GOP Admits That Competition Would Be Bad For Private Health Insurance

One of the tenets of Barack Obama's health care plan is that a public plan would be introduced into the market to compete with private plans so that efficiency and lower costs would actually be incentivized (imagine that!) The brilliance of this politically is that it plays into one of the supposed core beliefs of conservatism: that competition drives the free market. Now, I'm not deluded enough to think that the modern Republican Party has anything remotely resembling core beliefs outside of making their allies rich but the bluntness with which they're throwing overboard the entire notion of competition is sort of stunning.

From Politico:

...McConnell suggested there were areas in which Republicans won't compromise, particularly the creation of a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers.

"Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition," the letter stated.  [...]

McConnell's letter was signed by Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Umm, OK, so in other words, in a competition between private and public plans, the public plan would win. David Sirota asks the obvious question:

If the "free market" is as marvelously awesome as the GOP says, shouldn't it have absolutely no problem winning a health-care competition with "government-run programs?"

...and answers it:

The GOP sees polls showing the public supports the concept of government-sponsored health care (and loves government programs like Medicare) - that is, the party knows that if given the choice, many Americans would choose a government-run program over private health insurance. But because the party is so owned and operated by the private health insurance industry, it is willing to effectively undermine its entire macro-argument about the supremacy of the free market so as to shill for its moneyed benefactors.  

Precisely.

Update [2009-3-5 13:27:50 by Todd Beeton]:In case you needed further proof about where the rightwing's allegiances lie (from Think Progress):

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) went on MSNBC to explain his opposition to Obama’s stated goal of comprehensive health care reform, arguing that health care is “a privilege,” not a right:

WAMP: Listen, health care a privilege. […]

MSNBC: Well, it’s a privilege? Health care? I mean if you have cancer right now, do you see it as a privilege to get treatment?

WAMP: I was just about to say, for some people it’s a right. But for everyone, frankly, it’s not necessarily a right.

Wamp went on to claim that many Americans are uninsured by choice because they “rejected” the insurance plan offered by their employers. Asked to respond to Wamp, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) remarked “Well my reaction is that it was said by somebody who has a really good health [insurance] plan as a member of the House of Representatives.” “More importantly than that [health care] is a right in this country,” Brown concluded.

Video is at the link above.

Tags: GOP, Health care, Mitch McConnell (all tags)

Comments

46 Comments

True Competition?

Yes, the party of no-bid contracts, the champion of competition.

Can you say "Haliburton?"...I knew you could, Mitchy...

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-05 08:27AM | 0 recs
Public option?

Does Obama now plan to push for a public option? I admit I have not been paying close attention, but I am a little confused by these posts.

by bruh3 2009-03-05 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Public option?

Obama discussed this issue over and over again during his campaign. He has never been in favor of a mandate requiring anybody to use a government health-care plan. If people are happy with the insurance they get at their jobs, they do not need to opt in. However, for those who are unhappy with their service, either because it is too expensive or because the coverage is poor, they would be given the choice of opting into the government plan ("the same quality health coverage enjoyed by members of Congress," goes the refrain).

So yes, he is proposing a "public option."

by joed 2009-03-05 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Public option?

well since that's not what I wrote- i am no exactly sure how to respond to your boogieman.

by bruh3 2009-03-05 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Public option?

to be clear- the element that's the boogieman, and i would suggest people stop phrasing it as such- is where you claim that a public  option is about anything other than having the option to choose whatever plan you want without being told it has to be private sector. also- none of what you described is in his present plan. what he said in the campaign is irrelevant to what he's saying now.

by bruh3 2009-03-05 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Competition

Problem is that government entities don't know how to compete.  They are no business savvy adn they don't need it.  Hey, we just lost 2 billion on that deal ... oh well.  They can price as low as they want and when the bills come due go back to Congress for the cash.

It wouldn't be a level playing field, I am sure.

by RichardFlatts 2009-03-05 09:38AM | 0 recs
Yes, compare that to the sparkling record

of outsourcing via the Bush admin?

Richard, look it up on the web, it was a fricking HORROR show. They lost BILLIONS...

No oversight, companies subcontracted bids, in some cases, they never even delivered on the bids.

Pick your poison.

Now, Obama has said, we need a MUCH BETTER system of government oversite, but there are things the government SIMPLY can do better and cheaper.

Oh, by the way, the reason this crashed and burned so bad in the Bush admin, is although they DID radically grow government, one of the places they slashed it was government oversite of outside contractors.

