December 26, 2009
Double counting caused appearance of deficit reduction

"This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program."

- President Barack Obama, after the Senate health care bill secured 60 votes.

We never believed the claim that ObamaCare would result in reducing the federal deficit because it used a transparent trick: A ten-year horizon was used. During that ten years the tax increases and benefits cuts came early, but the benefit increases (if any) came later. Any ten-year period with all effects will cause a substantial deficit. So it was an illusion.

But the problem is worse; there is another cause in the monster. Health-care takeover proponents are double counting the savings from cutting my and your future Medicare benefits. To use them both within Medicare and elsewhere in the budget to "reduce the deficit." They say they are saving Medicare. But we can only spend those dollars once.

So which is it? Preserving some funding for Medicare to "strengthen Medicare" or funding to offset other expenses and reduce the deficit? Can't be both. The Congressional Budget Office explains.

CBO document dated 12/23/2009

The key point is that the savings to the HI trust fund under the PPACA would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs. Trust fund accounting shows the magnitude of the savings within the trust fund, and those savings indeed improve the solvency of that fund; however, that accounting ignores the burden that would be faced by the rest of the government later in redeeming the bonds held by the trust fund. Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the PPACA and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits.
To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government's ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government's fiscal position.
Megan McArdle aka Jane Galt at The Atlantic goes into further detail. And she shows that this double counting was not an isolated incident. It was repeated everywhere including by President Obama quoted above.

Senator Sessions says correcting this error would turn the claimed budget surplus into increased deficit of $300 billion.

Via: Say Anything Blog and American Spectator.

Posted by Ron Hebron at December 26, 2009 01:48 PM | Email This
Comments
1. We are dismayed, but surely not surprised by the gimmickry. Only liberals have been foolish enough to believe that this would save anyone any money. After all, when you read that all policies would have to cover pretty much everything (i.e., you can't buy super-high deductible policies with no maternity coverage, etc), then of course the insurance prices will skyrocket.

And here in WA, where anyone can enroll in health insurance, there is a 9-month wait for pre-existing conditions (which is zillions of times better than total exclusions period), which helps even out things for the insurance companies. Nobody seems to have that much problem with it, and everyone can enroll. But they don't even have that provision in the national (can't believe I'm even saying that, but this is where the democrats are hell-bent on forcing everyone) bill, so of course costs will skyrocket! It can't do anything BUT go up....


Joe Wilson was right about Obama: "You lie!"

Posted by: Michele on December 26, 2009 02:29 PM
2. That is just the tip of the iceberg. The main danger to Americans today is not Al-Qaeda or even Iran. It is our own Federal Government. I know this cuts to the chase and seems simplistic, but that's the way it appears to ~80% of the population.

Posted by: KDS on December 26, 2009 02:46 PM
3. Don't worry, I'm sure John Jensen and the other leftist trolls will be along shortly to tell us we're all wrong, the CBO is sacrosanct and the deficit will be reduced (never mind that Congress dictated to the CBO to count the monies this way).

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 26, 2009 03:03 PM
4. Ain't it great, Dan? The government hasn't demonstrated that it could manage a vegetable stand without increasing taxes. Now they tell us this scam will save us money. They are simply lying. It's all about liberal control. It is what they live for. It's why they became liberals in the first place.

We all know they will eventually get their single payer goal. Then it will be tax increase after tax increase "or children will die". That's how these socialists play.

Hopefully we'll throw lots of them out of office next fall. Unfortunately not before they will have done a lot of damage.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 26, 2009 04:07 PM
5. And how about Harry Reid's lame "Every 10 minutes, someone dies because they don't have health insurance..."

Well, Harry, if that's true--then why are you waiting four years to actually implement the thing? Obviously, those people aren't Reid's true concern.

Posted by: Michele on December 26, 2009 05:21 PM
6. If we had real news media in this country they would ask Reid for proof of his "Every 10 minutes, someone dies because they don't have health insurance..." claim.

They never question Democrats who always say things such as, "I met someone today who is a veteran and lives under a bridge". Virtually every Democrat makes up these lies and never get called upon to produce the people their talking about. It's right out of their playbook and the Democrat media (who know their lying and don't care), never call them on it.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 26, 2009 06:07 PM
7. Bill,

With the EPA (and almost completed AGW takeover via the IPCC), they control life via control of food and energy. With health care, they would control death as well - you do as your masters command or you starve and die.

Michele,

It's OK, Harry Reid has determined that 210,000 more deaths are perfectly acceptable. No problem if that many die before the takeover is complete, because they're dying for a cause (against their will, but the Left will still use them as martyrs nevertheless...).

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 26, 2009 06:58 PM
8. It demonstrates who they really are, Dan. They are the inheritors of Marx, Lenin, Che, Castro, and Mao, whose combined contributions to civilization could not be inscribed upon the head of a pin.

It was our republic to keep. Perhaps there is still time.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 26, 2009 07:45 PM
9. you are making it difficult for John Jensen to present his talking points. There are still openings for the insane troll crowd like Demo Kid, mike and Mike BS and maybe Bruce, who don't let the truth get in the way.

It's a sad commentary that we are imploding from the inside. This is a temporary condition, if we don't give up on fighting for our core values.

Posted by: KDS on December 26, 2009 08:26 PM
10. Well, we already know that private health insurance has lower administrative costs per patient as compared to Medicare, and now we see that fully nationalized systems, like the NHS in the UK see their bureaucracy spending bumping up 50% in just 4 years.

But don't worry, John will tell us that the deficit will magically reduce, it's not double-counting, and that we must trust in the Federal Government to solve all our problems!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 26, 2009 08:33 PM
11. imagine the uproar if insurance companies could collect premiums for years before payout of benefits, or better yet collect the premiums then change the benefits when people are ready for the benefits.

Posted by: Ron K on December 26, 2009 10:09 PM
12. When Congress goes on the SAME plan, I'll believe it. Why the 2 systems ("us/them") if THEY don't think this is so great for THEIR families too? frikkin' liars and snake oil salesmen, one & all...problem is, tossing them out will not undo their ultimate plan--to insert the underlying structure which won't go away...Euro-world-socialism and crap healthcare here we come...

Posted by: jimmie howya-doin on December 27, 2009 07:02 AM
13. Only through chicanery does a Democrat plan ever look like it might work. Expose any Democrat plan to the sunlight of some real accounting, and they are immediately revealed as Ponzi scheme failures.

And only a Democrat would be dumb enough to start paying for something today, that won't provide any benefit for years to come, and only under the best case estimates with heavily massaged statistics. That's how we got Sound Transit Light Rail too.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 27, 2009 08:37 AM
14. "And only a Democrat would be dumb enough to start paying for something today, that won't provide any benefit for years to come"

And thus Jeff B. on December 27, 2009 08:37 AM demolishes the concept of investment and introduces the more palatable "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." as the basis for spending.

Bravo! Liquidate your 401K, IRA and your ROTH before the end of the year.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 27, 2009 08:50 AM
15. Quoting Meg McArdle for anything other than the suitability of pink Himalayan salt as an ideal holiday gift is really rather humorous. Doing so about CBO scores in isolation of what else she wrote on the subject is obviously disingenuous.

On December 26, 2009, Ron Hebron cited McArdle's post of 23 Dec 2009 03:24 pm.
On 23 Dec 2009 04:14 pm your source, Meg MeArdle, wrote:

"But if the bill is implemented as written, then under the CBO scoring model, it will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over ten years."

But I suppose that if functioning as an echo chamber for the most easily disputable set of incoherent talking points is your objective, you are doing a smash-up job.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 27, 2009 09:35 AM
16. Once again I challenge the liberal posters here to point out which continuously running federal government programs are not running deficits and in need of constant tax increases? Is it Social Security, Medicare, the public schools, the Post Office?

There isn't a reason in the world to believe what Democrats say about healthcare. There is a lot of evidence that it will simply be a black hole into which taxpayers will pour money into year after year. Liberals love that of course, it makes folks all that more dependent on them, and allows them more control over how we live.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2009 09:54 AM
17. Once again SP's biggest maroon...
"Once again I challenge the liberal posters here to point out which continuously running federal government programs are not running deficits and in need of constant tax increases?"

Hey DIP STICK!
I answered your moronic question 2 weeks ago on these boards (i.e. BPA), recommended you go get a library card and learn something, and provided you a link to get you to the King County Library.

Yet..... stupidity is, in fact, incurable. Once Again

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 27, 2009 10:03 AM
18. Uh MikeBoyScout you have also threatened my family, including making a nasty telephone call. All of which is documented.

Calling me personal names does not help your cause.

