Posts Tagged ‘Elmendorf’

The Intentionally False Picture In The Latest Employment Report

February 4, 2012

The hype over the lastest unemployment report is bizarre given that it followed the CBO annual report by just one day.  Here are a few pointers from that report:

Has Obama created or destroyed jobs since taking office?

That prompted this exchange between Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and the CBO director. “Let me ask you, are there more people working today or fewer people working today than at the — on inauguration day of 2009?” McClintock asked.

“I believe the answer to that,” said Elmendorf, “is there are fewer people, congressman.”

Is Obama’s economic plan succeeding or wildly failing to create jobs?

The [CBO] office says that will leave the unemployment rate at 8.9 percent at the end of this year, well above current the current rate of 8.5 percent, meaning the jobless rate would be increasing at election time.

[…]

And in 2013, CBO estimates unemployment will be even higher — at 9.2 percent.

And here is a more detailed contemplation of that report.

That CBO report got little play from leftist birdcage liners such as the LA Times (I paid $20 for a one-year weekend subscription – to get the coupons rather than the “reporting” – and actually got a $25 gift card from a major retailer followed by the Times upgrading me to daily delivery for free without my even wanting it.  So that should tell you what the paper is actually worth), but the unemployment report is being so breathlessly hyped it is positively UNREAL.

But there’s something even more disturbing that that about the unemployment report:

Employment Report: Blatant And Outrageous Lies
by the Market Ticker

There are times when one questions a report as possibly being wrong or in error, and then there are times when one has to raise a flag and say “This is an intentionally false picture being presented by a government agency.”

I’m in the latter camp with this one, and it is rare for me to brand something as not possibly wrong and in error, but intentionally fraudulent.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 243,000 in January, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth was widespread in the private sector, with large employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment changed little over the month.

This looks really good; here’s the chart that is on the front page:

I wish I could take this report, pick it apart at the household level, and find confirmation. Remember that last month the alleged 200,000 jobs that were gained were a phantom; when one looked inside the household data we found instead deterioration in both the employment participation rate and a decline in the absolute number of employed persons, while population rose. That is, the actual counts (as opposed to black-box statements) said that the labor picture deteriorated in December, contrary to the reported numbers.

This month it was worse. Far worse.

Let’s start with the “base picture” that is causing the cheering:

That nice red line looks good, right? Well……

“Not in labor force” numbers leaped upward on an annualized basis (seasonally adjusted the “right way”) and what’s worse on a raw basis 1.572 million people exited the labor force last month.

This is reflected in the percentage of those not in the labor force as a percentage of the working-age population, which hit an all-time high going back to the initiation of the data series I’ve tracked since 1999:

That’s 0.6% of the entire labor force that departed the working population in one month, three times the alleged drop in the unemployment rate. This means that internally, the numbers were even worse than they first appear!

Indeed, the total number of employed persons fell. A lot. To put a number on it, the total number of employed persons fell by 737,000 by actual count.

Now the cheerleaders will state that this is a common thing in January, and indeed it is. But the correct adjustment is to look at the population increase and subtract that back off as well. In other words, we take the loss of employment and add the population growth. When we do this we get a whopping 2.422 million in the wrong direction which was bested only by the -2.618 million in January of 2009 through the process of this downturn!

In fact other than January 2009 there has never been a single month in my table, which dates back to 1999, that put up a worse combined number. This “performance” rates a literal “second from utter despair and disaster”, and the employment rate shows it:

This is not a strong report folks, and in fact documents an actual and ongoing collapse in the US labor force, despite the crooning on the mainstream media disinformation channels!

We live in an age in which the most dishonest administration relies on the  most dishonest media propaganda in American history.

At least Hitler had the intellectual integrity to CALL his “news” propaganda.

CBO Director States For The Official Record That Obama Has Destroyed Jobs And Will CONTINUE To Destroy Jobs

February 3, 2012

Has Obama created or destroyed jobs since taking office?

That prompted this exchange between Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and the CBO director.  “Let me ask you, are there more people working today or fewer people working today than at the — on inauguration day of 2009?” McClintock asked.

“I believe the answer to that,” said Elmendorf, “is there are fewer people, congressman.”

Is Obama’s economic plan succeeding or wildly failing to create jobs?

The [CBO] office says that will leave the unemployment rate at 8.9 percent at the end of this year, well above current the current rate of 8.5 percent, meaning the jobless rate would be increasing at election time.

[…]

And in 2013, CBO estimates unemployment will be even higher — at 9.2 percent.

Both of these statements from the Democrat-appointed CBO director prove that Barack Hussein Obama is a pathological liar on THE most fundamental issues that the American people care about.  Obama says that he has created 2 million jobs; he is a liar from the lowest snake pit.  And Obama claims that his policies are working WHEN THEY ARE WILDLY FAILING AND WILL FAIL WORSE IN THE COMING MONTHS.

Here is the story which details all of the above and more:

Congressional budget chief offers dim outlook on economic growth, jobs
By Jim Angle
Published February 01, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf on Wednesday projected that economic growth will slow by next year and unemployment will rise before that — a forecast that Rep. Paul Ryan called ominous, grim and alarming.

Elmendorf laid out the latest projections on the economy and deficits before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill.

