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  #101  
Old 12-04-2018, 02:46 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
We would have to increase taxes by more than double, since doubling the income tax will not pay for it.
Do the math for me: if our total healthcare costs go down by $2T, do our total healthcare costs go: a) up, or b) down?

Quote:
Didn't read the cite, did you.
You mean the cite that ignored the fact that preventative healthcare takes time to have an impact? It's not "you get a small thing fixed easily and cheaply now, and that reduces healthcare costs this afternoon", it's "you get a small thing fixed easily and cheaply now, and that reduces healthcare costs the following decade".
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Last edited by Evil Economist; 12-04-2018 at 02:46 PM.
  #102  
Old 12-04-2018, 02:49 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Didn't read the cite, did you.
Here's what your cite says:
A study published in Health Affairs in 2010 looked at 20 proven preventive services, all of them recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. These included immunizations, counseling, and screening for disease. Researchers modeled what would happen if up to 90 percent of these services were used, which is much higher than we currently see.

They found that this probably would have saved about $3.7 billion in 2006.
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  #103  
Old 12-04-2018, 03:48 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Okay, for those who want to move beyond making fun of Ocasio-Cortez, here's the article she was basing her figures on:

Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed

The article does specifically talk about trillions of dollars not billions of dollars. So Ocasio-Cortez didn't just invent the figure she was using.

Quote:
The plugs can be staggering in size. In fiscal year 2015, for example, Congress appropriated $122 billion for the US Army. Yet DoD financial records for the Army’s 2015 budget included a whopping $6.5 trillion (yes, trillion) in plugs. Most of these plugs “lack[ed] supporting documentation,” in the bland phrasing of the department’s internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General. In other words, there were no ledger entries or receipts to back up how that $6.5 trillion supposedly was spent. Indeed, more than 16,000 records that might reveal either the source or the destination of some of that $6.5 trillion had been “removed,” the inspector general’s office reported.
Obviously, you can't find $6,500,000,000,000 in a budget of $122,000,000,000. But the article is talking about "plugs" which is a slang term for moving money around from one part of a budget to another. So if you took a sum of $122,000,000,000 and moved it around more than fifty times, you could end up with a figure of $6,500,000,000,000. But there was never a single amount of $6,500,000,000,000.

Quote:
“The United States government collects trillions of dollars each year for the purpose of funding essential functions, including national-security efforts at the Defense Department,” Senator Grassley told The Nation. “When unelected bureaucrats misuse, mismanage and misallocate taxpayer funds, it not only takes resources away from vital government functions, it weakens citizens’ faith and trust in their government.”
Grassley is correct. The United States government is collecting approximately $3,654,000,000,000 in 2018. The Department of Defense is budgeted to receive approximately $574,000,000,000 of this.

Quote:
Skidmore and two graduate students spent months poring over DoD financial statement reviews done by the department’s Office of Inspector General. Digging deep into the OIG’s report on the Army’s 2015 financial statement, the researchers found some peculiar information. Appendix C, page 27, reported that Congress had appropriated $122 billion for the US Army that year. But the appendix also seems to report that the Army had received a cash deposit from the US Treasury of $794.8 billion. That sum was more than six times larger than Congress had appropriated—indeed, it was larger than the entire Pentagon budget for the year. The same appendix showed that the Army had accounts payable (accounting lingo for bills due) totaling $929.3 billion.
The article is saying that the Department of Defense seems to somehow spend a substantially larger amount of money than it supposedly receives. The discrepancy is attributed to the aforementioned "plugs". Money is budgeted to some other Department but is then redirected to the Department of Defense.

Quote:
In all, at least a mind-boggling $21 trillion of Pentagon financial transactions between 1998 and 2015 could not be traced, documented, or explained, concluded Skidmore. To convey the vastness of that sum, $21 trillion is roughly five times more than the entire federal government spends in a year. It is greater than the US Gross National Product, the world’s largest at an estimated $18.8 trillion. And that $21 trillion includes only plugs that were disclosed in reports by the Office of Inspector General, which does not review all of the Pentagon’s spending.

To be clear, Skidmore, in a report coauthored with Catherine Austin Fitts, a former assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development who complained about similar plugs in HUD financial statements, does not contend that all of this $21 trillion was secret or misused funding. And indeed, the plugs are found on both the positive and the negative sides of the ledger, thus potentially netting each other out. But the Pentagon’s bookkeeping is so obtuse, Skidmore and Fitts added, that it is impossible to trace the actual sources and destinations of the $21 trillion. The disappearance of thousands of records adds further uncertainty. The upshot is that no one can know for sure how much of that $21 trillion was, or was not, being spent legitimately.
So if I'm understanding this correctly, Congress sets up a budget and allocates specific amounts of money to different departments that they're supposed to spend on specific programs. But a large portion of this money ends up getting moved around from one department to another and spent on different programs than the ones Congress specified. And nobody is really sure where all the money ends up.

