The IRS wants info on tax dodgers!

The Southern District Court of New York says the IRS can go after people who stash fortunes overseas. Last week, U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood authorized the agency to issue summonses that require Citibank and New York Mellon to hand over information about U.S. taxpayers who've been evading federal taxes. By stashing millions in undisclosed accounts overseas, many of the ultra-rich have avoided paying their fair share, but that may soon be over thanks to Judge Wood.

The Court also granted permission for so-called “John Doe” summons to be issued to Bank of America, JPMorgan, and HSBC. The IRS will use these John Doe summons to identify tax fraud perpetrators, who lie about their overseas income and assets. For far too long, the rich have stashed huge fortunes in tax havens overseas, and contributed as little as possible to our commons.

With new international tax agreements – like the one signed earlier this year between the US and Switzerland – and the IRS now able to investigate overseas tax fraud, the corporate elite may soon have a tougher time skipping out on contributing to our country. It is our commons, and our production, that allowed many of those at the top to become wealthy, and they should pay for the privilege of doing business here. Thanks to Judge Kimba Wood, the IRS can now hold accountable those who attempt to evade their legal – and moral – responsibility to pay their taxes.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Ya-hoo! Hip-hip-HOORAY! Go git'em, Judge Wood!! Those deadbeats have gotten away with that little game of theirs waaay too long. I hope the IRS sticks 'em with some stiff penalties along with their unpaid share. I for one am sick of these piggies getting a free ride while skimming all the cream off the top. Enough already! - Alice I.W.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Talk about a day late and a dollar short. This all sounds wonderful to me folks; but, pardon my skepticism. I'll believe it when the numbers in the budget reflect it. Till then it's all Kabuki Theater.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 28 weeks ago

wow I agree with Alice on something .I hate tax cheats

I think there should be a flat tax. everyone pays the same percentage. "fair share" as they say.

I had a Italian supplier of ours that was in town this week and I asked how much he payed for health care and he answered 9% of the gross wage. Everyone pays 9%. If you make $100,000 you pay $9,000 if you make $10,000 you pay $900.00. Keep in mind they also pay about 35% tax on average up to a max of 50%. This is all just payroll taxes.

So if you make $20,000 its less 9% ($1,800) = $18,200 - 25% = $13,200. Again just payroll tax.

At $45,000 less 9% ($4,050) = $40,950 - 35% = $26,617.00

$100,000 less 9% ($9,000) $91,000 - 45% = $50,050.00

Wealth distrubution at its finest

I was wondering is this about what it costs in America now. Before the ACA for the average working person at those numbers?

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 9 years 28 weeks ago

DEADBEATS great description. IT'S too bad that public shaming is out of style.THESE deadbeats should be put in stocks and have rotten tomatoes thrown at them in the major cities of the U.S. MADE to walk in TIME SQUARE with sandwichboards saying -'''I AM A DEADBEAT TAXPAYER"""""I AM RICH AND I DONT PAY MY SHARE SO THAT THE POOR NEED TO PAY MORE"""

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 28 weeks ago

You don't agree with Alice, Kend, you agree with Steve Forbes. As usual, you filled your post with as much nonsense as possible.

Flat taxes are regressive. Progressive taxes, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, are to exact a fair contribution to society that is based on taxpayers ability to pay without undue sacrifice. The idea is that EVERYBODY works hard (and if you don't think poor people work harder than anybody I'd invite you to try their way of life. A poor laborer works very hard, very distateful jobs for nickels and two or three at once because those jobs pay so little. Poor people are poor not because they don't work hard but, in fact, because they are undercompensated and they are undercompensated because they have less power. They would have the needed power to demand just compensation if they were not prevented from uniting with their fellow laborers and bargaining with their employers collectively.) but not all are well compensated for their work, thus those who are compensated with much superfluous wealth pay more than those who're compensated with barely enough to provide for their basic necessities and NOBODY should have to go without those basic necessities in order to pay taxes..

lourendon 9 years 28 weeks ago

It's about flippin' time!

Gordon Wilder's picture
Gordon Wilder 9 years 28 weeks ago

Sorry: Did not realize the first comment was posted.

