In the Arena

Sequestered in Memphis

My head is filled to bursting with the great Hold Steady song: Subpoened in Texas, Sequestered in Memphis. It's far more fun than the current idiotic man-made crisis over the sequester in DC. I've been ignoring this "crisis," assuming that they'll cut some sort of last minute deal, as they always do.

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My head is filled to bursting with the great Hold Steady song: Subpoened in Texas, Sequestered in Memphis. It’s far more fun than the current idiotic man-made crisis over the sequester in DC. I’ve been ignoring this “crisis,” assuming that they’ll cut some sort of last minute deal, as they always do.

But the ever-estimable Matt Miller delivers sanity in his Washington Post column about what happens if they do leap this particular cliff. As we move along, the President’s strong stand on these silly issues seems justified–but it needs to be accompanied by some sort of road map toward the conversations we need to have on tax reform and long-term entitlement reform. I am not a Simpson-Bowlesque sort. Juicing the economy now is more important than dealing with the deficit–but there are ways to address everything in its proper sequence, especially a health care system that needs to be dragged into the 21st century, if some real leadership is applied.

I keep waiting for that leadership from the President. Haven’t heard anything credible yet.

17 comments
karenlaine
karenlaine

Re Health Care, be sure to read "The healing of America - A global quest for better, cheaper, and fairer health care" by T. R. Reid. Really good, sane information on the situation.  It is embarrassing that the US is the only developed nation that doesn't have universal health care for its citizens...

Karen

destor23
destor23

"...there are ways to address everything in its proper sequence, especially a health care system that needs to be dragged into the 21st century, if some real leadership is applied.

I keep waiting for that leadership from the President. Haven’t heard anything credible yet."

When, oh when, is the first President in my lifetime to pass a cost saving health care reform law that largely solves of the problem of the uninsured in the United States going to show some leadership on reforming the health care system?

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Haven’t heard anything credible yet.

Okay, time to insert a question that should be asked every pundit who opines on budgetary matters.

What in your own highly-subsidized life are you willing to give up, Joe? You, personally, not-in-the-abstract.

It's easy enough to talk about sacrifices that other people will have to make. Or to complain about a lack of vision or leadership.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

I think Matt Miller pretty much nails it. The sequestration cuts are a blunt tool, but they are hardly the end of the world, and they are spread more or less equitably (with the exception that the over-65 crowd gets a free pass). During the Iraq War, I remember a general being quoted as saying "All options stink," which seems to be the case with the sequestration, but given Democratic intransigence about reigning in spending on sacred cows, and Repubican intransigence about increasing revenues, sequestration may be the least bad outcome, although it's probably not the least likely. Once again, after much huffing and puffing and beating of chests, the two sides will probably come to some sort of temporary last-minute solution that basically involves kicking the can down the road.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Insurance premiums for people in their 20s are expected to rise by 50%.  That does not sound very cost cutting to me.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@grape_crush I wouldn't hate anyone if i saw my effective tax rate rise, either through income tax rate hike, dividend tax rate increase, or lowering (or eliminating) tax breaks.

AfGuy
AfGuy

@S_Deemer 

They don't have to... the can already knows the way...

tom.litton
tom.litton

@ViableOp It's because of this that i believe there is a way of closing loopholes and lowering corporate tax rate and still raise more revenue. 

It is only a matter of doing the math.  

I personally never liked the corporate tax system.  I think it's necessary, but i would prefer to see the same amount of money, or more be raised when the corporate profits become income in some fashion (either via dividends, salary, etc).  Maybe that is just to complicated to do at this point?

destor23
destor23

@curt3rd Over what time frame?  What's the annualized rate?  How would it compare to inflation?

destor23
destor23

@tom.litton @destor23 @curt3rd Thank you, Tom.  So, here's the deal...

1) The whole thing applies only to young people who would buy insurance in the open market.  It does not account, for example, for the pooling effects of the exchanges.

2)  For young people who get insurance through work, there is no change at all.

3)  It does not account for the subsidies built into the ACA, which would presumably go to lower paid workers (and workers tend to make less when they are just starting out).

So, this strikes me as an exageration.

destor23
destor23

@curt3rd I'm not researching claims that I suspect you made up, buddy.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Do your own homework