Quote:
On September 10, 2001 Rumsfeld called a dramatic press conference at the Pentagon to make a startling announcement. Referring to the huge military budget that was his official responsibility, he said, “According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” This shocking news that an amount more than five times as large as the Pentagon’s FY 2001 budget of an estimated $313 billion was lost or even just “untrackable” was—at least for one 24-hour news cycle—a big national story, as was Secretary Rumsfeld’s comment that America’s adversary was not China or Russia, but rather was “closer to home: It’s the Pentagon bureaucracy.” Equally stunning was Rumsfeld’s warning that the tracking down of those missing transactions “could be…a matter of life and death.”
This might normally have become a major ongoing issue. But note the date this statement was made. A different news story dominated the news on the following day.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 12-04-2018 at 03:49 PM.
  #104  
Old 12-04-2018, 03:50 PM
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Congress is filled with old white men who think the presence of enough snow outside the Capitol to make a snowball out of, is evidence that global warming is a hoax, at the very same time the U.S. Naval Academy raises its seawall to prepare for a substantial rise in sea level - and those men will always be every bit as dangerously stupid as they are right now. So I'm willing to cut her some slack while she learns. If it's clear by this time next year that she isn't learning, I'll change my tune.
Well put, and I agree.
  #105  
Old 12-04-2018, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
This might normally have become a major ongoing issue. But note the date this statement was made. A different news story dominated the news on the following day.
The records documenting those transactions were stored in WTC 7.
  #106  
Old 12-04-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
Do the math for me: if our total healthcare costs go down by $2T, do our total healthcare costs go: a) up, or b) down?
You asked about the effect on the deficit.

Do the math for me: if we double federal income tax, and it doesn't cover the cost of M4A, does the deficit go up, or down?

And my cite said rather clearly
Quote:
Preventive Care Saves Money? Sorry, It’s Too Good to Be True

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it tends to cost money, but it improves quality of life at a very reasonable price.
Which is what I said it said.

Regards,
Shodan
  #107  
Old 12-04-2018, 04:24 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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You asked about the effect on the deficit.
No, I didn't. I asked: if healthcare costs go down by $2T, is it necessary for the deficit to increase? And the answer would seem to be that if you save $2T, then the effect on the deficit is....?

Quote:
Do the math for me: if we double federal income tax, and it doesn't cover the cost of M4A, does the deficit go up, or down?
The math question is: if we save $2T have we saved $2T? You seem to think not. Must be that "New Math" Republicans are always complaining about.

Quote:
And my cite said rather clearly Which is what I said it said.
Here's what the cite actually said: "Some preventive measures save money." OK great! Lets do those!

It also said: "others do not [save money], although they may still be worthwhile because they confer substantial health benefits relative to their cost." Well, we have an extra $2T. Let's do those too!

It also said: "some preventive measures are expensive given the health benefits they confer." OK, let's not do those!

Seems to me your cite said 3 things, and you ignored the two that made your arguments look bad.
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Last edited by Evil Economist; 12-04-2018 at 04:25 PM.
  #108  
Old 12-04-2018, 04:29 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Do the math for me: if we double federal income tax, and it doesn't cover the cost of M4A, does the deficit go up, or down?
Here's the economics question for you: If you pay me out of your right pocket then you owe me $2T. But if you pay me out of your left pocket then you owe me zero. And the question is: how deep into debt are you going to have to go to pay me?
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  #109  
Old 12-04-2018, 05:03 PM
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It's based on estimates from the Urban Institute and the Mercatus Center

[snipped unnecessary waste of bandwidth].
Mercatus Center. Mouthpiece for the Koch Mafia. We could get more accurate figures from sheep entrails.
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  #110  
Old 12-04-2018, 05:08 PM
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I think what Shodan is trying to say is that while you are saving a substantial amount of money, you are increasing the share of healthcare the government covers, leading to a net increase in government expenditures. He is just saying it in such a way that it looks like he thinks that is the same as an increase in total expenditures.

Middle class tax payers would be reliant on employers passing the savings off on them, or they would end up with an increased share of the burden.

It seems academic anyway. The paper appears to make assumptions like cities still needing multiple hospitals to cover multiple insurance networks, the same amount of work spent on gatekeeping and liaising, that Medicare for All would still be paying the salaries of health care insurance personnel and providing the same amount of profits for the parent companies, employing the same number of people for billing, credit-checking, interacting with insurance systems, that hospitals will still negotiate bills with insurance etc, etc.

In other words it assumes the same system with no systemic savings. Not what you'd call realistic. Just billing has been estimated to cost ~500 billion per year.
  #111  
Old 12-04-2018, 05:57 PM
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Let us all rejoice, because the lovely Ms. AOC has found $21 trillion under the mattress of the US military, so two-thirds of Medicare for All can be funded even before we start charging premiums. Setting aside minor quibbles like the fact that we haven't spent $21 trillion on the military in total since the founding of the Republic and that her economic education did not seem to include anything about basic bookkeeping.

