit is there in keeping someone alive?

  5. 5
    Elia Isquire says:

    Nice post, ED, but I got to admit my ability to focus on it was clouded by how obnoxious and predictable and Village that Sullivan post is.

    In a shocking development, the man who has been wrong on every major issue of his lifetime is patently wrong yet again.

  6. 6
    E.D. Kain says:

    @joeyess: Do they not have unicorns in the Netherlands where their market based universal healthcare system is among the best in the world?

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    Yeah, and market-based solutions to problems only work if you can opt out of the market. You can’t do that with most health care. Sure, you can opt out of band-aids and rectal thermometers all the way up to lasik and most plastic surgery, but for anything you can’t opt out of you’re basically creating a situation where at that point in time, demand is infinite. Therefore, all market effects on cost go straight out the window.

  8. 8

    any budget that starts out at cutting defense, is automatically a b+, i mean i really can’t believe we are even having the austerity conversation without discussing cutting defense.

    if i were a conspiracy theorist i would suggest that this makes us nothing but a support system for a military.

  9. 9
    joeyess says:

    I read your piece, E.D. and I did the same analysis as you did a while back. I cut and pared about the same things you did. I came up with a similar result.

    Now, I’m as liberal as they come and my question is this: Why do you self-identify as even moderately conservative?

  10. 10
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Elia Isquire: thanks. I really enjoyed your Shock Doctrine post the other day. Good stuff.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    You’re about to get slapped silly for that bit of stupidity.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    singfoom says:

    @Stooleo: I find it immoral. Plus, I think we should separate health care and health INSURANCE.

    Doctors/Nurses et al provide valuable services. Can someone explain to me what services health insurance provides?

    Seriously? What do they do? How does insurance enhance your life? It’s just a bullshit excuse to profit off of other’s misfortune.

    Health insurance should be removed from the profit market and made pure non-profit. Remove any incentives to withhold payment for care. Make it about helping people stay healthy or regain their health.

    No one should profit off of health insurance. I just don’t get it.

  14. 14
    batgirl says:

    @E.D. Kain: The healthcare system in the Netherlands is not the first example I think of when conservatives and/or libertarians mention “market based” solutions. First of all, it is a hybrid system that relies on government and private insurance. Second, that private insurance is heavily regulated.

  15. 15
    E.D. Kain says:

    Market based solutions rely on competition of some sort and do not need to be absent of regulations or government involvement. Nor do they require profit.

  16. 16
    Turgidson says:

    I don’t really even soak the rich

    That’s too bad. Their skin is really parched and dry from sleeping in beds of money. They could use a soaking.

  17. 17
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: the Netherlands also practice so-ci-al-ism you creepy freemarket boggart. Their social justice solution for healthcare employs REGULATED markets.

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    and as someone who sees freemarket solutions for education reform (NCLB) and organized labor.
    The Freemarket is a Beautiful Forest.

    /levels wand at boggart

    do you believe in the innovation of the market?

    Riddikkulous!

    Do us all a favor and disapparate, Vile Conservative Death Eater.
    ;)

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    Finish the sentence Ryan’s plan is courageous because……

  19. 19
    singfoom says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Go away. Your eumeme of stupidity and world salad is killing my brain-face.

    Brain death leads to national collapse salad hyperion

    /points finger at idiot

    What is your major malfunction?

    The jester is now a fool. Procreate.

    Oh, and completely not related blockquote not related to discussion at hand.

    See, M_C, I can write your shit for you, do you don’t even need to be here.

  20. 20
    eemom says:

    let me venture a little question here: isn’t it true that Ryan’s “plan” has like zero chance of actually passing?

    So why all the fuss? Why not just dismiss it as the reeking shitpile of evil that it is?

  21. 21
    batgirl says:

    @E.D. Kain: Tell that to your (former?) compatriots. They like to call that soc1alism.

