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Posted at 2:10 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Do Americans really hate government?

By Greg Sargent

Via Jonathan Bernstein, Brendan Nyhan has a very good post this morning puncturing the myth that Ronald Reagan achieved some kind of grand paradigm shift that decisively turned Americans against government:

While Reagan scored some important legislative successes early in his term and was re-elected on the strength of a timely economic recovery, the evidence that he "transformed Americans' attitude about government" is not well-supported...

Once Reagan took office and began to enact his agenda to reduce the size and scope of government, however, public demand for government actually grew...in other words, rather than decreasing demand for big government, Reagan's presidency actually increased it.

The key takeaway here is that public attitudes towards government are not fixed in stone, and if there's one thing that can get folks to rethink their supposed anti-government bias, it's actual cuts to government. Nyhan worries that Obama has internalized the "phony narrative of Reagan's presidency," and says this "is likely to lead him astray." But I think it's becoming clearer that Obama has not internalized this narrative.

Rather, as I noted below, it seems more and more obvious that Obama and Dems are placing a heavy bet on the very phenomenon Nyhan pinpoints here: People suddenly start to like government once officials start talking specifics about how to downsize it in the real world. Not even Saint Ronald Reagan could talk them out of this apostasy.

Obviously we don't know how Obama will handle Social Security, a key looming test. And he has already embraced spending and wage freezes that do lend rhetorical support to the conservative narrative. But it seems clear that Obama's gestures in the direction of austerity are more about creating a larger vision, a blend of fiscal discipline and sensible government spending, that the public will ultimately judge as preferable to the all-government-is-bad GOP approach. Though the devil will obviously be in the details, it seems clear that Obama and his advisers are very willing -- even eager -- to fight it out on this rhetorical turf. Jon Chait seems to agree.

At any rate, click through to Nyhan's post for charts and numbers and empirical evidence and all that good stuff.

By Greg Sargent  | January 31, 2011; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  budget, deficit  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dems adopting aggressive posture in fight over government spending
Next: Yes, but what will Anthony Kennedy say?

Comments

Only anarchists "hate" all government. True conservatives only "hate" government expanding beyond what was allowed. Americans do not hate a government that wins WWII for instance.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Most people don't bet IF they bet WHEN a repeat of Egypt will play out in this country. The current govt we have is unsustainable not only in cost but in corruption. There isn't much left to steal. If you look very hard you will see the same conditions here that are taking the Egyptian govt down now. Obama can't shut the federal govt down fast enough. Besides Barry has been quoted as saying he doesn't enforce laws he doesn't agree with. Most of us don't vote for candidates we don't trust. Trust gone as is Obama.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | January 31, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"Nyhan worries that Obama has internalized the "phony narrative of Reagan's presidency," and says this "is likely to lead him astray." But I think it's becoming clearer that Obama has not internalized this narrative."

You keep saying things like this, Greg, but where is the evidence? Seriously. Everything Obama has done since the Mid-Terms evinces a pronounced Right turn (from an already Centrist position), especially all the new Third Way/Triangulation hires in the WH. I suppose you HOPE that Obama isn't turning into Bill Clinton (or Ronald Reagan for that matter) but is not analysis. It certainly isn't evidence.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I think I presented some evidence -- the new DCCC ads which directly engage the issue, and Obama's SOTU, which doubled down on government as crucial to securing our future. and I made clear that the devil will be in the policy details...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 31, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"True conservatives only "hate" government expanding beyond what was allowed."


True conservatives hate Reagan?

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 31, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1, no we don't.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"the new DCCC ads which directly engage the issue"

That's thin gruel. They ain't the President, among other things.

"and Obama's SOTU, which doubled down on government as crucial to securing our future"

Well, he didn't say: "Government is not the solution. Government is the problem." Any anti-anti-government interpretation beyond that is just reaching for pleasing interpretations.

"and I made clear that the devil will be in the policy details..."

Well, that's for certain. Which is my point. Obama hasn't DONE anything to warrant your confidence and he's hardly even SAID anything that conveys he is planning a spirited defense of government. I mean, I sure hope you're right but it's just wishful thinking unless and until it actually happens.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "The all-government-is-bad GOP approach."

You are better than this, Greg.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 31, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Everyone hates government until they need it. Like lawyers. Conservative just hate everything. They are from the Prof. Wagstaff school: Whatever it is, I'm against it.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 31, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

There is a big dichotomy in conservative thinking about military vs ordinary domestic spending. The former, and all defense companies, are favored recipients of gov't largesse under conservatives starting with Reagan. All domestic spending, especially that going to the lower half, is suspect, bad, should be cut.

