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Grinch
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175 posted 09-25-2009 08:03 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Wasn’t it against American law one time to aid and abet runaway slaves?


Yep.

And it's still illegal in New York to flirt or walk around on Sunday with an ice cream in your pocket.

In Idaho riding a merry-go-round on Sunday is illegal and you can't give your fiancé a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds.

Wyoming has a law that prohibits you from taking a picture of a rabbit from January to April without an official permit.

They may be dumb but they're all laws with associated consequences if you choose to ignore them. You don't get to pick and choose which ones you want to stick to and which ones you want to ignore because you happen to think they're dumb. If that were the case rapists and murderers would be walking the streets in pretty short order.

You don't ignore dumb laws and break them, you change or repeal them, which is why slavery is no longer legal.

Balladeer
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176 posted 09-25-2009 11:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Many things are no longer illegal because there was rebellion, which resulted in laws being changed. When people see no way to have unjust laws repealed, they rebel...prohibition comes immediately to mind, along with the fact that we don't sit down for afternoon tea.

Yes, there are many silly laws on the books, there only because nobody wants to waste time going through the books and repealing them, since they are never enforced anyway. Let me know the next time you hear of someone being arrested in Idaho for giving their honey a five pound box of chocolate. I would even go so far as to say there are probably stores there that sell boxes of chocolates that weigh less than fifty pounds. I've heard of no scheduled raids to shut them down.

Thanks, grinch, for the offer to explain the foibles of Medicare but it's not necessary. I'm sure you could do an excellent job of it and I doubt I would disagree with your assessments. Why someone would want the entire country operating on similar principles is beyond me.

As far as Obama's thoughts on having more people enrolled as being a good thing, it wouldn't sway me, either. More people in means more money going out and, since the money coming in would be far less than the money going out, more people would simply magnify the cost. No smooth delivery by Obama would convince me otherwise.
Denise
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177 posted 09-25-2009 11:21 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

We have to make sure none of this government money-grabbing nonsense, which is supposedly about compassion for those without health insurance, being pushed by the 'party of the people' (what a joke) never becomes law.
http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2325.cfm

And for those counting on a subsidy from the government to help offset the cost of purchasing insurance? I heard somewhere else that doesn't kick in until after a person has spent $5500 per year in premiums and copays first.

If the IRS involving itself in your healthcare insurance doesn't make your blood run cold nothing will.

If you are a minimum wage worker or unemployed, and can barely cover your rent, utilities and food, well that's just too bad. If you don't buy insurance you will have to pay a tax penalty, and if you don't come up with that payment you could find yourself in jail for a year and/or a $25,000 fine.

Bob K
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178 posted 09-26-2009 03:18 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          As with many of the scary consequences predicted by Republicans should the government have anything to do with healthcare, your fear of the IRS being involved should the Democrats have their way has been a fact for a while now.  If you wish to take a deduction for healthcare expenses, you have to show healthcare expenses, beyond insurance payments, of over a certain percentage of your income.  The country has so far survived.

     If you're going to show contempt for the Democrats as being the Party of the People, perhaps you might suggest how one might characterize Republicans?  

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
JenniferMaxwell
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179 posted 09-26-2009 06:35 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

If you’re a minimum wage worker or unemployed perhaps going to jail wouldn’t be such a bad thing, at least you’d get fairly decent medical care, care that you couldn’t afford because of exorbitant insurance rates, and you wouldn’t be denied care if you have a pre-existing condition.

Grinch
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180 posted 09-26-2009 08:10 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Can anyone else see the contradiction here?

First we're told that paying for health care for all those people who can't afford it isn't right and that people without insurance are destroying the system. Then were told that that those people who can't afford it are going to end up in the cooler for a year and that isn't right either.

So who's going to end up behind bars?

It won't be the people who can't afford health care - they get it paid out of the contributions paid by everyone else. It won't be the people who can afford health insurance and in fact already have private insurance; they'd be complying with the law. So the only people who'll suffer are those who can afford it and choose not to pay it - those rebels Mike's talking about - and the illegal immigrants who don't have it because they aren't eligible. The folk that Denise insists are bringing down the system with unrecoverable losses.

I honestly don't see any problem with that.

quote:
Why someone would want the entire country operating on similar principles is beyond me.


Because part of the reason Medicare is a flawed system Mike is that it doesn't cover the entire population.

