The Senator from Jack Daniels

December 27, 2009

Was Max Baucus drunk on the Senate floor? Sure looks like he’d been hitting the Christmas cheer:

Newsbusters has the details.

Fight with the girlfriend, Max? Or has the whole corrupt process driven you to the demon rum?

Dear Montana: You may want to look into a new senator.

UPDATE: Allahpundit tries writing Leno’s jokes for him.


$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.


Booing Baucus

September 18, 2009

Poor Senator Baucus (D-MT). He’s worked hard  over the past several months to find a compromise between Republicans and Democrats regarding health care reform, finally giving up and issuing his own plan when he couldn’t convince moderate-to-liberal Republicans to go along. So, what does he get for his troubles? Booed at one of President Obama’s (many, many) rallies:

President Obama’s mention of Sen. Max Baucus’s healthcare proposal drew boos Thursday at a healthcare rally at the University of Maryland.

By contrast, the left-leaning crowd cheered Obama when he endorseed a public health insurance option, which is considered a core provision for liberal lawmakers but is absent from Baucus’s (D-Mont.) proposal.

The president’s speech in College Park, Md., was part of a return to campaign mode aimed at his attempts to drum up support for his embattled healthcare proposal.

I’d boo and hiss, too, but that’s because I think the whole idea of a federal-government takeover of health care (which is what even Baucus’ plan is a Trojan Horse for) is a terrible idea. Baucus tried to find a compromise, but wound up angering the President’s hard-core supporters, the left-wing that wants a public option – something the President himself called for in his recent speech to a joint session of Congress.

And therein lies Obama’s problem: if he doesn’t compromise somewhat, he won’t get that fig leaf of cover that votes from squish Republicans like Snowe and Collins would provide. But, if he insists on the public option, he’ll get no Republicans and surely lose many of the moderate to conservative Democrats (and perhaps some not-radical liberals) who are genuinely concerned about costs or who have heard their constituents’ anger and are worried about the next election. It’s amazing to see how paralyzed the Democrats are, given their hold on the presidency and their overwhelming control of both houses of Congress. In spite of all that, I’m beginning to think ObamaCare is itself on life-support.

Meanwhile, poor Max.

(via Memeorandum)

LINKS: For examples of the reactions on the Left, take a look at Firedoglake, Taylor Marsh, and Wonkette. On the Right, Derek Hunter points out that, unlike Obama, at least Baucus has a plan.

UPDATE: Kimberly Strassel in the Wall St. Journal argues that Baucus was used by the Administration, and is now to be thrown under the bus.