Spending rose under Reagan and Bush II because of the national security state.

What conservatives hate is government spending on other people. They support handouts and bailouts and breaks for business and the rich but no one else. Everyone else is on their own.

Posted by: Mimikatz | January 31, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Is it the size of government or the performance og government we care about? I have no clue as to the size vs efficiency equation.I would assume that it should not take 5 gov employees to screw in a light bulb. I do know that I have every right to know that they perform effieiently and in the best interest they are appionted to serve.President Obama is correct that periodic looks at the gov size should be conducted and changes made on those recommendations, Additionally that process should not be just rhetoric and scheduled to occur years from now.If our gov is too large it should be fixed now.I do not see much effective action However. these studies have been coducted in the past and the end result usualy increases vs the reduction.

Posted by: cliffc1 | January 31, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne "Which is my point. Obama hasn't DONE anything to warrant your confidence and he's hardly even SAID anything that conveys he is planning a spirited defense of government. I mean, I sure hope you're right but it's just wishful thinking unless and until it actually happens."

The "What Does Obama Really Believe" narrative in action.

All of this is just talk until Obama submits his budget for the year. That's when we'll see his "blend of fiscal discipline and sensible government spending".

Posted by: jnc4p | January 31, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Only anarchists "hate" all government. True conservatives only "hate" government expanding beyond what was allowed. Americans do not hate a government that wins WWII for instance.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse"

A war that conservatives kept us out of for over two years, by the way, then was won by an extremely liberal federal government.

Posted by: Observer691 | January 31, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

"All of this is just talk until Obama submits his budget for the year. That's when we'll see his "blend of fiscal discipline and sensible government spending"."

Of course. And everything that actually HAS happened since the Mid-terms shows a pronounced move to the Right (or Center, if you prefer), beginning with the tax cuts for the Rich and culminating in a whole batch of Third Wayers (DLC) being moved into key WH posts. There is also the roses-and-kisses to the Chamber of Commerce and Big Business generally, Carol Browner departing, NAFTA-esque trade agreements in Korea and SOuth America and much more than I care to catalogue. All of it shows movement to the Right. All of it.

But you are correct, much of that is preliminary. The Administration's budget numbers will tell the tale, not the spin.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Harry Reid Takes Social Security 'Off The Table' (VIDEO)

At an event with progressive activists last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took major Social Security cuts and privatization completely off the legislative table.

"As long as I'm the Majority Leader, I'm going to do everything within my legislative powers to prevent privatizing or eliminating Social Security," Reid said. "I'll simply say it's off the table."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/harry-reid-takes-social-security-off-the-table.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 31, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Us folks gripe loudly as our sewage, water, street repair, garbage, police, fire services are cut back.
Here in Washington State, we are VERY angry at our Governor because of the cuts (GOP especially angry). Not much mention that We voted all tax increases DOWN! (especially failed due to the GOP and Tea-Baggers).

Why? Why are voters (especially GOP and Tea-Baggers) so mentally brain washed that they CAN'T UNDERSTAND that BECAUSE of a current still exploding population of more than 7 BILLION people . . . . .
we Can't cut Government Services - we HAVE to expand them!
GEEZE! How Stupid!

Posted by: lufrank1 | January 31, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The so-called revolt against government spending was a reaction to the anti-poverty programs of the "Great Society" and then the drive for affiramtive action. In other words, spending on "other people", non-white, mostly. Remember (if you are old enough, the iconic "Welfare queens" of Reagan mythology. The Right mobilized the same kinds of resentments we see today against spending on social problems, poverty problems etc to the point where they are almost non-existent today.

Posted by: Mimikatz | January 31, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

President Obama says the rich have it easy compared to the poor.

It's the same with countries.

In a rich country, the Government was able to help some people pursue happiness without preventing other people from pursuing their happiness.

In a debt ridden country, what the Government spends to help one person pursue happiness harms the ability of other people to pursue their happiness.

The US is now a debt ridden country.

We no longer have the easy way out of using wealth accumulated over generations to buy easy solutions.

It was nice being rich, but that's over.

That's why historic data cited in this article is obsolete.

Cutting Medicare to fund Obamacare was the tip off that the good old days are gone.

The next issue will be whether the country repays the $2.6 Trillion of IOUs sitting in the Social Security Trust Fund or funds other programs.

Then, there are the Government employee pensions and lifetime healthcare obligations coming due. Pay them and very little is left for schools, police and fire.

Tax the rich more and their money flees the country. You get the pleasure of sticking it to the rich, but you end up with very little more in tax collections - just like other debt ridden nations.