Take a close look at the NHS system in the UK and it’s easy to understand why. There are four segments of the population that are covered under the NHS system.

Those that are too young to contribute
Those that are too old to contribute
Those that are unable to contribute
Those that are able to contribute

The last group are the one's that fund the system - they don't mind though because they get four things out of the system. They get cover when they're too young to contribute, cover when they're too old to contribute, cover when they are unable to contribute and cover while they're contributing. The system works because the last group who put in all the money but who take out almost nothing while they're doing it funds the high costs incurred by the first three groups. It's not perfect, there are some minor flaws in this system that I'll happily point out and some real problems when the balance between groups shifts but on the whole it's a good system.

How does Medicare and Medicaid compare?

We'll the groups are the same. The only difference is that those paying the lions share don't get cover while they're paying. They either have to take out private insurance to fund their own cover, which reduces their ability to contribute to the universal system, or they do without cover and join the masses of the uninsured. Both of these take money and potential benefits out of the universal system and doom it to failure. Medicare and Medicaid has hived off the most costly sector of the population and marginalized and reduced its potential funding base.

So why does it have to be the government that runs a universal system?

The answer is it doesn't. The health care system in the US is generating more than enough funds to cover everyone, only at the moment most of it is going to private entities as profit. In the UK any profit is churned back into the system to keep down costs. If you want a non-governmental universal system all you need to do is make private health care cover compulsory and force the private companies to cover everyone out of the profits they make. Hey presto you'd have universal coverage - though that's about as likely to happen a porcine aerobatics team doing a loop-de-loop over Florida.

It doesn't really matter who runs the health care system as long as all the groups are covered. Though the ideal is that whoever controls the actual health care providers, the doctors and hospitals etc. are the ones who control the purse strings. That way there's real pressure to reduce real cost of health care to maintain adequate cover.

Will it ever happen?

In the UK and other countries it already does. My own personal view is that in the US there isn't a cat in hades chance in the short term. Your health care system will get a few tweaks and band aids, costs will rise, cover will fall and it'll all collapse in a heap at which point you'll have to start again from scratch.

"If I was starting from scratch I'd build a single-payer system"

So would I Mr President, so would I.

.
Balladeer
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181 posted 09-26-2009 09:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

grinch, you called it a Ponzi scheme, which I agree with wholeheartedly, but in a Ponzi scheme people contribute with the hope or promise that they will get more than they put in. With more people taking out, how is it expected to survive? Someone always gets left holding the bag in these schemes.

What are your thoughts about health care in the UK? WIll it continue financially secure? Is it headed for bankrupcy at some point in the future? What would happen if the private insurance part of it were scrapped and the system picked up all the tabs? Would it survive?
Denise
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182 posted 09-26-2009 09:21 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Historically, for the most part, Republicans have been the party of 'smaller government' intrusiveness, although some seem to have forgotten that in recent years, while the Democrats have been the party of 'bigger government', Bob. And if this current plan goes through, it won't be a matter of 'if you wish', any longer, will it?

Maybe you would like to take a poll of those people, Jen, and see if they agree with you that they may be better off fined and/or in jail in order to receive 'free' healthcare. My guess would be that most sane people would rather maintain their freedom and more of their limited financial resources and utilize free health clinics or emergency rooms if needed.

The problem, Grinch, is that it will be the government who determines those who really can't afford it. There are plenty of folks out there who are not technically poor by government standards but can't add a dime to their monthly expenses.

When I was going through a divorce 22 years ago I was earning slightly above minimum wage with two children to support. I thought it would be wise to have a lawyer  represent me during a child custody/visitation hearing. I checked around to get attorney fees for such a hearing. They were beyond my ability so I went to Legal Aid (I had spent my last $900, from a home equity loan, for the divorce). During the consultation I was told that I made 50 cents per hour more than the qualifying salary to receive a free lawyer, and there wasn't any sort of sliding scale to allow for a lawyer at some sort of reduced fee. They only offered free representation or no representation depending on income. I had to go to the hearing unrepresented. At a subsequent hearing for child support (again without representation) I was told there was nothing that could be done to receive payment from my ex since he didn't have a job on the 'books' (He quit his job in order not to continue having child support garnished from his wages (due to failure to pay voluntarily), and found employment 'under the table'), but since it was nothing I could prove, legally there was nothing the court could do for me.

