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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Health Care Fact Check, Mr. President

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the message


Blogger Bob said...

I received this email from our Republican Party.

Dear Bob,

President Obama told the American people in his weekend address he wanted to "start dispelling the outlandish rumors" about the Democrats' risky health care experiment.

I couldn't agree more with the President.

There is no place for outlandish rumor or outrageous rhetoric in the debate for the affordable and accessible health care reform we all want.

Below are some facts that will help you counter the dishonest rhetoric Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and liberal special interest groups are disseminating in their attempt to silence dissent:

Rhetoric: President Obama Promises Americans Can Keep Their Current Health Care Coverage. "You know, the interesting thing is we've actually been very clear on what we want. I've said I want to make sure if you have health care you are going to keep it..." (PBS's "The Newshour With Jim Lehrer," 7/20/09)

FACT: Analysis Shows Over 88 Million People To Lose Current Insurance Under Government Health Care Takeover. "Under current law, there will be about 158.1 million people who are covered under an employer plan as workers, dependents or early retirees in 2011. If the act were fully implemented in that year, about 88.1 million workers would shift from private employer insurance to the public plan." (John Shelis, Vice President, Lewin Group, "Analysis Of The July 15 Draft Of The American Affordable Health Choices Act Of 2009," 7/17/09)

Rhetoric: President Obama Pledges Americans Can Keep Their Doctor. "If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won't have to do a thing. You keep your plan. You keep your doctor...We're not going to mess with it." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At White House Press Conference,
The White House, 6/23/09)

FACT: Mayo Clinic Says Government-Run Health Care Will Force Doctors To Drop Patients. '[L]awmakers are on track to approve across-the-board federal payment reductions of $155 billion over 10 years for hospitals ... Mayo and similar health systems object to the sweeping cuts. 'Across-the-board cuts will be harmful to everyone and we think it is particularly bad to penalize the high-value organizations,' said Jeff Korsmo, executive director of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center. 'We will have to violate our values in order to stay in business and reduce our access to government patients.'" (Phil Galewitz, "'Model' Health Systems Press Case For Medicare Fix In Reform," Kaiser Health News, 7/20/09)

Rhetoric: President Obama Promises No Additional Taxes On Middle Class. "What I've said is, and I have stuck to this point, I don't want to see additional tax burdens on people making $250,000 a year or less." (NBC's "Today Show," 7/21/09)

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Email continued said...

FACT: Democrats' Plan Imposes 2.5% Tax On Uninsured Individuals. "The penalty assessed on people who would be subject to the mandate but did not obtain insurance would equal 2.5 percent of the difference between their adjusted gross income (modified to include tax-exempt interest and certain other sources of income) and the tax filing threshold ..." (Douglas W. Elmendorf, "Preliminary Analysis Of The Insurance Coverage Specifications Provided By The House Tri-Committee Group," Letter To Chairman Rangel, 7/17/09)

The Republicans want an honest and open debate about how to reform health care, but it is the Democrats who do not want to have a legitimate discussion on the issues. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their liberal special interest cronies are resorting to calling concerned citizens who have questions about their health care schemes "astroturf," "un-American," and even "political terrorists."

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Email conclusion said...

One White House aide went so far to say " if you get hit,we will punch back twice as hard " when coaching Senate Democrats on the ways of "Chicago land politics."

It's time for the President to practice what he preached on the campaign trail and respect all voices in the health care debate.

Help the RNC spread the facts about the Obama Democrats' dishonest rhetoric and stop their efforts to silence dissent by forwarding this email to your friends, and if you can, make a contribution of whatever you can afford to the RNC today.

And for more information about Obama's government-run health care experiment, go to

Bob, there's too much at stake for Democrats and their left-wing allies to dominate the debate on health care reform with misinformation, name calling and scare tactics. Please help Republicans fight back today!


Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S. Bob, over the past 8 years, Democrats repeatedly claimed dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Now that Americans across the country are speaking out against the Obama Democrats' risky government-run health care experiment, they call anyone who disagrees with them "un-American." Help the RNC counter the Democrats and their liberal special interest allies' dishonest rhetoric with the truth by forwarding this email on to your friends,

11:37 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I received this email from "our" Republican Party.

I should have said, "the" Repubican Party. :)

On another note.

I wonder if I will be added to Obamas "LIST" for posting this! LOL

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republicans point out Obama's lies as they should, but they will turn around and do the same thing. After offering us some piece of crap like McCain and now they want to be in a position of advising us. I don't believe anything either party says and I won't until one of them starts connecting with the real people in America.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First the "Lewin Group" that did the study and who all the "facts" come from is owned by the insurance industry. So, we start from there.

1. On who will "drop" actually switch to a government plan... they may be right that a lot of small businesses would decide to switch. The small non-profit that pays my health insurance pays almost $10,000 for my coverage (55 year old male). For that small business with 3 employees they pay over $25,000 in health insurance and only $102,000 in salary. Small businesses can't afford to insure old guys like me or young women. That is why we need health care reform and a public option.

2. As to will some clinics not take the government option... up to them. I can't use my group health to go to Mayo now! My insurance will only pay for the clinics on their list so WTF are they talking about?

