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About otsap

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    Crew Dawg

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  1. otsap

    The Next President is...

    I want everyone to have access to health care. It sucks to hear stories about people who go bankrupt over medical costs or who suffer permanent or prolonged poor health because of the barriers to care. I want universal health care to work. I especially feel for those with expensive pre-existing conditions. Most people point out the tough financial realities of such a government, or single-payer, program. I don’t disagree that the costs would require a significant increase in taxes from one or more sources. Depending on how much it cost, I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to it. For example, if taxes went up 4% and everyone was covered, cool, I could live with that. If they go up 15-20% overall, that’s a tough pill to swallow, sts. But my opposition is primarily tied to two other issues that I think are more important long-term. The first is my concern about government creep, a historical near-certainty. Imagine that the government runs health care and sees costs starting to rise; or maybe costs are going down but Congress wants to fund something else and needs to cut its health care costs to fund this other project. Meanwhile, people are pissed because their taxes are going to treat people who smoke, drink, and eat crappy all the time. So, government does what it always does and tries to “fix” this unfairness. Maybe this would result in limiting cigarette purchases, or banning them altogether. Alcohol is unhealthy, so that eventually goes down the same path. Unhealthy foods are taxed more with the idea that these taxes will go to fund the health care system. Over the course of a couple decades, small, almost imperceptible regulations that are passed in the interest of fairness lead to a situation where the government controls (more or less) what you eat, drink, and perhaps even how you act (ie. extreme sports have a higher correlation to injury and long-term health care costs, so even they are restricted). I know hyperbole and the “what-if” game is a poor argument, I’m just trying to suggest that government-run healthcare could EASILY be an invitation to the government to enter the most personal aspects of your life and freedoms. Second, profit-motive is a very hospitable environment to medical advancements. The U.S. is unquestionably the leader in world medical breakthroughs whether that is measured by private and public research expenditures, Nobel prize awards, or published articles and research in medical journals. Today, for a company to bring a generic drug to market it costs between $600-800 million dollars. A brand new drug costs between $2-3 billion dollars. This is the cost of the research, chemistry, FDA wickets, studies, wait times, etc. The reason a company is willing to spend billions is the guarantee of patent protection that allows them to exclusively sell that drug, once it is approved, for a given number of years. (This year, Viagra loses its patent protection FYI) So, Pfizer pays $2 billion for drug X, they have a patent and sell it for whatever they want to recover the costs of development and to make a profit. Government health care necessarily uses price fixing methods to control costs, which removes the profitability of medical research by private companies. If you take away a company’s patent rights or exclusive pricing control, they don’t make money and they don’t research and develop new medicine. (By the way, this isn’t just pharmaceuticals, it’s relevant to medical devices, procedures, techniques, etc) It sucks that medicine might be too expensive for people who need it, or some jackass buys the patent and increases the price 100 fold; I agree they are playing with people’s lives. But I also know that if they didn’t get paid, they wouldn’t have invented or developed the drug in the first place. So I don’t know, I don’t have an answer, just thoughts. But I do think two good places to start would be to look at policies surrounding patent duration and also cutting the cost of FDA approval, thought I know that’s a health and safety concern. Nevertheless…
  2. otsap

    WTF? (**NSFW**)

    She's been home-brewing for years.
  3. otsap

    Commanders are dropping like flies this year

    You are in desperate need of a topic sentence.
  4. The way I read the chart posted on the previous page is that Tier 6 and 7 can sign the bonus for a "minimum" of 3 years, but up to 22 YAS. Tier 8 has one option; 5 years. So if you took the 1 year option last year, you wouldn't be "initial eligible" (Tiers 1-5), but Tiers 6-8 would apply to you instead, and you'd be able to sign for 3 more years at a minimum, not to exceed 22 YAS. And I've never been wrong before. The most confusing part of that chart to me is how it applies to an 11U that is not initial eligible. It looks like such a person would be in Tier 6, but also Tier 8. Tier 8 gives an 11U $35K a year for 5 years ($175k), specifically. But if an 11U wanted to sign up for 1 year more, or 6 years total, then according to Tier 6 they get $30k a year (180k). So signing up for one more year only adds $5k to your total. It shouldn't be so convoluted.
  5. otsap

    Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    You and I were a class, maybe two, apart. That was a rough summer for airsickness hooks. For some reason tac form turned the T-6 into a flying barany chair.
  6. otsap

