Open the door to debate

Let me join the growing chorus of voices calling for a return to civility in all our forms of expression. From those that profit from verbally promoting violence (talk show hosts and politicians) to those citizens who seek political change (tea party folks and bloggers)—stop the incendiary screaming laced with violent language.

Not only will this hopefully cease the encouragement of more acts such as what happened in Arizona this weekend, but it might allow for enlightened debate and information sharing.

Ironically, the day before the assassination attempt on Representative Giffords and the killing of six others, a message was posted on my Facebook page. The message was a strident comment opposing my support of the small business health insurance tax credits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   [The entire thread of this discussion is posted below.]

The short posting called my position “statism” and included the phrase “we will shoot it down.”

My immediate response was to ask if the gentleman owned a business so that I could understand who I was dealing with.

His response was much less vitriolic and provided some important insight into his position. I was then able to point out the flaws in his argument (and his hypocritical concern with an alleged ACA reduction in his fiancés’ government compensation for her medical services while at the same time opposing giving small businesses tax credits so they can cut their costs in offering health insurance to employees).

But more importantly, not ignoring the gentlemen and instead challenging him to a conversation opened the door to a more civil discussion. And we certainly need more of that.

Facebook Thread:


we do not support crony capitalism. you do not have a right to enjoy a special place in the tax code.
close all tax loopholes, create one, fair rate, and repeal the bill.

this is statism and we will shoot it down.

shame on business for pretending they want a “free” market and then turning around and endorsing a bill that gives you special priveleges and makes serfs of doctors.

lets have a REAL free market! not this corporatist, crony capitalism you are endorsing here.

Joey, For me to understand why you want to impose a $4 billion tax increase on small businesses by taking away the health insurance tax credits, please tell me what skin you have in the game. What is the business that you own and how many employees? Thanks. Frank


certainly. the job killing healthcare bill reduces the amount my fiance can be reimbursed for the medical services she provides.

this, along with the tax incentives you are asking to keep (mind you, i wouldn’t be taxing you at the rates t…hey are taxing you…that is a seperate issue), amount to an unfair government interference into the economy.

Asking any free individual to allow themselves to be ensnared in this is to much for anyone, whatever their cause. I support the small businesses by seeking a sensible tax code in the first place. Not by accepting that you can have goodies at my household’s expense.

that is the plain truth. every American who values individualism, including you as a business owner who DEPENDS on the value of your property own property and the right to it….you ought to all oppose it.

don’t be shortsighted.

Joey, Thanks for the more detailed comment and civil tone. In light of the terrible violence in Arkansas, the latter is what we need more of.

Apparently it is your fiancé, not you, who has a small business. Since she is a medical provider of some sort, health care reform that enables more U.S. citizens to have health insurance should be very important to her. I’m sure she prefers to provide her services to those with insurance instead of not being paid at all.

You might want to ask her if she thinks government should shut down Medicaid and Medicare since they are government programs that use taxpayer dollars to pay private medical providers for services. You seem to be fine with these government programs that interfere with our “free market” economy and that you and I pay for with our taxes. In fact, your fiancé’s future income (and presumably yours also) is dependent on the federal government and you even complain that government compensation for her services might be decreased making “serfs of doctors”. (I don’t know what you’re talking about here because you haven’t told me what your fiancé’s services are. Give me this information and I’ll check it out to see if you are misinformed.)

So I find it hypocritical for you to support and financially gain from some government programs but be adamantly opposed to a government program to help small businesses afford health insurance for their employees. The small businesses receiving the tax credit can only do so after they spend more of their money for the insurance of their employees. In other words, they aren’t putting money in their pockets (as your fiancé is doing) but simply reducing their expenses for helping their employees—employees that might turn around and use the services of your fiancé (putting more money in her pocket).

Do we need changes in our federal and state tax codes to make them fairer? Absolutely.

But we also need a health care system that enables all of our citizens to have access to quality health care and that adequately compensates healthcare providers. Today most get their private healthcare insurance through their employer. As long as we keep this employer-based system, we must help our small businesses afford the employee benefit. That’s why the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax credits are important and are supported by small business owners.

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