Revising The Numbers

Economists seems to have a problem lately correctly predicting economic growth. They always seem a bit surprised when the numbers come in higher than what they predicted. Well, it has happened again.

The Gateway Pundit is reporting the following today:

The fourth quarter GDP number was released on Thursday and beat expectations at 2.6%Economists expected a 2.2% GDP rate.

CNBC says the GDP report was only preliminary, it would mean average growth for the year was 3.1 percent.

...Ronald Reagan brought forth an annual real GDP growth of 3.5% . Barack Obama, with his abysmal policies, was lucky to average a GDP growth rate of slightly greater than 1%.

Obama ranked as the fourth worst presidency on record in GDP growth at 1.457% . Only Herbert Hoover (-5.65% ), Andrew Johnson (-0.70% ) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.41% ) had lower average annual GDP growth than Barack Obama.

The Commerce Department announced in the first quarter of 2016 that the US economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years with a GDP growth rate of an anemic 0.5% . The second quarter GDP growth rate was not much better at 1.2% . (The 3rd quarter GDP rate was not yet announced by the time we drafted our post before the 2016 election.)

…Barack Obama was the first President ever to never surpass an annual rate of 3% GDP growth!  This resulted in Obama being rated the worst economic President ever!

Obama’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast in 2016 that America would never see 3.0% economic growth again. They had given up and Hillary was their candidate.

President Trump did win the election in 2016 and his Director of the White House National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said in early December that the U.S. economy is growing at a rate greater than 3% –

This is good news for people in the job market and people entering the job market. Jobs are becoming more plentiful and salaries are rising.

The Real Numbers

On Friday The Daily Signal posted an article about the consequences of winding down ObamaCare. It seems that the press and the Congressional Budget Office lied to Americans about the consequences of repealing ObamaCare.

The article reports:

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.

And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

Putting the government in charge of healthcare is always a bad idea. Economist Milton Friedman once stated, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” The government is not responsible for providing healthcare to anyone. Charitable hospitals and charitable organizations are welcome to take on that responsibility, but government healthcare is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution.

The article further states:

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Congressional Budget Office analysis has been a chronic problem.

“When it comes to the individual mandate, CBO has never let the facts affect their wildly inaccurate estimates. CBO continued to forecast that millions of insured Americans would suddenly become uninsured if the mandate were repealed,” Badger wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. “CBO’s faulty estimates misled the public into believing that repealing Obamacare would lead to a vast increase in the number of uninsured. Bad estimates produced bad policy.”

Many conservatives are fed up with the deference shown to the agency, given it’s poor track record and track of transparency. Reps. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in 2017 that it’s time to stop “blindly” following the agency’s predictions.

“The value of having outside experts review legislation cannot be understated,” they wrote for the Washington Examiner. “But continuing to hinge congressional actions on the projections of an agency that has proven to be so consistently wrong does a disservice to not only members trying to represent their constituents, it primarily does a disservice to the public.”

I wrote in 2017 that perhaps we should be more skeptical toward the findings of independent agencies like the Congressional Budget Office. It seems those doubts were valid.

People based their votes on the information they were given. It is a shame that a government agency provided inaccurate information.

Something To Consider

Decisions that impact national security should be made on the basis of what is best for America. Unfortunately that has not been the case as of late.

On January 10th, The Washington Times reported:

President Trump has proposed spending $18 billion over the next decade to construct a new and improved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. While some lawmakers have criticized the both the cost and the plan, a new analysis reveals the expenditure is relatively small compared to other federal spending.

“That $18 billion would equal just 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period,” wrote Terence P. Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.

It also equals only 2.7 percent of the money the federal government will spend on the food stamp program, Mr. Jeffrey wrote. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will eat up $679 billion in the 10 fiscal years from 2018 through 2027, according to budget office’s estimate.

He figured that this is 37.7 times as much as the $18 billion which would go to Mr.Trump’s proposed border wall.

The cost of the wall is also 0.34 percent of the $5.232 trillion which the federal government will spend on Medicaid over the next 10 years, and 0.26 percent of the $6.838 trillion allotted to national defense in the next decade.

So this battle is obviously not about money. We also have to realize that if either the Democrats or the Republicans were serious about border security, the wall would have been built by now. So why don’t we have a wall?

Carroll Quigley one wrote:

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” ~ Carroll Quigley

The Democrats and the establishment Republicans have a shared policy on open borders–they support them. The Democrats want voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Until someone wants the safety of the American public, we have a problem.

My, How Times Change

Remember when the Democrats told us that ObamaCare was not a step in the direction of government-controlled single-payer healthcare? Well, that statement is now inoperative.

The Washington Examiner reported the following yesterday:

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.

…Yarmuth said in a statement that his request for the score is aimed to inform House hearings on “single payer,” proposals. Such hearings would be the first step in the process toward passing legislation enacting single payer systems, a top goal pursued by progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

The article concludes:

The study concluded that overall spending, not just government spending, would be $2 trillion less compared to where spending is projected under the current healthcare system, but that would come mostly through cutting payments that hospitals and other providers were getting from private insurance by about 40 percent. Higher taxes may be under consideration to have Medicare payments align more closely with those of private insurers.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., had asked CBO to score the Medicare for All Act introduced by Sanders. In taking up various requests, CBO analysts tend to focus on bills that are closer to passage.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have seen this quote before, but here it is again:

Milton Friedman, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Britain has single-payer health care. In March 2017, The Daily Wire posted an article about the problems with the British health care system.

These are some of the highlights from the article:

“Pressure on all services is rising and care is increasingly being rationed. Waiting lists should not be rising, and yet they are,” said Mark Porter, council chair of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched NHS.”