These are the people who will be hurt most, the ones who typically fall between the cracks, not eligible for government aid, but who don't make enough and must go it alone.  
Grinch
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183 posted 09-26-2009 10:05 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike,

It is a Ponzi scheme, of sorts, you just have to get your head around the fact that for the majority of the time they're running there's nothing inherently wrong with Ponzi schemes. Ponzi schemes work absolutely perfectly for 99.9% of the time they're in existence, they work perfectly right up to the 0.1% point at the end of their existence when they spectacularly collapse. The only difference between Universal health care and other Ponzi schemes is scale and the length of time that they are capable of working perfectly. If you get it right a health care ponzi scheme can run for hundreds of years before the inevitable collapse - that's a lot of time when the system is working so in that respect it's a creditable option.

So is it inevitable that it'll collapse?

There's never been a Ponzi scheme that hasn't but health care has one ace in the hole that might just extend its longevity indefinitely. Ponzi schemes fail because the amount going out overtakes the amount going in, in health care the amount going out is directly related to how many people require treatment. While it's true that there's a normal tendency for that number to increase there's also a factor that's working to reduce that number - namely medical advances. If in 20 years they eradicate flu like they've eradicated other diseases the outlay comes down, if cancer is ultimately defeated think of the cost savings. It's arguable whether universal health care can last to see those savings but it's not impossible.

Will the UK system last?

It'll definitely last for a long time because the potential for burning the candle at both ends is so great. The amount I'm paying is a pittance compared to what I'd pay in the US, I could pay three times what I pay now without breaking sweat. So the amount being paid in could be increased. In addition, and if push came to shove, I'm quite happy for some of the cover I get to be reduced if necessary to maintain the system. Which reduces the amount going out. Most people in the UK are of the same mind, there's a consensus that we have a good system, not perfect but definitely worth maintaining.

Would it survive without private insurance?

Absolutely.

Private insurance is paid in addition to national insurance; it's paid by people who want it NOW. What that means is that the public system is effectively getting some of that money for free which funds cover for everyone else. So would the system cope if they had to supply something for that money? The honest answer is probably not but that ignores a very important part of the equation - the extra money that people are paying for Private Insurance. If all that were paid into the NHS it'd more than cover the cost of the increased treatment.

Again Mike I'd like to make it clear that an NHS type system wouldn't work in the US. The American health care system is too entrenched; you'd have to basically start from scratch and to do that you'd need a far greater consensus in favour of such a system.

.
Grinch
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184 posted 09-26-2009 10:23 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
These are the people who will be hurt most, the ones who typically fall between the cracks, not eligible for government aid, but who don't make enough and must go it alone.


You're looking at non-existent cracks Denise.

People who don't have an income don't pay; people who do have an income would pay at source for the public option, those on low incomes would pay a reduced rate. The only people who won't be paying under the proposed system, and consequently end up behind bars, will be the cheats and liars who say they have private cover and haven't.

I say throw away the key.

.
Denise
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185 posted 09-26-2009 10:37 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
And now, we Americans are being deluged with frantic propaganda about two other imminent dangers – a health care system that is so inadequate and expensive that it threatens to bankrupt the nation, and a global-warming climate change that will turn the whole world into a Mad Max hell.

The proponents of drastic measures to avoid these cataclysmic disasters, including our current administration, are virtually screaming the modern equivalent of "THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

And as they do, they urgently propose big-government takeovers as the only possible solution to both alarms. Notice it's not conservative, free-enterprise leaders and thinkers who are making these proposals – it's folks who already favor big government as the answer to everything, and they feel they've found the way to enforce that at last.

I'm just one guy, but I do a lot of thinking, and I have loved this country and the way we normally do things for a long time. I really get nervous, even agitated, when I feel our citizenry is being steamrolled, even bamboozled, into precipitous and likely counterproductive actions. I "got took" by the Y2K snake oil salesmen, and I don't want us to be stampeded into foolish behavior again.

I've got a couple of proposals, but first I'd like to share a few stats from a whale of a speech made by Rep. Bob McEwen to 11,000 students at Liberty University a couple days after President Obama addressed both houses of Congress. See if McEwen's words – far more salient and wise than the president's – don't affect your thinking as they have mine.

