Thou Shalt Not Kill

What started out to be discussion over badly needed healthcare reform has been quickly transformed to an attempt to replay the November election.

One need look no further than the groups that support healthcare reform and those that oppose it.

Those that support it include every industry organization – insurance, hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Even patients represented by organizations like the AARP support reform. Finally most all the groups that supported President Obama in the last election also support healthcare reform.

The primary opposition is the Republican Party. Their motivation is obvious. It is an opportunity to regain the political advantage. They have gone so far as to say that defeating healthcare would be Obama’s Waterloo. Their tactics are not much different than they were last November. Rather than engage in an honest debate about alternatives, they attack the President’s trustworthiness. Unbiased sites like and document the lies, but the polls show the strategy is working.

In lockstep with the Republican Party are Fox News, IBD, Rush Limbaugh, and other right wing media talking heads. Their motivation is simple – money. They feed on hate. They create an “us versus them” mob mentality and chuckle all the way to the bank. When Glen Beck claims that a mixed race man raised by his white grandparents is a racist, he gains viewers from those who fear African Americans. When Fox supports Tea Parties and disrupting public meetings, those who participate get on TV and Fox becomes the #1 news network. When Rush said he hopes the President fails, he becomes the voice of the Republican party. When he claims the President will mandate circumcision, his ratings go up. Reasonable people shake their heads, but the twenty percent or so of those who hate President Obama get all that more radicalized and empowered to act.

Those opposed to abortion have joined in. They continue to beat their drum has hard as they can. Fox and the Republican party give them a platform. The healthcare bills present another opportunity for this group to lobby to change the laws. Even though current government coverage allows payment for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or the maternal health; they object to even this coverage in any future bill.

Finally, there are the right wing special interest groups who have used the Obama presidency as an opportunity to increase their fund raising and membership. Gun sales have risen dramatically since November. People are now taking guns to the sites of Presidential speeches.

The only thing that all of these groups can agree on is their hate of our President. They are being manipulated by those who seek political or monetary gain. They gain comfort from those who share their views. They are not talking to those who disagree with them. It has gone so far that clergy are now encouraging their members to pray for Obama’s death.

This has to stop.

Just as Bill O’Reilly bears responsibility for his part in the murder of the physician he called a “baby killer”, those who preach hate for our President bear the responsibility for his wellbeing. They may not be the ones who pull the trigger, but they help load the gun when they demonize President Obama.

Those who encourage this behavior are trying to dismantle our democracy for their own personal gain. They should be ashamed of themselves.

50 Responses to “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

  1. keith says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Are you warning of an impending murder?

    Fox was #1 in cable news and by far long before this issue.

    The first reading of this post appears to suggest that there is no legitimate opposition to what is being proposed. All far right “organized” groups. My dad is a Regean democrat. He is not a conservitive. He rarely talks about politics, the last I remember was when he said sometime in the 80’s that the Jesse jackson version of dem did not represent him. He is against this reform for the following reasons;

    1 He tried to read it and couldn’t.
    2 No one can explain it clearly.
    3 Everyone on TV trying to explain doesn’t appear to have read it.
    4 We can’t afford it
    5 Why doesn’t the president cleary state his beliefs. (a 3rd grade
    can see he’s botched this. that’s not my dad but me)

    The sooner you side understands that this isn’t just the rebublicans who are against it the sooner you’ll get something done. Go look at the polls.

    Jeff, hatred has nothing to do with this, or at least no more then the lefts opposition to the war in Iraq. If you can conceed that hatred toward GW had something to do with “some” of the protest then I’ll conceed it could be in play here.

    The pastor who made those remarks should be removed from his pastorate, period. I’m suprised you included them in your post. Do you really think this reflexs the republican view?

    Bill O’reilly bears no responsiblity…if he does then how about some on the left for the unabomer? how about those that made the movie about assisinating bush??? i think you were silent on that one.

    Jeff, you’ve spewed more libral talking points on this post then i can remember you ever spewing.

    really want to know about the “thou shalt not murder” title though. if you are aware of an enpending murder let us know and maybe we can prevent it.

  2. keith says:

    Zero defensiveness here Jeff,

    Your link supports my comment that Fox is the #1 cable news net work for a long time. Your comment in your original post said “When Fox supports Tea Parties and disrupting public meetings, those who participate get on TV and Fox becomes the #1 news network.” I was merely pointing out your comment was in error….by saying …Fox becomes #1…Thank you for adding support that your comment was misguided.

    I quite frankly don’t understand the lefts constant bashing of Fox…I don’t get it. Repub’s debate on EVERY station and lib’s will refuse to debate on Fox. I’d wonder if you’ve every really watched Fox.

    As to Obama speaking to the students….I’m ok with it and Most reb’s are also. Most on Fox has said it was ok. For clearity sake Bush senior was widely criticized after he spoke to students in 1991 and hears were held. The only objection that was correct about Obama speaking was that he wanted to pass out a workbook to go along with the speach…that’s is out of bounds. Read some of the content and you’d probably agree.

    I will stand by my comments that the hatred for Obama is no different then the hatred of Bush….You said “The only difference that I can see is that there is a loose coalition of radicalized right-wing people supported and encouraged by the right wing media, who have decided that it is now socially acceptable to object in a vocal and public way to virtually everything that this President attempts to do.” The diffentce between the two I would suggest is that the hatred toward Bush was not a loose coalition….and included the core of the dem leadership.

    Bottom line, and you tapped around this in your response, my belief is that Obama blew this on his own. HE doesn’t have a plan. Not only that no one has a plan that is being talked about. That thing that got out of committe in the house is NOT the plan. He could have lead here, he didn’t. He left it to Polosi and Reid, hardly asking for Bi-partican support. He should have handled it. (I think my comment earlier to you was he voted “present.”) Everything that occured could have been avoided if only HE would have taken charge…..You’ve got to admit this. I will watch closely for Obama to “state his beliefs tonight.”

    My thoughts are this….The libral wing of the dem party is running things, The demes have the overhelming majoity. the dems as a whole are NOT represented by their leadership. Big problem as the dems as a whole do not view health care reform as the leadership does. they don’t want a complete take over….this view is held by a minority of the edms, who happen to be in leadership. Dems as a whole, read into that my father, will not go along and do not want this. It has nothing to do with distortion from the right.

    Ploos show a mojority of us want reform. I run a business. The premium increases I witness every year are sickening. I want something done. The rube occurs as to how to do it. We, the people, want reform or changes. The dems leadership wants a take over. Thats not propaganda just the truth. whenin the same conversation Polosi complains that the coe’s of the largest providers make over $10 million per year then something else is under foot. When Waxmen asks for an accounting of how the insurence companies are spending there money, something else is a foot. Jeff, get it?

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:


    You’re right about my characterization of Fox News as recently gaining number one status. They did that years ago. It is also true that they have recently had significant gains in viewership which was coincident with their support of tax and healthcare protesters.

    Don’t spend much time watching TV news. Get my information from reading.

    As far as why folks like me are upset about Fox and Rush, you need look no further than They hold politicians and the media accountable to the truth. There are plenty of mistatements by both Republicans and Democrats, but when it comes to media – the overwhelming majority of misinformation is coming from Fox and Rush.

    Bush was criticized after his speech because of some of the content in the speech. This time around, conservative parents protested the concept of President Obama addressing their children REGARDLESS of what he said. It struck me as another low point in the polarization of the electorate.

    I’ve already said that those who polarized the country with Bush hate speech were just as wrong as those who are polarizing the country with Obama hate speech. One wrong does not justify another.

    I didn’t tap dance around anything. Obama announced the strategy when work on the healthcare bill started. In hindsight it may not have been the best strategy, but it wasn’t a secret. He outlined the principles of his plan this evening.

    Just as comparison, House Minority Leader John Boehner has said that the Republicans will not offer an alternative healthcare reform bill even though there are several that individual house Republicans have been working on. What does that tell you?