She seems somehow to believe that we can squeeze $21 trillion out of a total yearly budget of almost $700 billion. This is the kind of fresh, outside reality the box thinking that we need in Congress.

Or else it is Ocasio-Cortez floundering in the depths of confident cluelessness, Part XXIII. It's hard to tell.

Regards,
Shodan
We can always ccancel Trump's "billionaire tax break". Finance health care and fix the now "done blowed up real good" deficit in one fell swoop.

But then, we've had all we can stand of "fresh, outside reality the box thinking" from Trump and the current Republican congress.
  #112  
Old 12-04-2018, 06:06 PM
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Jake Tapper recently had Ocasio on and asked her three times how she would pay for the grand total $40 trillion in spending she's proposing, and each time she launched into messages about who we are, our future, how cost-effective it would be, how other countries are doing it... everything except explaining how she was going to pay for it.
So much for the people out there who think she's some kind of political Neanderthal, some sort of legislative novice. It looks like she's already nailed down the key tactic needed to be a successful US Congressperson!
  #113  
Old 12-04-2018, 07:53 PM
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Leaving aside the Pentagon budget plugs, it is misleading to say "she won't say how she will pay for this!" The part of her message that seems to be lost on some people is *we are already paying for it*.

Take the view of the US from space. Nice country, eh? OK, from here, notice the cost of our capitalist, for-profit health care system. It costs $X a year. I don't know the figure, but it amounts to trillions per decade.

Now, compare that to the proposed M4A system. It costs (X minus a few $trillion) per decade. How are we going to pay for that? Um, more easily than the way we are doing it now, in terms of overall cost.

But that's the view from space. Down on the ground, overhauling the national economy to accommodate M4A would be disruptive, to put it mildly. Insurance workers apparently are out of a job. Healthcare c-suite types who make tens of $millions a year in profit off the suffering of sick people are suddenly forced to be normal people, or at least find a new game. One could probably write a book about all the effects such a radical change would bring.

Why do it? To a public service minded person, saving the nation money is a good cause, even if it pisses off select wealthy people. Everyone being able to see a doctor serves the cause of justice. Philosophically, the idea that health care is not an appropriate arena for capitalism the way cars and video games and so on are, and that it should be socialized instead, is at least defensible. Plus, a healthy population is surely more productive long term, boosting GDP.

I am not going to label anyone as stupid for wanting to stick with capitalism. Looks like that debate is finally upon us. But when it comes to the question of "how will we pay for it!?!?", again, the answer is we are already paying More to do it the capitalist way. Switching to M4A would be a massive PITA IMHO but in the end would benefit the general public and nation as a whole (the point if public service if you ask me) at the expense of select wealthy interests. Those interests own a lot of media outlets, so be prepared to hear all about how sinister and evil and downright Stalinist this plan really is.

Last edited by Try2B Comprehensive; 12-04-2018 at 07:53 PM.
  #114  
Old 12-04-2018, 08:44 PM
Dacien Dacien is online now
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
That's the cite that actually shows that healthcare spending would actually fall by $2T over 10 years right? That government spending would increase by $32T, but it would be more than offset by the reduction in individual healthcare expenditures?

Great cite.
I alluded to this earlier, but I might as well link it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...on-healthcare/
  #115  
Old 12-04-2018, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Leaving aside the Pentagon budget plugs, it is misleading to say "she won't say how she will pay for this!" The part of her message that seems to be lost on some people is *we are already paying for it*.

Take the view of the US from space. Nice country, eh? OK, from here, notice the cost of our capitalist, for-profit health care system. It costs $X a year. I don't know the figure, but it amounts to trillions per decade.
Which is a very good point. We already have the most expensive healthcare system in the world. It's just that we pay for it out of our pocket rather than through taxes.

If you're currently paying three thousand dollars a year for private medical care and it was replaced by a public health care system, would you complain if your taxes went up two thousand dollars a year? You've got a thousand dollars more than you had before.

The only people who have a reason to complain about the switch are the people who were charging that extra thousand dollars.
  #116  
Old 12-04-2018, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Why do it? To a public service minded person, saving the nation money is a good cause, even if it pisses off select wealthy people. Everyone being able to see a doctor serves the cause of justice. Philosophically, the idea that health care is not an appropriate arena for capitalism the way cars and video games and so on are, and that it should be socialized instead, is at least defensible. Plus, a healthy population is surely more productive long term, boosting GDP.
Another factor is that it would encourage economic growth. A lot of people are tied to their job because they can't afford to give up their health insurance.

