2 Cents Worth–Politics, Health Care, Stuff

Ole Blackie Sherrod and I will stick our noses out there and see if they get sliced off with opinions and thoughts on about everything that is or was a headline.

I have heard various numbers from the current administration about how they will fund a portion of the health care reform by eliminating waste, abuse and fraud in the Medicare system.  The number has really bounced around a lot over the last half year from 300 billion all the way up to 500 billion.  I am sure you are like me and wonder why they don’t identify specifically for us exactly what programs, policies or practices will be changed to produced these savings.   They obviously had to make some kind of list identifying these items that are wasteful or abusive and then they attached a number to each item to come up with the total.   If they want real credibility and transparency why don’t they give those details to us.  Let the public evaluate the likelihood of success with those cuts and see where they are.  Secondly, why in heaven’s name don’t they immediately implement those costs savings now.  It would not require any new legislation to elminate those wasted monies.  That is executive order stuff and could have been done months ago.  Like the folks from Missouri–show me.

I never see any kids playing out in those unexpected thunderstorms during the hot summer months.  When I was a kid we would go sometimes for weeks without any rain. It was hot, really hot all the time.  Then a storm would come along and all us kids would go outside to play in the rain.  My mom always let us do that.  We would take doodle bugs or other tiny varmints and put them on leaves we used as boats and float them down the street gutters.  That cool rain was always so refreshing after the heat of summer.  Maybe they still do that but I never see it anymore.   Of course we played more outside generally than the kids do today.  The games we had inside the house sure weren’t electronic, they were board games or ping pong or a bongo board to ride.  (That was a board with a notch down the middle of it that fit into a notch on a round block of wood.  Then you would try to balance on it with both feet on either end.   Great coordination exercise.)

Who is making up the plans for our reaction when the Israelis attack Iran and attempt to take out their nuclear weapon capability?   I sure hope we have some really smart folks working on that one in the State Dept. and at the Pentagon.   Whatever our contingency plan is, I think there is a very high chance that we will have to implement it.  Watching Iran build its nukes and listening to their words and those of the Israelis it is like watching a wreck about to happen in slow motion.

It is never a good idea to anger your creditor.  We just did by raising those tariffs on the Chinese.  I have no love or sympathy with the Chinese at all.  But they do own over a trillion dollars of our debt right now and have already made noises about the weakness of the dollar and our debt and deficits being too high for their comfort.  I know they need us because we are their largest customer but we sure are picking a bad time and strategy to deal with them.  It is all for home town politics to appease the major unions and to bolster their support for health care.  I question the wisdom and timing of that strategy.  There are better ways to deal with them.

The Norsemen are often forgotten when it comes to our historical culture but they did leave us lots of influences that live on today.  Every Thursday is a remembrance of Thor and even the navigation and ship and aircraft term starboard comes from the Norse.  They always built those long ships and put the rudder on the right side of the ship.  It was the steer board side.  That became our starboard.

How long will it be before we are required to use either credit cards or debit cards for all transaction?  Surely you have noticed that more and more of the large corporations are no longer paying with a paycheck but making direct deposits into employees’ checking accounts or crediting a debit card they had issued to the employee.  Government, Inc. will love that because then it can track everything you do with your money and collect even more taxes.  Someday you will recieve emails from the IRS challenging expenditures and questioning your income reported as not matching your reported income on a W-2 or 1099.  Bureaucrats and big business will love a cashless society.  I sure hope that day doesn’t come anytime soon.  For one thing I want my privacy, for a second thing, I want my privacy.

If you doubt that stupidity abounds in Washington then merely reflect on that fact we are still promoting ethanol, which is less efficient, cost more and can ruin engines.  At the same time we are ignoring our natural gas abundance which is much cleaner that gas, and is a domestic product which would really help our balance of trade and the technology to convert vehicles to its use is off the shelf.  Politics can make for some really dumb decisions.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com


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Filed under business, Culture, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs

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