Charles Keefer's Blog

Another day in hell…

with 3 comments

Another day in the hell chair. The, oh hell, I’ve got to sit in the chair.

The dentist’s chair.

Another crown. Decay got under the old one so — off with the old one and on with a new one. Spend an hour in the chair and write another check for $1,000.

I definitely got in the wrong business. I blame my parents. Dentistry is where it’s at. Journalism — schmourlaism. It never did pay and now you can’t even get a job doing it.

I kinda rebel at $90 an hour for a motorcycle mechanic. That is what the dealership charges. I wonder how much of that goes to the guy who actually works on the bike.

But $1,000 an hour.

I’ve been with my dentist for years and years and he is a great guy. He does great work – never had a problem. He has to support an office and an office staff and lots of expensive equipment. He has to pay off those student loans. He has to get his two kids into Harvard.

At least he doesn’t play golf, as far as I know. And he has to go to continuing education kind of stuff and he probably attends and takes notes. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who signs up, gets the credit, and shows up for the cocktail hour. Some do.

But still, $1,000 an hour.

I’d think if he was that good, there wouldn’t be something new to fix every time I go in.

But I can’t complain too much. He is painless.

Wait. What the hell am I saying?

I’m a Democrat. Dental care is health care. My taxes, your taxes, and taxes on rich people should pay for it. Insurance companies – those wonderful folks you pay money to so they can tell you why they won’t give it back – should be abolished.

And employers who promised you medical and dental until you got Medicare, then promptly dropped the dental and/or the medical should be sued for breach of contract.

America has had a contract with its citizens for a long time. For 40 years I paid taxes for social security and Medicare. I took care of my father, who lived to 98, through those taxes. I took care of my mother who died at 69 through those taxes. And I didn’t have a choice in the matter. If I made money, those taxes came out. Social security and Medicare.

In three years it will be my turn. I’ll get Medicare and Social Security.

But that isn’t good enough for me because I am a Democrat and I pay attention when I watch TV.

Canada has health care for everyone and we don’t. Canada pays $4,000 a year per person for that medical care, according to Lawrence O’Donnell, who I trust. France, Germany, England and the rest of the Europeans pay less for medical care for everyone.

We pay $8,000 per person. We have 46 million people or so who get no medical care. And mostly what the doctors and hospitals run into when they ask for payment is insurance companies saying “No” in various ways.

This is called private enterprise by the Republicans.

Government was founded to do things that private enterprise shouldn’t be doing. Those things include having an army, providing for the sick and aged, constructing infrastructure like highways and dams, providing police and fire services, courts and prisons, and providing public education. As things matured, government got in to forecasting weather, insuring that your water and air is pure, inspecting your food and drugs, and guaranteeing you that your banks where you put your money are safe places to do just that. Government makes standards to protect you in your car by requiring air bags and crash testing.

Government also provides funds so scientists can work on stuff like curing cancer, containing infectious diseases, and figuring out how the universe works.

Governments also do a lot of stupid things like pay to play zoning, dumb housing evaluations, astoundingly stupid development plans, and idiotic tax breaks that do exactly what we shouldn’t be doing.

Hey, nobody is perfect.

But when you run across some idiot who says government should be starved to death so it can’t do any of those things, first check his dental work. If he hasn’t any front teeth, you have a perfect argument on why it should.


Written by Charles Keefer

May 25, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Blog, Politics

3 Responses

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  1. Nobody’s saying government should be “starved to death” so it can do good things. Too late, it’s ALREADY starved. For years, politicians have been buying our votes by promising more benefits and services without taxing us to pay for them. The result is an astounding debt that’s simply unsustainable. According to, our current debt is $14,397,742,672,304 – the numbers were rising too fast for me to keep track. They say that works out to $46,231 in DEBT per citizen or $129,194 per taxpayer. How are you planning to pay off your share? Sell a few bikes? I don’t have the money either. It’s far PAST time to tell the clowns in Congress to cut off the “free” money taps.

    George P

    May 27, 2011 at 11:07 am

  2. when Clinton left office we had a surplus, before him we we in debt, which was paid off,— then surplus, tell me again how we got to the 14 trillion in only 8 years—oh yeah now i remember —-we ley poor sick kids just die –kinda like Humana patients if ya dont ok there health care they die and then you save money just one example -shall i rant on about the inequity


    May 30, 2011 at 8:31 am

  3. The Clinton “debt surplus” is a myth. He had a balanced budget, an entirely different critter, but we still had billions in debt. Much of the money in that balanced budget went to pay millions of dollars in interest on our borrowing, which never stopped. The supposed Social Security trust funds were full of IOUs to our government, not cash. When we had that budget surplus, the parties argued over where to waste it, rather than using it to pay off the national debt. I think I read somewhere that the mythical “national debt ceiling” has been raised in every budget for the last 70 years. So BOTH parties are to blame for this mess.

    George P

    May 31, 2011 at 5:06 pm

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