A week or so ago, GorT came across this video in some of his research and reading. I’ve read one of Dave Ramsey’s books and I had mixed opinions: I think that his opinions and recommendations are solid but at the same time, they strike me as common sense. While I appreciate how he starts the video: “You’re not exempt from math if you’re a Republican, and you’re not exempt from math if you’re a Democrat.” But I think he falters a bit as the video rolls on – I think he could have really driven some points home. He essentially makes the point that the PP-ACA is unsustainable from a numbers and cost perspective. So I sat back and chewed on it a bit and then some liberal acquaintances cheered on this post.
For those who skim or don’t want to click through, the title of the blog post is “Taking Dave Ramsey to the Woodshed”. If that’s taking someone to the woodshed, they should come by and watch the Czar in action. He loves spending some time…ahem, working in the woodshed. This post is taking someone to the toothpick factory where you might get poked by one. Let’s take this apart.
First, our antagonist picks on the fact that Ramsey only quotes two numbers. You don’t need to quote exact numbers in order to show that the math won’t work. But let’s roll with it and see where it goes. He states that “[Ramsey] states that 46% of Americans don’t pay any taxes”. But the transcript reads as, “46% of Americans pay NO federal income tax”. The first rule of making an argument is to be really careful when using absolutes like “any” or “all” or “none”. Yes, payroll taxes are paid by all employed persons which include Social Security taxes. This is different than income taxes. This guy is ignoring a qualifier that I’m sure Dave Ramsey intentionally used to be accurate. We have a progressive income tax system where many Americans don’t earn enough to be required to pay income taxes and others get deductions and exemptions that eliminate the income tax burden they owe.
Second, the author, Nestucca Jackson picks on Ramsey for saying that people pay 15% of salaries to Social Security. He reluctantly accepts the number which is borne out with the 6.2% paid by employees and 6.2% paid by employers (or the 12.4% total for self-employed). Ramsey might be wrapping in the 2.9% paid to Medicare.
Third, the author goes on to say that Ramsey ignores the idea that “[b]y forcing healthy people to enroll in health insurance (and at a much lower cost than would have been possible before Obamacare), those companies get to add tens of thousands of new, low-risk customers to their revenue stream, which will keep premiums down.” At least the blogger is honest: this is forcing people to buy something in the marketplace. There are likely a fair amount of people that will accept the penalty payment and not enter the system which won’t contribute to offsetting the costs of the more sickly folks. There is a concern that there really isn’t broad competition in the federal and state run exchanges as a number of insurance companies have pulled out from participating in the exchanges. What the author glosses over is that it is the young, employed demographic that they are looking to pay into the system to offset these costs. A number of these folks traditionally opted out of health insurance or only bought catastrophic type coverages. Their premiums will rise significantly.
The basic facts remain: the demographics of the number of people more likely to be sick and require expensive healthcare will create a significant cost that will drive up rates. Combine this with the shortage of medical professionals to cover the estimate number of people at a rate and quality that exists within current coverages and you have an untenable situation.
But then again, you could just ignore the math. Me, personally, I’ll ignore the politics.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.