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Author Topic: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?  (Read 880 times)

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AngelicaTopic starter

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I just heard on the radio where some States are asking Bush to be included in this bailout windfall. 

I totally agree, if we can dish out money to big corporations that have been making billions all along, and now find themselves in a tight spot, why not help the Cities and Towns that do not want to raise taxes and yet find themselves, due to this economic crunch because of these same big corporations, in a tight spot?

Discuss....
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princess of pt

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 02:11:43 AM »

i have to research the specifics surrounding this 700 billion and the provisions of the policy a bit more before I can offer commentary.

I'm also under the impression that there will be some sort of pork or stimulus spread out amongst the states by Obama to create employment by buffing up infastructure or something of that nature. I'd have to research that a bit more as well, before I can comment more.

I read something related to this in The Economist, I'll have to see if I can find it online....

 
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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 08:14:41 AM »

the economist online is part free but mainly subscription, weel the las time i checked it was.
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princess of pt

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 02:02:47 PM »

Yeah, it is by subscription online. I just had to activate my online access, but I still couldn't find the article I was looking for  ::) Maybe I read it in the National Review, but I couldn't find it there either. Naturally, I brought all my rags into work this weekend and left them off in the waiting room-thats how I recycle em' :vc:

Anyway-Yes, there is a stimulus plan in congress that involves infastructure, but I don't know how it exactly relates to Obamas plan.

Let?s Get the Actual Terms of the Economic Stimulus Plan

Congress returns to work this week to consider an economic stimulus plan. The Senate comes in Monday and the House on Wednesday.

While the broad outlines of that plan can be determined from reading news reports and watching President-Elect Obama?s first weekly address, the details are what matter.

The broad outlines:

- Extension of unemployment benefits. (You can see some vigorous discussion of that here and here.)

- Spending on infrastructure like bridges and roads and schools and such.

- Maybe some kind of bailout for the auto industry. (The Senate is supposed to take it up an auto industry bailout Monday at noon, but the administration has hardened its objections to the $25 billion plan last week.)

- Spending to promote ?green tech??

The rumored tally for all this has been pegged at around $150 billion dollars. That?s about $1,500 per U.S. family in spending, or $490 per person.

Now, ask yourself, would you spend $500 based on ?broad outlines??



from Obamas site;

New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that it is critically important for the United States to rebuild its national transportation infrastructure ? its highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems ? to strengthen user safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy continues to grow.

Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation?s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.


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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 01:19:49 PM »

I dont know how we can keep going like this. Our federal government is already bankrupt thanks to Bush and company - 10 trillion dollars in the hole and growing by the millions per minute, up from $3 - 4 trillion and a projected surplus in 10 years when he took office.

We cant just keep adding to it without insisting on cutting expenses and needless waste like Middle-East wars that Sara Palin et al wants to "win" to feel good about ourselves plus a bunch of other needless shit.

It's time we take a long hard look at government policies and start considering things like decriminalizing marijuana and the "war on drugs" which results in 100s of billions of wasted tax dollars on things such as foreign aid and military support for Colombia, costly prosecutions for drug crimes and prison room and board for non-violent drug felons instead of the elimination of those expenses and billions in income for the government through the taxation of pot alone. Same thing with prostitution as Nevada and many countries can tell you.

And speaking of prisons, the entire prisons and punishment system needs to be reformed. Locking everyone up who commits a crime and making them a government charge isnt the answer. There has to be a better way than that, especially with non-violent offenders. Only North Korea has more prisoners than the United States.

Also, why should religious institutions not have to pay taxes like everyone else? Why should organizations who sponsor the molestation and abuse of children, racism, the marriage to 40 wives, the propagation of thousand year old myths about the creation of the world, and other foolishness like converting modern day science fiction writings into a "belief system", not be part of the tax base in this country?

