Monday, March 22, 2010

Do the Arithmetic- it's a sad day for America

The continued expansion of government control and intervention coupled with massive spending increases make it difficult to be optimistic about our country's future. I have no doubt President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of their cohorts who voted in favor of Obamacare yesterday think they are making a more perfect union.

For those of us who think the ballooning national debt is a key indicator of our nation's health and prosperity, the country is in desperate straits carrying a sense of falling that is undeniable. From a human perspective it's a sad day.

The financial facts of this bill were continually ignored by the 219 members of the House who voted on this massive entitlement bill. An Op Ed piece in the New York Times (of all sources) laid out the truth about this bill which will soon become law:

The Real Arithmetic of Health Care Reform

Arlington, Va.

ON Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that, if enacted, the latest health care reform legislation would, over the next 10 years, cost about $950 billion, but because it would raise some revenues and lower some costs, it would also lower federal deficits by $138 billion. In other words, a bill that would set up two new entitlement spending programs — health insurance subsidies and long-term health care benefits — would actually improve the nation’s bottom line.

Could this really be true? How can the budget office give a green light to a bill that commits the federal government to spending nearly $1 trillion more over the next 10 years?

The answer, unfortunately, is that the budget office is required to take written legislation at face value and not second-guess the plausibility of what it is handed. So fantasy in, fantasy out.

In reality, if you strip out all the gimmicks and budgetary games and rework the calculus, a wholly different picture emerges: The health care reform legislation would raise, not lower, federal deficits, by $562 billion.

Gimmick No. 1 is the way the bill front-loads revenues and backloads spending. That is, the taxes and fees it calls for are set to begin immediately, but its new subsidies would be deferred so that the first 10 years of revenue would be used to pay for only 6 years of spending.

Even worse, some costs are left out entirely. To operate the new programs over the first 10 years, future Congresses would need to vote for $114 billion in additional annual spending. But this so-called discretionary spending is excluded from the Congressional Budget Office’s tabulation.

Consider, too, the fate of the $70 billion in premiums expected to be raised in the first 10 years for the legislation’s new long-term health care insurance program. This money is counted as deficit reduction, but the benefits it is intended to finance are assumed not to materialize in the first 10 years, so they appear nowhere in the cost of the legislation.

Another vivid example of how the legislation manipulates revenues is the provision to have corporations deposit $8 billion in higher estimated tax payments in 2014, thereby meeting fiscal targets for the first five years. But since the corporations’ actual taxes would be unchanged, the money would need to be refunded the next year. The net effect is simply to shift dollars from 2015 to 2014.

In addition to this accounting sleight of hand, the legislation would blithely rob Peter to pay Paul. For example, it would use $53 billion in anticipated higher Social Security taxes to offset health care spending. Social Security revenues are expected to rise as employers shift from paying for health insurance to paying higher wages. But if workers have higher wages, they will also qualify for increased Social Security benefits when they retire. So the extra money raised from payroll taxes is already spoken for. (Indeed, it is unlikely to be enough to keep Social Security solvent.) It cannot be used for lowering the deficit.

A government takeover of all federally financed student loans — which obviously has nothing to do with health care — is rolled into the bill because it is expected to generate $19 billion in deficit reduction.

Finally, in perhaps the most amazing bit of unrealistic accounting, the legislation proposes to trim $463 billion from Medicare spending and use it to finance insurance subsidies. But Medicare is already bleeding red ink, and the health care bill has no reforms that would enable the program to operate more cheaply in the future. Instead, Congress is likely to continue to regularly override scheduled cuts in payments to Medicare doctors and other providers.

Removing the unrealistic annual Medicare savings ($463 billion) and the stolen annual revenues from Social Security and long-term care insurance ($123 billion), and adding in the annual spending that so far is not accounted for ($114 billion) quickly generates additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years. And the nation would be on the hook for two more entitlement programs rapidly expanding as far as the eye can see.

The bottom line is that Congress would spend a lot more; steal funds from education, Social Security and long-term care to cover the gap; and promise that future Congresses will make up for it by taxing more and spending less.

The stakes could not be higher. As documented in another recent budget office analysis, the federal deficit is already expected to exceed at least $700 billion every year over the next decade, doubling the national debt to more than $20 trillion. By 2020, the federal deficit — the amount the government must borrow to meet its expenses — is projected to be $1.2 trillion, $900 billion of which represents interest on previous debt.