3. What people on this blog don't get is this:

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2004, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.3% of
all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.3%, which means that just 20% of the
people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth
minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.2%.

There isn't a person reading this blog that fits in that top group and I doubt any in the top 20%. If you make $200,000 a year you are with the rest of us in the bottom 80%.

It is that wealthy group on the top that the GOP serves and this assault on health care reform is to take care of them.


Chuck Repke

8:53 AM  
Anonymous HealthCare or Torture said...

Health Care involves all

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll keep my own doctor thank you very much. Not interested in making an appearance before Obama's Death Panel to see what can I can get.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The VA is one failed form of Government health care. It wil be like that.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:18 - you have to be freaking kidding me!!

Except for when the ass hole GOP is in charge and slash the funding it is best medical coverage for free on the entire planet.

I only wish the average person in this country got that kind of coverage.


Chuck Repke

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just on that thought...

You know how many Republicans voted for Medicare?

You know how many Republicans voted for Medicade?

You know how many Republicans voted for Social Security?

About the same as will support health care reform now.

They don't give a damn about average Americans and haven't since Lincoln died.


Chuck Repke

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya Chuck. Where were you when the stories (true) came about about how VA hospitals all around were falling apart and growing mold.
Substandard medical treatment ?
Filthy VA hospitals.
You ever ask a vet ?

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct turn the government over to a political party that doesn't believe that government can work and they will prove it every time.

Bush slashed/cut/took away money from the VA. Ask anyone active in VA issues who was their champion during that time trying to get money to the hospitals... number 1 on their list, recognized by Vet groups around the country, got national awards from the vet groups?... Paul Wellstone (liberal/socialist/pinko) from Minnesota.

Who was the champion for the last four years in the Senate after Wellstone died? Hillary Clinton.

You guys have a point. Every time we put the GOP in charge of the government they F it up.

Now if we would just learn that lesson. Things would go much smoother.


Chuck Repke

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, let's consider the source of this information. The Republican Party who have stood against Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Head Start, HUD, GI Bill, Student Loans, Pell Grant etc. All programs that help average Americans.

Now the Lewin Group. From the Washington Post on July 23, 2009:

Lewin Group is owned by a subsidiary of UnitedHealth called Ingenix that was accused by the American Medical Association and the New York attorney general of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied UnitedHealth and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "reasonable and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care. In January, UnitedHealth agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New York Attorney General and a $350 million settlement with the AMA, covering conduct going back as far as 1994.

Nice group of guys you're hitching your wagon to on this one. Once again, the multi-millionaires have found some who are so stupid as to advocate against their own best interest only to enrich the rich.


8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll keep my own doctor thank you very much. Not interested in making an appearance before Obama's Death Panel to see what can I can get.
1:15 PM

Any basis for this except from Sara Palin? No? You know why? Because its a lie.

They have taken a completely VOLUNTARY provision, writing by a southern conservative Republican and twisted it into a sick lie.

The provision provides counseling about the end of YOUR life. Its a legal realm called a living will. So that your doctor and family are clear on your wishes. If you are incapacitated or vegetative, due to an illness or accident, you may want a specific relative to act as power of attorney or, be taken to your own home or hospice, or you may want to be on life support for a year, ten years or never. Its your call with your doctor. This is the way it is in many states right now. If Florida had this, Terry Schivo's private hell would not have been a national issue.

Again, this is something that is supported by responsible people, ministers who do a lot of this counseling and doctors. Your wishes.

If you really do have private insurance, then you know that we already have death panels. Insurance companies make decisions based on their bottom line, not your comfort, on what kind of care you receive. If you ever spent time with a loved one dying from cancer or some other terminal illness, you know that the insurance company is not there for them.

Back to Sarah Palin.

Palin — or, at least, the state of Alaska — has a “death panel” problem of its own. One of the agencies under her was ran so bad that the Anchorage Daily News in July, reported on the deaths of elderly patients due to mismanagement and neglect from Alaska state medical programs.

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found…

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

No wonder she's afraid of the public option.

Ya Chuck. Where were you when the stories (true) came about about how VA hospitals all around were falling apart and growing mold.
Substandard medical treatment ?
Filthy VA hospitals.
You ever ask a vet ?
4:03 AM

Not only asked them but, spent a lot of time volunteering there in my younger days. Drove my grandfather to one every week when I was a teenager.

The care is excellent, the facilities are dated. Look at the funding history for the VA's.

Going back to 1994, the Republican slashed the budget year after year- even during the war. Bush cut it to the bone.

A trillion dollars to fight a war but cries of budget constraints to fund the facilities AND programs that help the vets when they come home. Those are the kind of people you vote for.

A Democrat in 2006, wrote the new GI Bill to take better care of our troops when the come home, Bush vetoed it. It took a Democratic President to come in to sign it.


9:20 AM  
Anonymous Government Snitch Smoking Gun said...

Government Snitch
From the Smokin Gun

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bush cut it to the bone ( he was in office for 8 fn years )then this would explain why it's been so shity. Obama hasn't been in office long enough to make a difference.
The way it was when you were a teenager Eric was, well lets say, different. Not like today. Horror storys in the internet tell the stories. Do I need to post them ?