Hard choices are coming.
Someone will suffer whatever choice is made.
People know that.
That's why people are fighting for their right to pursue their happiness.

Posted by: jfv123 | January 31, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Observer691, none of those conservatives are alive (which is why I used the present tense). An argument can also be made that we would have lost that war had we not waited until Pearl Harbor. By the way,Thomas Jefferson was a LIBERAL for his day, but I doubt you would say that about a slaveholder today.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Federal Judge in Florida Rules ObamaCare Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional
http://blogs.forbes.com/davidwhelan/2011/01/31/breaking-news-florida-judge-rules-against-obamacare-individual-mandate-unconstitutional/

The ruling states that ObamaCare’s individual mandate "unconstitutional" and "not severable"-- declaring the entire act "void."

VOID! ROTFLMAO!

Let the carpet gnawing and Leftist muttering begin!

*gnash teeth!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 31, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void."

http://www.scribd.com/doc/47905955/Vinson-opinion

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 31, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

That judges decision is DOA.

Enjoy your battle won.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 31, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

VOID! Now that is a beautiful ruling.

I love the sound of commie-Leftist jaws hitting the ground.

*crickets chirp*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 31, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Supreme Court, here we come!

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "The all-government-is-bad GOP approach."

You are better than this, Greg.

Posted by: sbj3

SBJ You obviously do not read the weekend threads or pay attention to your fellow righties. WTF are you talking about SBJ.
Just yesterday within the span of about 8 hours I had to repost my thread showing that the Federal Gov't's Socialized medicine...the VA was outperforming the private sector to point out to your righty friends that their gratuitous shots at Gov't not being able to do anything well were literally ignorant...as in factually wrong!!!!!

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_29/b3993061.htm

What did your patron saint advocate SBJ...what kind of anti government mood did St. Ronnie..much to his DIScredit release on the land....

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

For all the good he may have done...and I give him credit as a cheerleader even if his policies were disastrous for our nation...that stupid sentence has scarred our political debate for the past four decades. It was a moronic thing to say.
Cute in a Brigade sort of way...but also ignorant in a Brigade sort of way.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

KaddafiDelendaEst,

I have seen you rage against all things to the left of...facism(?). Are you like Prof. Wagstaff?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cry-4pyy8

I doubt it. I've yet to see anything resembling a sense of humor in any of your posts.

Tell me, is there anything that you're for?

Posted by: wiccan | January 31, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Scr8w Reagan and the miserable horse he rode in on for that quote about gov't employees. The same folks who keep our drinking water safe. He can go to hell.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 31, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

From Politicalwire.com

"Bonus Quote of the Day

"Heck, all they needed to do was to ask him, 'Hey, Todd, have you been hanging out with hookers in Anchorage'?"

-- Sarah Palin, quoted by the New York Daily News, about the "recent b.s. about Todd being all caught up in this prostitution ring in Anchorage."

Posted by: Liam-still | January 31, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"the VA was outperforming the private sector"

totally different systems, patient populations and control. EHR is used throughout the VA system. and the VA has limits its drug formulary to control costs. have to be very careful when making comparisons between a closed shop with limited facilities, like the VA, and the private health care "system."

VA is doing some great research on traumatic brain injuries. But would I expect them to be leading the way in pediatric cardiology?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 31, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

""You are better than this, Greg.""

All evidence to the contrary?

Unfortunately, sbj, Greg routinely relies on these types strawman caricatures of conservatives. It is nothing new.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@NoVA I've allowed in the past that the VA certainly benefits from being a "closed" system...most especially in the area of ER burdens. The VA covers a group with "universal access"...wow what a concept. Do we suppose we could cut costs quickly by moving patients from the ER when they don't have an emergency to a primary care physician?

I certainly take your point about the VA doing better with traumatic brain injuries versus pediactric cardiology given their patient base...however that doesn't change the actual fact that the Gov't has done better than the private system in significant areas such as making sure the patient gets the right prescription...the VA was almost 3% more accurate than the private system. The VA beats the privates in several other areas that the privates do not have a handicap. Read the article it's from Business Week...hardly a lefty publication.

Bottom line is...NO the Gov't does not screw up everything and in fact has done a very credible job in medicine once the Congress decided to fund the VA adequately.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

All, a constitutional law professor comments on the ruling finding HCR unconstitutional:

http://wapo.st/hbpT20

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 31, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding7

From the article:

"The biggest lesson? A nationwide health-care network that gets its funding from a single payer can institute mighty changes. Proponents of national health-care reform extrapolate even further. "The VA proves that you can get better results with an integrated, organized, national health-care system," says Dr. Lucian Leape, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and a leading expert on hospital safety. "We will not achieve even close to the level of quality and safety we need [in the U.S.] as long as we have individual practitioners and hospitals doing individual things.""

