Monday, January 18, 2016

Willis Hart An Expletive Liar Re Bernie Sanders' 18 Trillion In New Spending

An outright lie from the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart in regards to Bernie Sanders and his proposed "new" spending (if he is elected president).

Willis Hart: On Bernie Sanders Claiming that America Can Pay for His $18,000,000,000,000 in New Spending Partly Through the Savings Made Possible by His Proposed Single-Payer Healthcare System... What the ignorant Mr. Sanders fails to realize is that there has NEVER been a government entitlement program that has ever come in even close to the projected cost... I mean, I understand that the average primary voter is about as dumb as a box of rocks and essentially salivates whenever he or she hears the two words, "free stuff", but you gotta be honest... and... try be logical... as opposed to living in a fantasy world... no? (1/17/2016 AT 8:47pm).

No. The person living in a fantasy world is Willis Hart with his completely imaginary claim of 18 trillion in NEW spending. This is the not the first time Willis has mentioned this totally bogus claim (OST #75). This is a claim, btw, that comes from a dishonest author at Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. In a 9/14/2015 article by Laura Meckler titled "Price Tag of Bernie Sanders's Proposals: $18 Trillion" Meckler refers to "new spending over a decade".

But the spending is NOT new.

...while Sanders does want to spend significant amounts of money, almost all of it is on things we're already paying for; he just wants to change how we pay for them. In some ways it's by spreading out a cost currently borne by a limited number of people to all taxpayers. ...the bulk of what Sanders wants to do is in the first category: to have us pay through taxes for things we're already paying for in other ways. ... Depending on your perspective on government, you may think that's a bad idea. But we shouldn't treat his proposals as though they're going to cost us $18 trillion on top of what we're already paying. (No, Bernie Sanders is not going to bankrupt America to the tune of $18 trillion by Paul Waldman. The Washington Post, 9/15/2015).

In other words the 18 trillion the WSJ deceptively portrays as NEW spending is actually money we are ALREADY spending. Bernie simply wants to change HOW we spend it. Instead of individuals spending the money (as they do now), government would spend it. But the lying author of the WSJ article does mention this AT ALL in her hit-piece on Senator Sanders.

Instead the article plays up the "price tag", referring to "new spending", "new taxes" and how "centrist" Democrats think this is a bad idea. Others who think this would be an bad idea are ignorant lying Libertarians like Mr. Hart. I mean, there could be some honest criticisms to levy here.

For example, I know Willis opposes instituting a single payer system in favor of a "free market" (or "market based") system. This "free market" basis for healthcare wouldn't work, but at least if Willis put forward this arguement it would be an actual argumement. As opposed to a flat out lie.

For the record, Willis HAS put forward this argument (see here), but not in conjuction with the lie about Bernie Sanders's 18 trillion in "new" spending.

Note that in the linked to post Willis says it is an "idiotic assertion that competition won't bring down the cost of healthcare", but it is actually Willis' argument that is idiotic... because the world's 25 wealthiest nations, all provide universal healthcare... except for the United States (and, no, Obamacare is not universal healthcare). (See SWTD #261 for my post refuting WTNPH's assertion that competition WILL bring down health cares costs).

The point is that, while it might be true regarding what Willis says concerning "government entitlement programs" exceeding projected costs (I have not independently verified this, but I know it has happened), the alternative is letting people go without healthcare and letting people die (which costs money in lost productivity).

And don't forget that every other wealthy nation on the planet has figured out how to provide for universal healthcare AT A LOWER COST (US Spends More on Health Care Than Other High-Income Nations But Has Lower Life Expectancy, Worse Health).

So, if Bernie Sanders' proposed single payer system ends up not costing what he's projecting? It would still cost less than what we're spending now. Which makes sense, given the fact that single payer is NOT FOR PROFIT. How could it NOT cost less if the profit is eliminated?.

According to a 9/23/2015 HuffPo article The Truth About Health Insurance Company Profits: They're Excessive "Wall Street investors are delighted with the industry's profits [and that] return on equity - a key measure of profits as a percentage of the amount invested... is a phenomenal 16.1%".

In agreement with the HuffPo article, a 3/5/2010 Economist article notes that "the better measurement is not profit, but return [on equity, or ROE. And that the healthcare industry's ROE is] a good deal higher than the average ROE in most sectors of the economy" (so, YES, healthcare insurer's profits ARE excessive, according to the Economist... if you're the type of person inclined to discount information coming from a source like the Huffington Post).

But the Hartster doesn't want to see "yet another government entitlement program" because he thinks it will cost a lot... even though the world's other wealthy nations all have universal healthcare and their costs are much lower than ours.

Conclusion? Willis Hart is a total moron (a true believing brainwashed/brain diseased "fiscal conservative") as well as a f*cking liar (given the fact that Bernie Sanders is NOT proposing "new" spending).

OST #96

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