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a teenager going there every week with my grandfather. However, I was well into my 20's when I took up volunteering there.

The horror stories are not due to incompetence but, the realities of an underfunded bureaucracy. The doctors and nurses were some of the best.

Obama has added billions and signed the new GI Bill. He's done more in six months than W in eight years.


5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that really you shaking hands with Obama Eric ? (on facebook).

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last August at the Minneapolis Hilton when he was still Senator Obama.


9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did President Obama know your position on the sleazy enforcement policies in St. Paul?

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's what I spent my time talking about, my position on a local issue that I really have no control over one way or another. I'm not a city official or staffer.

We actually talked about Chicago, the campaign, and strangely enough Pakistan. The couple behind me were getting impatient, very impatient. I didn't get to code enforcement. Maybe next time.


1:52 PM  
Anonymous Calif drops HealthCare_Kids said...

California board votes to drop healthcare coverage for 60,000 children 14 Aug 2009 Nearly 670,000 children could be dropped by June 30. The announcement by state officials that California has enough cash to stop paying bills with IOUs did little to take the sting out of other budget news Thursday: Tens of thousands of poor children are about to lose their healthcare coverage. A state board voted Thursday to begin terminating health insurance for more than 60,000 children Oct. 1 as a result of the budget amendments signed into law recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [R-Enron]. [There's *plenty* of money to train Georgian troops and (pretend to) rebuild Afghanistan. Not a *peep* when billions are handed to corpora-terrorist contractors to pour down their sewers, right? Also, where is the town hall outrage when the GOP 'pulls the plug on grand*KIDS?* --LRP]

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric and his city friends aspire to living and working with high level and legitimate issues. However, the use of negative tactics in code enforcement will destroy all hope for them to actually get to that level. Once Morris v Sax and the landlords lawsuits fully hit, they will find themselves buried in manure, with no way out.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...

I am confused. Maybe ya’all can help me!?

The Americans for Tax Reform publishes annually the “Cost of Government Day” (COGD). That is the day when you have FINALLY paid the federal, state, local and regulatory burden the gov’t puts on you. They calculate that MINNESOTANS must work until August 15th to pay our gov't burden. In otherwords, Gov’t takes 62.2% of your wages and you get 37.8%.

And the big gov’t advocates out here want you to believe the evil GOP has cut gov’t to the bone?! Maybe they could elaborate on how long we should work for the gov’t? October? November?

Bill Cullen.

P.S. Click on my name above to read the entire report.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Americans for Tax Reform? Isn't that the group that was started in the Reagan White House by a few aides including Grover Norquist? Yes.

Didn't they get caught up in the Lobbying scandal a couple of years ago that sent a few congressman to jail and super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff? Yes.

The same group caught by the United States Senate to be 'funneling' activities on behalf of corporate clients through non-exempt tax status therefore cheating the American taxpayer? Yes.

Is the founder and leader of this group the same one who defended the practices on Wall Street by the CEOs and said we should not only bail them out but give them a federal tax cut- though two-thirds of American corporations find a way to pay ZERO in federal taxes? Yes.

Nice choice Bill. What next? A child molester ranks the best day cares?


11:01 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


Ya ought to change your motto to: "when you can't discuss the issue, attack the messenger."

If you think the COGD is earlier than August 15th, present your data.

The fact is clear. Government already consumes well over 1/2 of our income and you don't think that is enough. I think it is outrageous.

Bill Cullen.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous TaxTheMax said...

Eric and Bill Cullen, Hopefully Ramsey Dist.Court 62cv09-1163 Judge John Vandenorth 20Aug09 hearing will be continued on the Health of Fee Owner Cpl Jim Anderson forced into Brainard State Hospital, then Murdered re: unabated by County Attorney's and Citys Bait and Switch to steal cars, sent to police impound lot ie: Aaron Foster
Manager, to illegally assess against Property Taxes

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, why are so such a wimp? No one is attacking the messenger. The messenger is already a proven liar and manipulator.

Before you start, those examples and findings were done under a Republican Congress. All the players were conservatives and Republicans and the investigations were lead by Republicans (except one).

Here's the fact that is important: Most individuals who make less than $400,000 a year pay all or most of their taxes. Most American corporations, by 2 to 1, do NOT pay their federal taxes.

Billion dollar corporations find a way out to this commitment while the guy supporting his family on $70,000 has to pay his share. Our position is that those who earn a paycheck deserve a tax break. Corporations need to pay their fair share.

The tax code is already written to benefit the rich and corporations and squeeze the working and middle classes.

The Americans for Tax Reform support this kind of system. Its a fraud of an organization.


9:36 AM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


Let me see if I understand your point correctly: You are ok with an ultimate tax burden of 62.2% as long as corporations pay most (or at least their fair share) of it?


I am not. 62.2% regardless of who pays it, is too much. Government should decrease, not increase.

And, as reported by the "Americans for Tax Reform", the Cost of Government Day has slipped 26 days in one year! In otherwords, in 2008 we had to work until late July to pay for government, now we have to work until August 15th.

And your argument continues, right? Government should get bigger.

Bill Cullen.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill my friend, please think when you read these things that the right wing think tank groups send you.

