U.S. Healthcare in Crisis.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SouthAmerica, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. .

    December 28, 2006

    SouthAmerica: The priorities of the Bush administration have been consistently screw up since 2001. Since March of 2003 the United States wasted over US$ 400 billion dollars fighting a war against Iraq – and for all practical purposes that war has been lost for a long time, but the Bush administration is too slow in grasping what is going on in the Middle East including in Iraq - and they will continue to piss away valuable resources abroad that will be needed right here at home to keep going the US healthcare system.

    In the meantime some priorities here in the United States which affect the lives of just about most families including Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and everybody else in between the two extremes – and that priority is healthcare.

    I am going to be more specific about which area of healthcare that I am talking about.

    In the last few years I did meet a number of people who were affected by a disease called Alzheimer’s, or someone who had a member of their family who had Alzheimer’s.

    I became more aware of this terrible disease when I was exposed to people afflicted by that disease over the years. A few people that I used to know – brilliant people in every sense – they became like a 2 years old child, and even though their bodies still healthy their minds were completely gone.

    And their minds deteriorate to a point were they don’t recognize even close friends and family members. It is a very stressful, frustrating and depressing experience for most family and friends to go through.

    On November 3, 2006 The New York Times published an article “The Memory Hole” and the article said:”…Nor could he have foreseen that with the significant rise in longevity over the 20th century, cases of Alzheimer’s disease would skyrocket into the millions. Paradoxically, we have created a civilization of such health and longevity that a disease that was once rare now threatens us all.

    There’s no good way to die, but some are far worse – and far costlier – than others. The plodding progression of Alzheimer’s devastates not only the patient but also a wide circle of family and friends forced to witness and participate in the long decline. The disease costs a fortune in medical and nursing fees and lost wages; a conservative estimate is that the current five million cases in the United States add up to more than $ 100 billion annually.

    If that sounds like a lot of money, keep in mind that the baby boomers have not started turning 65 yet……15 million Americans could have Alzheimer’s – about 100 million people worldwide – and national costs could reach $ 1 trillion, threatening to bankrupt our entire healthcare system.”

    I found very interesting that article published by The New York Times because I understood exactly what the article was trying to say.

    About 3 years ago one of my best friends was told that he had Alzheimer’s even though he was only 70 years old at the time (my friend is over 20 years older than me).

    This past summer his Alzheimer’s had deteriorated to a point that I decided to help his wife check on price of nursing homes because he was getting to the point were he needed 24 hours care.

    I went to about 15 nursing homes in Bergen County, Passaic County and so on and checked the price of nursing homes in our area – the first thing that I learned is that only specialized nursing homes accept patients with Alzheimer’s – and these nursing homes are geared to give 24/7 care to the Alzheimer’s patients.

    Now comes the shocking part – the annual cost of nursing home care for Alzheimer’s patients ranged from a minimum of $ 96K to a more expensive $ 150K per year.

    I could not find a single nursing home in our entire area that took care of Alzheimer patients that cost less than $ 96K per year.

    Then I was thinking how most people of the middle class or the poor people for that matter could afford nursing home care for loved ones who were afflicted by Alzheimer’s.

    That experience served as a reality check for me for what is happening in the United States today regarding healthcare

    I just finished reading the latest book by Alvin Toffler “Revolutionary Wealth” and one of the items that called my attention on his book was what he said about Alzheimer’s – and quoting from his book: “The Panic Zone…But James R. Knickman and Emily K. Snell of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation assert that this number "underestimates the economic resources devoted to long-term health care…because most care is delivered informally by family and friends and is not included in economic statistics…It has been estimated that the economic value of such informal care-giving in the United States, family care for Alzheimer’s patients alone had a value exceeding $ 100 billion in 2004. And none of these figures includes unpaid care giving for short-term problems.

    Government and health industry officials worry that an aging population will mean more disease and debility, and therefore even higher costs.

