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Author Topic: City Shutdown
Pyrtolin
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http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14303473

Colorado Springs is going to try for a taste of what minimal government feels like.

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philnotfil
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I wonder how many of these unhappy people voted for the tax increase? Raise taxes or cut costs, there isn't a third way.
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whitefire
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Colorado Springs can have as much government as they like.
I've said that if my state wanted to discuss universal healthcare, for example I'd be happy to have that discussion. At least then I'd have a little more input into how its done. If I thought it was done badly, I can protest or move.
What I don't want is a national police force taking over for my state and local for example.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
I wonder how many of these unhappy people voted for the tax increase? Raise taxes or cut costs, there isn't a third way.

Sure - there's the Californian way where the voters vote to cut taxes and also vote not to cut services (and actually increase them). And the state goes bust, mysteriously...
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
I wonder how many of these unhappy people voted for the tax increase? Raise taxes or cut costs, there isn't a third way.

Increase the tax base and encourage local spending.
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Wayward Son
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Sounds like a great opportunity to show how libertarianism will work in the real world.
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cherrypoptart
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I was wondering about that myself. People theoretically can afford to hire their own neighborhood security now, go to the book store and buy a book and some coffee if the library is closed, or whatever. Of course, if they are poor or out of a job then good luck, but maybe now that the government is not hiring so much the private sector will have some new job openings.

I'm only libertarian on a few issues because I appreciate the interconnectedness we all share especially now that we have such high population densities, but I've always wanted to see how it would work out.

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Colin JM0397
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It will be interesting. What will be awesome is if private funding steps in for things like the parks, pools, and rec centers. What then if, as I suspect, it will in some cases?

What will that say about our tax system if private money can do the same thing, or even fill the void to an adequate level?

Seems they are doing the real deal cuts, not the BS cuts many politicians like to do - ie hit the voters below the belt immediately with cuts, versus trimming the fat reasonably. Such as cutting school athletics, raising college tuition, etc.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by whitefire:

I've said that if my state wanted to discuss universal healthcare, for example I'd be happy to have that discussion.

Tennessee had it with TennCare and 'mostly' still has it, for now.

quote:
In 1995, after enrollment reached 1.2 million, the state closed eligibility to uninsured adults.[2] People who were deemed uninsurable, meaning that their applications for health insurance had been rejected because of a health condition, were still eligible to enroll.
Unfortunately, several "advocate" groups kept suing the state to increase benefits, particularly drug benefits. Drug coverage was vastly expanded and few limits were placed on these. The costs of the program grew outrageously.

quote:
The total annual budget for TennCare increased from $2.64 billion in 1994 to more than $8.5 billion in fiscal year 2005, with essentially no change in the number of participants enrolled.
Link

Then the state had to reduce the number of participants to cover the new extended benefits.

Early 2005,
quote:
Gov. Bredesen’s TennCare reform plan is finalized. It reduces benefits and disenrolls
190,000 people from TennCare Standard.

Finally, in August 2005

quote:
The state receives court relief from the most onerous provisions of the Grier consent
decree, clearing the way for reform.

Link

The Grier Consent decree,

quote:
At center stage is the Grier Consent Decree, which Bredesen says severely limits the state from controlling costs in TennCare.

From October 1999 to October 2003, the Grier Consent Decree forced TennCare to provide a patient 14 days of a prescription, even if it required prior approval by the managed care organization. That cost the state millions of dollars. And if a patient was turned down, he could appeal. It was then the state's responsibility to prove why the patient didn't need the drug. Rarely did the state win an appeal.

quote:
Bredesen blames former Gov. Don Sundquist's administration, which made an agreement with advocates for TennCare enrollees in 1999 that made it difficult for the state to deny claims. Since then, prescription drugs and doctor visits have been virtually unlimited for enrollees.
Link

At the time of the lawsuit, the State said repeatedly that increasing the prescription benefit would bankrupt the program and result in the state having to drop participants. The "advocate" group, Tennessee Justice Center, insisted that wasn't their problem. This was an entirely short sighted view and TennCare may disappear in the next few years if the cost isn't contained.

It seems to me if you really cared about the enrollees you would have insisted that the state kept the benefits to a minimum and thus maximize the number of participants. Instead by suing the state repeatedly to expand benefits, the costs sky rocketed and led to a 15% forced reduction in enrollment. And this is only while the Grier Consent decree is in abeyance, if it kicks back in, which the Tennessee Justice Center is insisting on, it will result in further drops in enrollment and the state will probably abandon the entire program.

This is a classic case of "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" & "the perfect is the enemy of the good enough".

I for see exactly the same results on much large scale, with national healthcare, unless the Fed are very tight with planned benefits. The program will start out at a barely affordable level, grow rapidly out of control and either be shut down completely or scaled back to a minimalist plan.

