Break On Through To the Other Side

It has been my style in the anecdotes I tell here to include personal and sincere details and share my blue collar experience.   It is this contribution to the public discourse that gives this column a perspective off the beaten trail, and hopefully entertains as well.

I can’t claim a tremendous vocabulary like George Will, nor his intellectual sort of delivery, and I can’t seem to imagine and disseminate an endless list of hilarious one liners like that ubiquitous blonde.   The tedious and autonomous proletariat experience that many Americans share in their pursuit of the American dream is one that I know, and it is from that fountain that I draw for my commentaries.

That said, no issue causes me more apoplectic consternation, frustration, or disbelief than the issue of taxation on this hardworking population.   Watching a FOX News focus group where the participants were polled to explain why they were supporting Barack Obama, one participant stood to proudly proclaim, Barack is the only candidate who has promised to raise taxes!

I was screaming at the TV, How on earth is that going to benefit you?   Dipshit!

Reviewing many of the not so flattering comments here on this website, I’ve been reminded about a level of ignorance and disdain many of our citizens possess, and of their tidy lack of knowledge over economic realities.

This exuberance over raising taxes only sprouts from genuine envy and dislike for people more successful than the partisans of such ideology.   It is truly a pernicious and evil rumination to wish for pain onto others without even understanding the results of such aspiration.

I hate to quote statistics because they are so easily manipulated to conceal truth, but here are a couple only a moron (yeah, I know there are still plenty of morons) could juxtapose to promote the liberal position:

In 1980 when the highest tax rate was 70% the richest 1% paid 19% of all income tax revenues.

In 2003 when the highest tax rate was 35% the richest 1% (annual income $295,000) paid over 34% of all income tax, and in 2005 the richest 1% (annual income $364,000) paid over 39%.

In other words, raising taxes shifts the burden to lower income people.   That means morons rich people pay less and poor and middle class people pay more of the total tax burden when you raise taxes on those with high incomes.  (I’m sure we’ll have plenty of comments this week from brilliant lefties who don’t understand this.)

$300,000.00 or $400,000.00 a year is not even rich by the way, that’s middle class trying to get rich.  People in this bracket are the ones who pay the highest percentage of their incomes in taxes.   The ultra-rich (people making millions a year) have plenty of methods available to them to beat down their taxable income and their ultimate tax rate.

Do you want to know what rich is?   John Kerry married the heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune (net worth around 800 million) and paid around 15% in taxes on about 5 million in income for the records that were last made available.

Last quarter I took an end of year bonus check and my net was less than half the gross.   (FICA, SDI, Medicare, and State Income tax drive the total confiscation way past 35%.   What do you think will be left after the Federal Income tax goes to 44% and the Democrats institute some version of HillaryCare?)   My total income tax paid for the year was way over 15% and my total income was less than 5% of Senator Kerry’s.

At my current income level, it will only take me 4,000 years to amass as much wealth as Senator Kerry obtained by marrying some widow in one afternoon, and that’s if I don’t pay one penny in taxes!

Now I know plenty people are thinking, Gee, I’d be happy to make two or three hundred grand per year.   What are you whining about Jim?

Everyone I know says they’d like to make that kind of money except when it comes down to actually doing it and I explain how I sleep with the phone on my nightstand which often rings at two or three in the morning.   How I work from six in the morning to six or seven or eight at night, and then I come back at midnight to make sure everything is running smoothly.   Sometimes I get back into bed by one, and sometimes I don’t go home at all and work from midnight until five the next afternoon, go home pass out, and start all over again four or five hours later.   Then I come in on Saturdays and Sundays to do the work I couldn’t get done during the week.

I don’t need any sympathy, I’m happy to do it, because I believe there is going to be a big payout in the not so distant future so I can afford the sort of lifestyle I envision, but why on earth should I get taxed at the confiscatory 35% (or 44% if Democrats get their way), while John Kerry gets by at 15%?