If health care was not tied to employment, these people would be free to take a chance on starting up their own business. Some of them might lost money but they wouldn't have to worry about their family getting sick and not being able to afford treatment. And others of them would be successful and we'd see new businesses getting started. A lot of people who are currently working for wages would have an opportunity to become a business owner.
  #117  
Old 12-04-2018, 08:57 PM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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I alluded to this earlier, but I might as well link it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...on-healthcare/
More of the same stupid, wrong, and ignorant arguments that every other right-wing idiot makes. Not sure you needed to link to yet another example of that shit.
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Last edited by Evil Economist; 12-04-2018 at 08:57 PM.
  #118  
Old 12-04-2018, 09:05 PM
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The Brian Riedl Twitter thread is enlightening.

Last edited by Dacien; 12-04-2018 at 09:06 PM.
  #119  
Old 12-04-2018, 09:14 PM
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...Rudy Giuliani was named in 2017 as "informal cybersecurity adviser" for President Trump, and is now on President Trump's legal team. Cybersecurity is incredibly important to America at the moment considering what happened at the last election.

Yesterday Giuliani posted a tweet, but he made a typo. The direct link is still here:

https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/sta...70837459050496

Quote:
Mueller filed an indictment just as the President left for G-20.In July he indicted the Russians who will never come here just before he left for Helsinki.Either could have been done earlier or later. Out of control!Supervision please?
The bolded in the quote is important: because the way twitter parsed "G-20.In" was that it turned it into a hyperlink. Originally the hyperlink went nowhere: but some enterprising person registered the domain, and the hyperlink now goes to here:

http://G-20.In

(In case the site goes down, it links to text that says "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country."

Now this is obviously a stupid mistake to make. But we all make stupid mistakes.

But Rudy couldn't leave it there. Because less than an hour ago Rudy posted this:

Quote:
Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE
https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/sta...18915139923968

This goes beyond stupid. This is/was (who knows right now?) the informal cybersecurity adviser to the President. I can forgive him for conflating "text" with "tweet." But the cybersecurity adviser to the President is blaming twitter for something that was clearly not twitters fault. Nobody "invaded" his text or his tweet.

This guy is a fucking moron. An idiot. He doesn't understand the basics of the fucking internet. And I wish that he was the tip of the fucking iceberg but he's not. This administration is a clusterfuck of incompetence, of nepotism, of corruption, of stupidity.

And this clusterfuck of incompetence, of nepotism, of corruption, of stupidity, has destroyed America's reputation on the global stage. And what I can't understand is why smart, intelligent dopers like Shodan waste their time on stupid, pointless, trivial threads like this when we have incompetent idiots like Rudy Giuliani in the ear of the most powerful person on the planet advising on policy that is imperative to securing your nation.

If the OP is concerned about people "floundering in the depths of confident cluelessness" then you only need to look at the current administration to find more relevant examples than anything Ocasio-Cortez has ever done.
  #120  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:02 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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It's not enlightening, it's just some random guy repeating the same old stupid arguments as your first link.

Oh, he's a chief economist! With an undergraduate degree in economics! With those wonderful credentials he must be a Republican [checks link] Yep.
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  #121  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:08 AM
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It's not enlightening, it's just some random guy repeating the same old stupid arguments as your first link.

Oh, he's a chief economist! With an undergraduate degree in economics! With those wonderful credentials he must be a Republican [checks link] Yep.
Not like the esteemed and neutral Paul Krugman, most assuredly!
  #122  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:09 AM
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If the OP is concerned about people "floundering in the depths of confident cluelessness" then you only need to look at the current administration to find more relevant examples than anything Ocasio-Cortez has ever done.
If the only way you can think of defending AOC is to say "Trump is worse" then either she isn't very defensible or you suck at it. You're like the people who defend Trump with "It's not like he's Hitler".
  #123  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:15 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Not like the esteemed and neutral Paul Krugman, most assuredly!
Nobel Laurate Paul Krugman? Yeah, that guy is nothing like Paul Krugman. Paul Krugman is a brilliant economist, who upsets right-wing morons by speaking his mind. That other guy is an under-educated parrot.

I think it's fair to say that Paul Krugman is smarter and more accomplished than every single one of his detractors combined. (And I'd be right.)
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  #124  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
If the only way you can think of defending AOC is to say "Trump is worse" then either she isn't very defensible or you suck at it. You're like the people who defend Trump with "It's not like he's Hitler".
I really hate to introduce the term "whataboutism" because I think it's heavily overused in our discourse, and I've held my tongue thus far, but indeed, there has been a fair amount of it when the topic of Cortez' blunders rears it's head.
  #125  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:17 AM
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If the only way you can think of defending AOC is to say "Trump is worse" then either she isn't very defensible or you suck at it.
...it wasn't a defense of AOC. I'm glad to be able to clear that up for you.
  #126  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:22 AM
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Not like the esteemed and neutral Paul Krugman, most assuredly!
By "esteemed", you're recognizing his Nobel Prize? However non-neutral he may be, your guy sure doesn't look it either and is a damn sight less esteemed.
  #127  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:24 AM
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...it wasn't a defense of AOC. I'm glad to be able to clear that up for you.
Yes, it was. Rather clearly, it was "whataboutism".
  #128  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:26 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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By "esteemed", you're recognizing his Nobel Prize? However non-neutral he may be, your guy sure doesn't look it either and is a damn sight less esteemed.
Krugman is neutral in the sense that he follows the facts. If the facts supported "right-wing" economic models, he would too. But he doesn't suffer fools gladly, and a lot of right-wing economists are fools, so he's made some enemies.
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  #129  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:29 AM
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Yes, it was.
...no it fucking well was not.

