Saturday, November 21, 2009

Washington Post veteran calls Obamacare "budget buster"

I never thought I would be posting a favorable blog based on an article by David Broder in the Washington Post, but tonight I must.

In "Budget Buster in the Making", Broder shines a light on the public's true opinion of government sponsored health care reform.  It is a cogent article that you should read if you can find the time.  Here's a sneak peak:
It's simply not true that America is ambivalent about everything when it comes to the Obama health plan.

The day after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) gave its qualified blessing to the version of health reform produced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Quinnipiac University poll of a national cross section of voters reported its latest results.

This poll may not be as famous as some others, but I know the care and professionalism of the people who run it, and one question was particularly interesting to me.

It read: "President Obama has pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our federal budget deficit over the next decade. Do you think that President Obama will be able to keep his promise or do you think that any health care plan that Congress passes and President Obama signs will add to the federal budget deficit?"

The answer: Less than one-fifth of the voters -- 19 percent of the sample -- think he will keep his word. Nine of 10 Republicans and eight of 10 independents said that whatever passes will add to the torrent of red ink. By a margin of four to three, even Democrats agreed this is likely.

That fear contributed directly to the fact that, by a 16-point margin, the majority in this poll said they oppose the legislation moving through Congress.

I have been writing for months that the acid test for this effort lies less in the publicized fight over the public option or the issue of abortion coverage than in the plausibility of its claim to be fiscally responsible.

This is obviously turning out to be the case. While the CBO said that both the House-passed bill and the one Reid has drafted meet Obama's test by being budget-neutral, every expert I have talked to says that the public has it right. These bills, as they stand, are budget-busters.
Our country does not want and cannot afford this health care bill.  Notwithstanding recent forecasts that "The U.S. economy is coming out of recession thanks to massive government stimulus and will grow more than expected in 2010,", Americans are not buying it.

Bloomberg reports this week:
Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly dropped in November as the loss of jobs threatened to undermine the biggest part of the economy.

The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index decreased to a three-month low of 66 from 70.6 in October. A report from the Commerce Department showed the trade deficit widened in September by the most in a decade as rising demand for imported oil and automobiles swamped a fifth consecutive gain in exports.

Rising joblessness puts the economy at risk of slipping into a vicious circle of firings and declines in consumer spending that will limit the emerging recovery.
Look at David Goldman's analysis of the monthly Labor Department survey released yesterday.  From his article "Unemployment rates rise in 29 states" at
A growing number of states reported rising jobless rates in October, and thirteen states reported unemployment rates above the national average of 10.2%, according to a government report released on Friday.
Oh, I forgot, it's a jobless recovery.

Tonight Harry Reid got the 60 votes needed to send his 2074 page health care bill to the Senate floor for debate after the Thanksgiving break.  I am sure he thinks that people are going to be too busy celebrating with family, eating turkey, putting up Christmas decorations and shopping next week, to even think about health care reform.  Maybe he's right.  But I would bet that Senate phones will start melting on the morning of November 30.

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