From this thing you sent, they say; "Federal Spending
The average American worker will have to labor 111 days just to pay
for federal spending, which is now consuming 30.36 percent of
national income."

Now read it and think about it.

Federal spending is 30.36 of the national income. Let's assume for a second that is true, that the cost of the Federal Government is 30.36 of the national income. They then make the leap to say to pay for that the average worker would have to pay 30.36 percent of his income and it would take 111 days to do that.

But, that isn't the way the tax system works and you and I and they know that! Pull up your 1040es form and you will see that the tax structure is graduated and that you have to be making $357,700 a year before your Federal taxes cross into the 30% tax range. At that point you would have paid 29% of your income to Federal tax... And that Bill is the tax rate on your income after all deductions.

So, maybe where you live the "average worker" makes $357,700 a year, but it doesn't happen on this planet.

What happens is that people don't truly understand just how wealthy the top 1% of the country is. They have 20% of the nation's wealth. And the top 20% of the country have 80% of the wealth. That is why it is insane to say that the average worker works until August 11 to pay their tax burden. Because 30% of the income made by those billionaires covers millions and millions of people paying 3-5% of their monies to the Fed's.

Think about what "average" means. In this report it doesn't mean typical it means 300 million normal people and one hundred billionaires.


Chuck Repke

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, just to try to make it clear to folks. Let's say that we have on "average" in this country 2 people making nothing. 6 people making $40,000 a year and 2 people making $400,000.

So, for Federal taxes (using the 2009 tax rates) after deductions the people making zero pay zero, the 6 people making $40,000 pay $4,481 each and the $400,000 group pay $103,792 each.

With those facts, I could say that the "average person" paid $23,447 a year in federal taxes and that an average worker would have worked 58% of the year just for the Federal Government.

That is the exact same kind of drivel that this report is. Because here I am adding up the taxes collected $234,470 dividing it by 10 and calling $23,447 the mean "average." I am then taking the mode $40,000 and calling that "average."

Its meaningless. The report Bill has is worse because it is adding up all of the monies spent by the government (including TARP loans that are already being repaid) and dividing that figure by the number of workers assigning that bill to them and taxing them at the same rate regardless of if they make $10 an hour or a million an hour.

There are lies, there are big lies and then there are republicans.


Chuck Repke

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Cohan says:

Oh wealthy people! How great it must be to know that while you are raking in about a quarter billion a year, you pay a lower tax rate than the average American family.

And even better news -- thanks to the Crazy Channel which does such a great job of making your interests popular with the angry mob, hundreds of those averagely paid Americans will defend your right to pay lower taxes than they do.

It pays to be among the top 400 taxpayers who earned roughly $250 million on average in 2005. According to an analysis by the New York Times and David Cay Johnston for Tax Notes (subscription only), the last IRS report on the top 400 taxpayers showed that they made a little more than a penny of each dollar of total income in America, but paid income taxes at a 17.2 percent rate. Add in payroll taxes, and the figure still rounds to 17.2 percent. Those top 400 paid a tax rate lower than that of a family making between $50,000 and $75,000 a year -- which was 17.4 percent, according to Johnston.

When Will Ferrell channels former president George W. Bush with his immortal words: "You're Welcome America!" those top 400 taxpayers are the only ones who understand what he means. For the average American whose income has been unchanged since 2000, W's message remains: Let them eat cake!

Peter Cohan is a management consultant, Babson professor and author of eight books including, You Can't Order Change. Follow him on Twitter.


Chuck Repke

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


Did you really just make three posts in a row that argued both:

a) the middle class doesn't really pay 30% federal tax rate because the rich pay most of the taxes


b) the rich pay a lower percentage of their income than the middle class (thanks to the evil Bush).

I know your smarter than that... I must have missed your point.

I maintain: Taxes are too high and someday the tax burden will do great damage to our economy (that day might already be here).

Bill Cullen.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill my point is that the link that you gave was garbage.

Your post was asking if it was fair that "average workers" were working until August 15th for the government. It is a lie.

Worse than that it is a deliberate lie meant to inspire those who have little to advocate that the wealthy should have more.

What I tried to explain so that even the craziest of the right wing nut cases could get is how they were lying to you, and others that see that stuff.

I mean doesn't it bother you that they would intentionally lie to you to get you to say those lies to other people and think that it is true?

No one in this country is paying 62% of their income to the government its a lie and they knew it was a lie when they wrote it.

You and I both do very well because we live in a country that allows free enterprise and profit.

It is in our interests that the poor are fed, educated and healthy if they aren't they may revolt. I cut a nice check to the Fed's as my share in keeping the country afloat.

We are watching today people fed on the lies of the richest few getting very mad about their taxes. When they should be mad that the upper 1% don't pay their fair share.

As long as you and the people that write that garbage can convince the guy that is paying 5-10% of his income in taxes that the problem is the government spends to much, not that the wealthy pay to little, we will never have a good education system, adequate health care and a strong VA.

Hell, there are people at those rallies who make so little they pay no taxes afraid of their taxes.