And what if I don’t seize the success I imagine?   I work my ass off to give a bunch of money to bureaucrats who work nine to five and hold me in contempt for my presumable success.   Now that’s my gamble and I’m willing to roll the dice, but how many would really try it?   How many would decide it’s not worth it?   In my experience most decide it’s not worth it.

The flip side is, I don’t have to work another day in my life.   I could pay off my house which I owe little on.   I could hire a guy to run my plant since most all of the equipment here is paid for and overhead is now low.   I could get by on an income of sixty or seventy thousand dollars yearly, go water skiing every day, and this company will just meander down the road.

I won’t train any new people valuable skills, I won’t build a business that could easily employ hundreds of people, and I will pay little in taxes to what I believe is an immoral and Stalinist Government.   Worst of all, I won’t impart to my workers and fellow countrymen the kinds of skills that can keep business in the United States and keep us competitive with the rest of the world.

The reality is plenty of talented men and women with skills most needed to build our economy make this choice every day!

The leap from making two or three hundred thousand dollars a year where people pay the most punitive taxes, to that field across a wide and diligent canyon, where all the accountants and attorneys can be afforded to circumvent draconian tax policy is often so daunting many won’t try.   It is especially discouraging to make these attempts when your expertise is in an arduous industry like manufacturing which is severely challenged by foreign competition.

While the small businessman or entrepreneur may actually lose little (and probably gain) in terms of life quality by transferring his efforts from work to leisure, the biggest losers of all are America’s poor who might otherwise be trained and given opportunities by experienced people who really know how to succeed in our system far better than any educator or any bureaucrat.

But alas, the class-warfare parasites in the Democratic party know their message resonates with those envious and uninitiated citizens who are too ignorant to know the policies they wish for will increase our budget deficits, weaken our dollar, and shift a greater percentage of the total tax burden away from guys like me who decide we are not going to play anymore to them; on top of that, make us less competitive with foreign producers and drive even more jobs off shore.

My clairvoyant powers are on the fritz right now, so I can’t tell you why Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would embrace policies that will definitely hurt America, but my best guess is they’re more interested in succeeding at demagoguery politics and promoting their own careers than they are interested in leading our country, and helping our people.

Every now and then a lunatic comes along who thinks he can beat the corrupt structure using nothing but skill, determination, and his will.   He throws caution to the wind and drives forward recklessly daring the system to stop him.   He does it because deep in his soul he is an American, and it is our culture to succeed in the face of all obstacles.

I don’t know how or when success will manifest itself and create reality from the  the fantasy of my imagination, I only know my resolve demands I continue, and in the mean time pay those bastards their confiscatory tariff.   Meanwhile, many other capable citizens choose to forgo such ambition because government has made it too enticing not to aspire.

I convince myself fortitude will deliver me to the objective, I’ll actually traverse that diligent  canyon to The Other Side, I’ll make millions of dollars a year, I’ll hire accountants and lawyers to get me into the fifteen percent tax bracket,  and then I’ll switch my party affiliation, become a Democrat, and my new best buddy will be Bill Clinton.

Billy boy will show me how to handle a cigar, how to get young harlots while still being married, and after all that, thanks to liberalism I’ll incur a lower tax liability.



Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo

38 thoughts on “Break On Through To the Other Side

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. Rush Limbaugh correctly identifies the need for tax breaks, noting that when the upperclasses have more money, the lowerclasses see an economic boost as well. Your article is a compelling arguement for the fair tax, although I doubt the Democrats would throw any support behind that idea. They are the self-proclaimed party for the poor, and they know that psuedo-interventionism in the economy is all that they need to get the votes, ie “reducing the burden on lower income families with socialized medicine” and extending welfare to those who dont earn it.

    The current Republican mindset isnt very conservative either, most favoring a larger than absolutely needed government. I cant see them supporting the fair-tax either, since most are comfortable living above the horrific tax burden as well.

    This is where partisan politics need to be cast aside, and the realization be made that tax bracketing is a bent system, which really does keep the poor poor and the rich rich.

