The Supreme Court will any day now issue their decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare. There is little doubt that, from a constitutional perspective, much is on the line. But from a fiscal perspective, there is just as much to be concerned about.
We’ve noted that ObamaCare will cost more than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated. Recent studies, both from the CBO and Medicare trustee Charles Blahous underline the fiscal threat of the program to taxpayers. But the Heritage Foundation notes another recent study from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) showing that ObamaCare will do nothing to lower health care costs:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary (OACT) just released its projections for national health spending through 2021. The picture isn’t pretty, as health spending will continue to increase at a much faster rate than the gross domestic product (GDP), consuming 19.6 percent (almost one-fifth) of the nation’s economy in 2021.
Yesterday, I was grabbing a cup of coffee while browsing through Twitter when I saw a headline that literally made me spit my drink out of my mouth. President Barack Obama will apparently attempt to paint Mitt Romney, who has mathematically secured enough delegates to win the GOP nomination, as a libertarian (note Obama doesn’t actually use that term to describe Romney, but the beliefs describe are libertarian in nature):
President Barack Obama is previewing his next strategy in the 2012 campaign — an audacious effort to paint former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the majority GOP as radical libertarians that have abandoned mainstream American politics.
Since 2000, “we [Democrats] haven’t moved that much. … What’s changed is the Republican Party,” Obama told a group of wealthy donors gathered Monday night at a New York town-house owned by Marc Lasry. Lasry is a billionaire equity-capitalist who runs a $20 billion fund that buys up the shaky assets of failing companies.
Republicans “have gone from a preference for market-based solutions to an absolutism … [to] a belief that all regulations are bad; that government has no role to play,” said Obama, who has presided over record unemployment of at least 8.1 percent, record deficits of more than $1 trillion per year, and a record $5 trillion increase in the national debt.
The president’s divisive strategy is designed to persuade swing-voters that the former governor of Massachusetts is a radical libertarian, even though Obama has repeatedly said his health-sector law is modeled on Romney’s Massachusetts law.
There is always ego involved in politics, there is no denying that. Some elected officials may say that they are public servants or what have you, but that’s a talking point more than anything else, so a certain amount of arrogance and narcissism is expected when dealing with elected officials. But what you don’t expect is a president to go through White House biographies of their predecessors to invoke themselves:
Many of President Obama’s fervent devotees are young enough not to have much memory of the political world before the arrival of The One. Coincidentally, Obama himself feels the same way—and the White House’s official website reflects that.
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford). Here are a few examples:
If you listen to Sean Hannity and others in the conservative movement, it’s clear that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is their pick to serve as Mitt Romney’s running mate this fall. They say that he offers a contrast to Romney that will bring a needed balance and excitement to the ticket to help motivate Republicans to go to the polls this fall.
It may be true that Rubio is much more conservative than Romney, but there should be some hesitation on the part of conservatives due to recent comments by Rubio where he said that George W. Bush “did a fantastic job” as president.
I’m not naive enough to believe that Bush isn’t a hero to conservatives for various reasons, let alone that Barack Obama, who frequently blames his predecessor for many of his own failures, makes that easy to do. But from a fiscal perspective, Bush’s presidency was a disaster, and that isn’t limited to the 2008 financial crisis. While some would defend Bush’s big spending as a necessity due to the so-called “war on terror,” Veronique de Rugy noted in her analysis on spending under Bush, domestic spending alone went up by more than 20% in his first term. He expanded Medicare, adding more in unfunded liabilities to the already unsustainable government-run health insurance program.
Conor Friedersdorf also explains some of the problems with the statement made by Rubio in context of, not just fiscal issues, but also foreign policy:
While many are preoccupied with the presidential race and memes from both sides of the political aisle that have been inserted into national news, the United States’ main entitlement programs — Medicare and Social Security — are falling further into fiscal insolvency, according to reports released by their respective trustees.
James Antle, writing over at The American Spectator, has the story:
In case you missed this bit of [Monday’s] bad news, let me recap: Social Security and Medicare are running combined long-term deficits of $63.3 trillion according to reports released by the retirement programs’ trustees. The Medicare trust fund will be running on empty as of 2024 and Social Security’s fund will be exhausted by 2033, but the reality is much worse: both trust funds may as well be filled with kitty litter.
