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Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Reasons Why Progressives Should Not Trust Tony Messenger and the Saint Louis Post Dispatch No. 000082

To have a better understanding of why Tony Messenger should not be trusted one needs to consider how Mr. Messenger handles letters to the Editor with the editorial section of the Post Dispatch.  Yesterday provides a good insight.

Mr. Messenger is well aware the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle:

Accordingly, when it suits his purpose he selects letters to the editor that heap bullshit on those he disfavors.

On Saturday he directed the bullshit of newly elected State Senator Robert Onder against BJC Healthcare and its Chief Executive Officer, Steven Lipstein, by publishing a letter to the editor.

The Post offer's no reason or justification for publishing the letter which contains a myriad of false charges of which we shall mention two.

First, Onder asserts that expansion will strain our existing Medicaid program but that is false. Expansion replaces the current program and Missouri's match is less so it does exactly the opposite---it would put Missouri's budget in a better position.

Second, Onder asserts that we borrow the funding from expansion from China but that is not true. China exports billions of dollars of goods to us every month---at present over $40 billion a month---for which we are not paying. Instead, for its own reasons, China is willing to accept US government debt in lieu of payment for the goods it is selling us. This is why China is a creditor of the U.S. Government. China's acceptance of our debt in payment for goods sold and imported is not paying for Medicare expansion.

Given that the letter is bullshit regarding the ACA, why was the letter published.

To understand one must recall that Mr. Messenger believes that money grows on trees. He somehow thinks that BJC should be providing more free medical care. He may also be part of the chorus that objects to the non-profit status of BJC, albeit the sole source of funding to pay taxes would have to come from either reduced patient care or higher charges to paying customers, or some combination. Thus, he permits Onder to make the false, bullshit charge "that provision of care to the poor is why federal, state and local governments consider BJC and most other hospitals to be nonprofits and exempt them from taxes."

What non-sense.

Hospitals are non-profits, and appropriately so, because they tend to the spirital and emotional needs of their patients, patient families, and even the care givers and staff, in times of great pain, loss, suffering, fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

No great hospital, and BJC is a great hospital, is a mere for profit or commercial endeavor. It matters not a wit about whether BJC provides care to the poor whether it should be a non-profit.

Do we consider Senator Onder's church to be for profit when it ministers to his spirital needs?

Do we consider universities or private high schools for profit when they educate our wealthiest?

Why, Mr. Messenger, is this editorial malpractice being presented?

Was the letter printed because Mr. Messenger is jealous and envious of what Mr. Eipstein is paid and Odner's letter provides him a vehicle for attacking his salary. BJC, which operates 12 hospitals, has 27,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $4 billion, ranking it within the Fortune 500 in terms of sales. There are only 975 companies in the United States with more than 10,000 employees. To print such an ad hominen tells all.

Two closing observations.

Odner closes his letter with the false charge that Illinois "teeters on the edge of bankruptcy," more bullshit. Illinois has an unbalanced budget because, like Kansas, it cut taxes. In comparison to its total state gross domestic product and assets, Illinois is actually in better shape than Missouri. It only needs to raise taxes to balance its spending and outlays.

Last, Odner asserts that Arkansas is going to undue Medicaid expansion in 2015 but the Republican governor has called for the state to the expansion in place.

The sum of all this is that, merely to appear fair and balanced, a newspaper does not print bullshit, especially bullshit which personally attacks as does Senator Odner's letter.