Quote:
Rather clearly, it was "whataboutism".
No it wasn't.

Once again, if you need any further clarification please let me know.
  #130  
Old 12-05-2018, 01:02 AM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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But the article is talking about "plugs" which is a slang term for moving money around from one part of a budget to another.
No, it isn't. Moving money from one part of the budget to another is an interdepartmental transfer. Those can be documented and traced. You can see where the money came from and went to.

Plugs are not documented with underlying documentation or able to be traced. At the end of the accounting period, the financial statements need to balance. If they don't balance, and the accounting is sloppy, some people will just solve for X and plug in the number on the side that needs to be balanced.

You can tell that they're not talking about interdepartmental transfers because they documented how much money went in and out of the accounts. The plug numbers can't be tracked like that.

Now I see why the Vox author thought that it was just transfers between departments. But no, that's not what those numbers represent. He's misunderstanding the article to correct AOC.


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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
And my cite said rather clearly Which is what I said it said.
The title of that article said almost the opposite of what the content said. How do you find those?
  #131  
Old 12-05-2018, 01:06 AM
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… OB-GYNs, by and large, don't have a lot of Medicare patients now. How are they going to pay for their medical malpractice insurance when their fees are reduced by 25%? Will they simply stop accepting high-risk pregnancy cases?
Because, you know, no one anywhere has given one iota of thought to this issue, and, obviously, under a Medicare-for-All system, nothing at all would change in the malpractice/malpractice-insurance marketplace. Because, you said so, I guess.
  #132  
Old 12-05-2018, 01:12 AM
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...no it fucking well was not.



No it wasn't.

Once again, if you need any further clarification please let me know.
You are beyond ridiculous. Your entire reponse to the OP is complaining about how bad Giuliani is and is finished with the already quoted:

"If the OP is concerned about people "floundering in the depths of confident cluelessness" then you only need to look at the current administration to find more relevant examples than anything Ocasio-Cortez has ever done"

That is the fucking dictionary definition of "whataboutism". You are going to sit there and ask if I need further clarification? Quit lying about your posts that are a short scroll above. Jesus Christ, you're free to think Trump is worse, I agree, but just fucking admit that's all you said.

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-05-2018 at 01:14 AM.
  #133  
Old 12-05-2018, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
You are beyond ridiculous. Your entire reponse to the OP is complaining about how bad Giuliani is and is finished with the already quoted:

"If the OP is concerned about people "floundering in the depths of confident cluelessness" then you only need to look at the current administration to find more relevant examples than anything Ocasio-Cortez has ever done"
...the bit "you already quoted" is out of context. My post wasn't a "complaint" about "how bad Giuliani is". Its obvious you didn't read my entire post. Perhaps you should do that before accusing me of being "like the people who defend Trump with It's not like he's Hitler." Subtly and nuance really don't seem to be your thing.

Quote:
That is the fucking dictionary definition of "whataboutism". You are going to sit there and ask if I need further clarification? Quit lying about your posts that are a short scroll above. Jesus Christ, you're free to think Trump is worse, I agree, but just fucking admit that's all you said.
My post wasn't a "defence of Ocasio-Cortez. If I had intended to offer a defense of Ocasio-Cortez then I would that would have been crystal clear: but that wasn't my intent. I'm not lying.

I'm going to sit here again and offer to clarify things for you but it seems clear that you aren't interested in hearing it, and as my responses seem to be increasingly making you angry its probably best I don't interact with you any more.
  #134  
Old 12-05-2018, 03:16 AM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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Plugs are not documented with underlying documentation or able to be traced. At the end of the accounting period, the financial statements need to balance. If they don't balance, and the accounting is sloppy, some people will just solve for X and plug in the number on the side that needs to be balanced.
I'm going to correct myself on this. The article is using the term plug in a different way that I've seen it used before. It's still not an interdepartmental transfer. And it's still a placeholder that doesn't have documentation and isn't traceable. But it's not solely sloppy accounting. There's some intention behind it to hide the actual numbers.

Quote:
The fraud works like this. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year.
. . .
Among the laundering tactics the Pentagon uses: So-called “one-year money”—funds that Congress intends to be spent in a single fiscal year—gets shifted into a pool of five-year money.
. . .
The phony numbers are referred to inside the Pentagon as “plugs,” as in plugging a hole, said current and former officials.
. . .
Such nippering can be repeated multiple times “until the funds become virtually untraceable,” says one Pentagon-budgeting veteran who insisted on anonymity in order to keep his job as a lobbyist at the Pentagon.
DoD also did plugs of the kind that I referred to, but the plugs in the article are over and above that.