It was a free-stealing zone, and it cost us BILLIONS.

Check it out, easy enough to google.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-05 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Competition

But the MAIN issue here is that Democrats (most important, Obama) see health care as a moral imperative. The insurance and pharmaceutical companies (aided and abetted by a lazy and corrupt Congress) have, with their capitalistic savvy, created a market where many people are unable to access affordable health care.

You are right: the government is relatively inexperienced at capitalistic ventures. But health care should never have been a purely capitalistic venture to begin with.

by joed 2009-03-05 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits

Jim Cramer is spot on --
 http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyi nvesting/news/cramer-my-response-white-h ouse?page=1

Health care talk right now is just one way that Obama is scaring the crap out of the market.

Obama, I think, doesn't care about the scope of the economic problem.  I truely believe that.

Obama is out to write history, leave his mark, and I really don't think he cares if 700,000 people are losing their jobs a month.  

If he wanted what was best in the here in and now he'd focus more on the economic crisis and dramatic change.

by RichardFlatts 2009-03-05 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits

Yeah, the business community is really despondent about the notion that the government might take some health-care expenses off their books.  For example, the auto companies aren't sure how they would ever get by if they no longer had to pay huge health insurance costs that their overseas competitors don't have.

Cramer is upset because talk about cutting into the profits of companies in the health-care sector is dragging down the stock price of those companies.  First of all, an awful lot of fund managers disagree that the health care sector is one to avoid under Obama.  Second, and more importantly, the idea that we can't do anything to fix the health-care situation in this country because it might hurt people who have bought stocks in health-care companies is exactly the kind of short-term, Wall Street-oriented thinking that we can't afford.  We are not a nation of day traders and it is not the President's responsibility to ensure our inalienable right to turn a quick profit on E-Trade.

by Steve M 2009-03-05 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits

Jim Cramer has never been spot on. Just about everyone of his prediction and touts was a complete fail. And just so you get brought up to speed .

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index. jhtml?videoId=220252&title=cnbc-give s-financial-advice

by jsfox 2009-03-05 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits

Looks pretty good for saying to sell 20% at 11,000 and telling people to get out at 10,000 is they needed their money in the next 5 years.

As for picking individual stocks, if anyone ever prefected that well he'd be a trillionaire.

by RichardFlatts 2009-03-06 04:38AM | 0 recs
Healthcare isn't part

of the economic problem?

Really?

You're funny lol

by DTOzone 2009-03-05 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Healthcare isn't part

back at ya ... ha ha ha

by RichardFlatts 2009-03-06 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits

You're kidding, right? The only thing that Jim Cramer cares about is Jim Cramer.

by Charles Lemos 2009-03-05 03:51PM | 0 recs
we need the post office model

where the government does business that others find isn't profitable.

and then competes on an equal playing field for deliveries that are profitable.

but....

Many democrats want to set up a system where there's no profit in healthcare.

Also that the government could make as many rules as it want for ex:

what must be offered in a private plan

Freedom is better than government
millions of people in a market make better decisions that people in a planning room.

So, we need Universal Healthcare that really creates choice.

by yellowdem1129 2009-03-05 10:10AM | 0 recs
we're not getting their votes anyway

Who cares what they say?

by John DE 2009-03-05 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

how did we decide that health care is a right? It is usually provided by doctors who ostensibly have more of a right to their work and get to decide (under professional constraints) who and how to provide their services to.

by rocky 2009-03-05 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

Doctors want to get paid, it is true. But you may be surprised to learn that most, if not all, doctors would like every human being to have access to health care.

But how can doctors get paid AND give access to everybody, even poor people?

Answer: the government, ie, taxes.

If you disagree with the notion that our taxes should be used in part to ensure health care for all, I think you are at the wrong blog.

by joed 2009-03-05 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"

2 of those 3 require good health care.

by Neef 2009-03-05 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

Good answer.

by joed 2009-03-05 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

Think of it this way- do we as a society believe that someone should die of cancer simply because they don't have health insurance.  Or do we believe that that person has a right to care to keep them alive.  If you think of it in that context, health care is a right, not a privilege.  

by orestes 2009-03-05 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

do you have any idea what rights are? that is a new one- right to be treated for cancer.

by rocky 2009-03-05 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

This is an ancient right to me- the right to live.  Or you can call it the right to equal medical treatment for all.  Are you okay with living in a society that denies medical care to a human being on the basis of ability to pay?  I am not, that's for certain.  

by orestes 2009-03-09 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Admits That Insurance

Universal coverage, meaning access to seamless health care, whether one is employed, unemployed, aged, injured or destitute, is the standard in every industrialized nation, except ours.  Thus, every citizen of the industrialized world sees having access to health care "no matter what" (aka "it is a right") as a given.  Why should our citizenry not have the same full access and consider access to health care a right, like citizens of all other nations?  