    I understand that you don’t trust the Democrats. I don’t trust the Republicans. I don’t think that we will resolve those differences any time soon.

    What you will see in the next few weeks, however, is a bill that reflects what President Obama spoke about tonight. I also predict that it will pass with very little Republican support.

    My final prediction is that, if the economy continues to improve, those groups who have chosen to oppose anything this President chooses to do, will become increasingly marginalized as their protests become less and less rational and more and more shrill. If the economy starts creating more jobs than it is losing and the recovery by 2011 is robust, Obama will be re-elected in a cake walk because voters will have grown tired of Republican tactics.

  4. jon march says:

    Jeff has hit upon a huge issue – the 4 or 5 conservative hosts wield far more influence over their party than all the liberal media put together, and in large part because many of those consitiuents are either extremist, uneducated, and/or easily “riled”. The gun-toting party is the loose cannon party, and continue to alienate the ret of the world.

  5. keith says:

    I watched Obamas speech and have MANY, MANY things I could say. They would all be summerized by this. For the entire debate on this issue the last few years the dems have used the “47,000,000 uninsured Americans” propaganda… Obama used this number in speeches as recently as a month ago. Wed night he said “30,000,000 uninsured Americans.” Where did the 17,000,000 million uninsured Americans go? I know if you care for the honest truth. The 17,000,000 are “illegal alians.” (I believe you defended the the 47,000,000 number when I suggested the number was much lower a while ago.) Now, if the number is 30,000,000 is that one correct? I say no. How many young people who can afford insurence are in that number? How many families who make over $75,000 and can afford it are in that number? How many “under insured” are in that number? The bottom line is this. On the low side the estimate is 8,000,000 truely need insurenece but can’t afford it. On the high side its 15,000,000.

    Two things; why were the dems throwing around the 47,000,000 number for so long? Until Obama said 30,000,000 wed night for the first time the “YOU LIE” comment was absolutly correctly applied to any one who spewed that number. I think that’s very clear now. (Also, the “YOU LIED” comment was correct applied as the illegal couldn’t be asked to show verification to get health insurence because dems had voted TWICE in committe against verification. Not suprisingly on Friday it because part of “whatever the plan is” so the “you lied” had an effect.)

    JEff, all said to say this, Why the distortion on the left as to the number of uninsured Americans? Why the continued distortion regarding the number?And the biggest question of all….WHY A COMPLETE OVER HAUL OUR OUR SYSTEM FOR 12,500,000 million Americans when 71% are comfortable with what they have? Why the continued lies. I think Americans as whole would say fix it but dont overhaul it. I know this represents my position.

    Jon, You simply are uninformed. Dare to campare education demographics with repub and dems? Now that’s a laugh.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:


    You gotta do your homework before you regurgitate these conspiracy theories.

    The 47M number comes from the US Census Bureau. That number includes approx 6M illegal aliens. There are also approx 4M legal aliens in that number too.

    What President Obama said was, “There are now more than 30 million American CITIZENS who cannot get coverage.” That statement would not include the 7M citizens who can get coverage but for a number of reasons choose not to.

    Here’s a link to an unbiased source if you would like more detail.

    The bottom line for all of these groups is that they drive up the cost of insurance for everyone else because they receive their care from emergency rooms and generally are unable to pay the bills for that care out of their pocket.

    Reform has to include a mandate that you must carry some insurance along with a subsidy for those who can’t afford it. That is what will drive down cost for all.

    Keith – the economics don’t lie. Our current healthcare system is unsustainable. If we don’t slow the growth in healthcare spending, the existing systems will start to break down in about 10 years with Medicare being one of the first to go.

    This isn’t that hard to figure out. There are two components driving cost. One is care for the uninsured. The other is waste and inefficiency in the system.

    It doesn’t matter how many people like their current insurance. That’s just another red herring. There are plenty of polls out there that also say a majority of the country recognizes that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

    The big lie that is being promoted by those opposed to healthcare reform is that we will be fine doing nothing. Rather than proposing an alternative plan (which would likely have 80%-90% of the same stuff in the current proposals), they have no counter proposal because they do not want to weaken what they see as the political advantage of opposing everything. This is politics at its most cynical.

    I may post something on the “lied” controversy, so I won’t try to go into it now.

    Finally, the issue that Jon raised is not the relative education demographics of republicans and democrats, but if you have some data I’d like to see it.

    What he did say is that is the same thing that I said – conservative media is purposely playing to the most extreme right-wing elements in our society because those groups are easily manipulated to take action. When that action includes taking loaded guns to public rallies and praying for the president’s death, however, many of the rest of us feel that they have gone too far.

    We have a long sorry history of violence carried out against our leaders. Those who demonize leaders for personal gain can’t escape personal responsibility for the actions that they set in motion.

  7. keith says:

    Good morning Jeff and thanks for the responce. To the 47,000,000 number and your response….I don’t care what the facts are as no one really knows. My point was this. He said many times and so did ALL DEMS “47,000,000 uninsured Americans”….why would he now say “30,000,000?” You provided a link to support the 30,000,000, Again I ask, why was the 47,000,000 number quoted all these years and why the change now?

    I will not go along with a mandate….PERIOD

    I also agree that the current system is unsustainable, we are in agreement there. 100%…..I just don’t think Gov’t is the answer.

    I think repubs will provide an alternitive….it will be forth coming. How ver you will not accept it as an alternitive as it will not fit your model.

    Your comments about what the right is doing reminds me of the social secruty debate. We have a huge problem looming, correct? Bush tried to do something, your side didn’t like it. Like Obama he said ” I am open to ideas.” None came from the left. In the state of the union following the defeat of S.S. reform Bush said we failed to reform social security. This was met with a standing ovation and a hearty cheer from the dems. After silence returned to the camber and the dems returned to their seats after the five minute celebration, Bush politly said, “its still going broke and we failed the American people.”

    Jeff you always speak as though opposition has never occured before and the tactics of the right are new and we’ve never seen the like before. I really don’t get how you can be so one sided that you cant see the forest through the trees. You seem to be fairly educated and are certainly smart. What you fail to see is that BOTH PARTIES are letting us down. I’m as conservitive as you are progressive but I can see the error of my side as well as yours. Until you can start seeing the error on BOTH sides you will never correctly identify “spritual wickedness in high places.” If you would just be honest and watch the Liberal media you would see that are playing to the most extreme of their base just like you accuse the right of playing to theirs. Watch Rachal Maddow Keith O and Chris Mattews and everyone most on ABC, CBS, NBC etc….they basicly line up conservetives and say..”your a raciests right?” after they say no they have other liberals on and conduct an interview that goes something like this…”That Joe Wilson is a raciest, don’t you agree.” the guest will respond like this, “hard to say that he is a raciest but he’s a raciest.”

    Think I’m not being honest there? Tune in. Mareen O’s in Sunday mornings NY TIMES called the guy a raciest. Where’s the “decorum on the left?” Anyone who opposes Obama now is a raciest…….This isn’t just the media but a large portion of your memebers of the house and a few in the senate. Your side needs to get real and you need to pull off the blinders and be more objective.

    To another of your comments, I read as well as watch TV. I like TV becuase I can here the politicans in their own words. I watch, catch parts during a week, of Hardball, Rachal Maddow, Keith Oberman, Oreily, Hanity, though he’s becoming a bigger hack then I could ever imagine. My favority is Larry Kadlow on CNBC. I read the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Detroit News. Fortune Mag, and the NY Times. So as you can see I’m getting all sides but mostly a liberal slant on the news. (as if there is any other)

    Joe Wilson never should have yelled “you lied” at a time Obama was accusing republicans of lying, though he was, and the Dems never should have booed GW.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “I don’t care what the facts are as no one really knows”

    You now saying that you don’t believe the Census Bureau? They are part of the conspiracy too?

