Monday, March 26, 2012

Cut Federal Government Spending in Half!

Sometimes, having a handy visual prop helps focus things in the mind.

Or at least a good song that stays in your head forever it seems.

'We could cut the federal budget in half...and still have a great military defense system, social safety net to take care of every poor person who needs it and help build the infrastructure and educational system we need to remain the greatest nation on earth'

You don't believe it?  Go to this great CBO website, 'Reducing the Deficit' and call us in the morning.  You will at least be one of the maybe dozens of people who have ever read this publication in its entirety.

Excluding incumbent Members of Congress, Senators and the President.  Because apparently, they really just don't seem to care one whit about reducing the deficit, spending or ever balancing the budget.

The truth hurts, doesn't it?

We are willing to make this 'outrageous' claim simply because we have read every single page of this budget document backwards and forwards at least 4 times.  If you have never read one single page of this document, then you really do not know what you are talking about, with all due respect.  You are sort of like the people in the medieval days who listened to the Catholic priests give sermons and sing hymns in Latin...and you couldn't speak one word of Latin yourself.

Read it yourself.  We had one person dispute our contention before we gave them the link to the budget and just recently, they came around to say: 'Both the Obama and the GOP budgets are sort of out of whack with reality, aren't they?'

'Good for you!  Go to the head of the class!' was all we could say beaming with pride.

America is not great because of the size of our government and federal spending.  We are 'great' because of the freedom and liberty we have to lead our lives as we see fit to pursue our dreams and ingenuity of our people and universities and business enterprises.

We need to reduce the impact of federal government on our lives and unleash the energy that got America to the place it was before we almost destroyed it 4 years ago in 2008.  America grew strong when the size of the federal government relative to GDP was about 1% for most of our history and under 10% at the end of FDR's New Deal expansion.

It is close to 25% of GDP today.

We have been making the argument for these past 3 years now, as hard as that is to be believed, that the problem we have in Washington, and in most state capitals and local governments around the nation, is the unceasing proclivity of our elected officials to continue to spend money on programs they like and which they think will keep them in office forever...without ever having to raise taxes or cut spending elsewhere to pay for it.

Apparently, they were not educated in basic arithmetic at the very early stages of childhood because we all know that 'you can't get something for nothing'; 'balance is better than imbalance in most everything in this world' and 'we did not fall off the last turnip truck' so 'you can't fool all the people all of the time' as Abraham Lincoln once said.

Here's our contention:  Every single federal program needs to be completely reviewed inside-and-out by Congress and evaluated for its efficacy and impact on the national good as a whole.

If it fails to meet strict criteria for performance and 'success', it needs to be eliminated.

If it meets some standard of success, it then needs to be examined for possible savings and reforms.  Perhaps it needs to be modernized; many programs we now still fund were created between WWI and WWII and surely have become out-moded, unnecessary or inefficient in some manner of speaking.

Here's our proposal:  Congress will take an entire session, two-years, starting January 2, 2013 and dissolve into the Committee of the Whole (meaning everyone in Congress has to sit through these sessions in the chamber with CSPAN lights and cameras on all the time) and go through the entire federal budget (cut-in-half above) and discuss it line-by-line in excruciating detail.

If it doesn't pass muster and 50%+1 don't vote for it, it is gone.  Next item.

Once the entire budget is combed through, a Member can ask for a 're-do' and go back to revisit whether or not the Mohair Program in West Texas is important enough for national security to support with taxpayers dollars.  One chance.  If it fails again, it is gone completely.

Now, we all know that the biggest driver in the federal budget is the same thing driving up costs at home and in business: escalating health care costs.  CBO has already said that the Obama Federal Takeover of our health care system is going to cost twice as much as previously predicted (big surprise there, huh?) and we all know how much more we are paying for health care now versus a decade ago, even if your employer is still paying for 50%+ of your health care premium.

We would propose that a Special Double-Secret Committee be formed to deal with the real cost-drivers in health care and report back to the Committee of the Whole with its recommendations to break the upward cost spiral in health care once and for all....and then have Congress vote on it in toto, up-or-down, right there on the floor of the House and Senate for all the world to see.