We are basically the laughingstock of the world with our health care system, which keeps 50 Million people uninsured, is 3 to 4 times more expensive per capita than in any other nation, makes up a world-leading 17% of our GDP, carries an incredible risk to personally accumulated wealth at the first sign of a larger health issue, and is broken beyond band-aid fix.  

by devilrays 2009-03-05 11:29PM | 0 recs
Grassley asked Obama about this

Obama basically said nothing, but said he understands the concerns and they will keep it in mind -- if only to help it get out of committee.

by John DE 2009-03-05 11:38AM | 0 recs
Of course the Government will win

It is like going to a court where the Judge makes money if he rules for one side over the other.  Or playing a football game against the refs.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-05 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

In other words, the government will do a better job than the private sector... you just killed your argument!

by LordMike 2009-03-05 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

Okay I guess.  They will win because they hold there customers at gunpoint.  Because they write the rules.  Because they think they can just print money.

Just look at what the government has done over the last 20 years in healthcare.  Look at all of the coverage mandates they have created which in turn drive up the costs of coverage.  

I guess it proves your point, but my point is government will win, but we will lose.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-05 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

like I said- crazy guy from the subway. you couldn't respond to your own contradictions so you changed the subject

by bruh3 2009-03-05 06:26PM | 0 recs
You have to forgive CL...

This is a bad time for Libertarians...

The Ayn Rand-ian SuperFantastic Uber-Free Market Geniuses just turned out to just be a large band of greedy monkees who gorged themselves of Credit Default Swaps, and barfed all over the world Economy....

You have to REALLY want to bury your head in the sand at this point to be calling for "More Free Market Solutions" based on what the Free-Market has done in the last 4 months...

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-05 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: You have to forgive CL...

Please.  I swear you just egg me on because you love reading my posts :)

Let's take an honest look at things.  Our government ran on classical economic theories(ie. belief in the free market) up until around 1913.  Well at the time it was a recession.  At this point Keynesian economic theories became national policy BY BOTH PARTIES.  It is remains that way today, in reality its failures are being exposed in this crisis.  

You could argue that Republicans have spoke about the free market, but really nothing has moved the country that direction and their actions have shown to be anti-free market.

In a sense you are right the free market forced this correction(you can't fight market it is like fighting gravity), but the promise of stability Keynesian or demand-side economics leads to wild fluctuations in the market.  Quite simply because it goes against common sense.

In a free market the interest rate would be high in a time when there was no money to lend.  Only in la la land, where we need to artificially hold it low to "stimulate" the economy, does it make sense.  How are people supposed to predict the market in a situation like that.

On to your continued pointing to one law.  The law you spoke of was changed by both parties to keep the Keynesian scam running.  We needed people to keep borrowing money, buying houses and spending money to keep the whole thing going.  In fact most of our laws provide incentive not to save.  Look at the President tax package for example.  You are so into consumerism you can't even see it.  (Don't blame you, most people who speak out against are chastised.)

Both tax cuts and spending stimulate the economy, but we have been spending for years and have added tax cuts and borrowed as a nation.
It was still unconstitutional to tax people's labor less than 100 years ago.  At the time of ratification of the Constitution the tax it was 1%.  Now people are asking for 40, 60 even 95% on the top earners.  How is that positive?  How is that free?  Why have we created a system where politicians choose the winners and the losers in the market?

The government is so entrenched in the finance and health care industries that is is completely disingenuous to argue the free market did anything but correct the mistakes of big government.  The incentives in government to spend, spend, spend and buy, buy, buy (BY BOTH PARTIES) has left our citizens in serious trouble.  We all are getting real in our personal finances.  All of us except the government - they are still up there yelling spend, spend, spend.

I do not know what Uber-Free Market Geniuses you are speaking of but I will tell you your premise is flawed at its base.  How can an entity which believes it has an endless money supply, the control of the laws in which the market functions and the force of the army behind it not beat private institutions.  And how can they function with out inefficiencies and corruption.  I respect anyone willing to serve in our government, but I am not naive enough to believe they are all saints and brilliant economists.  They will screw up and there will be more corruption as the power is centralized.