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    @Stooleo: Well, no, not as you’ve phrased it. Market solutions require more than just competing companies. It requires that we can afford companies to leave the market (too big to fail is not a free market ideal) and that consumers can leave the market. I have no problem with many free market aspects of the health care industry. My main problem is that we fail to distinguish in this country between how a market should work where people can walk away from market choice, and one where they cannot. If consumers are captive, market forces never, ever work. Republicans in particular fuck that distinction up constantly – and they do it intentionally. Nothing is better for profits than a consumer that has no choice but to buy your product, and Republicans constantly favor that.

  23. 23
    Ash Can says:

    @singfoom: With any luck, her teacher will catch her playing with her i-phone in class and confiscate it.

  24. 24
    eemom says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Look kid. I’m saying this for your own good. If you start in with your sicko stalkation of E.D. again I’m reasonably sure Cole will ban your ass for good. He’s not in a very patient mood these days, possibly because he hasn’t been a lawyer for 23 years.

  25. 25
    Mark S. says:

    @Martin:

    Ryan’s budget is going to backfire worse than the villagers understand.

    Oh God yes. The comments on Brook’s column are absolutely brutal. The villagers are absolutely clueless as to how 98% of this country lives. The GOP is going to get slaughtered on this.

  26. 26
    singfoom says:

    @eemom: Bjers making a fuss about something? Shocking. I think we’re talking about it because it’s bullshit and we like to point out bullshit. Oh, and we like to bullshit about bullshit.

    And we love to argue. About anything.

    Sure, it’ll never pass but the framing of the conversation is part of this discussion. His budget is “serious” and “courageous”.

  27. 27
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @joeyess: Dude, he is not a “conservative”. He is a stauch libertarian…or liberaltarian….at least that is what he says.
    In reality he is freemarket boggart.
    A refresher.

    In my Defense Against the Dark Arts of Conservatism class at Hogwarts we teach how to recognize and disapparate free market boggarts to first years, because they are so common.
    Freemarket boggarts are much harder to detect than ordinary boggarts. The classic boggart assumes the aspect of the worst fears of the target, but a freemarket boggart assumes some shared value of the target in order to get close enough to inject the target with Glibertarian Reasonableness Poison, which it secretes through the hidden fangs in its mouth.
    To detect a freemarket boggart simply level one’s wand and cry “do you believe in the innovation of the market!” Usually this causes the immediate disapparation of the boggart, but sometimes one must also apply the Ridickulous! charm as well.

    FM boggarts all say Ryan’s budget is “serious” and “courageous”. They all say Douthat’s op-eds are “thoughtful” and “reasoned”.
    It is just stereotypical boggart behavior.
    ;)

  28. 28
    Catsy says:

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    The big problem with “market-based” solutions to health care access is that it creates perverse and morally hazardous incentives for the people whose profit margins have an inverse relationship to the amount of health care they allow to be provided.

    Doctors need to be paid. Nurses need to be paid. Drug manufacturers need to be paid. None of this is remotely in question here.

    However, the for-profit insurance industry itself is an inherently parasitic, evil institution that profits from human suffering by finding every possible way to refuse to pay for their care, even if it means killing them. It needs to be exterminated.

    I’ve got no problem with allowing that industry to exist under intentionally draconian regulations that allow them to insure premium services for people who have money to burn. But the provision of basic, essential care needs to be taken out of their hands.

  29. 29
    Jack says:

    @E.D. Kain: What? Market based solutions do not require competition or profit?

    Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.

  30. 30
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Elia Isquire: Does Sullivan not realize that if he didn’t have health care through his employer he would not be able to afford health care if he had to foot the bill, due his chronic health condition? How can he praise the Ryan Plan?

  31. 31
    Sentient Puddle says:

    So first of all, massive points for managing to get rid of the deficit without touching the Bush tax cuts for $250,000 and less and not having any other items checked that look incredibly painful. I didn’t think accomplishing that would be possible.

    Second, this is not the budget we get to talk about in the national media, unfortunately. We’re stuck with talking about Ryan’s budget, so I’m going to talk about that. Ryan appears to be making up numbers in his budget. In a rational world, this is the sort of thing that would brand his budget as severely unserious.

