As comfortable as an old shoe

January 26, 2010

What do Democrats do when they get bad news about their economic policies? Why, slip right back into that old favorite, “blame Bush:”

The CBO has a new report predicting huge deficits, a slow economic recovery, and a $75 billion cost overrun on President Obama’s stimulus package.

…Democrats are taking a page out of David Plouffe’s playbook: Blame the other guy.

House Democratic leaders said a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showing a $1.35 trillion deficit in 2010 was the result of policies put in place by President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress…”90 percent of the projected deficit is due to the cost of the Bush economic collapse and Bush policies like his unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.).

It gets old to say this, but Democrats have controlled the Congress since 2007 and the White House since last year. And the stimulus package was their pet project, supposedly needed to keep unemployment at  eight percent. (It’s currently over 10%.) They’re the ones who pushed for it, and it is not just a failure, but a budget-busting nightmare.

Sorry guys, but, after more than a year in total control… You broke it, you own it.


$81 billion? I’m not impressed.

October 7, 2009

So, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Baucus health care reform plan will shave a whopping $81 billion off the federal deficit by 2019. The Left is crowing with joy and the Right is quaking in its boots at the prospect nationalized health care with all the progressive trimmings.

Let me remind you of something: The CBO may have estimated a $81 billion-dollar savings over ten years, but the deficit for this year alone was estimated last March at $1.752 trillion. So, annualize that savings and you get… Let’s see, $8.1 billion divided by $1,752 billion is… carry the one…. A less than one-percent savings! Proof-positive of President Obama and the Democrats’ commitment to responsible public finance! Party on!  Party

What a bunch of malarkey. How stupid do they think we are?  Waiting

Remember this also, this bill hasn’t been written yet. This is a preliminary analysis that’s waiting for the final legislative language. And that’s just the Senate version. The House has its own bill and, assuming they insist on passing it, the two measures will have to be reconciled in a conference committee and voted on again. These so-called savings, pathetic as they are, could vanish as quickly as a snowflake in the Sahara. The “Baucus Bill” is a bad joke.

(Harry Reid, though, will do his darnedest to ram it through.)

So don’t start dancing in the streets, yet, little Lefties, and don’t be crying in your beer, my fellow Righties. Once the smoke clears from this bombshell, you’ll see that there’s still a long way to go. (Senator Snowe, for one, may hold things up until the final legislative language. You know, so the public can see it? Hey, didn’t the Democrats campaign on transparency?  Oh go on )

This fight to prevent an absolute disaster of a bill from becoming law is far from over.

LINKS: Gaius wonders if anyone does math, anymore.

UPDATE: As pointed out by Neo in the comments and Ed at Hot Air, the new taxes under the Baucus plan start three years before the “benefits” kick in. That takes any talk of deficit reduction from the ludicrous to the absolutely meaningless. As Ed points out:

However, Baucus has also included a little sleight-of-hand in this scenario. While the program itself would not start until 2013, the taxes start in 2010. That means the CBO compared seven years of expenses to ten years of revenue, which hardly makes for an apples-to-apples comparison, and will likely mean that the real analysis — which will contain a projection for the second decade as well as the first — will look much less positive for Baucus.

Do read the whole thing.


A grand, misbegotten scheme

July 28, 2009

Rich Lowry marvels at President Obama’s ability to continue telling bald-faced lies about the costs of his health plan in the face mounting evidence that its a fiscal disaster:

The Left branded George W. Bush a “liar” for making assertions about Iraq’s weapons that were supported by the evidence, but turned out not to be true. Obama is saying things that aren’t even supported by the evidence. They are routinely debunked by the independent Congressional Budget Office, but that doesn’t stop Obama from continuing to say them. It’s as if the CIA issued reports every other week in 2002 explaining that no, Iraq didn’t have a nuclear program nor any stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, and Bush kept warning of the nonexistent WMD anyway.

Since the phantom cost-saving measures that Obama touts can’t be detected by anyone else, including Blue Dog Democrats and the CBO, Obama’s team came up with a deus ex machina. They’d create a council to come up with recommendations for Medicare. If Obama accepted them, they’d automatically go into effect unless Congress voted to block them. CBO looked at the council and estimated it’d only save a minuscule $2 billion during the next ten years, adding that “the probability is high that no savings would be realized.”

Will this stop Obama from selling health-care reform as a cost savings? Of course not. He can’t admit that he is bending the famous cost curve upward, any more than he can admit that the House plan might throw millions of people out of their private coverage or that the bill will — despite its raft of new taxes — add another $239 billion to the deficit over ten years. In its latest missive, the CBO says the numbers get even worse beyond the ten-year window. So the entire budgetary rationale of Obamacare — improving the nation’s long-term fiscal outlook — has been obliterated.

Lowery writes about how people are coming to miss the Obama of 2008, who seemed so cool, competent, and moderate. But those who paid attention know this was a carefully crafted “Potemkin village” of an image, meant to slip a radical Progressive past a generally Center-Right nation. The mainstream media colluded in this, in all but a few cases preferring to dwell on key issues such as Sarah Palin’s tanning bed and how good Barack Obama looks in jeans rather than investigating the Democratic nominee’s background and record.

But facts have a way of forcing themselves through even the most carefully crafted image. The people are seeing more and more the disconnect between the president’s words and the likely results of his plan, especially in the wake of the colossal failure of his pork fiesta stimulus package to meet any of his stated goals. They gave him his chance when he said it had to be passed NOW, before anyone had the time to really read and consider it. They can see how well that worked, and they’re wary of trusting him again with yet another massive program.

Call it a teachable moment for the public. Today’s lesson: “fool me once…” .

RELATED: Speaking of “teachable moments,” Byron York writes today on the GOP’s Teachable Moment on the Risks of Obamacare. The August recess is crucial to stopping this train wreck before it happens.