    Gun Talk

    And this is why no one should be forced to sell a product to another person. They should be able to make that decision and reap the possible consequences. The cake shop may well go out of business. But this logic applies to Dick's as well. It would be a mistake to think that the gun rights community is small or inactive. I would suggest that Dick's, despite its largess, put itself at greater risk for business losses than the cake shop, despite its small stature. Of course, had the cake shop's decision stayed a local matter, it wouldn't have been as big a risk as it is now that the media got a hold of it. The lawsuit against Dick's should follow the same path as the cake shop, meaning both should be found in favor of the business, imho. Revealing a tiny bit of the virute-signalling hypocrisy on the left would also be.........(standby).........the icing on the cake. Curious if you have a source for this as it would counter my knowledge of the subject. Under federal law, which I'm using since the discussion was about the Supreme Court and Constitutional rights, sexual orientation and age are equally protected. In other words, neither of them carry a suspect or quasi-suspect classification, meaning that they currently fall under rational basis review with regards to discrimination. There have been a few opinions by U.S. District Courts, and one Appellate Court, that indicated the possibility of quasi-suspect classification for sexual orientation, but nothing more. State law on this issue is nice and all, but discrimination cases tend to bring up constitutional issues. That, combined with the Supremacy Clause, put these cases square in the federal court's wheelhouse.
  7. otsap

    I need some advice

    I'd hate to back you off from your 110%, but I would not do it again. I had an exciting job that paid fine, but I've always been a sucker for green grass. So I took the leap and flying has been awesome, the people are great, and there have been days that I couldn't believe I was getting paid. On the other hand, there are a lot of awesome things other than flying (skiing being at the top of my list as well), there are great people pretty much everywhere, and I enjoyed my prior job as much as I've enjoyed this one. Everyone is different, and only hindsight will tell you what the best choice would have been, and that kind of hindsight only occurs if you do both. Back then, I would have hated to be left wondering what might have been; but now that I know, I would rather be left wondering. It's funny you mentioned skiing, because I did that regularly in my previous life, and I have yet to get an assignment where it's an option, other than taking leave of course. Personally, I'd rather be skiing. I enjoy(ed) it much more than flying...ymmv.
  8. otsap

    Roth IRA???

    Bingo! No one seems to realize this. I tried to argue this point in another thread about 3 years ago, but everyone lost their minds saying it was the effective rate, or that I didn't understand tax brackets, etc, so I didn't bother. Thanks for bringing this little nugget back into the discussion. No doubt our effective rates are super low, especially with tax free earnings from deployments. But if you contribute $5500 to a Traditional IRA, that $5500 is deducted from the top of your income for the year, and would have been taxed at the highest marginal rate.
  9. otsap

    B-1 (Bone) questions

    So then do you see the root problem as more a matter of training, or is it more related to w/dependent BAH?
  10. Looks like 2018 NDAA was signed 12 Dec, with sections 611-616 relevant to bonus, fly pay, etc. It appears Congress pushed the "standby" button for another year, though section 616 asks for a pilot retention report, fwiw. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2810/text#toc-HC7F1BB1E614941BFAC355EAF593EDEC7
  11. otsap

    Airline hiring prep, gouge, advice

    Don't you go dying on me!
  12. It's probably been mentioned before, but it would be a significant (and maybe easier?) change if the bonus was tax-free. It would be a lot of money to the person receiving it, but since there aren't a lot of bonus takers in a given year, it wouldn't even cause the lowliest IRS agent's assistant secretary to look up from their calculator. If Congress is so reluctant to up the bonus on the front end, then without affecting their front end costs, they could improve it on the back end (sts).
  13. otsap

    Flight Evaluation Board (FEB)

    You also keep using the word "hearsay" as if it means "false"; the two are not the same. Hearsay is a rule of evidence applicable to legal proceedings, not FEBs, and it actually doesn't imply falsehood/lies at all.
  14. Yeah that's BS. It got worse for 11Us as well, from 25K for 9 years to 35K for 5 years. Seems odd that each "tier" goes down in yearly bonus amount (35k/30k/28k) while also reducing the longest contract term (13y/9y/5y), but then with the 11U/18X/RPA folks they bump the amount up to the max and limit the contract term to 5 years at the longest. My guess would be that the AF believes it can produce 18X'ers easy and fast enough to make up for losses, which it can. Therefore it doesn't need the long commitment, as opposed to those who are 11F/M/H/etc, who take years to make. Still, an 18X will have 7 years in when their 6 year ADSC is up and they are eligible for the bonus, earlier than anyone. And the longest contract is 5 years, putting them at 12 years when that bonus contract would be complete. Thats roughly around the time that 11Xs get their first shot at a bonus. Doesn't look like a plan for long term development of 18X'ers and creating organic leadership from that community.