Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spotted By Mike's Eyes Sept. 08

Donald Luskin at Conspiricy to Keep You Poor and Stupid ( Isn't that a fair description of all political campaigns?) posts on the truth of all the pessimistic, it's worse than the great depression, cries of Obama, his MSM, and even McCain with some interesting facts. One example:
"The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) database, which allows rigorous apples-to-apples comparisons, only goes back to 1979. It shows that today's delinquency rate is only a little higher than the level seen in 1985. As to the foreclosure rate, it was setting records for the day -- the highest since the Great Depression, one supposes -- in 1999, at the peak of the Clinton-era prosperity that Obama celebrated in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention late last month. I don't recall hearing any Democratic politicians complaining back then."

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Next is a Monday Sept 15th Detroit News article "Hospitals gave $2.6B for care."
Last year, hospitals provided:

• $2.1 billion in un-reimbursed medical care to state residents, including $209 million in charity care for low-income patients who qualify for free services and $605 million written off as bad debt for unpaid patient bills.

• $94.5 million on voluntary programs and services such as free clinics, health screenings, immunizations and prescription drugs.

• $331.5 million for research, education and in-kind contributions.

• 224,000 free visits to hospital- and community-based health clinics at a value of $35 million.
And:
The spending break down on this year's report is similar to new reporting requirements set to go into effect in 2009 on tax forms filed by nonprofit hospitals. The new forms will require health systems to report detailed data about their community contributions to justify their tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service.
So they have to buy their tax-exempt status with sacrifices to the 'community.' Government altruism always means forced sacrifices, and higher prices.
Caroline Sallee, a consultant and health care researcher with the Anderson Economic Group in Lansing, said the report puts a dollar figure on these community contributions.

However, it fails to point out that many of these hospital programs are also supported through taxpayer funding in the form of state and federal grants, she said. And many hospitals tend to raise rates for privately insured and uninsured patients to offset some of the losses incurred by bad debt.

"It's not that this is all free," Sallee said. "This isn't the sort of thing the hospitals are taking a hit. They have to make the money some way."
I'm reminded of Rand's phrase "How? Somehow."
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A tiny bit of good news: "Budget shortfall cuts spots in Peace Corps." Same edition of Det. News.
At a time when both presidential candidates have pledged to promote and expand national service, the popular humanitarian assistance program that sends thousands of Americans abroad annually is now planning to cut 400 volunteer positions in the face of an unexpected multimillion-dollar budget shortfall. With fewer spots, an increasing number of Peace Corps nominees who were expecting to begin service this fall have seen their deployments delayed at least until next year -- and in some cases indefinitely.
Should be permanently. Now there's a program that needs to be shut down.
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J. Kendall has a post titled "How NOT to Teach China a Lesson" at Crucible and Column. When other countries see things like the mortgage crises they will conclude that capitalism doesn't work and a planned economy is best. It will be because of capitalism's defenders. Sad.

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