« Monday Open Thread | Main | Doubling Down - The Only Thing They Know How to Do »

June 07, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

kathy a.

brooks' piece is quite dishonest. it ignores that insurance companies are for-profit, that the voucher proposal will leave medicare recipients without care they need, that elders need and deserve a health-care safety net, and that costs can be better controlled with a few changes. it frames things in that "death panel" kind of pitch, that medicare will remove individual choices - -whereas those left behind without minimal coverage will have no good choices at all. and yes, it completely ignores that other industrialized countries provide better care at less cost, to everyone.

bonds are an investment, right? they may pay out at lower rates than some investments, but they are considered very reliable, no? less risky, and thus "conservative" investments?


This is like the 'economic freedom' index which says that Americans are less free than Australians and therefore we should cancel our social services.

Nevermind Australia has more social programs than us and less freedom of speech.


Where the hell did USA Today get a five trillion dollar deficit?

Sir Charles

The notion that one is made freer by relying on private, for-profit insurers rather than the government is one that I will never understand.

low-tech cyclist

"The current crisis...is a solution neatly divided into two problems. We have people who desperately need work to do. And we have work that desperately needs doing."
-Fred Clark

Every last Democrat in Congress should be saying this at every possible opportunity. Ditto President Obama, every member of his Administration, and every Democrat considering running for Congress next year.

low-tech cyclist

I join SC in absolutely detesting (because I know he's engaging in full sarcasm mode here) the references to U.S. bonds as IOUs, as if they were scraps of paper with "IOU $3" and a signature scrawled underneath. Especially because, for many years in the pre-Internet era, I was taken in by the references to Social Security's trust fund holding nothing but IOUs. (Thank God for the Web, which has enabled so many of us to remedy our own areas of ignorance.) I know those references mislead a lot of people still. And I have no doubt that the people making such references are doing it for the purpose of misleading.


I was taken in as well. It wasn't until much later that it dawned on me that "an I.O.U. (with interest)" is pretty much the freakin' definition of a "bond"!

kathy a.

ltc, i LOVE that conclusion and link. there is a ton of work going undone, work that needs to be done.

Sir Charles

kathy and l-t c,

As someone who has spent 26 years representing pension plans, I assure you that U.S. government bonds are viewed as the safest and surest investment bet out there. Even in an era where such bonds are paying only about 3% interest per annum, virtually every pension plan holds a significant number of them for their stability, liquidity, and ease of selling.

These "IOUs" have withstood revolution, civil war, depression, world wars, and upheavals of every kind imaginable over the last 235 years. The U.S. has never defaulted on these obligations, which makes them the surest thing out there.

And this is reflected in the fact that Uncle Sam can, to this day, only pay 3% interest to creditors who are willing to tie up there money for ten years. This is the markets way of expressing faith in the U.S. economy over the long haul. And we know that markets are never wrong.

Sir Charles

The Fred Clark quote is spot on.

There is so much work to be done -- and so much talent out there being left idle. It's a crime.


That's rich coming from USA Today, the multimillion dollar losing enterprise of Gannett, the most poorly managed and despicable corporation in mass media, except maybe for Tribune Co. Gannett bonds, now THOSE are IOUs

kathy a.

re the UPDATE: wow. those graphs don't make us look too smart. and they don't even deal with our lack of coverage for many citizens, while most of the other countries feature health care for all.

Sir Charles


Yeah, but private enterprise is perfect -- because I said so.


Yeah, we're paying 50, 60, 70% more in GDP terms and leaving 50 million people uninsured. It's great.

The comments to this entry are closed.