I totally agree that it is time to go after the tax cheats. David Shaxson's "Perfectly Legal" and I believe David Cay Johnson to wrote on the subject. However, today on the web it was stated that the number of people giving up their U S Citizenship had increased by 1/3, gave more precise numbers too.

My question: Do you have info as to the validity and comprehensiveness of those numbers, are they precise and do they truly reflect the import of the implications? Is there any info as to where these people would go and would they have the same protections, fiduciary as well as personal as they have had in the U. S?

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 9 years 28 weeks ago

It will never happen. If the corporate elite don't already have the IRS in their pockets, the Supreme Court will simply overturn Judge Wood's ruling. Nothing will change.

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 28 weeks ago

Mark , I don't need anyone to tell me how hard poor people work. I was one. It was hard work that got me out of the poor house. The problem to me is wealthy people don't pay tax. They hide it through the tax code. They run everything through the companies so many of the day to day things they buy are paid by before tax dollars. With a flat tax I would pay more that's why the wealthy don't want it. . But to me it is as fair as it gets.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 28 weeks ago

Hooray! We need more judges like this!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

PERSONALLY I think anyone stuck below the poverty line, barely keeping themselves covered in the most basic necessities, should pay no taxes at all. Sorry Kend, I hate to disappoint, but I'm not with you on that flat tax bandwagon. Just try living on $10,000 a year in today's economy, even as a single person! That's less than $1000 per month. And in the likelihood that such an individual is renting their living space, it's a fair assumption the landlord is taking more than half of that. (And ALL the landlords I ever had were friggin' deadbeats!) So the thought of coughing up $900 of of a $10,000 annual income for any kind of tax makes me gag, unless that tax directly contributed to something like Social Security. Even then, 9% taken from such an income is way too much. Giving a tax holiday to our poorest citizens would be at least partial compensation for having to live on such substandard wages. Maybe their employers should be making up the difference! And in my not-so-humble opinion, the richer the taxpayer, the higher that percentage should be. Hell, why should I have to cough up the same percentage as someone like Steve Forbes? Plleeeeze! - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 28 weeks ago

Wow I agree with Alice again. Under a flat tax system it should not kick in until about $10,000. iin the province I live in tax doesn't start until a combined Fed and provincial income of about $13,000 A year.

Thanks for not believing in the flat tax it just put more in my grandchildrens educational fund .

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Kend, if hard work got you out of the poorhouse, hooray for you. It got you out of the poorhouse because of something called social mobility. Canada seems to have that figured out a lot better than the United Mistake of America, where (if you haven't inherited any $$ or other assets via dumb luck, or benefitted from a thriving family business or whatever) you're stuck in poverty no matter how hard you work. This has everything to do with healthcare and education, the two greatest equalizers, neither of which are guaranteed as a right of citizenship in this lame-ass country of ours! It hasn't always been that way, but every president since Reagan has seen to it that the playing field remains unequal, tilted in favor of a few at the expense of the majority. Their policies have kept many trapped in poverty here. You should be thanking your lucky stars, Kend, that the system you were born into provided the sort of infrastructure it takes for hard work to actually pay off. For those not born into wealth & privilege in the U.S., it's tantamount to modern-day slavery. Many people are having to work at two or three three minimum-wage jobs just to cover the barest of necessities, with no safety net to catch them in the event of a crisis! I'd like to see where you'd be now, Kend, if those were the cards dealt you in your youth.

If taxes were as high as 90% or more on income over, say, $250,000 or $500,000 a year, it would give these high earners incentive to re-invest that money in their businesses so that it gets re-circulated back into the economy. Our present system helps create a class of deadbeat rich folks who just sit on it and hoarde it. This is, in large part, why we have such extremes of wealth and poverty in America. Just going back to our old system of taxation like we had before Reagan, while making healthcare & higher education accessible to everyone, would make a huge difference for those wishing to improve their lot in life. - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 9 years 28 weeks ago

Alice, Alice, Alice where do I start. for the record first of I want to be very clear, . I have said many times here I was married 30 some years ago and when we got back from our honeymoon we where worth $60.00. we where lucky nobody gave us anything. We earned every penny.