Where is the disconnect here?

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-05 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

Which one of us is the crazy guy on the subway?  You do know that the craze guy in your analogy doesn't know he is crazy. ;)

My argument has been consistent.   Show me one contradiction in my argument.  

I will give it to you one more time:  When an entity "the government in this case" both competes in the market and writes the rules for the market,  you end up with corruption.

I wish I could outline it more simple for you.  I am unsure why you think my arguments have changed at all.  Please read this chain again.  Thanks.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-05 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

Let's say the government, for example, mandates that all health insurance must cover pregnancy.

The government insurance program has to comply with this rule just like the private insurers do, so where's the problem?  It's a level playing field.

I do not think you can offer any concrete example of why it would be impossible for private insurers to compete with the government, which is why there's all this sophistry about judges getting paid.  Drop the cuteness and explain it straight, if you can.

by Steve M 2009-03-05 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

Well lets check how the government works now.  Those state mandates only have to be followed by insurance companies, not self insurers like big business and(drum roll please) the government.

In Minnesota for example small businesses have to go through an insurance plan.  The state has placed 64 mandates on what these plans have to cover.  State and federal employees do not have to be covered under these mandates.

Or here is an example:  The government can run eternal deficits like they have been doing to keep costs down or edge them out of the market.  Private industry can't compete with that.  They also can mandate doctors pay or just like they are doing to private companies now they can mandate coverage where the risk can be only covered by insurers covering with millions of people.

Here is another example.  They will grab the majority of the fastest growing uninsured group, those between 19-29.  This group really does a lot more paying in then taking out.  

What do you think the the role of government?  That is the question.  You obviously think it goes well beyond regulation.  I mean you seem to have no problem giving health care over to the regulating authority.  

I see the certainty of corruption, do you not see even the possibility of it?  Even bureaucracy at the Vogons' level wouldn't stop it.  (okay maybe that was cute - sorry.)

I am unsure how to convince you that a government run system is inherently non competitive, but I will take any choices while I have them.  I really does seem like just another step to a single payer system.  Some may be excited by it.

I cringe when I say this, but breaking the employer tie to health care seems like a better solution then moving towards a government run system.  I think this is consistent with all of the discussion I have had here and quite frankly it would allow the individual to shop around for insurance.  Ultimately we really should give more credit to the people of this country.  It should be handled by good old fashioned saving, but saving seems to be shunned by Washington(it does create jobs fast enough).  Who needs personal responsibility, freedom can function without it...right?

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-05 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

Of course there is the possibility of corruption.  There is also the possibility of inefficiency.  The entire point of adopting a market-based solution is that if there is really more inefficiency or corruption in the public system, it will fail to attract people away from the private insurers.  But I'm willing to bet that a public option does not have to be perfect in order to surpass the cast of characters we have in the private insurance market today.

The private insurers will not be competing against the public option on the basis of bottom-line profitability, but on the issue of delivering something that the customer wants.  The Postal Service apparently has the ability to "run eternal deficits" (and the USPS is probably about as "public" as the public insurer will be), but Fed Ex and UPS do just fine competing against it because they offer the public products and services that they want, period.  The USPS delivers packages but they have hardly put private delivery services out of business.  But they definitely put those private delivery services in a position of having to be more efficient and more responsive than the Postal Service baseline.

Let's talk about shopping around for health care in our present system, by the way.  My small business offers the exact same health plan that many of the large corporations in our state offer; from the employee's perspective they get the exact same benefits package.  But we pay TWICE the premium to cover those employees as the big companies do, and the reason is obviously that we lack the bargaining power.  Now, get rid of our employer-sponsored coverage and let my employees go out and shop for that same coverage in the free market, and guess what, they'll be paying even more.  Completely unaffordable.  The insurance companies cut their margins in order to attract the major companies with a huge pool of insureds, and they make up the difference by gouging the little guy who has no bargaining power.  You can offer my employees the "freedom" to shop around, but I'm guessing they'll stick with the power of collective bargaining.