The notion that religious groups can profit in this country and the higher-ups in their food chain can live like corporate CEOs while calling themselves "not for profit" under the law and not having to pay any taxes including sales taxes is an absolute abomination.

There are many self-created reasons why companies and governments are in financial trouble now during the bad times and tons of things they can do to help themselves get better instead of just doling out cash to everyone and doing nothing to address the underlying problems.



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princess of pt

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 07:33:11 PM »

I'm still somewhat confident that Obama has the intellect and the drive to right some of these wrongs, but I have to say the way the economy is going and even with appointing most of the same administration as Clinton- I don't think he'll reach even a quarter of his goals.

His directive seems based on the Keynesian theory of economics.
Keynes argued that the solution to depression was to stimulate the economy ("inducement to invest") through some combination of two approaches :

a reduction in interest rates.
Government investment in infrastructure - the injection of income results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment


I think our situation may be too far gone for such a strategy. So much of our industry has left the states already. On top of our involvement in the middle east which has pretty much wiped us the fuck out economically, as Osama intended; We have the weakest system of policy ever thanks to an inadequate and crooked body of government the history of our country has ever seen.

I totally agree with Brian's thoughts above, but I still feel that in order to produce a better future we really need to analyze and revamp our system of education first and foremost.

I think it is extremely important to teach our children how to think for themselves, how to broaden their expectations, and for them to understand what went wrong with our society and how they can make a difference by not being complacent. It sounds corny I know, but too many people are so fucking unbelievably stupid and narrow minded, it's frightening.

I also truly feel that as a democracy, we need to make an example out of the people responsible for this crisis. We should be demanding that this situation be investigated and the offenders must be made accountable for this fucking travesty in some way so that government can not get away with this sort of shit again.

I would suggest we start with investigating DEFENSE first and find out WTF we are doing paying private companies double and triple what we pay the military, on TOP of what we are paying the military, to fight a vindictive war we have no justification for starting. How does that shit get swept under the carpet?

Then I would move onto the Banks and make BUNCHES of people accountable for their misdeeds as an example of why it's not a good idea to be fucking greedy.

Same with the people who allowed our prison system to be privatized. Why the fuck are our tax dollars being used as an incentive to capitalize on the petty crimes of people who are incarcerated way longer than necessary, if at all, at a profit for the people who own these prisons?

Then I would move onto the health insurance industry and demand justification for why there are CEO's with 52 MILLION dollar yearly salaries when people can't even afford to insure their families.

Finally, I would move onto Big Oil then finish up with this ridiculous notion of "Global Warming" and find out who is responsible for propagating it and whose pockets are being stuffed the most as a result.

grr.  :vc:

 



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Fipronila

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 11:03:29 PM »

I don't think we have the $700 Billion to spend and shouldn't be doing it at all. I understand that people need jobs but damn, that is an assload of money and we are all already hurting and in debt as it is.
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princess of pt

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 12:44:00 AM »

Meh, it's a really, really bad "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation that is only going to get worse.

I just got a notice today from one of my credit card companies. It's one of those help kick start/rehab your credit deals that I've had for quite a few years, since my divorce. I rarely use it to shop with and just have monthly subscriptions and some autopay bills on it to keep it active and in good standing. I pay it off at the end of every month. The notice states that the company is no longer extending credit, will be closing as of December 1st, to reallocate my auto pay set-up, and I'm still obligated to pay off any debt I have with them.

After my 401k and other finances took a hit when the market took a dive, I think I actually thought that would be the extent the "financial crisis" would affect me for some reason. The credit card notice pretty much solidified that this is much, much bigger than we can fathom.

 :sad:
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Fipronila

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 12:18:47 AM »

Holy crap. You know, my 401K is with Citigroup and they just had a big layoff (And they are one of my customers too so I have to think about them paying their bills on top of it!) It is much worse than we thought it was. I know of course it will get better but what will we all lose before it gets better is the question.
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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 09:28:04 AM »

i read somewhere (fuck me if i can remember where =/) that we wont even hit the lowest of the lows until mid-2010 or so. might not be a bad idea to save every penny i can till then and use whatever i saved to invest in stocks of some sort.