I get the health care part but I don't get the education part. my wife and I never received any post secondary education and did just fine. Some times I thing that education gives you a false sense of security. I think today there is way to many "A" students working for "C" students. That's not the way it's supposed to be. I look at the people who work for me and wonder why these bright intelligent people working for me. Why don't they go on there own. As you can tell by this blog I am not that bright. It must be our education system that holds them back. What else could it be.

As far as Canada goes we are exactly the same as you. With the exception of our health care system.

I wish everyone from this blog could all get together face to face over a beer and debate this stuff it would be fun. I am sure we would all thing differently about each other. I think we all what the same thing I just think we don't agree on how it should be paided for .

kends wife's picture
kends wife 9 years 28 weeks ago

As I do most evenings, I'm listening to

ken talk about this blog and the varying difference of opinions.

Most evenings I am content to listen, confident that ken explains whatever

topic satisfactorily. Tonight however, I also needed to share my thoughts.

ken and I were 20 & 21 when we got married. we both worked hard, with long hours

and many nights away from home to try to get ahead. We paid more than our fair

share of income taxes. We were middle class at best.

A number of years ago, through much hard work, dedication, and to be honest,

kissing ass of an employer ken was offered the opportunity of a lifetime!

an opportunity to become a dealer for western canada!

We have literally had and continue to have many sleepless nights and many

times where we had no idea how we were going to make it.

there were many times when our employees got paid and we didn't.

and now i hear that you want to tax 90% of our income? after the very difficult

and tough challenges, the worry, the risks we took, and someone

thinks its reasonable to tax 90% of it! my apologies but if that

was the case, i can guarantee we never would have risked our

home, our peace of mind and our marriage for that. I hhave always

belived we are the picture of the

"American dream". A chance where someone so not likely to

succeed...actually succeeds. And succeeds with compassion, kindness and honesty.

I honestly believe this opportunity is still there in both Canada and the US,

it's just disguised as hard work.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Kend, I never said you didn't earn what you've got. And you're missing the point. A system that makes healthcare a privilege, not a right, keeps people down by sucking away hard-earned assets they could be using to improve their situations, like starting a business or buying a house. Healthcare is a major factor in social mobility. And our "uniquely American" for-profit healthcare system is one reason jobs are being outsourced. By moving to other countries where healthcare is nonprofit, regulated and government-run, businesses eliminate a major liability and financial burden impeding them here. American workers can't compete under the status quo.

Beyond that, what you're overlooking is the importance of many professions one could never enter without a college education. The fact that you made it without college is fine and dandy; but where would we be as a society without engineers, teaches, scientists, architects or doctors (to cite just a few examples...)? Just as it can be argued that not everyone is cut out to be a scientist or engineer, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur either. And I think it's silly to claim that just because you made it without higher education, this somehow proves higher education is a non-necessity. The hell it is.

Long as for-profit healthcare continues to be the culprit behind more than half the bankruptcies in this country, and long as higher education remains a debt trap, we will continue sliding deeper into the ditch; more and more of us languishing in poverty, having no bootstraps with which to pull ourselves up.

Frankly, Kend, I question whether healthcare is the only thing different about Canada. Is student debt a problem in Canada like it is here? I've heard some rumblings of unrest in this regard; aren't Canadian students making a stink about the rising cost of tuition there? But I haven't heard anything about Canadians graduating from college $80,000 or $100,000 in debt.

Anyway that's enough for now; I rest my case. - Aliceinwonderland

Shark's picture
Shark 9 years 28 weeks ago

WE the mainstream people, have no power. We have been outspent by WE the wealthiest people. WE the wealthiest people have formed a union of themselves by themselves and for themselves. There is no way, these people will ever give up a penny of their money they don't choose to. Our capitalistic democracy is now in the hands of a few hundred Oligarchs and nothing will change that... except revolution. The bought-and-paid-for media will continue to placate the mainstrem people's palate. Revolution in this country is a fantasy.

sound n light's picture
sound n light 9 years 28 weeks ago

No where in the Federal Legal System is there a law which grants the authority to the IRS. No lawyer has found it, the ones who find this out, quit the IRS and never pay taxes again. The IRS is an extention of the Federal Reserve which is not a government insitituion but a bank designed to produce major profits at all costs. The Federal Reserve group starts, maintians, and continues to use any means to increase their profits. If this means using lies to create wars in which we then engage in and then use laws to maintain, that is the plan. Any means, means any means. This group has been operating for what could be eons, for sure for the entire history of America.