    My suspicion is that you don’t care what the facts are because they don’t agree with your position.

    I don’t recall anyone saying that there were 47M uninsured AMERICANS, and if they did they were in error. The Census tracks this figure every month and, as I’ve said before, are very transparent about the groups that make up that number. If it is any comfort to you, it also continues to go up.

    I’m also not sure that you are going to be able to find a quote going back more than a year or so from anyone using that number because before the most recent financial meltdown, the number was smaller.

    As far as why President Obama used a different number, I’m sure it was to address the concern of some conservative groups that he plans to offer benefits of some sort to the 6M or so illegal aliens that don’t get insurance benefits from their employers. He also DID describe those 30M correctly – the are American citizens who want coverage and have not been able to get it.

    So please put this latest version of this manufactured controversy to bed.

    You only have two choices to solve the problem of the unisured driving up costs. You either mandate coverage in the same ways that states mandate auto insurance, or you provide a government option that automatically covers every citizen who doesn’t have private insurance.

    Actually there is a third choice. You could deny emergency room coverage to the uninsured (citizens or otherwise). I haven’t heard that come up from those incensed about illegal immigration, but I have to admit that I don’t listen to much of the media that panders to that crowd.

    As far as the Republicans offering a bill, I would be shocked.

    Here’s why.

    The Republicans have been able to build an opposition coalition that goes from the suvivalists, nationalists, and libertarians all the way through to the pro-lifers and misled seniors. As soon as they put out any serious alternative which will address the issues that we both agree are grave, many of these groups will see many of the same things in the Republican bill that upset them in the proposals that the are grinding their way through Congress now. Their coalition will fall apart and their power will dissipate.

    That’s because there just aren’t that many answers to the big problems. That’s also why there is such an effort by the “swift boaters” to minimize the number of uninsured. That way they can claim that patchwork solutions can solve the problem.

    Nice idea, but it just won’t work because it is doesn’t fix the problem.

    Now that doesn’t mean that individual Republicans won’t talk about particular bits and pieces. That will provide the illusion of an alternative comprehensive solution, but none of those will every see the light of day in a bill because of the big issue that I’ve already discussed.

    The New American Foundation which works with both Dems and Repubs has looked at the Repbulican proposals and says they won’t solve the big problems of uninsured and rising costs.

    I have already said that I condemn extremism from both the left and the right.

    The only left-leaning media that I watch are the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and that’s much more for entertainment than it is for content. They are both very effective, though, at lampooning the rest of the media (right and left).

    The challenge in the argument that you raise, however, is self-righteous justification for radicalization. So it’s OK to disrupt a Presidential speech because a previous President was booed. It’s OK to encourage violence because those some who opposed the Iraq war were violent. It’s acceptable to call our President a racist, a nazi, a baby killer, or a communist, because others called the previous president a facist, a torturer, or a war monger.

    Then of course there’s the old canard that the bias evident at Fox and Rush are only to balance the overall bias that everyone else has which favors the administration. In some way they are doing a public service. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

    These are all stories for simple people.

    It is not us versus them.

    It is all of them versus us and we are falling for it.

    The media (left and right) panders to the base elements in human nature to make money. They don’t share your values – in fact they laugh at them. Look at the private lives of folks like Rush, Beck, Newt, etc. These are not folks who walk their talk.

    They only want your attention so that they can sell advertising and books. They have discovered a very easy way to get your attention. That’s to determine what it is that you want to hear and then tell you why you are right and all those you disagree with are wrong. This is a new age of yellow journalism that hopefully our children will grow tired of.

    In the meantime it is straining the fabric of our democracy because it is becoming difficult to have a lucid conversation based on facts. Instead even these conversations often devolve into emotional name calling.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    By the way, as if right on time, the Kaiser Family Foundation just released their annual survey of healthcare costs. They found that cost have again risen faster than wages. This is the 10th straight year costs have risen faster than our ability to pay for them. What that means for working people is that they have less money to spend on other priorities (e.g. education and retirement planning). What it also means for the companies that provide benefits is that they have less money to create new jobs, provide raises for their existing employees, or otherwise grow their businesses.

    It is a pretty simple calculation to figure out when government health programs will start to run out of money (7-10 years) and when private insurance costs for even the most basic care will become too expensive for most individuals and companys (20 years or so).

  10. keith says:


    Hope all is well.

    You addressed my comment of “I don’t care what the facts are as no one really knows”

    You responded with this;

    “You now saying that you don’t believe the Census Bureau? They are part of the conspiracy too?”

    “My suspicion is that you don’t care what the facts are because they don’t agree with your position.”

    I think the census bureau try’s but doesn’t really know and you suspicion is very incorrect.

    However my point was not that is was the dems have all along used the line “47,000,000 uninsured American.” Where have you been and who have you been listening to? Didn’t you watch the debates. It seems all of them disagree with the census bureau. Jeff, I heard it TWICE today on MSNBC…..I will find it on you tube unless they have been removed. EVERY dem candidate last year used this number….When Obama used 30,000,000 the other night is was the FIRST time ANYONE on the left has used a number less then 47,000,000 that i’ve heard. I’m nor done with this and I’ll find it some where for PROOF.

    As to the left right thing. It’s not ok the yell “liar” to the President. (and it had nothing to do with race. The response by dems has everything to do with politics) It is not ok that the dems failed to help Bush with S.S. and it is unacceptable for the repubs to not help Obama with some sort of healthcare reform. You must understand my posistion better. IT IS BOTH SIDES WHO ARE FAILLING US. IRAQ war protestors who were disorderly and Right wing nut jobs who are racists. YOU my good friend have to take off your progressive colored glasses and see rhis much more clearly. You only see fox and rush and fail to see ABC, NBS, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NY TIMES, WASH POST ETC, ETC, ETC……….they are just as guilty of what you accuse fox and rush of doing. AND NO ONE RIGHT DOESN”T MAKE A WRONG. YOU JUST NEED TO QUIT CRYING ABOUT IT. Like it or not, and I don’t, this is todays politics. So, join me in not participating in the crap.

  11. keith says:

    I’m simply stunned at your comment about 47,000,000 never being quoted before, and i’m never stunned….It’s the only number dems have ever used…really. just google 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. Just turn on the TV and listen to anyone…..

    8-31-09 you said “What we are talking about is insurance for the 40M folks who are too young to be covered by Medicare and not poor enough to be covered by Medicaid.”

    #1 – listen to first 1:10 if you’d like of this one

    listen to the first 10 secs of this one

    #2 –

    Here’s Obama at the Dem health care debate 2008
    Start at 1:45…45,000,000 is stated and he doesn’t
    back down. Interestingly enough he doesn’t MANDATE
    it. Now he does…in fact if you keep listening the rest
    of the candidate point out that he isn’t mandating it.

    #3 – I like htis one.

    #4 Mark Levin breaking down the 47,000,000 claim.
    (If you are going to use the libral Keiser family foundation
    then I can use this guy.)

    #5 – This one is most troubling to your agruement of yesterday

    #6 – This is a niceReuters story on the assumed 47,000,000

    #7 – I’ll stop with this one as you should surrender by now. This is documentation of times Obama said 46,000,000…

    I could keep going and going….im really suprised you claim ignorence to the 47,000,000 number….where have you been under a rock? they all use this number and repubs for the last two years have been saying this number isn’t correct. I even said it in a response to you a while ago.

    You also said this is a moral issue. That’s raising the bar quite a bit. If you really believe that then I’d ask how many uninsured you personally help by giving them money for health insurance….It’s a MORAL isuue Jeff. Logic follows if its a moral issue and you have even one spare penny it should go to someones health care. If you dont give it to someones health care and you have that penny to give, you have become immoral. Yes?

  12. keith says:


    I will now address this comment you made;

    The challenge in the argument that you raise, however, is self-righteous justification for radicalization. So it’s OK to disrupt a Presidential speech because a previous President was booed. It’s OK to encourage violence because those some who opposed the Iraq war were violent. It’s acceptable to call our President a racist, a nazi, a baby killer, or a communist, because others called the previous president a facist, a torturer, or a war monger.

