bryan coe digital marketing strategist

Healthcare and Taxes

Every once and a while I post something that is.. well political. Last Friday, I had a very brief discussion with a friend about taxes. One of my comments was that we are one if not the lowest taxed industrialized countries. I also, said I think we are under taxed. Well, I was reminded of this today when I read a statement from Michael Moore (see quote below). Of course about now many of you are probably branding me as a bleeding heart liberal intent on big government blah, blah… Just for saying that I think we are under taxed, and I must be a liberal if I mention Michael Moore. I will only caution that we should all drop the silly categorizations (Liberal, Conservative, etc..) and actually think about things. If we can get past the laziness of these labels, maybe, just maybe some things will actually change for the better.

With that said let me clarify. Our government spends billions upon billions on a war that was never officially declared war. (For it to be an official war, congress must declare war. The president has a constitutional right to move troops but not to declare war.) Congress never declared war on Iraq. Here’s an article to support that. Who Can Declare War? Backgrounder and Research Guide and Section 8: Powers of Congress But, that is another topic. Even as the US goes further and further in debt, taxes are cut and the administration claims it is trimming the budget. Now, none of the trimming is coming off of the “War in Iraq”. It’s coming from things like after school programs, literacy programs, they tried with social security as well as health care. Now, it would seem very obvious to me, what is more important use of US tax dollars: A widely discredited “war”, or programs that directly help the American people? In the end though, the USA general public is broadly mislead to believe that a tax cut is really going to help them and help put more money in their pockets. And still we continue to have alarming numbers of bankruptcies in the US. One of the major causes of bankruptcy is medical bills. This brings me to the Moore quote. I leave the rest to him:

“THAT’S the only thing we should be talking about. How profit and greed are killing our fellow Americans. How profit and private insurance have to be removed from our health care system. CNN should join me in asking why our 9/11 rescue workers aren’t receiving medical care. Somebody should send a crew to Canada to find out why they live longer than we do, and why no Canadian has ever gone bankrupt because of medical bills. And all of the media should start saying how much it costs to go to a doctor in these other top industrialized countries: Nothing. Zip. It’s FREE. Don’t patronize Americans by saying, “Well, it’s not free — they pay for it with taxes!” Yes, we know that. Just like we know that we drive down a city street for FREE — even though we paid for that street with our taxes. The street is FREE, the book at the library is FREE, if your house catches on fire, the fire department will come and put it out for FREE, and if someone snatches your purse, the police officer will chase down the culprit and bring your purse back to you — AND HE WON’T CHARGE YOU A DIME FROM THAT PURSE!

These are all free services, collectively socialized and paid for with our tax dollars. To argue that health care — a life and death issue for many — should not be considered in the same league is ludicrous and archaic. And trust me, once you add up what you pay for out-of-pocket in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, overpriced medicines, and treatments that aren’t covered (not to mention all the other things we pay for like college education, day care and other services that many countries provide for at little or no cost), we, as Americans, are paying far more than the Canadians or Brits or French are paying in taxes. We just don’t call these things taxes, but that’s exactly what they are.”