If you cannot have a civil discussion of the issues, Justin, you ought to repeat grade school.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2009 10:14 AM
19. Hey maroon, thanks for bringing up your criminal investigation of threats. As I recall you were guaranteeing putting someone in the slammer for years. How's that going? Beyond your excellent documentation? What has your attorney done for you? Your police relatives?

No, you are not the SP resident clown. :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 27, 2009 10:22 AM
20. No comment.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2009 10:32 AM
21. Does anyone really believe that the Government will use the 'savings' for either purpose? To reduce the deficit *or* help pay for future benefits?

Hell no - they will spend it on some other program, a bailout (perhaps a bailout of newspapers or hollywierd) or even give it to ACORN / SEIU.

Remember what they did with the TARP payback money.

Posted by: Greg on December 27, 2009 11:41 AM
22. So MikeBS, any comments about the double-counting? You're OK with Enron-style accounting with this bill?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 27, 2009 12:46 PM
23. The MBS troll has lots of ad hominem comments. He claims to quote McArdle, but gives no source; the quote is not in my link.

But he has no comment on the topic. That's telling.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on December 27, 2009 04:15 PM
24. Ron: He claims to quote McArdle, but gives no source

Sloppy as usual. Mike provides a link @15, immediately before McArdles's quote. And the quote does indeed appear in the linked text.

Do you even bother checking before you post?

Posted by: scottd on December 27, 2009 05:40 PM
25. Scottd,

Does the Enron-accounting of the PPACA bother you?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 27, 2009 05:53 PM
26. Simply astonishing how leftists is all in favor of creative book-keeping and our-right lies when the government does it.

Posted by: FurryOldGuyJeans on December 27, 2009 10:15 PM
27. #21 "Does anyone really believe that the Government will use the 'savings' for either purpose? To reduce the deficit *or* help pay for future benefits? "

Yes. They are called suckers... I mean, liberals.

Posted by: Gary on December 28, 2009 06:33 AM
28. @23 Ron Hebron on December 27, 2009 04:15 PM,

Go read "So Does the Health Care Bill Reduce the Deficit At All?" posted by Megan McArdle on 23 Dec 2009 04:14 pm at:
http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/12/so_does_the_health_care_bill_r.php ,

"What the CBO memo says is that if you count the Medicare cuts as extending the solvency of Medicare, you cannot then also count them as paying for the bill: it's one or the other. But if the bill is implemented as written, then under the CBO scoring model, it will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over ten years."

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 07:41 AM
29. So MikeBS and Scottd,

By your silence I guess we can conclude you support Enron-style accounting for the PPACA?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 08:19 AM
30. @29 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 08:19 AM,

Yes! That's correct!!
Our non-response has nothing to do with the "Enron-style" dog whistle idiotic premise of your question, nor that you cannot describe what "Enron-style accounting" actually is.

Thank-you Shanghai Dan for alerting me to the fact that liberal AKORN Marxist radio waves have taken control of my brain.
Fortunately for all of us, Shanghai Dan, you never remove your Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie.


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 08:36 AM
31. #30 "Thank-you Shanghai Dan for alerting me to the fact that liberal AKORN Marxist radio waves have taken control of my brain."

-

Yes, Thanks Dan!

Posted by: Gary on December 28, 2009 09:02 AM
32. "What the CBO memo says is that if you count the Medicare cuts as extending the solvency of Medicare, you cannot then also count them as paying for the bill: it's one or the other. But if the bill is implemented as written, then under the CBO scoring model, it will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over ten years."

Hey, Mike BS, to hell with you, repugnant troll. Spare us the drive-by half truths. The rest of the truth is that revenues are for 10 years and the expenditures are for 5 years. That is not an honest analysis that you showed. CBO showed this, but you don't. This all spells rationing, dufus but you don't care- right ?

Health Insurance reform has put the structure in place for universal health care. It can be incrementally ratcheted up to where it morphs into universal health care/single payer by future Congresses, but its repeal cannot (in spite of what the Senate Bill says) be mandated/repealed by future congresses.

The Supreme Court challenge after it is signed (presuming it is) will strip away a number of provisions that will be declared unconstitutional.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 09:13 AM
33. @32 KDS on December 28, 2009 09:13 AM,

The "half truths" you refer to are those of the expert our poster, Ron Hebron, pointed us to to buttress is assertion.

Posted by Ron Hebron at December 26, 2009 01:48 PM: "Megan McArdle aka Jane Galt at The Atlantic goes into further detail..."

As stupid and irrelevant as McArdle is in the area of business and economics, she got it right. The model is for 10 years, not 5.

If you believe McArdle's analysis "not an honest analysis" and that 10 year models should be scored over 5 years, perhaps you should bring that up with McArdle, or ask Ron Hebron why he cites her as some sort of expert.

This particular claim that the budget impact of a 10 year bill is detrimental because the impact is different in 5 years is just more of the same baloney from the folks that screamed about Death Panels.

And you, KDS, seem to buy in to all this crap "This all spells rationing, dufus but you don't care- right ?".
Apparently you don't have even the slightest understanding that when one associates a price with a good or service you are explicitly talking about rationing.
Of course there will be rationing. There is rationing today. And there always will be rationing in health care. Doctors, Nurses, MRIs, etc, don't grow on trees. And I'm the dufus. :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 09:36 AM
34. MikeBS,

So you have no problem with the double-counting of these funds, to sell this plan? Doesn't bother you at all?

Just want to get you on record, you know...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 09:37 AM
35. @34 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 09:37 AM,

Lots of things about the Senate bill bother me.

What bothers me the most about the CBO comment is how the Republican Senators who pointed it out once again chose to demagogue the issue with dog-whistle rhetoric as opposed to engaging is an honest conservative dialog regarding how to best implement the program so that the risk is removed to the benefit of taxpayers and Medicare insured people.

This thread and the echo chamber quality of the post and the comments is more of the same self-delusion and pathos.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 09:51 AM
36. Good. So you don't care that the Senate promised to use the dollars to shore up long-term Medicare commitments and at the same time spend those dollars to expand Medicare expenses.

What this shows is that the CBO numbers are cooked; no, the CBO is accurate with what they are given but they are given and TOLD what to do and evaluate by the Congress. They are not independent, they are not non-partisan as John Jensen and you always contend. They are inherently biased because they are limited by Congress to only consider what Congress wants.

No freedom, no independence, and their inputs are dictated by purely political groups. Yet you want to hold them up as the holy grail of accuracy.

What really ticks you off is that now it'ns blatantly obvious - this insane bill will explode the deficit. And as this is coming to light, more and more people are turning against the plan. You've lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the populace, and they will throw your leaders out.

The "demagoguing" you don't like is the truth finally shining through.

You want the honest, conservative dialog of how to implement the program? DON'T. Don't implement it at all. This is a bad plan, it does not reform the costs, it blows the deficit, it reduces incentive to cut costs and increase efficiencies.

Let's talk about the implication of tort reform, of cross-State insurance sales, of making insurance costs tax-free for individuals. You know, all those plans the GOP brought forward and the Democrats barred from debate.

So yes, let's talk honestly. I'm honest - kill the bill, don't implement it. Tell me why we shouldn't have tort reform, why we shouldn't allow cross-State health insurance sales, why we shouldn't make individual health plans pre-tax dollars like they are for businesses. Tell me why these should not be done.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 10:36 AM
37. @36 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 10:36 AM,

Like I said.... self delusion and pathos.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 10:42 AM
38. @36 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 10:36 AM,

"Tell me why we shouldn't have tort reform, why we shouldn't allow cross-State health insurance sales,..."

The reason we don't have those reforms is that during the 6+ years of a Republican majority Congress with a Republican President, the Republicans failed to pass a bill that included them.
In 2009 when the Democratic majority Congress with a Democratic President determined to modify the laws with regards to health care, the Republican leaders, with the full support of people like you, chose not to negotiate their priorities in to a bill, but to oppose it no matter what and accept the consequences.

You seem to either be ignorant of the facts or disingenuous.
But don't change. Keep chanting Enron, Birth Certificate, also too, AKORN!
That's worked well so far, hasn't it?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 10:59 AM
39. This boondoggle may as well have been scored by the accounting firm of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe. No free thinking individual can honestly believe that this bill over 10 years will actually reduce the deficit as no government program ever has done so. They just keep morphing into bigger and bigger monstrosities with less and less accountability and oversight.

Putting your trust in the government after its long established track record of failure is a damn fool's endeavor.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 28, 2009 11:02 AM
40. "As stupid and irrelevant as McArdle is in the area of business and economics, she got it right. The model is for 10 years, not 5.