    …On top of that, a healthcare executive warns a congressional subcommittee that “the U.S. healthcare system is about to implode, and Alzheimer’s disease will be the detonator” because the baby boomer generation is reaching the age of the onset of that terrible illness.

    The fact that health conditions in most other countries are worse does not change the reality. The world’s most expensive health care system is deeply dysfunctional – and getting more so….”

    When I was reading Alvin Toffler’s book I also understood immediately what he was trying to say because of my current experience with my friend who has Alzheimer’s, and the other personal experience that I had in the last few years when I came in contact with other people who also had Alzheimer’s - (mostly friends or people who I used to know).

    Alzheimer’s is a time bomb that is ticking all around the United States – and that is the type of bomb that explodes very slowly creating havoc in the lives of millions and millions of Americans – and no family will be immune to this devastating disease Alzheimer’s will affect Republicans in the same way that will affect Democrats and so on….

    In a nutshell: we are all in the same boat regarding this terrible disease – and the high costs related to Alzheimer’s disease will affect everyone.

    The United States is already in the beginning stages of this massive health care crisis, and what we are experiencing today it is just the tip of the iceberg.

    There are many reasons why the Unite States needs to redesign its entire health care system ASAP – and it is time for a national health care program that will cover everyone and also will help the baby booming generation survive the Alzheimer’s epidemic that it is just ahead of all of us in the United States.

  2. .

    December 28, 2006

    SouthAmerica: My friend that I mentioned on the above posting – He was an executive on Wall Street until the summer of 2001, and for a long time he was involved in M&A for his firm – he made a lot of money over the years, and he became very wealthy.

    In his particular case money is not a problem regarding the costs associated with his medical care needs.

    Last summer my friend was so frail that I thought that he was not going to last more than a few weeks or months – after spending 6 weeks on a hospital and an intermediate nursing home facility he finally returned home and his wife hired an woman from one of the ex-Russian republics to take care of him – this woman it is legal in the US and she takes care of him 24/7, and she is built like a tank and she is able to move him around from bed to wheelchair and so forth all by herself.

    Up to the summer months my friends’ wife was taking care of him by herself and the job became a full-time job and he required nursing care around the clock – got to a point that his wife could not do anymore the job by herself and she had to hire full-time help.

    I don’t know how long this arrangement it will last because since my friend left the nursing home at the end of August he made an unbelievable recovery and did gain many pounds; and he went from being fed through a feeding tube to eating regular food once again. My friend looks great physically, but his mind is completely gone and as far as I know he can last more than 10 years in that state.

    Another good friend of mine his single sister also was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease during the summer of 1997 and she was 74 years old at that time – her brother found a nursing home in Montclair, NJ where she has been living for almost 10 years.

    After the lawyers sold her house and added to her savings she had over $ 500K to be used towards her nursing home care – about 2 years ago all the money was gone and since then Medicaid has been paying her nursing home care. She is about 84 years old today and she can hang on for a few more years.

    Over the years I went 3 or 4 times to the nursing home to visit her with her brother, and I can tell you that place is a very depressing place to visit even for a half hour – never mind having to live day after day in such a place. But we did show up at the nursing home on different days and at different times and the nursing home it seems to be giving her good care. But as you walk in the corridors of the nursing home you can see all these people just sitting on wheelchairs outside their rooms or just laying in bed waiting to die – it is not a pretty sight.

    The first time I realized how devastating Alzheimer’s can be happened about 10 years ago when I went to a party of a friend of mine who was turning 90 years old.

    This friend of mine I met him when both of us were working for John Templeton’s company in the early 1970’s – my friend had been a financial analyst for John Templeton for the last 25 years – that was before John Templeton moved to the Bahamas and his mutual fund empire was moved to Florida.

    John Templeton’s company had been located in Englewood, NJ for a long time – and Mr. Templeton was the president, and Colonel Donald Liddell was the chairman of the board.

