Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tax the fat

Health care reform seems to be the cause de jour among the Democrats. And of course, this means finding ways of paying for it (i.e. more taxes). Senator John Kerry has proposed taxing “gold plated” (his words) insurance plans. These are the ones most of us cannot afford, but pay for most of medical costs. My thought? Does that mean Kerry is proposing that federal employees, including the President and Congressmen, are going to be taxed for their health care plans? They have one of the best in the country called the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Talk about “gold plated”! According to the website, the program offers “...the widest selection of health plans in the country.” This plan is just what we need, if we are going to reform health care insurance. Let all of us use that plan, and no one would be complaining, except perhaps the Socialists of Congress who want more control over the masses.

Neal Boortz, radio talk show host (yes, I listen to a variety of different view points), proposed the Fat Accumulation Tax (FAT). The more you weigh, the more you pay. It makes some sense to me, since caring for the problems of obesity cost $147 billion last year (Wall Street Journal online). That's nearly 10% of health related costs! Now, many of the overweight in this country are poor, so Uncle Sam would probably step in and not make them pay. But why not make them pay part of their costs, since they are part of the problem of Medicare not having enough money? That would be a sure way of getting them to lose weight!

I like the concept Boortz has proposed, but I believe a better way would be to tax us based on our body-mass index (BMI- a number based on both height and weight). This would be fairer, because I, at 5'11+" and 190lb, am not much overweight. (Using this BMI calculator shows that my BMI is 26.5, which is 1.5 points into the overweight category). However, someone 5'5" and 190 is obese (BMI=31.6-- 1.6 over the obese line). So, make that person pay a higher health care tax to encourage him/her to do something about the weight problem.

However, knowing the current Democratic leadership, they will do everything to make sure no one can fully comprehend whatever plan comes out of Congress.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Living on “less”

While driving home, I was listening to “All Things Considered” on NPR (I know that makes me a closet Liberal). There was an interview with an actress who plays on TV shows as a guest star or secondary character. The gist was that even those actors are feeling the economic pinch, as fewer opportunities are arising, due somewhat to the trend toward “reality” shows (supposedly unscripted). She said her salary has dropped from around $500,000 to about $70,000 a year. I agree that this is a serious pay cut, but then she complained that she could not live on $70,000. What? That is a lot more than I have ever made! I guess living in LA-la land (Los Angeles, CA) is expensive, but not able to live on twice the salary of a starting teacher? This is evidence that we are a nation which values entertainment over necessities. (See “Bread and Circuses” below.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What's the hurry?

I have to wonder why President Obama is in such a hurry to push through his legislative agenda. He said he would have a transparent administration, and let people have time to read every proposal before it becomes law. So far, that has not happened, has it. The "Stimulus" was written and passed within a few days, and it was so long not even the Congressmen read it before voting on it. Now he is trying to get the energy and health care bills passed before the August recess. Yet each one is hundreds of pages long, and will change our economy more than FDR did in his New Deal. Slow down, please!

I really think Obama wants all this done before the 2010 elections, because he knows the average American has a short attention span and will forget the damage the Democrats are doing and reelect them. He also knows that during the summer, a lot of people are not paying attention to the news, because rarely does anything of significance happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

I am glad that God is in control, as it appears the US as we have known it is no more. Time to learn Chinese!