If you believe McArdle's analysis "not an honest analysis" and 'that 10 year models should be scored over 5 years, perhaps you should bring that up with McArdle, or ask Ron Hebron why he cites her as some sort of expert.

This particular claim that the budget impact of a 10 year bill is detrimental because the impact is different in 5 years is just more of the same baloney from the folks that screamed about Death Panels.'

Go back and read what I said, dufus.
Mike BS- 10 years revenue vs. 5 years of expenditures/benefits - a void analysis. Look at 5 years benefits vs. 5 years of expenditures and you will be increasing the deficits. BTW, the so-called "Death Panels" or Medical advisory boards as they are really called were not part of the Health Insurance Reform, they were part of the first Stimulus Bill. That strawman of yours is smacked down. You are attempting to put your spin on this topic and you do not address any of #36's challenges. Instead, you only isolate and try to demonize him with your comments in #37 as outlined in "Rules for Radicals" by Alinsky. Two can play at that game.

your arguments are all smoke and mirrors (HALF TRUTHS) and irrelevant. You are a small person - grow up.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 11:10 AM
41. @40 KDS on December 28, 2009 11:10 AM,

Oh dear. I'm "a small person".

Marism! AKORN!! Also too, Alinsky as outlined in "Rules for Radicals"!!!!!

I feel bigger already. :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 11:18 AM
42. It is weird to see someone so happy to take over my life. "Boy Scout" should be renamed "Red Scout" - I know one thing my hands are clean; Red Scout yours are not.

Posted by: Col. Hogan on December 28, 2009 11:56 AM
43. MikeBS # 37: great, then ignore it. And I'll ignore you... You're simply not honest, you don't want debate, your answer is quite telling.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 12:15 PM
44. Marism! AKORN!! Also too, Alinsky as outlined in "Rules for Radicals"!!!!!

I feel bigger already. :-D

I see that you're spelling is wrong and about 3rd grade level like your logic that sucks -Ignorance is bliss. You lose - Time for you to crawl back in your hole.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 12:27 PM
45. The Irony is that Col. Hogen our resident troll does not realize this effects everyone including him!! I wohder how loud He will whine when His premium is higher than anticipated?

Posted by: Laurie on December 28, 2009 12:31 PM
46. MikeBS wrote:

The reason we don't have those reforms is that during the 6+ years of a Republican majority Congress with a Republican President

Wrong, who was the Senate majority Leader in 2001 and 2002? Tom Daschle - a Democrat. The GOP had Congress for just over 4.5 years of the Bush Administration.

And during the time the GOP was in the majority, it was a SLIM majority at that - not the overwhelming numbers the Democrats have today. Meaning the GOP had to be bipartisan, something the Democrats have refused to do with this bill.

the Republicans failed to pass a bill that included them

Wrong again. Tort reform was FINALLY started via legislation in 2005, and the Democrat takeover in 2006 ended it.

In 2009 when the Democratic majority Congress with a Democratic President determined to modify the laws with regards to health care, the Republican leaders, with the full support of people like you, chose not to negotiate their priorities in to a bill, but to oppose it no matter what and accept the consequences.

Liar. The GOP tried to add amendments and debate other features and were locked out by the Democrats. Consistently. Harry Reid in the flesh doing as much. The only debate the Democrats allowed was how far to go, not whether we should even be going down that path.

That's worked well so far, hasn't it?

Apparently so, since a majority of the electorate oppose the health care reform bill.

That's three strikes, Mike. You're out.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 12:36 PM
47. Dan, leftists have never wanted debate throughout history. They continue to fantasize about shutting down talk radio. They have murdered millions of dissenters throughout history. The left simply attracts dreadful human beings. It doesn't take more than a couple minutes looking at any leftist blog to confirm this.

They will change the subject, call you names, and in my personal experience with MikeBoyScout,(aka Justin), threaten you on this board and follow it up with an ugly,equally threatening telephone call. He's likely being investigated, (I don't take threats to my family lightly), but is evidently so foolish that he continues to personally attack anyone he disagrees with.

What a shame that we cannot have an honest difference of opinion.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 12:37 PM
48. @19, MikeBoyScout on December 27, 2009 10:22 AM
"As I recall you were guaranteeing putting someone in the slammer for years. How's that going? Beyond your excellent documentation? What has your attorney done for you? Your police relatives?"

@20, Bill Cruchon on December 27, 2009 10:32 AM
"No comment."

@47, Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 12:37 PM
"He's likely being investigated, (I don't take threats to my family lightly)"

Likely?

It is not likely you are certifiably batshit crazy?????

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 01:09 PM
49. Dan @46
What you left out of the "majority oppose the bill" is the breakdown of why the majority oppose the bill. This so-called majority is made up of a couple of groups: (1) those that oppose any health care reform, and (2) those that don't think the bill goes far enough in regards to health care reform.

Sounds to me, like the bill must be right in the center, since it is ticking off both sides (far right and far left).

Posted by: tc on December 28, 2009 01:09 PM
50. Do you support it, tc?

Posted by: Gary on December 28, 2009 01:23 PM
51. @46 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 12:36 PM,
"Liar. The GOP tried to add amendments and debate other features and were locked out by the Democrats"

If by "locked out" you mean that amendments were defeated in US Senate public debate over 20 days with public votes of elected US Senators, you are correct.
But if you want to use metaphorical euphemisms, I'd suggest replacing "locked out" with more inflaming rhetoric.

Some examples that mean nothing but which might better excite the spleen of the echo chamber:

"Alinskied out"
"Bolsheviked out"
"Death Paneled out"
"AKORNed out"

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 01:25 PM
52. TC,

A majority say no reform is better than these plans. Sounds like we should go back and start from scratch. What's the rush? These plans weren't going to start in earnest until 2014 at the earliest, how about we spend a few years seeing if we can get something that at least a majority of Americans would like...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 01:47 PM
53. MikeBS,

You lie: Locked out. Sorry, you're a liar. Leave, cretin, you have zero credibility and are just a shill.

You rant about invectives and inflaming rhetoric - that's all you know how to do.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 02:00 PM
54. Oh, and it was literally locking them out - changing the locks. You support that kind of action? Does that contribute towards working together? Is that the new tone that you Obamabots wanted in Washington DC?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 02:02 PM
55. @54 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 02:02 PM,

Really? Couldn't find anything about locked out pertinent to the Senate Health Care debate which occurred in the month of December, so you provide a link to an October 2009 story about a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation of Countrywide Financial that uses the term. Great GOOGLE Dan!!

I'm sure that seals the argument for every one.

Shall you inform your readers what the ultimate outcome of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee vote to subpoena the Countrywide Financial records? Or does it only matter that you found a story that says locked out?

No worries. No doubt you and WINGNUTIA will push for a Republican candidate for Murray's seat who calls for total repeal of whatever gets signed regarding health care.
And then.... . . . . no one could have predicted.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 02:23 PM
56. Dan, I've been publicly commenting on political issues for more than 20 years. Back then newspapers would not let you comment unless you used your name and it could be verified. I received some angry letters on occasion. I was never threatened. I've never been threatened on Sound Politics until this MikeBoyScout character showed up. Everyone in the public arena gets these kinds of threats. This fellow is clearly unbalanced, and unfortunately for him I know who he is. I don't think his uncle would be very pleased if he found out what Justin does with his time.

I'd ignore MikeBoyScout. He doesn't want discussion. He wants to call names, and if you post under your own name he will threaten you and even call your house.

Gosh, I though leftists were all about peace and love and can't we all get along. Well, not exactly. Here's someone on the left who threatens people.

Probably not a good idea to threaten an old biker. I don't play games.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 02:30 PM
57. Bill,

You're right. He's not worth the effort as it's just lies and talking points that he spews. Really adds nothing...

When you're getting called names, you're winning. We're winning, he's trying to inflame with name-calling. The public is waking up, and the tide is turning.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 02:50 PM
58. "Probably not a good idea to threaten an old biker. I don't play games."

Mr. Maroon, I thought you were going to file criminal charges, hire an attorney, utilize your police relatives and friends to address the Bill Cruchon documented criminal behavior perpetrated against you.

However, in this thread you seem all over the board. Now, you tell us you don't play games as an old biker??

Did you watch Stone Cold this afternoon?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 02:52 PM
59. Hey MikeBoyScout, do you want a Republican to defeat Murray?

Posted by: Gary on December 28, 2009 03:02 PM
60. @57 Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 02:50 PM,

"The public is waking up, and the tide is turning."

No doubt.
If we're able to stop Obama on this [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.
Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Marism!! AKORN!!! Also too Waterloo!!!!
Also, also too Locked-out!!!!!

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 03:03 PM
61. This MikeBoyScout, (aka Justin), has left a trail a mile long.

