Cartoon: 4th of July with the Oregon Legislature

By Jesse Springer of Eugene, Oregon. Jesse is a long-time political cartoonist and illustrator. Previously, he contributed "Trick or Treat!". See more at Springer Creative.

Barbeque

Comments

  • Garage Wine (unverified)
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    I don't get it. Are the burgers made out of pork?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    No, the burgers are overdone and made from meat stolen from productive people to feed to the nonproductive, but it's okay, because they can all afford the plague of moochers raiding their larders.

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    Outstanding political cartoon.

    The fact that rightwing commenters were ready to pounce on it emphasizes that point fyi.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    You're right, boats, kids and seniors are useless feeders and moochers at the public trough... Let the unseen hand throw them on the grill so the productive may feast...

    (with a nod to J. Swift)

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    to feed to the nonproductive

    OK, Boats, here's your task for the weekend: Don't use anything created or managed by the government whatsoever.

    For the record, that includes:

    No driving on roads or walking on sidewalks.

    No drinking water from the tap (unless you're on a well.)

    No using the toilet (unless you're on septic or using an outhouse.)

    No using public transportation (not that you would anyway.)

    No playing in parks.

    No broadcast television or over-the-air radio.

    No internet.

    No GPS.

    No electricity (mostly provided by Bonneville Power here in the Pac NW.)

    ...and I'm just getting started. I haven't even included anything that's privately produced, but kept safe for you by government (like the food supply.)

  • Boats (unverified)
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    No driving on roads or walking on sidewalks.

    Sorry, but no, I and everyone who uses the roads (save for hardcore bicyclists) pays for them. As for sidewalks, I live in the country, so okay.

    No drinking water from the tap (unless you're on a well.)

    Oops.

    No using the toilet (unless you're on septic or using an outhouse.)

    No problem.

    No using public transportation (not that you would anyway.)

    Got me there. I never use public transportation.

    No playing in parks.

    This one is rather silly, given that most parks worth playing in are fee driven.

    No broadcast television or over-the-air radio.

    No problem.

    No internet.

    Won't be observing this one as the internet was created by and for the military, one of the few constitutionally mandated departments in existence.

    No GPS.

    Same as above.

    No electricity (mostly provided by Bonneville Power here in the Pac NW.)

    The BPA has been paid for many times over by now and continues to be.

    ...and I'm just getting started. I haven't even included anything that's privately produced, but kept safe for you by government (like the food supply.)

    They do such a bang up job of it. LOL. Maybe I'll refrain from Tang, microwave ovens, and using hydrogen bombs too.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Personally I liked the cartoon. Political satire, at its best creates discussion. This cartoon could just as easily be about the naivete' of the democrats in the Oregon legislature thinking that they have done a good job 'balancing' the budget.

    Kari:

    My fuel tax dollars pay for the roads.

    In Medford I pay an extra bit on my property tax to put in sidewalks within a 1/4 mile of all public schools.

    I pay a huge water bill monthly for water and sewer as well as infrastructure costs.

    I also pay additional fees and taxes on my water bill in support of Medford City Parks.

    I don't use public transportation because it doesn't go anywhere I want to go and doesn't serve any useful purpose to the majority of the home owners in Jackson county; yet I pay for it through my state/federal fuel taxes and my property tax.

    I get radio and TV via Direct TV that I subscribe to.

    I pay for the internet via federal taxes and my internet provider monthly billing.

    I don't use GPS, but am certain that my federal tax dollars helped launch the GPS satellites.

    I pay for my electricity via the monthly bill and will pay through the nose for the removal of the Klamath, Snake and columbia River dams.

    But go ahead, keep the list going :-)

  • Jason (unverified)
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    Kari,

    Suffice it to say, those services wouldn't exist without the taxpayer.

    I don't believe you can balance a budget in a recession by raising taxes and reducing important tax incentives for renewable energy (BETC). I also don't believe you can balance the budget being anti-tax, either.

    Unfortunately, until both sides learn to compromise better with a combination sensible tax increases and program reductions, this state will continue to wallow in it's budget quagmire.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    There was an illustration in the SJ today showing just how bad the deficits were in each state. I noticed something funny. Blue states seemed to be in the worst financial shape. Red states trended better. MT & ND had no deficit at all.

    I wonder why that is?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Oh, and I forgot - when we wanted to divide the lot 3 years ago (you know to make some money AND encourage in-fill without expanding the UGB) the city was there with their hand out.

    Seems they wanted to charge us an outrageous price for street sidewalks and storm sewers. OK, except we DON'T have sidewalks or storm sewers on our street. Our area was developed in the early 70's as unincorporate county and then later annexed into the city.

