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View Diary: Money-saving Suggestions for Congress to Consider (96 comments)

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  •  Legalize hemp too. (30+ / 0-)

    Single payer rolled into Medicare, Medicaid and VA. There is no reason to have large bureaucracies doing the same thing basically for the same species. Specialization can happen with the practitioners.

    I like all of your suggestions.

    •  Great suggestion - hemp has so many uses (13+ / 0-)

      that I think it's really foolish for it to be illegal.  I'll include that in my next letter.

      And it never hurts to suggest Single Payer and if they don't like that, maybe they'd consider lowering the age for Medicare.

      I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

      •  Not single payer (11+ / 0-)

        The proper sound bite should be allow buy in to Medicare.

        Also allow buy in to cover what is now covered by private supplemental insurance. Given the overhead of the insurance companies, either a direct supplemental from Medicare should be 25% cheaper or else at the same cost completely cover the Medicare deficit.

        •  Medicare option... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, midwesterner, FloridaSNMOM

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:48:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's no deficit problem, there's a jobs problem (7+ / 0-)

            The deficit in 2008 was   3.2%
            The deficit in 2009 was 10.9%

            As Robert Pollen writes :

            Fact #3: Current large government deficits are due to the recession, not out-of-control spending.

            This is so obvious it should be barely worth mentioning. But simple facts are ignored repeatedly in the fiscal deficit debates. No doubt during the Lew hearings, there will be more discussion about the current crisis being due to the 47 percent freeloading population who, as Mitt Romney put it after his defeat, “want stuff” from the government. As we see in Figure 3, the government’s fiscal deficit spiked at 10.1 percent of GDP in 2009, immediately after the onset of the recession.

            Don't get me wrong, love your ideas, but don't believe the deficit hype, don't buy that frame.
            •  Typo - make that "10.1% " n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lujane
            •  deficit dropped from 10.1% to 8.5% in 2012 (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lujane, Calamity Jean, NoMoreLies

              because of a slight improvement in the economy.

              Austerty cuts will push us back into recession.

              Cutting govt spending,  cutting SS/MC, it's all austerity.

            •  I agree - we actually need more spending (5+ / 0-)

              in the short term to stimulate the economy and should deal with the deficit longer term.  But the reality is that politicians are going to address the deficit whether we like it or not, so I'm trying to get some suggestions out there that are not as harmful as the ones being proposed.

              I wish more people like you were in Congress!

              •  Yes, but it helps to also be able to undercut (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lujane, JerryNA

                deficit hysteria.

                And go directly to the major sources of the inequality of expectations of We The People vs. Banks.

                The banks get free reserves from the Fed Reserve all the time, in it's role as lender of last resort.  If the fed didn't do this, then our financial markets couldn't work in the way they do.

                When it comes to We The People, we're all of a sudden out of the numerical system out of which free liquidity points are given to the banks as a matter of policy.

                It seems only the Public Deficit matters, even though We The People create free liquidity points out of thin air, and so can never go broke.

                Private debt?  That's no problem.  We can always afford more.

              •  Lujane, thanks for reccing my previous comment, (0+ / 0-)

                but all suggestions for saving Public Money should start with why, when we have a fiat currency, it's good for the Public Sector to save for Public Spending, but not for Private Sector Bank spending.

                Because neo-liberalism relies on convincing the little guy we're going broke, while spending it's unlimited liquidity points for the big guy.

                It's difficult to save up infinity, and doesn't actually happen.

            •  This is why it is difficult for me to support (0+ / 0-)

              some of the progressive agenda.  Yeah, deficits run over a 30 year period that has lead us to $16 trillion in debt and trillion dollar deficits over the last several years isn't a problem.  Totally sustainable.

              IMO, it's the left wing's version of the right wing's insistence that AGW and peak oil is a hoax.  Not very reality based in my opinion.

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 04:09:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Speaking of Medicare... Just listening to Eugene.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, antirove

            Robinson on Morning Joe... I think he is supposed to be one of the more "liberal" pundits/columnists.

            Mike Barnicle brought up "entitlements" ... how do we survive without addressing them? Eugene?

            Eugene kind of yammered and stuttered on about on how entitlements MUST be addressed, and how the idea of raising the medicare eligibility age needs to be "on the table." It's a "legitimate" argument. It's either "get less or pay more." He makes no call there for the "get less" or "pay more" people to be tapped from the wealthiest among us, for whom the extra they'd pay or lose would be a mere drop in the ocean.

            He apparently needs a good rousing discussion around the table to find out what passes the ethical smell test and what doesnt.

            It took a blond British woman with a slight lisp whose name I dont know (Financial Times reporter?) to challenge him by reminding him that, as she put it (to closely paraphrase) But Eugene, business has come out for raising the eligibility age to 70, when all the data shows, "rich people live a LOT longer than poor people, to put it crudely... It will punish poor people over the rich." Do you think the President can afford to adopt a policy like that when his base will be absolutely hated by many people on the Left, in the Democratic Party?

            Eugene?

            His (closely paraphrased) response:

            I uh uh uh think that would be uh uh difficult, I really do... I think that would be a real controversy within the party... but you have to look at entitlements in a way that makes them sustainable... if the President focuses on the issue with that in mind... blah blah blah

            I could only think, since he seems to be one of so many MSNBC regulars who deeply fans Obama, he is probably getting ready to make excuses for when Obama does another Nixon goes to China type move on entitlements (Is anybody super confident he wont?). The sort that does hurt those who are not among the wealthy.  

            •  Correction: British reporter said: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bronx59, Lujane

              But Eugene, business has come out for raising the eligibility age to 70, when all the data shows, "rich people live a LOT longer than poor people, to put it crudely... It will punish poor people over the rich." Do you think the President can afford to adopt a policy like that when his base it will be absolutely hated by many people on the Left, his base in the Democratic Party?

        •  and hemp is a viable crop in otherwise marginal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane

          farmlands. worn-out land, scarce water -- don't bother hemp much.

          one of the reasons the Founding Fathers promoted its cultivation! (well, also for home sourcing of cordage materials for rigging military & commercial sailing vessels).

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:54:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hemp does have a lot of uses but (0+ / 0-)

        let's not fool ourselves that it is as great as it's most ardent supporters say.  Sure, it can be used in a great many different ways but does it actually compete economically with the various alternatives?  In some areas, yes.  In many others, not so much.

        That is why in the countries that hemp is legal they have a decent hemp industry but it is no where near as viable as many supporters claim.

        With that said, of course it should be legal.

        And pot should be sold by non-profit agencies not by drug cartels, big business or the government.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 03:41:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm very interested to see how things work out (8+ / 0-)

      in CO.  Medical marijuanna brought in about 20 million if I remember correctly.  I don't smoke, but I love the tax revenue when times are tough.

      "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Charles Darwin

      by Rockydog on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:21:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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