Defensive medicine, tort reform, liability insurance reform, duplicative medical practices, excessive paperwork, illegal double-billing by Medicare/Medicaid providers (up to 20% of all billings according to one auditing firm we know that does this sort of work on a daily basis), incentives for wellness, getting people to stop smoking, start exercising, quit drinking and over-eating so much that we are in danger of becoming the fattest, most unhealthy generation of human life forms that have ever walked this earth.....the list goes on forever it seems.

But is all has got to be done.  January 2, 2013 would be a good time to start.  NO recesses; no work periods back home; no junkets, no golf tournaments.

Just grind it out like the Founders did for 4 hot smelly months in Philadelphia, 1787 when they gave us this gift of freedom in the greatest nation ever established at that point in time.

Two years to clean up the mess the current and past incumbents have inflicted upon us as a nation doesn't seem to be too much of a sacrifice to ask, does it?

Elect people who will do this in the fall elections. Ask anyone of them on the campaign trail if they will do this or not.  If they will, vote for them.  If they won't, don't vote for them...they are not serious about facing the greatest problem we face today: fiscal disaster.

You'll feel better for having done so.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

250 Things That Just Are Not True! (Continued): "The Military Has Been Cut To The Bone!'

Have you ever heard a defense hawk in Congress say the following?

'We can't cut any more out of our US defense budget! It has already been cut to the bone!

Oh, really?  Is that really true, Congressman, Senator, Anyone Running for President?

We just saw a recent article from the Navy Times (The Navy Times, for goodness sakes!) 'Navy Admirals' that pretty much says the following in plain English so everyone can understand it:

'There is one (1) ship for every (1) US Admiral in the US Navy today.'

In WWII, there was 1 Admiral for every 130 ships.

Each Admiral costs the US Taxpayer about $230,000 per Admiral per year in salary and benefits.  That is $53 million per year spent (as of 2010) across the entire navy.

That does not include the cost of the attendant staff, travel, office, support and all the other costs that go into supporting each Admiral as he does whatever he does every day now that he is not commanding 130 ships as his father did in World War II.  We conservatively estimate it must cost about $1 million per year to support the activities of each US Admiral.

That is another $200 million to $300 million per year down the drain, er...thrown overboard, er....'wasted'.

Without being too flippant about it, and respecting the public service of each of these dedicated career naval officers, what does an Admiral do all day long if he/she is not commanding a fleet of aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers and cruisers on the open sea in the 21st century? Sail a desk at the Pentagon?

Does it diminish the stature and strength of the US armed forces to have the Admiralty reduced to the point where no one really knows if he or she is commanding any ship of war on the high seas or just moving around ships on a board game like they are playing 'Battleship' all day long?

There is not much else anyone on any side of the political spectrum can say about reducing federal spending anywhere when such wasteful spending is accepted and even encouraged in any department agency.  You can't argue that taxes need to be raised when $300 million or so per year is being wasted like this.  And you certainly can't argue that we are any 'safer' from enemy attack when each Admiral is, in essence, 'managing' 1 ship in the US Navy, can you?

There's probably 200,000 more things that just are not true in American politics.  We'll keep bringing them to you to consider so you can make up your own mind.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

250 Things That Just Are Not True

We saw a book recently, 'Contrary {To Popular Belief}' that pointed out the fallacy of 250 widely-held beliefs such as the 'fact' that a leap year occurs every 4 years (it doesn't occur in years not divisible by 4, 100 and 400, for some reason; 2100 A.D. for example, is not a leap year), the Earl of Sandwich 'invented' the 'sandwich' (he didn't) and 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' was a song written by John Lennon to extol the virtues of LSD (it was based on a drawing by his 4-year old son, Sean, about his friend in pre-school named 'Lucy')

We also have been engaged in long-term, on-going conversations about weighty things such as 'who is a 'true' conservative or not; do tax cuts yield more tax revenues for the government and can government really 'create' any new jobs?

The misguided precepts, shibboleths and talismans held by ardent advocates on both sides in politics could fill a book the size of '2500 Things That Are Just Not True!' or about 10 times larger than the one we read at CVS.

