American Elephants


Government Elites Picking Winners and Losers? Bad Idea! by The Elephant's Child

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out his “Path to Prosperity” 2012 budget plan on Monday in a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago. He also discussed how the U.S. government reached this big-spending tipping point.

“By the end of the decade, we will be spending 20 percent of our tax revenue simply paying interest on the debt — and that’s according to optimistic projections.  If ratings agencies such as S&P move from downgrading our outlook to downgrading our credit, then interest rates will rise even higher, and debt service will cost trillions more.

This course is not sustainable.  That isn’t an opinion; it’s a mathematical certainty.  If we continue down our current path, we are walking right into the most preventable crisis in our nation’s history.”

A video of his speech is available here. Paul Ryan is terrific. He is clear, concise, and explains where we are and why we can’t go on kicking the problem down the road in the hopes that something will turn up.

If you don’t watch the speech — and it is long but worth your time, for this is the most important issue of our time — this is what you should remember:

The President’s plan begins with trillions of dollars in higher taxes, and it relies on a plan to control costs in Medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to deeply ration care. This would disrupt the lives of those currently in retirement and lead to waiting lists for today’s seniors. The disagreement isn’t really about the problem. It’s about the solution to controlling costs in Medicare.

And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors.

… That’s the real class warfare that threatens us — a class of governing elites picking winners and losers, and determining our destinies for us.   (emphasis added)

The Medicare actuary, Richard Foster, says that the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is scheduled to be depleted in 2024, five years earlier than projected in last year’s report. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current level of Medicaid prices — which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid b private health insurance. Congress wold have in intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market, and severe problems with access to care.

His projections do not represent, he says, a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in the short run or the long run. The double-counting Democrats put in to make the law look good, and the unrealistic cuts will mean that the federal government will go even deeper into debt, making a way out even harder to find.

In other words, it’s not going to work. We need to repeal ObamaCare. The problems we can see now are only a beginning.




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