Originally Posted By: Jaybird
Please help me understand that a national sales tax wouldn't fly very well.

Good points, everyone thinking about different ways to collect revenue, each has its own pros and cons

But let me throw into it, how whenever the tax code changes, it has all kinds of repercussions

if you change the laws that affect the rich, you get the loudest screams, because they are paying the most attention, and they use their money to protect their money, hire the lobbyists, influence Washington, media coverage, etc

Conversely, when a state gives tax breaks, the state gets rewarded by getting people to move to that state, to reap the benefits. Same with corporations, that's why South Dakota and other states have credit card companies with their corporate centers there, the laws are different from state to state, they get to charge higher interest rates on their credit cards for all customers no matter where they live, depending on where their corporate center is

Also reminded that the Governator (Arnold) got elected largely because he promised to reduce the tax on automobiles in California

I read in a funny Al Franken book, a totally fictitious account of a presidential candidate who ran on a single platform, had no opinions on military, civil rights, family values, etc

All his speeches, all his rhetoric, all his campaigns, consisted of one pledge:

"No ATM fees"

and he gets elected! yes Silly, I know, but it made me laugh, cause I could imagine that happening in real life!

Originally Posted By: Jaybird
I agree that the proposed health care plan is not supposed cost more money in the long run. This may be accomplished, but I'm not hopeful. I also think that to try and accomplish this, the government will employ any means necessary. I think it is overly optimistic to think that this health care plan is a magic wand and everybody will be healthier and things will be all sunshine and roses. You are discounting the human factor (e.g. overeating, eating inadequate foods, substance abuse, laziness) and the evil entities that market the products tied to some of the aforementioned examples.

I maintain that if HC reform is going to work, it will be because it will end up costing LESS, rather than the same or more, for the average American, and the key to that will be the competition that having a giant co-op, consisting of the currently uninsured citizens, a leverage tool that is not a factor today

With you there with the human factor, obesity, etc

Hope would be, that health promotes health, when people start getting better, they feel better, and that gives them enthusiasm for continuing in that direction

from the government's role in promoting that, Obama's increase in tobacco tax seems right to me (even though he is still a smoker smokin )

and last I heard, he wanted to similarly increase the tax for soda pop, I've seen some commercials that are against that, showing a mother complaining that times are tough, that it's unfair to increase a family's cost of groceries, completely ignoring the reason for the tax increase, which is less about revenue, than it is to discourage the consumption of unhealthy food

Originally Posted By: Jaybird
I'm a little more optimistic about the debate of this proposed health care bill. I would have thought that you would be similarly optimistic given how far this concept since there have been multiple bills) has advanced.

I am getting some optimism! Although tempered by expectations that the bills will get battered quite a bit by the process, probably a give and take affair, HC companies will definitely be using their influence to get some new loopholes put into it, and then if it reaches the point where it is likely that one of the bills will get passed, others will throw in the pork so that they can get their various agendas passed as part of the package

Here's the kind of news that gives me the most optimism, one that barely seems to register with current headlines:

Lobbyists pushed off advisory panels

Your links to HC's top lobbyist recipients are great! Important for people to take a look at those, a real eye-opener and a shock to those wondering how it all currently works!