Ryan, R-Wis., who is chairman, raised alarm given projections that 2012 “will mark the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar deficits.”

“Trillions more dollars will be added to debt in the years ahead, putting a chilling effect on jobs creation today and committing the next generation to a diminished future,” he said.

Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen took a different approach, saying deficits and growth would have been worse without President Obama’s stimulus plan. “The Recovery Act did serve its purpose. It’s kind of like when you’re walking up an escalator that’s going down very quickly. If you take no action you will go down very fast,” he said.

Yet future deficits depend in large part on how fast the economy grows, along with spending and revenues. And on that front, the CBO isn’t offering a lot of encouragement.

“The pace of the recovery has been slow since the recession ended two and a half years ago,” Elmendorf said. “And we project that it will continue to be slow for the next two years.”

The CBO believes that economic growth will be only 2 percent this year — and an anemic 1.1 percent next year.

The office says that will leave the unemployment rate at 8.9 percent at the end of this year, well above current the current rate of 8.5 percent, meaning the jobless rate would be increasing at election time.

That prompted this exchange between Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and the CBO director.  “Let me ask you, are there more people working today or fewer people working today than at the — on inauguration day of 2009?” McClintock asked.

“I believe the answer to that,” said Elmendorf, “is there are fewer people, congressman.”

And in 2013, CBO estimates unemployment will be even higher — at 9.2 percent.

Republicans have been wringing their hands about deficits for years, but one Democrat on Wednesday railed against those who focus only on cutting spending.

“Because there are people here that want to destroy the government, that it has no responsibility and it can’t live up to the obligations,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.

Several Democrats asked about how much revenues would be increased by eliminating the Bush tax cuts in hopes of avoiding more spending cuts.

One of the factors that will expand future deficits is entitlements, such as Medicare, which will explode as the baby boomers retire.

Elmendorf explained that “the fundamental fiscal challenge during this decade and beyond remains the aging of the population and rising costs for health care. The number of people aged 65 or older will increase by one-third in the coming decade, substantially raising the costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

In addition, he said, the new federal health care overhaul will significantly increase the number of non-elderly people receiving assistance through federal health care programs, such as Medicaid.

All of that is likely to balloon current levels of debt.

The CBO did project declining deficits under “current law.”

But current law would end the Bush tax cuts for everyone, even those making less than $250,000 a year, which neither Congress nor the president supports.

It would also mean a cut of almost 30 percent to doctors who treat Medicare patients, which Congress has never let take effect.

Here is the CBO unemployment prediction from its report:

I wrote about this complete and total lie of Obama’s claims of creating jobs has been a couple of weeks ago.  Basically, you can look at the labor participation rate to see that Obama has destroyed two-and-a-half million jobs; and if we used the same participation rate under Bush that we now have under Obama, unemployment would be well over eleven percent:

Obama ‘Added Jobs’ Only If You Count Them With Propaganda Math

Obama Hell: When Bush Left Office Average Length Of Unemployment Was 19.8 Weeks; NOW IT’S 40.8 WEEKS

8 Illuminating Charts That Show How Truly Failed Obamanomics Truly Is

Please read my article (that also just came out today) on the shocking immoral disaster that Social Security was from the very beginning.

Consider that the real debt of our nation is $211 trillion, not the $16 trillion we hear about, and that Democrats have saddled us with virtually every single penny of a debt that we can never hope to repay and which will ultimately implode and destroy this nation.  That’s the past that Democrats have immorally saddled us with in their effort to control our lives and our fortunes while they stole whatever sacred honor we otherwise could have aspired to.

Then consider the future that Democrats have in store for us as you contemplate all of Barack Obama’s shocking lies and the slowly sinking path to hell he has planned for us with his death by 4,200 – and counting – regulations.

Consider the ObamaCare boondoggle that has 160 new death panels in it:

Consider what CBO Director Elmendorf said about Obama’s documented history of job destruction as well as his prediction of future Obama job destruction.

And then please vote for America by voting against Obama this November.

America may not be able to survive anyway; but it definitely can’t survive another four years of Obama.

Obama Takeover Of Student Loans Means 2,500 Layoffs For Sallie Mae

April 1, 2010

What does ObamaCare mean?  It means a 29% slash in the workforce for student loan service provider Sallie Mae.  Remember in this insane world of Democrat rule that the government takeover of student loans was part of ObamaCare, whereas reimbursing doctors for Medicare was not.

Updated March 31, 2010
Sallie Mae Blames 2,500 Layoffs on Obama’s Student Loan Overhaul
By Kelly Chernenkoff

Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae says layoffs are imminent as a result of President Obama’s new student loan overhaul.

“This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600-person workforce by 2,500,” Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, said in a statement to Fox News.

Obama was at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria on Tuesday to sign the student loan changes into law. The new bill includes a provision for the government to begin directly lending to students, bypassing financial institutions like Sallie May that traditionally have provided the loans. Obama said that such institutions have soaked up billions in subsidies.

“Now, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the big banks and financial institutions hired a army of lobbyists to protect the status quo,” Obama said. “In fact, Sallie Mae, America’s biggest student lender, spent more than $3 million on lobbying last year alone.”

Indeed, Sallie Mae has been outspoken in its opposition to the plan, calling it a “government takeover” just last month.

