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Bert Dirschell

Centertown

Dear Editor:

The following are answers to some of the questions recently raised by Dale Reichel. I am on Medicare. Prior to retiring, the government extorted more than $93,000 (2017 dollars) in Medicare "premiums" from me for promised future health care. On my behalf, it extorted another $19,000 from my employers, total $112,000. In January, my Medicare Part B premium will increase to $1,735 a year. Coverage is poor because Medicare, like Social Security, is a massive income redistribution scheme structured to hide the true cost of welfare. I am not arguing the worth of such welfare spending, I'm merely pointing out the fact that the main purpose of the programs is to redistribute income.

I have a relative who has worked in an ER and a friend who is a paramedic. Both have commented numerous times about the money wasted because far too many take advantage of the federal "one-size-fits-all" regulations. If Cole County taxpayers were responsible for directly paying the cost of health care for the indigent, as we were in pre-Medicaid days, I am certain the level of waste would decrease. We would also have the opportunity to increase our county taxes to provide a higher level of care for those who need it.

Dale, you mention that state and local government is lacking funds. State and local governments get their money from the same place as the federal government, the pockets of taxpayers. (Business does not pay taxes, they pass the cost of their taxes through to the end consumer.) A huge difference is that we in Missouri can be thankful for the Hancock Amendment. It forces state government to get taxpayer approval before they can significantly increase taxes. The self-serving politicians in DC just pile more debt on future generations.

You mention too many tax cuts. In FY2006, Missouri's net general revenue receipts were $7.33 billion. In FY2018, they were $9.47 billion. They are projected to increase to $9.82 billion in FY2021. Federal government receipts were $2.41 trillion in FY2006 and $3.33 trillion in FY2018. They are projected to increase to $3.88 trillion by FY2021.

We do agree that there are to many handouts to the wealthy (mega-farm corporations for one), and that the governments crony capitalism giveaways (such as subsidies for rich men's toy electric cars, fueled 64 percent by fossil fuels) are wasteful.

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