Let us address just a few to start with on the Republican conservative side of things (don't worry...we will get to the liberal Democratic side of things soon enough):

  • 'Cutting Taxes Will Starve The Beast'- This has been a long-held presumption by many on the conservative right:  'ALL we have to do to make government MUCH smaller is cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes...and that will force the federal government to restrain spending so we will have balanced budgets once again!'
'D'oh!'  We have empirical evidence now from the past 30 years that this 'just ain't so!', don't we?  We have had repeated tax cuts after tax cuts after tax cuts and the federal government has continued to expand almost without fail, even during the most recent crushing recession. NO federal program today is at an absolute lower level today than 3, 5 or 10 years ago.  Not one.  Check it out yourself and read the federal budget, all 2400+ pages of it on-line: Federal Budget
The reason why this has not worked is because advocates of unabashed tax cuts unpaired with any responsible spending reductions do not understand the following: 1) There is no federal balanced budget amendment that requires annual balanced budgets as in every state. 2) The Fed can and will print up money every single time Congress fails to balance the budget...which keeps spending at levels now almost 40% higher than tax receipts per year.
  • 'If you vote to raise taxes, you must be a communist!'- This comes from all the 'No Tax Hike' Pledge crowd. Somehow, when George H.W. Bush 'broke' his 'No. New.Taxes!' Pledge at the 1988 GOP Convention by agreeing to some taxes as part of the 1990 Budget Agreement hammered out at Andrews Air Force Base, the camel's back was broken and none of these people will ever agree to any tax hikes as part of any budget ever again.  
The 1990 budget agreement instituted the critical PAYGO budget mechanism that led directly to the balanced budgets from 1998-2001 trumpeted by Newt Gingrich as being something he did solely by himself (which is simply untrue). By the way, Speaker Gingrich vehemently opposed the 1990 agreement after he had a handshake agreement with President Bush 41 to support it.  So, truth be told, Mr. Gingrich had nothing to do with the institution of the 2 key elements of the budget process, PAYGO and the discretionary spending caps that actually led to a flattening out of federal expenditures during the 1990's as a result of his walking away from the deal.
Talk about 'integrity'!  Teddy Roosevelt once said of a political opponent:  'I could carve a better backbone out of a banana!'  You can choose your own fruit in this case.
You are not a 'communist' if you vote for a package of solid, bonafide and massive spending reductions that includes some tax revenue increases as a concession to the opposite party that controls now 2/3's of the federal government in Washington.  You are a 'constitutional pragmatist' in the vein of 'small government' advocates Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who care more about the future of this nation than your own personal political career.
  • 'Raising Taxes Always Kills Economic Growth!'- President Bill Clinton's tax hikes in 1993 certainly did not crush the economic boom fueled by the internet explosion in the 1990's which will be viewed one day as or more important to American history as the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 or the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.  
The combined package of Clinton's tax hikes, the PAYGO budget mechanism and the discretionary budget caps from the 1990 Act, the dramatic reduction of interest rates because of the market view that the US was 'actually doing something profound' to reduce its budget deficits and the 1997 Budget Act all contributed to the explosion of jobs and the economy in the 1990's.  That, and the fact that the Internet Geniuses in the Silicon Valley were figuring out practical applications to what had previously had been primarily a defense-related communications backup system in the event of nuclear war.
  • 'Cutting Taxes Always Generates More Tax Revenues!'- We have written about this before but take a look at these tables and make your own determination.  Revenues to the federal government have doubled roughly every 8 years for the past 40 years, or approximately the time of any two-term incumbent president, regardless of whether the POTUS and Congress raised or lowered taxes!  With normal economic growth, it stands to reason, that tax revenues will roughly double every eight years as well in the aggregate.
So, where is the evidence supporting the contention that higher tax revenues always follow massive income tax rate cuts at the federal level? If massive tax cuts increased tax revenues considerably, we would see it as a higher percentage relative to GDP, wouldn't we?
Just the math of it is a brain-twister.  Cut taxes...and then more money will come in as tax revenues? That just doesn't stand to reason. That is like a business saying: 'Heck!  Why not cut our prices on our products across-the-board?'.  They might get a short-run bump up in revenues if they gain market share but if they don't, they are just cutting their own throats and will be in bankruptcy in no time flat.
We feel that the swelling of tax revenues to the federal coffers from 1983 to now can be more directly attributed to the 'Social Security Surplus' extracted in the form of SS payroll taxes that were hiked in the 1983 Save Social Security Act spearheaded by Alan Greenspan.  The chart clearly shows that the 'surplus' now accounts for close to 1.4% of GDP as of 2007, up from 0% in 1982, and represents about $225 billion per year now, even in these depressed economic times. 
These are not 'new revenues' generated by any new tax cut.  These are flat-out tax revenues generated by higher tax rates in the form of payroll taxes instituted in 1983, plain and simple.  Without the higher 'SS Surplus' tax rates since 1983, the average percentage of federal tax revenues generated over the past 15-20 years relative to GDP would have dropped to about 16.5%-17%, and most assuredly would not be the 18-19% rate always referred to by national commentators, Republican candidates and their spinmeisters.
We 'get' the fact that in the early stages of an economic recovery, the prospect of lowered income taxes might motivate an existing business to expand its operations and hire more people which will yield higher tax revenues in the near-term for the larger companies.  However, to assert that 'lower taxes' stimulate entrepreneurs at the granular level is a bit preposterous, isn't it?
Do you really think that a young 17-year old Bill Gates in the 1970's actually was thinking about discounted cash flows and net present values of his future income stream relative to various personal and corporate income tax rates when he and his Microsoft-to-be compadres were hammering out computer code in Seattle, Washington?  They probably didn't make any money for the first 5 years or so of their enterprise so 'tax rate cuts' meant absolutely nothing to them or to any other visionary at the early stages of brilliance and creativity. Most entrepreneurs (French meaning 'undertake an enterprise combining labor and capital') invent something cause they love what they are doing and then it turns into something great down the road.
  •  And finally, (we promise!), this wonderful canard worthy of being broiled in the oven:  'I am only a 'true' conservative if I oppose every tax increase!'