…A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded that around 750 patients a month – one in 28 – pass away due to subpar quality of care, which includes “inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis, or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine.” In other words, patients needlessly die as a result of the incompetence of the NHS.

For example, in January an elderly woman died from cardiac arrest after waiting 35 hours on a trolley because there was a shortage in hospital beds. A 73-year-old man also died from an aneurysm in the same hospital as he languished in the waiting room.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Note that single-payer health care is government-controlled. Do you really want the government controlling your health care?

Six Major Challenges In 2019

On December 28th, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial listing what their editors considered would be the top six issues of 2019. The title of the editorial is, “Will 2019 Be Happy? It Depends On How Washington Handles These 6 Challenges.” I suspect that is true.

The editorial lists the six items:

1. The Federal Reserve

2. Trade

3. Immigration

4. The Coming Budget Battle

5. Slaying The Regulatory Dragon

6. Fixing Health Care ‘Reform’

Here are some of the observations from the editorial on each item:

The Fed has raised its benchmark funds rate eight times over two years in pursuit of a “neutral” rate. Its most recent rate hike, coming about a week before Christmas, was followed by a steep decline in stocks and growing concerns that the economy might fall into recession next year if the central bank follows through on its plan to raise rates at least twice more.

It’s of more than academic interest that all 11 of the U.S. recessions since World War II were preceded by a sharp run up in Fed rates. Every one of them. It’s not a record of which to be proud.

…Despite bitter criticisms, President Trump successfully concluded a “new Nafta” deal with both Canada and Mexico covering $1.3 trillion in trade. The deal closes a number of holes in the old Nafta, increasing U.S. access to Canadian dairy markets, for instance, while also making cars tariff-free if 75% of their parts are made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. All three countries signed off on the deal. The only question is, will it ever go into effect?

With Democrats controlling Congress and just six months for the trade deal to go into effect, some worry that major changes will be requested. President Trump has asked that either the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement be approved outright, or revert to the pre-Nafta trading rules. Congressional Democrats may even challenge Trump’s right to make a deal, putting the so-called USMCA in limbo. Stay tuned.

…With Americans eager to control immigration, as polls repeatedly show, Democrats may decide that negotiation rather than confrontation is a better tactic. That could mean a deal for a pathway to citizenship for the millennial illegal immigrant “dreamers,” many of whom have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives despite not having citizenship. With an estimated 22 million illegals in the U.S., many states are eager to gain some stability in our immigration policy.

…This year’s budget battle over funding the wall will likely pale in comparison to next year’s. The continued growth in entitlements, compounded by the sharp rise in interest payments, thanks to the Fed’s rate hikes, will balloon the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office’s last official projection pegged the deficit for 2019 at $981 billion. It will likely end up topping $1 trillion.

…But as we’ve pointed out many times, the problem isn’t tax cuts, it’s the unwillingness of anyone in Washington — including Trump — to deal with entitlement programs that have swamped the federal budget. Trump and the GOP will have to stand firm on taxes next year, while grappling with a rising tide of debt that will soon surpass $21 trillion.

…ObamaCare limped along for another year, with premiums for 2019 falling, overall, after years of massive double-digit increases. Trump took several steps to improve ObamaCare. The most important fix was to breathe life back into the short-term insurance market that President Obama tried to snuff out to protect the ObamaCare exchanges. Unfortunately, since Republicans blew their chance at repeal, the best we can hope for is that Trump will continue to tweak the law where he can. But he shouldn’t shy away from fighting for more free-market reforms. Should Democrats resist, or start pushing for socialized “Medicare for all,” it will create an opportunity for Trump to paint Democrats as big-government extremists.

The article concludes:

The coming year will be eventful, with many of Trump’s main initiatives set for action by Congress — a Congress, as we noted, that won’t be as friendly to Trump as the last one. Whether Trump and the Democrats can, as the bumper sticker says, coexist, or whether the Trump agenda founders on a never-ending stream of congressional investigations and hearings on the White House, remains to be seen. We guarantee it won’t be boring.

Get out the popcorn.

If It’s Not About The Money, What Is It About?

In January of 2018, The Washington Times noted that the estimated $18 billion over the next decade spent on a border wall between the United States and Mexico would be roughly 0.0338 percent of the $53.128 trillion the Congressional Budget Office currently estimates the federal government will spend over that same 10-year period. So what is all the fuss about?

Yesterday WWF came to the Oval Office in the White House when Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer discussed the border wall with President Trump. YouTube posted the video:

The battle is not about money–it’s about votes. The Democrats have lost some of the voting blocs they have counted on to win elections–they can no longer be sure of the working man’s vote or the union vote. So how are they going to win elections? They are counting on the minority vote. The Democrats are afraid that if the wall is built, they will lose the Hispanic vote.

According to the Pew Research Center, this is how Hispanics voted in 2018:

According to a USA Today article posted November 9, 2016, President Trump did surprisingly well among Hispanic voters:

Hispanics favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton 65% to 29%, a 36-point difference that helped her secure winning margins in states like Nevada and Colorado and kept her competitive late into the night in other key battleground states.

But that margin, based on exit polling conducted by Edison Research, was smaller than the 71%-27% split that President Obama won in 2012. And it was smaller than the 72%-21% her husband, former president Bill Clinton, won in 1996.

Because the Democrats are becoming more dependent on the votes of minority groups to win elections, it is easy to understand why they would oppose any legislation or spending that most cost them votes in the minority community.

The Real Numbers

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the federal deficit and federal revenues. The numbers tell a very different story than the one the media would have you believe.

The editorial reports:

The latest monthly budget report from the Congressional Budget Office shows the deficit jumping $102 billion in just the first two months of the new fiscal year.

…A true apples-to-apples comparison, the CBO says, shows that the deficit climbed by just $13 billion.

So, no, the deficit is not soaring.