    I would suggest none are apporpiate….let me be very clear about that we all need to be respectful in our disagreement and stop the name calling.
    (Joe Wilson is a raciest)

    My comments about what the left said to Bush were merely to point out to you that what is happening to Obama ISN’T NEW yet you act as though it is. Like today is a new day in politics and the rupublicans are doing things never done before….You simply are choosing to be partisan with these type of comments and anylasis. I don’t know why you don’t get that????

  13. keith says:

    I am keeping these issues separate.

    I said;

    “Bush tried to do something, your side didn’t like it. Like Obama he said ” I am open to ideas.” None came from the left. In the state of the union following the defeat of S.S. reform Bush said “we failed to reform social security.” This was met with a standing ovation and a hearty cheer from the dems. After silence returned to the camber and the dems returned to their seats after the five minute celebration, Bush politly said, “its still going broke.”

    Every year I get a notice from the Gov’t telling me how much I will recieve at diffent ages…you get the same thing. MANY x 47,000,000 are counting on 100% of that money. As of today that is unlike to occur and the letter that comes from the gov’t even suggests as much. So the dems stopped Bush and then STOOD AND CHEERED FOR A LONG TIME their success in stopping reform on S.S…….. How did this help you and I Jeff?
    You know what Jeff, it’s STILL GOING BROKE!!!! Bankrupt.

    Nancy P actually said in her response to the state of the union in 2005 “it’s not going bankrupt, we’ll be able to meet 71% of our obligations to S.S.” Jeff, I know you know this, but bankrupt means you are no longer able to meet 100% of your obligations. She wasn’t even clever in her defense of not wanting to reform S.S… plain daylight the dems just said NO. I’d love to hear your comments on what you think about the solvancey of S.S. and where it should fall on the list of our priorities.

    Now fast forward to today and your feelings for what the right is doing with the healthcare issue. You wrote:

    “The big lie that is being promoted by those opposed to healthcare reform is that we will be fine doing nothing. Rather than proposing an alternative plan (which would likely have 80%-90% of the same stuff in the current proposals), they have no counter proposal because they do not want to weaken what they see as the political advantage of opposing everything. This is politics at its most cynical.”

    Now, my fair and balanced friend, reread your comment and exchange “health reform” with “Social Security reform” This could have been written by a Conservative about Democrats…in fact I’m sure it was. Are you starting to catch on here Jeff?

    If healthcare reform is defeated and Obama mentions this failure in the next state of the union, how will you feel IF the right were to STAND AND CHEER…….. How will I feel? ANGERY, that the left and the right let us down. A feeling obviously not shared by those on the left after your s.s. and my s.s. was not safe guarded four years ago.

    Help me out here Jeff when I don’t buy into your comments about the right doing things that have never been done before.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:


    I have never said that these were new tactics.

    All I am pointing out, is that the tactics being employed by Republicans in the healthcare debate are cynical, manipulative, and self-serving.

    This statement doesn’t absolve any other party or group from past use of similar tactics. Nor does past use of those tactics by any other party or group justify their use in this situation.

    What I am advocating is that voters hold ANY group using these tactics accountable because they attack the foundations of our democracy.

    In order to have effective democratic government, we have to respect diversity and embrace compromise. Rabble-rousing, fear-mongering, and hate speach are a recipe for violent mob rule rather than good government.

    Glen Beck’s call for angry white people to stand up was a bad idea one hundred years ago and it is a bad idea today. It will make Glen some money just as it made sheet manufacturers some money years ago. But it will do little to advance either their cause or the good of the country.

    Clearly I reject the notion that this is just how things are and we should accept it is a normal part of politics. When people advocate violence as a method to affect change, we have left the normal and entered the danger zone.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, the last stock market crash demonstrated how short-sighted some of the proposed Bush SS changes were.

    You may have been unhappy with the failure of that effort, but there is still time to make far more modest and reasonable changes which will preserve the system for future generations.

    IMHO, it should become a needs-based system subject to tax for those who have other substantial income. I realize that this goes against the grain for some, but I’m just expressing my opinion.

    I also think that the age at which SS kicks in 100% should be raised only because people are living longer, working longer, and as a result have less need for SS in their sixties than may have been the case even a decade ago.

    I do agree that this is a problem that has to be addressed. Hopefully it is something the current administration takes up after healthcare.

  16. keith says:

    needs based………..for s.s.

    i called a radio show today and the first thing he said after I made the same arguement above was the the s.s. income level should be raised
    from it’s current $106k to tht of a senators pay level….taxe those who make more. put the two of you togather and you’ve got higher taxes for those putting the most in and les benifit…a double whammy!!!

    don’t know if you are able to see my respose about the 47,000,000 number it says “your comment is awaiting moderation”

    obama did use the number, i heard it but can’t find vidio yet though i did see it last week on tv. i did post a vid of him accepting the the premise of 45,000,000 durning the dem debate on health care. (interesting enough all the candidates that night were knocking a plan for not MANDATING coverage. He know supports this i guess. Hard to tell since he doesn’t have a plan.

    hope you can see my post as EVERYONE uses that number…….and I provide several links to prove it. If you can’t see my post just google “47,000,000 uninsured Americans” and take your pick of the millions of times its been said.

    You simply have been paying attention if you don’t recognize that number.

    Also your Kisaer group, upon further review, is hardly an”unbias” group.
    They are as unbias to me as focus on the family is to you.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    For SS.

    Sounds like at least your talk show host and I agree.

    SS is NOT a savings plan. It is an insurance plan and if we would like it to continue to provide benefits for those who need it the most, we have to limit the benefits to those who need it the least. It isn’t all that different from buying auto insurance, even though you’ve never had an accident, you are obligated to buy it.

    In the same way SS is insurance against the possibility that you will not have sufficient resources to support yourself when you no longer are able to work.

    As far as the 47M number, you have to read more carefully.

    You are claiming that the President and others have said there are 47M uninsured AMERICANS in a systematic and systemic plot to mislead the country. That was what I called out.

    There ARE 47M people without insurance. That number includes many groups, some citizens and some not – some who can be insured and choose not to be a many who can’t afford insurance.

    So going through your example.

    My quote was accurate. There are 40M people (legal and illegal) who can’t afford insurance or whom the insurance industry won’t take. There are 7M who can afford insurance who choose not to spend the money.

    #1 the reference is to uninsured, not uninsured AMERICANS. This reference is accurate.

    #2 didn’t hear a reference to a number from Obama or any of the other Democratic candidates, only mandates. Yes Obama opposed mandates during his campaign. As I posted earlier, you’ve only got two choices, a government plan or mandated private plan coverage. If people don’t like the government plan, which was the President’s first choice, then they have to accept mandates.

    #3 quotes only Hilary Clinton and Michael Moore as saying 45M uninsured Americans. It mentions other democratic candidates, but only provides references to Michael Moore. I’m willing to admit that Michael Moore is an unrealiable source. I’ll need to see a reference to the Hilary Clinton speech before I’ll accept that from this particular author.

    #4 My reference to the Kaiser Family Foundation was about their report on rising health care costs. Frankly you’ve said the same thing, so I’m not sure this is really in dispute. I also didn’t quote them as an unbiased source.

    #5 The article that this link goes to references numbers in 2005. If you go to an article from this group that references current number, there are no references to the 47M number.

    #6 OK this article does reference 47M uninsured Americans, but doesn’t attribute that number to any politician. They are using the number wrong. Reuters though is hardly a bastion on liberal propaganda any more than any of the other wire services.

    #7 OK you got me. Three times, President Obama has improperly attributed that number to Americans rather than people. I’m certain that this particular site would have published EVERY time that number was improperly attributed, if there were more. If I find three times where he did use the number properly (including his speech before congress), will THAT put to bed the claim that he is deliberately misleading the nation?