  32. 32
    Turgidson says:

    @eemom:

    I think the GOP is playing a long game here. They somehow got a lot of people to believe that Ryan is a serious mind on these things, so the fact that he’s putting these idiotic plans forward gives them at least a shred of credibility. Then they “compromise” their way to something less heinous but still abominable, and propose something even more ridiculous the next time. And so on.

    So it’s important to point and laugh at Ryan with as much gusto as possible, to put the brakes on this nonsense.

    This is in contrast to the useful idiot radical GOP governors, who seem to have been given a kamikaze mission to pass as much right-wing horseshit as possible and be willing to take the fall if the peons don’t like it.

  33. 33
    eemom says:

    @singfoom:

    He’s a disgusting piece of shit of a human being and I hope he dies of some godawful disease like Lee Atwater.

  34. 34
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Why do the villagers treat Ryan like he is the second coming of Isaac Newton. He may be smarter than the Bachmanns and Palins and assorted GOP males but he is not that smart actually.

  35. 35
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @eemom: i dont stalk him. I only go to the LoOG or Forbes to expose what he really thinks WITH LINKAGE, as opposed to what he says here.
    When he stops coming here I will have zero interaction with him.
    I don’t care for Forbes or the LoOG, really.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @singfoom:

    Can someone explain to me what services health insurance provides?

    Health insurance as a concept is quite valuable. It lets you pool together with other people to do risk sharing and negotiate the best possible prices for your health care. A well run insurance system would also monitor doctors to make sure they’re doing a good job for their patients and steer the patients toward the doctors who are best for their circumstances. I think a system that does those things is worth paying some administrative overhead to support. Whether it’s worth paying the kind of administrative overhead that existing health insurers are demanding- plus the profit margin for profit insurers add- is another question.

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    @Jack: Well, market based solutions don’t require profit. Hell, the delivery and insurance of health care spent half a century in this country as an almost exclusively non-profit or not-for-profit endeavor. So no, profits are not requirements for a market based solution. Not requiring competition makes no sense to me though. Why would you turn a market exclusively over to one company that has no more incentive than the government, yet is less accountable to the voter? There’s nothing to gain there.

    Did we learn nothing from MERS?

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    Erik, I read your Forbes post and (largely*) agree: a return to Clinton-era tax rates and cuts to the military budget would fix most of our fiscal woes.

    *Where we disagree is mostly penny-ante stuff like means-testing for Social Security (I’m against it!), which you even admit in your post doesn’t make enough difference to matter — so even there, we’re not that far apart.

    .

  39. 39
    jimmiraybob says:

    Basically, cutting back the military to pre-Bush levels, and reverting back to the Clinton-era tax rates is all you need to do to fix the deficit.

    Well. This’ll never do. All the wise people say that there must be massive pain felt. All the wise people think that the pain should fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable. How do you propose to inflict more pain on the most vulnerable?

    Otherwise, a good plan.

  40. 40
    andrewsomething says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    FM boggarts all say Ryan’s budget is “serious” and “courageous”.

    Ummm… Did you read ED’s article?

    Basically, cutting back the military to pre-Bush levels, and reverting back to the Clinton-era tax rates is all you need to do to fix the deficit…

    Raise some revenue, cut some defense spending, and call it a day.

    The rest is just fearmongering and tax cuts for the very, very rich at the expense of middle-class and working Americans. Surely we can do better than this Very Serious budget proposal.

  41. 41
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Martin: there is a ginormous difference between market-based solutions and free market solutions.
    AX EDK if he believes in the innovation of the market.

  42. 42
    Dan says:

    So E.D. writes a logical and sensible response to Ryan’s Path to Serfdom, and the response is to push him off the bridge and shout “die, heretic!”. This is why we can’t have nice things, folks.

  43. 43
    MattR says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: So you don’t stalk him, you just follow him to places you would not otherwise go?

  44. 44
    Stillwater says:

    And just like that, I closed up the deficit by 2015 and also by 2030. I didn’t have to fire a single teacher or privatize a single government program to do it either.