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_29/b3993061.htm

Of course, single payer isn't what actually passed. Note also the comments that the VA is immune to malpractice lawsuits which helps reduce costs as well.

The other main problem is that the improvements cited were primarily the result of a change of leadership at the organization imbuing it with accountability. As the article notes:

"Kizer, the turnaround's architect, was forced out in 1999 when Congress refused to reconfirm him after he closed hospitals in key districts."

Whether you want the rest of the health care system run this way with no choices available if the leadership isn't as inspired as the VA's was in the 1990's is something else.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 31, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see your larger point about the gov not being a total screw-up. my fault on that. but the argument that gov does everything wrong is pretty silly. I'd argue it's doing too much at too high a price, but that's different entirely.

but the article does note one of the biggest threats to the VA --- Congress. and not just funding. Also the VA bills private insurance first. so it's not a true single payer.

"We will not achieve even close to the level of quality and safety we need [in the U.S.] as long as we have individual practitioners and hospitals doing individual things." And there you have it. it would take an unimaginable culture change in the medical community to move toward a VA system. I'd also love to see data on patient compliance. It's one thing to have a 99% success rate in dispensing the right meds. Quite another to have patients actually take it. Ancedotally, I've heard that VA patients are model ones -- they're used to following orders :) But non-compliance is a huge problem otherwise and I'm not sure you'd see the same quality results even if you used your magic wand and put VA systems in all the hospitals in the country.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | January 31, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Here we go with the VA again. the disparity between the population served by the VA and the general population is simply too large for extensive comparison.

Further, the ability of the VA to winnow out those clinical issues it has no "mandate" to address simplifies the entire delivery system.

You can't just toss out the fact that the VA doesn't do pediatric cardiology. Someone has to and that someone also does the things the VA does too. That adds complexity and competition for scare resources.

For personal reasons (not about myself Liam-still so don't start lying about me again.) I am glad that the VA is good with TBIs.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 31, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

[wiccan bedwet: "I have seen you rage against all things to the left of... facism(?)."]

Comrad_wiccan should learn to accept the fact that fascism is Leftist.

Dr. John Ray has exhaustively demonstrated that Hitler was indeed a Leftist.
http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id9.html

For those who wish to explore the subject in greater depth, a useful recent resource would be a book by an expert on Italian Fascism: “The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the 20th Century”, by A. James Gregor.
http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Janus-Marxism-Fascism-Twentieth/dp/0300078277

Gregor exhaustively demonstrates that Fascism and Nazism modelled their methods on the atheistic Marxism of Lenin and Stalin; and that the Fascist idea of adding nationalism to socialism was later taken up by Stalin and Mao— so that (in the end) Fascism and Communism were merely twin atheistic Marxist sects. Thus, during the era of their big confrontation, Soviet Russia and Maoist China were perfectly correct in accusing one-another of being “fascists.”

100s of millions of corpses don’t lie. That’s one big steaming pile your Leftist dogs left in history’s living room. Own it, “progressives”.

*Just Say No to Pelosi-Care Death Panels*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 31, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

My my:
====================
Scr8w Reagan and the miserable horse he rode in on for that quote about gov't employees. The same folks who keep our drinking water safe. He can go to hell.
=======================

When Reagan passed hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens lined up for days to walk past his bier.

How many hundreds of thousands will do the same for you Chuck? Won't you actually be lucky if a neighbor's dog does what dogs do on the mound of earth covering your miserable remains?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 31, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Smell the grapeshot powder in the decision.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/47905280/vinsonruling1-31-11

"It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

*TEA-tastic!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 31, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Kagan is going to be forced to recuse herself.

So, even if Kennedy sides with the liberal justices, a 4-4 deadlock means that the Supremes will defer to the decision made by the lower court, meaning the circuit court which handled it before them.

That will be the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta and covering Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

*Game Over*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 31, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@NoVA

Agree with all of your points. BTW I am not for a socialized solution...I agree with your observations about "culture change".

My personal preference was a Medicare for all. It's already set up and there is a clear business model to follow...that is some Gov't fundamental support...meaning that the weight of the Gov't could hopefully begin to clear up the excesses of "procedure" based medicine...that is which procedure makes the provider the most money...not necessarily which is the most effective. I realize there would be wrangling each year about "what" gets covered..but that's OK simply move the wrangling to the least partisan body possible...NIH? Don't know you seem better informed than me NoVA on how to accomplish this and you can pick the agency.

