Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Nomination For "The Whitey" - Tom Daschle

There are several ways to eliminate government waste. The best way, of course, is to avoid giving the government any of your money.

That was the subject of a post I did a couple of weeks ago, where I nominated several great Americans for "The Whitey", an award given for hiding money from the government.

Nominees included Hillary Clinton, Timothy Geithner, and the two guys who wheeled a corpse into a convenience store in an effort to cash the dead guy's Social Security check. (Hey, if that dead man's money had gone back to the government, it would've been spent on inaugurations, stimulus programs, or bailouts, instead of drugs and alcohol.) A few commenters made other nominations, but no individual or group received more than one vote.

To complicate matters, we now have another candidate. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, nominee for Secretary Of Health And Human Services, neglected paying $147,000.00 in taxes.

As nominee for the Secretary Of Healthy And Human Services position, Daschle has proposed a Federal Health Board to oversee most, if not all, of our health care system.

This would not be cheap.

Daschle made similar proposals in his recent book "Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis". Here's an escerpt from the Publisher's Weekly review of his book: "The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee necessary health care to all of its citizens, and as former senator Daschle observes, Skeptics say we can't afford to cover everyone.... blah blah blah."

Well, of course we can't afford to cover everyone. So why should Daschle bother giving the government an extra $147,000.00 of his money ? A brilliant move on Daschle's part, especially in light of his consistent support of higher taxes for high earners.

Like Tim Geithner before him, Daschle tried to suck up to the IRS before his confirmation hearing. Yes, he eventually wrote them a check. Yes, that's a tragedy. But at least he tried.

Therefore, I nominate former senator, current lobbyist, and future Obama cabinet member Tom Daschle for The Whitey award.

I also propose that we end these long confirmation hearings immediately, and simply rubber stamp all future cabinet members. With this ghastly crew of tax-dodger nominees, there's no telling how much more tax money they'll discover hidden away in mattresses.

And we wouldn't want to see it wasted.


Anonymous said...

I'll vote for Daschle for the Whitey!

Lisa said...

Well, of course we can't afford to cover everyone.

Really? If health care wasn't a for profit business where half of every dollar spent on health insurance was then spent on lobbying to keep people from using their insurance, viagra commercials, and bonuses I bet we could insure everyone. In addition this would allow businesses to take the money they spend on health insurance and put it back into their business.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Hey Flee,
Regarding Daschle's comment "...we can't afford...". The problem I have is the word "we". He means, "we, the people", i.e. The Federal Government. The problem is, under even a close approximation of a healthcare system "as nice" as we have it now, WE can't afford to cover everyone.

The problem is not the fact that it is a for profit business. The problem is these and other businesses lobby the government to enact regulations (like HIPAA) that cost hospitals $30 Billion (estimated 2007 costs). That $30 Billion gets passed on to - you know who! That doesn't include costs associated with the costs of administering existing healthcare programs...

Why would companies lobby for HIPAA? I know of companies that make many many millions of dollars consulting with healthcare organizations to maintain HIPAA compliance. Why would THEY pay so much? Because the fines would be much greater and would shut them down for sure.

The problem isn't in the 'for profit', when healthcare providers are FREE to compete without the iron hand of government, quality of care increases while costs decrease! Seriously!!

Why on earth would anyone willfully go to a hospital giving crappy service (yet performing to government minimums) and paying so much (it's expensive to abide by all these regulations) when another gives better service/prices??? They wouldn't in a free market - again, we really haven't had one.

Does society have an obligation to care for it's poorer, weaker and sicker who cannot help themselves? YES! But remember, oh remember... SOCIETY does not equal GOVERNMENT!!

Sorry for yelling. I get a little worked up. I'm feeling faint. Oh goodness!! Somebody take me to the county hospital... You need to pay for my spastic heart!!

Dr Ralph said...

TLG - You know I love you, man, but I've got to disagree: society may not equal government, but societies organize government as a mechanism to realize their goals and aspirations --including (I would hope) at least a minimum level of healthcare for all of its members.

Sorry about your heart. I know the notion of universal healthcare gives it palpitations. Take two government-issued aspirins and call me in the morning.

Lisa said...

Amen and thank you Dr. Ralph!

The Whited Sepulchre said...

The main reason "we" can't afford it?
There is no money for it. It has been pissed away on other things.

But let's assume that the Treasury is solvent. Let's assume there's 3 or 4 grand rumbling around in the lockbox for every American citizen.

Why in the world would you want a bureaucrat between you and your doctor? Hell, dealing with the insurance companies between me and my doctor is enough to make me go out in the back yard and dropkick a dachshund.

Why is healthcare expensive? Because it is scarce.
Is it possible to make it less scarce?
End the bottleneck that the medical schools have in place to ration the number of M.D.'s. Also, allow more nurses to perform more procedures and write prescriptions.
And for the love of God, do something to reform lawsuit abuse.
Don't get me started on the influence of insurance companies.

If we could possibly get insurance companies and lawyers out of the doctor's offices and hospitals, I think healthcare costs would be cut in half.

But that wouldn't be "Fair" would it?

Lisa said...

Where has running out of money ever stopped us before?

I am willing to send the $6,000 we are already spending on insurance to a single payer system that does not spend that money on lobbiest and viagra commercials. The only concern of this insurance company would be people's health not keeping them from spending money so higher profits are made. I think if we spend more per capita than any other country and yet we have not spent that money wisely something needs to change. Everyone else is being laid off so why should insurance companies be immune to this?