Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gov't Bliss! Going, going, GONE!

As we talk about heading into recession, and as we hear more and more wind about socialized healthcare, I feel compelled to lay out my perspective on some things.

First, let's look at the track record of services when we hand over the power and control to a government run program.

Anytime someone mentions nationalized healthcare I ask them when was the last time they went to the DMV. It's always an ordeal when we go to the DMV. Why is that? Because there's no motivation to compete. When I cater to tax clients, I do everything I can to make the experience great. We have only one chance a year to leave a great impression so they return the following year.

WE offer free drinks, free pizza, pull out their chairs for them, greet them warmly...and do as much as we can. I get so anxious when someone has to wait more than a few minutes. I know that at any moment, they can get up and leave and go down the street and get their tax return done elsewhere.

Now compare that to the DMV. If a DMV worker is scheduled for a break, GUESS WHAT, there's nothing that's going to stop them, regardless of the status of the wait in the lobby.

The DMV is really nothing. Let's talk some real big money issues like social security. Social Security is something that burns me up. Between Social Security and Medicare, for a self-employed person, we're talking 15% of your income. Regardless of employee/self-employed status, it costs us 15%. If you're an employee, those are expenses are paid for and on behalf of the employees employment...in other words, an expense that could have been paid directly to the employee. They're also known as foregone wages.

Imagine, if you could take 15% of your income and save and invest it. If you've ever studied the time value of money you'd know how great that 15% could be. If you were to max out a ROTH IRA, which is $4,000 a year, and added to it for 30 years, you'd end up with about 3/4 of a million dollars at retirement. That's assuming a 10% return on the money. Which is a pretty safe number considering the stock market averages 12%. We're talking low risk investments.

Fifteen percent of how much income equals $4,000? Do the math and you get $26,667. Not a huge amount. We're forced to invest 15% into this system. And how is that system doing these days?

Not so good. High Risk, with low returns.


So, when you hear your friends say: "That would be nice to have healthcare for everyone."

Just ask them: "When was the last time you were at the DMV?"

Remind them that it's a long wait for very poor service. Exactly what we'd get with gov't run healthcare. AND Look at what they've done with our retirement planning, Social Security.

It's not all that secure, and the burden will continue to be pressed on the working generation, along with my children, and their children.

Who can blame the baby boomers? They've paid in all of their lives, so it's time they get what they're due. Problem is we've given the power and control to the gov't and politicians in Washington to control 15% of our earnings and all they've done was squander it rather than invest it wisely.

AS those boomers call in what's due to them, guess who will have to pay for it? Yup, my generation, and my children and my grand-children.

I hate to sound bleak, but it ain't looking so pretty. And if healthcare for everyone is going to solve anything, I hate to disagree, it's just going to send us further down that road to oppression. As they take control of more and more of our money, all I think that will happen is more squander. So, it all started with a very small percentage of tax on income before the civil war, and on only those that were considered the wealthiest of the wealthy. Now it's 15% for social security, 25% to income tax, 5% to state income tax, plus all of the sales taxes and use taxes we pay for everything else we buy.

The horizon only looks more bleak. So, my advice is, do what you've got to do, but do it legally.

So why do you think I've taken such a keen interest in taxes?


Alice Wills Gold said...

At least we don't have a state income tax..that may turn out well for us when we strike it rich in TN!

I will definitely adopt when was the last time you went to the DMV...it is a very good analogy to make the point that no one should ever want government run healthcare.

Thanks for such an informative post....and you can entertain at the same time...wow, you should teach elementary school like your mom...you could change the world.

Rach said...

I agree and disagree. After having lived in a country with government run healthcare most of my life (the NHS), comparitively speaking there are positives and negatives about both systems. If you want/need to have an operation to replace a hip for example in the UK, you could be on a waiting list for 6 months under the universal healthcare system, (although considerable measures have been taken in recent years to improve this wait time), wheras here, you are depending solely on the coverage your insurance company provides as to whether you will even be able to have the operation. In the UK, you can also pay for private health care coverage to get the operation done immediately, which is a fraction of what we pay for healthcare insurance here.