He pointed out that the USA has just 4 percent of the world's population. Still, we have contributed – through our free-enterprise system – more of the technological, medical and scientific advances to bless our earth than any other nation. Russia, in comparison, larger than China and Canada together, with huge oil, metals, natural gas and gold reserves, has a GDP (gross domestic product) smaller than New Jersey.

Twenty-six Arab nations, with all their oil billions and other resources apart from their vast land mass, have a GDP less than half that of California. The world's fourth-largest nation, Indonesia (where Barack Obama spent his childhood), also with incredible natural resources and oil reserves, and with 300 million people, has a GDP smaller than Louisiana, with its 4 million people.

As Rep. McEwen asked, "Why is that? What is it that makes our country so much more productive, with so much more to contribute to the whole world, than any other nation on earth?"

And the answer is plainer than the noses on our faces. It's our free-enterprise, independent, voluntary system of living that inspires and enables our people to see something that's needed or wanted – and to create answers and products and methods to meet those needs. In turn, we share it with the world and bless everybody. And yes, incidentally, we do make a profit from all this, enabling us to keep on making other advancements. That's what rankles a lot of other people, most of whom haven't created anything, but resent those who do.

All these other nations not only pour more unfiltered sewage into the world environment, and produce far less that the world really needs – but they are controlled by their governments, some by dictators. In totally socialistic countries, basic human needs may be provided by excessive taxation, but the incentives to innovate and produce are greatly inhibited.

Two things are starkly, incontrovertibly true. In any nation, the greater the freedom, the greater the wealth and opportunity for all. The more oppressive and controlling the government, the greater the poverty and lethargy. When incentive is suppressed, individual initiative is rare.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=111060
Denise
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186 posted 09-26-2009 10:43 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The cracks do exist, Grinch, I've lived it. It is the government that determines 'low-income', and you can be sure it is done to the government's advantage.
Balladeer
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187 posted 09-26-2009 10:56 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, grinch. I appreciate the in-depth reply.
JenniferMaxwell
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188 posted 09-26-2009 11:03 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The point you don’t seem willing to address, Denise, is that there are people in this country suffering and even dying because of a lack of health care. Why don’t most who want it have it -  they can’t afford the insurance that would help them get the care they need or else their insurance won't cover treatment for their condition. I have no insurance and have two pre-existing conditions that I’ll never be able to get covered under a plan I could afford even if I worked two full time jobs. One condition could leave me partially blind and the other could kill me. I’m not the least bit bitter about contributing to Medicare that helps Seniors like yourself. And I’m not asking for a government handout, all I’m asking for is a chance to put in a little more and get some sort of minimal coverage for myself and others in the same boat as I am.

Grinch
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189 posted 09-26-2009 01:04 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
The cracks do exist, Grinch, I've lived it. It is the government that determines 'low-income', and you can be sure it is done to the government's advantage.


There's certainly a potential for cracks Denise and I certainly wouldn't want to minimise any that do exist. I've lived long enough to fall down a few myself but from what I've read about the subsidised payments for the public system your government seems to have this particular crack fairly well covered. If anything they've actually gone over the top.

Your concern doesn't worry me too much but I understand and recognise it as reasonable. The most interesting part of your reply to me however is this:

quote:
and you can be sure it is done to the government's advantage


I've noticed this mistrust of the government before, a general and underlying belief that goes beyond the suggestion that they've inadvertently got something wrong, an unfortunate but understandable failing we all have. There seems to be a real belief among Americans that the government, far from working to your general advancement and well being are actually colluding and scheming against the people with clear intent. When I hear it from people who are opposed to whichever particular party is in the majority I take it as sour grapes. When I hear it from you, who obviously supports your government alarm bells start to ring.

Is this a belief shared by the majority of Americans? If so why?

In the UK we don't like some of the stuff our government does but we put it down to bumbling stupidity rather than the out and out malice that you seem to portray.

Just curious.

[This message has been edited by Grinch (09-26-2009 04:21 PM).]

Bob K
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190 posted 09-26-2009 04:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          I will pass on the free swing at the Republicans.  But thank you for the invitation.

Gratefully yours, Bob Kaven
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191 posted 09-26-2009 04:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

According to polls, it is definitely a feeling shared by the majority of Americans.
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192 posted 09-26-2009 04:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Jennifer, there are things that can be done to address the needs of people like yourself with pre-existing conditions. The GOP has tons of proposals that the Dems won't even listen to, much less consider. It doesn't require a take over of the entire system by the government. They will only make things worse if experience is any indicator.