And yes Bill all of those things can be true. If you make 250 million and they tax you 17% that is 42.5 million you pay in taxes. Which is almost exactly 1,000 times more than I paid in Federal taxes this year. But if they paid the same tax rate as me they would have paid 75 million in taxes.

So, yes one Billionaire pays 1,000 times more than someone in the 100K range but the use to pay 1,750 times as much. All of my statements are still true.

And if we would be taxing that top 20% that have 80% of the wealth at the rates you and I pay they wouldn't have to tax us as much... and your issue is solved.


Chuck Repke

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


Your data is wrong. I tried to find a link that both of us will accept and ended with an IRS link that is pointed to by my name. It states the following breakdown for income categories:
Total Income Total Taxes pd % tax rate
>$250K $2.3T $540B 23.4%
<$250K $6.2T $600B 9.7%

The rich are paying over twice the federal burden – percentage speaking – than you and I do. They don’t pay a smaller percentage! (forgive me for using 2007 data – it is the most recent IRS data I found.)

But, this only accounts for FEDERAL INCOME tax. And that is how the DFLers always move us to more taxes. You address one form of tax: income, sales, property, fees, fines, etc and point out that it is a small percentage of our income – like just 5-10% -- and express that surely we can pay more.

I like the Americans for Tax Reform method. Take the total government expenditure, divide it by the US income and we have a citizen burden. Maybe it is true that corporations or rich people pay most of it, but if government consumes the income, then the private sector cannot use it for investment or job growth.

Seriously, doesn’t it concern you that government’s expenditure equals 62.2% of all Minnesotan’s income? If not, when would it concern you?

It seems astonishing to me.

Bill Cullen.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

I was going to post some facts to show the absolute stupidity of this post, but I see that Chuck Repke and Eric have already said what I was going to say. Really, really good job guys, of presenting the facts. The truly sad thing is that people like Bob just won't allow themselves to be bothered by the truth. It's so much easier to just blindly believe the crap that is put out there for the lazy and ignorant.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Bill Cullen

Your "facts" are not that at all. They are simply statistics, with no analysis. That may be the percentage of income, but the rich are oh, so good at hiding their income. We of little means have so little income that it's just not worth hiding, and even if it were, we just can't afford the accountants to figure out how to do it!

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


"Fact" is, according to Webster dictionary, "the quality of being actual." There is no doubt that what I wrote is actual data from the IRS. It is absolutely a fact.

Your complaint seems to be that rich people respond to tax loopholes created by the government for the sole purpose of encouraging (rich) people to do something differnent with their money.

If you want to eliminate loop holes, then advocate for that. But, I must point out it is the SAME government you want to run our healthcare that created the loopholes you now bemoan.

Shelly, Americans for Tax Reform claim the US government spends 62.2% of the income of all Minnesotans. Do you think that burden is too low, too high or about right?

Bill Cullen.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Cullen said...
"Fact" is, according to Webster dictionary, "the quality of being actual." There is no doubt that what I wrote is actual data from the IRS. It is absolutely a fact.

Well show us.
How is it a fact? Cite the IRS directly please.

Your complaint seems to be that rich people respond to tax loopholes created by the government for the sole purpose of encouraging (rich) people to do something differnent with their money.

These loopholes are created by access and the funding of those who influence legislation. Lobbyists and lawmakers. Its not some faceless government. Its been shaped by the few on the back of the masses since the 1880's interpretation that corporations are privileged to personhood under the Constitution.

If you want to eliminate loop holes, then advocate for that. But, I must point out it is the SAME government you want to run our healthcare that created the loopholes you now bemoan.

Wrong again. Rolling back the tax cuts for the top 2%, that Bush didn't pay for, will be a start. But, the real culprit of this unfair taxation goes back to Reagan and his signing so many tax loopholes into law for the rich and corporations. He set in motion a tax policy and anti-regulation style of governing that led right into the near depression we found ourselves in last Fall. Just like Coolidge and Hoover. And just like now, it took a progressive thinking Democrat to come in and make changes for those who work for a living. Yep, they called FDR a socialist and communist too.

Shelly, Americans for Tax Reform claim the US government spends 62.2% of the income of all Minnesotans. Do you think that burden is too low, too high or about right?

Shelly, they are dead wrong. Its just another way they take two separate facts and try to tie them in together to make their point.

The fact is, 67%, over two out of three American corporations find a way to skip out on their federal taxes completely.

Cut that in half, and we'll be able to lower taxes on individuals.


8:47 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...

Eric wrote: Well show us. How is it a fact? Cite the IRS directly please.

Me: For God’s sake Eric, I did. I provided the link with my post and all you had to do is what I said, click on my name. But, I copied it here again:

Eric: These loopholes are created by access and the funding of those who influence legislation. Lobbyists and lawmakers.

Me: Isn’t “lawmakers” our government? And while lobbyists push for laws favorable to their constituents, they can’t pass laws. They convince lawmakers to do it! A lobbyists job is to influence, a lawmakers job is to pass the right laws (and, it appears, loopholes).

Eric: they are dead wrong. Its just another way they take two separate facts and try to tie them in together to make their point.