The creation of systems of thoughts are not above this control of those who seek more money. All religions at their base have this ability to make those involved feel that their way is the only way, which then sets up the base for wars. Wars equal profit, no better way to create wealth then war. Religion creates violence by disclusion of others, which is not what they tell you they are teaching you, it is a by product of belief itself. some how every religion has a guy born on dec 25, became a teacher at 30, was cruicfied and rose three days later, but we base the western religions on just one guy at the exclusion of the worlds history, why? more wars, conflict, I mean profits.

Why, seems a comet comes around every 333 years and causes problems. Thats the big secret which is covered up and keeps those who know in power. last time it was here Newton "Discovered" Gravity, the great comet of 1680 was used to conduct experiments, it was not an apple as we are told in our white washed school system bent on creating more customers who do not question.

sound n light's picture
sound n light 9 years 28 weeks ago

Why dont we talk about the buisness of Insurance itself, instead of just what it covers, who gets it.Seems a good way to cut costs would be to make the insurance companies illegal. we pay the hospital we go to when we go there, just like Mcdonalds. Set prices on a board, and those prices are regulated. Likewise we stop paying Chemical companys to produce and provide their newest toxic cure which cause more health problems then they cure.

Lets rethink profit gathered off of the resources of the Earth, like air, soil, water, minerals. If a company makes money off of these resources then they should contribute to the overall wellfare of the Earth, not just pocket the cash. We the people are the Earth in the form of man, so when we hurt the world, we directly hurt ourselves. Being an Individual is kind of a lie,we all are one part of the whole, all affect the rest. I know kind of Zenish, but its either a world of love or fear, you cant have both. So either we have the love of power or the power of love, supreme courts probably says power equals love soon, watch out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Kend and Kend's wife ~ 90% tax on over a $1M profit is not only a good idea; but, essential for business regulation and the economy. Can you imagine anyone taking home $1M in profit annually? That's 20 X what the average worker makes; or, roughly 20 jobs. By forcing companies to reinvest that revenue you force the companies to spend that money to create those jobs in itself, raise the wages of current workers--who deserve that by the way because it was their sweat that earned it in the first place--or by upgrading it's equipment--which creates jobs and revenue for other companies. This isn't about taking your money away, it's about forcing you to invest it in the wisest most productive way for society. Obviously, the wealthy if left to their own devices are not capable of making that necessary choice on their own. And no, this has nothing to do with their "freedom of choice." That begins and ends when they decide what God to believe or not to believe in, how to pursue happiness, who to marry, and how to vote. "Freedom of choice" has nothing to do with how much money you think you deserve to extort from your employees and horde to yourself. When your actions begin to affect the good and well being of others your "freedom of choice" goes out the window and We the People decide for you. We call that Democracy!

As far as education is concerned I believe your stories. It makes sense. Thirty years ago it was a different world. A high school diploma went a long ways. People I used to work with in my profession many years ago had no formal education. However, I had to have at least an AA degree to get my position when I applied 20 years ago. Today, to get the same position one needs an AA degree and to be IT certified. You see my friend the world is constantly changing. Imagine that? Most of my non-educated coworkers had to be sent back to school just to keep up. That was at the Companies expense. Do you really think our Company wants to spend that kind of money for new employees?

Kend, you've mentioned that your employees all have a college education. Is that just a coincidence and had nothing to do with you hiring them? Can you do all their jobs without any training? How many employees have you hired recently without any education? Finally, would you have hired yourself today as you were when you were twenty?