The editorial explains:

In fact, the CBO report shows that overall tax revenues climbed by $14 billion in the first two months of the year, compared with the same months last year. Which means they continue to hit new highs.

The CBO report shows that combined income and payroll taxes were the same in the first two months of the new fiscal year as they were last year. That’s even though far less money was withheld from paychecks thanks to the Trump tax cuts.

It also found that corporate income taxes went up by $5 billion. That’s despite the “massive corporate tax giveaway” that Democrats want to repeal.

Why are these revenues flat or up? Simple: The tax cuts help spur accelerated economic growth, which create jobs and spark income gains. More workers and higher wages mean more tax revenues. On the corporate side, a bigger economy means more profits, which even when taxed at lower rates can produce more revenue. This is exactly what advocates of Trump’s pro-growth tax cuts said would happen.

Meanwhile, revenue from “other sources” climbed by $8 billion. (To be clear, at least some of that $8 billion came from the re-imposition of ObamaCare’s nefarious tax on insurance premiums, which Congress had suspended the year before.)

But while revenues climbed by $14 billion, spending in the first two months of the new fiscal year climbed by $27 billion.

The obvious solution to the deficit problem is to limit spending. If we can’t agree on that, we could lower taxes again to increase revenue further, but I suspect that would really cause some Congressional heads to explode.

The Facts vs The Talking Points

Remember when the Democrats said that the Trump tax cuts would blow a huge hole in the deficit because of the money that would not be collected. Those who believed the Democrats need to study the Laffer Curve. Although liberals keep saying it doesn’t work, the history of tax cuts proves it does.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the impact of President Trump’s Tax Cuts.

The editorial states:

The latest monthly budget report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of 2017. That’s a 9% jump, even though the lower income tax withholding schedules went into effect in February.

The CBO says the gain “largely reflects increases in wages and salaries.”

For the fiscal year as a whole — which started last October — all federal revenues are up by $31 billion. That’s a 1.2% in increase over last year, the CBO says.

The Treasury Department, which issues a separate monthly report, says it expects federal revenues will continue to exceed last year’s for the rest of the 2018 fiscal year.

The editorial concludes:

As we have said many times in this space, the problem the country faces isn’t that taxes are too low, but that spending is too high. The CBO projects that even with the Trump tax cuts in place, taxes as a share of GDP will steadily rise over the next decade, and will be higher than the post-World War II average.

But bringing in more tax revenues doesn’t help if spending goes up even faster. And that has, unfortunately, been the case, as the GOP-controlled Congress has gone on a spending spree.

Look at it this way. Tax revenues are up by $31 billion so far this fiscal year compared with last year. But spending is up $115 billion.

In other words, the entire increase in the deficit so far this year has been due to spending hikes, not tax cuts.

There are too many Republicans in Congress who don’t understand why the American voters sent them there. The Democrats have always loved to spend other people’s money, but the Republicans were supposed to be the alternative to that. Unfortunately, many Republicans have failed the voters. The only way to fix Washington is to unelect every Congressman who votes for spending increases. Otherwise the spending will only get worse.

The Economic Impact Of Tax Cuts

First of all, let’s take a short walk down memory lane to a Washington Post article from November 20, 2017.

The article explains how the Democrats plan to use the tax cut plan in the 2018 mid-term elections:

The goal of the ads will be to hit two messages. The first is that the GOP changes to the tax code themselves would be enormously regressive, showering most of their benefits on the wealthy while giving crumbs to working- and middle-class Americans or even raising their taxes. The second is that these tax cuts would necessitate big cuts to the safety net later — the ad references $25 billion in Medicare cuts that could be triggered by the GOP plan’s deficit busting — further compounding the GOP agenda’s regressiveness down the line.

Geoff Garin, a pollster for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, tells me that his polling shows that this combination alienates working-class whites, particularly Obama-Trump voters. “They are fundamentally populist in their economic views, and they find big breaks to corporations and the wealthy especially heinous when the flip side of that means cutting Medicare and Medicaid,” Garin said.

That was the original plan. Now lets look at an article posted yesterday in The New York Post about the results of the tax cut plan.

The New York Post reports:

We are already starting to see a fiscal dividend from Trump’s pro-business tax, energy and regulatory policies. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax revenues in April — which is by far the biggest month of the year for tax collections because of the April 15 filing deadline — totaled $515 billion. That was good for a robust 13 percent rise in receipts over last year. ‎

…But there’s another lesson, and it’s about how wrong the bean counters were in Congress who said this tax bill would “cost” the Treasury $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in most revenues over the next decade. If the higher growth rate Trump has already accomplished remains in place, then the impact will be well over $3 trillion of more revenue and thus lower debt levels over the decade.

Putting people back to work is the best way to balance the budget. Period.

The article concludes:

No one thought that Trump could ramp up the growth rate to 3 percent or that his policies would boost federal revenues. But he is doing just that — which is why all that the Democrats and the media want to talk about these days is Russia and Stormy Daniels.

I want to go back to the original Democrat statements about the damage the tax cuts would do to the economy. Did they really believe that or do they simply want more of our money under their control? Either way, it doesn’t say good things about them–either they don’t understand economics (see the Laffer Curve) or they lied. Obviously they have to continue lying if they want to use the tax cuts as part of their mid-term election campaign–they have already stated that they want to rescind many of the tax breaks that have resulted in the recent economic growth.

If you are inclined to vote on pocketbook issues, the only choice in November is to vote for Republican candidates for Congress.

The Impact Of The Tax Cuts

On Monday, The Washington Times posted an article about a Congressional Budget Office report on April tax revenue.

The article reports:

The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks — and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.

All told the government collected $515 billion and spent $297 billion, for a total monthly surplus of $218 billion. That swamped the previous monthly record of $190 billion, set in 2001.