Me: Ok, lets do some fact checking to see if the Americans for Tax Reform is “dead wrong.” No more smoke and bullshit from you guys who are not presenting data, lets dig in…

2010 Federal budget straight from Barack Obama(1): 3.938 Trillion.

2010 Minnesota State Budget (2): $29,710,842,000.

2009 Ramsey county budget (3): $586,641,154.

2010 St. Paul city & Library budget (4): $626,419,863.

2000 US census data (5): US households: 105,408,101; Minnesota households: 1,895,127; Ramsey county households: 201,236 and St. Paul households: 112,109

Now burden per household is easy to calculate:

Federal: $3,938T / 105,408,101 = $37,359.56
State: $29,710,842,000 / 1,895,127 = $15,677.49
Ramsey: $586,641,154 / 201,236 = $2,915.19
St. Paul: $626,419,863 / 112,109 = $5,587.60

For a grand total ANNUAL household government burden in St. Paul: $61,539.84. And some of you think this is too small! Whoa.

I do not advocate that my analysis is perfect. There are two big holes when trying to compare it to the work done by “Americans for Tax Reform.” The first is that I am unable to locate taxpayer data, and I substituted 2000 household data. That is certainly going to significantly overinflate the government burden. The second hole is that I did not account for all of the local taxing entities like schools or the regulatory burden – that should significantly underinflate the government burden.

I am NOT trying to replace or reproduce the work of Americans for Tax Reform. I am solely trying to show you big government advocates that their analysis and conclusion is very plausible. I look forward to Eric’s facts supporting his claim they are “dead wrong.”

Bill Cullen.

(1) Obama’s budget plan: (page 114)
(2) State budget: (page 1)
(3) Ramsey country budget: (page 195)
(4) St. Paul budget: (page 16)
(5) Us Census:

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Bill like I said the numbers they are using aren't legit numbers. They are using things like the TARP monies, that are loans that are already being repaid as Federal spending, and they are using regulatory fees and they are using state aid monies as both federal spending and then again as state spending and if that is given to the cities then as local spending (that is 70% of the cities spending) and I don't know what other garbage like that is in their numbers.

And then again Bill, you can't use the silliness of how much it costs per "average worker" when the true "average worker" pays between 10-15% in Federal taxes.

The other "spin" is just an interesting way of lying.

The goal of your exercise is to get me to feel sorry enough for billionaires that I support their getting another tax cut while more people can't get health care.

The diference between us is that I think if someone is able to extract $250,000,000 in wealth in a year from this country there is nothing wrong with them paying $75,000,000 in taxes and you think they should get taxed at a lower rate.


Chuck Repke

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Bill, I can refute that with one question:

Is there a flat tax?

No, there isn't.
Then why would you equally spread the tax burden household to household?

So, knowing there is no flat tax, we then can factually conclude that some households pay next to nothing in federal taxes, and other households pay six figures and more. Some households have no income, others have multiple income.

If I was to pull in $962,678.31 last year and only had to pay $63,000 in taxes- sweet!

Also in that budget, you exclude the hundreds of billions that small businesses, some corporations, and even other government entities pay into the revenue agencies.

Stop while you're ahead. Its better to just be an idiot instead of an outright liar.

Oh, just think how much smaller that tax burden would be if only the major billion dollar corporations who skip out on their federal tax obligation had to pay just like individuals and small businesses.

What? Your American for Tax Reform didn't take all of the above in account? I'm shocked that this disgraced organization didn't tell the whole story.


11:55 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Shelly, Americans for Tax Reform claim the US government spends 62.2% of the income of all Minnesotans. Do you think that burden is too low, too high or about right?

I think that "burden" is too wrong. I can assure you that they DO NOT take anywhere near 62.2% of my income. It's more like 2%! Look at your taxes. Did you pay 62.2% of your income in taxes? That's what I thought.

You really can't be so ignorant as to believe such absurdity! As Barney Frank said, "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it." By the way, he's my new hero!

Chuck and Eric, you've done such a great job of presenting the truth, but people like Bill and Bob don't want to hear it, or rather read it. They would much rather carry on with blind ignorance. I don't think there's much more anyone can do to help them, and it's time to leave them here alone, to wander in the darkness of misinformation.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Okay, I do have one more thing to add. The following is the kind of "math" that groups like Americans for Tax Reform appear to use.

Three men are traveling and decide to stay in a hotel room which is $30 a night. The three men agree to chip in $10 each.

The manager shows them to their room and collects the money. He wishes them a pleasant afternoon and gets back into the elevator. But as the elevator descends, he realizes that the room he gave the men was actually only $25 a night. He feels he should do the right thing and return the $5 to them, even though they don't know the real price.

Thus, he takes the elevator back up to give them a refund. As he arrives on the correct floor, he realizes he doesn't know how to divide $5 evenly between three people. He has several $1 bills in his wallet, so he decides to tell the men that the room is reduced by $3, instead of the actual $5. He will tell them that the room is $27, and give them each $1 back.

Although it's dishonest, he will keep the $2 for himself as a little tip. After all, he figures, the men will be happy they're each getting a dollar back. That will make their shares $9 each, which is a pretty good savings.

He'll keep the two remaining dollars for himself, maybe he can buy a math book in case this happens again.

When he gets to the room, he returns $1 to each of the three men. They're happy to be paying less, and they thank him. Now the room only cost them each $9 instead of $10.

