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  • Morning Bell: Obama Trek: The Search for More Money

    Yesterday, in what President Barack Obama described as a “watershed event”, the health care industry promised to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years by implementing such measures as the use of health information technology, care coordination, disease management, and “evidence based” medicine. If you feel as though you’ve seen this movie before, that is because you have: these are the exact same cost-cutting proposals that were in the Obama administration budget released earlier this year. So much for a watershed.

    But Obama’s big announcement yesterday is actually a remake of an even older idea. Reacting to the Obama administration’s health care event, former-President Jimmy Carter aide and Brookings Institution health economist Henry Aaron told the New York Times: “I had a Rip van Winkle moment, as if I had fallen asleep in 1977 and woke up again this morning.” And just as with the Carter administration, don’t expect these health care savings to ever actually materialize. Former director of the Congressional Budget Office Robert Reischauer told the Washington Post: “It would be difficult to wring 1.5 percentage points out of this list of proposals.” Boston University health policy professor Alan Sager was even less kind, calling the Obama event, “An unrivaled set of abstractions and posturing.”

    So why is an extremely popular new president barely 100 days into his administration recycling failed policy ideas from the ’70s?  Math. Yesterday the White House released numbers showing the federal deficit will reach $1.84 trillion this year; $89 billion more than they forecast just this February. The day President Obama was inaugurated the deficit stood at $1.2 trillion; meaning $600 billion has already been added during his four-month presidency. An AP poll last month shows that while Obama’s overall approval rating was 64 percent, just 49 percent approve of his handling of the deficit. And voters are not the only ones losing patience with Obama’s deficit spending. Last week investors around the world signaled Obama’s easy money days were soon coming to an end when they demanded significantly higher interest rates for 30-year Treasury bonds.

    The Obama administration has emphasized repeatedly that health-care reform is the key to their deficit reductions goals. But as the Washington Post points out the White House “is backing a plan to expand coverage that would cost taxpayers between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion over 10 years, while it has proposed health-care savings of only $309 billion.” And no one even believes those $309 billion in savings will ever materialize. So where will Obama find the money to pay for his lavish health care dreams? He doesn’t know either.

    First he proposed cutting tax benefits for charities, but that suggestion has been soundly rejected on Capitol Hill. Next Obama’s budget proposed raising energy taxes on the American people by almost $80 billion a year, but the necessary Waxman-Markey legislation can’t even get out of an energy subcommittee. Obama then proposed raising taxes on U.S. corporations that compete overseas, but even his Silicon Valley business allies are calling that plan a jobs killer.

    And the Obama administration’s desperate search for more money will only get worse. Nobody believes the rosy economic assumptions that are keeping the deficit projections at their current level. IHS Global Insight chief U.S. financial economist Brian Bethune told McClatchy: “If they keep playing this game, they’re going to have real credibility problems.” At least they haven’t proposed that time-traveling Romulans can rescue our financial situation. At least not yet.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama Trek: The Search for More Money

    1. William R. Casey, PE says:

      Teleprompting fiscal policy under the Sword of Democles. This administration has proved the Peter Principle.

    2. Ted, Manassas, VA says:

      "President Obama’s new budget would eliminate most money for abstinence-only sex education and shift it to teen pregnancy prevention.

      Uh, doesn't abstinence prevent pregnancy?

    3. Matt in VA says:

      The fact that Obama has to find ways to pay for COST REDUCTIONS in healthcare speaks for itself. If the plan is to reduce costs, then there should be no need to raise added taxes to pay for it.

      Likewise, the "Green Jobs" energy plan, aka Cap & Trade, is a tax increase masquerading as a jobs plan. But the libs are putting out lots of ads proclaiming that steel mills will be re-opened to make wind turbines. It's not true. But where is the conservative answer to the claim?

    4. Peg C., NY says:

      I propose a search for intelligent life in the Obama Administration. Likely doomed to fail.

      Heritage, thank you for all you do. However, it is time to stop using the trope "extremely popular new president." This phrase defies logic and belief.

    5. Eugene Hoffman, Hous says:

      This is going to sound basic, but with the exception of useful technology from NASA, the federal government has never created a single money making idea, service, or product. And, the federal government, despite its faith in Keynesian economics, cannot spend our way out of debt; therefore we must free and let loose the creativity and ingenuity of the PRIVATE sector, which has been, and always will be the builder of wealth in our fantastic economic engine. We will default as a nation under the weight of interest payments and inflation unless the new beltway oligarchy stops spending now, it is a mathematical certainty.