“The student loan provisions buried in the health care legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them,” Casillas told Fox News.

Sallie Mae was trying to garner support for an alternative, which the company said was roundly rejected.

“We are profoundly disappointed that a reform plan that would have achieved more savings for students was ignored and now thousands of student loan experts will unnecessarily lose their jobs,” Casillas said.

But Obama says he’s merely looking out for those in need.

“I didn’t stand with the banks and the financial industries in this fight. That’s not why I came to Washington. And neither did any of the members of Congress who are here today,” he said. “We stood with you. We stood with America’s students. And together, we finally won that battle.”

Obama said the move will save billions, enabling his administration to use the money to improve the quality and affordability of higher education.

Sallie Mae hasn’t said exactly when jobs will start getting slashed, but the cuts “will start soon,” Casillas said.

Obama did a good job demonizing the student loan service providers (after all, demonizing is pretty much the only thing he does well), but the reality is as usual quite different than the Obama demagoguery:

From the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled, “The Quietest Trillion:
Congratulations. You’re about to own $100 billion a year in student loans
“:

It’s not a popular idea on campus. Loans directly from the feds have been available for decades, but the government’s poor customer service has resulted in most borrowers choosing private lenders. This week three dozen college administrators, representing schools from Notre Dame to Nevada-Reno, signed a letter urging a longer transition period to this “public option.” The fear is that the bureaucrats will not be able to pull off a takeover in just eight months. “Any delay in getting funds to schools on behalf of students will result in our needing to find resources at a time when credit is difficult to obtain,” warns the letter.

Tough luck for the Irish. Democrats have already greased this fall’s budget reconciliation to pass all of this on a mere majority vote. They are helped by rigged government accounting that disguises the cost of making below-market loans to unemployed 18-year-olds. Democrats have claimed their plan “saves” $87 billion in mandatory spending by cutting out the private middlemen, and the Congressional Budget Office has dutifully “scored” $87 billion in mandatory “savings” (or a net of $80 billion after subtracting administrative costs).

But in a remarkable letter to Senator Judd Gregg, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf admits that government accounting is bogus. He writes that the statutory methodology “does not include the cost to the government stemming from the risk that the cash flows may be less than the amount projected (that is, that defaults could be higher than projected).” Mr. Elmendorf further notes that the government’s accounting system is specifically skewed to make direct loans from the government appear to cost much less than guaranteed loans made by private lenders. He says the real “savings” are only $47 billion, even though, in a deception that would be criminal fraud if it weren’t mandated by Congress, the official estimate remains at $80 billion.

Even the unofficial number is dubious. The government has been claiming lower default rates than private lenders, but most government loans have been to students at four-year colleges. The private lenders have serviced a higher percentage of students at community and two-year colleges, where defaults are more common regardless of lender.

If the feds are now making and owning all such loans, expect default rates to soar. When the government hires contractors to collect on its loans, it pays them for simply calling the borrower, regardless of the result. Private lenders, on the other hand, make money from a performing loan and have a greater incentive to do careful underwriting and aggressive collection.

The government will nonetheless start spending these illusory “savings” immediately, and this spending is certain to top official estimates. The Obama plan also adds a CBO-estimated $46 billion in new spending over 10 years to enlarge Pell grants. Ominously for the federal fisc, starting in 2011 these grants will automatically rise each year by the consumer price index plus 1%. Not that students will actually benefit from this subsidy explosion. Colleges have reliably raised prices to capture every federal dollar earmaked for education financing.

Rep. John Kline (R., Minn.) decided the cost estimate for Pell grants was too low, so he asked CBO to take a second look. Along comes another enlightening letter from Mr. Elmendorf. This week he wrote that Mr. Kline is correct—it looks like they will cost another $11 billion. Unfortunately, the earlier estimate must remain the official score under budgeting rules, even though the official scorekeeper says it is wrong.

You start to see why the student loan takeover was part of ObamaCare, but the doctor fix was not: pure deceitful political cynicism of the very worst kind.  ObamaCare forced the CBO to assume the deception that doctor’s Medicare reimbursements would be slashed by 21% so they could deceitfully claim that “saving” for ObamaCare.  Even though Democrats will add those reimbursements back in another bill that will cost a rock bottom minimum of $200 billion.  Meanwhile, they decide that student loans are very much a part of ObamaCare so that they could raid the profits – after, of course, dramatically misrepresenting what those profits actually were.

In one fell swoop, ObamaCare destroys jobs, undermines the student loan system, AND ruins our health care system.

Nice trifecta.  If you’re an enemy of America.

Democrats’ Effort To Fearmonger Path To Socialized Medicine Has Been Tried Before

August 18, 2009

In the mainstream media narrative, Sarah Palin is demonized as “about half a whack job” and her statement about “death panels” is literally interpreted in a way I’d love to see them apply JUST ONCE to the Constitution.  Conservatives were denounced as an “angry mob,” as “un-American,” and as exhibiting Nazi characteristics by the Democrat Speaker of the House.

The media loves to talk about rightwing fearmongering.

I’d like to say a little more about leftwing fearmongering.

How about the one that we need to pass health care reform in order to get our economy out of the toilet?