Threats to my family on this board. A threatening telephone call. Continued nasty name calling here whenever anyone here disagrees with his opinion.

It's all documented. This guy has left a huge footprint.

I hate going off topic like this but I want fellow commenters to know what sort of individual MikeBoyScout is. I'm sure all of you would feel similarly had you been personally threatened by another commenter. In a civilized society that should never happen. There is a good case for posting anonymously! It wasn't enough for this guy to threaten my family on this site, he went the next step and actually called our house. That's way over the line and unimaginable to me. Yes, his actions have been reported.

I just want everyone to know what kind of an individual this guy is.

More to the point. How is it that we have reached the point where a simple opinion can result in threats? That's certainly not why I comment here.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 03:43 PM
62. Bill,

Hate knows no bounds. We see where the hatred and anger in politics comes from...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 03:57 PM
63. Mr. Maroon,
We know you hate going off topic like this. It never happened before.

So when shall this "This MikeBoyScout, (aka Justin)" receive the justice his documented actions deserve??

With "a trail a mile long" as you have "documented", there must be some sort of conspiracy preventing justice from those you "reported" to about "his actions".
Is it AKORN? Is it The Brotherhood?

How shall you utilize your old biker super powers to combat injustice and support the American right against his documented actions??

We may never know because Mr. Maroon hates going off topic like this.

:,-(

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 04:09 PM
64. "We see where the hatred and anger in politics comes from". We sure do, Dan. I was a leftist for many years. It finally dawned on me that leftists were a bunch of angry, unpleasant people.

My wife and I took a little drive around north Seattle last night to look at Christmas lights. Once nearly every home had some lights up. Not now. Maybe two or three homes on a block had some lights up, or a tree in a window. What can you expect in a city that is now 80% liberal? Our liberal neighbors' homes are dark and gloomy. You don't have to be a "right wing religious nut" in order to enjoy the lights, a tree, presents, and family. These people shun the enjoyment of the holiday because they are obsessed with their left wing view of the world. Awfully sad. They are missing a warm, wonderful part of life that they can never reclaim. We enjoy Christmas. Heck, even our kitty had a present to unwrap!

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 04:18 PM
65. Mr. Maroon hates going off topic like this, but regarding deficit spending and health care reform "Heck, even our kitty had a present to unwrap!"

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 04:25 PM
66. "He's likely being investigated, (I don't take threats to my family lightly)"

Likely?

It is not likely you are certifiably batshit crazy?????"

Yes, Mike BS is crazier than batshit, besides being the maroon that he accuses everyone else of being. By the way - its ACORN.
Buh-bye

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 04:28 PM
67. @66 KDS on December 28, 2009 04:28 PM,
"By the way - its ACORN."

Clearly you caught me using spelling as outlined in "Rules for Radicals" by Alinsky.
Don't tell William Ayers, he'll have my ass, or worse yet he'll send an old biker after me.

:-o

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 04:41 PM
68. "Yes, Mike BS is crazier than batshit, besides being the maroon that he accuses everyone else of being"

Isn't the internet great? In the end it is, because we can find out who people such as MikeBoyScout are, and when they cross the line and threaten people they leave a huge slug trail. Better than a video camera at a 7-11.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 04:41 PM
69. #67 "Clearly you caught me using spelling as outlined in "Rules for Radicals" by Alinsky."

Ha, ha! You're really funny. That's some good schtick you have going. I never get tired of it.

Posted by: Gary on December 28, 2009 04:46 PM
70. "Better than a video camera at a 7-11."

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 04:51 PM
71. Look at that MikeBoyScout. He's a nutcase.

Someone should just remove his ability to post if he is resorting to threats. It's uncalled for and degrades the culture of the site. Off with him.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout_Isa_Loser on December 28, 2009 04:59 PM
72. Oh, KDS, leftists have a long habit of substituting a K for a C. It goes at least as far back as the '60's when leftists were fond of calling America, Amerika. They are an amazing conglomeration of controlling, angry people. They hate capitalism, but they have i-pods, palm pilots, nice little politically correct cars, and all the benefits of the system they hate. I don't see them living in communes. Leftists are the biggest phonies on the planet. Obama jets somewhere almost every day burning carbon fuel at an disgusting rate. Liberals don't say a word about it. I'm not fooled by these people, and the rest of the country is beginning to get it.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 05:05 PM
73. @71 MikeBoyScout_Isa_Loser on December 28, 2009 04:59 PM,

"Someone should just remove his ability to post if he is resorting to threats."

Surely Mr. Maroon is all over that. He's got documented slug trails that are better than a 7-11 video camera and he has reported it. Failing cooperation from unnamed authorities with responsibility to enforce the laws as he imagines he documents them, Mr. Maroon shall utilize his old biker super powers to fight injustice and preserve the rights of kitty cats to unwrap Christmas presents.

But unlike you, MikeBoyScout_Isa_Loser, Mr. Maraoon isa commenter who hates to go off topic.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 05:10 PM
74. @ #73, You see it here for yourselves folks. This is the guy who has threatened my family.

I don't need to make it up.

I think the best thing at this point is for all of us to simply ignore his posts.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 05:16 PM
75. @74 Mr. Maroon on December 28, 2009 05:16 PM,

"You see it here for yourselves folks. This is the guy who has threatened my family. I don't need to make it up."

Yes, Mr. Maroon. We all see it.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 05:30 PM
76. Bill wrote:

Oh, KDS, leftists have a long habit of substituting a K for a C. It goes at least as far back as the '60's when leftists were fond of calling America, Amerika.

I always figured it was because of their affinity to the KKK, the old enforcement wing of the Democrat party.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 05:38 PM
77. Dan, Lyndon Johnson and the "Great Society" welfare programs have ended up killing more African Americans than the KKK ever did. The Democrats deliberately destroyed African American families so that they would have a permanent voting bloc. And they do. Thousands of young black males have died as a result, among them one of my friends. It's easy to look up the statistics.

Just as an aside because I'm so tired of liberals. My wife and I just went outside to look at an amazing 3/4 moon. We look over and here's some goofy liberal guy walking up our quiet street with a neon vest on and red lights in each hand. You see this all the time in Seattle. It's surreal. Leftists are beyond weird. Once these people pass single payer healthcare will be all be forced wear neon vests if we want to walk at night? I wouldn't put it past them. What a bunch of controlling, awful people.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 06:04 PM
78. Mr. Maroon, I know you hate to go off topic like that, but thanks for informing us of your trip to look (howl??) at the moon, and informing us of the imminent danger to the American way that liberal neon vest wearing and red light carrying Seattlites pose to the security of the nation.

Clearly your sentence "Once these people pass single payer healthcare will be all be forced wear neon vests if we want to walk at night?" brought it right back on topic proving to anyone comically inspired to read your posts that you are not batshit crazy and quite honestly consistently strive with old biker super powers to stay on topic at all times.

Please be sure to document all occasions where you see neon vest wearers carrying red lights, and give it to the authorities working on your documented case. Likely, the two are related and should be investigated.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 06:21 PM
79. Bill,

Liberals who can't be elected to higher office end up in HOAs...;) The solution is always more specific rules, because no one will ever break the rules, right?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 06:32 PM
80. Oh, and to get this back on-topic, it's still disgusting that Congress would so abuse the CBO to force them to make fraudulent conclusions. That the leftists on this board see no problem with it (or, choose not to admit the problem) is not surprising...

BTW, the new OMB estimate is out: 1.5 trillion dollars for 2010. That's $3.1 TRILLION in deficits in just two years for President Obama, and $3.5 trillion for the Pelosi/Reid led Congress.

President Bush - that favorite deficit whipping-boy of the Left - had total deficits from 2002 to 2007 (the years when the GOP and President Bush had control of the purse strings) of just over $1.6 trillion. Obama's doubled that in just two years.

And with this double-counting, he's adding the equivalent of more than one year of the Bush deficits, on average. One bill. Where's the caterwauling from the left?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 28, 2009 06:40 PM
81. That's the irony of liberalism, Dan. The leftists that now run the country sprung from the hippie movement of the late 1960's. It was all "peace and love", and we just "want to be free and stuff". It was anti-government, anti-war and anti-establishment.

However the entire "counter-culture" movement was quickly taken over by socialists who knew a good thing when they saw it. There were Black Panthers, Weathermen, the Socialist Workers Party, and the whole host of leftists organizations that dominate the Democrat party to this day. Acorn is an obvious example. Obama himself has proven that he is far to the left.

These people don't want anyone to be free. They want to control how we live our lives. Can you say "political correctness", or "consciousness raising"? They are in your face constantly. It's time to make them go away.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 06:51 PM
82. It's important for the conservatives to have a plan in order for the liberal progressives to go away. So far, I haven't seen or heard of much of a plan.