  3. Cutting personal taxes for the wealthy can hardly be expected to trickle down to the lower classes. Cutting corporate taxes, on the other hand, leave more money for companies to invest in efficiency, competition, and expansion and I think everyone can agree that they are good.

  4. P.S. I’m going to bring up Norway’s welfare state AGAIN to make the point that having a well-developed social welfare system targeted at the middle class actually does make everyone wealthier.

  5. Listing to Rush Limbaugh’s talk show today was very informative. Obama, apparently is behind a tax increase to take care of anyone living in poverty. He is trying to tax us approximately another 800,000,000 for foreign aid, on top of what we already pay. We have enough people in our own country to take care of without trying to take care of the whole world.
    We are already fighting a war that is taking a tremendous toll on our country. Let some of the oil rich countries, take care of the poverty problem. We are not able to take care of the whole world.

  6. What do you mean new buddy list! Shit, I can show you some really cool stuff to do with his cigars (besides Billy boy is go to tell you nothing you dumb ass don’t you know he did nothing wrong).
    Not only that Billy boy doesn’t even know how to waterski…
    Plus Billy boy won’t empty out your liquor cabinet then call you a pussy for not taking him to the liquor store to get more..

    Okay fine, if you really want to have a bunch of dishonest liars as friends then you should pick Billy boy & Co.

    One more thing Crumbunist, if America is doing things wrong. Then tell me how did US become the greatest country in the world?
    Far as health care goes the United States of America will not leave people as you would call them poor people to suffer without treatment that is a blatant lie. The only requirement is that after you’ve gotten treatment you must pay for services rendered. Show me this list of people who aren’t receiving treatment that you speak of. It’s guys like you who speak for others without really knowing shit that gives our health care system a bad reputation.
    My wife comes from an extremely poor family somehow despite your argument they’re getting health care. Her uncle Matt who works in construction has been hurt a couple times. He has no health care. But he’s gone to the doctor’s and been treated than paid his bills over time. Just recently the poor guy got a brain tumor at the young age of 41 still having no insurance and no real proof of being able to pay for this surgery once again he managed to receive health care services. His brain tumor has now been removed and he’s on the road to recovery. Sure he’s going to have some sort of bills to pay for this surgery. but that’s to be expected its not like you go through McDonald’s drive through order a double cheeseburger, fries and a coke and when you get to the pay window you drive past it and go to the second window pick up your food and leave without paying. That’s just not reality..

  7. I’m sure you know at least one person who has passed up a doctor’s visit or a checkup because they thought it was an unnecessary expense. Those small issues can snowball into big ones, and cause expensive surgeries that could have been prevented. If checkups and small procedures were free, more people would have their prostate or breast cancers caught early and removed before real damage is done to their health or their wallet.

    It is very easy to find statistics for personal bankruptcies caused by medical bills, I will not find them for you.

    Before anyone calls me a leftie commie pinko, I DO agree that Obama should be spending that 800,000,000 on poor Americans, not poor whoever-else. I hope that Obama can bring some charisma back to America as a diplomatic power and get other countries to foot the bill.

  8. Crumbunist,

    So why should my checkbook have to suffer?

    How is it ever going to be free?

    Must you pay for services rendered?

    Where’s the list of people who aren’t receiving treatment that you speak of?

    How did the US become the greatest country in the world?

    When was the last time a tax increase benefited the tax payers?

    What happens to the economy when you raise taxes?

    “did you sleep through all your history classes?”

    “Or were you just spoon fed a political ideology laced with an occasional fact to make the three tons of horse dung easier to swallow?”

    “But please provide me with one example of any socialistic health program increasing the profits of a hospital, increasing the output of drug research companies, increasing the ability of doctors to treat the patient, etc etc etc?” He

    Did you not read Jim’s column? You think the rich are going to contribute to the universal healthcare through taxation. Well you’re wrong the rich know how to move their money around. The working man will be the one paying the bills while the rich and the poor enjoy the benefits.