Thus, they've paid $27 for the room (9 x 3 = 27). The manager has kept $2, so now they have $29 altogether.

Where is the missing dollar?

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


The guests paid $27. $2 went to the manager and $25 to the hotel. There is no missing dollar.

I solved this math exercise in 3rd grade and you still think it is interesting?! No wonder ya'all don't understand averages.

Bill Cullen.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...

I must point out to all readers that Chuck, Eric and Shelly did not dispute my numbers or the average burden calculated. Their point seems to be that the comparison of government spending to population is not useful. I disagree.

I will never argue that an average is conclusive. But at 62.2% average tax burden, which is on an upward trend, should concern everyone who cares about limited government. If limiting government is not a concern of yours, then I can see why you would discount this data point. A few specific responses:

Chuck: The difference between us is that I think if someone is able to extract $250,000,000 in wealth in a year from this country there is nothing wrong with them paying $75,000,000 in taxes and you think they should get taxed at a lower rate.

Me: I never said that. I was clearly talking averages.

Eric: in that budget, you exclude the hundreds of billions that small businesses, some corporations….

Me: Ah yes, the old “someone else should/does pays this monstrous burden, not you” argument. Ultimately this burden returns to an individual. Small businesses are owned by individuals (or a few). Corporations are controlled and owned by shareholders – who are often trying to save for retirement. If you increase the tax burden on these entities it ultimately shows up in an individual’s tax return or in their ability to afford retirement.

I do not think government should get bigger. I hope this government assumption of health care does not happen.

Bill Cullen.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me: Ah yes, the old “someone else should/does pays this monstrous burden, not you” argument. Ultimately this burden returns to an individual. Small businesses are owned by individuals (or a few). Corporations are controlled and owned by shareholders – who are often trying to save for retirement. If you increase the tax burden on these entities it ultimately shows up in an individual’s tax return or in their ability to afford retirement.

Reading comprehension is not your thing either.

I certainly dispute the findings of ATR.

Why? Because for it to be fact, it proposes that we have an across the board flat tax and our budgets are made up completely of individuals income tax.

Neither is true.


9:49 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Shelly said;
Chuck and Eric, you've done such a great job of presenting the truth, but people like Bill and Bob don't want to hear it, or rather read it.

My response;
SHELLY, SHELLY, SHELLY, where did you read my opinion on this issue? You assume because I threw this subject out here I must side with the Republicans.

I have an opinion, however, in the interest of this forum I will keep it to myself.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Bill I do despute the numbers. This is the third time trying to explain it to you.

I will give you a simple example of why their numbers are wrong.

In the Federal budget they give money to the states in a program called Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that counts for them as Federal Spending.

Then that money comes to Minnesota and they give 5 million of that to the City of Saint Paul. That counts in their state spending.

Then the City of Saint Paul spends it to repair park's buildings. That counts as City spending.

So as an example that 5 million of taxes that the Fed's collect count as 15 million of spending - 5 million payment to the State of MN, 5 million payment in the state budget to the city, 5 million payment in the city's budget for the buildings.

Like I said the same is true for Tarp monies and on and on... their numbers are garbage Bill.

Something like 3/4's of the city's budget comes from Federal and state programs and franchise fees.


Chuck Repke

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, Bill?
Where did you go?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...

Sorry Chuck. I saw your argument about intergovernmental transfers and ignored it because I assumed it was small amount. You surprised me when you said “Something like 3/4's of the city's budget comes from Federal and state programs and franchise fees.” Well page 22 of the document I referenced last night (1) says that St. Paul’s intergovernmental revenue for 2010 is $117,057,860. The rest, it claims, is from sources like taxes, fees, licenses, sales, services and “other”. If this St. Paul document is right, intergovernmental transfer is about 19%, not 75%. However, maybe I mis-understood what some of the revenue entries mean?

On the other hand, you are assuming the ATR did not take into account these transfers. I don’t know, but will skim their website to see if they address the issue.

Otherwise, we are left to guess how much revenue is over counted. I came up with $61,539.84 per household in St. Paul. Even if the intergovernmental transfers represent 50% of all government spending (very high, I suspect), the household burden is still very significant.

Eric, what part of the ATR report do you dispute? You have presented ZERO data that their analysis is wrong, only that you don’t feel spending/households is a valuable measure. I disagree; I think averages give a data point to consider. I also think your insistence that corporations or small business pay taxes ignores that fact that their revenue ultimately ends up on some individuals tax return.

Bill Cullen.


4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, from my look at the Saint Paul budget it looks like the property taxes are going to be about $75 million.

The monies coming from other government sources and already in your spread sheet look to be $316 million that would be the transfers, intergovernmental and other revenue. The rest are one way or another fees for services. Be that licenses, or doing work for other level of governments (that you will show billing twice on your spread sheet since the city spends what the county has to pay for).

So, I over estimated what the City's taxes on the average person is... it is about 12% of the city's budget.

Bill, you like Pawlenty forget that what cities mostly do is what the state tells them to do. They are creatures of state government and do mostly what they are mandated to do.


Chuck Repke

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


Can you please give a link to the St. Paul budget your reference? Those numbers appear very different than the link I provided.