The statement that people don't need a college or technical degree to do their job is erroneous at best. Companies are responsible for taking care of new employees basic training; however, they do need a formal education in order to be trainable. Many entry level positions today require basic understanding of various technologies and principles that weren't necessary 30 years ago. Technicians, mechanics, and engineers need to be familiar with basic industrial technologies and computer networking. Secretaries and office workers need to understand computer operation and the use of programs such as mail clients, word processing and EXCEL. Even simple sales clerks need to be familiar with basic computer operations and printer maintenance. Even someone working at McDonald's or at a Seven Eleven needs to know how to read and write. You can't tell me that you don't measure an applicant's potential for training and advancement without considering their prior experience and education. We both know that you do. To what extent you do is irrelevant; but, the mere fact that you apparently are aware of all your employees previous education states that you have asked and considered that information at one time.

As far as your question is concerned:

Quote Kend:I think today there is way to many "A" students working for "C" students. That's not the way it's supposed to be. I look at the people who work for me and wonder why these bright intelligent people working for me. Why don't they go on there own. As you can tell by this blog I am not that bright. It must be our education system that holds them back. What else could it be.

I would assume that these "bright educated people" chose to work for you for the same reason I chose to work for my employer--I've learned enough about business management to know that I don't want to complicate my life doing it. I studied business management as a minor and know full well what it entails. Call me lazy and unambitious if you want, but I see no happiness waiting for me at the end of a 16 hour day. To me happiness is coming home fairly early, leaving all my problems at work, spending time with my family, relaxing on this blog and talking to you, and getting a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. I wouldn't trade that for the world; and, I suspect that all your "bright educated young workers" might just feel the same way. I know it takes very long hours and complete dedication to make a business work. Aside from that, you have all the headaches and responsibilities that go with it. Kend, not everyone is cut out to own a business. In that respect--and many others--you are very special.

synergos's picture
synergos 9 years 28 weeks ago

Most of the poor people in the USA are already exempt from the income tax and a flat tax would be a complete disaster for everyone who is not currently taxable under the US Constitution & Tax Code. The above comments, while very passionate, do not seem to be made from a position of knowledge about the true nature of the tax system in the USA. Perhaps a little light reading might spark some changes in thinking.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 28 weeks ago

You're a millionaire Kend? Well the 90% is AFTER your first million (per year).

A flat tax is regressive and I think people with much superfluous wealth should pay a greater share of their income. The wealthy DO want it. Thom's right wing guests always argue in favor of it and Steve Forbes is nothing if not wealthy. It would definitely allow some wealthy people to pay less.

I don't know what "more than our share of income tax" means. Perhaps small business is taxed too much in Canada - or perhaps not.

Higher education in the United States is beginning to be questioned as its worthiness of an investment. There just aren't jobs for graduates anymore. In the relatively recent past a college degree - any college degree - was a passport to success. I never graduated college myself and I can tell you that until just a few years ago, because almost EVERYBODY went to college, not having graduated college was just like not having graduated high school 30 years before that. I'd also heard economic analysts say the same.

The reason college grads are not finding jobs, I think, is that with globalization (i.e., free trade agreements, removal of tariffs) and technology that enables someone to manage production on the other side of the world the rich no longer have to invest in our countries' economies and we are beginning our steady descent into Third World levels of life.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Synergos, I'm well aware that poor folks are exempt from the income tax. But they pay taxes anyway. I don't know what those taxes are called, but it's still a painfully huge amount of $$ to have to cough up when you're barely making ends meet. In light of how many corporations get a free ride, paying no taxes at all despite huge profits, I find this especially objectionable. What I also find objectionable is your suggestion that we try "a little light reading". This sounds presumptuous as well as patronizing. If it is not what you intend, my apologies. But that is how it came across. Reading happens to be among my favorite pastimes, and I'm not talking about romance novels. I've a hunch most of these bloggers have read their fair share. However our complicated and cumbersome tax system is not exactly the sort of subject I would gravitate towards, despite an interest in politics, which most of my reading material of choice is about. For anyone who really wanted an in-depth understand of the U.S. tax system, I doubt "a little light reading" would be sufficient. It would most likely be a waste of time anyway, since tax laws are constantly changing. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Please, Kend's wife, spare us the whining. You worked hard and it was a long rough road and blah-blah-blah... I've heard it all before. But you still "made it" and got ahead. Many others aren't so lucky. When you claim to believe there's plenty of opportunity in our country and yours that is "just disguised as hard work", it comes across as a sanctimonious put-down of those who work their butts off for next to nothing. It certainly doesn't sound very "compassionate". And in case you haven't noticed, workers' rights haven't fared so well in this country over the past 30+ years. The numbers of such underpaid & overworked laborers have been rising expoentially here since Reagan was president. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago
Quote kends wife: ...ken was offered the opportunity of a lifetime
So, you got lucky! Not everyone who knocks themselves out for their employer is so lucky. Many people just work their butts off with very little to show for it. And then they get laid off because the greedsters at the top offshore those jobs. All these years since Reagan they've gotten big tax breaks while watching all the peon's at the bottom pay most of the taxes. And then the lucky ones at the top turn right around and arrogantly proclaim that all those other people were just lazy or negligent somehow.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

