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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday July, 18, 2009, Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Joe Battipaglia and Mike Papantonio.
Does Government Run Health Care = Socialist States of America?
GARY B. SMITH: I can understand the government wanting to offer health insurance as an alternative even though they have not managed any health business so far. But this cram-down forced mandate that everyone must have health insurance and sign on to public or private is absolutely ridiculous.
MIKE PAPANTONIO: The American Department of Veterans' Affairs has been a socialized system for decades. They have 150 medical centers and 40 nursing homes, employ 55,000 nurses and 14,000 doctors. Taxpayers pay for that. And you know what? This might be a big shock to you but the truth is Germany, France, Italy, Spain the U.K., Canada, all have the same system that we use for the American Department of Veterans' Affairs. That is working.
JOE BATTIPAGLIA: Socialist nations have had had compact with the people and the sacrifice they have made is for legitimate growth, legitimate entrepreneurship. Now you are turning what could be a privilege into an obligation. You are forcing employers to behave in a way to bend to the government and forcing individuals to sign on for health care whether they want it or not and that is influencing behavior beyond anything and makes government influence greater it society.
PAT DORSEY: Well, one of the big issues we have in this country is we pay too much and get too little. We pay more for health care as a percentage of G.D.P. And our outcomes stink. If you look at the data, the larger the proportion of health care spending that is public and relative to private the less the country spends on health care as a percentage of G.D.P. Those are the facts.
TOBIN SMITH: Mike's point is fabulous for the Veterans' Administration because that is a closed situation. Those are doctors that are on salary. But what he is really telling us is what the Obama agenda is, because this is just the first step. If the Veterans' Administration is your best example of how government health care should be, what you are saying is you want a single payer system that all physicians are paid a salary and that plan is not only socialist, it is probably inconceivable how bad that would be.
15 States Report 10 Percent-Plus Jobless Rate: Is Stimulus Failing?
TOBIN: Obviously it is failing. When the entire assumption in the plan has been proven to be wrong, the plan doesn't work. The great shock would be if they actually admitted it, which politicians wouldn't.
MIKE: Every economist who had a comment about the stimulus plan, whether for or against, all said that the economy that Obama inherited was going to see job losses for a long time. At this point only 15 percent of the stimulus is on the street. Some states are saying they are seeing great returns.
JOE: I think it is absolutely ridiculous. This is not the first stimulus, but the second stimulus. The first was when unemployment is 8.4 percent. Now we are at 10 percent and going higher. This is not a spending plan to get real jobs that last the private sector has to be 'incentivized' to employ capital and form business and hire workers.
GARY B.: Obama came in and said unemployment wouldn't go higher than 8 percent and that we have tens of thousands of shovel-ready projects ready to go and states and cities I will hold you accountable. Yet for all of these police officers and firearms men that Mike says are hired. It is stimulating the unemployment rate.
PAT: It is very hard to measure and I think it is hard to make the case it increased unemployment, but I think it is hard to make the case that it dramatically decreased unemployment. It's just that not much of the money has been dispersed.
Walmart's New 'Green' Push; Proof Government Should Butt Out!
TOBIN: The biggest retailer and capitalist in the U.S. uses the free market and customers to give them feedback in this thing called a democracy and we don't have to have anybody pass a law to get us to behave the way we like. That is why cap and trade is such a crock. This is capitalism. Let it work.
MIKE: I do love Walmart. It doesn't have anything to do with the economy but they have brilliant advertising agencies working for them trying to fix an image problem.
GARY B.: I don't think Walmart cares quite frankly about the image problem. I think they care to the extent that it cuts into their profit. I think Walmart sees it as a chance to make more money. They are giving the customer what they think the customer wants and it will increase market share.