    This can be dispensed with with the following clear-as-a-crystal argument:
'Suppose you oppose any and all deals that includes any tax hike, tax exemption repeal, or moderation of any special tax rule anyone.  You then have to, by definition, summarily reject any and all budget deals that also contains $1 of spending restraint going forward; $100 billion; $1 trillion or $10 trillion.'
'Suppose I, on the other hand, will accept a $10 trillion spending reduction budget deal in return for a $1/person tax increase.  That means we will have $10 trillion less spending in the future which means $10 trillion less debt incurred which means the federal government will far smaller than under the 'no spending cut accepted' posture of the 'no tax hike' crowd.
'Who then will have produced a smaller, more fiscally responsible, 'conservative' 'small government' budget for the federal government, by definition, then in this situation?'
We rest our case.

Think for yourself, not based on what other people tell you to think.

Look at the results around you. Isn't it time we do something different?

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Individual Mandates, Freddy the Freeloader, and Health Care

Rick Santorum has been beating Mitt Romney over the head with the proverbial cane over his support for Romney Care in the state of Massachusetts during his term as Governor.

The main culprit?  'Romney's support of 'individual mandates' for everyone to be included in the system.

What is an 'individual mandate' anyway?

An individual mandate is a requirement passed by government that requires you as the citizen of that governing state or nation to 'buy' something just because you live in that state or nation.  It is the quintessential issue over what is, or is not, a dispersed, smaller government in the original Federalism scheme where most decisions are pushed down to the lowest possible entity such as the city council or state legislature.  Ronald Reagan ran on the platform of 'New Federalism', for example, extolling the Jeffersonian virtues of 'local governments making local decisions, not Washington.'

Passing 'individual mandates' at the federal level is a very hard thing to do.  The Founders wanted to make it difficult, and they did.

The federal income tax of Civil War days was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1895 because it was an 'individual mandate' in the form of a direct tax and not apportioned by the state population as dictated in the Constitution.  Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 says:

'Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers.'

People at the beginning of our Republic were fearful of the direct tax mechanism because it reminded them so much of the capricious nature of the King of England, George III.  Excise taxes could be avoided; you just do without the items to be taxed.

Direct taxes could not be avoided. Ever.

