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Senator Coburn Presents "Subsidies Of The Rich And Famous"

Tyler Durden's picture


As the super-committee seems more and more likely to hit a brick-wall, we present with no comment, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma's 'helpful' prose:

Dear Taxpayer,

Americans are facing tough times. Millions are still out of work. Wages remain stagnant, while health care costs, tuition, and other household cost continue to rise. Many homeowners owe more for their houses than they are worth.


With families across the country struggling to make ends meet during these economically trying times, many are left with few options so they are turning to the government – some very reluctantly – for assistance. The government safety net has been cast far and wide, with almost half of all American households now receiving some form of government assistance. But most taxpayers will be asking why when they learn who is receiving what.


From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working. This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations.


This is not an accidental loophole in the law. To the contrary, this reverse Robin Hood style of wealth redistribution is an intentional effort to get all Americans bought into a system where everyone appears to benefit.


“Everybody can have a free lunch,” explains Howard Leikert, supervisor of school nutrition programs for the Michigan Department of Education, where a new federal program is providing all students, regardless of their families’ incomes, free school meals in select areas.


But not everyone can have a free lunch. Ultimately someone must pay for each of the lunches being given away. Furthermore, not everyone needs a free lunch. The real result of serving everyone a piece of the pie is less is leftover for those truly in need.


Some economists argue “if we think that the rich are getting too much of the economic pie, then they should be taxed more.” This is no different than taking a dollar from one pocket and putting it into another in the same pair of pants. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs.


Even in these difficult times, the United States remains a land of opportunity and not everyone is in need of government hand outs. The income of the wealthiest one percent of Americans hasrisen dramatically over the last decade. Yet, the federal government lavishes these millionaires with billions of dollars in giveaways and tax breaks.


The government’s social safety net, which has long existed to catch those who are down and help them get back up, is now being used as a hammock by some millionaires, some who are paying less taxes than average middle class families. Comprehensive information on the full range of government benefits enjoyed by millionaires has never been collected previously. This report provides the first such compilation. What it reveals is sheer Washington stupidity with government policies pampering the wealthy costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year.


These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Millionaires also borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college.


On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009. Fleecing the taxpayer while contributing nothing is not the American way.


Americans are generous and do not want to see their fellow citizens go without basic necessities. Likewise, we expect everyone to contribute and to demonstrate personal responsibility. Government policies intended to mainstream wealth redistribution are undermining these principles. The tragic irony is the wealth in these cases is trickling up rather than down the economic ladder. The cost of this largess will thus be shared by those struggling today and the next generation who will inherit $15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream. These consequences are the results of shortsighted spending and tax policies like those outlined in this report that should be eliminated.


Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
U.S. Senator


Coburn Taxes


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Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:22 | 1892271 GenX Investor
GenX Investor's picture

Gonna be a lot more than $15T passed on.  Our kids are going to be earning a living with new zimbabwe congressional duckets.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:44 | 1892365 wanklord
wanklord's picture

What’s all the uproar?
It seems that most of Americans never bothered themselves to learn living within their means, save some money, plan for the future, get a decent education and avoid credit at all.

The blame must be placed specifically on the so-called Baby Boomers, a failed generation who really enjoyed the prosperity of the 50s and 60s; instead, they focused all of their deprived intellect in experimenting with all types of drugs and having very promiscuous sexual lives. These people have done nothing for this country and now they are so scared of potentially not being able to collect their government entitlements (paradoxically, they are the majority).

Therefore, America as a broken society is now paying the consequences of its own greed, lack of common sense and stupidity.

Someone said that Americans are just a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue. The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so the ignorant populace will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means – and stop blaming the government, since they don’t give a crap about people’s grievances.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:56 | 1892426 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Could you at least type something original once in a while? Your copypasta is getting very stale.

Of course, the funniest thing about your rants is that they fail to serve your interests, instead causing people to react against your ideas, rather than accepting them.

Keep up the good work! Boomers are counting on you.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:26 | 1892737 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Rich capitalists pay 15% capital gains tax

99.9% labor pay 20-50% federal+state+FICA tax


The roads are subsidies to truck companies

The public schools are subsidies to any company that hires brains

The wars are subsidies to war profiteers


The elites have gotten you to pay the most taxes (in terms of percentage) so that you can't grow wealth while they profit the most form you buying junk.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:15 | 1892876 Cole Younger
Cole Younger's picture

Business's collect taxes, they don't pay them. Get rid of bussiness taxes and you will see the cost of goods and services go down. Your personal tax however, will go through the roof....something politicians really don't want you to look at...

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 08:53 | 1893828 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

It's cute to think businesses can pass on any and all costs to the customer, but the market demonstrates otherwise with the exception of products with inflexible demand like healthcare and gasoline.

Get rid of business taxes...and costs of goods and services will remain the same while bonuses go up.

You probably believe that businesses spend extra cash "creating jobs" (instead of by demand for product making more work to be done) too.


Fri, 12/30/2011 - 09:08 | 2021281 glenn17
glenn17's picture

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Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:54 | 1893344 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture


Shit man, check your facts!  "99.9% labor pay 20-50% federal+state+FICA tax"

Over 50% of the U.S. pay zero taxes (that's 0) at all!  So, I must be reading the wrong shit or something...?

You're on here a lot, I mean everywhere I look.  I'm thinking maybe you'd be paying the taxes that the top 20% (maybe even 1/32nd of what I pay) of the country does if you would apply the same energy to getting a job.  Something to consider my fellow "bloke".


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:04 | 1893477 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

wanklord: the boomers are a failed generation because they took advantage of the prosperity of the fifties and sixties and "experimented" (my quotes) with drugs and promiscuous sex?  and your definition of a successful generation is ...?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:06 | 1893482 Alasdair
Alasdair's picture

Check YOUR facts, please.  No one pays zero taxes.  There are some people who are so damn "lucky" to make such little income that they pay no INCOME tax, but even those sorry bastards pay FICA tax.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:34 | 1893520 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

OK numbskull, for the umpteenth time FICA is not a tax.  It is not an entitlement.  It is your money for retirement.  If you so easily give it up to the government as a "tax" or an "entitlement," you better believe the assholes in Washington will just take your money and you'll never see it again.  A deal is a deal.  That FICA money is still ours. If a poor person pays FICA, it's not the government's's still that person's money.  If you wanna just give up yours as a "tax" or an "entitlement," you dumb.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:53 | 1893543 Cugel
Cugel's picture

I agree with Tater's general point, but you're wrong here. The money you paid in to Social Security has already been spent. It's just gone. And when you demand it back, the only way they can make you whole is to reach out and take the money!