Quote:
“Adjustments are made to the Army General Fund financial statement data…for various reasons such as correcting errors, reclassifying amounts and reconciling balances between systems…
. . .
As an expert in government budgeting, Skidmore confirmed that it is accepted practice to insert adjustments into budget reports to make both sides of a ledger agree.
  #135  
Old 12-05-2018, 05:40 AM
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Do the math for me: if our total healthcare costs go down by $2T, do our total healthcare costs go: a) up, or b) down?
I know you're just being sarcastic, but for "thinkers" like Shodan or Hurricane, this really does require higher math. You could have shown them some courtesy and linked to a YouTube for third-graders that would walk them through this.
  #136  
Old 12-05-2018, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...the bit "you already quoted" is out of context. My post wasn't a "complaint" about "how bad Giuliani is". Its obvious you didn't read my entire post. Perhaps you should do that before accusing me of being "like the people who defend Trump with It's not like he's Hitler." Subtly and nuance really don't seem to be your thing.



My post wasn't a "defence of Ocasio-Cortez. If I had intended to offer a defense of Ocasio-Cortez then I would that would have been crystal clear: but that wasn't my intent. I'm not lying.

I'm going to sit here again and offer to clarify things for you but it seems clear that you aren't interested in hearing it, and as my responses seem to be increasingly making you angry its probably best I don't interact with you any more.
Ok.
  #137  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:06 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by CaptMurdock View Post
Mercatus Center. Mouthpiece for the Koch Mafia. We could get more accurate figures from sheep entrails.
The Urban Institute says pretty much the same thing, as has been mentioned.

Regards,
Shodan
  #138  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
I asked: if healthcare costs go down by $2T, is it necessary for the deficit to increase?
If doubling federal income taxes is insufficient to cover the cost of M4A, then it is necessary for the deficit to increase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Render
I think what Shodan is trying to say is that while you are saving a substantial amount of money, you are increasing the share of healthcare the government covers, leading to a net increase in government expenditures.
Actually what I am saying - or rather, what the report is saying - is that IF we dramatically cut payments to health care providers, and IF we dramatically cut drug prices, and IF we cut administrative costs, and IF we double federal income taxes, we will increase the deficit.

Regards,
Shodan
  #139  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:22 AM
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Actually what I am saying - or rather, what the report is saying - is that IF we dramatically cut payments to health care providers, and IF we dramatically cut drug prices, and IF we cut administrative costs, and IF we double federal income taxes, we will increase the deficit.
If this is the case, if this REALLY is the case, we should give up on the idea that we have a functioning governmental system and let Canada take over.

If we are literally incapable of implementing a system of health care that has already been done in dozens of countries, it's time to end this idiotic experiment in governance, and go with something that works.
  #140  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:25 AM
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Here we have yet another post from Grand Dragon Shodan affirming another person of color is stupid as shit.

I know this'll upset my patchouli smelling liberal friends but there is nothing wrong with whatbaboutism. Although whataboutism is a tool of white supremacy, it is also one of the only tools that white supremacists understand. White liberal reluctance to use the rhetorical tools of white supremacy is the reason white supremacists are winning, and you’re not. White folks don’t speak in truth, they speak in equivocation and whataboutery. In fact, white folks, in my view, are incapable of recognizing the fucking truth. We saw this with Dr. Ford.

Whataboutism is effective in pointing out hypocrisy. Pointing out that white supremacists like Grand Dragon Shodan is holding 29-year-old not-sworn-in congresswoman to a higher standard than the President of the United States says a lot about his (white supremacist) frame of reference. You have the President of the United Stated – elected by white people – get on national television and claim that Frederick-fucking-Douglas is out here fighting the good fight against slavery, and Grand Dragon Shodan - who collects children of color like beanie babies - was too busy virtue signaling to comment. He is literally an ambulatory dumpster-fire of white supremacy.

What you see Grand Dragon Shodan do is exactly what people of color experience in our lives at work. We. Have. To. Be. Perfect. If a white man misspells potato, it is not taken it as an indictment on his intelligence; if a black man misstates a fact (like 57 states), it taken as an indictment of his stupidity. Grand Dragon Shodan perpetuates the same trope for other people of color (like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez).

If this were a video game, Grand Dragon Shodan would be a level 999 racist. He's mastered coded language to the point where he instinctively attacks the intelligence of people of color. I don’t even think he thinks about it. He just does. It's quite an achievement. Grand Dragon Shodan even went down the path of arch-racists like Laura Ingraham and David French and adopted a person of color not to just appear more cosmopolitan but to virtue signal in order to deflect accusations of racism.

