Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2008

A Little Perspective on the Abortion Debate

Representative Warde Nichols of the Arizona State Legislature gave an impassioned floor speech supporting a ban on partial-birth abortions.

He tells the story of a baby who was born prematurely to a drug addicted mother in 1969 (pre roe v wade). This baby was adopted and went on to live a very successful life.

All children have the potential to be great. Who are we to deny them that based on their circumstances before birth? Read the speech, it's very good.

More Help for Health Insurance Reform

I can't help it. Maybe it's because our health insurance system is so broken. Maybe it's because the proposals from the left sound a lot like socialized medicine (not good). I don't know what it is but every now and then I get more ideas for how to fix the insurance system. Here's my latest thoughts.

Let's get rid of the overhead from all of that massive paperwork. How? Let's turn insurance cards into something akin to credit cards. You go to the doctor and the front desk runs your insurance card just like a credit card, inputs the code for your visit, and the insurance pays its amount. At this point you can either be done or pay a co-pay.

For this to really work, we would also need unified billing codes so that a physical for one doctor's office doesn't show up like brain surgery for another. Once all of the codes are the same, you run the card, input the code, and it shows you how much the insurance covers. Subtract that from what the doct…

How do taxes affect us?

I was commenting on a blog entry about a property tax repeal that the Arizona Legislature just made permanent but which the governor is likely (in my opinion) to veto and it got me thinking about how much we really pay in taxes. After all, almost every product we buy is from a taxed business that employs taxed laborers. So guess who is paying those taxes? That's right, it's us!

A lot of people mistakenly think a tax hike that doesn't affect them directly is ok. In fact, many get a sense of satisfaction if they see the government sticking it to "big oil" or "big business" but who is really paying that tax? That's right, we are. Businesses that have to pay higher taxes will do one of two things (usually):

1) Raise prices to cover the cost. This means that the tax that was affecting businesses is being paid by you and me when we make our purchases.

2) Move their business to a less expensive environment ( different city, different state, or even a di…

Idea to help FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has come under a lot of fire for it's response to Hurricane Katrina. Now I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that FEMA's issues were not simply poor management but a fundamental issue with its setup. What I mean is that throughout its history, FEMA's response to disasters has been money. For example, if you're hit by a natural disaster, FEMA gives you money to help get you back on your feet. Yes there's a bit more to it than that, but that is the gist of it. At least that's how it seems to me. If I'm dead wrong, please let me know.

So where's the problem? Well, if a natural disaster affects a couple hundred of fewer people, it's not a problem. There are enough nearby resources that simply writing a check can take care of food, water, and shelter for those affected. However, in Katrina's case, there were thousands affected and no nearby supplies that were sufficient to help. So the pro…

Do Term Limits Help or Hurt Government?

I used to be a staunch supporter of term limits. Get 'em out of there! We don't need career politicians! However, the more I've learned about how government works, the more I've had to question whether the benefits of term limits outweigh the drawbacks.

Pros:
Gets rid of corrupt politicians - The main advantage to term limits is it keeps individual people from having too much power for too long. You don't have the "entrenched" politicians to try to deal with. You have less corruption because the corrupt politician doesn't have enough time (hopefully) to do any real damage. No matter how good the bad guy hides his true nature, eventually, he'd kicked out.Brings in fresh ideas/perspectives - By insuring that you constantly have new people in government, you get a constant influx of new ideas, new ways of solving problems, and new perspectives. This can create a more vibrant government that really is concerned with helping the people.Cons:
Throws…

Why Good People Don't Run for Office

Everybody sees what wrong with politics. Some see more than others. However, what good is seeing the problems if you don't/can't fix them? If everybody running for office is corrupt, why don't honest people give them a run for their money? Here are some of my thoughts:

Money - No I'm not talking about raising enough money to campaign, I'm talking about feeding your family while you're in office. In Arizona, the annual salary for legislators is $24,000. Sure a lot of people say that since the State Congress is only is session half the year, the salary should be low. However, if legislators were really fulfilling their responsibilities, they would (and some do) spend their off time researching issues, getting feedback from their constituents, planning for the next session, etc. So how does someone afford to be a legislator on that salary? Well, the middle class is out; that salary probably wouldn't pay most middle class mortgages much less buy food, p…