    At that time I was finishing high school and started going to college, but for some reason these old guys invited me to go to lunch with them almost on a daily basis – there were 5 or 6 of them and they were financial analysts or investment counselors for their private accounts – all of them had graduated from Princeton or Yale University and my friend had graduated with an engineering degree from Cornell University. These guys were a bunch of very smart fellows and all of them were millionaire. But for some reason that group did not mind that a 20-year-old kid tag along for lunch with them almost on a daily basis.

    But the person that I want to mention is Colonel Liddell (people called him colonel Liddell because he had been a colonel in the US army during world war II) – Colonel Liddell was a brilliant investment counselor and he did handle the investment account of many famous people at that time – Colonel Liddell also was in the board of directors of close to 50 different companies. He was one of the closest friends of Mr. John Templeton, and he used to go and spend his vacation with Mr. Templeton on his Bahamas mansion.

    But what I remember the most about Colonel Liddell was his sense and practice of ethics and integrity, because today it is rare to find people in the investment world with that same high standard of ethics and integrity of people such as Colonel Liddell and also John Templeton.

    Today most people in Wall Street would laugh of Colonel Liddell, with few exceptions such as Warren Buffet and a few others – But here is a lesson from Colonel Liddell to the new generation:

    Colonel Liddell had a major investment in a bank here in New Jersey and he also was a member of the board of directors of that bank – and over the years he invested the money of many of the clients that he handled their investment account on the stock of that bank – and over the years his clients did very well with their investments.

    But in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that bank started having financial problems and the stock started declining accordingly. Here comes the ultimate ethics and integrity lesson: Colonel Liddell wrote a memo and he sent to all his accounts saying that the bank had financial problems and that Colonel Liddell was going to sell his financial position on that bank – but before he did that he wanted to give a chance for all the people who he had invested their money in that stock for them to get out of that stock before he sold his position.

    By doing that Colonel Liddell lost a few extra million dollars of his own money, but he felt the obligation to let the other people sell their stock positions before he sold his.

    Since then when hear people talk about honesty, ethics and integrity the first person that comes to mind it is the name of Colonel Donald Liddell because he did practice all these virtues in real life.

    Going back to that party 10 years ago for my friend from Templeton days when I saw Colonel Liddell at that party I got all excited in seeing him after 20 years, and I went to speak to him and I said: How are you Colonel Liddell do you remember me?

    I assumed that he had to remember me since over the years when I worked for Mr. Templeton I had had lunch with him and the other guys at least 200 times during that period.

    Mr. Liddell looked at me and said: “my house has big rooms.” I said: I am sure your house has big rooms, since you live in a mansion, but don’t you remember me from the time when I worked at Templeton in the early 1970”s?

    Mr. Liddell told me once more: “ my house has big rooms and I go to the park.”

    At that point his wife saw me talking to Colonel Liddell and she told me that he had an advanced stage of Alzeimer’s. She also told me that they still had their mansion in Englewood, NJ, but they were staying for long periods at their apartment in Manhattan by the Central Park – and yes his nurse used to take him for a walk on Central Park.

    I was shocked that day and could not believe how such a smart man - Mr. Liddell was a brilliant man - could end up like that.

    When I walked to see Colonel Liddell I expected him to remember me from 20 years ago – but the reality was at that point he could not remember even his own name. About 2 years later I heard that Colonel Liddell had passed away.

    Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease for family and friends – and not in a million years I ever expected to see Colonel Liddell in that state of mind.

  3. .

    Drsteph: … I.E. this individual has not specifically stated that they do not wish to have everything done to them medically to sustain life at all costs, so we must assume that they do want everything done, even if such life sustaining measures are ultimately futile, and perhaps prolong life at discomfort to the patient, require them to be continuously sedated, etc...

    …Ultimately, at a certain point, demand will exceed resources, as SA points out. At that point, the collective body politic will be called upon to make new standards to ration resources in a reasonable manner. But until that point, you can pretty much forget any rationality in the system.