    Well, that’s the problem right there EDK: yer doin it rong.

    But really, what you did in that post is a very useful exercise, since it shows that the country ain’t broke, and it ain’t broken. Now, if you can just get Sully to take a serious and courageous look at it…

  45. 45
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Basically, cutting back the military to pre-Bush levels, and reverting back to the Clinton-era tax rates is all you need to do to fix the deficit.

    So, if we could turn back the clock and remove George W Bush from history we’d be good to go?

    Sounds about right.

    If you voted for George W Bush once you owe the nation an apology. If you voted for George W Bush twice you deserve to be kicked in the head every day for the rest of your life you stupid, ignorant, spiteful fuck.

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @Dan: It helps to ignore the Harry Potter fangirl spamming the thread.

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Tell Cole that. I assure you, he’s never, ever heard that before.

  48. 48
    Jack says:

    @Martin: I’m sorry, but I still don’t understand how any setup that doesn’t involve buying and selling for profit can be called a “market”, especially by those advocating “market-based solutions” since their “solution” is to supposedly reduce costs by using the maximize-profit incentive.

    Seriously, are charities that benefit the homeless in a “market”?

    Also, another question… “market” implies seeking out the lowest cost solution. Will you seek out the lowest cost oncology clinic when you are diagnosed with bladder cancer?

    I lived in France for two years, and I had the opportunity to see (and benefit, despite being a non-citizen) how a single-payer “socialized” health care system worked. It was amazing how the lack of worry about where health care would come from made things so much better there.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, I’m going to keep beating this horse. Health care historically is two things:

    1) Hospitalization
    2) Medical

    In this country they started out as two things. Blue Cross was hospitalization. Blue Shield was medical. Medicare Part A is hospitalization, Part B is medical. In every other country where health care seems to work, the government covers hospitalization, and the free market, under some regulatory structure covers medical.

    Hospitalization is anything that must be treated now. Injury, heart condition, that kind of stuff. Medical is your flu shot, your pap smear, your annual physical. Pooling 1) under a private insurance scheme is stupid because what doctors can do to save your life is constantly changing and quite frankly, we don’t want to cut corners to save money there. We don’t want profits as part of that equation. It’s just too important to a properly functioning society. Pool 2) under a private insurance scheme makes perfect sense because we do want cost savings there and because this is where people choose how much care to consume. If we want to reign in costs, this is where you do it, and market approaches do help.

    (This is directed at nobody)

    As stupid as Republicans are at blurring the line on captive markets, Democrats are equally as stupid demanding that individuals cannot be trusted to value shop for a cheaper pair of crutches and that health care that people make conscious (and reasonable) decisions to consume or not has to be universal and government run. Yes, regulation is needed because we don’t want preventative care (that which if the free market weeded out would result in higher hospitalization spending), but that’s not a horribly difficult thing to sort out. Eliminating the state control would actually help – those state by state regulatory issues are incredibly expensive.

  50. 50
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @andrewsomething:

    Did you read ED’s article?

    I think it is a headfake, because it is impossible to implement.
    Did you read this?
    The Market is a Beautiful Forest
    A freemarket boggart assumes some shared value of the target in order to get close enough to inject the target with Glibertarian Reasonableness Poison, which it secretes through the hidden fangs in its mouth. In this case the shared value is a budget which will never be implemented.
    Unpack this statement.

    I write this as someone fairly sympathetic to the idea of market-based solutions for healthcare.

    EDK is only sympathetic to FREE MARKET solutions. To education reform, to healthcare reform, to organized labor.
    There are only two sides here….social justice solutions and freemarket solutions. EDK NEVER proposes a social justice solution.
    Ever.

  51. 51
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    The problem with Ryan’s Medicare plan is that it assumes vouchers are a magic bullet.

    Save your breath, the media are already gushing over this thing, and Democrats are sniveling little cowards. I don’t know about you but I’m already thinking about how to spend my voucher. Maybe I can sell it on the black market for something more useful than health insurance, like beer or smokes.