    Let’s not play the statistics game. Let’s keep this to realism.

    You have diarrhea of the keyboard. You constantly discredits your own arguments. Your IQ must be pretty low (not meant to be an insult or funny).

    If you’re going to keep replying to people’s comments I would suggest you answer the questions they ask you. Or maybe you should just take a comprehension class because its pretty obvious that you don’t seem to be capable of comprehending this blog..

  9. Ironic comments aside, here are some fun facts:

    Under UHC, taxes pay into your insurance. People continue to pay for services rendered. If anyone is disadvantaged, it’s the rich who pay more taxes in total than the middle class, but receive the same care.

    I never said the wealthy will pay for the middle class, I said that trickle-down economics do not work because a private citizen’s income is separate from corporate resources.
    You may notice that the 11 countries that rank ahead of the US in the HDI are UHC states. Those countries also have quite high tax rates, and yet are among the wealthiest in the world.

  10. Hey Jim, I totally know what you are saying here. As an African-American that grew up in the rural south, but spent my summers with my dad in beautiful southern california, I sort of felt like the rich dad/poor mom scenario. To this day, my mom will swear that republicans are evil and democrats are going to be the best for the country. My dad on the other hand thinks more like you. It is so solidified in the African-American community it’s sickening. They don’t even bat an eye if you tell them that the republican party was started as an anti-slavery party and the democrats were with the Klan. The black community has suffered this brain damage intensely.

  11. “$300,000.00 or $400,000.00 a year is not even rich by the way”

    Your statistics would contradict this:

    “the richest 1% (annual income $364,000)”

    “In other words, raising taxes shifts the burden to lower income people.”

    Only under a certain tax regime. Taxation levels can be both progressive and regressive. In a progressive system if taxation levels are increased the rich pay more whereas in a regressive system if taxation levels are raised the poor pay more.

    Perhaps inadvertantly, you make a good point about the ‘super rich’ in your passage about Kerry. Because these people have so much money and influence they can move their vast fortunes about and escape the tax system. This situation will not be improved with Bush’s tax cuts.

    Sadly though, you come to the conclusion that they should not be taxed because it is in some way ‘hurtful’ for them to be taxed – as if taxing Bill Gates an extra million pounds really makes any difference to him.

    “At my current income level, it will only take me 4,000 years to amass as much wealth as Senator Kerry obtained by marrying some widow in one afternoon, and that’s if I don’t pay one penny in taxes!”

    Surely you are making an argument for a fairer tax system here?! But for some reason you ignore the blatant unfairness of the system and say that it should not only continue, but that it should be extended!

  12. Matt,

    I know you won’t be able to comprehend this because you didn’t comprehend my column.  But…

    You can’t force me to work and if guys like me don’t work hundreds of people lose jobs.  And…

    Why did revenue into the government INCREASE after the Bush tax cuts?

    Read the piece again.

  13. To be fair, if guys like us don’t work, someone else will take the job, probably at lower pay. Can you show that government income has increased? I can’t find any numbers on taxes right now.

  14. Well I read your column again and it still provokes the same questions…

    How can “$300,000.00 or $400,000.00 a year” possibly be “middle class” by any reasonable definition? Your own statistics say that about 1% of people in America earn this kind of money!

    You rage against Kerry but for some reason you don’t see the injustices that the person on FOX news was aluding to – those injustices being that the super rich appear to get away without having to pay nearly as much as the common man. Obama promises to raise taxes on the super rich to make them pay their fair share along with normal Americans. This is clearly what the participant meant – that taxes should be raised on the super rich.

    “Why did revenue into the government INCREASE after the Bush tax cuts?”

    For many, highly complex reasons. But does this mean that in every case tax cuts equal more tax revenue? Sorry but no. Reagan cut taxes throughout the 80s and the budget deficit plummeted. Economic policy must be tailored to the specific economic climate, not evangelically preached as some sort of holy grail.

