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In response to:

The Fair Tax

Steve54 Wrote: Jan 15, 2014 9:31 AM
Perhaps expensive items should be taxed at a higher rate, so that those who can afford them, i.e., the better off, will pay a higher rate. For example, say cars under $25,000 are taxed at 20%, cars between $25,000 and $35,000 at 25%, cars over $35,000 at 30%. Similarly, groceries might be taxed at only 10%, while restaurant meals and all other food at the standard 23% rate. Certainly complicates the tax, which in part negates the advantages of simplicity. But if it handles a major objection that impedes its implementation - the poor will be taxed at the same rate as the rich - perhaps worth it.
Canada's system is not the rational alternative. Instead look to France, Germany, Japan.
I'm a Calgarian, and aside from the truth about long waits for elective surgery and in hospital emergency rooms for non life threatening issues, the rest of what you understand those guys to have said is nonsense. I won't defend the Canadian system, which is flawed. But so is the American system as it's been (and Obamacare). Canada and the US both should be looking to France, Germany and Japan for excellent systems at a good price.
In response to:

Blacks and Obama

Steve54 Wrote: Dec 04, 2013 11:19 PM
Nothing President Ben Carson can't fix.
In response to:

5 Reasons Not To Bomb Syria

Steve54 Wrote: Sep 03, 2013 7:14 AM
Hawkins argues there's no point fighting with al Qaeda and other groups opposed to Assad. True. But that's not the point. It's to deter Assad from using WMD, e.g., gas, against his own people. In fact, were it possible to destroy gas weapons, then we'd also prevent them from falling into al Qaeda hands.
In response to:

Why Romney Lost

Steve54 Wrote: Aug 08, 2013 8:00 AM
Nonsense. Not only did Romney win the white vote, he even won the under 30 white vote - the first time a GOP presidential candidate has done that in a generation. He lost because fewer Republican voters came out to vote for him than had voted for McCain the previous election. The real question of this election is this: Why did they feel too unmotivated to a) vote against Obama? and b) vote for Romney? Might it be that evangelicals couldn't bring themselves to vote for a Mormon? Whatever the reasons (and you can be sure they were nonsensical), these absent 4 million or so typically GOP voting people cost Romney the election.
In response to:

What is Islam?

Steve54 Wrote: Jul 08, 2013 7:07 AM
Jacoby has not read much of Pipes. If he had, he'd know that Pipes acknowledges Islam to be inherently a problematic faith in a way neither Judaism nor Christianity are. Despite some unfortunate passages in either of the bibles, the principle themes are not supremacist, do not support imperialism and war. But that is true of the Koran. What Pipes actually says is that despite Islam's inherently problematic themes, the faith can nonetheless be reinterpreted to provide for moderation and peaceful coexistence with non Muslims. But what he really means, and more or less also acknowledges, is that such an interpretation would be disingenuous. Which means that while yes, Muslims can see the faith differently, that would be invariably tenuous. Only the evolution of bedrock democratic institutions in the Islamic world can truly solidify a peaceful, if disingenuous, re-make of the faith. Yet the faith makes such an evolution difficult. Just consider Turkey, where the Islamist still undermine and threaten democracy 100 years later.
In response to:

Moderate Muslim: Not an Oxymoron

Steve54 Wrote: Mar 07, 2013 8:38 AM
Polls consistently show early half of Muslims living in the west do, as Pipes, says, despise at worst dislike at best their nations, support Sharia in place of western constitutions, and support in principle the arguments of Islamists. Chapman tells us European Muslims are clearly, overwhelmingly moderate. Yet Jews are fleeing Europe almost in the same numbers as they did in the late 1930s, running from violence and threats of violence coming from Islamic communities. Yet there no-go areas of France where police typically dare not go. Chapman's version is one of denial.
That's true. But also true of other countries' public systems, as is over regulation and compliance costs.
The real reasons the US system is more costly per capita are: 1) out of control law suits, creating high legal premiums for doctors that a) motivate reams of unnecessary tests and treatments, and b) costs for both, which are added to medical service bills 2) more expensive drugs, since there isn't the same degree of bulk buying, and because the US wisely allows companies a decent return on investment so that they can develop more pharmaceuticals 3) richer people will pay for private hospital rooms and other benefits not available in public systems 4) very little competition between public and private providers, unlike in Europe/Japan's mixed public/private medical systems (and why their system is better than Canada's mainly public one)
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