  52. 52
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Stillwater: my confusion is with Andrew’s contradictory willingness to raise taxes and blindness to the fact that this mostly solves the ‘problem’ all by itself…

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Repeat after me: IGMFY. Sullivan doesn’t give a damn about some hypothetical world where he doesn’t have employer provided health coverage. He lives in this world where he does, and as long as he does the poor saps who don’t can pound sand. This is the number one rule of Sullivan (and people like him): the only issues that are important are ones that affect him personally.

  54. 54
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Dan: he knows it won’t happen. costs him nothing.
    @andrewsomething:

    Basically, cutting back the military to pre-Bush levels, and reverting back to the Clinton-era tax rates is all you need to do to fix the deficit…

    Excising Bush from the historical record. Being conservative means never having to say you’re sorry.
    ;)

  55. 55
    E.D. Kain says:

    Please do read the free market as forest post Ms Granger keeps linking to. It is my critique of the free market.

  56. 56
    Bulworth says:

    E.D. I’m afraid you’re going to get voted off the island over there at Forbes.

    I’ve been looking at Ryan’s budget proposal, trying to figure where all that $6.2 trillion in savings compared to Obama’s budget is supposed to come from.

    $1.8 trillion is from “Mandatory Other”. That’s a pretty big chunk of unspecified. WTF is that? Ryan also has $1.4 trillion “saved” by eliminating ACA. And of course $771 from Medicaid. I wonder if he isn’t double counting somewhere here, since ACA includes Medicaid expansion.

    But taxes can never be raised on anyone ever.

  57. 57
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    So, if we could turn back the clock and remove George W Bush from history we’d be good to go?

    Well…that is what EDK is proposing. I’ll believe in EDK’s fake conversion when he comes up with an ACTUAL solution to repairs the horrific damages that freemarket conservatism has wreaked on this country.
    EDK wants a do over.
    I want him to admit that freemarket shit landed us in the crapper AND IT DOESN’T EVER WORK.

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @Jack:

    I’m sorry, but I still don’t understand how any setup that doesn’t involve buying and selling for profit can be called a “market”, especially by those advocating “market-based solutions” since their “solution” is to supposedly reduce costs by using the maximize-profit incentive.

    But profit only benefits company officers if you build that into their compensation packages. And that’s a relatively new concept in publicly traded companies. Take away profit – say, REI, as an example, and you can still have a highly motivated market participant because officers are instead rewarded for revenues and market stability. For a not-for-profit, you know that you’re going to give back any profits earned as a dividend, but if you can reliably keep costs low enough to do that, you can lower your prices and expand the size of your market – and that’s what CEOs get their bonuses and raises based on. How many individuals in any given corporation actually have a personal profit motive? Almost none. They have a personal revenue motive, because that’s what pays their salary. Profits are a shareholder motive, not an employee one (unless you build it into their compensation package). The BOD drives the profit motive, but in a not-for-profit, they push stability instead. Their main focus is on the long-term health of the company.

    It works just fine. The highest rated health insurance and health care companies in the US are all non-profit or not-for-profit. The highest rated insurers in other categories are almost always not-for-profits. Most major hospitals are non-profits (university teaching hospitals or church affiliated) or not-for-profits.

    Everything really started going to shit when the for-profits came to town, and when the BC/BSs started jumping over to for-profits. That’s when their motivations changed radically.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @andrewsomething:

    Ummm… Did you read ED’s article?

    I think she read his byline and that was enough. Mentioning him seems to turn off her normal (low) ability to reason and engage a pure, spinal reflex attack mode.

  60. 60

    @eemom: hahaha. best comment so far.

  61. 61
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Ash Can:

    He seems to be constantly banging his head against the wall in realization. The folks who won’t recognize how badly they failed their fellow countrymen deserve the boot. A steel-toed boot.

  62. 62
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: liar. you just referred to the Netherlands “market-based solution” with a strait face.
    Did you write this?
    The Market is a Beautiful Forest.
    It costs you nothing to try to excise Bush from history. You know your “budget” is a fantasy.
    And teabaggers repudiate Bush all the time.