    SA - here's a question for you in Brazil. When a person with alzheimer's can no longer feed themselves, and can no longer swallow, what is generally done? Are they given a 'tube' to be fed through? Or are they simply allowed by their family to stop eating? What is your society's standard? You can differentiate the answer by socioeconomic class if it helps.


    December 29, 2006

    SouthAmerica: To answer your question: Yes, his wife is willing to spend any amount of money to keep her husband alive – and 2006 was the test year when my friend was in the hospital basically dying, but they gave him so many drugs that they were able to bring him back. When I saw my friend in the following day when he was admitted to the hospital in critical condition – I thought he was not going to live to the end of that week.

    I know that Americans will become practical after a certain point when the expenses of Medicare and Medicaid get completely out of hand – and euthanasia will become acceptable to most people in the United States.

    Americans already started cutting Medicaid benefits in August 2005 the state of Tennessee cut 100 percent of Medicaid benefits to 200,000 people living in that state and included in that number were thousands of very sick people with advanced stages of cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke and other nasty diseases.

    The state of Tennessee overnight left out in the cold all these very needy group of people.

    But as I mentioned above on my posting: “Over the years I went 3 or 4 times to the nursing home to visit her with her brother, and I can tell you that place is a very depressing place to visit even for a half hour – never mind having to live day after day in such a place. But we did show up at the nursing home on different days and at different times and the nursing home it seems to be giving her good care. But as you walk in the corridors of the nursing home you can see all these people just sitting on wheelchairs outside their rooms or just laying in bed waiting to die – it is not a pretty sight.”

    Most people living on these nursing homes with advanced cases of Alzheimer’s disease – this group of people would be high in the governments’ list of candidates for the state to end their lives through euthanasia.

    In the near future, “Euthanasia” will be the solution, and the easy way out that the American-politicians will find to resolve the Alzheimer’s healthcare crisis here in the United States.

    Regarding people with Alzheimer’s in Brazil I just know a friend of our family, her mother is dying of Alzheimer’s for the last 2 months, and our friend went to Rio de Janeiro to stay with her mother before she finally pass away. I believe she is being fed by a feeding tube at this stage – in her case it is just a matter of time before she will finally die.

    In Brazil they also would keep you alive as long as the doctors are able to keep you going.

  4. .
    January 2, 2007

    SouthAmerica: On January 1, 2007 The New York Times published Paul Krugman’s column – “A Healthy New Year.”

    He started his column by saying: “The US health care system is a scandal and a disgrace. But maybe, just maybe, 2007 will be the year we start the move toward universal coverage.

    In 2005, almost 47 million Americans – including more than 8 million children – were uninsured, and many more had inadequate insurance...”

    I agree 100 percent with Paul Krugman – the United States needs ASAP to create a system of universal coverage for everybody living in the United States.


    I know a family here in New Jersey that the wife has one of these catastrophic diseases.

    Her husband had lost his job – he was unemployed for a few years – and during that period they qualified for Medicaid and the wife was able to get all the medical help that she needed.

    About 4 years ago, the husband found a good job and returned to work, and immediately they disqualified for the Medicaid program.

    The family got health insurance coverage through his job – and his health insurance it is no better or worse than what most American companies provide to their employees. The health insurance had the usual annual deductible and a certain amount of employee co-pay.

    Even though the husband had this family standard health insurance coverage through his job – after 4 years this family has accumulated over $ 30,000 in outstanding debts related to the deductible plus the co-pay portion of expenses that the employee has to pay from his pocket.

    This is the current outstanding health care liability that this family has accumulated during the last 4 years – and they also have been paying all along the amounts that they can afford on a monthly basis – otherwise the outstanding liability would be even higher.

    Since the disease of his wife it does not have any possibility of a cure and costs a lot of money in an annual basis to keep her alive – the only thing that will happen year after year is that the outstanding liability related to their health costs for this family it will keep accumulating at a rate of $ 8,000 year after year – by the year 2010 their outstanding liability related to health care should reach at least $ 65,000 and growing.