The health care legislation would only increase this crushing debt. It is a clear indication that Congress does not realize the urgency of putting America’s fiscal house in order.


Woody Woodward said...

What a great pose for Pelosi. I am sorry, but just the sound of her voice makes me sick to my stomach. I am so disgusted with the entire bunch, don’t have much more to say.

Perry said...

Somehow that photo of Pelosi at that time seems quite appropriate in the context of the passage of healthcare-socialism. From that picture, all America can look in her mouth and see inside her empty head that with no sense of "right-and-wrong" she did her part to pass abortion-funded "healthcare" that will do more to cripple the American economy and bring it to a screeching halt than it will do to give any true American any kind of adequate, timely, long-term, or lifesaving healthcare coverage.

Perry said...

I've also got to say that, while I'm not a gambler, I'd put money on the fact that I think Pelosi is laughing at America in that picture.

Roger Mann said...

For a little look on the bright side, here are the Top Ten Reasons You Should Celebrate House Passage Of The Healthcare Bill! :-)

McNabb said...

Pelosi is an Italian, who married an Italian. Her thuggery makes the mob look good. What a rotten skunk she turned out to be.

Reepicheep said...

The Mob uses thuggery that can in any way be compared to Pelosi?

Take that back!

There's no way the Mob is that bad.

McNabb said...

I'm not sure what you are saying to me. Could you rephrase that?

Reepicheep said...

I'm saying the Mob uses thuggery that is far less thuggish than Ms. Pelosi uses.

It was a joke.

Rick Calohan said...

I have decided today that all current and future medical bills I receive that my medical insurance will not pay or cover will be forwarded to President Obama for him to personally pay.

Swilliams said...

That photo is priceless. Oh scratch that - it cost nearly another trillion $$$ and how many lives of the unborn, disabled, and elderly.

Every time I see and hear Pelosi I think of that old commercial: here's your brain on drugs... or I think: this is a prime example of the effects of syphilus...

And McNabb, puleez, cut the Italian thing. She is an American and her husband is American (I think). Thuggery or mobsterism is not in the blood of people who are descended from Italians. Although I gotta say, as a person descended from Napolitans and Abruzzo villagers, I have this overwhelming need to have a meaningful conversation about Pelosi's longevity with my Sicialian friends...

Mc Nabb said...

Agreed. What makes it worse is that Pelosi and her band of hooligans (from both houses) won't be indicted, nor tried, for their tactics.

Anonymous said...

To Rick C.: Why set the bar there? It should be that you and many other Americans should be able to make the president's PCP your PCP. In Obama's America, it should definitely be that way! Don't settle for any less than that.

Michael Lockridge said...

I am not concerned. This government has been able to pull money from some other dimension for years to support a protracted war which has accomplished little more than to increase the number of corpses and under-serviced veterans.

If they can fund blowing up people in foreign lands with vapor money they can dig deeper into their corporate nether-regions to extract band-aid money for everyone.

Relax. Uncle Sam is also Uncle Daddy, and you are in good hands.


McNabb said...

Swilliams, my grandmother used to say, "Don't get your undies in a bundle (especially if you have them on)." Pelosi and her husband just happen to be Italian. But, she is the top Dem in the House, who must be reliable for the president and get things done for him, and shall we say: no matter what it takes. So, if there needs to be backroom deals, or there needs to be a hatchet or battering ram used, the House's top Dem must use what she must use to get the job done. Mob - or gang - tactics. However, I could've said what I'd said about Pelosi, about Harry Reid. He's in on it, too. He's the Senate Majority Leader. There's been talk that he's also pushed other Dems around to get his way to get Obama's healthcare package passed. But, he's been out of the picture lately, somewhat, because of his wife's car accident. But, both sides of the federal legislature's leadership have been acting like thugs and hooligans, whether Italian, or not. I just happened to point out Pelosi.

The grandmother, on my mother's side, I mentioned above came from the old country and used to make the best lasagna this side of Italy, into her 80s. So, if you're trying to accuse me of anything, forget it. Or, "fuggetabotit!"

the Last Mohican! said...

To those who voted for the HCR, I reply with my best Shakespeare:
"You speak an infinite deal of nothing."
The Merchant of Venice
"You are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie."
Henry IV, part 2
"Thou are a disease that must be cut away."
"Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage." As You Like It
"Degenerate and base are thou."
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
"Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow foul." Love's Labour's Lost

And the finale: "Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted ox with pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?"
Measure for Measure