Of course this doesn't end the private insurance system at all and indeed would probably get them new customers, albeit at much lower rates. Every middle class person I know on Medicare has to also purchase "supplemental" private insurance to cover the co pays...generally approximately 20% of the bill
.
This would also be the case for everyone else. Young people would still try to go naked but with Medicare covering the bulk of any debt incurred by "uninsured" patients only the most irresponsible would be forced into bankruptcy...although many might incur some large debt if they didn't purchase the supplemental..say on the order of student loan debt...their fault for going naked...and Medicaid or some other form of assistance...even an R model of vouchers for the poor to purchase their private "supplemental" insurance...in fact seems to me we could eliminate Medicaid altogether if EVERYONE was already covered in some fashion.

So there's my plan NoVA...Medicare for all with private supplemental insurance...and "vouchers" for the poor to be able to purchase this "private" supplemental insurance. Simple...neat..clean..something Americans understand and a win win since the private insurance companies are still free to compete for all the new customers who will need supplemental insurance.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

This is the part that liberals don't get:
===========
It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.
=====================

Hello, Mr Sargent, here is a history lesson for you. America was born with a healthy distrust of government. And before the liberals got their hands of the education system, most high school grads understood this.

that's why folks like you just don't seem to get it (or don't want to get it, take your pick). Yes there are folks on SS joining the tea party. Why not? to them their SS is just getting their money back. They still massively distrust the government and they have a life time of good reasons to do so.

I think that the liberals hope America will buy a version of "this time it will be different" as in Americans should feel confident in giving more and more power to the boys and girls in DC. They would NEVER become the despots we've seen elsewhere.

Sorry, but the 2010 election proved that the left can't make that sale.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 31, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The government created the "procedure based" methods about which you complain.

the fee for service system has its down sides, I don't deny that. but what will suffice as a replacement?

My concern about this:"We will not achieve even close to the level of quality and safety we need [in the U.S.] as long as we have individual practitioners and hospitals doing individual things."

Is that it simply accelerates regulatory drift toward what amounts to the "one right way".

Quality should measure outcomes and cost. Cost, while complex, can be reasonably well measured. But the health care industry has resisted outcomes measurement for decades. It is only now being recognized as a valid metric for delivery systems.

If we have reasonable measures for cost and outcome, we don't have to go to the "one right way". Instead we can have millions of "experiments" leading to innovative new ways to treat diseases.

My problem with the Medicare for all approach is that is it is unsustainable. Medicare has not been effective in controlling cost or in eliminating fraud.

As a variation on that theme, though, a voucher system that allowed beneficiaries to buy insurance in an open market might make sense. Further, providing some financial incentive to patients that limits utilization as has advantages. There is a reason why commerical insurance co pays only go up. Co pays reduce utilization as the actuaries in Hartford have know for years.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 31, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

skippy...please dont' deign to speak for all Americans you arrogant arse!!!
YOU DO NOT! You certainly don't speak for ME and I suspect a plurality of posters on this blog would NEVER have you speak for them!
In fact I'm very embarrassed that our nation has such boorish, selfish arses as you!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Tax the rich more and their money flees the country. You get the pleasure of sticking it to the rich, but you end up with very little more in tax collections - just like other debt ridden nations."

Great American Patriots, one and all. Once they leave don't let them come back. Le them enjoy Hong Kong forever.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@rukidding7 "So there's my plan NoVA...Medicare for all with private supplemental insurance...and "vouchers" for the poor to be able to purchase this "private" supplemental insurance. Simple...neat..clean..something Americans understand and a win win since the private insurance companies are still free to compete for all the new customers who will need supplemental insurance."

This actually has merit, but in practice we would probably end up with something closer to Medicaid for all as the base system. But as long as there's a safety valve where you can purchase supplemental coverage on top of what the government provides it would probably work. Much like the public education system has a safety valve where you can send your kids to private school if you don't want them to go to the public schools.

However, I don't think there will be any vouchers for the pool. They will end up with just the base Medicaid for all system.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 31, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

No surprise to me that skip don't get it.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 31, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Long before Obama " the Mesiah" came along, there was Reagan "the Mesiah", To me the Reagan was an average President who had the most damaging phrase when he declared the government was the problem, not the solution. That comment polarized our nation, coagulating the conservative party to hate all that is government. We would have been better served if Reagan would have declared the problem is not big government but badly managed government and then he could of engaged all americans on how we can rectify it so as to better serve all americans. I would be more inclined to praise the B Movie actor that ended up leading our nation.

Posted by: richmonet | February 3, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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