    I think that all this exercise has proved is that there is a lot of confusion in the media about the Census report. As this debate has gone on, people are getting educated about what comprises the 47M number and how to properly reference it within the context of this debate. If you would like to credit conservative media for demanding this precision, that’s fine.

    At this point, if we can agree on the numbers as stated by the Census Bureau, we can return to the discussion of what to do about it.

  18. keith says:

    My point exactly…you said.

    “I think that all this exercise has proved is that there is a lot of confusion in the media about the Census report. As this debate has gone on, people are getting educated about what comprises the 47M number and how to properly reference it within the context of this debate. If you would like to credit conservative media for demanding this precision, that’s fine.”

    You said you never heard the number….trust me it the only one they use…or somewhee around it….if left to themselves the dems would have lef that number out there. To this minuite there are many on the left still using it……even some repubs ae using it.

    those seven examples are just me pasting stuff in a very short peroid of time. i don’t do this for a living. i also don’t lie or make things up….i watch all outlets of media so i can hear thses guys with my own ears…not opinon filtered by a jurnorislt along. obama said many time.

  19. keith says:

    so why did the dems use this number? to create the kaous….

  20. keith says:

    as to your comment on s.s.

    “BTW, the last stock market crash demonstrated how short-sighted some of the proposed Bush SS changes were.”

    I’d like to know whats short sighted about any of the Bush proposed changes to s.s. the became evident doing the stack market “crash?”

    I can’t think of how any of them were short sighted…..

  21. Jeff Beamsley says:


    Not sure how many times I have to repeat this, but apparently at least one more time. The 47M number is legit. It comes from the Census Bureau. It is not a number invented by the democrats.

    What is clear is that there has been a lot of confusion in the media and by politicians (democrat and republican) about what groups make up that number and how to properly reference it.

    Fortunately within the last month or so, the Census Bureau numbers are being used with more precision – but even that kicked off a whole new round of conspiracy theories by the folks fond of tin foil hats.

    The Bush administration was advocating a plan where workers would invest their SS funds in the same way that someone who has a personal retirement acount can invest their funds today. Those whose personal retirment accounts are still under water can tell you what a bad idea that would have been.

  22. keith says:

    Lead a horse to water and he will drink… said….

    “BTW, the last stock market crash demonstrated how short-sighted some of the proposed Bush SS changes were.”

    Then your most recent post you said….

    “The Bush administration was advocating a plan where workers would invest their SS funds in the same way that someone who has a personal retirement acount can invest their funds today. Those whose personal retirment accounts are still under water can tell you what a bad idea that would have been.”

    1) Let me begin with the wording “short-sighted.” It appears this would only apply to your thinking. The market is up on avg about 10% per year since the day before the market crashed in 1929….If anyone is taking the long view then this would be it. This rate of return beats all others.

    2) The markets retreat over a very short period and you think this is proof Bush’s plans had issues. It’s “up” 50% off it’s lows. Oh to be an investor on that day!!!!!!!! (I was by the way)

    3) The market will set new highs, thats a given. The dollar cost averaging everyone experianced, and under Bushes plan would have, would mean that an account would be made whole long before the market returns to its previous highs…..this is a GOOD THING Jeff not a bad thing.

    4) All Bush wanted was an OPTION for those who wanted to put a portion of there money into the market….(is it just me or have I been hearing the word OPTION a lot lately?) This was primarily suggested for younger employees. To which the correction in the market recently would have been a WINDFALL…..

    Short-sitedness is looking at the market in the most recent years. It’s also counting a drop in the market as a loss. (it’s only a loss if you do the wrong thing which is to sell) If viewed properly the drop in the market was the buying opportunity of a lifetime………

    If I grant that 47,000,000 is legit why would Obama say 30,000,000?

    You now are acknowledging just who makes up the 47 million, so since you know this why were the Dems using the 47,000,000 number to make the case how desarate the situation is? 47,000,000 Americans are not desparate…..

    The Dems lose both ways for not being honest….the number is between 8,000,000 and 15,000,000.

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’m glad that we finally got to the bottom of this insane number discussion. You just don’t like the number and think it should be smaller.

    The numbers that I have been using are from the Census Bureau.

    I have used those numbers accurately since this discussion began.

    President Obama correctly used the Census Bureau number when he said there were 30M uninsured Americans who wanted coverage and either couldn’t get it or couldn’t afford it. He and others innaccurately used the 47M numbers earlier this year when they said it represented the number of uninsured Americans.

    In addition to those 30M, there are 7M citizens who could get coverage, but choose not to. There are approx 4M legal aliens who don’t have insurance. There are 6M undocumented aliens who don’t have insurance.

    That all adds up to 47M.

    Since you don’t like that number, perhaps you can share where your numbers come from and why they are better than the Bureau of Census.

    As far as the stock market is concerned, I don’t need a lecture on how the market works.

    You probably don’t need a lecture on how an insurance policy works or why an insurance policy is a better tool to cover some risks than investing the funds in the stock market.

    SS as it is currently structured is an insurance policy.

    I believe that the suggestion that it should be converted to a form of 401K program has a lot of problems. The recent stock market crash demonstrated just one of the problems.

  24. keith says:

    You used the words short sited to discribe GW’s some of GW’s s.s. propasals. I was merely pointing out that it was you who was short sited, and continue to be so in your most recent response, by saying again “The recent stock market crash demonstrated just one of the problems.” The word “RECENT” as a point of reference for anything would be the definition of sort sited. Don’t you agree? Now to the technical point of the market which you said you didn’t need a lecture on, I’m thinking you really do as again you said, “….recent stock market crash demonstrated just one of the problems.” This is a GOOD thing for every investor who isn’t short sited. It means they get to buy stocks even cheaper…..I know you know this but why you fail to acknowledge your mis statement is beyound me….also BUsh was giving those a “choice” to participate in the market not placing money there…..

    I believe I provided a link above as to where the very low number “truely uninsured” comes from.

    You have rightly pointed out that the 47,000,000 number is stuck in my belly. This isn’t they all would use that number then say “in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, this is unacceptable.” Well, a bunch of of those are kids who don’t want it, a bunch can afford it and don’t want it, a buch are illegals, etc. Why when they were making this case did they exacgerate the number….I’ll answer to CREATE THE KAOUS!!!! We don’t need to “change the world” to help 10,000,000 give or take.

    Saw Mike Moores movie last night. First third was partisant hackory, then he did a great job of highlighting what happened in the banking industiry and I was with him. Then he blew it at the end…..Here’s his problem. He rightly showed the case of the glass company in Chicago that closed it’s door and the neither they or bank of america wanted to pay their back wages. The employees staged a lock in that made national news, and demanded their pay and eventually won. That was great and I agreed with them……Then he shows people taking back their home in a neiborhood in Miami that had been forclosed and a couple being tossed from their home in Peroria IL because they couldn’t meet their obligation…..Jeff help me here whats the differents between the workers who want the pay they are entitled to and the banks who want to collect their money for the house? The couple in Peoria had been in that home for 41 years……they kept saying that. Mike Moore kept saying it. Question, after 41 years why isn’t the home paid off?

    I was with him then he blew it, big time by pointing everything back to large companies……i’m all for going after the bad guys, which he even correctly held up the Clinton Administration for the removel of Glass Stegal and the demcontrolled congress last fall. He held up Senator Dodd higher then anyone else. If he would have said at the end…Lets throw out all the bumps, I would have been with him…instead he showed a vid a katrina victums and asked “why is it always the little guys who get hurt?” He then called corp america murders!!!!……what a waste of a perfect opportunity to get us all on the same page and go after the bad guys.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:


    Here’s a simple exercise regarding market dynamics.