    Are you over here link-whoring?
    Because I never link Forbes.

  63. 63
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Wait wait wait, someone help me out here. The implication I’m hearing is that Hermione is matoko…is that right?

  64. 64
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I wrote that but that isn’t the title I used.

  65. 65
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Angry Black Lady: wow. I don’t stalk EDK. I deconstruct him when he comes here.
    I have actually been stalked.
    It is a lot different.

  66. 66

    @Sentient Puddle:
    It is a well-established fact at this point that HGW=m_c. The paint is just peeling off at an accelerated rate.

  67. 67
    Tone in DC says:

    Wait wait wait, someone help me out here. The implication I’m hearing is that Hermione is matoko…is that right?

    ______________________________________________________
    It’s possible, that is some ways… Granger is WORSE.
    Every so often, M_C is actually funny.

  68. 68
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @E.D. Kain: poetic license.
    ;)
    did you write this?

    I’m a believer in free markets. Indeed, my support for organized labor is largely due to what I’ve been referring to as front-end-redistribution (negotiated between management and labor) as opposed to back-end redistribution (top-down tax-and-spend redistribution) because I think a great deal is lost along the way when we rely too much on what Mike Konczal has called ‘pity-charity-liberalism’. From the point-of-tax to the point-of-distribution there’s a tremendous amount of waste, not to mention the various other nefarious projects those tax dollars go toward

  69. 69
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Damnit, I’m always the last one to get these memos…

    Ah well, good to know for the future.

  70. 70
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Angry Black Lady: and i was stalked because i was female, and because i switched sides.
    I hope you and eemom never find out what actual stalking is.

  71. 71

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: simmer down, sparky_chan. i was referring to her quip about not having been a lawyer for 23 years.

  72. 72
    Stillwater says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    You’re just outing yourself as a ginormous fool today M_C. The view expressed here

    I’m a believer in free markets. Indeed, my support for organized labor is largely due to what I’ve been referring to as front-end-redistribution (negotiated between management and labor) as opposed to back-end redistribution (top-down tax-and-spend redistribution)

    is a liberal/progressive view of markets. Not a conservative view. Not a libertarian view. Good fucking God! It’s like you make up new meanings for normal words and then hammer away, poor soul, at how people don’t understand you.

  73. 73
    soonergrunt says:

    @eemom: Am I missing an inside joke here? Was Cole ever a lawyer?

    @Sentient Puddle: yes.

  74. 74

    @soonergrunt:
    Refers to a spat between JC and eemom over a SCOTUS ruling a week or two ago. It has not arisen to the level of an Internet Tradition as of yet, so you’re safe.

  75. 75
    catclub says:

    M Yglesias includes a policy recommendation for lowering unemployment that the GOP will probably want to take up:

    ” ‘According to the study cited above, Mr Ryan’s plan will bring the unemployment rate down to 6.4% next year, 4.0% in 2015, and 2.8% in 2021’

    2.8 percent in 2021! There no way of doing this short of shooting unemployed people in the back of the head.”

  76. 76
    WereBear says:

    @Martin: Thank you, that’s a good point, and one that has been lost sight of; even by me in my earlier comment.

    Turning Wall Street into Vegas did no one any good.

  77. 77
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @E.D. Kain: That’s disingenuous, E.D.: the expression, “market-based solutions” (and it really IS just rhetoric, nothing else) is most often used as a justification for profit.

    And there’s so much other silliness–for instance, why aren’t we amenable to soaking the rich? They’ve been the chief beneficiary of wealth-distribution scams from the past 30 years. Isn’t the whole premise behind “saving” Medicare to prevent the poor from becoming destitute?

  78. 78
    soonergrunt says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Oh, thanks. I thought I might be, as the kids say, not ‘hep,’ or “with it.”