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whitefire
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Jwatts - thanks for the information.
TN has its system, MA has theirs, and here in MD we have a system that covers most kids under 18 and other low incomes. I'm sure other states have their own systems as well.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I like the idea of being able to have 50 different experiments running on new social problems like health care, or drug or prostitution legalization.
True "free market libertarianism" might work in one state and not in another. If one wanted full on "socialism" that would be up to them too.
I want to see each state and community make these hard decisions themselves and stop punting to the feds.

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bringer
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How much of Colorado Springs is under the care of Home Owners Associations?

These take care of lights, parks, and paving in many associations, they do in mine. The board members volunteer time to manage and contract services, bids are reviewed and life goes on.

This in addition to paying property taxes apportioned for services that they don't get.

It's time to put a neighborhood wind generator up behind the backstop at the neighborhood ballpark. The new ones are silent and look fine. Put in a well or two with a wind pump as well. Pay a local handy man with dues managed by a local attorney or accountant.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by whitefire:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I like the idea of being able to have 50 different experiments running on new social problems like health care, or drug or prostitution legalization.
True "free market libertarianism" might work in one state and not in another. If one wanted full on "socialism" that would be up to them too.
I want to see each state and community make these hard decisions themselves and stop punting to the feds.

That's pretty much explicitly why Sen Wyden got a measure put into the big healhcare bill that would allow them to do exactly that. They could take their subsidy money as a lump sum and use it to implement whatever program that they thought would better work for them to reach universal care.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by whitefire:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I like the idea of being able to have 50 different experiments running on new social problems like health care, or drug or prostitution legalization.
True "free market libertarianism" might work in one state and not in another. If one wanted full on "socialism" that would be up to them too.
I want to see each state and community make these hard decisions themselves and stop punting to the feds.

Yes, I agree with this approach also. Let each state decide how it want to implement its version of health care and over time it should become obvious which approaches are working well and which aren't. After all each state has it's own independent state government and that works pretty well in practice.
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TomDavidson
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What happens when a state bankrupts itself? Who bails it out?

This is not purely academic. Consider, for example, the situations in California and Michigan. Do we, as a country, simply let the people in these states suffer?

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ken_in_sc
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TomDavidson, No, we let them move.
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
What will be awesome is if private funding steps in for things like the parks, pools, and rec centers. What then if, as I suspect, it will in some cases?
Yeah, maybe in some cases.
I don't know. I lived in Colorado Springs for several years and I am VERY skeptical that anyone will step in in a lot of cases. I know the kind of attitude that most people have there, and it's not...how to say it...it's really not an attitude that puts a lot of weight on planning for the future.

If I were still living there, I would be worried about fires. They're shutting off water to a lot of parks and municipal lands that are not properly xeriscaped (as they should really have been), and at the same time cutting firefighting budgets.

Incidentally, was anyone else intrigued that the city government chose to cut a lot of basic services rather than cut salaries?

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Incidentally, was anyone else intrigued that the city government chose to cut a lot of basic services rather than cut salaries?

That's generally the case with governments. The government workers are usually unionized and embedded into the political structure. Often the smartest case would be to pare back all expenses by some amount (say 10%) but instead they leave salaries untouched and pare back all other services by huge amounts.

Tennessee had a case of this kind of idiocy a few years ago. What was especially stupid was closing down a lot of the state parks, including the golf courses, but they kept paying the employees. Since the golf course actually generated positive income for the state and the bulk of expenses was salaries the move actually made the "cut backs" a net cost to the state.

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Colin JM0397
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I guess we have to wait and see... It won't be as much money as the state & city gave, I'll wager, but hopefully enough for some smart management of the spaces and resources.

OTOH, this brings up certain points that relate back to "greenscaping" - a city park that requires excess water is not, IMO, a properly managed open space. What we need are manicured, but natural open areass. You like green grass, move east. Sorry, but places that tend to be dry enough to kill off all that grass ought to maybe not plant grass to begin with. Go with local species - it's pretty simple.

Smarter use of money and resources is what I'm talking about, and, unfortunately, it takes cutting off the funds to get smart uses such as greenscaping.

The painful reality is, from parks to health care to schools, our spending of tax money is not very efficient, smart, or ecologically sound. Change will take time, but reducing the funds is a way to start.

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msquared
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I was going to ask about that. We have parks all over our city/township/county and none of them are watered. If we have a drought, they go brown until the water comes back. They are grass, but a hardy type of grass like fescu or something.

msquared

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Go with local species - it's pretty simple.
Exactly!
It is super irritating that people who have been saying this for YEARS - decades even - have been consistently laughed off as "hippies" or something, their ideas ignored or actively opposed because they are in ideological contrast to the way most of the inhabitants like to think about themselves.

That is part of what is so weird about the town, and why I'm very skeptical that private citizens will step in and help out.

Friends who live there still say that Dr Dobson had a LOT to do with this, and I am SURE that it's not because Focus on the Family is planning to step in with some of their money and provide services to keep things safe and pleasant for the working class of Colorado Springs.

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