CBO analysts were surprised by the surplus, which was some $40 billion more than they’d guessed at less than a month ago.

It will be interesting to see if the CBO changes its predictions on future deficits as tax revenues increase.

The article further states:

April is always a strong month for government finances, with taxpayers filing their returns for the previous year and settling up what they owe, even as expenditures often dip for the month.

But this year was particularly strong, with receipts jumping 13 percent compared to a year ago.

The news couldn’t come at a better time for President Trump and congressional Republicans, who were facing major questions about the damage last year’s tax-cut package might do to future deficits. Just a month ago the CBO projected that the deficit would quickly soar back to $1 trillion a year.

The deficit is a problem and will be a problem in the future. Hopefully the rescissions package that President Trump sent to Congress will pass (article here), and Congress will begin to trim the out-of-control spending it is accustomed to. Our future depends on it–we are not undertaxed–Congress is overspending.

What Does The Tax Plan Look Like?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today detailing some of the impact of the new tax plan.

The article reports:

The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a liberal think tank, noted that more than 80% of Americans will get tax cuts under the plan just passed. And the benefits will go to every income group, not “billionaires.” This, by the way, is bolstered by other recent analyses by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation and by the widely respected nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

TPC estimates an average tax cut of about $2,140 per person. By the way, some 16% of the richest Americans — those in the top 0.1% of incomes — will face an average tax increase of $387,610.

Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute, further crunching the TPC numbers, found that while the top 1% of incomes now pay 27% of all federal taxes, they will get just 21% of the tax cuts. The bottom 80%, including the middle class, pays only 33% of all taxes, but will take home 35% of the tax cuts.

Of the 12% who will face tax hikes, they’re overwhelmingly among the rich — not the middle class.

So, no, it’s not “tax cuts for the rich.” That’s a totally bogus argument.

For that matter, so are the arguments that tax cuts tank the economy. History is replete with examples of why that isn’t true.

The article concludes:

…As history clearly shows, growth-oriented tax cuts such as these almost always have major benefits for the economy and for average workers. During the 20th century, big tax cuts in the 1920s (Harding, Coolidge), 1960s (Kennedy) and 1980s (Reagan) all yielded major growth dividends for the U.S. economy.

What’s more, those past major tax cuts were to varying degrees bipartisan. Sadly, not this time. Not one Democrat voted for them. Not one.

That’s why the Democrats and progressive left have become so utterly unhinged. They’ve failed to stop the one thing that might deny them a chance to retake both houses of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections: an economic boom.

When the economy really begins cooking, with the economy growing close to 3%, hundreds of thousands of new jobs being created and workers seeing more in their paychecks, how will they explain that to their constituents?

One of the things to remember here is the impact of cutting the corporate tax rate. Corporations don’t pay taxes–they pass them on to consumers and shareholders. When you lower the corporate tax rate, good things happen for consumers and shareholders. The other aspect of this is the relationship between the American corporate tax and corporate taxes in other countries. America had one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. This high tax rate encouraged companies to locate their headquarters elsewhere. Lowering this tax rate makes America more competitive as a home base for businesses. The lower tax rate combined with the low cost of energy in America makes America a very attractive place to do business.

Time will tell what the impact of this tax plan will be. If all Americans do better under this tax plan, it will be difficult for Democrats to explain their opposition to it.

What Does The Senate Tax Bill Do?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article yesterday detailing the tax cuts under the Senate Tax Bill currently being considered.

The article takes on some of the fiction about the bill currently being reported:

The Senate tax bill would reduce income taxes for people at every income level — even those who don’t pay taxes. That’s the official conclusion of the Joint Committee on Taxation. So why are Monday’s headlines screaming that the tax cuts would make the poor much worse off?

“Senate GOP tax bill hurts the poor more than originally thought, CBO finds.” That’s the headline in the Washington Post describing a Congressional Budget Office report released on Sunday.

The story claims that the “Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off.” Later, the Post story talks about the bill’s “harsh impact on the poor.”

The article explains why that story is false:

First of all, the CBO doesn’t describe the Senate bill as being “harsh” to the poor. That’s the spin put on by the reporter.

The report does, however, include a table that shows how the bill would affect federal revenues and spending by income group. And, indeed, it appears to indicate that those making less than $40,000 will take it on the chin, while those making more than $100,000 make out like bandits.

But note the word “spending” above. Since this is a tax-cut bill, why is “spending” part of the calculation at all?

That’s in there because the CBO includes the spending impact of the Senate bill’s repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

The CBO numbers assume that if the mandate is gone, people will drop their insurance. It does not consider the fact that many people pay the fine rather than the high cost of insurance. The tax bill returns the freedom to consumers to make their own choices about health coverage.

The article also includes a chart of tax savings (looking only at the tax cuts and savings in the tax bill):

If the tax cuts are passed, we can expect economic growth to return to our previous normal of about 3% (or more). We can expect people to leave welfare and join the work force because of a booming economy that results in higher wages. If the tax cuts fail, we can expect a Democratic Congress that will raise taxes, slow economic growth, and spend its time trying to impeach President Trump. It’s up to Congress to make the choice.

Fact Checking The Democratic Talking Points On Tax Reform

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the Democrat‘s claim that if the tax reform bill is passed, millions of people will lose their health insurance.

The article reports:

In spite of a torrent of liberal attacks, independent analyses have confirmed that the plan would boost economic growth, create nearly one million new full-time jobs, and reduce the tax burden on the vast majority of Americans; on average, taxpayers in every income group would receive a tax cut.  There will be a small percentage of Americans — many of them wealthier people who itemize deductions and exploit loopholes — who would be worse off under the proposal.  Republicans would be foolish to pretend that every single household and business would emerge as ‘winners’ if reform is implemented; that would echo one of the biggest lies Democrats peddled about Obamacare.  But the data has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans, including (or even especially) the middle and working class, would benefit from the House-approved bill.  