    I’ve got my money in a 401K. I would like to retire and use the proceeds from that 401K to cover my costs of retirement. What most investment advisors are going to tell you is that the closer you get to your retirement date, the more conservative you have to be become with your investments. That’s because you become less risk tolerant and more vulnerable to short term market swings. Yes market corrections are a good time to buy. As you’ve said, they are also a terrible time to sell, but if I have to pay my bills, I may not have a choice.

    The latest market crash was far more than a cyclical correction. So please don’t try to pass it off as something expected or without consequence.

    SS is mandatory program for a reason. The voters have a vested interest in providing a minimum level of support for those who can’t otherwise support themselves (the elderly and the disabled). Since everyone has the potential to need these benefits, everyone has to support them.

    The problem with Bush’s “choice” is that there may be those who invest irresponsibly and still find themselves in a position where they can’t support themselves. And there may be those who need access to funds at the very moment when the market is at its lowest value. What do you do about them?

    I missed your link to your source for the number. Can you post that again?

    In the meantime, here’s one for you.

    This group is running an ad opposing healthcare reform because it will add too many patients to the healthcare system that is already short of resources. They are trying to scare seniors by claiming that if the bill passes, there won’t be enough doctors to treat everyone.

    Guess what numbers they are using?

    Their own of course with no attribution. 50M new patients added to the rolls including 13M illegal aliens.

    So clearly conservative republicans are just as willing to manipulate the numbers for their own purposes as you feel some democrats have been.

    Want to know a little more about the LAV?

    The ads were written by Dick Morris who has been making it his career lately to get back at the Clintons for kicking him out of the democratic party. The group has only one employee, Bob Adams, who is a middling conservative operative. They share the same address as Americans For Tax Reform who were active in Tea Party Organizing. They are using a quote from the City Journal which is published by the Manhattan Institute and Paul Singer of Swiftboat fame.

    They claim that they have raise $1.7M in the past two weeks. You tell me that there isn’t a financial incentive to lying?

    Here’s a link to a post at media matters which refutes each claim of the add point by point.

  26. keith says:


    To your 401(k) response.

    An idividual wants to take out some money when the market is down 50%.
    Lets say they need it all, worst case. They are older lets say in their mid to late 50’s. If they had invested there money in the market that means they had a portion in over the past 35 years. Lets also say another individual
    hide their money in their matress, like my grand mother. Forgive me for not doing the math but, whose nest egg will be larger? Person #1 who just had his investments cut in half after 35 years of investing and the market being up, 8 or 9 times or person #1 who still has the face value of every dollar saved.

    We could also discuss just how many individuals who would need all their cash on the day the maket is down 50%…today the market is down 31% from its altime high…..we could also discuss the guy who needs his cash the day the market is at an all time high……..i’m not sure how anyone can fail to follow this logic…

    Also bush’s propasal to allow the chioce of equity investment would have in effect that same result as al gore “lock box.” the money would have to be present, not an IOU. i think thats something you and i can agree upon…the “lock box”

    as to the 50,000,000 number you are claiming th repubs are using for effect also. it happens to be true. my agruement all along is the number of uninsured who are legitimately uninsured that want it and can’t afford it or “truely needy” is some where around 8 – 15,000,000. however the number who would might be allowed in is 50,000,000. thats the number who dont have health care, including illegals, that will now be covered. That would swell the number of people asking for care making it more difficult to get it…see the difference?

  27. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Until you provide another source more credible that the Census Bureau, your numbers remain self-serving and fictional.

    We can’t have a rational discussion about this issue until we can have some agreement on the numbers. At this point, all I can assume is that you don’t want to have a rational discussion about the issue.

    BTW, you going to dispute the CBO analysis of the Finance Committee bill too? It cost less than $1B, extends coverage to the 30B AMERICANS that the Census Bureau says need it, excludes illegal aliens, excludes small businesses of less than 50 employees, does not impact Medicare coverage (contrary to what the repubs have been saying), AND not only is deficit neutral – it actually REDUCES the deficit for the forseeable future.

    ANOTHER BTW – Seen that republican plan you said they were working on?

  28. keith says:

    Hey Jeff,
    If you haven’t seen republican proposals it isnt because there aren’t any.

    I can give more if you’d like….

    they use the CBO numbers because thats the best they can use…when was rhe last time they were right and when have they every been anyhing less the short on their numbers. bushs prescription coverage bill was scored and it turned out to be dramaticly low…

    how about some follow-up on the s.s issue…in the example i gave above who’s savings would you rather be tapping into?

  29. keith says:

    to the number of “truely uninsured americans…..” here are several sources of the case for a number much lower…some you may like, some you may dismiss by the author…be an open minded progressive and read them. 🙂

    read toward the bottom where this is address in a response to OBAMA using the 47,000,000 number. you agree he’s wrong there. (is it a lie?)

    read this one with some level of objectivity..the census b. is noted.

    this is a good explaination for the case being much lower

    very libral ny times….not 45,000,000

    Jeff, Bill Mahr had former senator Frist on last night. he was wonderful in articulating a sensible reform position. as you know he’s a doctor…..i say enough of the politicals and more discussion of real solutions.

  30. keith says:

    from what i’ve heard the cbo has included in its numbers 15 million illegals….looking for proof of this.

  31. Jeff Beamsley says:


    If you look up this thread a little bit (mid Sept.), I predicted that there would be no republican alternative because it diluted their opportunity to simply oppose everything. If they engaged in the process honestly, their current coalition would collapse because those currently supporting this “oppose everything” strategy would see that the Republican proposal resembled the Democratic proposal in 80% of the terms.

    You said “I think repubs will provide an alternitive….it will be forth coming.”

    The bill referenced in these posts was supposed to be introduced in Mid May. It never happened. Mitch McConnell pulled it. Talk is cheap. Show me the bill. Get it scored by the CBO so that we have apples to apples comparisons and we can have a real debate. Until then, it remains Republicans playing politics with healthcare reform.

    As far as the number, you’re asking me to take an unattributed number thrown out by Rush over the Census Bureau? Sorry, but you have to come with something better than that.

    David Limbaugh quotes the Census Bureau numbers, and them proceeds to misuse them. He is corrent is saying that 10M of the 47M uninsured are aliens (6 illegal and 4 legal). Rather than pull the numbers that the Census Bureau cites on their website, he pulls income categories and age groups that overlap and rather than attempt to explain the overlap, simply concludes with “Without question, these figures overlap, but it’s safe to say that the left’s alleged number of truly uninsured is enormously overstated and distorted.” If anyone is distorting the number, it’s guys like this who have access to real numbers and purposely use those numbers to mislead.

    His conclusion appears to be that we already have a good system to deal with the uninsured, it’s called the emergency room. That’s insane.

    Don’t know who the blogger is but it clearly demonstrates the danger of allowing the inexperienced to play with numbers. Here’s an example, “This, also, is easily found via search engine, hardly requiring hardcore investigative reporting skills. This report is from 2003, but notes that trends seem stable. This report’s summary states: “The uninsured population is fluid, with many people gaining and losing coverage. For example, between half and two-thirds of the people who experienced a period of time without insurance in 1998 had coverage for other portions of the year.” So now, taking the conservative “half” figure from CBO estimates, the 37 million is actually more like 18.5 million truly without insurance.”

    The Census Bureau estimates reflect the fact that people flow in and out of insurance coverage based on their employment status. They are estimating that at any point in time there are 47 million people uninsured. You can’t take one form of analysis and then apply another model’s (in this case the CBO) estimate to it. But clearly this author has an agenda as well.

    Sorry, but the Census Bureau Numbers still stand. You should go read the report yourself. It isn’t really that complicated.

    I figured you’d dispute the CBO numbers too, but you can read that report yourself too.

    The CBO numbers don’t include illegal aliens. They do include an estimate that not everyone will participate, but that coverage will expand to 94% of population and that it will save money.

    The Republicans have had an opportunity to provide an alternative bill and have chosen not to. Instead, they have made every effort to obfuscate the issues, confuse the public, and frighten the elderly.