A smattering of various Obama “warnings” fearmongering health care:

- “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

- Obama cast retooling the U.S. health-care system as crucial to the nation’s economic success. Reform would help rein in the national deficit and rebuild the economy, he argued, in a way that would help middle-class workers, whose wages have stagnated in recent years largely because of spiraling health-care costs.

- WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not rebuild its economy unless political leaders joined him immediately on a perilous political drive for healthcare reform.

- President Obama warned Wednesday night that health-care reform is central to rebuilding the economy “stronger than before,” and without congressional action on health-care reform, “We’re guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”

And our last Obama “warning”:

“The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we’re also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can’t get under control,” Obama told Moran. “I think America has to win it here.”

In the dialogue surrounding health care, Obama warned against “scare tactics,” which he said are fostering anxiety and serving to distract Americans from the plan’s principles.

What’s nice about the last one is that it includes fearmongering on the one hand with warning against “scare tactics” on the other.  Obama tells us one the one hand that our economy will plummet unless we implement ObamaCare, and then demonizes everyone who has a different fearmongering message.

It doesn’t matter that Obama’s urgings that we pass health care “reform” will lower our costs and boost are economy are entirely false:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory — or cost curve — of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, “The curve is being raised.” His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation’s bleak budget outlook even worse.

It also doesn’t seem to matter that, given that the “reforms” Obama is seeking wouldn’t take effect until at least 2013, there is little reason to rush headlong into anything other than opportunistic partisan demagoguery.  And yet Barack Obama was out there rushing “reform” and calling August 1st “the people’s deadline” even as polls showed “the people” overwhelmingly wanting Congress to take time crafting health care legislation.

Interestingly, these tricks of fearmongering health care “reform” in the name of averting economic calamity and trying to rush the process through have been tried before.  Think Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1993:

But all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail—let me say this again; I feel so strongly about this—all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail unless we also take this year, not next year, not 5 years from now but this year, bold steps to reform our health care system.

In 1992, we spent 14 percent of our income on health care, more than 30 percent more than any other country in the world, and yet we were the only advanced nation that did not provide a basic package of health care benefits to all of its citizens. Unless we change the present pattern, 50 percent of the growth in the deficit between now and the year 2000 will be in health care costs. By the year 2000 almost 20 percent of our income will be in health care. Our families will never be secure, our businesses will never be strong, and our Government will never again be fully solvent until we tackle the health care crisis. We must do it this year.

The combination of the rising cost of care and the lack of care and the fear of losing care are endangering the security and the very lives of millions of our people. And they are weakening our economy every day. Reducing health care costs can liberate literally hundreds of billions of dollars for new investment in growth and jobs. Bringing health costs in line with inflation would do more for the private sector in this country than any tax cut we could give and any spending program we could promote. Reforming health care over the long run is critically essential to reducing not only our deficit but to expanding investment in America.

What’s interesting about this is that liberals depict the Clinton years as the time when the streets were lined with gold and every child went to bed in a warm house with a full tummy.

So the point would obviously be, either Clinton was fearmongering health care in a way that did not turn out to be true at all, or the “glorious Clinton economy” is itself a fabrication.  Because somehow Bill Clinton had to flounder along with no health care reform.

We need to put some things into historic perspective: 1) Bill Clinton so mismanaged the country his first two years in office that it led to the largest political tsunami ever experienced in American history as Republicans took over in an unprecedented landslide 1994 election.  2) Many of the benefits that Bill Clinton has received credit for were actually enacted by the Republican Congress (example: welfare reform).  3) Bill Clinton benefited from an economy that was just recovering from a severe recession at the end of the Bush I administration as Clinton took over.  By contrast, George Bush II – like Barack Obama now – had a significant recession handed to him that will count against his average performance.  In President Bush’s case, that recession was compounded by the worst attack on American soil in nearly 200 years  in the 9/11 terror attack.  4) Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment figures were calculated back in 1994 – making comparisons to previous eras appear far more rosy than they really were.  5) The “Clinton Budget Surplus” is in reality a myth.  In actuality, Clinton created a smoke and mirror illusion by transferring “public debt” costs which are calculated as part of the budget over to “intergovernmental holdings” (eg., by borrowing from Social Security) which are not counted as part of the public debt.

I might also point out that Bill Clinton’s famous statement from his State of the Union Speech in January 1996 - “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER” – tacitly recognized the new Republican era, and which in reality was the ultimate reason why the Clinton economy became ultimately successful.

Democrats were wiped out in 1994 as Republicans swept into power when Americans became fed up with Democrat incompetence and massive spending.  And Bill Clinton was wise enough to recognize the handwriting on the wall.  As a result, he transitioned into a fiscal moderate and avoided the fate of his party.

But now the man who recognized that “The era of big government is over” is back to his pre-1994 ways.  Bill Clinton has joined Barack Obama with the very same big spending, big government socialistic mindset that brought the Democrats to such historic disaster in 1994.

There are many things we can do to improve our health care system.  That goes without saying.  But the Democrat’s presentation that opposing their system is opposing “change” or “reform” is simply asinine.  If any change is better than our present course, than we should just nuke ourselves and be done with it: that would be “change,” after all.  We need to recognize that there is good reform and there is bad reform – and government-run health care is simply “bad” reform.

