Like two ships passing not at night but in broad daylight, one arm of Congress is promising spending of mammoth proportions as another says such spending is "unsustainable.:"
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf gave a fiscal wake-up call to Senate Budget Committee members in testimony on July 16, noting that "the federal budget is on an unsustainable path -- meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run."
Elmendorf said that solving the budget crisis would "require increasing revenues significantly as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), decreasing projected spending sharply, or some combination of the two."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday hailed "historic" progress on healthcare legislation and pledged to continue momentum to deliver on President Barack Obama's vow of reform.
Even by the administration's own admission, President Obama's health care reform will cost at least a trillion dollars, and quite frankly I've yet to witness a federal spending proposal that came in at or under budget. So my guess at the true cost of health reform as the president is pitching it is probably three times that amount. And despite what the Washington politicians tell you, it's coming out of the pockets of the middle class. Promises to "tax only the rich" are as unsustainable as is the Democrats' overall spending plan:
The House Ways and Means Committee agreed to raise taxes to pay for the plan's estimated $1 trillion cost in part by higher taxes on couples making more than $350,000. Critics argue that it would harm small businesses who fall into this tax category.
Further doubts about the high cost of Obama's effort emerged on Thursday when Congress' own independent budget analyst said reforms now being considered would do little to control rising costs. Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats seized on this, and called for more controls on the scale and cost of the plan.
Further, this horse hockey about health insurance being "unaffordable" for almost 50 million Americans must be exposed for that which it truly is: a decision by many of these people to spend disposable income on things they want rather than health insurance. I personally know three people who tell me they cannot "afford" health care insurance. Yet I have seen among them spending on such things as a new truck, an expensive computer, riding lessons for a child and so on. Each one of them could instead have made the choice to put that money towards health insurance premiums, but they decided not to do so.
The real tragedy of the current health care system is meted out on hard-working people who pay for insurance (or who work for employers who do) whose coverage is then excluded for a so-called pre-existing condition. Similarly, those covered individuals who are denied coverage due to slick, dishonest behavior by insurance companies are the ones who deserve health reform--not the self-selected uninsured.
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By Bonnie Erbe