Last edited by Huey Freeman; 12-05-2018 at 09:26 AM.
  #141  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Huey Freeman View Post
I know this'll upset my patchouli smelling liberal friends but there is nothing wrong with whatbaboutism. Although whataboutism is a tool of white supremacy, it is also one of the only tools that white supremacists understand. White liberal reluctance to use the rhetorical tools of white supremacy is the reason white supremacists are winning, and you’re not.
Don't worry your pretty little head about that. The patchouli bunch is perfectly willing to use whataboutism. They just refuse to admit that's what they're doing, as exampled by Banquet Bear above.

Last edited by CarnalK; 12-05-2018 at 09:47 AM.
  #142  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:48 AM
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Leaving aside the Pentagon budget plugs, it is misleading to say "she won't say how she will pay for this!" The part of her message that seems to be lost on some people is *we are already paying for it*.

Take the view of the US from space. Nice country, eh? OK, from here, notice the cost of our capitalist, for-profit health care system. It costs $X a year. I don't know the figure, but it amounts to trillions per decade.

Now, compare that to the proposed M4A system. It costs (X minus a few $trillion) per decade. How are we going to pay for that? Um, more easily than the way we are doing it now, in terms of overall cost.

But that's the view from space. Down on the ground, overhauling the national economy to accommodate M4A would be disruptive, to put it mildly. Insurance workers apparently are out of a job. Healthcare c-suite types who make tens of $millions a year in profit off the suffering of sick people are suddenly forced to be normal people, or at least find a new game. One could probably write a book about all the effects such a radical change would bring.

Why do it? To a public service minded person, saving the nation money is a good cause, even if it pisses off select wealthy people. Everyone being able to see a doctor serves the cause of justice. Philosophically, the idea that health care is not an appropriate arena for capitalism the way cars and video games and so on are, and that it should be socialized instead, is at least defensible. Plus, a healthy population is surely more productive long term, boosting GDP.

I am not going to label anyone as stupid for wanting to stick with capitalism. Looks like that debate is finally upon us. But when it comes to the question of "how will we pay for it!?!?", again, the answer is we are already paying More to do it the capitalist way. Switching to M4A would be a massive PITA IMHO but in the end would benefit the general public and nation as a whole (the point if public service if you ask me) at the expense of select wealthy interests. Those interests own a lot of media outlets, so be prepared to hear all about how sinister and evil and downright Stalinist this plan really is.
I believe this great post is getting buried under debates of "whataboutism". Would any of the several conservative folks like to take a stab at challenging this post? We are already paying more for healthcare in the US than most countries with universal healthcare. Wouldn't it make sense to try out one of these less expensive models? I know there will be the "death boards" and "one year wait to get a wart removed" topics thrown out, but you also support doing away with coverage of pre-existing conditions. There must be a way to improve our immensely over-expensive system.
  #143  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:56 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
There's some intention behind it to hide the actual numbers.
Quote:
The fraud works like this. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year.
. . .
Among the laundering tactics the Pentagon uses: So-called “one-year money”—funds that Congress intends to be spent in a single fiscal year—gets shifted into a pool of five-year money.
. . .
The phony numbers are referred to inside the Pentagon as “plugs,” as in plugging a hole, said current and former officials.
. . .
Such nippering can be repeated multiple times “until the funds become virtually untraceable,” says one Pentagon-budgeting veteran who insisted on anonymity in order to keep his job as a lobbyist at the Pentagon.
I'd say I know a thing or two about the governemtn budget -- and all of this is just nonsense. I'm not saying it's impossible that DoD hides things from Congress, I'm saying that this is all doubletalk nonsense -- like if someone tried to explain the workings of the Internet as a bunch of tubes.

First, of course DoD doesn't spend all the money given to it in a single year. Nobody thinks it should - literally nobody. For example, when Congress provides money for a ship, it allows up to five years for the funds to be put on a contract, and in some cases, the money put on contract isn't actually expended for several years after that.

Second, one year money does not get shifted into five year money in any way near the manner that's explained here. It's just not an accurate description of the issue (would be happy to explain more, but it's ultra-nerdy). In the same vein, there was a reference in the article to M accounts, which were disestablished like 25 years ago.

Third, literally everyone knows that plugs are used. It's not a secret, and its not nefarious, but it is a sign of the level of inefficiency. What generally happens is that computer system A that is 30 years old can't talk to computer system B that's 20 years old. So financial managers essentially end up with the equivalent of a big shoebox of receipts that have to be entered manually, and often times that means cutting corners by using plugs. That's a material weakness for audit purposes, but it doesn't mean that money is invented in the process.