The article explains the impact of cutting the healthcare mandate:

Regardless of where the revised number lands, dumping the mandate liberates millions of Americans to not purchase healthcare plans that they do not want or cannot afford, without getting slapped with government fines.  People making that choice for themselves and their families is absolutely not equivalent to the government taking away coverage.  Healthcare policy expert Avik Roy puts a finer point on this important truth, which underpins liberals’ mendacious claim:

[Another] category of Democratic complaints revolves around the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 13 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2026 if Republicans repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate. “We’re kicking 13 million people off health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy,” exclaimed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday. There are two problems with Schumer’s assertion. As Glenn Kessler, fact-checker at the Washington Post, notes, nobody is being “kicked off” their insurance. People are no longer being fined for not purchasing it. (Kessler gives Schumer two Pinocchios.) The second problem is that the CBO’s projections of the mandate’s magical powers are inaccurate, by their own admission.

The bottom line here is that Democrats do not want to cut taxes. A tax cut will stimulate the economy and undo (and expose) the economic damage done by the Obama Administration. The Washington establishment cannot afford a successful Trump presidency–it would come too close to draining the swamp. It will be interesting to see if the tax bill passes (and in what form). If the Republicans do not pass the tax bill, they will probably lose Congress in 2018. If the Republicans do pass the tax bill, the economy will grow, at least part of the Washington swamp will be drained, and Trump will be a successful President. Get out the popcorn.

 

 

There Are Two Things In Play Here

Special interests are important in Washington; lobbyists and lobbyists’ money have a lot of power. However, educated voters also have a lot of power. We are about to see a clash between special interests (lobbyists, big business, the political establishment, etc.) and educated voters. The clash is going to take place before September 30 and will involve the repeal of ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is a nightmare for many Americans–their insurance premiums and their deductibles have risen drastically over the past six years, and some middle-class Americans are forced to choose between paying their mortgage or paying their health insurance bill. ObamaCare has failed, and the Republicans in Congress have thus far broken their promise to repeal it. Democrats are offering single-payer healthcare which will break the bank, but at least the are offering something. Voters have given Congress an approval rating of about 15 percent.  Next year is an election year for all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Congressmen (and Congresswomen) have a choice–who do they represent? Some Republicans may be getting the message that voters are important.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today with the following headline:

Mitch McConnell asks CBO to score Obamacare overhaul

That is the sound of a Congressman who is beginning to feel the impact of the grassroots of the Republican party. Someone in Washington is beginning to understand that the Republican party will go the way of the dinosaur if they do not start listening to their base. Lobbyists may have money, but there are a lot of angry voters out there.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the Congressional Budget Office to quickly score an Obamacare overhaul bill introduced this week, his office confirmed Friday.

The bill would take revenues from Obamacare and distribute them as block grants to states so they could write their own healthcare plans. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced the bill along with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

This is not a perfect bill, but it may have conservative support because it moves money out of Washington and back to the states.

The article states:

Supporters hope the bill can be passed through the reconciliation, would need just 50 votes to advance and pass in the Senate, assuming a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence. Reconciliation is a budget measure that allows passage with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. The Senate faces a Sept. 30 deadline to use reconciliation, according to the Senate parliamentarian.

There are three choices–leave ObamaCare in place, single-payer healthcare or this bill. This bill is not perfect, but it is the best choice of the three. If the Republicans do nothing, they will lose badly in the mid-term elections.

It is ironic that many Republican Congressmen are spending more time opposing President Trump than they did opposing President Obama.

Losing Health Insurance Because You Want To

Yesterday National Review posted an article about the claims the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is making regarding the number of people who would lose their health insurance if ObamaCare were repealed.

The article states:

Do you want to repeal every word of Obamacare and replace it with nothing? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with a system of flat tax credits, in which you get the same amount of assistance regardless of your financial need? CBO says 23 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with means-tested tax credits, like the Senate bill does, in which the majority of the assistance is directed to those near or below the poverty line? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance.

22 million, 23 million, 22 million—these numbers are remarkably similar even though the three policies I describe above are significantly different. Why is that?

Thanks to information that was leaked to me by a congressional staffer, we now have the answer.

Nearly three-fourths of the difference in coverage between Obamacare and the various GOP plans derives from a single feature of the Republican bills: their repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate. But the CBO has never published a year-by-year breakout of the impact of the individual mandate on its coverage estimates.

So actually, a large percentage of the people who would lose insurance coverage if ObamaCare is repealed would choose to lose coverage because they would no longer be penalized for not having insurance. Basically, the CBO report is spin! There is also the matter of ObamaCare requiring people to pay for coverage they don’t need. Generally speaking senior citizens do not need maternity coverage or pediatric dental coverage. They should not be asked to pay for it!

When Budget Cuts Are Actually Budget Increases

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about President Trump‘s budget proposal.

The article included the following graph:

As you can see, the federal budget does increase. However, it increases at a lower rate than it would if baseline budgeting were used. Baseline budgeting is a tactic used by people who want to grow the government to convince the rest of us that the sky is falling. It is very simple–if you got a 3% budget increase last year and you get a 2% increase this year, your budget has been cut (even though it grew by 2%).

The article further reports:

Trump’s proposed spending cuts for entitlement programs have been described as “massive,” “sweeping,” and on the surface, the $1.7 trillion spending cuts Trump proposes look massive.

But these reports always leave out one key fact. Spending on entitlement programs isn’t being cut. At least not in the traditional sense of spending less next year than you spend this year. Trump’s budget doesn’t touch Social Security or Medicare, and only slows the growth of the remaining “safety net” programs.

