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August 03, 2009

Pardon My Confusion....

... but what, precisely, is so surprising about this?

“You can make big money trading with the government,” said an executive at one leading investment management firm. “The government is a huge buyer and seller and Wall Street has all the pricing power.”

A former official of the US Treasury and the Fed said the situation had reached the point that “everyone games them. Their transparency hurts them. Everyone picks their pocket.”

Isn't the Obama administration all about stimulating the economy via massive tax-funded wealth transfers? You know you've entered the Twilight Zone when Barney Frank starts making sense:

Barney Frank, chairman of the House financial services committee, said the potential profiteering may be part of the price for stabilising the financial system.

“You can’t rescue the credit system without benefiting some of the people in it.”

If only the federal government could figure out how to kill off that pesky profit incentive and steal everything from everybody. Equality sounds so yummilicious... in theory.

In practice, it would seem to be far less attractive:

...many Americans think Congress is out of touch. How, they wonder, can lawmakers empathize with the underinsured or those lacking insurance when they receive a benefits package -- heavily subsidized by taxpayers -- that most of us can only envy?

Among the advantages: a choice of 10 healthcare plans that provide access to a national network of doctors, as well as several HMOs that serve each member's home state. By contrast, 85% of private companies offering health coverage provide their employees one type of plan -- take it or leave it.
Lawmakers also get special treatment at Washington's federal medical facilities and, for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers.

In all, taxpayers spent about $15 billion last year to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents, including postal service employees, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Generous plans are available in private industry. But the federal coverage far surpasses that enjoyed by 70 million Americans who are underinsured and at financial risk in the event of a major health crisis -- not to mention the estimated 46 million who have no medical insurance.

Posted by Cassandra at August 3, 2009 07:52 AM

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Comments

The joy can never be totally extinguished; too much comedy in the environment, too much love within Milady.

The pressure builds in the exhaust manifold and suddenly - voila! - the joy bursts forth again.

Posted by: socialism_is_error at August 3, 2009 09:30 AM

But the federal coverage far surpasses that enjoyed by 70 million Americans who are underinsured and at financial risk in the event of a major health crisis -- not to mention the estimated 46 million who have no medical insurance.

Yup, which is why I think the simplest solution to insuring the uninsured is to let anyone who wants to buy into the Federal Employees Health Plan with the government subsidizing those who can't afford it. I estimate that would cost $166.65 billion per year (worst case) which is a lot of money but about the same as is being proposed now with much less government overhead.

I'm glad you're back.

Posted by: Elise at August 3, 2009 10:18 AM

I'll be sure to bring this up at my first End-of-care (EOC) consultation. It will be a fun give-and-take as we discuss tort reform, tart reform, tarp reform, depends reform, and generic morphine to keep me compliant as they slowly help me realize my actuarial date of demise (DOD) which should coincide with the time of my diaper change which will save money.

I wonder if my estate could make some money from organ harvesting just before my last breath? We have 'cash for clunkers' how about "Cash for Geezers?"

Posted by: vet66 at August 3, 2009 10:43 AM

But the federal coverage far surpasses that enjoyed by 70 million Americans who are underinsured and at financial risk in the event of a major health crisis...

Heh. It far surpasses that "enjoyed" by disabled military retirees, too.

Posted by: BillT at August 3, 2009 12:59 PM

The joy can never be totally extinguished...

It's amazing how a few days of working your tuckus off in the garden can restore your perspective :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 3, 2009 01:50 PM

Welcome back, Cass!

When you take a breather again, leave the comments open so we can write a story to cheer you up, ok?

Posted by: MathMom at August 3, 2009 02:04 PM

Sorry about that. I didn't want people to feel like they needed to say anything just because I was having a sense of humor failure :p

Posted by: Cassandra at August 3, 2009 02:10 PM

It's amazing how a few days of working your tuckus off in the garden can restore your perspective

The world may change -- but the dirt doesn't.

Ummmmmm, except when it changes from being part of the garden to being part of your clothes...

Posted by: BillT at August 3, 2009 02:13 PM

:)

Maybe it's just playing in the dirt that I enjoy.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 3, 2009 11:33 PM

I wonder if my estate could make some money from organ harvesting just before my last breath?

Oh, no! That would be immoral. Selling your organs for profit is banned in all right-thinking countries.

Rather, you shall virtuously donate your organs to those in need. If it's not in the law yet, it will be.

Posted by: Grim at August 3, 2009 11:46 PM

...organ harvesting...
We have 'cash for clunkers' how about "Cash for Geezers?
After reading that, Walkin' Boss assigned me to the Midwatch.

*begins making a pot of coffee to shape and tone the internal organs*

Posted by: bthun at August 4, 2009 12:17 AM

Exactly so. That way, as the diligent middleman, the gumment will be authorized to claim a modest finder's fee.

Of course, in order to provide quality assurance that it has procured a relatively undamaged product, the gummint will decree that consumption of any and all organ-damaging substances, to include tobacco, high-density lipoproteins, iodized salt, all forms of dextrose and glucose, alcohol, animal protein, and non-ant-friendly flour, and /or deliberate exposure to ultraviolet light, rural oxygen, and cosmic rays will be a capital offense.

Posted by: BillT at August 4, 2009 12:27 AM

Coffeeeeeeeeee...

Posted by: BillT at August 4, 2009 12:29 AM

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