ObamaCare suffers from massive policy problems that go right to the heart of the greater debate surrounding the size of government, the size of Obama’s unprecedented deficits, and the unsustainable size of our debt.  Democrats have a real problem explaining how they are going to spend $1.6 trillion and yet bring down costs – especially given the CBO’s damning analysis.  They have a problem explaining how they’re going to take hundreds of millions out of Medicare and yet not affect the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.  And they have a problem explaining how they’re not going to end up transferring over a hundred million Americans out of their employee-based health care and into the “public option” when good analysis sees exactly that happening (and see also here).

The American people listened to Obama fearmonger his way to the gigantic stimulus package that will ultimately cost Americans $3.27 trillion.  The stimulus has been deemed by the American people as being so unsuccessful that fully 72% of Americans now say “returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it.”  People are turning against what they increasingly recognize as big government socialism.

Obama_Economy_Pork-debt

We need to STOP health care “reform” until it includes tort reform such as loser pays, until it includes an end to state and federal mandates, until it includes allowing our 1300 private insurance companies to compete across state lines.  And we need to STOP health care “reform” until it EXCLUDES giving full medical coverage to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, until it excludes “public options,” excludes “Co-Ops,” and excludes any other device that becomes a backdoor guarantee to government health care.

Obama News Conference: We Need A Government Program To Save Us From Government Programs

July 23, 2009

President Obama’s July 22nd presidential news conference amounted to largely incomprehensible answers from softball press questions.

Obama began by congratulating himself for pulling “our economy out of the brink” with his massive stimulus legislation.  He conveniently omitted the fact that the Obama administration – after Obama himself repeatedly fearmongering the economy by repeatedly comparing it to the Great Depression – claimed that unemployment would not rise above 8% if his stimulus passed.  He was so incredibly wrong it is absolutely unreal: it is now around 10%, and respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney is on the record predicting 13% or higher unemployment.

Obama also conveniently omitted the fact that he has delayed releasing his midsummer budget update because the figures are so bleak it would kill his trillion-five health care bill he’s so desperate to pitch:

WASHINGTON — The White House said Monday it was delaying the release of the annual midsummer US budget update, but refuted charges it was trying to put distance between its own optimistic predictions and the sour state of today’s economy. […]

The delayed midsummer update is expected to reveal the executive branch’s financial outlook for the United States clouded by rising unemployment and growth figures less favorable than earlier in the year. […]

An administration official speaking on condition of anonymity said the figures had rattled the government…

Maybe it’s just me, but I would say it’s WAAAAAAAYY too soon for your self-administered back-patting session, Mr. Obama.  It’s a shame you don’t give a fig about church (although at least you’re not still going to that “God damn America” church), because you seriously should be in one every single morning on your knees praying about your economy.

Several other things leaped out of a few key paragraphs from Obama’s opening statement that need to be pointed out and laughed at:

“And health-insurance reform is central to that effort.

This is not just about the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, if they become too sick or lose their job or change their job.

It’s about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage, because it became too expensive. It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.

So let me be clear. If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket.”

Let’s start with Obama’s “47 million Americans” claim.  It’s false.  Unless you agree with the statement, “Illegal immigrants are as American as you and me.”  The fact of the matter is that Barack Obama is expecting the American taxpayer to shoulder the costs for at least 12 million illegal immigrants as part of that “47 million Americans.” The Census Bureau lists 10.2 million of the 47 million Obama demands we insure under the description, “NOT A CITIZEN.” And realize that 10 million is the lowest estimate of our illegals; the figure could actually be as high as 22 million.  And Barack Obama wants you to pay to cover every single one of them.

If you think that Obama can cover all these people AND lower your cost, please contact me: because I’ve got all kinds of land and bridges to sell you, and I promise to give you a great deal.

Obama then says “Its about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage.” Which is truly amazing, considering the fact that small businesses are screaming bloody murder that it will be Barack Obama’s OWN health care plan that will force them to lay off employees or cut back on their health coverage.

The Obamacare agenda will – and this is an easily documentable fact as the Wall Street Journal has already exposed – kick employees out of their health care plans and stick them in government plans.

It’s like I slap you and your family repeatedly across the face, and then proclaim, “It’s about families being slapped in the face.”

Then Obama provides us with my favorite line: “It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.”

This one is HI-Larious.  Because Medicare and Medicaid are both government programs.  And Obama in effect is saying, “We need government health care to save us from the massive crisis created by government health care.”  Or, “If we don’t have another government health plan, the cost of our other government health plans will bankrupt us.”

Medicare has a total unfunded liability of $61.6 TRILLION.  And Obama thinks we need another government health care plan to save us from the first one?  It’s like learning that the Italian mob has put a contract out on your life, and then figuring the best way out of your crisis is to get the Mexican mafia to put a contract out on your life, too.  What will happen, of course, is that you’ll end up dead twice as fast.

Obama has repeatedly assured us that we desperately need his health care agenda in order to lower the cost of our health care.  He is in fact completely wrong.  The Congressional Budget Office has gone on the record to tell us that the exact opposite is true:

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Obama repeatedly bloviated about “waste” and his government plan lowering cost due to the increased efficiencies of large-scale government planning.   Obama talked about the need “to eliminate waste and inefficiency in Medicare.” Note to the sane:  AGAIN , MEDICARE IS A FREAKING GOVERNMENT PROGRAM!!!  IT’S THE GOVERNMENT WASTING THE MONEY!!!