    So, medford officials think its cool to charge by the front foot (in our case about $18,000) for the aforementioned 'improvements'. When asked when these were going in they said that there are no plans to ever do it. When asked if we get our money back if in say, 10-15 years the 'improvements' don't occur we were told - NO.

    So, we didn't divide the lot. The infill won't occur and the house won't get built that would have added to construction jobs; would have been additional property taxes and would have helped in some small way to avoid urban sprawl.

  • maxgramm (unverified)
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    Every time one of these anti-tax guys jumps in here, we should be reminding them that only households over $250K are paying any more money under the plan passed by the LEgislature. In fact, all of us should be sure to spread that message far and wide. The tax increase is not going to hit average Oregnians or even the vast majority of small businesses -- those with gross sales or net income under $250K. So Boats, MP and the other Russ Walker clones -- raise your hand if your AGI (adjusted gross income) is over 250K.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @maxgramm

    So nice that you've included me in the "anti-tax" group. You are wrong, but that is what you get when you try and define people you don't know.

    Hand raised

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    maxgramm please explain how those making under $125k ($250k married filing jointly) will not be subject to:

    the $0.06/gal gas tax increase

    the 50% increase in auto registration tax

    the new tax on their health insurance (if they have health insurance)

    the tax increase on cigarettes if they smoke

    the tax increase on hard alcohol if they drink

  • Boats (unverified)
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    My wife and myself have been adjusting our family's expected 2009 TY AGI downward ever since it became clear that Obama was going to win and a Democratic majority would be in place in both DC and Salem. Neither set of jackasses is trustworthy, so why not move below their squishy income tax line of fire? We are enjoying more downtime, though my former office assistant is probably not enjoying her lay off and more people can't find a doctors' office taking on new patients.

    Greed is a double edged sword. If I am working harder for my family's best interests, then it is easier to tolerate the demanded trade offs for that effort. When it is the government's greed demanding that I fork over more of the proceeds of my efforts to feed their pet causes, it is worth re-examining the merits of leisure time since no enterprising politician has yet found a way to tax idleness.

    Why pull the gravy train harder just because the free riders crack their whip faster than they did last year? Don't worry though, when the tax projections don't pan out, reality will hit home later for the tax consumers that fewer folks want to pull harder just because the free riders bitch loudly.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jason, "Unfortunately, until both sides learn to compromise better with a combination sensible tax increases and program reductions, this state will continue to wallow in it's budget quagmire. "

    Exactly which members of Ways and Means or Revenue did you communicate with on your suggestions for "a combination sensible tax increases and program reductions,"?

    It has long been true that people who complain about legislative action are very thin on the details.

  • insider (unverified)
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    Kurt:

    None of the fees you listed will be on the ballot, so the question goes back to whether or not you make $250,000 per year?

    If not, you won't pay more. If so, then you will pay about 1% more on the amount above $250,000.

    I think those rich folks will still be OK.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Might be worthwhile commenting here:

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/mapesonpolitics/2009/07/washington_oregon_and_taxes.html#comments

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    Boats: My wife and myself have been adjusting our family's expected 2009 TY AGI downward ever since it became clear that Obama was going to win and a Democratic majority would be in place in both DC and Salem.

    Oh yeah, pal. That's really believable. You're telling us that you make well over a quarter million dollars per year, and have decided to partially quit work, jeopardizing your practice, rather than pay a few hundred bucks in more taxes. And, despite the Hippocratic oath, don't seem to give a damn about your supposed patients - unlike the way real medical professionals think (even relatively conservative ones). Nor are you talking about your retirement savings or investments, which is the way people who really have over a million dollars in net worth think (I do).

    So I think I'm going to call B.S. on yet another anonymous lying right wing troll. Try to peddle your wares to someone who is a bit more gullible.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    I'm not the medical professional, my wife is. We are not wealthy, but float on either side of that income threshold most years, as a balancing act between working hard enough and working too hard.

    She had been ramping up to return to a full practice load four years after the birth of our last child, but the uncertainty of higher taxation and the prospect of Democrats turning physicians into latter day field slaves through "health care reform" have made it an easy call to avoid the hassle and have her continue covering vacations and seeing her established patients as a part timer. You should look up the career satisfaction stats of doctors lately, the numbers are in the toilet given that one is either mostly a paper pusher for insurance companies or grossly undercompensated by various governmental programs and a paper pusher for them as well. The Hippocratic Oath is nice in theory, but it isn't an insanity or suicide pact.