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 10:22 | 1893882 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

Nonsense.  Unless we demand that the government live up to its obligations, we deserve to get hosed.  The first step in that demand is to figure out, with accuracy, what's rightfully owed.  If you so easily give up what is right, you deserve to have what is wrong.......or.......nothing.  If you can't figure out the difference between a tax and FICA, you're likely a Democrat or a "compassionate Conservative" who wants higher taxes and more government spending (all in the name of "helping the poor" and "the children"......barf)   

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 15:17 | 1894370 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

What is a tax? it is money in government's control.

FICA is a flat tax. It is money to US government who promises to give it back.

You can argue that even income tax is not a real tax because people get it back....except instead of a check, you get it back in terms of government services.

But in the end all taxes are money to your government's control.

Also, correctly as others have put it, EVERYONE pays taxes. 50% pays no income because their income is shit. but if they own a house they are paying real estate taxes that in republican Texas can even exceed the income.


Government gets your monye one way or another: no state income tax? then high real estate tax and/or sales tax. No sales tax, high income tax. Low taxes, but tons of required "fees". No taxes of any kind, well to get ahead in life, government forces you to borrow for your college degree from private institutions (non-profit hedge funds) whereas even shithole 3rd world countries provide job training for free.


The question is not how come 50% doesn't pay INCOME taxes, but whether the tax system is fair or not. But the elites have pitted high wage earners against low income folks as a proof that taxes are bad:

(1) bottom 50% no income tax and bunch of government welfare. (democrats love 'em)

(2) )college educated globally competitive white collar corporate slaves 25-35% income tax + 5-10% state income tax + student loan debt "tax" ($500~1000 for 10~30 years), real estate tax  in places with good schools where they pay the state to raise highly educated next corporate slave.

But the real assholes are the capitalists...

(3) $100,000,000+ in assets but pay only 15% capital gains tax, 0% state income tax by establishing residency in Texas, Wyoming, Florida, etc. while owning businesses that operate  in high tax states, no student loan tax as most of them simply inherited wealth,  low real estate taxes since they dont' care about schools and can live anywhere. (republicans love 'em)


Republicans want to cut government services by lowering capital gains taxes (exactly what Bush did) by quoting people in group (2), while democrats want to raise taxes on group (2) by quoting people in group (1).


When you get $2000/year tax cut when your school system becomes shit and you have to shell out $20,000/year for private school WHILE paying high taxes. You didn't get ahead as a middle class in group (2). While Paris Hilton just saved $20,000,000 in one year.


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 16:41 | 1894479 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

Do the poor people who pay zero Federal Income taxes also get a pass from paying sales tax, excise tax, property taxes and every other tax in this country?  Don't think so.  And it's also bullshit to claim FICA isn't a tax when the government makes you pay it. 

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 17:44 | 1894558 jfree
jfree's picture

FICA is a TAX. The Supreme Court said so in 1960 in Flemming v Nestor. The original SS legislation said so. There is NOTHING about Social Security that is a legal entitlement or a payment for some future benefit. Social Security is not insurance  (see the Amish legal battle against that government propaganda). It is not a legal right or entitlement. Legally, there is NO - ZERO - connection between the money that comes into the program - and money that goes out. Which means that the money that comes in is a TAX.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:57 | 1892429 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

* 'living beyond your means',... and the winner is, "Traffic, featuring Winwood" 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:30 | 1892752 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

debt = living beyond your means


what most American consumers don't realize is that home mortgages are living beyond your means


this goes for governments as well.


debt = power to keep the status quo


middle class got fucked long time ago but kept their status through debt. No more debt and middle class are finding out the their true status  as slaves


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:51 | 1893205 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they'll never save the dollar, so why do all you fools say that you have to live within your means??  if you do not hold debt during ZIRP, you are a dope.  Just diversify your income/investments with sources that follow the rise in inflation.   

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:57 | 1892430 Chump
Chump's picture

Why not just write this once and then link to it, since it seems to be your opus?  Junked this weak sauce.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:01 | 1892448 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Not to mention they were suppose to teach the younger generations. Some of the ignorance of the younger generations can be attributed to the Boomers.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:06 | 1892483 Chingalay
Chingalay's picture

Try using the left hand for a while. It will help balance things out.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:57 | 1892839 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Wanklord.... your words inspired me to login to say " You are a Pud!"


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:58 | 1892841 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

dear mr. wanklord. - well you do admit to being the lord of the wankers.  wonder exactly what wonderful culture it is that you come from?

i'm a baby boomer.  and i'm as promiscuous as i can possibly be.  if there are any females in your family not resembling the royals - please have them contact me.  an evening of moderate amounts of cocaine, champagne and sex can be quite enjoyable.

:) - even if you did marry for the coverup




Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:57 | 1893349 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture


You sound just like the little dicked dudes in Highschool I used to beat the crap out of.  You really don't get laid, you just beat off a lot, I guess no one's counting though.

Besides, if you were the f'n crem-de-la crem, you wouldn't be on here bragging about it now would you?!



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 23:55 | 1893458 chindit13
chindit13's picture

The first of those Boomers graduated from college and hit the workforce around 1968.  As is so abundantly clear, there has been absolutely no technological innovation, no discovery of new knowledge, no advances in medicine, and nothing whatsoever that bettered the human condition since 1968.  Thus, there is your "proof" of the dissolute nature of the Boomers.

Also, the current levels of debt and meager job prospects in the US and other long-time OECD countries have nothing whatsoever to do with the emergence of 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians who are trying to climb out of the poverty that has surrounded them for the last few millennia.  That occurence, which would never have been allowed by wiser subsequent non-Boomers, should have been seemless to the point of being invisible.