    Fortunately the public is beginning to see through these tactics and the tide is turning. The Republicans are going to lose this battle because they underestimated the american public’s ability to see through to the truth.

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Public perceptions of the health care overhaul proposals are on the rebound. A new poll suggests public opinion on health care legislation is now an even split at 40-40. It marks a solid gain for Democrats after September results showed 49 percent opposed. Back then, only 34 percent supported the ideas.”

    “NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama’s poll numbers are improving. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds 56 percent of those surveyed approve of Obama’s job performance. That’s up from 50 percent in September.”

  32. keith says:

    I believe the correct comment is that the 47,000,000 number reflects in any given YEAR there will be 47,000,000 who at some point were not covered.

    Rush, for the record, quoted Obama using the 47,000,000 number and dated it. Like him or not he correctly Obama using the 47,000,000 number. The entire discussion of DISTORTION OF FACTS as it relates to this issue begins with those who choose to use this number.

    1/6th of our economy is about to be handed over to the gov’t…..forgive me for not being comfortable with this.

    I am still STUNNED at Obama’s lack of leadership on this issue.

  33. keith says:

    From your lack of response I’ll take it you don’t want to respond again to the s.s. issue and who’s pile of cash you would rather have. The one that drew better then 10% interest since 1929 or the one that was put in the mattress for safe keeping.

  34. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This is a quote from the Census Bureau website.

    The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008

    It really can’t be much simpler than that.

    The has been some confusion that “people” were assumed to be “Americans”.

    Where the major confusion has come from is folks like you who claim that the “real” number of uninsured is tiny without any credible method to back up that claim.

    An example is your recent rationalization that the only people who really should count are those who have been without insurance for the entire year. Or perhaps we should only count those who actually needed insurance and didn’t have it, because those are really the only ones who were affected by their inability to obtain coverage.

    The insurance system is broken because those who are able to pay end up supporting the cost to provide care to those who are unable to pay. When they went to the emergency room, it didn’t matter whether they just lost their insurance the day before, or have never had insurance. The insured and taxpayers end up paying that bill.

    Because the cost of care is rising at a historical rate of 2x GDP growth, this situation is unsustainable. More people will price out of the market which will only accellerate the rate at which premiums will grow.

    Every other industrialized country in the world has addressed this issue with some form of universal coverage. We have to start there if we have any hope of slowing this rate of growth.

    There is no conservative answer to this problem because the marketplace that the conservatives defend is the source of the problem. The free market in this case has failed and government has to step in.

    Conservatives are waging a campaign of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. You are part of that campaign because the party you support has chosen a cynical political course of action rather than engage in a honest debate that they knew from the outset they would lose.

    As far as SS, I haven’t engaged because I didn’t want to distract from the central thread of this discussion.

    Suffice it to say that there are good use cases for both insurance and investment. One is a low risk strategy (insurance). One is a high risk strategy (investment).

    I don’t see that it is a productive argument to express our personal opinions about which is a better retirement strategy for the government to follow. The plan we have today is an insurance plan and is likely to stay that way till at least the next election.

  35. keith says:

    I’ll respond to the above later, but here’s a great idea. (read the link) If health care being mandated is going to be compared to car insuence being mandated, a poor comparison, then the proposal I’ve included should be followed. Why shouldn’t risky health behavior be treated equally to risky driving behavior? Further, if the risky behavior contiues with no regard, why shouldn’t we, as single payer, be allowed to kick them out of the plan. They have choosen to have no regaurd for their health, why should we?

  36. keith says:

    Please read the last sentence in this link, and remember look who is saying this……it is what I’ve suggested all along and you can’t seem to recognize this.

    He wanted the job, now step up to the plate and get the job done…..

  37. keith says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Lets start with this quote from you on 9-15-09;

    “This is a quote from the Census Bureau website. The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008. It really can’t be much simpler than that. There has been some confusion that “people” were assumed to be “Americans”. Where the major confusion has come from is folks like you who claim that the “real” number of uninsured is tiny without any credible method to back up that claim.”

    As far as why President Obama used a different number, I’m sure it was to address the concern of some conservative groups that he plans to offer benefits of some sort to the 6M or so illegal aliens that don’t get insurance benefits from their employers. He also DID describe those 30M correctly – the are American citizens who want coverage and have not been able to get it.

    As far as why President Obama used a different number, I’m sure it was to address the concern of some conservative groups that he plans to offer benefits of some sort to the 6M or so illegal aliens that don’t get insurance benefits from their employers. He also DID describe those 30M correctly – the are American citizens who want coverage and have not been able to get it.

    Then on 9-18 you wrote

    #7 OK you got me. Three times, President Obama has improperly attributed that number to Americans rather than people. I’m certain that this particular site would have published EVERY time that number was improperly attributed, if there were more. If I find three times where he did use the number properly (including his speech before congress), will THAT put to bed the claim that he is deliberately misleading the nation?

    Jeff, It was an “I got you.” This whole thing is being only presented in the light that one side want sit to be seen in. The dems want us, AND HAVE PRESENTED THE CASE, as though most Americans are so scared and frightened because they don’t have health care, like the “47,000,000 million uninsured Americans, or are living in fear because they think they are going to lose their’s, like the 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. This is silly. The Repubs are silly if they think we don’t want some type of reform. I do…..

    It is confusing because the 47,000,000 milion number helped made it so. It is an exaderation of the true scope of the problem. The Census number from all I can gather and have heard…and no DEM when faced with this comment has rejected it in face to face conversations, is 47,000,000 is the number of people who at some point last year, be it a day or the whole year, didn’t have insurence. The way this number is presented allows one to believe it was that many who don’t have insuernce at all. Some my have been without several times. We also know the rest of the story of “not American” or “didn’t want it,” “the young,” etc.

    Jeff to say “it doesn’t get any simplier then that” is a gross understatement.

    I also don’t understand the reaction to the right. The left could pass this tomorrow, they could have passed it five months ago, they have the votes. Bush went forward with his agenda in Iraq while protests as ugly as the tea parties and town halls happened. (they we uglier in fact) Why don’t the dems just lead? Why doesn’t Obama just lead? Again read the link I provided earlier today. The DEMS wnat Obama involved. also the nature of the discussion isn’t so simple. If some is going to abuse their healt why should ANYONE have to provide coverage for them. This isn’t simple and I don;t want Gov’t to have the last say in my healt. To provided for the 8 – 15,000,000 that are uninsured at “ANY ONE POINT IN TIME” who truely cant afford it, why should we disrupt the 75% – 85% who don’t want theirs changed? Wouldn’t it be simpiler and cheaper to address the 8 – 15,000,000 uninsured?

  38. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Let’s go at these one at a time.

    1. Does it make sense to have a reactive healthcare system or a proactive healthcare system?

    We currently have a reactive healthcare system which is focused on treating illness.

    Those countries that demonstrate the best outcomes for their healthcare investment have proactive healthcare systems which focus on helping people stay healthy.

    As your article pointed out, the current free market system in this country is already rapidly moving in the direction of rewarding healthy lifestyles because it holds the promise of bringing down costs.

    Kaiser Permanente has been a leader in this area with a focus on preventing smoking.

    In Kaiser’s case it really makes sense. How can an employer who understands the debilitating longterm effects of smoking tolerate that addiction in their employee population? They are far enough now in their program to eradicate smoking that they will no longer hire anyone who smokes and if someone chooses to start smoking while in their employ, they can be fired.

    I heard their CEO interviewed the other day. He said that he has saved more lives through this program to help his employees kick the smoking habit than through his 30 years of surgical practice.

    He also said that the next health target for his employees is obesity.