In fact, the projected 10-year spending for all entitlement programs under Trump’s budget would be trimmed by less than 8%. (See the accompanying chart.)

Some analysts say Trump’s budget would end up cutting $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years, because his proposed $610 billion in savings from reforming the program would come on top of the $800 billion proposed cuts contained in the House ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill. (The budget doesn’t spell this out, but does contain a mysterious “allowance for ObamaCare repeal and replace” line item, with annual savings that match up to spending reductions in the House repeal bill.)

If true, that looks like a huge chunk, even from a program slated to spend $5.3 trillion. But keep in mind that states also contribute almost an equal share to Medicaid. In fact, when you combine federal and state spending, Medicaid is forecast to shell out more than $8 trillion over the next decade.

The article concludes:

Is Trump’s budget perfect? Hardly. We’d prefer that he tackle Social Security and Medicare reform in addition to Medicaid. The ObamaCare repeal savings are likely exaggerated. His $200 billion in infrastructure spending will only whet the appetite of lawmakers.

But on balance, this budget is far more realistic, and more responsible, than anything that ever came out of the Obama White House.

And as a statement of Trump’s governing principles — which is really all the presidents’ budgets ever amount to — Trump’s focus on spending restraint, entitlement reform, work incentives and on removing government impediments to growth is spot on.

In the world of Washington politics, power is measured by how much money you control. Bureaucrats love to spend our money. They will not give up that power easily. There will be a lot of people running around in the coming days yelling “the sky is falling.” They are misinformed. I wish this budget could pass Congress in its present form, but that is highly unlikely. However, I hope that the principles behind the budget will somehow survive and we will see a recognition of the fact that we are currently spending ourselves into destruction. The Washington establishment will not go down easily, but they seriously need to go down.

Is Medicare Going Bankrupt?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the financial condition of Medicare. It seems that Medicare is really doing rather well.

The article cites some interesting statistics:

As the new Congress convenes, budget cutters are eyeing Medicare, citing forecasts the program for seniors is running out of money. But federal bean counters have erroneously predicted Medicare’s bankruptcy for decades. One reason: They don’t consider medical breakthroughs.

Another problem is medical ethicists like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who insist the elderly are a burden and that resources would be better spent on the young.

The facts prove otherwise. New medical findings give plenty of reason for optimism about the cost of caring for the elderly. According to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. Living to a ripe old age shouldn’t be treated like it’s a problem. It’s a bargain. Someone who lives to 97 consumes only about half as much end-of-life care as someone who dies at 68.

Dr. Emanuel has some unique ideas about aging, which are stated in the article:

Why would we emulate Zeke Emanuel, age 59, who swears that at 75, he will forego all medical care and let death come quickly? “Our older years are not of high quality,” he insists. He’ll skip them. In The Atlantic magazine, he dismissed compression of morbidity as “quintessentially American” wishful thinking, and mocked seniors for trying to “cheat death.”

Keep in mind that Dr. Emanuel was one of the people behind ObamaCare who espoused the idea of limiting medical care for older Americans. That is one of the reasons it was so surprising that the AARP supported Medicare. They betrayed their own members.

The article concludes:

Too often, Congress treats Medicare as a piggy bank — raiding it when money is needed elsewhere. In 2010, Democrats in Congress paid for over half of ObamaCare’s spending by cutting Medicare. This year, Republican lawmakers eager to control federal health spending should avoid that error and instead focus on fixing Medicaid, the money pit program for the poor, where spending per capita is growing twice as fast as for Medicare. (I added the italics to this quote.)

Medicaid spending now tops $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

Medicare is partially paid for by payroll deductions from both the employee and the employer totaling about 2.9 percent, so Medicare is at least partially paid for. Medicaid is a gaping hole in our pockets that does not guarantee quality care to anyone. Healthcare in America is a problem that ObamaCare has made worse. Hopefully Congress and President Trump can come up with something that provides care for everyone who needs it, but also allows free market competition to keep the costs down for everyone.

How To Lie With Statistics

Ever wonder where the unemployment numbers come from? Ever wonder why you don’t seem to be moving forward and Washington is telling you how great the economic recovery is? Every wonder why you know a lot of Americans who have been unemployed for a long time and have given up searching for a job when the government keeps telling you that thousands of new jobs are being created every month? Ever wonder why your reality does not seem to agree with the reality you see reported on the news? Well, the world most of us live in is a little different from the world that the people writing the news, reporting the news, and working for the government live in.

This article doesn’t need words–it just needs charts and graphs.

From CNS News, the real unemployment picture:

BLMJobStatisticsThese are the real unemployment numbers–not the ones the Obama Administration is releasing–these numbers take into account the workforce participation rate.

This is the workforce participation rate taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

WorkforceParticipationRateSo why are those in Washington painting such a rosy picture of the economy? They are doing great. Here is a list of the wealthiest counties in America from Wikipedia. The list is from 2012, but I seriously doubt much has changed. Note where they are located:

wealthiestcountiesinAmericaOur representatives no longer represent us. Nor are the bureaucrats in government serving the American people. It is long past time to clean house!

 

The Financial Legacy Of Barack Obama

On Wednesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the financial consequences of eight years of Barack Obama as President. The article includes the following chart:

EDIT3-CBO-012816

Some comments from the article:

“Government has failed to fully confront the deep, systemic problems that year after year have only become a larger and larger drag on our economy,” Obama said in his inaugural budget plan, promising to make “the tough choices necessary to … put our nation on sound fiscal footing.”

Seven years later, a new Congressional Budget Office report reveals that Obama will bequeath chronic and rising deficits, rapidly expanding debt, and exploding health care costs to his successors.

First, there’s the deficit, which the CBO says will top $1 trillion in six years, and continue climbing. Over the next decade, deficits will total more than $9 trillion. The CBO’s outlook has worsened significantly since its last forecast, mainly because it expects the economy to grow more slowly.