The conservatives are now the "counter culture". Get used to it.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 07:54 PM
83. It's important for the conservatives to have a plan in order for the liberal progressives to go away. So far, I haven't seen or heard of much of a plan.

The conservatives are now the "counter culture". Get used to it.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 07:54 PM
84. #83 and you won't :-) its a secret... unless you go to a tea-party meeting ... the press is sworn to secrecy... shhh ... its all underground :-) you know.... where the grass roots are...

Posted by: Kennewick Man on December 28, 2009 08:55 PM
85. KDS I don't think we need a plan as much as we need a leader. We need a leader that can unify the bulk of Americans that are not liberals. It can't be someone such as Ron Paul who is an angry, negative person who personifies hopelessness. Ron Paul loves doom and gloom. Who wants a leader that scares the hell out of everyone? Why even get out of bed?

It can be Sarah Palin who brings an optimism we have not seen since Ronald Reagan. She's a self-made woman who is very bright and she terrifies the liberals who know it. She is an optimist much the way Ronald Reagan was. Liberals believe everything is dark and gloomy and the world is coming to an end the way Jimmy Carter acted wearing a sweater around the White House. It is total nonsense but liberals constantly want everyone to believe we are at the "tipping point". It's political garbage. It's why I can't stand these humorless socialist phonies. The people that have darkened houses while we have our Christmas lights blazing.

Posted by: bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 09:12 PM
86. I see complaints that a commenter has threatened others. I don't see any active threats. He sure is obnoxious; certainly wants everhyone mad at himself and off topic.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on December 28, 2009 09:16 PM
87. Bill, I think the leaders are coming, the pot is getting hot they will bubble to the surface soon. I agree with you on Sarah, she was in the Tri-Cities last month and left really favorable feelings I think with everyone she met here. someone else to look out for is Clint Didier he is working up for a run against Patty Murray.. A good constitutionally based "Farmer in Boots" (mom in sneakers joke)

Posted by: Kennewick Man on December 28, 2009 09:25 PM
88. Ron @ #86, yes the person posting as MikeBoyScout has threatened my family both on this site and even called us and left a threatening message. That's what I get for using my name when I post.

There are some threats he posted in an earlier discussion which I can link to.

I simply don't get it. We ought to be able to have a civil disagreement about issues. This guy got all hacked off when I said something about how I would not let my wife stand at a Seattle bus stop after dark. His head blew off and he started with threatening posts and finally a mean telephone call. Not the nicest guy I've ever met. But remember, he's a peace loving liberal. Yeah, right!

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 09:43 PM
89. @88 Mr. Maroon on December 28, 2009 09:43 PM,

"MikeBoyScout has threatened my family both on this site and even called us and left a threatening message. There are some threats he posted in an earlier discussion which I can link to."

PLEASE DO.
Please show all of us your documented terrible threats against your family.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 09:49 PM
90. Right now, the GOP is doing a convincing roper dope impression. The GOP will need to heed the message of the Tea party patriots if they hope to mount an effective campaign for 2010. They need to inject American ingenuity into the mix. The GOP has long been criticized as stupid and unable to communicate, although certain conservatives try and stick to constitutional principles. The Bush Republicans are a drag on the GOP and there is a sore need for new leadership. Sarah Palin will be involved as a Kingmaker here, but not the candidate, IMO.

I believe that the teabaggers (lol) will be instrumental to the mission in the 2010 elections that loom ahead.

Posted by: KDS on December 28, 2009 09:51 PM
91. Re #89 MikeBoyScout...anyone with a computer and a search engine can document your threats. You also threatened us on our phone which is documented. Your are a coward Justin. You would never have the guts to make a post here under your own name. Lets see you expose yourself like I do every time I post my opinion, as I have done for years. Coward.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 10:05 PM
92. @91 Mr. Maroon on December 28, 2009 10:05 PM,

"...anyone with a computer and a search engine can document your threats."

Well, except you, right? Because just minutes ago you said you could. "There are some threats he posted in an earlier discussion which I can link to.".
Where are they Mr. Maroon????

I again called you on your batshit crazy claim and you produced nothing.

Alternatively, from the man who claims threats are made against him, here is one he made:

@116 Mr.Maroon wrote:"If they want to play with me I'll blow their damned heads off. I'm more than ready for them. They'll get what they deserve."

You are obviously a batshit crazy maroon.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 10:16 PM
93. If you are such a reasonable person MikeBoyScout why won't you post here under your real name and actual e-mail address?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 10:23 PM
94. "We've saved all of it and we are going to report it to the authorities."
"We have lots of law enforcement people in our family. You picked the wrong people to play with."
"We've saved the voice mail. I might have to hire an attorney, but I want to get this guy and throw him in the slammer for a few years.
Perhaps he'll kick in our front door tonight. If he does he will eat a lot of lead from my revolver.
"

Tell us Mr. Maroon, what came of your documented threats, criminal complaints and hiring an attorney?
Wouldn't be absolutely nothing cuz you are certifiably batshit crazy, would it?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 10:27 PM
95. What gets lost here is that this MikeBoyScout guy threatened us. Threatening people is not anything we would even think of.

He's a scary, creepy guy.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 10:36 PM
96. @95 batshit crazy maroon on December 28, 2009 10:36 PM,

"What gets lost here is that this MikeBoyScout guy threatened us."

You keep saying that, and you keep saying it is all documented and you can show us. But you never do show anything.

What is lost is your ability to discern your paranoid batshit crazy fantasies from reality.

What became of your criminal complaint and the assistance you got from lots of law enforcement people in your family?

ANSWER: Nothing, cuz U R Looney Tunes.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 10:42 PM
97. I"ll let law enforcement do what they do, MikeBoyScout.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 10:58 PM
98. Ahhh. How gracious of you.

Just so everyone who is not batshit crazy like you understands, you allege to have documented proof of criminal threats made upon your family made by me, which you show to no one, in spite of saying you will, and you are going to let law enforcement do what they do.

But back then you said
"We are chasing this nut down and he will end up behind bars. I'm going to take action.
These nuts crank out posts that imply that I and other conservatives can't wait to blast away with our firearms. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I hope and pray I will never have to use my weapons on another human being.
"

You are a batshit crazy maroon.

There is no law enforcement "doing" except in the cobweb filled corners of your paranoid fantasies rattled mind.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 11:16 PM
99. I guess the only thing I might add MikeBoyScout is that I hope you sleep well tonight. You clearly have some demons to deal with.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 11:32 PM
100. STFU you batshit crazy maroon.

You clearly talk a lot of smack and routinely make allegations you can't back up.

@88 Mr. Maroon on December 28, 2009 09:43 PM,

"MikeBoyScout has threatened my family both on this site and even called us and left a threatening message. There are some threats he posted in an earlier discussion which I can link to."

Lying batshit crazy moron

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 28, 2009 11:39 PM
101. Just a late night lesson, It's real easy to call someone a "batshit crazy moroon" in the comfort of your computer. It would be another thing to talk like that in front of real people. Like maybe the Rimrock Cafe at about 7:00 in the morning. I imagine this little puke would need a new change of underwear.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 28, 2009 11:47 PM
102. I agree that double-counting Medicare savings is problematic and misleading.

But the problem with Medicare spending isn't simply that the trust fund is going to go broke. Really, there isn't actually a trust fund. We use unified accounting. To continue fund Medicare, some taxes will probably have to be raised since health care is more expensive and more people are getting benefits (i.e., we have more seniors). The real problem is that the rate of cost growth is so high that the tax increase would be completely untenable. Reduce Medicare cost growth and the future tax increases necessary to balance the budget are much less dramatic, which means that in real terms Medicare is easier to finance. So I think Obama's statement is accurate.

We never believed the claim that ObamaCare would result in reducing the federal deficit because it used a transparent trick.

You're wrong. The bill reduces the deficit over its first ten years "in effect" (2014-2023) according to everything I've read. What's your source, Ron?

You're probably wrong, and what you mean to refer to is the cost -- not deficit neutrality. Indeed, the cost of the bill is a lot higher when evaluating 2014-2023. More than the $900bn the President said the bill should roughly cost. More than $1 trillion, which someone must have decided what politically unpopular. I think it's stupid. I'd rather have the benefits start sooner. But none of this has anything to do with the deficits.

Contrary to your uncited and wrong assertion, the large tax revenue raisers do not start until 2014, when the exchange opens. If they started earlier and the exchange opened earlier, you'd have [near] deficit neutrality [give or take]. But that isn't the bill in front of us.