Every single problem and challenge facing the world today stems from the promiscuous nature of those lazy Boomers, and American Boomers at that.  Would that we could all be like that new Greatest Generation, the British Football Hooligans, most of whom "prefer a pint to a pussy".  Isn't that right, wanklord?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 16:18 | 1894452 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

there has been absolutely no technological innovation, no discovery of new knowledge, no advances in medicine, and nothing whatsoever that bettered the human condition since 1968

Good point, but someone deserves credit for figuring out how to put cheese into spray-cans.  Truly life hasn't been the same anywhere since EZCheez.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 18:45 | 1894638 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You are so right!  I graduated high school in 1967, saw a little college, 4 years of Air Force, then more college.   The world is just the same old garbage pit it was back then.   I sure do miss my Princess Phone.   My first calculator could perform all 4 mathematical functions and only cost $50 or so.   My first "transistor radio", made by Zenith, even had a full AM band and cost about $60.  It was made in Japan.   Those are 1960s dollars.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:24 | 1892276 Corn1945
Corn1945's picture

The proper solution is to end subsidies for everyone. However, I doubt Senator Coburn will agree to that.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:38 | 1892340 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

+ 15 Trillion

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:08 | 1892495 Mark701
Mark701's picture

No that's not the solution. Ending tax breaks for people who don't need them as well as for corporations that pay ZERO taxes is the solution.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:21 | 1892730 Corn1945
Corn1945's picture

Corporations don't pay taxes as it is. They simply pass the costs on to the customers.

All corporate taxes should be zero for business of all sizes. The US is desparate for jobs yet wants to attract capital with ZIRP, zero growth, and one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Either respect genuine capital and genuine capital holders, or enjoy the foodstamps. Because the US is getting poorer and poorer with it's large government that caters soley to the non-producers on Wall Street.

Eventually, global capital will flee towards economies that are actually functioning instead of buying toilet paper Treasuries.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:17 | 1892962 j d esh
j d esh's picture

Corporate tax is the price of limited liabilty. If you don't want a company you invest in to pay taxes, simply put it up for vote whether the shareholders would like to reincorporate as a partnership.  Simple as that.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:24 | 1892280 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

"$15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream. " The American Deam was just that a Dream it's time to wake up and smell the Ashes

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:10 | 1892945 Hohum
Hohum's picture


You're right, the dream is over.  If any piece of writing mentions holding on to the "American Dream," it's time to read another article.


Sun, 11/20/2011 - 01:49 | 1895312 Antipodeus
Antipodeus's picture

George Carlin.


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:25 | 1892282 kito
kito's picture

friday humor.....great stuff

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:56 | 1892425 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

I thought this was Stephen Colbert

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:25 | 1892284 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

Default on the odious debts. Sovereign countries do not have to borrow currency - at interest - from a private banking cabal that creates that currency for free, out of thin air. 

Bring back the United States Note. Cancel the income tax. Eliminate legal tender laws. Liberty!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:26 | 1892287 toady
toady's picture

Words, words, more words...

How can there be so many words in one group that say nothing?

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:36 | 1892332 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Simple. The belief that saying the right things will prevent what is coming. It won't because it can't. Sounds nice though, won't help. Atonement indeed, I salute you Kyle Bass.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:26 | 1892289 SHEEPFUKKER

The American dream is debt slavery for my neighbor's kids and grandkids. I think the dream is well and truly alive.  And soooo looking forward to the shitty committee's impasse the day before Thansgiving.  Giving thanks bitchez!!!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:41 | 1892353 tickhound
tickhound's picture

We are all forced to give at the proverbial "office"

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:44 | 1892367 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

It is immoral and illegal to sell yourself and your descendents into slavery.

Intergenerational debt was always abhorrent to our principles prior to the gold thief Roosevelt.

Our children and their descendents will justifiably repudiate this debt they have been left. They had no say in the matter, but they are expected to pay it?

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:16 | 1892535 SHEEPFUKKER

I'm sorry, I didn't know we still lived in a society with morals and laws.  Sad but true. 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:33 | 1892994 Marco
Marco's picture

How exactly is FDR to blame? His taking gold is the complete opposite of debt funding, it's redistribution across income classes ... not across time.

He truly taxed the wealthy, like no American president before or since ...

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:28 | 1892293 centerline
centerline's picture

My daugher had to go the ER ther other day for a kidney stone.  She was there for several hours - got little attention.  The only thing that was done was a CAT scan.  The bill to my insurance company was over $7,000.

My wife was shocked.  I was not.  I said, "you just paid for every illegal immigrant that went into the ER that day... every person without insurance who wasn't turned away."

It is not that I wish for something bad to happen to the less fortunate.  But, the system is so screwed up now that something that should have cost a few hundred dollars has ballooned into many thousand.

The end is pretty damn close folks.  We have stepped into a place I can only call insanity.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:30 | 1892304 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

welcome! its a vastly big place, enjoy your stay.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:51 | 1892406 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

As a doctor I hate it too that only suckerz and rubes pay the official rate, while we are forced to give free service to people who could pay something, but just make a habit of never paying bills.

However that "free care" is pretty shitty for the most part. When doctors see "self pay" on the face sheet they do the bare minimum that will avoid an immediate death that could be blamed on inaction. Self pay does not get as good a care, if that helps you feel better which it probably wont.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:02 | 1892455 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

How does being forced into the insurance system make us "suckers and rubes"? Is there an alternative? Seems like being a rube requires an alternative.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:27 | 1892743 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Tax health care benefits as income?

Write off ALL healthcare paid for with cash?

Yearly medical subsidy, and if you don't need it, it goes into a cash account that you can use as you see fit (helps encourage taking care of yourself)?

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:23 | 1892562 centerline
centerline's picture

Insurance company knocks it down for sure.  They paid something like $4000 or $5000 towards the service.  Still completely out-of-whack for what was done though.  

Have always had insurance, so never been in the postion to negotiate on price.  If I was, I would be absolutely fuming right now.  Instead, I feel the strain on the system.  Not hard to imagine how it all is going to fall apart.




Fri, 11/18/2011 - 23:06 | 1893355 technovelist
technovelist's picture

That seems a bit overgeneralized. How about "self pay" from someone who can write a (good) check for $10,000, or has a credit card with a higher limit than that?

Of course, since I do have insurance, that wouldn't actually apply to me (at the moment), but it's interesting to know anyway.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:20 | 1892546 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

something that should have cost a few hundred dollars has ballooned into many thousand

How do you make this determination?

