How to Spend a Trillion Dollars

Our nation needs a more extensive health care system, one that provides medical assistance to everyone, not just to those who have money or insurance. But, critics say, we cannot afford such a system. The Institute of Medicine projects that universal healthcare would cost $70 billion a year. Over ten years that totals $700 billion dollars.

There was no political will to invest $700 billion in universal health care.

But now an epidemic has swept down Wall Street. Large wealthy companies are suffering from an economic disease for which there is no insurance. What to do?

Experts tell us it will take $700 billion dollars to treat these patients. And suddenly the very people—national leaders, no less—who have been telling us that the American system can not afford such a massive government subsidy are crying for governmental help.

The President of the United States took to the airwaves to plead for help for his friends on Wall Street. “There has been a wide-spread loss of confidence,” he said. He meant, of course, a loss of confidence in the markets. But I suspect there has been a far greater loss of confidence in those people—like the President—who lead the nation and manage the markets.

It is not the markets that have mis-behaved, it is the marketers!

The very people who have resisted corporate taxes are now coming to Uncle Sam with their hand out, asking for $700 billion dollars of tax money. Many claim the tab will be closer to one trillion dollars.

What else could we do with a trillion dollars?

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it would cost $1.6 trillion dollars over ten years to rebuild the infrastructure of the country: bridges, canals, railroads, highways, airports, sewers, dams, sea walls, water lines, and power grids. The collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, the destruction of New Orleans and Galveston, and the dramatic need to be energy independent all illustrate the urgency of this situation.

The AFL-CIO estimates that every billion spent on rebuilding the infrastructure would create 42,000 jobs. People with jobs buy houses, make mortgage payments, and pay taxes.

But instead of investing a trillion dollars in the common welfare—providing universal health care or rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure—our leaders want to help their friends on Wall Street.

When the emergency is all over, the executives in New York will resume their $100 million dollar salaries while 50 million common people live without health insurance and the crumbling infrastructure of the nation threatens the welfare of the citizens.

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4 comments so far

  1. John A Williams on

    If one of these presidential candidates would “just say no”, I absolutely want no part of this “fix”, he would be President in January and have an eight year window to do the things community can do to give a much larger part of our society an opportunity to “participate”!!

    If they “go along” (as we have all been doing in one way or another for decades), we will have the leadership we deserve set in place for giving us the consiquiences we richly deserve.

  2. Camille Haggard on

    The unfortunate part of this fiasco is that if we let the system fail, it will be worse than the 1929 crash. We the little people will pay the untimate price for the greed. This all originated with FM and FM which are govt. established and run with no restrictions on what the big executives are paid and also no control over bonuses. This is what happens when govt. runs the program. (Re: health care-if you want to see a disaster just let the govt. run this program. If they can’t run a mortgage system, then why would anyone want to entrust them with the most important aspect of our lives–our health?????)

  3. Tad on

    Camille is correct. Had our president not stepped in and attempted a rescue of our financial system we would have skipped right past a recession and solidly into a depression. We may still head there if this doesn’t work. At least our government didn’t sit around on their hands waiting to see what happened. The root of this was nothing more than greed compounded on greed.

    As far as a government run health care system go live in the UK for a while like I did and hear about some of the horror stories on their health care system. It is NOT working! Doctors and other health agencies refused to participate when the government system dropped their riembursement so low they couldn’t stay in business. Sure, you could get treatment … if you wanted to wait a few months to get an appointment. My co-worker’s son needed open heart surgery. They had to report to the hospital 4 times at 6:00am and waited until the evening before they were told to come back in a few weeks because they were too busy. All you needed to get good timely treatment was to have the cash to pay private health care providers who refused to participate in the government run system.

  4. Jinny Vicroy on

    Being a health care provider, I can’t see how the govt can make it work. However, someone needs to. Providers do not get paid adequately for the services provided. We are asked to fill out paper work so clients can have days off approved from their work, we have to get prescriptions authorized by their insurance companies, try being on hold for 40 minutes…, no where else that I know of are you required to do work for no reimbursement. We have to make informed guesses about how quickly someone will get well even though the client doesn’t follow through with reommendations, I am so sick of John and Sherry on KLOVE talking about waiting to be worked in for an appointment, when people don’t show you don’t get paid. That is why so many offices double book. If patients showed up when they were suppose to….
    The regular guy is and will continue to foot the bill for greedy corporations. Regardless of the type of business. AND the regular guy will have to pay taxes on time or face penalties
    I don’t know the solution but I do believe that this is just too fortuitous during the election. Nice scare tactic.


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