    We don't need the money unless we want it, as we live rather simply and weren't caught out too much by the market tanking last fall. The future tax savings involved, depending on the happy horseshit that passes out of the 111th Congress, could be in the tens of thousands of dollars in addition to avoiding literally scores of hours monthly that would be spent in ultimate toil in increasing part to elected officials and appointed bureaucrats when the time could be spent at home or actually watching our kids' after school activities.

    You speak like someone who doesn't make enough money via labor to have any tax uncertainties color any of his planning decisions. Staying south of 250K for the foreseeable future when our primary way of generating income is through the trading of time is an easy choice right now, just like it was in the first Clinton term, and just like it was for my father cutting back his time to stay out of the highest brackets during the Carter Administration. We don't owe anyone else a living through working harder "just because." Once the maximum contributions to the 401k and other tax deferred investments are made and the monthly budget is met, income generation is optional for most professionals unless they have trapped themselves in a lavish lifestyle that owns them.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Boats story reminded me of this one a while back:

    President Barack Obama's tax proposal – which promises to increase taxes for those families with incomes of $250,000 or more -- has some Americans brainstorming ways to decrease their pay, even if it's just by a dollar. A 63-year-old attorney based in Lafayette, La., who asked not to be named, told ABCNews.com that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the quarter million mark should the Obama tax plan be passed by Congress and become law. ... "We are going to try to figure out how to make our income $249,999.00," she said. "We have to find a way out where we can make just what we need to just under the line so we can benefit from Obama's tax plan," she added. "Why kill yourself working if you're going to give it all away to people who aren't working as hard?" The attorney says that in order to decrease her income she'll have to let go of clients, some of whom she's been counseling for more than a decade. "This means I'll have to tell some of my clients we can't help them and being more selective in general about who we help," she said. "I hate to do it." ... Dr. Sharon Poczatek, who runs her own dental practice in Boulder, Colo., said that she too is trying to figure out ways to get out of paying the taxes proposed in Obama's plan. "I've put thought into how to get under $250,000," said Poczatek. "It would mean working fewer days which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off."

    A tax increase affects the marginal dollar that a person gains. That's means only every dollar over $250,000 is taxed at a higher rate.

  • Old Ducker (unverified)
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    According to a study produced by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, titled "Freedom in the 50 States" Oregon ranks as follows:

    Fiscal Policy 27th Regulatory Policy 38th Economic Freedom 36th Personal Freedom 7th

    At least we got one out of four.

    http://www.mercatus.org/uploadedFiles/M ... States.pdf

  • Boats (unverified)
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    But mp97303 good progressives like Mr. Maurer doesn't believe people actually tax plan with an eye on avoiding paying increased income taxes. Corporations do it. Small business owners do it. Fat cat Democratic contributors do it. U2 does it. Somehow, Oregonians who are at the threshold of $250k per annum are supposed to be self-sacrificing saints that are simply different from mere mortals.

    I have to say that my line of work assisting law firms and businesses daily navigate some of the more esoteric and ever changing parts of the CFR and OAR as regards imports, exports, and shipping, as well as helping my wife manage the financial side of her practice, particularly as regards Medicare and the OHP, has done more to make me anti-government than any political rhetoric ever has.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    Yeah Kari, Rs are opposed to basic services. There's nothing funded with tax dollars but legitimate basice services we all use. Rublicans are so mean and stupid they're against the services we all need. You've never heard any Rs site any areas other than basic services where countless billions are devoured.

    All of the spending by the Oregon legislature, California and the Congress is vital. Taxpayers and businesses must hand over whatever it takes to sustain the trajectory of expanding government and increased spending on basic services we all demand. Is that about it?

  • Tom Vail (unverified)
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    And of course we need to create class warfare. The class of people who earn more than $250,000 each year should be taxed at higher rates than those not in that class. So how do you feel when that number changes to $125,000 per year, or $35,000 per year? Do you want to be in the class that is discriminated against? And how long do you think the Class of the "rich" will be defined this way? On Sept. 12, 2008, Mr. Obama said, "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." He may have kept that promise for75 days unless no person earning under $250k smokes. On April 1st, Mr. Obama raised Federal taxes on Cigarettes, thereby raising taxes on those people. It will be interesting to watch how many more 'exceptions' there will be to his "firm pledge."
    It will also be interesting to see how long it is until the next increase both at the state and federal level. If past experience is any indicator, we don't have long to wait. How long until the next session in Salem, 9 months? By the way, I liked the cartoon, too. It was obvious that it was making fun of people who are anti-tax (whatever that means) but was also fun that the cartoonist portrayed the legislature as being fat - seemed rather appropriate.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    The White House seems to be retreating from President Barack Obama’s campaign promise that he would not raise taxes on families making less than $250,000.

    here

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Wendy Gramm, Mercatus Center Distinguished Senior Scholar" is one of the people associated with that center. As I recall, she is Mrs. Phil Gramm, and there is some question about her activities involving both Commodity Futures Trading Comm. and Enron--she left CFTC for the Enron Board.

