Dr. Marvin J. Folkertsma, FloydReports.com
The budget deficits from the first two years of the Obama administration are of sufficient magnitude to spring Dr. “Billions and Billions” Carl Sagan from his grave. Sagan could sue for copyright infringement for misuse of astronomical numbers.
On second thought, the figures now being bandied about are in the trillions, which no doubt would send the venerable atheist skulking back, perhaps muttering something about the “unsustainability” of it all.
Sagan would not be alone. Multi-trillion dollar deficits that generate debt obligations in the hundreds of trillions of dollars cannot continue even in the short run, at least not without that Fifth Horseman of Apocalypse—picture Darth Vader toting a wheel barrow filled with worthless script—showing up to hiss questions about the insanity of those who led America on its “March of Folly.”
Barbara Tuchman wondered the same thing in a book published with that name, in which she probed the mentalities and policies of political leaders who led their countries to destruction—and here’s the kicker—fully aware of what they were doing but not willing to stop themselves from doing it. More specifically, averred Tuchman, to qualify as “folly” a policy….
Don Feder, GrassTopsUSA.com
Where’s the outrage?
Given what Barack Obama is doing to the Constitution, the economy and our future, the American people should be up in arms (metaphorically speaking, civility-hysterics take note). Citizens should be marching on Washington with pitchforks and flaming brands in hand (also a metaphor). Every city should see demonstrations to make the most raucous Tea Party rally look like Sunday night in Pierre, South Dakota.
Instead, it’s a mental fog as usual. Hey, the unemployment rate is now (barely) below 9 percent! Wasn’t that a cold winter? Gee, I wonder what zany, drug-induced thing Charlie Sheen will do next?
So, while America burns, we fiddle with our iPhones and talk about the upcoming HBO series about vampire bootleggers and Borgias duking it out in Camelot.
Other than Tea Party activists, the public seems supremely unperturbed by Obama’s relentless assault on America. The president’s March 21-27 approval rating was 45 percent. At the same point in their first terms, Clinton’s approval rating was only three points higher – Reagan’s three points lower. Both were re-elected, you may recall.
It’s true that since Obama occupied the White House, his party’s stock has taken a nose-dive – a net loss of 9 governorships, 7 Senate seats, and 60 House seats. But there’s no guarantee that trend will continue.
The leader of the party that whines incessantly about the influence of money in politics has announced he’ll spend $1 billion to win re-election….
Emily Miller, Human Events
President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. In just the year since, the law known as ObamaCare has already severely crippled the nation’s economy and health care system.
Despite Obama’s continued pride in his signature health care legislation, a new CNN poll shows that 58% of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care.
The Republican House passed a repeal of ObamaCare in January, but the bill was blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Four House committees are now drafting a replacement bill for ObamaCare. The House also passed legislation defunding ObamaCare in March, which was likewise blocked by the Senate Democrats. Republican leaders are committed, however, and say that they will be defunding the health care law through the appropriations process this year.
These are the top 10 failures of ObamaCare, starting with those that have had the most serious effect already on the economy, jobs, and the American people.
1. Explodes the Budget Deficit
One year ago, Obama said, “This legislation will also lower costs for … the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades. It is paid for. It is fiscally responsible. “
Today: ObamaCare is projected to cost at least $2.4 trillion when it is fully implemented. Instead of Obama’s promise to reduce the deficit, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that ObamaCare will increase the federal deficit by $260 billion through 2019. The United States has more than $14 trillion in debt already, and will hit the current statutory debt ceiling ($14.3 trillion) in the next couple of months.
2. Kills Jobs
One year ago: Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said that the health care bill “will create 4 million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”
Today: The only jobs that have been created from ObamaCare are the tens of thousands of new government bureaucrats who have been hired to deal with all the new regulations and taxes from ObamaCare.
Contrary to Pelosi’s prediction, the director of the CBO testified that 800,000 jobs will be lost over the next decade as a result of the law. Even the liberal Urban Institute released a report this week that said that the health care law will have “no noticeable effect on net levels of employment.” Employers are forced to either cut jobs or move workers into part-time slots that are not mandated to receive health insurance in order to meet the regulations, according to the CBO.
3. Lose Your Own Doctor and Health Plan
One year ago: Obama said, “If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover. Nobody is changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep it.”
Today: New regulations could force as many as 87 million Americans to lose their current health care plans and their own doctors.
As soon as the new ObamaCare regulations were announced, companies told their employees that they may not be able to keep their current health care plans because of the increased expense. So Obama’s secretary of Health and Human Services started issuing one-year waivers that exempt companies and unions from complying with the law if it causes a significant increase in premium costs or decrease in access to coverage.
ObamaCare is so broken that the Obama administration has spent the last six months exempting its union friends and large companies from the law. In this one year, the Obama administration has already issued 1,040 waivers to unions and employers, which thereby exempt 2.6 million people from ObamaCare regulations.
But small businesses and non-union workers who do not have the resources or access to the administration’s waivers will be forced to drop their employees’ current health care plans.
Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post
House Democrats held a birthday party last week for passage of the health-care law. Just as we looked at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s floor speech noting the milestone, we will now examine some of the claims made by Democrats…
“It’s about jobs. Does it create jobs? Health insurance reform creates 4 million jobs, and in the last 12 months the private sector has added 1.5 million new jobs, and of that a quarter of a million were in the health insurance industry.”
Here, Pelosi is repeating a talking point from the health-care debate. The 4 million figure comes from a report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning group, which estimated that universal health care would add 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year. Pelosi took the top end of the range and then multiplied it by 10, a numerical sleight-of-hand that Polifact last year labeled “half true.”
A Pelosi spokesman noted she has been using this statistic for 14 months now, but we frown on the reuse of statistics previously found to be suspect.
In this case, since the bill has passed, the Congressional Budget Office has done its own analysis (the one McConnell cited) that cast some doubt on the CAP analysis, written before the bill was passed into law. Presumably, members of Congress should pay more attention to estimates by their own budget agency than think tanks that promote their agenda. Repeating this dubious statistic is worth at least a Pinocchio or two. (About our rating scale)
The second half of her statement comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Health-care jobs have long been an important part of new private-sector jobs, so 260,000 being created in the last 12 months is not out of the ordinary. For example, BLS figures show that in 2007, there were 381,000 health care jobs created; in 2006, 324,000 jobs; and in 2005, 271,000 jobs. The CAP study was not making any prediction about health-care jobs, but all jobs, so it is unclear what point Pelosi is making with this statistic.
“It’s about reducing the deficit. Again, it reduces the deficit more than $1 trillion over the life of the bill.”
This is another bogus statistic for which we have previously awarded three Pinocchios.
The CBO estimated $143 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years in the health-care law, but about $19 billion of it came from unrelated items. As we have noted, the remaining $124 billion was based on a number of assumptions that called that estimate into question.
But Pelosi claims more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction by using a 20-year figure that is particularly absurd.
As we wrote in January: “There are too many uncertainties to be precise, and the CBO itself merely offered a tentative guess of a “broad range of around one-half percent of GDP,” with significant caveats. Democrats simply took that percentage, multiplied it against the predicted size of the GDP 20 years from now (itself a pretty fuzzy figure) and, presto, they had a number. But it’s a fairly meaningless one.”