But with the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913, all those concerns about 'capricious' taxation by a governing authority were set aside by our grandparents and great-grandparents and we have never had any problems with an overly-ambitious federal government taxing authority ever since.  (in your dreams, maybe)

Aside from that, the next direct individual mandate from the federal, nationwide level to rear its ugly head didn't happen until the passage of the so-called Obama Care in 2010.  That is right.  2 times in over 223 years, the US government has passed a serious 'individual mandate' to 'force' people to do something like pay taxes directly to Washington, not based on the apportionment clause.

The first was rectified by the passage of the 16th Amendment through the constitutional amendment process. Perhaps that means that Obama Care will need a constitutional amendment as well to be, well, 'constitutional'.

But the states, as in Massachusetts where Governor Romney served as chief executive, they are not beholding to the same restrictions on 'individual mandates' as the federal government supposedly has been until Obama Care was passed.  

You have 'car insurance', don't you?  Well, that is an 'individual mandate' at the state level that says: 'If you want to own and operate a car and get a driver's license within the borders of this state, you have got to buy car insurance from Geico or that annoying 'Flo' from Progressive or else, you can not own and operate a vehicle here'.

We are sure there are other examples.  We just don't have them handy this morning.

States can do that sorta thing.  The federal government can't.  Supposedly.  Unless you are in the Obama Administration or were in Nancy Pelosi's office when she famously said: 'We have to pass the bill to see what is in it' as if it was some sort of jack-in-the-box from which she didn't even know what would pop out when cranked.

Back in the early 1990's, when we were still on Capitol Hill, former Congressman Alex McMillan was a key player on health care reform on the House Health Subcommittee, the Budget Committee and the Leader's Task Force on Health Care Reform.  Mainly because he understood the basic differences between Medicare and Medicaid, and then some, along with others such as Bill Gradison of Ohio, David Hobson of Ohio and John Kasich of Ohio.  (How come so many Ohioans knew what they were doing on health care?)

They even met with First Lady Hillary Clinton and her Hillary Care team many times, one time most famously in the backyard of now-Ohio Governor John Kasich for hot dogs, hamburgers...and plenty of beer.  Now that was some kinda cookout!

Our point in bringing all this up is that we can not remember one single Republican back then opposing any form of 'individual mandates'.  Why?

Because Republicans were more concerned about the 'free rider' issue or the 'Freddy The Freeloader' case where people don't pay for their own health insurance but show up at the hospital emergency room with Stage 4 cancer and then the taxpayer and others who do have insurance wind up paying for that person who has never paid for their health care insurance.  Just like what hapens today, as a matter of fact.

And they were mostly the young, healthy people we were most concerned about.  You know, the strong healthy young strapping male of 25 years of age all full of vim and vigor who think they are immortal and invincible so they would never buy health insurance if not mandated to do so and somehow they get into a car wreck sadly and then spends 10 years on life support, all supported by someone else.

Here's our deal: 'Why not start all over and find a way to help every man, woman and child buy catastrophic health insurance coverage with the existing resources we have today in Medicare, Medicaid, VA, federal military health care and tax expenditures?'

'Cat Coverage' we could call it and it is far, far, far less expensive on a per person basis than the current system that pays every billing for a hangnail and then assumes you are committing attempted fraud if you file for it.

Cover everyone against the truly disastrous financial outcomes from cancer, stroke, car wrecks and gun shootings and then figure out private sector solutions to covering the other costs during the year.

The percentage of people every year who have such catastrophic bills are tiny in comparison to the general population which is predominantly healthy each year for the most part.

That is the way to go.  Do it such that the individual mandates happen at the state level, where states have the flexibility to do such things, not at the federal level where it becomes 'constitutionally problematic' to say the least.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

When Does The State Have A 'Legitimate State Interest' In Telling Someone What To Do

The recent furor over the Obama Administration's mandate to the Catholic Church to include birth control in any insurance plan offered by the Catholic Church to its employees has brought up a very interesting debate over the extent of what is or is not considered a 'legitimate state interest'.

President Obama and his Administration are saying that the 'state', meaning the federal government, has a 'legitimate state interest' in making sure that every women in this country has access to birth control, regardless of whether or not it violates the tenets of the sponsoring agency, in this case, the Catholic Church which opposes family planning on religious grounds.

Set aside the technical finer points of the law such as the 'rational basis test' or the 'strict scrutiny test' for the moment (we are not 'lawyers' in case you haven't noticed yet but 'budgeteers', 'wonks' or whatever you call people who are concerned about fiscal matters) and let us think together about the implications of this principle if carried out consistently throughout the federal government's budget.