Thanks, Bill.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Page 6 of the composit summary of the City budget.


11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, we may be looking at the same numbers.

19.2 Intergovernment(Gov)
19.6 Transfers (Gov)
23.9 fees, sales and services (mostly Gov)
12.9 Other Revenue (mostly gov)

75.6% of the City's budget are coming either in direct grants or payments from other levels of government.

4.7 use or Cont. fund balance (should be interst payments and that kind of monies)
1.9 licenses
5.8 Franchise fees

12.4 taxes (property)


Chuck Repke

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Chuck explain it to you well enough?

Budgets are not made up of 100% individual taxes AND individuals do not pay the same tax rate.

Its what I have posted at 8:47pm, 11:55pm and again in simple english at 9:49am.

The ATR report concludes a lie based on a logical fallacy.

You have been given direct and analogous reasoning behind their fallacy and you still cling to the lie.

Haven't you read? This blog is on a truth seeking mission. Your post just weakened that mission.


12:20 AM  
Anonymous Bill Cullen said...


I have responded to your points so many times it is tedious. I don't care if corporations or small business pay the taxes, the burden ultimately hits some household. That is why I think it is fair to compare overall taxes to households.

I also don't care if the average burden is exactly what every family pays. That is the nature of "average."

Chuck, on the otherhand, has an intelligent point and I am researching it.

Bill Cullen.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny to watch the stinking Democrats squirm around...they remind me of fat earthworms drowning in rain puddles.

Watch; I'll toss in some bleach and make him dance.

Bucky's favorite hemorrhoid said: "You know how many Republicans voted for Medicare?" the Party of Scrubs owns this:

Medicare Will Go Broke By 2018, Trustees Report

Gomer Pile asks: "You know how many Republicans voted for Medicade?" the Democrats are completely responsible for this:

Dozens arrested in Medicare fraud busts across US

Since 2007, strike forces in Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles have indicted more than 293 suspects and organizations that collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $674million.

Anus balloon queried: "You know how many Republicans voted for Social Security?"

"About the same as will support health care reform now." Repke and his gang of cornhole prophets will be holding the bag in a few more years:

Social Security Insolvency Accelerating, Study Says
Crisis is much closer than previously believed

Yup. "Funny Uncle" Barney Frank wants to do for the medical system what he and Pelosi did for the mortage industry...unfortunately the American public isn't buying it.

It's going to be sweet watching all of these scumbags hauling their sorry asses home after next year's election. Many pundits are putting the Party of Scrubs loss at 20 seats or more.

I'm not sure, but I think the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers may well have set a new record for becoming a lame duck President.

If he's smart, Barry will retire from the limelight and focus on gettin' him some White House's an old Democrat tradition, you know!


2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who left the pet door open?
Gotta nail that thing shut, never know what will crawl in.

Swiftee, there's a gang strike force with a couple of openings that have your name written all over it. You should go sign up.

You have not answered anything.

The budgets are not made entirely of individual income taxes.
We do not have a flat tax in this country.

Any example of the "avarage" tax burden that assumes either one of those things is bogus.

ATR is a bogus organization that has been called to the carpet for manipulating the tax code a few times. Now they're manipulating the simple minds among us.


6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Swiftee, I guess you would advocate closing all of the banks and all of the stores because some crooks steal from them... you are amazingly stupid.

As to mecaid, medicare and SSI, ask any grandma if she wants to give it up.

Of course we will need to make adjustments to keep them solvent. That is why there is an interest in health care reform now to reduce medicare costs. And we got thrown off track on SSI discussions because some idiot wanted the public to put their SSI in the stock market.

The GOP had a smart idea there didn't they swiftee...?


Chuck Repke

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zippy the dancing anal probe offered: "As to mecaid, medicare and SSI, ask any grandma if she wants to give it up."

Yeah, you're right.

The Party of Scrubs has fucked Granma real good, asswipe. It's too late for her *and* Grandpa.

But howz about you and me?

I'll gladly "give up" Medicare, SSI and "mecaid" (whatever the hell that is) right now...just so long as they refund every penny they've forcibly taken from me.

And I'd stick it right into the stock market; there's never been a better time to buy stocks.

You could put yours into a "green" company and watch it whither on the vine, or any other half baked moonbat cause you choose.

In any case, I'll be "giving it up" eventually anyway, right along with everyone else when FDR's ponzi scheme finally goes belly up.

Eric; who blew the moron whistle? Go back and sit by your dish until we call you.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could put yours into a "green" company and watch it whither on the vine, or any other half baked moonbat cause you choose.

Spoken like a guy destined to be dependent on social security.

If you mean green stocks from the following industries:
Biomass/ Biofuels, Clean Tech Indexes, Efficiency Energy Storage, Financial, Fuel Cells, Geothermal, Natural Foods & Home, Natural Health & Supplements, Recycling/ Green Chemicals/ Building-Related, Renewable Energy Project Developers, Solar, Transportation, Water and Wind.
They are kicking the living crap out the averages.

Now, back outside for you.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric and Chuck, go back to your DFL cesspools where they believe the socialist crap you peddle.

9:41 PM  

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