  79. 79
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Stillwater: Pardon, but my understanding is that liberals don’t believe in free markets. They believe in social justice augmented with regulated markets.
    You forgot this part.

    because I think a great deal is lost along the way when we rely too much on what Mike Konczal has called ‘pity-charity-liberalism’. From the point-of-tax to the point-of-distribution there’s a tremendous amount of waste, not to mention the various other nefarious projects those tax dollars go toward

  80. 80
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @Roger Moore: Health insurance in America, as it is presently constituted, manages costs, not care. It’s an unnecessary layer of complexity and inefficiency.

    Also, most people I know who are in that game are total douches.

  81. 81
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @catclub:

    2.8 percent in 2021! There no way of doing this short of shooting unemployed people in the back of the head

    I didn’t see that NOT mentioned in Ryan’s Budget. It would therefore be irresponsible not to speculate …

  82. 82
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Synopsis: EDK knows that his fake budget won’t ever happen. It amounts to excising the Bush admins 8 years of economic practices from history. Being glibertarian means never having to say you are sorry. He just wants a do over like the rest of the boggarts.

    I object to EDK saying different things here than he says elsewhere. That is what you all object to in most republicans, like Walker and company saying one thing because what they really believe would be horribly unpopular..
    Like when I made Reihan cry at TAS, I don’t want people to stop blogging…..I want them to stop lying.

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I’m glad you asked that question so I can set the record straight.

    It is true that I generally give Cole shit for running his mouth about how everything the Supreme Court does is pre-ordained by its right wing hacks because that is a gross oversimplification and he has no idea WTF he’s talking about. This all started back when DougJ was running his casino over how the Justices are going to vote on ACA and
    every Joe Schmuck on this blog suddenly became a legal expert.

    There are many persons here including Cole who find my attitude that people shouldn’t run their mouths about specialized shit they have no expertise in to be CONDESCENDING. ok, fine. (Presumably Cole et al would be totally cool if they were undergoing surgery and some Joe Schmuck from a blog barged into the OR to tell the doc “Ur doing it wrong.”)

    HOWEVER. When I said that about being a lawyer for 23 years I was making an honest substantive attempt to explain why Cole was wrong about the “right wing hacks” with respect to the Walmart case in particular, based on my actual experience with litigation including class action lawsuits.

    THEREFORE. It is imo unfair for him to start every post about a legal issue with a snort about how he hasn’t been a lawyer for 23 years.

    So. That was probably more info than you wanted.

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    SHIT. Somebody please unmoderate that!

  85. 85
    soonergrunt says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Pardon, but my understanding is that liberals don’t believe in free markets.

    You are confusing Liberalism with soc 1@ lism or even communism.
    There is nothing inherently anti-capitalist about Liberalism.
    See Bentham, Jeremy; and Mill, John S.

  86. 86
    A L says:

    Mr. (or Ms.) Kain, are you of the age of majority?

  87. 87
    Stillwater says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: my understanding is that liberals don’t believe in free markets. They believe in social justice augmented with regulated markets.

    Is that really your understanding? Really? That’s a very deep and penetrating analysis of the situation, given the complexity of markets and the often necessary role government plays in maintaining healthy markets as well intervening to insure they are ‘free’ according to some meaning of that word. You’ve really given this alot of thought, haven’t you?

    because I think a great deal is lost along the way when we rely too much on what Mike Konczal has called ‘pity-charity-liberalism’. From the point-of-tax to the point-of-distribution there’s a tremendous amount of waste, not to mention the various other nefarious projects those tax dollars go toward

    Did you even read his post? He’s making an argument here against redistribution policies which take for granted that income inequality will only grow more disparate over subsequent years. He’s arguing that taxing the wealthy on the back end to pay for UI benes for the poor is non-optimal, whereas increasing wages on the front end is better.

  88. 88
    Stillwater says:

    @soonergrunt: See Bentham, Jeremy; and Mill, John S.

    Or you, Or me. Or just about every liberal who thinks about markets, the provision of goods and services, and the role government plays in maximizing efficiencies within certain socially defined health and safety parameters.

    I mean, where the FUCK does she come up with this stuff?

  89. 89
    Judas Escargot says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Do they not have unicorns in the Netherlands where their market based universal healthcare system is among the best in the world?

