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home : letters : letters May 24, 2016

12/4/2012 4:55:00 AM
On the Constitution, health care and taxes

To the Editor:

Well, by the tenor of certain letters to the editor it looks as if Obama’s honeymoon is over. 

Though, as usual, the opinions expressed in most of those letters seem to be based on sweeping false premises backed by “factoids.” And since it has become standard policy by those on the right to accept the “if I believe it, it isn’t a lie” maxim, “factoid” use, even if inaccurate or false, is permissible.

Some examples: take Don Duddles who is unhappy with his cost of Medicare. First off, seriously – “the President was born into money” and “He has never walked in our shoes.” Wow, where did Mr. Duddles come up with those “factoids?” I respectively suggest that Mr. Duddles read President Obama’s biography.

By the grace of God or good fortune Mr. Duddles and his wife have only had to use their medical coverage a couple of times. Thus he reasons since he hasn’t been sick that often he feels his medical insurance costs are not what he considers affordable. Does the concept of insurance escape him? Does he think that he and his wife will live out their lives without encountering a major medical or hospitalization expense which could cost over $100,000? Don should keep in mind, from a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, medical-related issues, such as unpaid medical bills, lost income due to illness, or the mortgage of a home to pay medical bills, contributed to 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies.

Mr. Duddles alludes to the president not having any concept of affordable insurance. Does Mr. Duddles really think that we would be better off without the Affordable Care Act after it is full implementation? Already in 2012 insurance costs have risen by the smallest percentage in 20 years. And just a side note: Remember Mary Brown, the 56-year-old Florida woman who owned a small auto repair shop but had no health insurance, who became the lead plaintiff challenging President Obama’s health care law because “She is a small-business owner who did not believe the cost of health insurance is a wise or acceptable use of her resources.” 

Court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall owing $55,000 in debts including $4,500 in unpaid medical bills for her husband’s hospitalization. As a result, Brown has been forced to live on unemployment compensation. And because she and her husband are in Chapter 7 (bankruptcy) and their business collapsed, the health care costs will have to be borne by the general public because they add to unpaid bills owed to medical providers. 

In the end, doctors and hospitals will adjust their rates upward for the cumulative “free” care such as that provided to Brown’s husband.

Then we have Ms. Karen Schroeder, who states that our founders wanted an inexpensive (small) government supported by consumption taxes, corporate bonds, liquor, tobacco etc. Imagine financing an aircraft carrier, the interstate highway system or the CDC with those taxes and remember in 1790 there were only about three million U.S. citizens as opposed to more than 300 million today. Without a doubt, following Ms. Schroeder’s small government model we would never have grown beyond the original 13 states and become a world power.

The authors of the Constitution did not want a small ineffectual government, which they already had in the Articles of Confederation. George Washington and the other delegates to the Constitutional Convention shared a belief that the Constitution must establish a national government of substantial power, in contrast to the extremely weak central government of the Articles, which was so dysfunctional that Washington thought it nearly cost us victory in the Revolutionary War.

“The power of making war, peace, and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the Union ...” That statement from a letter signed by George Washington was unanimously endorsed by the Constitutional Convention. Nowhere in the letter does it say, “our goal is to make the federal government as small as possible.” The whole point of the Constitution was to make the federal government much stronger. 

As for Ms. Schroeder’s statement that the wealthy already pay more in taxes, a clarification is in order. I’m reminded of the supposed Willie Sutton quote when he said that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” Show me a tax system in the world where the wealthy don’t pay more in taxes. When you look at Karen’s example of a 10 percent flat tax the person earning $50,000 has $45,000 left in disposable income whereas the person earning $200,000 has $180,000. You can certainly afford a decent health plan with $180,000 in disposable income.

When Ms. Schroeder says, “Conservatives should not compromise,” I hear only no tax increase for the wealthy, just give up tax deductions and loopholes – eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction, deductions for state income taxes and local property taxes, child and dependent care tax credit and a slew of others. All changes that impact mainly the middle class. 


So the job creators can cry uncertainty, stall on hiring and continue pocketing profits.

John Kocovsky

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

Splitting hairs aren't you? Or trying to pull them?

The entitlements your buddies on the right want to slash are medicare, medicaid and social security the other stuff is small potatoes, so please don't argue as if those are what's causing the problem for your fellas.

So, I'm guessing, your BIG PLAN is to let renters take over people's home's, maybe put poor camps together for those that can't find work and need assistance, let people and kids go hungry, etc. and so on. I suspect a fiefdom of sorts would please you?

BTW, it was the derivative crowd populated by greedy and largely republican righties that allowed for the mortgage collapse.

As well, I guess you believe that 2 unpaid wars, unpaid medicare part d and tax breaks for what you so fondly refer to as job creators had nothing to do with the calamity we have and continue to experience. Your points hold no water. Still have heard NOTHING from you that would call itself a solution only continued division of issues and people.

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

Mr. White: I objected to the bailouts of Wall Street. I think many should have gone to jail but this administration as compared to the previous 3 have virtually no arrests or convictions to Obama's friends in Wall Street. I disagree that entitlements are earned. The food stamps were not earned. The 99 weeks unemployment were not earned. The home mortgage bailout which was created because of Dodd and Barney Frank insisting that Freddie and Fannie were in good shape only to completely fail a few months later. Why should the govt. have forced mortgage houses to take on mortgages from people who clearly couldn't afford them. NO...those were not earned under any use of the term.

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

One more thing, Mr. Meinert your pals on Wall Street brought this country to its economic knees, then received $3 Trillion in bailout and a.) never paid a dime of it back, b.) haven't created a single job & c.) somehow eluded prison time for their crimes go figure. Though they did create $60 Billion in bonuses for themselves. FACT!

Is that YOUR idea of a 'GREAT PLAN'? Try again.

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

He's back!

Mr. Meinert, Let's get 1 thing straight your use of the word 'entitlement' is inaccurate, incorrect and only self-serving to your perspective and repetitiveness. These have been earned by all over the course of their working lives. FACT!

Secondly, your fall back to 'job creators' is nonsense. Same old skewed party line. Gonna tell me G.W. Bush and crew that supported him were job creators? Or your current republican house majority. Know how many net jobs "W" and they helped create? Zero = FACT!.

Why don't you pick and then research a topic that has some truth in it. That would make it so much more interesting for the reader.

BTW, what's YOUR plan? Again, you offer absolutely nothing! FACT!

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Gary Meinert

So Mr. Kocovsky: You would rather the "job creators" not make a profit so they can pay taxes for entitlements for other? Let's switch and have the "job creators" pocket their losses instead. That would want more people to enter private enterprise so they could risk losing their homes and kid's tuition. GREAT PLAN !!!

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

John, Excellent letter!

Chris, What planet do you live on? And, please, do not respond with your "meeting payroll, working hard running a small business & 'free health care' argument". I have done them all. Keep it up John! Most of us are with you. Thankfully!

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Chris Fadrowski

Written by someone who has obviously never had to meet a payroll or work hard running a small business. I take issue with the last sentence because that's not what is going on. The very cost of Obamacare is going to crush this economy. But hey, to liberals its just "free health care".

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