How much do you think a CT scanner costs?  What kind of utilities overhead do you think the average hospital is stuck with?

Health-care's totally fucked, don't get me wrong.  But the idea that you somehow magically "know" what something should cost is very dangerous.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:34 | 1892599 centerline
centerline's picture

Can easily compare to other work done at outpatient places in the past. Several hundred for a quick scan and some OTC pain meds is fair. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest a reasonable price for a complicated surgery with fancy instrumentation, etc. I would do my homework though if it were the case.

Considering is was ER, a $1000 price would not have shocked me. I could stretch that far just by using up space in the ER. But, several multiples at least of a high-end price is says "something is very wrong." That is my point.

(edit... it implies that the average person could otherwise be bankrupted by some Motrin and a routine scan.)

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:52 | 1892663 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

It's not a fair comparison. 

The facilities available at the hospital are far greater than at some other outpatient office you might end up visiting for scheduled CT scans, and the STAFFING is radically different.  A CT tech might be paid $40K, but an ER physician will be well into the six-figure range.

The primary reason healthcare costs have climbed so much is because medical technology and CAPACITY has increased so dramatically.  No one "needs" a CT scan for kidney-stones--that is performed to make sure there isn't something more important to worry about.

You could get far cheaper analgesia by scoring heroin on the street, but if your self-diagnosed kidney stones turn out to be appendicitus, it might kill ya.

If you want quality, you have to pay.  This is no different than any other field.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:02 | 1892687 centerline
centerline's picture

Let me phrase it another way.  What price would YOU think is fair for a basic CAT scan and some Motrin?  At what price is it clear that the system is fucked up and the person with the insurance is paying for all of those who do not have it?  It is a business, right?  Got to pay the power bill.  Money has to come from somewhere.

I agree that the service is different and cost structure is different - but if the margin is that wide, there is a problem.  Furthermore, the nurses and techs do all the work.  The doctor spends about 5 minutes with the results.  Your not selling me on that.

Yes, the scan is obviously done to make sure that nothing serious is missed.  That is not the point though.  This is not about quality per se.  The ER is the last place to get quality work done anyhow.



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:29 | 1892748 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Seems we're talking past each other.  Lemme get the basics out of the way...

1) Healthcare as an INDUSTRY is going through the same price-inflation bubble that real-estate did.  It's been going on since the creation of Medicare, but it's dramatically accelerated with the aging of the Boomer generation and the ongoing and continued government subsidization of all the businesses involved.  (It's going to get even more worse in the near future as the new health-insurance legislation is put into effect.)

2) "Medical care" provided to human beings, in most cases, is TRIVIALLY simple, and much of it could be automated if dollar costs are the only concern.  But dollar costs AREN'T the only concern.  People develop irrational attachments to loved ones, and in cases where there are problems and patients are scarred or killed, people get pissed off and seek compensatory damages.  (See DCFusor's missive.)

3) The amount of money going into "the system" is currently being divided between care providers, like doctors and hospitals, and insurers.  When you see a bill of $8,000 submitted to an insurance company, that's not the amount PAID--there's a negotiation process between the provider and insurer that finally settles out the price.  You don't get to see that.


What price do I think is FAIR for a CT scan, or what price do I think is fair for treatment of kidney stones?  These are not the same thing.  At all.

It may annoy, but I'll reply to your question with another.

What price do you think would be fair to watch guys play baseball?  Shit, I can do it for free in the park, but if I wanted to go see professionals do it in Yankees Stadium it could easily cost me $100.

Is this an arbitrage opportunity?  Why or why not?

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 23:21 | 1893380 centerline
centerline's picture

Agreed on all counts.  Absolutely.

I was not talking about any of that.  It was about a fair price for services rendered.  A simple scan and some Motrin.  That is what was rendered, by technicians/nurses with little involvement from the 6-figure guy.  Same services rendered by professional outpatient places for fraction of the cost INCLUDING radiologist services AND a trip to a specialist.

The "professional" angle to this is simply moot.  This is not about "professional" versus ametuer like some "CAT" scan and diagnosis made behind a local 7-11.  This is about the patient with insurance walking into the ER and getting slammed because it pays the bills for those who do not.  The price is so far outside anything reasonable, there is no other justification.  And of course the hospital starts the negotiations with the insurance company quite high... playing the game.  This is not about professional.   It is about the ugly business modern medicine here (not to mention the fleecing of the middle class and unsustainability of our society).


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:55 | 1893545 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

This discussion is devoid of so many medical facts as to be nonsense.  The CAT scan should never cost $7K.  It's not ordered to make sure something else worse might be present, it's ordered because it has become the standard of care in order not to be sued.  For most cases, an x-ray and administration of pain meds would be sufficient.  But no......we've got these bean-counter lawyers and bureaucrats who've decided they know best how to practice medicine, so.....guess what?

We physicians have decided to let you have it your way.  We'll just let you pay the $7K for the "best (lawyer-bureaucrat-government) care" in the world.

I think it's hilarious how the elites talk about how health care is a right.  Why isn't lawyer care and judging a right?  Why isn't the government offering free legal services and judgements for everyone?  You could call it Obama Legal Zoo.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:18 | 1893573 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

This is about the patient with insurance walking into the ER and getting slammed because it pays the bills for those who do not.  The price is so far outside anything reasonable, there is no other justification.

Well obviously your mind's made up on that.  It doesn't make it a fact, though.

Yes, most of the money is wasted.  No, that doesn't mean you're the only one paying because you have insurance.  That's bullshit.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:06 | 1892856 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

i hope that a good number of people see this, and understand.  my father went on 3x week dialysis at age 81 and lasted 4 years.  the whole time he was bed ridden.  it cost a fortune.  just the transport back and forth cost a fortune.  in one sense, it created artifical employment.  he should have been left to die.  at 85, he went off and did.  he added NO value to anyone, and was a drain to the system and everyone around him.

health care is wonderful.  healing and curing is wonderful.  but at a certain point, the overhead doesn't justify the ends.  we can't keep everyone alive for ever at limitless costs.

much more respect for my fathers friend who at 83 was diagnosed with stomach cancer and choose bravely no treatment and death.

this is life.  this is death.  grow up.  accept it with dignity.




Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:23 | 1893143 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Lotso, In the end he was still your pop. It was his choice(Ihope).