…And while Obama had promised that his health care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” it has instead turbocharged federal spending on health care. In fact, in 2015, for the first time ever, federal spending on health care programs exceeded Social Security spending.

The CBO says that Medicare, Medicaid, ObamaCare and other health program costs climbed 13% last year, are expected to go up another 11% this year and double over the next decade. ObamaCare’s annual subsidy cost will hit $109 billion by 2026. By 2026, health spending will account for nearly a third of all federal spending.

President Obama did not create this problem alone. He had the help of Congressmen who represent the Washington establishment rather than the American people. It is time for ALL Americans to take a good look at their Congressmen (and Congresswomen) and their voting records. If your Congressman has consistently voted for more spending and voted against ending ObamaCare, it is time for him to come home and live under the economy he created. It is time for state governors to take a good look at the concept of nullification to see if they can regain the state sovereignty they have lost in recent years. Even the small step of refusing federal money in an area can have a very positive effect on a state’s economy (one example). Our current fiscal policies will not lead to future success.

The article concludes:

The CBO report also makes clear that Obama’s tax hikes have been swamped by out-of-control spending.

Revenue as a share of GDP will be slightly above 18% over the next decade, which is higher than the 17.4% average for the previous 50 years.

But federal outlays — which averaged 20% of GDP over the previous 50 years — will climb from an already high 21% this year to 23% by 2026. Worse, almost two-thirds of the entire federal budget will go towards entitlement programs.

Not only did Obama not solve any of the problems he promised to, he’s also made all of them worse. This isn’t the legacy Obama and his supporters will brag about. But it is the legacy that future presidents will have to confront.

Do Bad Government Programs Last Forever?

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the recent enrollment numbers in ObamaCare. It seems that the program is not reaching the people it was designed to reach and is costing far more than the American people were told it would cost.

The article reports:

The Congressional Budget Office issued a new estimate for the next decade under the Affordable Care Act that lowers the enrollment projection by 40% in 2016. In fact, according to the CBO, next year’s enrollment is now expected to barely grow at all from 2015:

ObamaCare will enroll significantly fewer people than expected in 2016, ending the year with about 13 million customers, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Monday.

The figure, which was included in an expansive budget report, is a decline of about 40 percent from last year’s enrollment prediction of about 20 million people.

The latest projections confirm the Obama administration’s previous assessment that fewer people are signing up as the marketplace closes in on its third enrollment season — the final one under President Obama.

…Similarly, subsidies that help people who meet income and other eligibility criteria to purchase health insurance through exchanges and to meet their cost-sharing requirements, along with related spending, are expected to increase by $18 billion in 2016, reaching a total of $56 billion.

The politicians who designed ObamaCare (it was obviously not designed by healthcare experts) did not understand actuary tables or human nature. Young, healthy people do not consider health insurance a necessity and do not sign up for it. So far the fines have been cheaper than the insurance, so there is no incentive for young, healthy people to sign up for ObamaCare. Thus, you don’t have the young paying enough premiums to cover the expenses of those who are older or less healthy.

The article concludes:

Defenders of ObamaCare argue that the program has still succeeded in lowering number of uninsured Americans. However, millions of people got their previous coverage canceled, forcing them into the exchanges, so a significant percentage of the 13 million represent a reshuffled status quo rather than an improvement. Furthermore, Democrats pushed for this policy by arguing that having 40 million or more uninsured Americans constituted a crisis that required overhauling a market that covered 88% of Americans in 2007. Having forced six-to-ten million of those Americans to buy needlessly expensive and inefficient coverage isn’t success — it demonstrates that the solution applied to that problem has failed, all while causing enormous damage to the market it “reformed.”

Hopefully the 2016 presidential election will free us from ObamaCare.

The Current State Of ObamaCare

Today’s Wall Street Journal included an article about the current state of ObamaCare. The article mentioned that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell recently announced that by the end of next year she expects 10 million people to be enrolled in ObamaCare. She failed to mention that in March 2014 the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 21 million people would be enrolled in 2016. The Obama Administration explains the difference as the result of fewer companies dropping employee heath insurance than expected.

There are some facts left out of the statistics quoted by ObamaCare supporters. Supporters claim that ObamaCare helped 9 million Americans get health insurance coverage in 2014. The Heritage Foundation showed that nearly 9 million people were added to Medicaid. The 9 million were given free or nearly free health insurance. That’s really not much of a sales accomplishment.

The article reminds us:

In other words, ObamaCare expanded coverage in 2014 to the extent that it gave people free or nearly free insurance. That goal could have been accomplished without the Affordable Care Act. To justify its existence, ObamaCare must make affordable private insurance available to a broad cross-section of uninsured Americans who are ineligible for Medicaid.

But with fewer people buying insurance through the exchanges, the economics aren’t holding up. Ten of the 23 innovative health-insurance plans known as co-ops—established with $2.4 billion in ObamaCare loans—will be out of business by the end of 2015 because of weak balance sheets.

The article is written by Andy Puzder, Chief Executive Officer of CKE Restaurants. He observes that of his company’s 5,453 employees who were not eligible for company health insurance, only 420 enrolled in ObamaCare. The problem with ObamaCare is that it expects healthy young people to pay higher premiums to cover the cost of the older, less healthy, insured. Young people are not inclined to do that and are instead paying the penalty for not being insured. The problem with that is that the penalties are paid to the government and not to the insurance companies and do nothing to help with the imbalance on what is paid in and what is paid out. Insurance companies charge premiums based on actuary tables, and ObamaCare has chosen to ignore the basis of the business model of insurance companies. In essence, they have attempted to reinvent the wheel while leaving out the spokes and the hub. The private sector always does better than the government when it comes to business models.