    As for the ‘trickle-down’ effect you seem to love so much a good refutation of this theory can be found in Africa and Asia with the investment of transnational corporations such as Nestle et al. Do the poor impoverished kids in the Ivory Coast get the benefits of their multi-million dollar profits? Do they hell….

  15. To answer Sake Mike, one of the main reasons America became the world superpower was because of World War II… everyone else had been decimated, population and otherwise, and America was just up and coming and suddenly, we were the only functioning and productive country left. Not to mention our size. However, continuing on this thought process, how can we say we are the only world superpower when China and India are sucking up oil, cement, and anything else at an enormous rate? If we stay “the most successful country” that we are now, I think China and India will overcome us. IF we let them.

    Personally, I’m completely against our country mimicking europe with it’s socialism “let’s help everyone with the government” and being pansies about the radical islamists. Or should I say, the silent moderate islamic population that is booming so well over there.

    That being said, I’m interested in this mentioning of Norway’s system? How would that system work for one of the world superpowers? Would there be flaws in it that, not being shown in Norway, would show up in America?

  16. Matt,

    You have exhausted me. You refuse to refute the points I make with logical arguments or research.

    The highest tax rate ever in the United States was 91%. Nobody ever paid the tax.

    As I said earlier, how do you explain how the poor and middle class paid a greater share of all taxes when the top tax rate was 70% than when it dropped to 35%?

    How do you explain how the poor and middle class paid a greater share of all taxes when the top tax rate was 70% than when it dropped to 35%?

    One more time.

    How do you explain how the poor and middle class paid a greater share of all taxes when the top tax rate was 70% than when it dropped to 35%?

    You cannot seem to grasp that when people are taxed unfairly they change their activities and investments to make sure they don’t pay the increased taxes.

    Those people who depend upon activities of the “rich” no longer have the opportunities they create.

    The economy suffers and the poor suffer much more severely than do the rich.

    Obama’s proposals for increasing the top tax rate have been on income in the 250k-500k area. On income that comes from working, not income from capital gains and investment, the type of income the ultra-wealthy possess.

    No politician on the left will change those tax rates either because guess where those politicians get their money for campaigns?

    You can wish, with childish fervor, for punitive tax policy all you want, it won’t change reality.

    It is clear you have European lineage and have no understanding of American culture.

    P.S. Africa and Asia’s economy’s don’t “trickle down” to the poor because they have the types of totalitarian governments that completely control the populations, just the type of government our venerable leftist politicians are trying to institute.

  17. Jim when I first read this I thought you had a dollar amount on the 1980 “top 1%” but it seems to have gone missing… did you remove that? If so, you should consider putting it back and then *also* _converting_ it into 2003/2005 dollars for accurate comparison. Assuming of course you can find the conversion rates on the internet somewhere, but I’d bet you can probably do so…

    I think some of your readers will be shocked by what they see (assuming they bother to listen of course).

    Unfortunately some will continue to have way too much faith in the lie of socialism to listen… but such people will never admit they were wrong anyway until they have succeeded in completely destroying the country. At which point, on their death beds, they will say, “I *might* have been wrong”.


  18. RH,

    I use to think people embracing socialism believed in a bad ideology they really didn’t understand.

    After a year of fielding comments on this site I have become more and more convinced many people are just defeatists, are not willing to do what success requires, don’t believe they will ever succeed, and due to envy they have made it their goal to take others down at any cost.


  19. Jim you may well have a point there. Part may well be laziness or envy. But I also believe part is just they swallowed the socialist lie hook line and sinker in their education days, and as a result they still think that they shouldn’t HAVE to work hard to succeed.

    They are, of course, quite wrong about that as well. But good luck getting them to see it. You will surely need it.


  20. I take offense to being put in with defeatist college communists. I cite developed welfare states as social security nets and provide examples of how they function, well. I don’t rally against capitalism and I have never supported a totalitarian regime.

    re: Norway: I hear Massachusetts is implementing a mandatory health insurance law [for employers? I don’t know]. That might be the first step towards universal healthcare and increased social safety in that state. I doubt the Norwegian system could work for all of America, because the mid-western and southern states would drain away all the money from the pacific, northeast and Texas, but on a state-by-state basis I feel it could improve quality of life and productivity.

