Exactly. Insurance companies an employers change insurance plans almost every year. We'll see how those changes turn out for everyone this year soon. I was talking about standard medical insurance for employees. You seem to agree (for now) that changes happen often!
I agree. that was probably the worst SOTU response that I have ever seen. It was like an Xmas card filled with platitudes, and no accompanying letter explaining what was really going on.
Our problem, in America, is that we live in two different countries. Depending on where you live, you see very different things. In half our states, the schools are are terrible: graduation rates are dismal; teachers are both poorly paid and often also poor teachers; School buildings are failing apart, and lacking needed equipment, such as high speed internet, well equipped science labs, and good books. These states are mostly the current red states. In the other half of the country, tax payers pay nearly twice what the red states do to educate each student. (an example: VT: $17K/student; Miss.: $8K/student). In these states the teachers are better; the graduation rates are much better; and the schools are considerably better equipped. Schools are not perfect, but they are much better, and the results show that.
So, people in the red states complain that their schools are awful (which they are). Their solution is to cut funding for the schools because they are not #$%$ what they want the schools to do. At the same time, people in the blue states mostly like what they see their schools doing, and they are willing to pay nearly twice what the red states pay in order to keep them doing what they are doing.
The problem is very difficult to solve because people see very different things, depending on where they live, and no one seems able to find a solution that will work.
I have generalize a bit and ignored some issues (such as urban/rural differences), but this is basically the problem that we are faced with..
Wrong! My insurance company was discontinued and no longer available, so we had to pick a different plan from a different company. We lost that company and plan, and had to pick something else, which also required a change in doctors and hospitals. We didn't like it at all then, but it the end it turned out to be a very good change.
Yes, "Cutting trees may also mean planting new growth and thinning the forest for health", but that bill doesn't do that. I help to manage 1,500 acres of forest, and 75 acres of fields and we manage it all to do just that: strength the landscape, improve the habitats, and protect a diversity of species. Unfortunate, that bill simply requires that 50% or more of those lands be cut, and does nothing to protect the lands and forest.
You can manage and conserve what you have for continuous use, or you can cut as much as you wish so you can export it all to China. It's clear which way you lean..
Well, I "lost" my policy when HP took it away a few years ago. It was replaced with a better one. We'll see what really happened with those "lost" Obamacare policies shortly..
I'm sure that Obamacare will be a very important factor in the next election. How many millions now have health insurance and health care that they didn't have 4 years ago?
Another important factor will be the state of the economy., including who's working., and how their debt levels are changing..
Jobs?? Maybe. Maybe not.
- Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act: this bill would require the cutting more than 50% of thousands of square miles of national forest. This at a time when hundreds of sawmills are already closed because they can't find anyone to buy the lumber that they have already cut or want to cut from the logs they already have in stock,
- Offshore Energy and Jobs Act: This bill, to force the drilling of oil offshore in places where the locals don't want it, to produce oil that we don't need. The Keystone pipeline would already bring in oil that can not be used here.
- Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013: And this bill, which would allow the leasing of federal lands to big businesses for mining with no input from citizens, or neighbors , and with greatly reduced environmental and safety requirements. Ask the people in Charleston, WV about how well that works!
If we want jobs, let's work on jobs that will, at least, produce things that people want and need, in ways that are carefully managed to minimize environmental destruction, and pollution.
And now the Nuclear subsidies:
Estimated Federal Nuclear Subsidies in 2006 Subsidy Type Amount
U.S. Department of Energy, Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup direct spending $349,687,000
DOE Research and Development – Fusion Energy Research direct spending $280,683,000
DOE Research and Development – Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative direct spending $78,408,000
DOE Research and Development – Nuclear Power 2010 direct spending $65,340,000
DOE Research and Development – Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems direct spending $53,263,000
DOE Research and Development – Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative direct spending $24,057,000
TVA Pricing Below What is Needed for Debt Service (nuclear-related) government ownership $186,300,000
U.S. Department of Energy Infrastructure Facilities Management direct spending $149,188,000
Percentage Depletion Allowance (uranium share) taxes $500,000
Price-Anderson Act of 1957 risk/liability N/A*
Note that the value of the Price-Anderson Act of 1957 can not be estimated because it provides trillions in liability insurance for all US nuclear power plants. The value can not be estimated because no US insurance company would sell such insurance to any nuclear power plant at any price, and certainly not at any price that those companies running the nuclear plants could afford. A Chernobyl style failure at any single US nuclear plant would probably cost tens of trillions of dollars. The total liability coverage across the nation certainly runs into the hundreds of trillions of dollars in value.
Springer says, "Given time and technology a new more reliable source of sustainable energy may well emerge."