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but only time will tell i suppose.
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Lrd. Greymure

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 07:49:27 AM »

America should be using the money to create a program of universal healthcare so that every American can have proper healthcare. Healthcare is a right not a privledge and it is disgraceful that there are 47 million Americans without health insurance, 8.7 million are children.

With those kind of statistics should bail out these companies who's CEOs give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses, go on junkets costing $500,000 or fly to Washington in private Leerjets with their hands out begging for money? NO, were I work if you lose money for the company you get FIRED not a bonus.
Greymure
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princess of pt

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Re: Should we be using the $700 billion to help our Cities and Towns?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2008, 03:04:08 AM »

I'm conflicted about this whole universal health care concept. I will tell you what I feel is wrong with the system, some of how it got the way it is presently and why, and what I would do to change the situation. :vc:
 
I'm mainly conflicted because I work in health care and my own greed hinders my ability to assess which direction the situation should go in without bias, because I am comfortable with my salary. But I will certainly try;

Having knowledge of the business aspects of the medical "industry", I can say it has changed DRASTICALLY in the past 10-15 years. What started out as a well intentioned means for the working man to attain quality and affordable health care coverage for himself and his family and for physicians providing medical care to be consistently compensated for their efforts; has been bastardized beyond belief because the system was not regulated properly and was allowed to be Capitalized or thrust into the "free market" system we've all come to know and love so much.

The root of the health care "problem" is multifaceted. However, the biggest proponent is GREED, much like any of the several problems that plague our current society. Health care is an absolute necessity and indeed, it should never be considered a privilege. As a civilized society, everyone should have a right to obtain medical treatment without economic bias. Sadly, this is not the case. The doctors who initially collaborated together to establish and implement a system that would insure they would be consistently paid for their services, sold out their concept to business minded conglomerates who sought out and found ways to actually turn a profit on our well being.

These greedy monsters took the ball and ran with it. They devised "health care plans" that would lump together a network of providers and sold physicians and people alike, on the idea that if they purchased/participated in these plans, the cost of care would be controlled efficiently and the return would be greater. This in turn created a system where general practitioners were encouraged to outsource routine care to specialists within their network, so they could see more patients and thus, earn more. I'm certain the overhead in doing so was not taken into account.
 
It created a system where in order to make more money, general/family/pediatric practitioners had to spend less time diagnosing patients adequately and more time spuriously treating conditions and/or filling out paperwork to outsource patients to another facility to be effectively diagnosed. This created a huge need for more staff. Staff to assist in accommodating the greater patient volume, staff to complete the additional paperwork involved in processing claims as well as the insurance "referrals" and requests for authorization, and staff almost specifically knowledgeable to each insurance companies rules and clinical coding standards.
 
In the beginning, before computers were common place in the health care setting and there were only a handful of insurance companies; Claims were processed on paper and insurance referrals and authorization procedures were handled via telephone or paper. As you can imagine, this made for quite a cumbersome process. As technology was implemented little by little, the process was more expedient, however it was still less stringent than it is today.
 
Ten years ago, a claim would be processed on a universal form and submitted or "filed" via the mail for reimbursal. There was a certain window of time for a physicians office to file a claim with an insurance company. However, if the claim was incomplete or the demographic or clinical information was questionable, the claim was denied and returned to be corrected or for the physicians office to transfer responsibility of payment to the patient. To this day, it is a common ploy for insurance companies to often reject claims for something as simple as leaving off the middle initial of the patient. Currently, most billing is processed electronically, narrowing the window of opportunity for insurance providers to deny claims, which hinders them financially. This is one component that has resulted in a jettison of cost for us, the consumer.
 