    6. Jim@Redding,CA says:

      ONE NATION UNDER GOD? Not anymore – at

      least not with His blessings. Time to get

      used to God's judgement on a nation that

      turned its back on Him…

    7. Cat, SC says:

      There is no way to get the deficit can go down without it first going up. Everyone is so critical of the POUS, something has to be tried to fine out what will work.This country is in a mess. So, put forth some ideas instead of always being so negative.

    8. Danny Fla USA says:

      Dear Morning Bell: To search for more money/ or to balance the books is what i see. The economy has alway's been determined by the sound, and honest worker. Those who cannot find a high enough paying job, because of whatever reason, cannot make contributions, to keep The Nation afloat.! Wh can take care of the real needs of The American People, and preserve the Freedom, by the way without there isan't a life worth living.Tyranny means you own nothing, and that includes anything worthwhile.

    9. MarkJ says:

      "So why is an extremely popular new president barely 100 days into his administration recycling failed policy ideas from the ’70s?"

      More great Obama initiatives: government-subsidized mood rings, leisure suits, disco records, and Whip-Inflation-Now lapel buttons.

      Obama may be "extremely popular" now…but look for his approval numbers to head into a death spiral once American families are told by glassy-eyed ObamaCare providers, "Sorry, but your Granny isn't eligible for that hip replacement–she's too old and it's too expensive, y'know."

    10. Ed Brown - Louisvill says:

      As Amity Shlaes points out in The Forgotten Man, the real heroes of the day, were those people, extraordinary individuals who embodied the American Character by aiding and inspiring their fellow citizens in a variety of innovative ways. Roosevelt claimed that his administration had endeavored to "establish new institutions of public power” but as usual it was the the act of "reconciliation." One side, namely the government, gets the power while the other side, the people, gets reconciled to it. Obama seems to be saying "it's your money and I want it now."

    11. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      It is a democrat smoke and mirror mirage to speak in support of 2-trillion dollars in health care costs over 10- years when the health care industry should already be motivated to cut costs without government intervention or subsidy, especially when costs can be cut through efficiencies in technology. The administration is planning to reduce expenditures for Defense, believing it will have control of government for at least the next 7- years. Where will the monies diverted from Defense go? To pay down the deficit? To lower citizen's tax rate? No and no. As distributors of wealth, it will be used to buy political support to continue expansion of government largesse. Welcome to Chicago.

    12. Keith somewhere in t says:

      From what I read, those disillusioned with the President and his administration might consider organizing to win more elections soon. Otherwise, we become a people of grumblers and complainers, traits not healthy for citizens or their nation.

    13. Frank Derfler, Islam says:

      Reduce the rise in health care costs. How do you do that? Well, by cutting back on who gets a transplant or other sophisticated treatment. Too old? Too sick? Bye bye!

      That's what the "automated health care records" are all about that Hillary was pushing and all liberals love. If all the records are on line, then you don't even NEED a bureaucrat to deny care. Enter date of birth, diagnosis, and request for care, click SUBMIT, and get a death sentence. It's all automated. Swell. See, it is so wonderfully "fair".

    14. jc, central texas says:

      Is the obvious truth and advice from real experts completely ignored by this administration? Do they not read? If one or two of the culprits would watch Fox news they might get a clue.

    15. William Cole - Texas says:

      To quote a very famous conservative from the Reagan era: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money." Significant tax increases on all of the people in this country that have no political clout except for their one vote is the about the only direction for this administration to head. All others are proving to be a dead end.

    16. Dougger, Kalifornia says:

      "…..the health care industry promised to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years ….."

      In reality they did not promise to cut costs; they promised to reduce the rate of increase.

      Which means that costs will continue to go up even if they somehow meet this goal.

    17. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Again, liberals view health care as a public service. Much like as provided by police and fire agencies. These idividuals don't see the problem in paying higher taxes to cover such costs. As is typical with liberals, theirs is a "second life" fantasy blind to fiscal reality. Talk about not being able to afford care. They completely ignore the far greater costs the very people currently falling through the cracks would have to pay via their earnings tax verses purcasing a private health plan. This for a rationed system. Don't complicate the actual problem of care accessibilty. Threatening and/or trashing a well functioning healthcare industry is not the answer. You'd think the current administration would have learned this from their bank and automaker bailouts.

    18. Nelia, Fountain Hill says:

      I suspect the stage 3 cancer from which I am in recovery, would go untreated in the proposed Health Care program because I am in my 70s and on MEDICARE. MEDICARE is not free – a hefty monthly premium comes out of my social security. As well. secondary insurance is required, for which I also pay a monthly premium.

      What is needed is an affordable insurance program for the self employed owners of small business, and help for those who work but are not offered company group policies.