The problem I have with you is that you seem so totally ideological as opposed to pragmatic.  It's like, you have a starting point which says government simply can't ever be a force for good in people's lives, and you never move off it.  Your questions about how I see the role of government basically betray this perspective.  You see, I could give a crap about the ideological "role of government"; I support a government role in health care because I think it will work better than the status quo, period, not because I was born with a burning desire to cede more power to the government.  I'm willing to sign on to a market-based solution in order to put my theory to the test.  Yes, I think it's a road to single-payer, but only because I think the government will do a much better job of delivering health care to people than the private insurers!  If I'm wrong, then the private insurers will prosper and life will go on.  But from you, as confident as you claim to be that government can never ever do anything better, it's one objection after another.  You believe in the scientific method, right?  Put your theory to the test, don't just give me slogans about freedom.

by Steve M 2009-03-05 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

If you have a small business, let me explain it to you.  Number one the government writes the rules.  For example.  If you have enough employees you can basically become a private insurer collect the money and pay out when needed(to be honest I don't know all of the details) the point is you do not have to go through one of the not for profit insurance companies. Small businesses by law have to and have to pay over 10% taxes on payments to these agencies(blue cross for example).  It is illegal for your employee to pool together with employees from other companies to collective bargin.  If you allow people to shop around and form these pools you could be competitive.  Again the laws are against this though.

You see by law you can have plans similar, but are required to pay for coverage of more things than they are and you have additional taxes which drive up the costs for you and your employees.

For all the talk of fairness and equality you don't seem to care about all of the ways the government works against the small business.

Now here is another example.  If you laid anyone off since September of last year and they are on Cobra you are required to pay 65% of their cost.  My offices pay 50% if you have been there over 2 years.  You see once again the laws are against the small business in that they have to take care of people they laid off more than they can pay the people that work for them, much less people they would like to hire.

Your premise is so wrong becuase they are still going to make people who choose private insurance pay for the other system in one tax or another.

I know you don't want to cede power to the government it is not even discussed and most don't even realize it.  But you are arguing for it.

I do believe in scientific theory the only problem is people refuse to see the results.  We have been moving towards a statist government for a century and the solution is always more government.  You see we have been testing these theories over and over again and the results are never discussed. Well only when it is time to increase the budgets again and the solution is always they don't have enough to pay for it.

Well, we will get to test these things out, hopefully if we ever decide they are not working we can still go back.  Government by nature only grows - it takes a heck of a lot more to get laws removed then get them passed.

Just don't fool yourself that it will be a fair playing field.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-06 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course the Government will win

I apologize for not including links in my last post I threw at lot at you and I didn't have the numbers in front of me.  Here is the breakdown on my post.

First of all large corporations and the federal and state governments run what is considered self insurance.  Basically if you have a large enough risk pool you do not have to go through an HMO.

For smaller companies this is not an option and are exposed to the following disadvantages.  (These numbers are for business based in MN.

1. Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association Tax (2%)
This tax is only on the small employers, Self-employed and individual policy holders and fund MCHA for people who are rejected by health insurance companies.  Programs like this vary from state to state.  Leaving this up to the state allows for laboratories of democracy around the country instead of the entire nation doing the same thing and hope we don't screw up.

2. Insurance Premium tax (2%)  - To be honest I have not found what we get for this only that it is a tax for running insurance in the state.  Again Self-insured entities are not subject to this.

HMO's pay 1%

3. If you insure through an HMO you have these additional taxes.

 A. MnCare Premium Tax (1%)
This pays for people who do not have access to Health care.

 B. Medicaid HMO surcharge (0.6%)
Raises revenue for the General Fund.

4. State Mandates on coverage - See all 50 states
THESE ARE NOT MANDATED on the self insured entities and increase the cost of your premium.  Minnesota has 64 such mandates.

Again, sorry for the errors in my numbers before.

It is eye opening to see the number of programs on top of Medicare, SCHIP and other high profile safety net programs for the uninsured.  

If I could take tax free cash instead of health benefits I would.  One year worth premiums(I pay $15K per year) would make a great rainy day fund and be enough for a high deductible plan.  Of course I would have to A. Have the discipline not to spend the money and B. pay out of pocket for visits to the doctor.  

It would take an effort, but you could save on your medical expenses and have nice nest egg(granted your investments are more focused on saving not investing) for when I get old and my expenses really get up.  I being relatively young and healthy* would effectively be screwing people who would use my premium now, but I would also not use anyone else's resources when I get old.  Along with savings I would also have free choice to go to any doctor I please.

*
25% of the uninsured Minnesotans are 18-24 / 60% between 6 and 34
 The Presidents plan seeks universal coverage or everyone must have coverage by law to get those premiums from the young people.

