Archive for March, 2009

Smoke-Out the Smokers

Posted in Politics on March 15, 2009 by lylede

According to Administration open to taxing health benefits – NY Times 3-15-09, President Obama “could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.”

This is a terrible idea and the last thing we need is more taxes. Our healthcare and insurance systems certainly need an overhaul and unfortunately there are no inexpensive, easy answers.

One thing I would do, to make health insurance more affordable, is outlaw every plan from paying for any healthcare related to smoking illnesses. If somebody wants to smoke cigarettes fine, but make them pay for their healthcare 100% on their own.

Its obscene and galling that one reason health insurance is so expensive is because people with coverage contribute to the cost of covering and providing healthcare for people who smoke.

We’ve known for decades how incredibly bad smoking is to our bodies. If somebody is addicted to cigarettes all the non-addicts should not be contributing to paying for the addict’s healthcare. While this is a harsh measure and people would suffer terribly and die two things could also happen: when smokers realize they have to pay for their healthcare 100% some would stop smoking, and health insurance costs should decrease.

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Ban Political Advertising to Restore Our Democracy

Posted in Politics on March 7, 2009 by lylede

Our political system is terribly corrupt because for decades politicians have been accepting campaign contributions from special interests and wealthy corporations. The politicians then pay back their contributors by passing legislation or doling out contracts that only benefit whoever donated to the politician. Legislation is bought and because of this our economy has crashed. 

According to Obama Urges Regulation in Wake of Housing Slump – NY Times 3-27-08 “the banking and insurance industries spent more than $300 million on a successful campaign to repeal the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.” Once the sensible, regulatory measures of Glass-Steagall were no longer law mortgage lenders and Wall Street – working in collusion – ran amok. For more on this see “How $350 Million Destroyed Our Economy.” We now face the worst economic crisis in history. 

It is time to fight the gross amount of political corruption so legislation is no longer purchased by special interests and wealthy corporations. One way to reduce the amount of money candidates need to raise is to completely ban all political advertisements from television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. The costs to produce and place these ads are astronomical. And I’m certainly all for free speech. But when it’s only available to a select few – instant multi-millionaires who are then beholden to their contributors – it’s grossly corrupt, abused and inefficient. 

It would also be such an extreme pleasure, during elections, not to be bombarded by the media with the pathetic bullshit that comes from every political advertisement. 

If all political advertising were banned from TV, radio, the Internet and print politicians could still use cyberspace to get the word out about their ideas and campaigns. And while they already do, this should be their only outlet. Voters could simply look up the candidates online (by doing a quick search of people running for office in their district), go to the candidates’ websites and see where they stand on the issues. 

I highly doubt the founding fathers of this country intended for legislation to be bought, practically on a daily basis at the local, state and Federal levels, like it currently is. We’re not living in a democracy anymore, but a plutocracy bordering on an oligarchy. It’s time to become democratic again.