The first ten years reduces the deficit by more than $100 billion. The second ten years does even more. The next five decades see the bill have no major affect on increasing the deficit. Net federal health care spending decreases beginning in the second decade. All this according to the CBO.

Sorry that this post is so long, Ron. It takes a while to refute posts that have so much factual problems.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 28, 2009 11:49 PM
103. It is easy.
And you imagine a lot.
It is easy because you "expose yourself" as a batshit crazy maroon continually.

Where is your documented evidence "[B]etter than a video camera at a 7-11."???

Talk a big game, produce NOTHING.

Can you show us a criminal complaint? NOPE.

Your retort is some batshit crazy morning meeting where you'll play out your old biker super hero fantasy?

Get real Moron
:-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on December 29, 2009 12:03 AM
104. CBO approved all facts on this advertisement checked for government accuracy ... we wouldn't lie to you... honest.... all of our programs have come in just as the CBO has reported they would you know.... Medicare, Fanny and Freddie just to name a few and if they don't we will fire the head guy at the CBO and have someone else do the figures until the facts come closer to ours ...don't worry you wont even notice :-)


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Posted by: ElisabettaPl24 on December 29, 2009 05:18 AM
106. Hey John, do you really believe in your heart that the tax on "Cadillac Health Plans" will generate $150 billion in revenue?

Really?

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 07:10 AM
107. John Jensen wrote:

You're wrong. The bill reduces the deficit over its first ten years "in effect" (2014-2023) according to everything I've read. What's your source, Ron?

Hmmm... Seems that Ron's thread starter included a quote from the CBO and several links. And even you stated:

I agree that double-counting Medicare savings is problematic and misleading

So, we have the CBO being told by Congress to double-count savings, and because of that double-counting (double-counting on the order of $500 billion), we end up with a $132 billion savings.

Hey John, what happens when you subtract out that $500 billion in double-counting? Well, suddenly you have a $360 billion DEFICIT. Subtract $500 billion from $123 billion - you get a negative number.

John, this spin is even "out there" for you. Clearly the financial basis for this bill is shot - you've even admitted the double counting! And the math is amazingly simple - just pull out the double counting and see what you're left with.

So, back earlier this year you pledged to not support any bill that added to the deficit (a pledge that Obama also took). Will you honor that pledge and denounce the Senate bill? Or will you continue to wave your hands and ignore the reality (a reality that even you admitted existed) that this bill will blow the deficit?

Come on, John, if you want to have an ounce of credibility here you need to just come clean on this: you've admitted the double-counting, and you know how much it is ($500 billion in Medicare savings). You cannot keep up the charade that this bill will lower the deficit over ANY time period, not with any credibility or logic...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 29, 2009 07:45 AM
108. Gary @50
I am not sure by the "it" you mean. Do you mean the bill? Do you mean the "double-counting?" Do you mean the concept of Health Care Reform in general?

The bill - I do support because I support Health Care Reform in general and I think this is the best we can get out of Congress, who are such a dysfunctional bunch that they will probably not pass another piece of major legislation in our lifetime. Is the bill perfect? Not even close. I am however a pragmatist at heart and I will take 80% over nothing being done.

Double Counting - I disagree with Ron's post. If you look at the CBO words, what they say is not related to double-counting. What the words do is shoot down stating that the bill will both reduce the deficit AND extend solvency. It will reduce the projected deficit and will cost us less (Federal $$$-wise) than the status quo that the Republicans want. It won't solve the solvency issue, but neither does the Republicans do-nothing approach.

Look, there are a lot of good ideas in the bill (not all). I do like the FEHB style exchange that ended up being the Senate's final version. Gee, it looks a lot like what Obama actually promoted while campaigning instead of some single-payer fantasy of the far left and far right. If both ends would have paid attention to what Obama actually said and not what the pundits said, then maybe they could have seen that this is what he was talking about all along.

The bill tackles the issue of denial of coverage. The bill tackles other needed reforms. It unfortunately didn't tackle pharmaceuticals in the way it should have (i.e., the amendment to allow cheaper imports from Canada, etc., failed).

Look Gary, I stated back in August/September, that it was fine with me to drop the public option that everyone here was so upset about. In the end, the Senate bill did just that. Everyone here wants to keep moving the goal posts. Why don't they just come out and say that they don't want health reform period and that the status quo is just fine? To me the status quo is not fine. We need reform and I feel the Senate bill while not perfect is as close as we are going to get. The House should eat crow and just pass the Senate bill and let's get on with other issues. We have debated this topic to death.

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 07:56 AM
109. Mike BS - grow up, punk..

John Jensen - you are wasting your time. You intellectually dishonest lies by omission have been largely debunked. Please go back to your blog.

Posted by: KDS on December 29, 2009 08:00 AM
110. #108 "We have debated this topic to death."

You're free to stop debating any time you like, but as with Global Warming, just because the Believers don't want to talk about it anymore, and just want to pass *anything* and "get on with other issues", that doesn't mean the debate is over.

Do you think the tax on Cadillac Health Insurance plans will really generate $150 billion in revenue as they claim it will, tc?

I do not. Where will the funding come from when that revenue fails to materialize?

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 08:08 AM
111. And, tc, where will the money come from that the states will have to pay for the increased Medicaid burdens that will be placed on them? We know Nebraska has a lifetime grant from the other 49 states to cover its new Medicaid costs, but what about the rest? Where will that money come from?
Do you like having to pay for Nebraska's Medicaid just to buy one of their senators?

Thanks.

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 08:14 AM
112. Gary,
A few clarifications:
On the "debating to death," I was referring to Congress, not individuals. This topic will probably be a debate among individuals for a long time, just like Medicare and Medicaid are still debated today.

On the tax revenue: I am just trusting the CBO on this one. I have no other basis to judge that they are wrong on this. Do you have some insight on why the CBO scoring would be wrong on the revenue generated by the tax? Please share.

Medicaid Funding: This one is a puzzling one as to why Republicans are raising the issue. On the one hand you have the special favor granted to certain states, but they aren't arguing the cost of that favor. What Republicans seem to be arguing is that all states should get this favor. If this is the case, then are they not arguing for increasing federal spending w/o matching cuts. Ideally, no favors should be cut to get votes, on this bill or any other bill. The bills should be judged by their own merit. In reality, all bills have these special favors added to them. In this one the favor is Medicaid funding. In the Defense Appropriations bill, it is keeping an aircraft production alive even though DoD says it can be canceled. You can run down most bills and find these special gifts to states inserted to buy votes. So, the question for you Gary are you in favor of cutting out of all bills these special bribes? If so, then why don't you also complain about them, especially if they benefit your own state? There was a senator that did this. He was from my home state and name was William Proxmire. During his terms, he made enemies of all the other senators for his calling them out on these favors. The results were Wisconsin was cut out of many federal dollars due to the others wanting to punish Proxmire. To put it another way, Gary, why don't you rail against the high per-capita federal spending in Alaska? Why should they get so much more, per-capita, than our state?

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 11:07 AM
113. #112 "On the tax revenue: I am just trusting the CBO on this one. I have no other basis to judge that they are wrong on this. Do you have some insight on why the CBO scoring would be wrong on the revenue generated by the tax?"

Sure. Easy. Nobody is going to pay a 40% tax on the cadillac plans. They just won't. The plans will be reduced, and therefore no longer be cadillac plans. The revenue won't be generated. The CBO has to assume what Congress tells them will be gen'd, not what actually will be.

"What Republicans seem to be arguing is that all states should get this favor."

What? No.

So, tc, do you really believe people/business will pay this 40% cadillac plan tax? In real life?

So how will states pay for the increased Medicaid funding that this reform will demand?

Haven't heard an answer to that from anyone yet.


Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 11:37 AM
114. #113 The CBO often does not take reality into consideration, nor does it consider accounting gimmicks implemented by the politicians, as emphasized in this post by R.Hebron. The CBO is impartial, and it appears to be primarily a bean counter.

It would be interesting to hear an interview from someone at the CBO to hear their perspective.

Posted by: KDS on December 29, 2009 11:58 AM
115. And right on cue, here's California asking for a federal bailout:

"The governor sent a letter to the state's congressional delegation Tuesday night in which he demanded more money for federal healthcare programs for which the state is paying part of the tab. He warned that the historic healthcare reforms poised for passage in Congress may add to the burden, costing the state as much as $4 billion annually."

Look, tc, the state expects to have to pay $4 billion more every year if your plan gets approved by Congress.

Who is going to pay for that?


Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 12:13 PM
116. Gary,
It is simple. The state citizens, or the need goes unmet. Are you saying federal spending should be increased to cover all the states needs? Where are the cuts going to come from to meet your demand that federal spending be increased?