Sun, 11/20/2011 - 14:29 | 1895971 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

yes, it was his choice.  that choice was clouded by the lack of facilities,  the whole situation was new to me, and rather unimaginable


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:10 | 1892708 Uchtdorf
Uchtdorf's picture

You haven't figured in aggressive government intervention. In 1984, when I was an auditor for Ernst, 26% of the cost of administrating a hospital was for reporting to some form of government. Do you think it has gotten or better since then. Yes, it really was 1984, my first year out of school.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:10 | 1892709 Uchtdorf
Uchtdorf's picture

You haven't figured in aggressive government intervention. In 1984, when I was an auditor for Ernst, 26% of the cost of administrating a hospital was for reporting to some form of government. Do you think it has gotten or better since then. Yes, it really was 1984, my first year out of school.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:09 | 1892943 IQ 101
IQ 101's picture

So I walked into a Tijuana pharmacy one day with a hugely infected tooth,

$10 later I walked out with a fat pouch of penicilin, 2 days later, the tooth was improved and has not bothered me since (yes,it is shot but thats another story), my point being that self diagnosis is not always Lethal and the Mexican option has worked for many, but the option has been removed by big Pharma and the medical wizards league.

Without the anti-b's I could easily have succumed to Septicimia?

How many people Self treat with home remedies each year, rather than take a reaming at the ER, I see it all the time.

How would the option to self treat reduce the ER overcrowding.

Basic Pharmaceuticals are available over the counter in many countries with few negative impacts.

So you lose a few junkies and the odd lunatic who tries the do it yourself appendectomy, Liberty is the greater good even if it kills you,

The US medical system is a monopoly of the first degree.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:30 | 1892986 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The "medical system" is a monopoly.


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:17 | 1893496 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Price a CAT scan or MRI at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok.  Machines are the same or better at Bumrungrad.  Staff equally well trained (but cheaper).  Hospital is cleaner in Bangkok.  Fewer malpractice lawsuits might play into some of this, too.

CAT scan + business airfare + some great food<<<US CAT scam.

MRI costs about $350 there, by the way.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:41 | 1892625 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Ct scanners are cheap, and mostly cost due to liability insurance.  And we have too many of them by far, as they are HUGE PROFIT CENTERS for the owners - no matter what they cost.  Funny, people lived fine without them for quite awhile.  Now you're looked at as very weird and dangerous should you for instance, think about havin a baby without the couple 10's of K hospital costs.  Somehow the race made it up to now mostly without that, ya know.

And if you think you get treated like shit on insurance - try going to the hospital without it sometime - even if you know you could afford to buy the wing you're in with pocket change.  If you're in a state where you can't clearly articulate that, they just shove you in a corner forever, on the "can't pay ward".  My lawsuit against the people who did that to me is still pending.  I didn't get treated for an injury that shattered my skull and peeled the side off my head for over twelve hours - till one of my employees can in and told them the story...

Nurses all high as a kite, whole ward screaming due to no pain meds.  My guy bought some from the floor give to the rest of the ward.  Wish me luck in court, I've to a permanent disfigurement out of that one.  They were "too busy" to treat me on a Sunday, with all the operating rooms they wheeled me through dark - no people at all.  Too bad you can't tell them to kiss your ass with a shattered jaw and an open flap of skin hanging from lip to ear.

And while the insurance company gets a deal (I'm told it's around 50% off) that just means they were totally overpriced to account for that.  My bill was for the "full price", but I negotiated it back down some - a lawyer helps.  The health care industry are the worst, self-entitled parasites living on this planet.  They know "it's your life" on the line and charge what the market will bear - or more.  And many I know who got into that business did for just that reason - get high pay for life, zero risk.  6 figs to work at a desk and shuffle med records, no other skills?  Sure, that's fair.

And when I'm suing them for malpractice, I'm not even going for damages past my own costs much - I'm not trying to profit off this, just get my 20k/day for 3 days back with some interest - for almost no treatment.



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:02 | 1892688 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The health care industry are the worst, self-entitled parasites living on this planet.

Then just man up and boycott it, dumbass. 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:39 | 1892757 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Having just watched my ninty year old wife go through the Australian hospital system following a fall which gave her a very badly bruised face and a dislocated elbow, the service and attention was of the first order as was the follow up home visits from a physio, a nurse and a social worker.

I read your post with much concern that a human being should/could, be treated in such an inhuman fashion, I feel truly sorry for you and others like you. You make me realise just how welloff we are in this country. I hope you win your case but fear it will do nothing to improve what sounds like truly terrible situation regarding your medical care system.

The doctor who re-located her elbow was a very competant and charming young man from Nebraska, having both done army time he was a delight to talk with.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:46 | 1893325 Eng7
Eng7's picture

I second that. Australia's health care model is very good. It allows free care for all. There are waiting periods for non urgent cases, but for those you can get private health insurance which is fairly cheap and allows you to choose a doctor.

Americas problem is allowing for profit health care, and allowing ludicrous payouts making doctors insurance very high.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:15 | 1893269 Iwanttoknow
Iwanttoknow's picture

google the cost of a CT scan.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:19 | 1893133 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Overline. I can not make excuses for what happened. I was not there. BUT! You got a cat scan? they cost $$. blood work? Time and money there. Tons of folks who would have not been there with a quick visit and a 4$ dollar antibiotic.!?. The more I work in ER the more we need some sort of single payer. We are losing the game.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 22:53 | 1893342 fnordfnordfnord
fnordfnordfnord's picture

What you paid for was a little bit of applied health care technology, and a whole lot of health care administration. Why are there so many buildings that says something about health on the sign; but inside they are only filled with actuaries?

FYI I reject the hypothesis that if health care were free, everyone would abuse it. Nobody wants to be sick, or go to the doctor. I can't imagine anyone getting in line a second or third time for more flu shots.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:06 | 1893557 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

Obviously, you've never had to see an old woman who comes in to see the doctor with a hangnail (no I am not exaggerating) because she has no other social life and it doesn't cost her anything (on Medicare).  The fact that she abuses that part of our society because she's so cheap goes a long way toward explaining why she has no social life.  In medical care in our society, way too many people are only looking for a freebie.