  5. .

    S.D. billionaire donates $400 million
    By CARSON WALKER, Associated Press Writer
    AP – Associated Press
    February 4, 2007

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Around here, T. Denny Sanford is not known just for the billions he made in banking — he's also known for the millions he has donated.

    When officials at Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health Systems told him of their dream to transform the facility into a major research institution for children's health, he donated $400 million, and they promised to rename the institution after him — Sanford Health.

    "I have been quoted as wanting to die broke," Sanford , 71, said at Saturday's announcement before 1,800 employees and community leaders. Hospital president and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft "is certainly doing the best job he can to make it happen."

    The hospital began in 1894 and has grown to become the largest employer in the region, with 12,000 employees, 340 physicians, 115 clinics and 24 hospitals.

    The $400 million will go toward several projects that will bear Sanford's name and expand the health system beyond its current patient base in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

    They include building five pediatric clinics in North America tied to the new children's hospital in Sioux Falls that will bear his name and is scheduled to open in 2009. It would also establish more than 20 separate specialized facilities around a medical center, with a goal of joining the ranks of the world's best hospitals "One of my hopes is that we create a Mayo for kids," Sanford said later Saturday at a gala dinner to raise money for the children's hospital.

    Sanford's net worth is roughly $2.5 billion. He made his fortune as the owner of First Premier Bank, and Premier Bankcard — among the nation's leading credit card providers.

    Sanford was ranked 49th on a Business Week magazine list of the 50 most generous philanthropists in November.

    His biography states that his "primary interest is in helping sick, disadvantaged, abused and/or neglected children."

    Sanford's other recent donations include $70 million to convert an abandoned mine into a science laboratory, $16 million for the children's hospital, and $20 million to the health system to expand projects involving the University of South Dakota's School of Medicine.

    On the Net:
    Sanford Health: http://www.sanfordhealth.org

  6. .
    February 10, 2007

    SouthAmerica: On Friday February 9, 2007 The New York times published an excellent article by economist Paul Krugman – “Edwards Gets It Right.”

    I would recommend that people read that particular column by Paul Krugman. The article gives a brief description of John Edward’s proposal for universal health care in the United States.

    I wonder why it is called “universal” instead of “national” health care – maybe because the new program will cover also the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants who are living in the United States today – by January of 2009 we might have 25 million illegal immigrants living in the US.

    But anyway, John Edwards is the right track regarding his national health care proposal.

    After Al Gore secures the democratic nomination for the presidential run of 2008 – John Edwards might be a good addition to the ticket as the VP. – and I can see the presidential ticket: Gore/Edwards for 2008.

  7. .

    February 11, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Jayford

    I just saw a program on the BBC channel about terrorism in Indonesia. It was very interesting since they talked about terrorism in Bali, Pakistan, and also in the Philippines.

    Basically a local general or police chief who was being interviewed said that they had these terrorist groups and they had a problem with the local government – it was a local terrorist group fighting for local causes – and he told the interviewer these groups had nothing to do with the United States – they were fighting because of local matters.

    Then the Bush administration started financing the local army or police and started giving them all kinds of support including tracking these people with American satellites, supplying them with armament, and so on.

    Before these people were not enemies of the United States – but they certainly are today, because they know that the United States is helping their local enemies to fight them.

    And that kind of scenario repeats itself all over the world including in Africa, in South America, in Asian, and the Middle East countries.

    Before we had all kind of groups fighting local governments because of local stuff which in general had nothing to do with the United States. Today we have a bunch of groups from around the world who hate the United States because the US is helping their local enemies.

    During a very short period of time the United States managed to create a ton of new enemies around the world.

    If they did not hate America before – now they do it.

    I just saw the Charlie Rose Show before yesterday and he interviewed the director of the Office of Management and Budget Mr. Rob Portman – and they discussed the proposed budget for fiscal year 2008.

