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Should Americans Be Allowed To Buy Cheaper Canadian Drugs?: Left of Center View

The third and final presidential debate saw both candidates speaking directly to a plumber named Joe about his worries and fears about each candidates proposed tax plan and how it would affect him directly, specifically what it would do to his plans to purchase the small business he had been working for. Mr. McCain extrapolated on Joe’s fears and warned that not only would the tax plan proposed by Mr. Obama hurt him, but that the Senator’s medical plans would as well. “I want you to keep your money Joe. He wants to spread it around.”

The media of course managed to find Joe and interviewed him. When asked if he made $250K a year, Joe laughed and said “Not even close”, but that it “didn’t seem fair” that he should be penalized should he managed to reach that plateau. When it was explained to him that it was only a 3% tax hike, from 36% to 39%, Joe called it a “slippery slope” asking what’s to stop them from lowering the magic number. But then much to his credit, Joe refused to say who he was voting for, claiming “it’s a personal matter, a matter of personal privacy.”

Ah, personal privacy, now there’s the slippery slope. As personal liberties are stripped away in the name of national security Joe is worried about a 3% tax hike on an income bracket he dreams of one day achieving. A tax hike made necessary by an on-going war, based on another very, very, very slippery slope, the unprecedented right to invade a sovereign nation as a pre-emptive measure. The non-constitutional but newly forged legislative powers of the Vice President? There are plenty of slippery slopes to go around, and yet here we are focusing on a proposed 3% tax hike to the wealthiest 5% of the nation.

Don’t worry Joe, statistically speaking there is very little chance that you will ever actually earn enough to see that tax hike. It’s a tax on personal income, not gross business profits, or even net business profits. So while it’s true that the tax rate for American business is one of the highest in the world, the actual amount paid by American business is fairly low. This is because of a plethora of “loopholes” that business is able to exploit. Since the tax is on net profit and not gross, all you have to do is make sure you spend or invest or hide your profits and you won’t have to actually pay very much in taxes. Rich people have accountants and tax attorneys that normal citizens don’t have, consequentially middle and lower class folks end up actually paying their taxes while the uber wealthy bob and weave and hold on to a higher percentage of their money. So really with today’s tax laws, a taxable income of $250K a year is probably a gross income of almost twice that.

Is it fair that those with more get more tax breaks from the government? Of course not, but that is the system we have set up. Since we all agreed to the system we are all bound by its’ rules. Take all the advantages you can get, but play by the rules. Go out-side the rules, like setting up off shore bank accounts to defraud the government and not pay any taxes, and you get in trouble. So no, you shouldn’t be able to purchase prescription drugs in Canada just because they are cheaper. The reason they are cheaper is that the Canadian government subsidizes them, that is Canadian taxpayer money off-setting the price. It’s just not fair to expect Canada to bear the burden of our inadequate health-care system. We should.

If people like Joe the Plumber don’t want to risk that extra 3% on the off chance that they may someday have a net income of $250K or more, then by all means go with the McCain plan. But just realize that when our medical system collapses and you’re still making less than $50K a year and can’t afford American prescription drugs, the Canadian’s will have closed the loophole, and quite possibly the border.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: The Election and Public Policy

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
With Our Economy Failing, Will America Become the World's Next Cheap Labor Source?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
What Does Trillions of Dollars in Debt to China Mean for Our Future?
Could the Bailout of Wall Street Lead to More Foreign Investment in America?
Could Open Borders Ever Be A Viable Option For America?
How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?
What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Archives by Date




Should Americans Be Allowed To Buy Cheaper Canadian Drugs?: Right of Center View

OK, I admit I’ve bought Canadian drugs online because they were cheaper and less hassle to get than some American drugs. If you have allergies or sinus issues, it’s simply easier to go online and order something than it is to have to go through the hassle of making an appointment with your doctor and getting a prescription for something like Allegra that is sold over the counter in Canada. That being said, I think that the problem is that the American regulation and approval process for selling medications over the counter is at the heart of the problem.

Some would blame the drug companies for inflated profits and corporate salaries for the high cost of drugs but I don’t believe that is the problem. Part of the problem is that America does not allow the free market to work. Our elected officials clog up the system with insane levels of regulation that make it take forever to take a drug through testing, animal testing, human testing, clinical trials and then prescription use before they can be released to the general public for over the counter use. If we allowed the drug companies to release drugs after a reasonable amount of testing and then let them stand or fall based on the effectiveness and safety of their drugs, we would have safe and affordable drugs.

I’m not a fan of big lawsuits but if a drug kills people because the drug company missed something in testing, let them get put out of business by the ensuing lawsuit. That would be one less unsafe drug maker in the marketplace. Another company would take their place and likely make a safer product to avoid being sued. Likewise if a company makes a good drug that people need, let it get into the marketplace as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Reorganize the FDA to be more streamlined and less bureaucratic so that the market can function. You don’t have to drown people in red tape to keep people safe from bad products. If they make them and are allowed to be held accountable for them the market will eventually weed out the bad ones and leave the good ones standing.

Part of the solution also has to be to allow multiple manufacturers to make the same basic products. Change patent laws to require licensing of formulas, making competition the focus of intellectual property legislation. The holding of a patent should not be allowed to undermine the free market. People should profit from their ideas but they should also be encouraged to share their ideas for a cost with others. If we open up the market to competition, prices come down and everyone wins. We wouldn’t need drugs from Canada if our legislators would be a little more market minded in their approach to dealing with the drug companies.

In the meantime, we may need to look at allowing people to buy drugs from Canada. As long as prescription drugs in America are as expensive as they are, people will have a need for a source of less expensive medication. Our senior citizens are having to choose between life-saving medicine and food or rent. That is something that should never happen in America. People that have done things right, worked their whole lives and earned a rest for a few years before they go to their reward should not be worrying about how they will be able to afford the medicine they need to stay healthy. My parents are in their seventies and have a good number of health issues. Now they have to crunch the numbers every month to make sure they can afford to buy medicines and keep food on the table. They worked for decades to save and prepare for their retirement and now their prescriptions are eating a huge chunk of the money that was supposed to be for their golden years. If companies had to compete for their business then the drugs would be cheaper. If the only competition is Canada, then I say open the great white northern market up and let’s get to buyin’ some cheap drugs from them.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: The Election and Public Policy

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
With Our Economy Failing, Will America Become the World's Next Cheap Labor Source?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
What Does Trillions of Dollars in Debt to China Mean for Our Future?
Could the Bailout of Wall Street Lead to More Foreign Investment in America?
Could Open Borders Ever Be A Viable Option For America?
How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?
What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?
How Much Impact Will Our Faltering Economy Have on Illegal Immigration?
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Archives by Date

A Legal Immigrant’s Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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