To cash in the IOUs the feds have stuffed in the two biggest entitlements’ trust funds to maintain the accounting fiction that they are insurance programs rather than intergenerational transfer payments, taxes will have to be raised or other government spending cut unless reforms are passed soon. Both programs for the elderly are already paying out more in benefits than they are collecting in payroll tax revenue.
“In 2011, Social Security’s cost continued to exceed both the program’s tax income and its non-interest income, a trend that the Trustees project to continue throughout the short-range period and beyond,” Social Security’s trustees explained. Although the payroll tax holiday was a factor, the program would have still run deficits without it.
Mort Zuckerman one of the top 200 richest men in the world and current editor of U.S. News and World Report has been painted by some conservatives as a liberal that has seen the light”. But has he?
In it he lambasted our current president’s economic policies and labels them a “failure.” I agree with Mort on this point. Mort, like a lot of conservatives and every liberal, does not get to the heart of what has been going wrong in the halls of Congress, in the Oval Office or the chambers of the Supreme Court for the last 100 years. What Mort fails to realize is that the collectivist central planning of our economy and governing of Individual behavior by all the previous administrations, along with the monopoly of the money supply and the setting of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the endless wars overseas has led us to the where we are today.
Mort’s failure to see that the collectivist ideology that underpins the entire U.S. government budget is the ONLY REASON for the “Great Recession” that most of us are endruing today. (Around Washington D.C. there is no recession.) Instead of advocating for less central planning and control by politicians and bureaucrats over the lives and wallets of individuals he advocates for more. Instead of advocating for more individual liberty, he advocates for more government intervention.
BREAKING: ObamaCare won’t reduce the deficit. Of course, you already knew that. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress still insist that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be good for taxpayers.
But a new report from Charles Blahous, a Medicare Trustee and senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, once again exposes ObamaCare as a boondoggle for taxpayers, what opponents of the law have been saying since before it was passed, that will add $340 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
The study [released yesterday] by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.
As you know, earlier this week President Barack Obama launched into a rather odd attack on the Supreme Court as they consider overturning ObamaCare. But he also attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Republicans over the recently passed budget proposal, channeling comments made by former Speaker Newt Gingrich last May:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will shred the House GOP budget as a “Trojan horse” built around radical right-wing, “thinly veiled social Darwinism” and the makings of a renewed recession.
That’s the message he’ll take to The Associated Press’s annual luncheon in Washington, according to prepared remarks provided by the White House: The plan written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is directly opposed to the message of economic fairness he’s been pushing since late last year.
“It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it — a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class,” Obama will say of Ryan’s budget, drawing on the same themes he touched on in his December speech in Osawatomie, Kan., and his State of the Union address in January. “[B]y gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.”
While President Barack Obama’s budget went down in flames in the House on Wednesday evening — though introduced by Republicans since no Democrat apparently would carry it, Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal cleared the House yesterday:
By a mostly party-line vote, the House of Representatives approved Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget resolution today by a count of 228-191, slashing trillions of dollars in federal spending over the next decade, but inflaming Congressional Democrats for proposing controversial reforms to programs like Medicare.
Ryan’s budget blueprint claims less than $5 trillion relative to the president’s budget proposal, and spends $3.5 trillion less over 10 years than the current spending levels. It also brings deficits below 3 percent of GDP by 2015. It would raise $2.73 trillion in tax revenue in 2013, leaving a $800 billion projected deficit for 2013 compared to $3.53 trillion in budget outlays.
Zero Democrats supported the proposal while 10 Republicans voted against it.
You can view the vote here.
As expected, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, unveiled his budget for FY 2013 yesterday. The proposal obviously carries over some familiar themes, but it shows that House Republicans aren’t backing down from their goal to get spending down to sustainable levels and deal with entitlements.
You can find the details here, but here is the video that Ryan released with his budget that outlines many of the policy items found therein:
We’re seeing a mixed to positive reaction on the right. Some Republican strategists are apparently nervous about the GOP putting forward a significant proposal. They think it’s bad politics. But Ryan is committed to leading the way, offering a stark contrast to what President Barack Obama and Democrats are putting forward.