The article concludes:

How have things changed under ObamaCare? Wealthy Americans continue to have health insurance, albeit at a higher price. But they can afford it. Many middle-class Americans are paying higher premiums they can hardly afford. And then millions more low-income Americans have heavily subsidized insurance or Medicaid coverage.

However, millions of other Americans who enjoyed good individual insurance before ObamaCare have found themselves forced out of affordable plans, with their new premiums rising rapidly. Other middle- and working-class Americans who were uninsured are still uninsured and paying the penalty or claiming an exemption. That isn’t affordable care. In many cases, it isn’t care at all.

Hopefully, we will elect a President next year who will rid us of this horrendous program.

The Problem Is Not The Income

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday about the amount of tax revenue the federal government collected for fiscal 2015. The good news is that the government collected a record amount of money–$3.249 trillion. That is an 8 percent increase in revenues for the year. The bad news is that the government still managed to spend more than it took in. The budget deficit was $435 billion–a decline of $48 billion. The article notes that although the decline is small, it is huge for the seventh year of what the government claims is an expansion. The article also notes that inflation is growing by less than 2 percent.

The article reports:

The reason for the small decline is that spending for the fiscal year climbed 5.2% to $3.685 trillion. That increase came even though defense spending fell $16 billion, or 2.7%, thanks to the drawdown in Afghanistan.

The spending burst included a 16.1%, or $49 billion, increase in Medicaid for the first full year of ObamaCare. Medicaid spending has climbed $85 billion to $350 billion in two years, and that’s with 19 states declining to join.

The Congressional Budget Office also cites a $30 billion, or 51%, spending increase for the Department of Education—“mostly because of an $18 billion upward revision in the estimated net subsidy costs of student loans and loan guarantees issued in past years.” Translation: Mr. Obama’s takeover of the student-loan business is costing far more money than advertised, probably due to growing defaults.

Let’s put these numbers together. Inflation is less than 2 percent. There was an 8 percent increase in revenues collected by the federal government. There was a $435 billion deficit. These numbers are unsustainable. They will assure the destruction of America. We need to elect people to Congress and the White House who will cut government spending. It is a national disgrace to have an 8 percent increase in revenues and still have a deficit. It is time for any rational members of Congress to demand a spending cut.

The Problem Is Not The Revenue–It’s The Spending

CNS News posted a story today stating that the federal government raked in a record of approximately $2,883,250,000,000 in tax revenues through the first eleven months of fiscal 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 through the end of August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Friday. This equals approximately $19,346 for every person who was working either full or part-time in August.

The article further reports:

Despite the record tax revenues of $2,883,250,000,000 in the first eleven months of this fiscal year, the government spent $3,413,210,000,000 in those eleven months, and, thus, ran up a deficit of $529,960,000,000 during the period.

…The largest share of this year’s record-setting October-through-August tax haul came from the individual income tax. That yielded the Treasury $1,379,255,000,000. Payroll taxes for “social insurance and retirement receipts” took in another $977,501,000,000. The corporate income tax brought in $268,387,000,000.

The chart below is an illustration of America‘s spending problem.

The article also noted that under ObamaCare new taxes took effect in 2013.

Excessive spending is a problem that Washington has no incentive to fix. It is up to the voters to give them an incentive–fix this or we vote you out of office!

 

Wasn’t This Supposed To Make Things Better?

On Tuesday, Investors.com posted an article about the Congressional Budget Office‘s report on ObamaCare.

The article included this chart:

The article states:

Thanks to ObamaCare, the CBO now expects that 10 million workers will lose their employer-based coverage by 2021.

This finding stands in sharp contrast to earlier CBO projections, which at one point suggested ObamaCare would increase the number of people getting coverage through work, at least in its early years.

The budget office has, in fact, increased the number it says will lose workplace coverage every year since 2011.

The latest CBO finding also thoroughly debunks the many promises ObamaCare backers made when selling the law — about how those with work-based coverage had nothing to worry about.

Scott Brown was elected to the Senate to stop ObamaCare. Because the Democrats used an unusual parliamentary procedure to avoid letting him cast that vote, ObamaCare was not stopped. The Republicans now have majorities in the House and in the Senate. We have seen enough damage caused by ObamaCare to know that the American people were lied to and that all ObamaCare has done is disrupt healthcare for Americans who were satisfied with their healthcare. It is time for the Republicans to do what they were elected to do–repeal ObamaCare.

Why The Republicans Need To Repeal ObamaCare

Hot Air posted an article yesterday reporting that according to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare will cost about $50,000 per person.

The article reports:

If you want to read the report yourself, it’s tucked away back in Appendix B of the document. (.pdf format) The total bill over ten years is closing in on the two trillion mark, and the various taxes and fees imposed under Obamacare are only going to make up for $643B of it. So I guess we really did have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

The article concludes:

The plan is covering 27 million people with estimates of that growing by 25% over the next decade. A mid-range quality health care plan through most employers – including the employer contribution – can be had for roughly $5,400 per year. That works out to a little less than 150 billion dollars to just buy all of those people a health plan under the old system and the insurers would have been thrilled. The crippled, complicated government web site could have been stripped down to just ask how much you make each year and, based on that, issue you a voucher for a health insurance plan from a company that covers your area. We wouldn’t have liked it, but it would have come in at one heck of a cheaper rate and the debate would be over.

Rather than an exit question, we’ll just close with an observation. You were lied to. Again.

At some point, we need to elect a Congress that understands that the private sector does things better. It would have been much cheaper and easier to set up a system of tax refunds for health care premiums run by the private sector. The plan could easily have included insurance for children in college, portability across state lines, tort reform, and other ways to insure the previously uninsured. Unfortunately, Congress had a better idea–which wasn’t.