You see, what you are talking about is not related to the current bill, it is related to the recession and loss of revenues due to the recession. This is smoke and mirrors on California's part. They got caught with an enormous state infrastructure that they now can't pay for and are unwilling to cut the infrastructure dramatically or raise taxes to cover the loss in revenues. They want the rest of us to foot their bills. Well you know what, WA state has its own issues with loss of revenues. You can't expect us to also pay for California's and OBTW also provide water, which is the latest grab the Govenator is going after.

You see, even w/o the current healthcare bill, this lack of funding is an issue. You are living in the Bush years where we expand Medicare/Medicaid and don't pay for it. Just add it to the debt. Well at least the current bill identifies funding streams and budget cuts. That is a lot better than Bush's Medicare/Medicaid program that most of the Republicans who are screaming and hollering today voted for back when it went through. Where were their voices then about the cost of Bush's proposals?

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 02:04 PM
117. #116 "Well at least the current bill identifies funding streams ..."

It does? For the Medicaid expansion?

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 02:08 PM
118. Gary @117
Huh? I don't follow. The CBO reviewed the bill, which includes cuts, taxes, and new or expanded programs. Their score was that it would reduce the deficit. Therefore, how are you saying the bill doesn't pay for itself? You can't score it as reducing the deficit and also state that it doesn't fund items. That is nonsensical. You could attack the models used by CBO. You could attack the current state assumptions, but I haven't seen you do either. The closest you have done is attack the potential revenue stream of the "gold-plated" health plans, which I say is good because if people shift away from these, then it is reducing the cost of overall healthcare, which is the goal of the bill. So, in this case, you are stating that the bill will be doing what it sets out to do. Where is your argument? Where is the evidence that the projections and assumptions made by CBO are wrong?

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 02:57 PM
119. #118. "Therefore, how are you saying the bill doesn't pay for itself?"

The CBO doesn't give a rat's ass about what is going to happen within the states. That bag is going to be held by the people of the states. That is what we are not being told is a side effect of this bill. That is why Ben Nelson got that bailout for Nebraska. The rest of us won't get it. Our taxes are going to have to go up at the state level to pay for this federal stink bomb that is being hurled at us.

That is why California is asking for a bailout now.


Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 03:06 PM
120. Oh, and tc, combine the new burdens on the states, with the obvious fact that the government will not get the revenue from the cadillac plans like it says it will, and you have a train wreck approaching. How will they get the money they project to get from the cadillac plans that they won't actually get?

Please, tc. You're obviously a smart guy. Don't let these bastards lie to you.


Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 03:16 PM
121. So Gary, you are saying we should reject the bill because California's whining because it is broke. Now that is a new argument I haven't seen. Gee, with all the money Avatar made over the weekend, maybe Arnold can go whine to his Hollywood friends.

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 03:20 PM
122. #121. Yes. The bill is going to only cause more fiscal harm to states... during a recession of all times. It will result in deepening the recession, so yes, tc, that is one reason why I'm opposed.

Ben Nelson knows this as well as I do, tc. Why else did he ask for the Medicaid bailout?

The faith people place in these people astounds me.

These are the same people who have been watching the Christmas day bomber since August and still couldn't keep him off of our airplanes!


Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 03:33 PM
123. Gary,
Here are two links that describe the revenues and deficit impacts of the senate bill:

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/leg12192009%20JCT.pdf

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/leg121909ReidLetter.pdf

The so-called Cadillac plan tax (per the first link) is estimated at generating $148.9B during the 2010-19 timeframe (really 2014-2019, since it doesn't go into effect until 2014). So what is your estimate on how much less this will go on and what is your basis of that estimate?

You also fail to mention individual savings under the Senate health bill. Here is a Kaiser write up on the individual's impact.

Regarding the Medicaid expansion, I am still looking for writeups on the specifics. I know the governors are complaining, but I am not sure I fully understand their argument. What I have found about the Medicaid expansion (per this article) is that the biggest impact is the expansion of the program to cover more people (e.g., the Senate bill would increase the level to 133% of poverty level). So, the Senate bill is actually less of an impact than the House bill which wanted to raise the level to 150%. So, Gary, is your argument that we shouldn't expand Medicaid at all and all those people who don't make enough to afford insurance and make to much to currently qualify for Medicaid are out of luck, or do you argue that the level of expansion should be lower than the 133%, but there should be some expansion? I don't think you would get any of the Democratic Senators to agree to no expansion of Medicaid. Therefore, what would you horsetrade to come up with the revenue to cover all the expansion of the plan to all the states? Would you impose additional taxes, and if so, where? Which "cost" item of the plan would you cut? The bill is out there. So, what would you propose?

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 03:50 PM
124. I'm sorry this is off topic, but the actual *job* of government is national security... the safety of its citizens... and the government (CIA) knew all about this Christmas day terrorist back in August, and he *still* got on one of our airplanes with a bomb.

Do you people understand how incompetent or negligent a government has to be to let this happen? It's the same government that chose to *not* do anything (besides promote to Major) the Hasan terrorist who killed a bunch of people at Ft. Hood.

And yet you still want them to take over an institution (health care) that they have no business running.

What is the pathology that leads people to want that?

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 03:54 PM
125. Gary RE: Medicaid
You might be interested in this article. It seems Ben Nelson isn't beholden to his Cornhusker deal. Look to see it dropped during the conference negotiations.

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 04:01 PM
126. I know this was off-topic, but where did you find reports that we know about the terrorist in August? His father didn't report his suspicions until November (I believe). Still doesn't answer the question how the terrorist passed through two airports that had the equipment to sniff out the explosive. I still think their was coercion/corruption at the Nigerian airport and no additional screening, which there should be, at Amsterdam.

Posted by: tc on December 29, 2009 04:09 PM
127.
Un-funded mandates? He's concerned about un-funded Medicaid mandates that he could not get the CBO to score if they *had* been funded. Right? So, okay, what is the CBO score if the federal government decides to pay for all new Medicaid mandates in all of the states then?

There isn't one because they didn't account for it. Because they don't want to account for it.

Posted by: Gary on December 29, 2009 04:12 PM
128. Some stats that stick in my mind; The average revenue is $2.2 T, the current debt is $14.2 T and total unfunded liabilities (including Medicare, SS, entitlements) ~$65 T.

The Banana Republic cometh.

Posted by: KDS on December 29, 2009 06:21 PM
129. "You might be interested in this article. It seems Ben Nelson isn't beholden to his Cornhusker deal. Look to see it dropped during the conference negotiations."

#125 - Boy are you gullible ! It appears that folks in Nebraska are not buying his feeble attempt to say he didn't have to get $ to vote for it. He has not offered the entitlement back to the taxpayers yet.

The latest polls show him 30 points behind the Republican challenger - so it would appear that the folks are buying what is trying to sell.

Posted by: KDS on December 29, 2009 06:34 PM
130. Leftists are in trouble nearly everywhere. Not in havens such as Seattle, San Francisco, New York, or other big cities where liberals have complete control. Leftists don't understand that most of America is sick and tired of them. They sit around sipping chai tea or doing yoga in big cities and haven't the faintest clue how people in the rest of country think. They will find out this fall.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 29, 2009 06:53 PM
131. Dan, Hmmm... Seems that Ron's thread starter included a quote from the CBO and several links. And even you stated:

Which had nothing to do with the deficit cost of first ten years of the plan. You didn't understand my argument.

So, we have the CBO being told by Congress to double-count savings, and because of that double-counting (double-counting on the order of $500 billion), we end up with a $132 billion savings.

You're wrong.

Hey John, what happens when you subtract out that $500 billion in double-counting? Well, suddenly you have a $360 billion DEFICIT. Subtract $500 billion from $123 billion - you get a negative number.

You are wrong. The bill reduces the deficit by $132 billion. No figures are double-counted in that math.

And the math is amazingly simple - just pull out the double counting and see what you're left with.

You are so stupendously wrong that it's laughable you even chose to respond to this thread. You have no idea what the original post said. You don't know what my reply meant.

KDS, John Jensen - you are wasting your time. You intellectually dishonest lies by omission have been largely debunked. Please go back to your blog.

Why are you being so lazy? Why don't you think critically and respond with substance? What did I omit, KDS?

The Banana Republic cometh.

Especially if we do nothing to bend Medicare costs, which is exactly what you're doing.

Gary, Do you think the tax on Cadillac Health Insurance plans will really generate $150 billion in revenue as they claim it will, tc? I do not.

Sure. Easy. Nobody is going to pay a 40% tax on the cadillac plans. They just won't. The plans will be reduced, and therefore no longer be cadillac plans. The revenue won't be generated. The CBO has to assume what Congress tells them will be gen'd, not what actually will be.

