I watch Fox News every so often, just as I listen to Limbaugh and the rest every so often, just to get a glimpse into the minds of the Republicans, the right, and the Trump voters. This morning, I watched Fox News. The subject was health care and a governor’s race in New York.
The paradigm of participants on the panel was perplexing, at least from my point of view.
The called single payer of universal health care “government run health care” in a tone that was not complementary to government. However, these same people are strongly supportive of our government as they call for greater military spending by our government to protect us from terrorists. Do you see the problem I have? If cancer and terrorists are both threatening the general welfare of the citizens, why is government preferred in one area and not both?
Then there is the reality that we can either have health care run by our government or we can have it run by the wealthy class. Those are our two options, and Fox chooses the latter, but I digress.
There was the issue of paying for health care and that meant “higher taxes!” from the Fox Friends, without mentioning the fact that there would be no health insurance premiums anymore, and that would, at least in part if not in whole, offset the higher taxes. How so, you ask? Well, for one, the CEO’s of the health insurance companies total in the hundreds of millions each year while the chief administrator of Medicare and Medicaid receives less than $200K a year.
Finally, there was the mention that “the rich” would be taxed at higher levels to pay for this and if we do that, “the rich” will leave! Of course they did not use the term “the rich”, they used the term “the top earners”, implying that the rich got rich because they work harder, longer and smarter than the rest of us. As Piketty and others have discovered, that is simply not true. The rich are the rich because the rich have made the rules and make the decisions about how the wealth that we all help create is allocated.
Think of New York as a huge poker table, with millions of citizens playing the game, only in this game, the rules are such that only .01% of the players have a specific advantage. Maybe they are playing with marked cards, or tipping the dealer, or dealing from the bottom of the deck, it does not matter. The fact is that they are making a bundle at this table. If, somehow, the other players change the cards or the dealer, or somehow change the rules of the game so that the .01% get 50% of the chips instead of 75% of the chips, that does not mean that the rich will leave the table because the table and the millions of average citizens playing there is where the money comes from. Leaving the table means abandoning the golden goose and there is no goose in Kansas or other Republican low tax low regulation states. In short Tax Flight is a Myth
Finally, there was the statement that “without the economic encouragement of capitalism to spur and reward innovation” many of the health care actors in New York would leave and this stifling of innovation would be detrimental to the health of us all. Never mind the reality that 75% of so-called new molecular entities with priority rating (the most innovative drugs) trace their existence to NIH (government) funding, and that the AIDS virus was discovered by an employee of the US government, working with employees of the French government.
Next time I watch Fox, maybe I should just stick with The Simpsons….