    Defense spending had the largest increase in the budget 12 percent from the prior year.

    And since George W. Bush was appointed US president in 2000 the defense budget of the United States has doubled in size.

    They talked about the entitlement programs – and finally he mentioned that what was left over and covers many programs that are important to communities around the United States – these programs were cut or increased by only 1 percent.

    Today there are over 8 million kids in the United States who are not covered by any type of insurance because their families can’t afford the price of insurance – and Senator Kennedy said that it would take about $ 35 billion dollars to give healthcare coverage to this group for a period of 5 years.

    The United States government has no problem finding $ 600 billion US dollars to fund its killing machines. But the same government can’t find $ 7 billion dollars per year to give health care coverage to 8 million kids who represent part of the future of the country.

    The more money goes to the killing machine the more enemies the United States makes around the world and the more vulnerable the American people will be at home.

    Today the United States is as vulnerable to a terrorist attack in US soil as the United States did in September of 2001 – with only one major difference – today the United States has a lot more enemies around the world that the US had in January of 2001.

    The $ 600 billion US dollars in defense spending is the type of expenditure that is very efficient in spreading despair, destruction, chaos and so on – in many parts of the world.

    And also at home in the United States when you take in consideration that a big chunk of that money could have been used for other more useful purposes – national health care, infrastructure, and so on….

  8. .

    Libertad: It would be interesting to find out what the US public or any countrys public...how they would vote to allocate funds made available through taxes...


    Infrastructure..roads, bridges etc..
    Agricultural subsidies

    The internet would be a wonderful census collection device that could be used to adjust financial policies...whereby the input and collection time is very minimal....

    I think that in terms of providing clearer paths to democracy...that this is actually essential.....

    I think that if the US public had $1 trillion to spend...I do not think that they would vote for 40% to be going to the military....etc...

    Since the internet is now broadly available...perhaps the more advanced democracies can commence such possibilities.....

    This could reduce special interests...fund raising credits....lobbies...and cronyism....


    February 11, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Libertad

    It would be interesting just as an exercise to find out where most lays the people’s priorities.

    But the politicians who are responsible to allocate the moneys available to the government usually don’t do the right thing. And most of the time they know of major problems that needs fixing, but they still follow instead the requests of lobbyists and special interest groups – and they ignore what the population really needs.

    Most politicians think this way: if it is not broken then don’t fix it – and they keep moving the problems forward for the next guy to fix it.

    The government needs a very smart group of people working on the allocation of resources of the federal government annual budget – and these people need to bite the bullet and make decisions that would help some people and do nothing to the rest of the population.

    For example: Last Thursday The New York Times had a front page picture of a SUV that crashed into a sinkhole and the title of the article was “Aging Pipes, Sudden Hazards.”

    When the article continued on page 19, they also had a picture of a sewer-repair truck that had also crashed into another sinkhole in another state in the United States.

    It was a long article and the article mentioned the report that I have been mentioning on this forum a number of times. The ASCE report published in March 2005 “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” and quoting from that report they said that the United States needs an investment of US$ 390 billion to bring waste-water infrastructure alone up to par.

    Many cities in the United States have water systems that are over 100 years old and it is surprising that many of these systems still working. But don’t fool yourself these systems are at the end of their useful lives and it will require billions and billions of US dollars to replace them.

    One of these water systems that are at the end of its useful life is the system of New York City. We are talking about US$ 20 to US$30 billion dollars to replace that system. But politicians will move that problem forward, by doing nothing today, until we have a major crisis on our hands.

    A lot of Republicans would say: never mind this kind of investment of government money that it is done only when the country has a depression and the government has to create jobs to put people back to work.

    But in the other hand what would happen to New York City – if their water system goes out of business?

    What people are going to do regarding their needs for water – not only the people who live in Manhattan, but also the hotels, businesses, Broadway, Wall Street, tourism, and so on?