  21. Crumbunist,

    The magic word is MANDATORY.

    Above and beyond simple commandments like thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not kill (except for babies in the womb), you seem quite enthusiastically willing to pass over your freedoms to some bureaucrat who can decide for you whether or not you ought to obtain health insurance.

    The Massachusetts program you site fines people for not obtaining health insurance, in other words it is MANDATORY. I know I sure didn’t have nor need health insurance when I was 23.

    What a boon for insurance providers, Massachusetts has made it MANDATORY for its inhabitants to obtain health insurance.

    I have a great idea. Don’t you think it is reasonable to make it MANDATORY that all residents of the United States insure to their own well-being by obtaining the tools necessary to guarantee their personal security?

    We should make it MANDATORY that all U.S. citizens obtain and learn to use a handgun!

    And I know just the right guy who can supply them!

    “Those who would give essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    -Benjamin Franklin

  22. I never said the Massachusetts program was the way of the future because I only mentioned it in passing. The system I’ve been defending has never been “put your hopes in the government deciding you deserve care”, it’s “the government WILL provide insurance PERIOD.”

  23. Hey there! Jim…You do not need clairvoyant powers to become enlightened.
    WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.
    “Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.”
    “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”
    Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population…
    “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says.
    “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”
    The entire article is at the link below.

    So now you know?

  24. “I’m sure you know at least one person who has passed up a doctor’s visit or a checkup because they thought it was an unnecessary expense. Those small issues can snowball into big ones, and cause expensive surgeries that could have been prevented. If checkups and small procedures were free, more people would have their prostate or breast cancers caught early and removed before real damage is done to their health or their wallet.”

    Well, using the truly socialist health systems already in place as examples … and to answer your questions: In the countries with socialized health care, it is the government who tells people what is necessary. In those countries, people are actually dying waiting in line for critically needed surgery and treatments. In those countries mediocre surgeons and physicians run the show and treat people, because the GOOD ones go elsewhere – they won’t work for the socialist pay scales. In those countries, people don’t go for routine check ups and treatment because the waiting list is years long.

    In our country, it is the HMO’s ruling what is needed and not needed and many a person is screwed over and not treated, BUT THEY HAVE THE OPTION TO CHANGE HEALTH PROGRAMS OR PAY OUT OF POCKET. In socialized health care, you don’t have those options. There is ONE health plan, run by Gov, and nothing else available.

    If your plan, and Hillary/Obama plans are so great, then why is it the POLITICIANS will have their own plan as they do now, and not join this wonderful scheme? They get all the treatment they want, anywhere they want, anytime they want, on our tax dollars by the very finest surgeons and physicians in the country. That is NOT the plan they would impose on US. And you can bet they won’t give up their plan to join the one they impose ON US. No sir.

    What we would get is mediocre, haphazard treatment, after waiting months or years, in the Gov’s hope we die waiting. Like they do regarding the social security “safety net”.

  25. Lollin’ at that book–

    You liberals are all nuts, don’t you know that a woman’s place is in the kitchen? And what’s this democracy malarkey? You weak workers are just STEALING power from the the natural rulers of the world!

    What’s that? People don’t agree with MY values? Well that’s because they’re CRAZY!

  26. Well I live under a Universal Health Care scheme, and uhhh I can tell you that nobody ever waits months or years for a checkup, and emergency cases are are always treated as emergencies. I don’t know what imaginary country you’re referring to, but that’s not how it works in the real world.

    Of course politicians are greedy, did you really expect something better?

  27. Crumbunist,

    I don’t know why you want to screw up our health care system. If you do, you Canadians will not have anywhere to get health care when you can’t get your next appointment for 6 or 8 months.

    Your passport is up to date, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I would really love to get your opinion on Jim’s column #12. If you leave a comment there, it will turn red and notify others to check it out.