Wise man say, “If man rape you, do not let him back in your house.”

If Obama believes that government can become a paradigm of efficiency, he has his challenge before him: rather than socialize 1/5th of the economy under a government program, perhaps instead he could focus on actually making the government programs we already have more efficient.  Just sayin’.

It makes sense as a hypothetical matter to argue that the government in the abstract, with its vast size and enormous purchasing power, can save money by lowering unit costs.  But in actuality, it just doesn’t happen – EVER – because the government is inherently inefficient.  Governments are NEVER as efficient as private businesses.

We’ve got a marvelous example that just came out the other day, with the government spending money on pork – literally.

When it was discovered that the federal government was spending millions on pork, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak said:

The references to “2 pound frozen ham sliced” are to the sizes of the packaging. Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.191 million to buy “2 pounds of ham” are wrong. In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191m, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound. In terms of the dairy purchase referenced, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) purchased 837,936 pounds of mozzarella cheese and 4,039,200 pounds of processed cheese.

But sliced ham costs $.79 per pound at Food Lion.  And that isn’t even taking advantage of bulk sales, much less the kind of huge discount you’d expect with a federal government-sized “bulk sale.”

So your hard-at-work tax dollars spent easily twice as much as they needed to.

President Obama tells us that we need to control health care costs.  And, well duh, who would possibly argue with that?  And yet he sets up a rhetorical straw man in which anyone who wants to control costs has to support his cost-increasing socialized agenda.  Wrong.  If we would just do something that Barack Obama – who is owned body and soul by the trial lawyers – fundamentally opposes, we could massively lower the cost of health care immediately.  Two words: tort reform.

Another measure that would immediately lower our health care burden: stop covering illegal immigrants.  Just stop.  We clearly don’t have enough resources for our own citizens, so why should we cover everyone else’s citizens?  We need to systematically remove the incentives that lure illegals across our borders, and let them consume their own nations’ social support resources.  St. Paul said, “The man who doesn’t provide for his family is worse than an infidel.”  Let’s stop being infidels and start providing for our own.

And, yes, reform our system to cut out waste and fraud.  And start with the government programs that are CREATING most of that waste and fraud.

If we do just these three things, the rest of the problem will be a WHOLE lot smaller, and a WHOLE lot easier to solve.

Democrats are assuring us that a massive transfer of liberty and property inherent in government medicine will increase our care and simultaneously reduce our cost.  But what will certainly happen – based on the history of virtually every single government program we have ever had – is reduce our care and increase our cost.

Obama is trying to tell the American people that they desperately need a government program to save them from a runaway government program.  But what we truly need right now is for someone to save us from Obama.

Democrat Position: We Have To Spend To Keep From Going Bankrupt

July 21, 2009

There’s stupid, really stupid, truly stupid, and Democrat stupid.

Try to follow Joe Biden’s argument (if you dare!):

(CNSNews.com) – Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money.

“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”

Spend your way out of bankruptcy.  There you go.

It sounds really good.  But I’ve got a couple neighbors on my street who tried it – and it turns out that it doesn’t work out all that good.

You see things walking your dog every evening.  Like what kind of cars people own, and what kind of expensive “toys” they have in their garage, and whether or not they’ve had pools installed or not.

There are two homes that are now standing vacant on my street.  And both of them had two expensive luxury cars in the driveway, and a number of toys such as jet skis (in one) and quads (in the other) in the garage.  And one had put in a below-ground swimming pool.  Both couples were young enough that I wondered, “Where did they get the money to buy all this stuff?” up until the very day I saw the moving trucks and then the foreclosure signs.

Nope.  You don’t spend to keep from going bankrupt.  You spend to go bankrupt even FASTER.  And, for the record, it is invariably excessive spending that puts people on the racetrack to bankruptcy in the first place.

Now, in business, or even in homes, one might make a relatively expensive purchase that will so reduce costs during the lifetime of the “gadget” that it justifies the initial outlay.  A new computer system that will streamline and optimize the accounting system; a new refrigerator that replaces a worn-out, energy-wasting unit.

Now, no rational business owner or homeowner would make such major purchases if they are already deeply in debt: the best move for either would be to pay down their highest-interest debts, which would save FAR more money in the long run.  Buying more stuff would just add to your already-too-high payments.  Even a sound purchase is unsound if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for it.  I think budget experts such as Suze Orman (who offers such rare pearls of wisdom as “Saving is good; going into massive debt is bad”) would agree with me on this one.

But is Joe Biden talking about a big purchase that will save money down the road?

No.

Congressional Budget Office chief Douglas Elmendorf just got through telling Congress that the health care legislation at issue does not achieve “the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”  And then he went on to say that, “And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.”

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports:

Answering questions from Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee today, Elmendorf said CBO does not see health care cost savings in either of the partisan Democratic bills currently in Congress.

Conrad:  Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right.  Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort.  From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?

Elmendorf:  No, Mr. Chairman.  In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.  And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Conrad:  So the cost curve in your judgment is being bent, but it is being bent the wrong way.  Is that correct?