    The Dutch system isn’t market based, it’s dual/hybrid: Govt covers the long-term costs (disability, etc) where there’s no profit to be had. Private insurance (with a mandate!) covers day to day costs such as doctor’s visits… but that ‘private’ insurance is highly regulated and cost-controlled in a way you’d never see here.

    Not to diss the Dutch system at all –I was rooting for the US to develop one like it, we should be so lucky– but it definitely doesn’t fit most American’s definition of “market based”.

    ETA: batgirl beat me to it.

  90. 90
    burnspbesq says:

    @Stooleo:

    Actually, yes. The Economist thinks Ryan’s plan is “fundamentally immoral.”

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

  91. 91
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Stillwater: NO, dummie. He is makin’ the exact same argument as his forest post.

  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    @eemom:

    “isn’t it true that Ryan’s “plan” has like zero chance of actually passing?”

    You sure you want to bet your kids’ future quality of life on that proposition?

  93. 93
    soonergrunt says:

    @Stillwater: I came up with mine after a Freshman Intro to Philosophy class at OU, but I’m just a dumb mouth-breathing grunt.

  94. 94
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I’m just a dumb mouth-breathing grunt.

    well..in spite of that……im getting kindof attached to you. Please stay away from A-stan. Something Very Bad is going to happen there.
    :(

  95. 95
    eemom says:

    @burnspbesq:

    of course not. But I just don’t see how it possibly could, at least while Democrats still control the Senate. And the veto.

  96. 96
    David Brooks (not that one) says:

    Alice Rivlin (who is pro-Ryan) was on Diane Riem this morning pointing out that the Ryan plan can only work if we also stop escalating health-case costs. Let’s contain cost inflation because Alice says so! That’ll work.

    But, silly woman – if you posit cost control as part of reforming Medicare – then you don’t need to reform Medicare! You have set up, as a precondition to reform working, a fix to the ONLY PROBLEM THAT THE CURRENT SYSTEM HAS ANYWAY.

    I also heard callers proposing that we let the market handle health cost inflation. It’s the shortfall of insurance in a large part of the population that will drive down prices.

    Yeah, that’s been working pretty well recently.

    Where do these people learn their logic?

  97. 97
    Sloegin says:

    Why is everyone over 65 forced onto Medicare? It’s because prior to that, people over 65 couldn’t get any insurance!

    The market flees from our elders, because the bulk of the medical care you’ll need during your life happens when you’re old.

    The idea that somehow when we’re at retirement age we will be able to get private coverage is about as fantastical as saying when we’re 65 we will be vacationing on the moon.

  98. 98
    les says:

    @singfoom: @eemom:

    at least while Democrats still control the Senate. And the veto.

    Well, yeah. And if the Ryan Rodeo becomes the standard Serious Proposal, what happens come the next demon repub administration? Which will come.

  99. 99
    danimal says:

    I think I better leave the internets for a few days. I get surges of rage when I read the likes of Sullivan’s crap. Where’s the liberal solution? It’s so go$%$@mmed simple that it eludes his charmed life.

    Restore the Clinton-era rates, introduce efficiencies into the health care system, revive today’s economy with stimulus spending, get the f$%^ out of the Middle East, just say no to the generals and admirals and do some nip/tuck to entitlements. You know, the SAME DAMN THINGS LIBERALS HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS.

    Asswipes like Sullivan are to blame, remember that he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Bush tax theft regime in 2001. Ahhhhh, there goes my blood pressure again.

  100. 100

    Agree w. E.D. on this. And did last November, right here. ;)

  101. 101
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @thomas Levenson: really? I think you should read this thread.
    EDK is a free market boggart.
    Are you a Deatheater now Levenson?

  102. 102
    xian says:

    The JK Gibson person is making this blog unreadable.

  103. 103
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @xian:

    The JK Gibson person is making this blog unreadable.

    send Cole a mail about it. He lurves that.

  104. 104
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @thomas Levenson: so Levenson, do you still agree with EDK?

Comments are closed.