    Just want to inform our fellow Americans how Freedom of Speech works in socialist nations.

  28. A two-tiered health care system would work fine. I don’t see how giving more people the care they need at lower cost is destroying the system.

    Socialism is not the same as totalitarianism, not that there are any first world socialist states anyway.

  29. “The Ugly Truth About Canadian Health Care”
    David Gratzer

    “Socialized medicine has meant rationed care and lack of innovation. Small wonder Canadians are looking to the market.

    Mountain-bike enthusiast Suzanne Aucoin had to fight more than her Stage IV colon cancer. Her doctor suggested Erbitux—a proven cancer drug that targets cancer cells exclusively, unlike conventional chemotherapies that more crudely kill all fast-growing cells in the body—and Aucoin went to a clinic to begin treatment. But if Erbitux offered hope, Aucoin’s insurance didn’t: she received one inscrutable form letter after another, rejecting her claim for reimbursement. Yet another example of the callous hand of managed care, depriving someone of needed medical help, right? Guess again. Erbitux is standard treatment, covered by insurance companies—in the United States. Aucoin lives in Ontario, Canada.

    When Aucoin appealed to an official ombudsman, the Ontario government claimed that her treatment was unproven and that she had gone to an unaccredited clinic. But the FDA in the U.S. had approved Erbitux, and her clinic was a cancer center affiliated with a prominent Catholic hospital in Buffalo. This January, the ombudsman ruled in Aucoin’s favor, awarding her the cost of treatment. She represents a dramatic new trend in Canadian health-care advocacy: finding the treatment you need in another country, and then fighting Canadian bureaucrats (and often suing) to get them to pick up the tab.”

    government statistics on the health-care system’s problems are suddenly available. In fact, government researchers have provided the best data on the doctor shortage, noting, for example, that more than 1.5 million Ontarians (or 12 percent of that province’s population) can’t find family physicians. Health officials in one Nova Scotia community actually resorted to a lottery to determine who’d get a doctor’s appointment.

  30. “True, government bureaucrats would be able to cut costs—but only by shrinking access to health care, as in Canada, and engendering a Canadian-style nightmare of overflowing emergency rooms and yearlong waits for treatment. America is right to seek a model for delivering good health care at good prices, but we should be looking not to Canada, but close to home—in the other four-fifths or so of our economy. From telecommunications to retail, deregulation and market competition have driven prices down and quality and productivity up. Health care is long overdue for the same prescription.”

  31. Hospitals and other medical services are obviously going to be concentrated around the highest-demand areas [cities not villages with populations of 600]. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think a state of the art private hospital is going to open in Nowhere, Alaska either.

  32. If your wonderful universal health scheme is referring to the Canadian solution, I have several questions.

    How many people in Canada? How many people here? How many illegals in Canada? How many here?

    My objection can be put simply. I am not about to give up MY good plan, in return for even higher taxes and a less efficient system, merely so our politicians can cover 20 million illegal immigrants who aren’t supposed to be here anyway. If you are that compassionate for these illegals, why don’t you invite them northward and include them in YOUR system?

    And why is it, I wonder, that foreign nationals always seem to want to force the US to adopt failing programs they have? Misery loves company maybe?

  33. Only legal residents are issued a public health insurance card. If you don’t have a card, you pay.

  34. “Socialism is not the same as totalitarianism, not that there are any first world socialist states anyway.”
    By: Crumbunist on February 19th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Socialism is about future outcomes, social engineering, civil rights vs individual freedoms, multiculturalism, control…sounds like totalitarianism or fascism, or both, to me…

    Read Teddy Roosevelt’s speech to the Sorbonne in 1910 for a prescient view on multiculturalism and its consequences.

  35. Welp, muslims and christians are living peacefully together in this country without compromising their own values. FASCISM HARD AT WORK!

    Please read a book about totalitarianism. It may surprise you that social engineering must be total in order to be totalitarian.

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