Sun, 11/20/2011 - 00:00 | 1895186 fnordfnordfnord
fnordfnordfnord's picture

Obviously, you've never had to see an old woman who comes in to see the doctor with a hangnail...

I see, so an old woman comes in, and the entire hosital/clinic staff is occupied by her lack of a manicure. Yeah, I think you're full of shit.

I get your point though, you want to blame the structural problems in our health care delivery system on all the poor and infirm sons-of-bitches who aren't moral enough to die; instead of the profiteering sons-of-bitches who create and then profit from all this artificial scarcity.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 23:04 | 1893356 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture

Your insurance didn't pay $7,000 to the hospital for the CAT scan, they have something called "accepting assingment".  This is when the hospital/health care provider accepts the "usual and customary rate" for a procedure.  Just think, to do a quadrupal bypass (open heart) surgery, the heart surgeon gets $1,500 or so in reimbursement.  Let me get this straight, the doc has your life in his/her hands and fixes you up with a heart that works and gets $1,500 in comp?  You must be kidding me!  And to think Obummer, the libtards and these other messed up folks think reimbursement needs to come down are absolutely out of their ever living minds!

As for illegals, it's easy, they're "illegal" as in their presence.  Send them home for the open heart with a rusty scalpal. 



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:28 | 1892296 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

The third chin make it obvious who hasn't been pushing away from the taxpayers' subsidized free pie.

Oink! Oink! I'm a Senator!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:10 | 1892866 ClassicalLib17
ClassicalLib17's picture

That's not Senator Coburn on the cover.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:29 | 1892298 Rastamann
Rastamann's picture

is this the same RIGHTWING TAPEWORM that heads the CHRISTIANIST CULT 'the Family' and used his MD status to protect his adulterous bribery buddy, John Ensign?.


and you expect this idiot's economic opinion to be anything but thrown into the toilet and FLUSHED into hell?


sorry......try again.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:45 | 1892373 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Kindly take your bold & crazy elsewhere.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:00 | 1892442 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I think that's the ghost of Jacob Marley, masquerading poorly as Bob.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:33 | 1892605 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Yeah, we're all full up of crazy here for the day, thank you.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:11 | 1892507 Tsunami Wave
Tsunami Wave's picture

Praise Jah!! Keep toking up MON!

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 17:57 | 1894578 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

Hard working tapeworms resent the tone of your post.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:29 | 1892299 Capitalist Sooner
Capitalist Sooner's picture

There are very few good Senators. I am proud that I get to vote for this one.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 00:41 | 1893532 Rastamann
Rastamann's picture

can you show me again where it says in the bible that you should have an adulterous affair with your business partner's wife and then cover it up and pay $100,000's in BRIBE money? i can't seem to find where Jebus commands his dickhead cult followers to do this.


is it in the back some place?



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:30 | 1892305 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

From the top Tommy

1) Class warfair

2) Wealth Redistribution

3) Communist economy

4) Major Power Grab

5) Likes to say, "Dear Tax Payer" while ignoring the fact he is only really talking to the people he is about to screw with

The less obvious

6) Indian Hater

7) "The cost of this largess will thus be shared by those struggling today and the next generation who will inherit $15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream. These consequences are the results of shortsighted spending and tax policies like those outlined in this report that should be eliminated."

Shortsighted?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Shortsided?  I have never destroyed an economy with my shortsidedness!  THIS WAS CRIMINAL AND YOU SHOULD HANG!

And now back to your regularaly scheduled show currently in progress.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:32 | 1892320 AndrewCostello
AndrewCostello's picture

All these people do is talk.  Nobody wants to admit that the US and the West got rich by robbing future generations, devalueing their currency and committing fraud and theft.  But that is the truth.


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:09 | 1892500 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

One word: exceptionalism.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:35 | 1892328 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

Let's put the blame squarely where it belongs: on an oversized central-planning guvment whose policies continuously pick winners and losers rather than ensuring a "level playing field" for all participants.  The best thing that could happen for the American person would be if all taxes were localized (rather than assessed from an all-pwerful central guvment), such that local citizens can properly evaluate whether they are receiving the services that they are paying for, and if someone took a chainsaw to the national guvment and got it right-sized.  Crony capitalism is killing entreprenuership and invention in this country and creating an ever-increasing financial divide between the have's and the have not's, which in turn is creating divisiveness and class warfare.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:35 | 1892329 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet

The flaw with this argument is that half of the population (read: those less fortunate) do not pay federal income tax, and employment taxes and the like are used to pay current beneficiaries of those programs (which, admittedly, do include those very well off).  I am not arguing that the wealthy don't benefit from ridiculous loopholes, subsidies, tax credits and other quirks of the tax system, but they are hardly taking tax dollars from the poor and giving them to the rich.

The best answer is to grossly simplify the tax system to remove as many deductions as possible (I'd prefer getting rid of all deductions, but people love their interest deduction on their mortgage), get rid of FICA and other highly regressive employment taxes and have low marginal rates with a broad base.  That way more people have skin in the game and you stop carving out these idiotic exemptions that benefit certain groups, distort economic activity, and create more volatility in tax revenues.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:42 | 1892358 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

But by effectively raiding the FICA tax revenue for general spending, they are being taxed for this. Although many on the bottom 50% are net beneficiaries of Gov. largess, it probably could be shown that their standard of living is lower than it would be with an expanding economy enabled by a free market economy with smaller Government.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:57 | 1892434 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Thailand can and is doing the same medical tests and procedures as we do in the USSA for 1/10 of the cost that we are charging our people in this monopoly scam of a health system. (SAME QUAILITY) If this is not an indictment of a failed crony State I don't know what is. They will get every last dime out of their citizens before they croak and they are using their monopoly on the hospital system to do it.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:13 | 1892520 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

You made a mistake in saying "1/10 of the cost that we are charging our people".  People are not charged (aside from a copay), the insurance company is.  This is the problem.  I agree that our health care system is completely screwed up, and it's because insurance is overused by consumers.  As a result price signals don't get from the supplier to the consumer, and somebody else is always footing the bill. 

It is an indictment of failed state intervention, no question.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:37 | 1892612 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Our healtcare system fell pray to the lawyers and actuarial bean counters and now has capitulated to the central government (run by the central banking system).

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:12 | 1893566 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

I'll agree with that.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:07 | 1892489 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

Yes, I'm replying to my own comment, but I wanted to add some more thoughts.

