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Showing posts from September, 2008

Need a More Creative Health Care Solution

I read John McCain's speech. I prefer to read the transcript rather than listen to the speech itself because I believe all the applause breaks get in the way. I was very impressed. I do have to quibble with one line however:

"My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government-run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor."

I still do not understand why it is acceptable for an insurance company bureaucrat to stand between me and my doctor! Let's try and eliminate the middleman altogether. Is the insurance model the only way to solve our health care crisis? As I've written on previous posts: just think about the insurance business model. If you look at it from a business model point of view, I believe you'll find that private, for-profit insurance is not an optimal solution. Replac…

Labor Day Discussions

I had a discussion with my brother in law over the weekend about politics and economic policy. He is a Republican through and through (in fact, both of my brother in laws are right-wingers). We talked about tax incentives to send jobs overseas. He told me he had heard that, but didn't really know the facts. I thought I knew the facts, but I was wrong. I looked it up and got the same story from both factcheck.org and The Harvard University Law & Policy Review.

There is a feature in the US tax code that allows US companies to defer taxes on profits generated in overseas subsidiaries. Once that profit is moved back to the United States, it is then taxable. Not surprisingly, the profits are rarely moved back to the US. Harvard estimates approximately $639 billion in profits remained offshore in 2002 - all escaping US tax. Based on a corporate tax rate of 35%, that means that the United States is "out" $223.65 billion dollars in taxes (though after all the deductions and o…