    Now if someone wants to grade Oregon or any other state by the views of a think tank Gramm belongs to, more power to them. Just don't pretend it is an unbiased yardstick which no one has the right to question.

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    Boats We are not wealthy, but float on either side of that income threshold [$250,000] most years

    Well then, when you hit that threshold exactly, you earn more than 98.5% of all Americans (using 2005 figures - today it's even higher). And because Oregon is a state whose economy is largely still focused on manufacturing, you earn more than 99% of them.

    Take 100 Oregon families at random. Yours is the top earner. Don't pretend you're not wealthy.

    Largely thanks to your wife, along the U.S. government interfering in the market, keeping perfectly qualified students out of medical schools so as to keep U.S. doctor's salaries artificially high, you can afford to whine about how put upon you are, and take mini-vacations when you feel like it. Tom Vail can go batshit crazy, pretending that paying $1 more for every $100 you earn, is "warfare", like the street warfare you see in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran.

    But the truth is that you're both just spoiled toddlers with no clue about the real world outside your comfortable little cocoon. No other country in the world would coddle the delusions of grandeur of people like you, and quite frankly, the U.S. simply can't afford it anymore. Not and retain our world leadership.

    So if you want to go on strike and hold your breath until you turn blue, please be welcome to it. It will only hasten the time when your ability to leech off society by taking a salary disproportionate to your contributions is reduced. And the U.S. will become healthier for it.

  • steve (unverified)
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    What if, in some parallel universe, The USA designated one state, as a territory (reservation) for "conservatives". The territory would not extract federal taxes from residents, and would not spend general revenue in the territory or contract with corporations headquartered in the territory, and residents would be exempt from federal programs. The residents would not be able to vote in national elections. People who really hate government would have a place to go, away from the rest of us.

    Here's another wacko idea: suppose we had a two-tier tax system. People could elect to pay lower taxes, say 10-20% lower, but forfeit their right to vote. How would that change things?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Now I am convinced that in Third World hovels all over the globe, there is the local version of Mr. Maurer, railing to the dirt floor about how the local doctor is making five dollars a day, along with the occasional bartered chicken. How dare she!

    Most people do not possess the drive, stamina, and well balanced intelligence it takes to be a physician as trained in the western world's accredited medical schools. I know I didn't. There are washouts even among those who have made untold sacrifices in time and energy just to gain admittance.

    Resent away. Apparently we have somehow (massive amounts of effort and a late start to our family) climbed to near the top of the crab barrel, but we always feel your clutches.

  • LT (unverified)
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    2 specific questions:

    How long after passage was the budget which became Measure 30 signed into law (incl. the tax surcharge)?

    How many of the 90 days did it take CSE Freedomworks to collect the signatures to refer what became Measure 30?

    One general question: In what ways has the political climate in Oregon changed since Measure 30 (aside from the fact that Kim Thatcher is now a state rep. and Bob Tiernan is now GOP State Chair)?

    Could those questions possibly have more to do with whether these tax bills land on the ballot in January than debates here over whether someone qualifies as "wealthy" if they earn more than 90% of Oregonians, or insulting someone who comments here? I know from experience that insulting someone on BO is not likely to change that person's behavior--except possibly to make them more devoted to whatever they believe than before they were insulted.

    I agree with Posted by: insider | Jul 2, 2009 3:33:10 PM

    Calling me names won't change that.

  • Betty Whit (unverified)
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    Am I th eonlt one who thinks Steve Maurer's self-righteous attitude and downright nastiness do more to hurt progressive causes than help them?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Steve said: People could elect to pay lower taxes, say 10-20% lower, but forfeit their right to vote.

    Kurt Says: How about a better idea? Only real property owners get to vote on proposed property tax increases? Non real property owners don't vote on those measures.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Mr. Maurer

    I would suggest that you are a sanctimonious ass.

  • altross (unverified)
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    Steve Maurer says: No other country in the world would coddle the delusions of grandeur of people like you, and quite frankly, the U.S. simply can't afford it anymore. Not and retain our world leadership.

    Mr Maurer obviously doesn't understand the average US medical graduate is ~$140K in debt while college and medical training in other countries is subsidized. He's also not aware of the exorbitant US malpractice insurance rates relative to the rest of the world. And that European doctors may work half the hours of American doctors (speaking of being coddled...)