Setting aside the perceived irresponsibility of the common man.  You have to admit that being self insured like I outlined would be the best health care plan.

Anyway sorry for bombarding you with all of this.  My last post was rushed and inaccurate.  Hate me if you want, I just think that there is a price to pay for giving up these choices to the government.  Yes they can promise the world, but they can't always pay for it.  We all will pay in reduced services and/or increased rates at some time.

On a side note we really do need to empower people to take control of their lives.  99% of health prevention is based upon daily choices of the individual.

As far as tests, we have one going on right now in MA.  Here is a recent article from the Boston Globe  

Have a good one.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-06 09:59PM | 0 recs
What's with all the Republicans on this blog

lately?

by DTOzone 2009-03-05 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: What's with all the Republicans on this blog

It REALLY sucks.  This one actually is a Limbaugh fanatic, recently wrote about Limbaugh's idiotic speech to CPAC "finally someone speaks to freedom" and the values "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  I tried engaging him for a while, but all he ever drones is "the government has never done anything right, they are scary, Obama sucks, woe be us all" (paraphrased.)

  A moderate Republican would make for an interesting discussion here, but there are very few of them these days.  All we get are the drones from the EIB School of Conservatism.  

by devilrays 2009-03-05 11:42PM | 0 recs
Should I even respond?

You have consistently tried to frame my arguments as something other than what they actually are.  You have been trained to demonize any arguments which threaten your little cocoon of reality.  Dealing exclusively in rhetoric, void of any thought, facts or worthy dialog does nothing to help people wrap their minds around the problems facing this country.  I am not sure what you are afraid of, but I certainly listen to differing opinions, question my own thesis, and refine my arguments all with the quest of understanding all of this stuff.

I don't assume I know everything, I am a Web developer not an expert in all of this crap.  We have so much more in common then you portray.  Why the constant vilification?

If you think am out in Republican la la land walk me back to reality.  I have explained my disdain for the Republican party on a daily basis and would appreciate your criticism.

Yes my axiom is that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights.  I don't believe in absolute freedom, we need government.  I understand that, by definition, every law that is passed is relinquishing a piece of our free will.    I am not a cold hearted scrooge, in fact just the opposite.  I try to make the people's lives I come in contact with a little better.

Sorry to come down on you so hard.  I really prefer to talk respectfully and I have an honest respect for the opinions of everyone on this site.    I think you enjoy pushing my buttons and that is fine I guess.  As long as you don't mind push back from time to time.

Have a good one.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-06 10:57PM | 0 recs
Re: You sound ever so much like a

 Libertarian. I don't mean that in a complimentary way.

by QTG 2009-03-07 01:55AM | 0 recs
Duh

What do you think a classical liberal is?  Maybe you and Devilray are right there is no room in the Democratic Party for people that don't blame freedom for all of the ills of society.  

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-07 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Duh

 If you are a 'Libertarian' then you belong with Rush Limbaugh or Lyndon LaRouche, maybe - but not with Democrats. If you want to feel like you belong in the Democratic Party, then all you need to do is vote for Democrats. I'd vote for Libertarians if I were one of them, but you can do as you please. Your a classic, alright. But not a Liberal.

by QTG 2009-03-08 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Should I even respond?

You express disdain for the Republican party the same way Limbaugh and Hannity do on a daily basis. Like you, they also contend that the Republican party "has lost its way",  has become "Democrat-Lite".

I DO mean to come down hard on you, because hard line conservative Limbaugh disciples are really wasting their time on blogs like these. The argumentation of dittoheads is simply too  predictably anti-government and pro-business and as such gets caught in its many contradictions and silly assumptions.

It probably would have been better to disguise yourself a bit more, trying to appear as a pure libertarian rather than come out fawning about Rush Limbaugh's speech to CPAC that there is "finally someone speaking to freedom," that Limbaugh has "set a trap" for "liberals" and that comments he made show that he is the one speaking to "Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  And, before you ask and assume for the thousands time, yes, I did watch the absolutely unimpressive and laughable speech Rush Limbaugh gave to CPAC in its entirety.

by devilrays 2009-03-07 07:00AM | 0 recs
It seems to me

that the strongly negative reaction to just a  discussion of alternatives the current FAILED system smokes out the Republicans in this forum or any other.

I'm thankful for that silver lining.

by QTG 2009-03-05 01:39PM | 0 recs

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