These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Millionaires also borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college.

So basically you've got $9 billion in "retirement checks" (which I take to mean SS checks) and $500 million in other shit.  And that's over the last 7 years combined.  And because of THIS we have a $1.6 trillion deficit THIS YEAR and $15 trillion in outstnading debt?  Try again, senator. 

On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009. Fleecing the taxpayer while contributing nothing is not the American way.

Well, based on the tax giveaways mentioned above, it looks like millionaires are enjoying about $28 billion from federal grant programs every year.  OK, fine, but the next sentence is a non-sequitor.  Accepting a grant doesn't lower your taxable income and is not a tax credit.  Are these grants only available to the wealthy?  I highly doubt it (there are limits on who can get a Pell Grant, for example), so how is that "fleecing the taxpayer"?  Even so, we're back to very crumbs of a very big pie.

It seems that Mr. Coburn is simply looking for some headlines to generate the appearance that he's "fighting the good fight".

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:12 | 1892509 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

You may be correct, but the people who get hosed the most on this whole deal are the middle class. It's welfare for the rich and the poor and the working class get to eat it.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:28 | 1892576 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

Agreed, which is why I advocate lower rates with fewer (or preferably no) deductions.  The trick is that the poor need to have skin the game also, since they are typically the ones that are collecting the most gov't benefits.  Since they are already paying no federal income tax, any sort of marginal rate is a crushing tax increase.  That's why you get rid of the ones that hurt the most - the regressive stuff that everyone who is employed pays.  I suspect a low marginal rate (guessing 10%ish) could be structured such that after eliminating all the shit that's automatically deducted from people's paychecks, it could end up being neutral to a slight take-home pay increase.

Thinking more about it, Coburn's goal here sounds like a way to introduce the concept of means-testing for certain benefits (e.g., social security).  It's still a lame argument, but I can see where he's going with it.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:45 | 1892632 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

Right, if it can be reworked to appear as if they actually exist, that recognition would at least allow people to see. And then it can be adjusted from there.

I agree on the deductions too. The complexity makes it so those who can game the system (generally those with more resources) do, while those who cannot, lose out.

The other things that annoys me is that I am single, rent, and have no children. I pay a lot in taxes because I don't align with the social engineering tax laws (get married, buy a house, have kids). I don't mind paying a share of taxes, it's getting penalized for decisions that should be mine to make.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:36 | 1893008 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Willie Sutton explained why the middle class is getting soaked - ("Because that's where the money is!")

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:14 | 1892521 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture
  1. Corporations should not be able to contribute to Campaigns
  2. If you are a net receiver of taxpayer money, you should not get to vote.


Apply these two items and about half of our problems will go away.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:32 | 1892589 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

OK, then unions should not be allowed to contribute either.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:28 | 1892858 AdahPrice
AdahPrice's picture

The difference between unions and corporations is that UNION MEMBERS ARE USA CITIZENS, while many corporation owners are FOREIGNERS.  Yes, a corporation is a person, but it may be, and it may act as, a FOREIGN person.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:18 | 1893131 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

Another difference is that government union members are paid with taxpayer dollars and elect their boss.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:42 | 1892911 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Most unions are corporations.  No problem.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:08 | 1892863 AdahPrice
AdahPrice's picture

"The flaw with this argument is that half of the population (read: those less fortunate) do not pay federal income tax"

But they pay Social Security.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 21:16 | 1893125 chunkylover42
chunkylover42's picture

They do, which is why you should read the rest of my post where I actually suggest one method of fixing this by eliminating the regressive FICA, etc. taxes.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:16 | 1893571 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

FICA is not a tax, bozo.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:36 | 1892338 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

"Champagne wishes and caviar dreams" served by lobbyist to elected officials at your expense.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:38 | 1892343 SHEEPFUKKER

Welcome to the Divided States of Whatever. 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:41 | 1892351 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

I would be more interested in seeing his comments regarding the ability of Congress to engage in insider trading.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:42 | 1892356 whoisjohngalt11
whoisjohngalt11's picture

Gotta Love Dr. No, he is Awesome kinda like our (Oklahoma) version of Ron Paul ;-) bet there are some Repubs hate to see him publish this..

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:45 | 1892371 Misean
Misean's picture

Straight from the mouth of a multi-millionaire looter extrodinaire!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:48 | 1892389 slewie the pi-rat
Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:52 | 1892411 Billy Bob
Billy Bob's picture



After reading and hearing the comments of this troglodyte for a number of years, and always remarking  "aw shit", this old codger has finally earned an "at-a-boy"

But then again, I am reminded of the math for this equation.. 100 "at-a-boys" are only worth 1 "aw-shit".  Old Mr Eye's Wide Shut has got a long ways to go to make up for his disgraceful history.



Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:54 | 1892418 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Dear Senator Coburn:

The American dream died over ten years ago.

You may now go back to sleep.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:04 | 1892466 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Try a hundred years. The Coup of 1913 was officially launched in 1910.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:01 | 1892450 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I'm so fucking rich I gave of my worth to my ex-wife! And I'm still going to retire to the farm! Shit, I'll be working till I fucking die!

Bwaah! Fuck this shit, this has to end badly with everything set up as an "us against them".  I am so friggin' tired of this, hit the fucking reset and let's get on with the clean-up.  At least the reversion will mean those stinky OWS bastards will have to earn a living.....or not.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:03 | 1892456 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture


Oh yeah, I haven't forgot about that Senator Cockroach.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:44 | 1892629 Capitalist Sooner
Capitalist Sooner's picture

You have a valid point there.  Forgot about that. Oh well, he's already announced he isn't going to run for re-election, and that is one of the few votes I disagreed with him on - but it is a big one.  A great big one.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:03 | 1892462 Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

He ought to be careful with the prescriptions he writes himself. 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:06 | 1892486 Mark701
Mark701's picture

From an article that commented on his letter:

"But this isn’t Coburn giving the Occupy Wall Street movement a bear hug. It’s also opening the door to a standard Republican argument that seems to be crossing further into the mainstream: that benefits like Medicare and Social Security should be means-tested rather than immediately available for all once a certain age threshold is crossed"

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:16 | 1892533 Dangertime
Dangertime's picture

Screw the "means tested".  If I pay for a service through my taxes, I damn well better get it.