In order for big business to profit on health care, the directive is to collect as many premiums as possible while gambling on the notion that most people will remain healthy enough to not seek medical attention. This is simply not the case. Back then, creating such a seemingly easy system, where the patient is only responsible for paying the first $5-20 of the visit, enabled many to visit the doctor for inane reasons. Instead of riding out the common cold and purchasing a bottle of Tylenol for a nasty headache, it was actually easier to pay 5 bucks to your doctor, who would in exchange, quickly prescribe a medication that may have even not been medically necessary, just so he could proceed to the next patient. This in turn opened the door wide for malpractice and liability.
 
This method of health care was also quickly franchised upon by drug companies. If your kid had a nagging cough, they had a magic grape flavored cure that only cost a $5 copay at the pharmacy. You or your child have an ear ache? No problem, 5 major drug companies each have their own antibiotic cure to offer, even though they're fully aware that 93% of ear infections are viral and antibiotic treatment is just a placebo. But, what they were even more aware of was that your physician was in a position to treat you quickly and would be more apt to write a script to appease your need to be "cured". So they began to market products to both physicians and the public. By courting the physicians and establishing a repertoire with them and office staff, they insure their "product" will be pushed. By marketing their product to the public, they insure that you the consumer will request or suggest their product to a busy doctor to prescribe.
 
Big business was not profiting much from this deviation they unwittingly created. They devised a greater plan where they established a need to stipulate who actually needed to go for additional diagnostics, exactly what those diagnostics would be, who needed certain medications and how they would be dispensed or if they would even be covered if that specific insurance company did not have a working relationship with a particular drug company. Big business employed staff without any sort of medical training to decide who would be authorized for testing or medication, based on a generic criteria optimal for the companies profit margin. You can easily see how the system has spiraled drastically out of control.
 
Now, as far as "universal" health care goes; If implemented properly the idea is certainly feasible. However, if not micromanaged, it can just as easily go awry, as is the case in Canada. The same can be said if the system is micromanaged; in that government controlled mandates can lead to restrictions and a decrease in tractability for both the doctor and the patient.

Then we also position ourselves for higher taxes and how to effectively cut spending in other areas of importance, like education. After all, there are 300+ BILLION people to take care of and given "free reign" to run to the doctor for a hangnail, isn't exactly something we should overlook.

Plus, putting the government in control would REALLY open the door to malpractice and liability proceedings, which would also lead to greater restrictions on top of hindering the malleability of  someones aspirations of being a doctor.

Then there is the notion that people who take care of themselves health wise are essentially footing the bill for functional people who chose not to take care of themselves, such as the extremely overweight, the smokers, alcoholics, and drug abusers.
 
How would I change the system? Well, because profit incentive and free market competition drive cost control, I would start with the drug companies. As I've said in the past, life sustaining drugs, should NOT be a commodity. If anything, drug companies shouldn't be allowed to grossly profit off of medications prescribed to people who would cease to exist functionally, without them. Especially when the costs to produce and manufacture some medications have been proved to be 500% less than what the drugs are marketed for. I'm not speaking of the multitude of boner meds or the plethora of birth control methods currently available. I'm talking about medications that control body systems essential to ones existence. The drug industry should be governmentally controlled, much like defense and education.
 
Additionally, instead of socializing medicine, insurance companies themselves should have stricter government oversight. There is absolutely NO justifiable reason for the CEO of a health insurance company to earn a salary in excess of the tens of million's dollar range! NOT ONE REASON. Same goes for Wall Street and the big three, but that's better left for other threads. I feel the concept of insurance is a good one, but corporate greed has tainted and twisted it into a system that only benefits the suits. If you can not afford adequate health insurance, there is a socialized system of welfare available (albeit itself needs reform but that too is another  thread) that can be utilized until you can afford coverage, contingent on you making an effort to at least pay back some sort of fraction of what you were afforded, provided you are deemed physically capable of doing so and if you're not, you're not penalized with financial devastation. 
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