On the other hand, if you were going to go to the ER, (like we did last night for a cut above Abby's eye), you are still looking at the same amount of wait time only it is free, well sort of, it is covered by a small general tax. I, personally am tired of waiting 2 hours to be seen by a doctor in the ER where it seems like the insurance paperwork is more important than blood dripping from my child's eye... it makes me sick to my stomach that money is more important to hospitals than treatment. You would find the same 1-2 hour wait in the UK, only you wouldn't have the inferior feeling of "they just want my money". There really is no competition for the hospitals anyhow... how many times have you ever thought about "shopping around" for the best medical deal?

The U.S. healthcare system is run by insurance and drug companies making profits, providing very poor coverage sometimes for those insured and uninsured. Doctors from all over the world come to America to work as they are the highest paid anywhere. You can have insurance here and be told by your healthcare provider that your illness is not covered by their insurance policy and still end up dying... who really wants their health to be governed by somebody making a profit out of it?

The US has a very high infant mortality rate too, mainly because insurance companies wont pay for more than one night at the hospital after giving birth and a birth defect that might have been noticed at the hospital with more time, has gone undetected. There is a vicious circle of doctors, insurance companies and drug companies making way too much money over peoples' health in the US, and the people dying because of it.

Hmmmm... I guess I left my "filter" at the hospital last night... sorry!

Alice Faye said...

I recently talked to a lady who was in another country where the healthcare was run by the government. Her observation was enough to convience me that we don't need to be run by the government where health is concnerned. It's the poor ones that loose out.

Thanks for tuning in on my blog. It's exciting to hear from everyone. I'm sure you will reach your "rich by 40" goal. Just remember me in your will when you strike it rich. Between you and LeGrand I should have no problems in my old age. HA!!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually the infant mortality rate is so high because the minorities groups who do not seek medical attention, even when they are poor enough for it to be free(or should I say paid for by others taxes) because it means they have to apply for it, instead of it just being handed to them--so they show up with no inusrance and deliver their baby and go home with out filling out the paper work the hospital provides to get the child on insurance--through the state or Federal progarms. Not because insurance kicks them out.. .they don't even have insurance, even when they could be on a free government run program like Medicaid, because it requires effort on their part.
As for shopping around for the best medical deal--trust me Jarrett and I shop around for everything--obvisiously in emergency's you can't; but I call 15 eye Doctors.; or whatever the case maybe and ask about their rates.
I'm also personally all for people making profits, because that is the real motivation(for most humans) for making things better. . .better customer service, better coverage, so they get your business and not someone else--if anything we just need more insurance companies--to create a more free market.

Mother 25 - 8 said...

Matt and I had this conversation not too long ago. Good topic Jarrett. Matt's input:

The government owes me national protection and (something else but I can't remember it) and that's it. Health Care wasn't on the list.

I agreed, but to a point. I had knee surgery in '97. The cost before insurance was $12,000.00. After insurance paid what they paid, I was left with a $2,000 bill. It cost me AFTER insurance $25/day for physical therapy.

What college student has $12,000 in the first place or even $2,000? I went to 3 days of physical therapy, memorized my routine, then did my own PT at the BYU gym weight room, for free. Saved myself a whopping $25/day which I'm sure I spent anyways at Smoothie King and Taco Bell, but it was money spent more enjoyably. Anyways.

So my point to Matt was, "No, the government doesn't owe me health insurance, but it does owe me protection and when a surgery or stay at the hospital will result in my being put on the streets, I have no other option than to go to Medicaid or what not."

So then I asked, "Why DOES one single Tylenol at the hospital cost $10?" Why IS health care so UNaffordable?

Also there's the fact that it's going to be hard to find an insurance company who would even PAY if I had knee problems down the road because it's a "pre-existing" situation.

My theory is the CROOKED lawyers (emphasis on crooked cuz I know there are honest ones, too) and the crazies that are sue happy. Doctors and the such have such high mal-practice insurance coverage. And who pays for that?

One way to help the medical problems is to go to the source. Make it impossible for people to sue simply to get rich. Emotional distress? Give me a break.

I'll give them emotional distress. Sally all the way.

And yeah, I was treated real nicely at Liberty by the way. Even after Jessi filled up that water tray with water and crayons, Adaline was still real good to me.

Rach said...

I agree that the whole legal system has a huge involvement with healthcare. If the crazies didn't sue, and the crooked lawyers didn't help them, doctors wouldn't have to charge so much compensation. It's a vicious cycle. And depending on where someone gets their facts from largely depicts where you might stand on the whole healthcare matter. I think the bottom line is that both healthcare systems have positives and negatives and if we could just take all the positives and combine them into one... we'd all be happy!