And since companies would avoid the tax, wages would certainly increase, resulting in more revenues from income/payroll taxes: "About $142 billion of the 10-year total of $201 billion to be raised by the [excise tax] would come from increased income and payroll taxes." (src)

Posted by: John Jensen on December 29, 2009 11:43 PM
132. Senator Sessions says correcting this error would turn the claimed budget surplus into increased deficit of $300 billion.

This was in the OP, and somehow I missed it.

Sessions is wrong, and purposefully lying to the public about the effects of the bill. The CBO did not double-count a single dollar in the bill. The headline of this post is simply WRONG.

Let me explain the problem in clear language: Some people have said that the bill both fills up the Medicare trust fund with savings, as well as funds the insurance reforms and reduces the deficit with the same savings. But the savings can't be used to do both. The CBO has always said the savings will be used to fund the bill and reduce the deficit, and it has never double-counted a single dollar.

Ron and Dan seem to not understand this at all. They could stand to do some more research.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 29, 2009 11:55 PM
133. #131 "And since companies would avoid the tax, wages would certainly increase, resulting in more revenues from income/payroll taxes:"

That is just a guess. Wait... so companies would change their insurance plans because of the tax? Didn't Obama say we can keep our plans if we like them? "You lie!".

tc, the governor of New York is also warning that his state will be in deeper fiscal trouble if this thing passes.


Posted by: Gary on December 30, 2009 06:33 AM
134. John wrote:

Which had nothing to do with the deficit cost of first ten years of the plan. You didn't understand my argument.

Your argument doesn't make sense. Of course it affects the deficit cost of the first ten years since Medicare has been in the red since 2006, spending more than it takes in. And that only gets worse as you go on.

Those funds that were going to save Medicare are already needed, as Medicare is spending more than it brings in.

You're wrong.

You're wrong.

You are wrong. The bill reduces the deficit by $132 billion. No figures are double-counted in that math.

Per the CBO, you're wrong. Read Ron's post - the CBO Director Doug Elmendorf:

"The key point is that the savings to the (Hospital Insurance) trust fund under the (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs,"

Yet that's what the CBO did at the direction of Congress. You're wrong.

You are so stupendously wrong that it's laughable you even chose to respond to this thread. You have no idea what the original post said. You don't know what my reply meant.

You have $500 billion being double-counted. Is it going to be used to fund future Medicare, or is it going to be used for current expenditures? Your choice - you cannot have both. Yet the Senate bill claims both. Take $132 billion, subtract $500 billion.

would come from increased income and payroll taxes.

Wait, I thought anyone making under $200,000 per year (couples making under $250,000 per year) wouldn't pay a dime in new taxes. I guess yet another promise broken...

John, I know you're a rah-rah leftist, but this is blatant double-counting and fraud, and your support of it blows away any credibility you had.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 30, 2009 07:14 AM
135. I have more important things to do than to respond to your so-called assertions that are only believable in a parallel universe.

John- you are a skilled cherry picker just like a progressive ideologue is supposed to be. Enuf said.

Posted by: KDS on December 30, 2009 08:53 AM
136. 58% of the American populace opposes the health care plans. A majority would rather do nothing than implement these plans. The US populace knows a bad deal when they see it, so how about slowing down and reconsidering?

Clearly there is no need for a rush-job on this, since the benefits don't kick in for years. How about taking another few months of OPEN DEBATE - let it all come out - and see what we get?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 30, 2009 08:55 AM
137. That is what Obama's urgency is all about, Dan. Ram this socialist insanity down our throats and put in in place as fast as he can. Most Americans disagree. Obama and the Democrats know it. They don't care. They have wanted socialized medicine for decades. Are there actually provisions in this bill that make it impossible for it to be repealed? I keep hearing that. I hope that is not true. I cannot imagine such a thing is possible...but then again we are dealing with liberals.

Posted by: bill Cruchon on December 30, 2009 11:30 AM
138. That is what Obama's urgency is all about, Dan. Ram this socialist insanity down our throats and put in in place as fast as he can. Most Americans disagree. Obama and the Democrats know it. They don't care. They have wanted socialized medicine for decades. Are there actually provisions in this bill that make it impossible for it to be repealed? I keep hearing that. I hope that is not true. I cannot imagine such a thing is possible...but then again we are dealing with liberals.

Posted by: bill Cruchon on December 30, 2009 11:30 AM
139. Bill, yes it has to do with the Independent Medical Advisory Board (Death Panel):

"it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."

So, they are trying to make it against future Congressional rules to change the law written by this Congress.

Posted by: Gary on December 30, 2009 11:54 AM
140. Why am I not surprised, Gary? I do not imagine that such a provision is Constitutional. However, leftist lawyers wrote this bill. National healthcare is literally the Holy Grail for American leftists. No human being on earth can possibly understand their sneaky healthcare bill. They know it, and deliberately crafted it so Americans can't fathom what the bill actually says. They are horrible, dishonest people. Where in history have leftists turned out be decent, honest individuals when they gained power? As far as I know it's never happened.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 30, 2009 12:19 PM
141. Bill, the Constitution stopped mattering to our federally elected officials long ago, I'm afraid.

People really need to ask themselves one question, does this legislation increase, or decrease their own personal freedom? Because after all of the debate back and forth, that's what it really comes down to.

Posted by: Gary on December 30, 2009 12:59 PM
142. Gary, leftists were obsessed with personal freedom back in the Woodstock days. They ended up being the people that want to control how we live our lives. There is plenty of irony, but leftists will snarl at you should you dare to bring it up. These old hippies aren't about peace, love and tolerance. They have become the embodiment of everything they rebelled against in their youth. What goes around comes around.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on December 30, 2009 04:43 PM
143. This piece points up the fallacies of assertions by John Jensen. I trust Mr. Pethokoukis's objective research over Jensen's partisan cherry-picking and lies by omission.

What Ben Nelson didn't tell Nebraskans
Dec 30, 2009 22:44 EST, by Jame Pethokoukis, Reuters

"Suddenly down some 30 points to a hypothetical 2012 challenger, Ben "60th vote" Nelson -- a guy who won his 2006 race with 64 percent -- is taking to the airwaves to explain his decision to vote for ObamaCare.

But in a TV spot, Nelson failed to tell his fellow Nebraskans that while the Senate bill supposedly improves the U. S. fiscal picture, it employs some Enron-esque bookkeeping tricks to get there.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promises to cut the federal budget deficit by $132 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That's not a huge amount given that healthcare spending drives the government's long-term fiscal woes, but it's something. Indeed, at first glance the tab for expanded health insurance coverage appears more than met through a mix of Medicare spending cuts and payroll tax increases.

Yet this minor bit of fiscal prudence is a mirage. The act would reduce Medicare spending on hospital stays by $245 billion from 2010-2019, while increasing tax revenue by $113 billion. So on paper, Medicare's hospital insurance trust fund would be some $358 billion to the better, boosting its long-term solvency. But the government then takes that $358 billion and uses it to pay for increased, non-Medicare healthcare spending -- leaving $358 billion worth of IOUs in the Medicare trust fund. If not for that $358 billion shift, the act would worsen the deficit by $226 billion over the next ten years.

It's a clever trick that takes advantage of the CBO's treatment of both the Medicare and Social Security trust funds as essentially off-balance sheet vehicles. Money owned to them is not treated by the CBO as the same as money owed to Treasury bondholders. The former is treated as a mere obligation, the latter a concrete liability. Yet both are future claims on taxpayer resources.

And that's not the only bit of chicanery: 1) There's a similar $50 billion double-counting trick with the Social Security trust fund. 2) CBO healthcare scoring assumes a huge reduction in government payments to doctors even though a separate bill moving through Congress would restore the $250 billion cut.3) The payroll tax hike isn't indexed for inflation, generating unrealistically high revenue forecasts. 4) And as Andrew Biggs of the American Enteprise Institute notes, the cost-cutting Medicare advisory commission would merely limit spending growth to pretty much the current baseline forecast (GDP plus 1 percent) which translates into $62 trillion of additional deficits over the next 75 years.

(Then again, budget scoring overall is dodgy. John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics calculates that using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as public corporations do, the total 2009 budget deficit would be roughly $8.8 trillion, not the $1.4 trillion reported on a cash basis.)

Nope, Ben Nelson didn't tell deficit-fearing Nebraska voters any of that."

Posted by: KDS on December 31, 2009 12:33 PM
144. I am shutting off comments. I am leaving town and don't want email on my IPhone overrun.

Posted by: Ron Hebron on January 1, 2010 08:28 PM