Fourth, I have no idea what the hell it means to "keep one's job as a lobbyist in the Pentagon," but here's where the reporter shows that he didn't do a very thorough job for his article. I can only assume that "nippering" is actually MIPRing, as in military interdepartmental purchase request, which is THE means of transferring funds from one agency to another. MIPRs are completely normal business, and the reporter (or perhaps the source) again seem to intentionally conflate the issue of the tracing of funds through the system with the issue of somehow inventing money during the process of it being transferred. So, if you're concerned about HOW MUCH the Pentagon spends, it really doesn't matter how many times $1 passes through someone else's hands, because it is the same dollar just moving around. If you're concerned about auditability and efficiency, it does matter how many times the dollar moves around, because for audit purposes you need a paper trail for each move, and for efficiency, it's a waste of people's time to have to move dollars around so much.

Finally, the article conspicuously ignores that spending money not approved by Congress is a crime. Each year, there are a handful of times that the Pentagon overspends funds, which triggers reports to watchdogs like the GAO. Virtually always the culprit is the poor accounting system at the root of so many problems: someone thought they had $9.58 million in their account to pay for some cost, but they only had $8.87 million. Now, nobody ever gets prosecuted for these errors, but once in a while someone gets fired, and always there's a reprimand of some sort. But the article's contention that billions of dollars are being spent that were not approved by Congress is totally fucking cockamamie.

ETA: I see that the reporter has a talent for sensationalism, such as his article "predicting" that Trump was about to start a war with Iran in October. That puts him in the Sy Hersh "I've predicted 7 of the last 0 wars against Iran" category, as far as I'm concerned.

https://www.thenation.com/article/war-signals/

Last edited by Ravenman; 12-05-2018 at 09:59 AM.
  #144  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:08 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
If doubling federal income taxes is insufficient to cover the cost of M4A, then it is necessary for the deficit to increase.
So if cutting the cost of something will increase the deficit, does that mean that the best way to decrease the deficit is to increase the cost of stuff? Call up the Air Force, let them know they're not paying enough for hammers?

Are we going to end up decreasing the costs of things $2T at a time until we're bankrupt?

BRB, need to go yell at my SO for decreasing our cable bill. That kind of thing will put us in the poorhouse."How dare you reduce our cable bill by $10/month!"

Anyway, you should post more about how difficult it is to find a way to finance a 2 trillion dollar cost reduction.
__________________
"...the social ills of the nonwhite inner-city poor had their origin not in some mysterious flaws of African-American culture but in economic factors—specifically, the disappearance of good blue-collar jobs. Sure enough, when rural whites faced a similar loss of economic opportunity, they experienced a similar social unraveling." - Krugman
  #145  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:13 AM
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...In 1985 Mattel used patchouli oil in the plastic used to produce the action figure Stinkor in the Masters of the Universe line of toys...
Fun fact, from Wiki
  #146  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:56 AM
Evil Economist Evil Economist is offline
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Actually what I am saying - or rather, what the report is saying - is that IF we dramatically cut payments to health care providers, and IF we dramatically cut drug prices, and IF we cut administrative costs...
Isn't it amazing how, in your analysis, if we successfully drive down costs by a dramatic amount.....that causes a bad financial outcome. Like, we end up worse off financially than if we hadn't decreased costs.

What an unusual outcome that is.
__________________
"...the social ills of the nonwhite inner-city poor had their origin not in some mysterious flaws of African-American culture but in economic factors—specifically, the disappearance of good blue-collar jobs. Sure enough, when rural whites faced a similar loss of economic opportunity, they experienced a similar social unraveling." - Krugman
  #147  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:06 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Huey Freeman View Post
Here we have yet another post from Grand Dragon Shodan affirming another person of color is stupid as shit.
If by "affirming" you mean "pointing out" then you are correct.
Quote:
What you see Grand Dragon Shodan do is exactly what people of color experience in our lives at work. We. Have. To. Be. Perfect.
I don't think you have anything to worry about there.

Look, I get it - you have nothing beyond the AOC defense of "no fair criticizing POC when they say something preposterously stupid racismracism" but this cybercrush you have on me is more creepy than touching. It is rather like a developmentally disabled student who develops a crush on his teacher, and expresses it with letters finger-painted in his own feces. I suppose I should recognize the effort, and I am sure you are doing the best you can, but just so you know.

Regards,
Shodan
  #148  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:28 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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It is rather like a developmentally disabled student who develops a crush on his teacher, and expresses it with letters finger-painted in his own feces.
So you're saying, the white man is the teacher and the black man is the retard?
  #149  
Old 12-05-2018, 01:21 PM
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I know it's a side-track at this point, but I'd just like to add that calling her the "lovely Ms." Ocasio-Cortez is sexist old-man shit that minimizes her because she's a woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Let us all rejoice, because the lovely Ms. AOC . . .

Last edited by Eonwe; 12-05-2018 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Added quote to OP
  #150  
Old 12-05-2018, 03:20 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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Remind myself to liquidate all my holdings in Revlon, Clairol, or any such business that depends on women wanting to Look Good. Because they won't any more, and all that stuff won't be bought. Gee. Swell. Can hardly wait.
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