And as I mentioned before, I am not yet a senior citizen. I've got about 6 1/2 more years to go, so I am still paying into the system.

When the government sets itself up as an advesary of the people, Grinch, instead of its servants, and you fight tooth and nail against their outrageous proposals, and they turn a deaf ear, you tend to mistrust them and question their agenda, and it seems to be a view that is growing with each passing day.

When we came out in force at the Tax Day Tea Parties we were ignored by most and called racists and ptotential right-wing terrorists by others. When we came out in force at the August Town Hall meetings, we were called Nazis, Astro-turf, racists, and right-wing terrorists. When we came out for the March on DC 2 weeks ago, estimates ranging from anywhere from 10,000 to 60,000 to 80,000(main stream media) to 1.5 to 2 million (event organizers, and having been there myself, I'd put the number easily at 1 million) we were again labeled racists, right wing terrorists and rabble-rousers, and we heard from the White House that Obama didn't even know anything was going on in DC that day (even though his helicopter flew right over the mass of people on his way to his next campaign stump).
Grinch
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193 posted 09-26-2009 04:43 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Thanks Mike.

To be honest in my stupidity I thought Jen made the original comment - hence my initial surprise but the more I think of it the more I realise that Americans, at least those I've spoken to don't seem to trust their government.

That's a bit of a revelation to me to tell you the truth and a very interesting revelation.

It explains a lot, it explains why I've been sitting here reading bills like the health care bill and the Internet security bill thinking, "there's nothing sinister here - why all he vitriolic criticism?"

It all makes sense if from your perspective the government is always trying to screw you. Under those circumstances I can understand some of the reactions the bills have received. I guess it's true - you learn something every day.

.
Grinch
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194 posted 09-26-2009 05:04 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Denise,

I'm not sure.

The more I think about it the less sense it makes. If this mistrust of government has always existed and is a belief that's held by the majority of Americans how has your system of government survived?  Where does this belief come from? Is there any evidence that this government - any of your previous governments have actually set out to systematically do the people harm?

I know there are examples where harm has been done - but you seem to infer that it's planned and purposeful - I find that hard to believe and I think I'd find it hard to find any support for that notion in the UK regarding our government.

The government may do some stupid things but there's no doubt in my mind that they're done with the best intentions. To think otherwise is a little alien to me. It may take me some time to digest this.

.
Denise
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195 posted 09-26-2009 06:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It might be in our DNA to mistrust government, Grinch. After all the Constitution was intended to reign in government, to protect the rights of the people from an over-reaching govenrment. And I guess the more power-grabbing and arrogant those in authority appear to be, the more the level of distrust rises.
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196 posted 09-26-2009 07:11 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

So what has your government done in the past that leads you to believe that their sole intention is to stitch you up given half a chance?

I can't think of a single example off the top of my head but there must be one otherwise your mistrust doesn't make much sense.

.

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197 posted 09-26-2009 07:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Grinch, I don't think mistrust of the government is necessarily a bad thing. That's why we have watchdog groups keeping track. People have mistrusted their governments since the days of pyramids and kings. How have we survived? Because governments are smart enough not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. They take what they want but leave enough to keep the citizenry pacified. The old "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is truer nowhere more than in politics. There are decent people in the government and there are those who are not. The public has the final say, after all, and it is their job to keep the decent ones in office and boot the others out. Up until now, they have done a pretty good job of doing so.

I think, with Obama and company, we face our greatest challenge.

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198 posted 09-27-2009 11:32 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

This is a one-question  poll conducted by Yahoo with regards to Obama's actions since becoming president...one  question, no hidden agenda.

It will give you an idea of how people are thinking...
http://js.polls.yahoo.com/quiz/quiziframe.php?poll_id=46067
JenniferMaxwell
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199 posted 09-27-2009 12:14 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I just voted 14 times in that poll. Yahoo polls, by their own admission, are for entertanment purposes only and not scientfic and on many of the polls, such as this one, you can vote as many times as you like. Perhaps that poll's been freeped?

Another recent poll by a far more credible source indicates that of those polled, 65%favor the public option. Does that indicate what the majority of people are thinking?
 
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