Elmendorf:  The way I would put it is that the curve is being raised, so there is a justifiable focus on growth rates because of course it is the compounding of growth rates faster than the economy that leads to these unsustainable paths.  But it is very hard to look out over a very long term and say very accurate things about growth rates.  So most health experts that we talk with focus particularly on what is happening over the next 10 or 20 years, still a pretty long time period for projections, but focus on the next 10 or 20 years and look at whether efforts are being made that are bringing costs down or pushing costs up over that period.

As we wrote in our letter to you and Senator Gregg, the creation of a new subsidy for health insurance, which is a critical part of expanding health insurance coverage in our judgement, would by itself increase the federal responsibility for health care that raises federal spending on health care.  It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate and to offset that there has to be very substantial reductions in other parts of the federal commitment to health care, either on the tax revenue side through changes in the tax exclusion or on the spending side through reforms in Medicare and Medicaid.  Certainly reforms of that sort are included in some of the packages, and we are still analyzing the reforms in the House package.  Legislation was only released as you know two days ago.  But changes we have looked at so far do not represent the fundamental change on the order of magnitude that would be necessary to offset the direct increase in federal health costs from the insurance coverage proposals.

In other words, the Obama administration is going to spend a ton of money in order to buy something that will cost even more money than the thing it replaces.

Not exactly a Consumer Reports “Best Buy” recommendation.

So we’re back to the young homeowners on my block who splurged and splurged and splurged on toys and luxery items and fancy cars until long after they were already broke.  And then they went “bye-bye.”

Don’t listen to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  They are genuinely clueless idiots who will quickly spend this country into bankruptcy all the while assuring us that they are somehow spending us out of bankruptcy.  It doesn’t make any sense in your small business, it doesn’t make any sense in your home, and even though the federal government has a giant printing press to “make money,” it doesn’t make any sense in the White House.

Democrat’s Government Health Care Will Increase, NOT Decrease, Costs

July 19, 2009

We don’t have any idea how expensive Obama care will truly be.  You can bet your britches – and you may end up actually being forced to BET your britches – that it will cost a whopping load more than advertised.

First, some figures to show the invariable tendency of the government to dramatically underestimate the cost of its own programs:

- 2009 (January) CBO estimated that the bailout TARP plan would cost taxpayers $189 billion; instead, several weeks later the estimated cost was raised to $356 billion, and will eventually be much more by end of 2009.

- 1965 CBO estimated that Medicare Pt. A cost would be $9 billion by 1990; instead the cost was $66 billion in 1990.  They were wrong by a mere 633%.  Today the costs have exploded so incredibly that no one’s even bothering to go back now and try to figure out just how terribly wrong the forecasters truly were.

1965 CBO estimated that all (Part A plus Part B) Medicare cost would be $12 billion by 1990; instead the cost was $107 billion in 1990, and today it has a stratospheric total unfunded liability of $61.6 trillion.  Oops.

1987 CBO estimated that subsidy for Medicaid special hospitals would be $100 million by 1992; instead the cost was $11 billion in 1992There’s a nice 10,900% cost markup for you.  Better luck next time.

1988 CBO estimated that Medicaid homecare cost would be $4 billion by 1983; instead the cost was $10 billion in 1983.  But don’t worry; it’s only money.  And being off by a mere 150% is actually quite excellent by the “close enough for government work” mindset.

2003 White House estimate of Iraq War cost would be $60 billion; instead the cost so far has exceeded $600 billion.  Oh, well, if at first you don’t succeed, there’s always Afghanistan to screw up too.

Maybe you’d better sit down for this shocker: The U.S. government controls its costs the way Monty Python’s famous Mr. Creosote controlled his weight:

And like Mr. Creosote, it will be that extra tiny little bit of spending that finally causes the U.S. treasury to explode in a gory death.  Instead of the mint that blows up Mr. Creosote, it will be a dollar bill that blows up the U.S. government.

So when you hear the arguments over how much Obama’s health care “reform” will cost, realize that it isn’t a matter of whether it will cost $1 trillion, or $1.5 trillion, or $3.5 trillion; it’s a matter of whether it will cost one of those numbers times a factor of at least 10 or more.

The $1.5 trillion figure, which is currently being thrown around, is enough of a sticker shocker even without the realization that it will actually end up costing far, far more that even Democrats – fearing losing their seats – are beginning to bail out of it.

Still, the worse the plan looks, the faster Barack Obama wants it passed, before people know what a lemon they bought.  Obama has been claiming that we must immediately pass health care “reform” in order to save money in future years.  He has pounded away with that message again and again.

But that message is a complete lie.

Allow me to introduce Doug Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office.  And allow me to cite an article by Rick Moran from Pajama’s Media to describe the truly dire situation we face, and which we are ignoring to our literal peril:

ObamaCare Gets a Red Light from Congressional Budget Office

The Democrats’ plan not only won’t save a dime, it will cost us billions over the next decade. (Also see PJTV: Nationwide Protests Target ObamaCare)

Doug Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, was testifying before the Senate Budget Committee yesterday when he dropped a bombshell on the gathering that put a whole new spin on the effort by the Obama administration to reform the health care system.

The exchange with Democrat Kent Conrad was a shocker:

Conrad: Dr. Elmendorf, I am going to really put you on the spot because we are in the middle of this health care debate, but it is critically important that we get this right. Everyone has said, virtually everyone, that bending the cost curve over time is critically important and one of the key goals of this entire effort. From what you have seen from the products of the committees that have reported, do you see a successful effort being mounted to bend the long-term cost curve?