    It is a very complex job to allocate the federal budget to all the urgent needs of the population and also of the country such as health care, pensions, military, infrastructure, and all the other needs.

    But in my opinion, and I am 100 percent sure of that, since January 2001 the Bush administration has been making the wrong allocation of the money available to the federal budget, and they have been spending too much money on defense at the expense of the other more pressing needs of the country – and the Bush administration doesn’t have in mind the self-interest and the future of the United States.

  9. .

    February 13, 2007

    SouthAmerica: In the above posting I said the following: “The government needs a very smart group of people working on the allocation of resources of the federal government annual budget – and these people need to bite the bullet and make decisions that would help some people and do nothing to the rest of the population.”

    Just to clarify a little more what I was trying to say – when the federal government spends let’s say $ 30 billion US dollars to fix the water system of New York City that investment does not help the rest of the population including the people who live in Los Angeles, Boston, and so on…

    But still indirectly that is a sound investment and it is good for America since it help to keep New York City operating and in business.

    Imagine if the water system starts crumbling and they have to start shutting down the water system for frequent repairs – in no time that situation would start affecting the reputation of New York City as a major business center.

    But the logic it is similar for the justification of using federal government money (taxpayer money) to make the needed infrastructure investments in most major US cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and so on….

    At the end of the day the total of these local infrastructure investment helps the economy as a whole.

  10. .

    February 15, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Then maybe New York City can give back to the federal government the money that the city receives every year.


    New York City budget

    The New York City government's budget is the largest municipal budget in the United States. The city government spends about $50 billion a year, employs 250,000 people, spends about $15 billion to educate more than 1.1 million children, levies $27 billion in taxes, and receives $14 billion from federal and state governments. New York State has more than 4,200 local governments in the form of counties, cities, towns, and villages. About 52% of all revenue raised by local governments in the state is raised solely by the government of New York City, which spends it on education (31%), social services (20%), public safety (13%), and benefits and pensions (10%) New York City property taxes are lower than those in the suburbs because most of the city's revenue comes from income and sales taxes.

    The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the Federal and state governments. New York City receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to Washington in taxes (or annually sends $13.1 billion more to Washington than it receives back). The city also sends an additional $11.1 billion more each year to the state of New York than it receives back.


    Here is some interesting information:

    United States Government Annual Budget during the Bush administration.
    Each year, on the first Monday in February, the President of the United States submits his budget request to Congress for the following fiscal year:

    United States federal budget, 2008 - $2.9 trillion (submitted February 2007 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2007 - $2.8 trillion (submitted February 2006 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2006 - $2.6 trillion (submitted February 2005 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2005 - $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2004 - $2.2 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2003 - $2.1 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
    United States federal budget, 2002 - $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)

    Total US government Budget for period year 2001 to year 2007 = US$ 17 trillion.


    Here is Bushes’ military spending - this does not include ANY costs related to Afghanistan or Iraq as they are all in supplemental spending bills:

    For Fiscal Year 2007 it is $470.0 billion
    For Fiscal Year 2006 it was $441.6 billion
    For Fiscal Year 2005 it was $420.7 billion
    For Fiscal Year 2004 it was $399.1 billion
    For Fiscal Year 2003 it was $396.1 billion.
    For Fiscal Year 2002 it was $343.2 billion.
    Iraq and Afghanistan supplementary spending including 2007 = over $ 500 billion.

    Total Bush administration military spending for period 2002 to 2007 = US$ 2,970.7 billion

    Note: It must be stressed that the recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are funded outside the Federal Budget (i.e. are paid for through supplementary spending bills) and are therefore external to the military budget figures listed above.

    In a Nutshell: During the 6 years of a Bush administration the United States total budget was US$ 17 trillion dollars – and from that US$ 3 trillion dollars were related to defense spending including the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It is too bad that Americans can’t come up with a better use for a big chunk of the money related to defense spending = US$ 3 trillion dollars.

    #10     Mar 21, 2007