Anything less than that is stealing from me and giving to another.


Hell, every *poor* person out there owns a fvking cell phone.  They cannot be that damn poor.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:30 | 1892579 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, 'cause the $50 it takes to pay for cell-service for a month is way too much for folks living on $12,000/year.


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:14 | 1892953 bill1102inf
bill1102inf's picture

God forbid that a poor person has the ability to communicate in the 21st century.  Sick, SIck, fucks some of you are.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:53 | 1893064 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

[quote]Anything less than that is stealing from me and giving to another.


Time to wakey wakey, Rip Van Winkle!

Our work or your (Big Brother's) guns:  Choose one, you cannot have both!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:09 | 1892497 Northeaster
Northeaster's picture

Typical CONgressional hypocrite:


A Democratic Republic we are not.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:13 | 1892516 rambler6421
rambler6421's picture

How about stopping the military spending?

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:31 | 1892577 Amused2Death
Amused2Death's picture

We will never pay our debt, we will continue to live beyond our means, borrow and spend, give tax breaks to the wealthy and continue to pander to the bankesters.  When it's all said and done, and we have trillions upon trillions of liabilities, we'll turn to the rest of the world and give them our collective middle finger! "Sorry, we can't afford to pay you, now what are you gonna do about it?"  Everyone holding U.S. debt instruments will put their tail between their legs and go home.  We'll wipe the slate clean, create a new currency, and start the splurging all over again.  The monster will need to be fed, there's a reason our military budget is approaching a trillion dollar a year.  Fuck Yeah!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 17:34 | 1892602 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

We are past the point where a political solution is viable.

Collapse, chaos, and blood in the streets then rebuilding what is left is the only thing that will end this stupidity, this chicanery, this evil.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:05 | 1892694 b_thunder
b_thunder's picture

Wow!  A whole 30 billion?  Is he mocking us?  Thinks we're all liek tea-party toothless (literally) morons? 

Let it be knowm, that loopholes and tax breaks cost not 30, not 40, not 50, not 100, but 1200 billion (aka 1.2 trillion) dollars per year!


Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:22 | 1892888 spooz
spooz's picture

Excellent read, but I doubt the tea potters will bother to read it, cognitive dissonance and all...

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 18:41 | 1892788 malek
malek's picture

Senator Coburn, you are a complete douchebag.

You talk about "billions", but as already common nowadays, need to add up 8 years worth to get to an amount of barely $9.5 billion.
How high was the federal budget deficit just for this one year again?

These billions of dollars for millionaires include [...] $9 billion of retirement checks

So in other words you propose SS means testing? Does this mean income or also property/savings millionaires?
Everybody now, who believes this will only apply to millionaires!

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:06 | 1892857 spooz
spooz's picture

Whats wrong with means testing as a possible solution?  Look at both income and wealth, over a certain amount and you lose benefits. When you hit the wall you have to get creative.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:02 | 1892843 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Contrary to Coburn's report, Social Security benefits were not originally designed to be means tested (i.e., welfare for the elderly).  The benefits went to all those who made contributions into the Social Security "trust fund"  - to provide a minimum level of income to retirees.   

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:12 | 1892871 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

Living at the expense of others has been instituionalized here in the Land of the (used to be) Free.  But that doesn't make it any more moral or mitigate the long term damage. 

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 19:33 | 1892900 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Means testing = punishing the prudent---- yet again.


Paid into the INSURANCE FUND for 1/2 century, saved & lived below my means and invested the difference. The other dipshit borrowed, spent and went BK - so he gets my SS check? Are you fooking retarded or what?  I sold real estate and paid the taxes on it, so I have no tax liabilities left, except maybe on "precious". Just return the contributions from me and my employer (me again) and I will give you my passport after I get a new one from the country of birth of my parents. 


You will know the means testing and other haircuts when the "ENTITLEMENT" meme is out on every chaneel of media.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 20:12 | 1892951 bill1102inf
bill1102inf's picture

Excuse you.  You paid the TAX known as Social Security for 1/2 century. The amount collected was immediately paid out to someone actually collecting Social Security. You know, ponzi and all.  So, you see, you haven't paid any $$$ into any sort of 'trust fund, or 'insurance' or 'savings account'. No.  Once again, to recap, you paid a TAX, that was then handed out to other people who qualified for SS and that is all.  

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:25 | 1893580 Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

If you give up your social security that easily, you deserve to get nothing from that system when you retire.  Let's have it this way: anyone who refers to FICA as a tax has to give up their social security when they retire, because.........after all, according to you it was a TAX, not a retirement program.  The rest of us who've paid in to the system all these years will settle for all our money back in a lump sum now, please.  Thank you.

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 23:11 | 1893371 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I have some bare dirt in the back yard.  Can I get a subsidy?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 01:20 | 1893575 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

That's silly.  The market'll provide if you apply yourself--just sell the dirt!

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 04:27 | 1893709 Peter K
Peter K's picture

Coburn out-Alinsky's the Alinskites;-) Too funny.

But that's not that hard. After all, we are dealing with the dim-witted loony left. Once they started to explain their silly platitudes, even Jon Stewart bailed.

BTW, Linking to GB's website is intentional.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 08:43 | 1893821 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Bah. Quit your's only $50k for every man woman and child...over a 40-year career, $104/mo from your salary, less than most people pay for cable TV these days.

Or...we could tax the wealth (not income) of the top 1% at 100% (did I mention heads are also wealth?) and pay it off tomorrow!


Sat, 11/19/2011 - 10:13 | 1893875 Lazane
Lazane's picture

If this so called super committee cannot do the job it was legislated to do then all we have is more the the same bilge that these elites pump out. Solution? just let the dog lie there, go home for thanksgiving and let the chips fall where they may, the automatic cuts will kick in and then we can say, hey something actually got cut for the first time in American history without the tinkering of elected elites doing something other than what they told us they were gong to do. Wanna bet it don't turn out just like I proposed?

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 10:25 | 1893883 Lazane
Lazane's picture

problem is too many folks in this world get used to liken freeloading off other peoples sweat, toil and money.

Now what we have is not enough sweat, toil and money to go around, I kinda like the direction that this whole

mess is going cause eventually their ain't going to be anymore freeloaden, just a whole lot of loaden.

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