It's a good thing that the power companies who found that they could generate power burning coal more than a century ago didn't agree with you then!
Subsidies for coal and nuclear power are huge. Her's what the Texas Comptroller of public accounts says the federal subsidies were for the year of 2006: Note that part of it can not even be estimated from the data available to him.
Estimated Federal Coal Subsidies in 2006
Subsidy Type Amount
Alternative Fuel Production Credit (coal’s share) taxes $2,090,000,000
U.S. Dept. of Energy, Coal Research and Development direct spending $376,198,000
Capital Gains Treatment for Coal Royalties taxes $160,000,000
Exemption of Payments to Disabled Coal Workers taxes $50,000,000
Expensing of Exploration and Development Costs (coal’s share) taxes $37,010,000
Percentage Depletion Allowance (coal’s share) taxes $29,700,000
Special Rules for Mining Reclamation Reserves (coal’s share) taxes $12,000,000
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service Loans for Coal-Fired Plants direct spending N/A*
nuclear power subsidies to follow in the next post.
China now has the most installed solar and wind power generation in the world, and they are growing faster in solar and wind power than any other country. They also are spending more on solar and wind R&D and manufacturing that any other country, so they can make it cheaper, more efficient, and easier to use.
We will use coal for decades more, but coal use is no longer a growth industry, and if it's not already shrinking, it will be doing that soon.
GWB's last budget (FY2009) included a deficit of more than $1.4 trillion, the highest deficit and increase in the national debt we have ever had. Since then, Obama, without much help from Congress, has slowly reduced the deficit from that all time high when he took office to about $600 billion now. The deficit is expected to continue to drop, at a rate that will depend on how fast we can grow the economy and reduce unemployment.
But, simply mandating high wages doesn't very work well. Employers won't hire anyone who can't do the job. You really need to start from the foundation and work up. Schools need to be good enough to provide the knowledge and skills to do the work first. It's no surprise that, in general, the states with the lowest unemployment, and the highest paying jobs, also have the best schools, and the highest graduation rates.
And, third, whenever any party loses their way they change their ways in order to bring back the people they have lost (e.g. women, gays, and the young, among others).
Americans are a little conservative, by nature, but they are not oppressive, intolerant, xenophobic, narrow minded, or dictatorial, by nature. Recently I though that Mike Huckabee might be able to do a Reagan, and make the needed changes, but now it appears that we will need to wait a little longer ;)
The latest statistics that I have seen say that 1 in 4 people who have signed up in the Obamcare website are young people. This is still a little less than hoped for, but also quite a lot, given the fact that that number doesn't include all those under 26 who have already signed up under their parent's policies over the past year..
As, I've said before, those who need the insurance now have already signed up now, while those don't immediately need it will wait until the last moment to sign up. We'll see what the real numbers are in March.
Springer, in that case, it' not whether the policy is right for then, but whether it's right for us - you and me. If they have a cheap policy that won't cover them for anything, if and when they get sick or in an accident, then I don't want to have to pay for their medical care with my taxes or my own insurance payments, if they could have paid their own way. You used to fight tooth and nail against anyone who is not self-sufficient and who doesn't pay their own way, but suddenly, you seem to think it's fine and you are happy paying the way for those who refuse to cover themselves and who want to buy worthless health insurance policies. Which is it? Do you want conservative self-sufficiency or not?
So you are saying that if the Democrats could prove that a president had a provable birth certificate forgery, that the Democrats would know enough about the rules of evidence and how an impeachment works to be able to immediately begin an impeachment process?
I'm sure that whit a message like that the Republicans will get every one of those votes by those millions who have lost their health insurance? But, wait.. Are you sure any of them even exist? Or are you just using the same counters that Mitt used on election day.
It's interesting that you jou bring up the size of the government now, when the federal government is smaller than it has been at any time for nearly the past 50 years. There are now a total of about 5.1 million federal employees. That's a smaller government than we've has since the Kennedy administration, including those lead by both Democrats and Republicans. And a lot smaller than under Reagan, when there were more than a million more government employees.
That's a huge change when you consider that the size of the federal government has dropped by more than 20%, while at the same time the size of the country, as measured by population, has grown by 60%. (And the growth is even steeper, if you consider the GDP and economy) But, of course, the recent reduction in the size of the government has been done by a conservative Democrat administration, so it may be harder for you you to see what has happened. At present, they are the only conservatives in town, if you really want a balanced budget and a smaller government.
So, are you going to believe a guy who can't even do simple arithmetic, at least according to the report that you quoted? The misery index is the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. According to the numbers that you quote, that would put the misery index at 40, not anywhere near the 14 that you quote.
You don;t need to answer that question!/!