    It does raise the question how to deal with those who, for example, are in ill health due to addictions that they can’t seem to overcome. Those who can’t work because of their addictions are already the focus of many publicly funded programs – so I don’t think that this has any direct bearing on the healthcare debate. For those who are able to work, they will find it increasingly expensive to continue their addictions (smoking, alchohol, food, drugs, etc.). The purpose isn’t to exclude them from the insurance pool. That’s how the current system works and it doesn’t save any money. It just shifts how care is delivered from physician offices to emergency rooms. Instead the purpose is to shift more of the cost of their care to them and other people like them rather than us.

    2. Yes Obama will have to get involved to get healthcare passed. There is a process to legislation. We are watching that process play out. I believe that there is a lot going on behind the scenes. He won’t insert himself publically into the process until very close to the end.

    I will post something in the next couple of days musing about core philosophical issues and the question of whether Obama’s legacy is going to be one of a pragmatist who got a lot done (Johnson) or a visionary who helped create a new social order (FDR).

    3. The number. I understand that you don’t like the number, but you have failed to provide a credible alternative. You can say that the number is smaller. You can even state your logic and arithmatic for arriving at the smaller number. But you and all those that you have quoted have no facts or sources to back up your claims. So until you do, you better learn to live with 47M and its components because it is all that there is.

    As far as who is misuing the number – everyone is. Some on the right, like you, are trying to make it smaller. Some on the right, like the swift boat folks, are trying to make it bigger. Some on the left are trying to suggest that 47M uninsured are all Americans. They are all guilty including the Obama administration.

    Fortunately, we have a plan that the CBO says will increase healthcare coverage for nonelderly legal residents from 83% to 94% (approx 29M people), will bring the cost of healthcare down, and will reduce the deficit every year for the forseeable future. The plan is far from perfect, but it is a significant improvement on the status quo.

    If you think that your party has a better plan, get it out there on the floor so that it can be debated, scored, and we can compare them apples to apples.

    In the absence of any plan, all you’ve been able to do is regurgitate the same fud that is coming from the Republican party. They would like everyone to believe that this is a difficult complicated choice, but it really isn’t. The status quo is not an option. The Republicans don’t have an option. The Democrats have at least one option that doesn’t add to the deficit and reduces the cost of healthcare.

    You’ve tried to blame delays on the Obama administration. I agree that they haven’t been perfect, but the real cuprit here is the Republican party. If they were at all interested in an honest debate with the expectation of some sort of healthcare reform, they would have put their bill out there. We would have seen the Republican version and Democratic version. The American people would be able to compare the merits of both and this process would have been done a LONG time ago.

    Instead the Republican party has taken a scorched-earth rear guard approach to extract the maximum in political cost from the Obama administration in the hopes of winning more seats in the 2010 election. The longer they can draw this process out, the more they feel they will improve their 2010 chances. The more polarized any angry they can make their base, the more money they will raise, and the more energized their base will be to get out the vote in the next election.

    You’re frustrated at the pace of progress on healthcare and want someone to blame it on? Look in the mirror.

  39. keith says:

    Your 2nd & 3rd paragraphs from the bottom resemble the lib approach to the 2006 and 2008 elections with regard to Iraq….

    i dont think we have much more to say on the issue though i’m sure we will.

    in the wash post this morning they were lamenting the fact that obama has broken his promise to do health care in the light of day. in fact he said “we’ll do it on cnn so everyone can see who is defending who and who is representing who.” now the whole process in down to 3 dems, bauckas, reid & dodd along with rahm e, in a “dark room around a table.” we’ll see what they come up with and how this one scores…..

  40. keith says:

    I know your preference to the tread of this topic but, I’d still like to know which pile of cash you would rather draw from. It is apporpiate because you brought up the subject, in this tread, by calling Bush “short sited.” So which pile of cash would you rather draw from..a simple question with a either or answer. One that for the last 81 years has a return avg of 10%, plus or minus, or the one that was put in a mattress.

  41. Jeff Beamsley says:


    Obama broke his promise?

    The Repubs, Fox, Rush, and tin-foil hat crowd gave him no choice.

    The Repubs broke their promise to have an honest debate.

    Fox broke their promise to run a “fair and balanced” news operation.

    Rush and Beck made all sorts of money at the expense of democracy while claiming to defend it.

    The tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists laid the groundwork for another Presidential assasination while claiming to wrap themselves in the Constitution.

    And you’re concerned about Obama breaking his promise?

    Sorry, not much sympathy here.

  42. Jeff Beamsley says:


    I’m sure you have purchased insurance at some point in your life. If you ever held a mortgage or a car loan, the bank made you buy some.

    You’ve also probably got some liability insurance associated with your business that you pay for every year.

    Why did you buy that insurance rather than self-insure by taking that money and investing it in the stock market?

    Answer that question and you’ll have the answer to the question you asked me.

  43. jeff says:

    Had insurence on my home and car, never on me….my money
    has always been invested in stocks and fixed income assests.

    I don’t follow your reasoning……….

  44. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It’s simple really.

    Insurance is a low risk low reward vehicle. You purchase it for those circumstances where you can’t afford to finance the loss yourself.

    Investments are a higher risk higher reward vehicle. You invest once you have covered those risks with insurance or savings so that you can afford to deal with the risk of loss.

    Same goes with retirement.

    SS is an insurance policy and the single most effective government program to combat poverty. That’s because it always pays off. There is no risk.

    This isn’t about individual behavior, but how we as a society view caring for those who can’t care for themselves because SS not only covers the elderly, but also the disabled.

    So we have an insurance plan that always pays rather than an investment plan that may nor may not pay and certainly wouldn’t pay for those who because of disability were never able to work.

  45. keith says:

    But Jeff, It’s not gonna pay off….and we are bankrupting ourselves in the process. Now if you are like Al Gore and believe that the long term view of the stack market is a “risky scheme” then I understand where you’re coming from. You simply refuse to face the fact the its going bankrupt…..
    It also no long represents what it was suppost to be in the beginning, something to help out in the last bit of life. It was NEVER intended to be a “Retirement” program. Then they gov’t starting using it to cover other things also. Any wonder we don’t buy into the health care numbers????

  46. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It requires some adjustments, just as it has in the past.

    Here’s one suggestion that appears to have wide popular support.

    As far as what Social Security has become, it is one of the most effective programs that we have to eliminate poverty in the elderly.

    I also happen to have a special needs daughter and appreciate first hand the benefits that social security provides to those who through no fault of their own are unable to provide for themselves.

    In my mind this represents the best of what we can be as a country.

  47. keith says:

    You out done yourself…this beats your support for the bush v gore decision by quoting the losing council……

    americans favor lifting the cap on s.s. to protect it……well duh…how many americans do you think this will actually effect? let me guess. the number who oppose it…so let me rephrase the question….would you favor someone else paying more in taxes to insure that yours is still there? come on Jeff. To those who voted no in the artticule let me rephrase the question again. “Are you in favor of raising your taxes so someone elses s.s. can be gaurenteed while your benifit remains the same? Nice try.

    So, it total you want to raise the taxes on the higher wage earners to pay for s.s, to pay for health care, and then to put them back to where they were under bill clinton…..WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You also want them raised in some form for the cap and trade bill… how much do you think these guys can pay?

    Your last comment is heart felt and I do appricicate it….its very personal and its not ignored. I will respectful comment due to your circumstances. Creating a gov’t program that has steared so far from its original intent, and thus making it unsustainable, is not in my view the “best of what we can be as a country.” I have no doubts the “good intentions of health care” will lead to a similar conclusion.

  48. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What has put SS at risk is the baby boomer demographic and not the current scope of the program.

    As far as how to fix it, I simply provided an example of a fairly simple fix. The purpose of that example was to demonstrate that SS is “fixable” by adjusting some of its components rather than dismantling the system (which was Bush’s intent).

    The other part of this that you seem to ignore, is that it is accomplishing it’s current goals which is to provide funds to cover basic needs for those who can’t otherwise provide for themselves.

    That scope has certainly expanded since the 1940’s but I view that as a good thing.

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