Thursday, February 4, 2010

Playing the Health Care Lottery

UPDATE: Half the people in the country cheat on the health care lottery, they get their health coverage courtesy of Uncle Sam. Read the Washington Post, Feds to pay more than half of health costs.

Before the health care debate continues, Obama should end all government paid health care. I bet opinions would change then.

Do you oppose health care reform? You must be healthy, or have good insurance.

But "the problem with playing the health care lottery. You’re a winner and the system keeps you safe and whole — until it doesn’t."

Read The New York Times, Playing the Health Care Lottery.

The Audacity of Debt

UPDATE III: Unbelievable -- the Census Bureau is spending $2.5 million for a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl game!!

Sen. McCain has criticized the spending decision as "symptomatic of the spending practices of the federal government and the Congress in a way that is completely out of touch with what's going on out there in the real world."

Bravo Mr. McCain. Maybe we should have a do-over on the 2008 Presidential election.

UPDATE II: How bad is the problem? Read the Wall Street Journal, Deficit Balloons Into National-Security Threat and The New York Times, Deficits May Alter U.S. Politics and Global Power.

The New York Times article includes an interactive graphic of the proposed 2011 budget showing how the money is spent.

Also the article notes, Bush claimed "until near the end of his presidency, that he would leave office with a balanced budget. He never got close; in fact, the deficits soared in his last years."

But there is hope, Stein’s law, which "recited in many different versions . . . [but with] a common theme: If a trend cannot continue, it will stop."

Perhaps The Geezers’ Crusade will save us!

Of course, not everyone agrees there is a problem. One economist argues that "by some metrics, there is still too little United States government debt."

UPDATE: How were trillion-dollar deficits created for the years 2009-12?

"The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas."

From The New York Times, America’s Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making. (The article includes a nice graph.)

Obama shouldn't expect any help from the hypocrite Republi-cons to solve the problem. (Nothing explains better why Republi-cons are con artists and frauds.)

Obama should call the Republi-con bluff.

"This week Congress will vote to raise the national debt ceiling by nearly $2 trillion, to a total of $14 trillion. In this economy, everyone de-leverages except government." Read the Wall Street Journal, The Audacity of Debt.

It is past time for government reform.