    Sure, go ahead and somehow increase the supply of doctors (by increasing US training capacity or letting more doctors in from outside US) to try to drive down their salaries. Then see how many decide to leave or even never enter the profession because they can't justify the debt/expense and amount of effort required with the return. We're talking smart people here who many would make just as much if not more in other careers.

    A doctor making $250K a year is contributing a helluva lot more to society than the countless $100K+ (not including benefits) bureaucrats lounging around in Oregon state government.

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    And of course we need to create class warfare

    No Tom, class warfare was "created" long before anybody had figured out how to keep records on it. The first time some asshole sat down beside a pond with a sharp stick to drive away trespassers trying to get "his" fish, was the founding of "I've got mine so fuck you" conservatism.

    Class warfare in this country has been ramping up ever since we elected a cheery, mouth breathing, B movie actor as president back in the early eighties, and your side has been the aggressor. They never even attempted to balance a budget, and spent money on their DOD, insurance, and resource extraction industry cronies like a bunch of drunken sailors, while systematically and methodically cutting their own percentage of contribution to government funding.

    Then in the past eight years the wheels came completely off of the Big Republican Gravy Train, because you can only get away with stealing so much before your victims decide they've had a buttful of people robbing them blind while simultaneously whining and drooling about the sacrifices they make for those less worthy, as if there were some high moral component to wealth itself.

    It's now the turn of the other 98.5% of the population to do some catching up.

  • JulieJ (unverified)
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    Amen, Pat.

    Gloats, Dickhead and Old Fucker are just insulted that the cartoon has a barrel holding the water. When it rains on your bar-b-que, that's natural climate, damnit, we don't care if there IS a huge barrel with a hand holding it, pouring it out. That might not be caused by a person. We need much more research, first. Also, have you considered that watering the bar-b-que might help the burgers?

    No, what we need is a helluva lot more bar-b-que grills. Go kill some more burger makin's! It's a message from God!

    You know, if you ask a monkey what it thinks of a Monet... But the thing with you Kari is, you count the monkey's vote, if it comes with a check. That's the difference between party and progressive.

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    Thanks, Steve M.

    Per altross:

    Mr Maurer obviously doesn't understand the average US medical graduate is ~$140K in debt while college and medical training in other countries is subsidized. He's also not aware of the exorbitant US malpractice insurance rates relative to the rest of the world. And that European doctors may work half the hours of American doctors (speaking of being coddled...)

    Well, the fairly obvious answer to this is to reform the U.S. health system so that it is more like those others -- subsidize medical education for all who desire and are qualified so they don't face that debt, organize a sensible system of payment that doesn't beset them with huge amounts of paperwork and unpredictability and constant negotiation with insurers who make profits by denying claims, and that rewards them for the quality of health outcomes for their patients rather than the number of ways they can cut up "services" and charge for them, creating incentives (and pressures) to spend less and less time with patients, that rewards prevention and early stage primary care disease management.

    As for malpractice, I think most docs are caught in a game of political chicken between lawyers operating on 'spec and politicians they fund who defend the current system full stop, vs. right-wing ideologues funded by the most conservative doctors who don't want to recognize the full consequences of the worst malpractice and try to put unreasonable caps on compensation. There is a huge undistributed middle between the two.

    And, of course, if there were a sensible publicly guaranteed health care system that ensured that victims of malpractice, or of non-malpractice medical error, just wrong judgment, if those patients were assured of needed care and their families of needed support for care because that's just what the system does, the whole ground of looking at medical error and malpractice would be changed.

    But of course the ideologues prefer their ideological talking points to a health system that works better for the sick and injured, the not yet sick or injured, and the doctors and nurses and other providers.

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    P.S. As an undergraduate ca. 1980 I had the interesting experience of attending a lecture for Reed students and faculty by Milton Friedman, prior to a much larger public lecture he gave that evening.

    One thing that surprised me that I found interesting was that it turned out Professor Friedman was an educational socialist of sorts (actually an educational single payer advocate, which only socialist in one dimension).

    Friedman advocated that education be publicly funded for all who qualified to the highest level they could attain.

    I expect there will be rejoinders along lines of "well, even Friedman had to be wrong sometimes," just as, to be fair, my favor to this argument over others he made amounts to something like the converse. But the interesting fact stands.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    <h2>Frontline did a remarkable piece on healthcare reform last year. You really should check it out here</h2>
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    why such loooong comments on our gov't..... its a cartoon for the 4th of July not the stupid gov't... enjoy the picture =, it was made to make ppl laugh

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