For-profit "health" insurance companies should have gotten the death sentence decades ago. Instead their death panels have hastened the demise of multitudes of human beings whose only crime was being born in the USA before they got injured or sick.

God bless America. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Bingo, PD!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: I certainly agree #27! Those healthScare bandits have been the leaches that have been a big cause of unaffordable healthcare. They are merely blood-sucking middle-men death panels based on profit. And the medical-pharmaceutical mafia work hand-in-hand with the insurance bandits to ensure that we are milked dry of every last dollar. Stick em up! Your money or your life!

Careful with that "God bless America" old soldier was chastised by his employer for that! ;-0 Now, if he had said "Allah bless America" or "Satan bless America" or then lots of people might have seen that as blasphemy and might get offended.

synergos's picture
synergos 9 years 27 weeks ago

My apologies for sounding presumptious and patronizing. It was meant as a bit of sarcasm, since the tax code is such a behemoth. Now that the whole thing is online, it makes it much easier to search for information and fully understand what the actual tax laws say.

When I said "exempt from the income tax", I did not mean they were exempt because of the amount of their "Income", I meant that most people are exempt, because their earnings are not among the class of "wages" that are taxable as defined by the US Code. You may want to look up the definition of "wages", "employer", and "employee" in the US Code 26, Section 3401 to see what I mean, or, I could paste them in at the end to make it easier. :)

The link that I included points to an article written about the 16th amendment. A large number of people seem to think that the 16th amendment created our existing tax system in 1913, but the income tax was created in 1861, modified in 1862. The 1862 version is the original code still in force today (along with many updtaes and changes). The 16th amendment was just another modification to the tax code, but it did not create the tax system, nor did it authorize a blanket tax on everyone and all that comes in.

Again, my apologies for offending you.

Link to the 16th amendment article:

US Code 26, Section 3401 - Definitions

(a) WagesFor purposes of this chapter, the term “wages” means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an employee for his employer, including the cash value of all remuneration (including benefits) paid in any medium other than cash... (d) EmployerFor purposes of this chapter, the term “employer” means the person for whom an individual performs or performed any service, of whatever nature, as the employee of such person(c) EmployeeFor purposes of this chapter, the term “employee” includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term “employee” also includes an officer of a corporation.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 27 weeks ago

Says PD, in reference to health insurance: "Stick 'em up! Your money or your life!" Well now, that about says it all- doesn't it! Just so happens that sixteen or seventeen years ago while in college, for one of my wriing classes I wrote an essay about this pay-or-die, carniverous healthcare system, titled "Your Money Or Your Life". Like, deja vu. I can conservatively estimate that in the years to have passed since then, the number of preventable deaths in this country, as a direct consequence of pay-or-die, would be in the hundreds of thousands. So I say "God bless America" without apology, since this is such a uniquely American phenomenon. And quite frankly, I don't give a flip if it offends some people. We all have a right to express our opinions. Isn't that called "freedom of speech"?

Hey PD, I say all this with due respect. This part of my post (about "God bless America") isn't personal; it's not directed at you specifically. It's just how I respond to the observation that certain individuals are inclined to use "being offended" as a device to control what others do and say. It bugs me and frankly, I feel no obligation to accomodate or comply..

Anyway... it's way past my bedtime! Later alligator... - Aliceinwonderland

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