If the federal government has a legitimate state interest in telling people they have to offer birth control to all of its members, why shouldn't the federal government be able to tell everyone who receives one dime of federal support, assistance, grants or appropriations what to do and when to do it in return?

In fact, that is generally the case throughout the federal government today.  When a farmer receives agricultural assistance from Washington, he/she has to adhere to a myriad of federal standards and 'promulgated regulations' (love that word) regarding environmental protection and process or else they forfeit the right to get further funding.

Same with education.  Same with transportation. Same with virtually every other federal program...they all come with major strings attached.

Except 2.  Medicare and Medicaid.

For the most part, Medicare and Medicaid come with virtually no strings attached to the person who is using those federally authorized and spent taxpayer dollars. In fact, we can almost think of no federal restriction on what a person on Medicare or Medicaid can or can not do in return for receiving what is essentially an 85%+ federal subsidy for their health care.

There are plenty of restrictions on what a university medical center can or can not do with Medicare funds for, let's say, the Direct Medical Education program or any grants they might receive to build a new wing for gerontological research.

But not so for Medicare or Medicaid.  A person receiving such direct subsidies from the federal government to support their Medicare or Medicaid benefits can continue to eat Twinkies by the box; smoke a carton of cigarettes every day and night; drink beer or alcohol until dawn and never lift a finger to get more exercise than to push the button on the remote control.

Shouldn't the federal taxpayers who pay 100% of the funds for Medicaid and 85% of the funds for Medicare be able to dictate to such individuals that they have to clean up their act and start a reasonable diet and get some exercise in return for continuing to pay their health care costs as a matter of 'legitimate state interest'?

We think there is.

Health care experts and administrators used to come into our offices on Capitol Hill and routinely tell us this astounding fact:  35-50%+ of ALL health care costs in America could be eliminated overnight if the American public did just these 4 things on their own:

  1. Lost an average of 25% of their body weight
  2. Quit smoking.
  3. Quit drinking excessively. (a glass of red wine from time to time seems to be 'healthy' for some reason)
  4. Get off the couch and at least walk at a fast pace for 30 minutes per day or climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator or the escalator to get to the Ben & Jerry's on the second floor of the mall.  (hey!  it would be a 'start' for some people)
Now, we know there are millions of people out there who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid who do take care of themselves and their families.  We know one spry octogenarian who essentially walked to Boston from North Carolina a couple of years ago during his regular daily walks during the year as they recorded the distances he walked each day.  That is over 712 miles he walked or about 2 miles per day.

How many miles a day do you walk by contrast?  This man is 83 years old today and will probably live to be 133 years old if he keeps this up!

But we also know there are millions of others who are not as motivated to keep trim and eat well or who may not know how to go about doing so in these days of being surrounded by fat-food (not just fast-food) restaurants and Super Duper Bug Deluxe Gulpers all the time.

We think the US taxpayer, through their contributions each year in the form of tax dollars to keep Medicare and Medicaid afloat not only have the right but the duty to demand that their elected representatives in Washington figure out a way to make sure that every recipient of Medicare and Medicaid know how to take care of themselves in return as part of their 'legitimate state interest' in continuing both programs.

Many seniors and poor people are too sick and too poor to take care of themselves and go to the local Whole Foods Market and buy the latest tofu or organic vegetables, we get that.  They present an entirely different set of problems to address in a different, serious manner.

But with the heaviest and perhaps most 'unhealthy', in many ways, generation of Americans about to retire over the next 10-25 years, we had better do something almost immediately, like today in Congress, to help change the behavior of millions and millions of sedentary and obese fellow citizens or else we are going to be in a lot, lot worse financial trouble in 2025 than you can even imagine today.

If you don't believe so, just take a good hard look at this recent publication from the Concord Coalition called 'Structural Deficits' and why they matter.  And then call us in the morning when your Stage 10000 migraine headache subsides and you can speak coherently again.

We all have a 'legitimate state interest' in driving down the cost of health care before it totally swamps us as a nation. Helping people live healthier lives is not just good for them but it would be great for all of us.

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