Elmendorf: No, Mr. Chairman. In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.

Conrad: So the cost curve in your judgment is being bent, but it is being bent the wrong way. Is that correct?

Elmendorf: The way I would put it is that the curve is being raised, so there is a justifiable focus on growth rates because of course it is the compounding of growth rates faster than the economy that leads to these unsustainable paths. But it is very hard to look out over a very long term and say very accurate things about growth rates. So most health experts that we talk with focus particularly on what is happening over the next 10 or 20 years, still a pretty long time period for projections, but focus on the next 10 or 20 years and look at whether efforts are being made that are bringing costs down or pushing costs up over that period.

As we wrote in our letter to you and Senator Gregg, the creation of a new subsidy for health insurance, which is a critical part of expanding health insurance coverage in our judgment, would by itself increase the federal responsibility for health care that raises federal spending on health care. It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate and to offset that there has to be very substantial reductions in other parts of the federal commitment to health care, either on the tax revenue side through changes in the tax exclusion or on the spending side through reforms in Medicare and Medicaid.

Elmendorf made additional news yesterday by scaring the hell out of everyone when he released the latest CBO report on the long-term budget outlook that, in technical terms, says that we are in very big trouble:

Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds long-term fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law. Unless revenues increase just as rapidly, the rise in spending will produce growing budget deficits. Large budget deficits would reduce national saving, leading to more borrowing from abroad and less domestic investment, which in turn would depress economic growth in the United States. Over time, accumulating debt would cause substantial harm to the economy. …

Measured relative to GDP, almost all of the projected growth in federal spending other than interest payments on the debt stems from the three largest entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. For decades, spending on Medicare and Medicaid has been growing faster than the economy. CBO projects that if current laws do not change, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from roughly 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by 2035. By 2080, the government would be spending almost as much, as a share of the economy, on just its two major health care programs as it has spent on all of its programs and services in recent years.

This double dose of doom has made absolutely no impact on Capitol Hill. Three House committees seem ready to report out a $1.5 trillion health care reform measure while the Senate Finance Committee appears close to a bipartisan deal on how to fund it — this, despite the fact that the CBO chief has told them there is no way to pay for it.

It is like being in a bad dream where there’s a fire in a room where a dinner party is being held and you’re the only one who notices. Everyone else is still playing cards, eating, or sitting around having witty conversations, all the while the fire laps closer and closer.

But it’s not a nightmare and lawmakers really are ignoring the fire. Elmendorf doesn’t come up with these projections to amuse himself and the wonks at CBO. He has outlined a recipe for catastrophe that will eventually make the United States a second rate economic power, not to mention impoverish the population.

The president and Democrats have been pitching this plan as a cost-saving measure. The president especially has been warning that we have to pass this reform bill quickly in order to get control of the spiraling deficits grimly outlined in Elmendorf’s long-term budget outlook.

But Elmendorf is saying that we can’t get there from here, that the numbers being used by Democrats to close the gap between what the bill will cost and how they plan to pay for it are simply not adding up.

There is another aspect to this reform measure that few are talking about: history. Every single entitlement program ever created by the federal government has cost the taxpayer more than advertised — in some cases, astronomically more.

Medicare is a perfect example. When the program was created in 1965, it cost taxpayers around $3 billion. At that time, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990 — and that number was adjusted for a predicted rate of inflation. The actual cost of the program in 1990 was $107 billion. And today, Medicare costs the U.S. taxpayer $440 billion.

At best, Congress is guessing. The fact is, no one knows how much this monstrosity is going to cost, no one knows how it is going to be paid for, and no one knows what effect it will have on the quality of care or on the private insurance industry.

The ideas being implemented are untried. And, unlike NASA testing a new rocket or the Air Force testing a new fighter where failure is expected, there is no room for error. However this thing works itself out, we are stuck with it. History is a telling guide here as well; there has never been an entitlement once created that was later rescinded.

Elmendorf’s testimony and budget outlook should be heeded. Yes, we need to reform the health care system — badly. But the Democrats’ plan is not the only game in town. There are many proposals left unexamined by the Democrats in their haste to give their president a triumph. The partisan nature of the debate, the deliberate closing off of alternatives that would cost far less and perhaps do as much as is being proposed, and the damnable rush to get it all done before anything is digested or weighed against the long term, is frightening.

The major justification for speed in passing this legislation just went out the window with Director Elmendorf’s admission that the health care reform bill will only add many billions to the record deficits we will already be running over the next decade. Is that reason enough to slow down or even stop what the Congress is doing in order to think this thing through and try to come up with alternatives?

Not when it’s easier to ignore the fire lapping at your toes in order to grant a political victory to a president in trouble with the voters.

They say elections have consequences, and since the country voted for total Democrat control, we should let the Democrats have their shot.  That may be true.  But what we did as a nation in November was vote to slash our jugular veins, so that the blood of the entire nation (measured in the red ink of crippling debts) would gush out until we are left with less than a banana republic.

It is my sincerely held belief that those who truly understand the real picture are not telling us how truly bad things are, lest the people bring the nation down in one massively giant “bank run.”


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