    19. David Sayers, NC says:

      It appears that Chairman Obama is stuck in a dream state. He somehow thinks he can solve every problem with 2 hour meetings. He is,as another has stated, just smoke and mirrors. The ideas and tactics that he learned from his Kommie mentors,that might look good on paper,don't work. He should do the honorable thing and resign now before it all implodes.

    20. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » A HOT NEW RELEASE: Obama Trek: The Search for More Money….

    21. Ed Brown - Louisvill says:

      It will always remain a dishonor, moral and intellectual dishonor, for the Western democratic societies that allowed the socialist experiments of the Twentieth Century to ruin the economies of whole continents and destroy the lives of countless millions of people, all with the acquiescence and support of intellectuals who believed themselves to be progressive. This long and historic encounter saw many of our most gifted writers, artists, scientists, and intellectuals energetically engaged in opposing our own political and social institutions that comprised the foundations of the American Character. The adversaries of freedom and democracy and individualism, namely the Communist movement, were never questioned by the progressives and intellectuals. They were complicit in socialist crimes but they refused to confront their complicity in these crimes and give up the illusion that had made them inevitable.

      They could have made one of two choices, either admit to the failures of their deeply held beliefs and recognize Socialism and the Communist movement as the failure that caused this destruction and abandon the Left. Following the Communist collapse the great majority of the secular progressive intellectuals continued their war against the democracies of the West and are now professors teaching in some of the finest universities and colleges in the Western Hemisphere. They continue their destructive attacks on capitalism believing that the collapse of Communism was the fault of those who attempted its reform. Many or most of them never seem to confront the moral issue posed by their destructive agendas. “The explicit agenda of critical theory is to undermine the credibility and authority of the status quo in order to prepare its annihilation.” Critical theory is the coy self description of the ideological Left. It defines itself by the totality of its rejection of the existing social order.

    22. William R. Casey, PE says:

      One Obama supporter defending 2 hour meetings says that the liberal way of addressing problems is to form committees of experts to resolve trouble wherever it arises. That worked out well for the old Soviet Union and Mao's China didn't it?

    23. Pingback: Morning Bell: Obama Trek: The Search for More Money From the Hertiage Foundation « Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian

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    27. Robert Taylor, Horse says:

      I wouldn't buy a GM or Ford product now even if they discounted it 25%. Corporations that cooperate with the government to steal tax payers dollars don't deserve to survive. It's called fascism and/or corporatism…politics of "pull". I have no empathy for thieves! Auto manufacturers should file bankruptcy, void their union contracts, move their plants to a "right-to-work" state and tell the unions to go fly a kite…except the kite would probably never leave ground.

    28. JP, NC says:

      I am anti amensty and anti- Real ID / National ID Card. I guess I am bad because I love Liberty?

    29. mike baker Dallas C says:

      We only exist to keep the government growing? Was it always like this, old-timer?

    30. Foxwood says:

      Obama's budget is failure by design.

    31. fc, nc says:

      ed brown, you put into words exactly what i've been trying to figure out for a long time. thank you. as for securing this country's future, someone must accomplise the near impossible, i.e., teach our glutenous low income population that they must suffer the consequencies of indulging their desire for instant gratification. when one is poor, one must do without cigerettes, beer, fashion clothing, overeating, every modern gadget, more children than they can afford, illicist drugs, promicuity and much more because they can't afford it. they must learn to do without. they must learn that the rest of the country does not owe them a middleclass life style. the rest of the country must stop providing a safty net or the promise of one. the rest of the country must learn to leave irrsponble people to their just desserts.

    32. John, Colorado says:

      I hope the illegal immigrant amnesty folks succeed in shooting down any real ID or "secure" drivers licenses. Having to have an SSN to be employed, cash a paycheck, and drive around, is already too close to having to have a number of a beast to buy and sell. (Obama voters and even some Republicans won't understand this, as they are mostly blinded to seeing truth.)

    33. Pingback: Where's the Change? - Community Blog - American Issues Project

    34. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      Obama and the dems are so full of themselves, they can not see what is happening to this country. This whole thing is just a way to make this country into a socialist nation. The American people must wake up and take this country back, or loose it all. The 2010 elections are coming, I just hope people wake up and it is not to late to save this country from the likes of obama and the dems.

      I fought for this country because I was aked to, I fought because I thought the reason was right, many think the same today as they go to other lands and many giove their all. Liberals like obama do not care for this country and the thousands that have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy.FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, SOME ONE WILL PAY THE PRICE FOR WHAT WE ENJOY TODAY.It is time for all this BS to stop, the government must be tod by the people that it is a GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, NOT FOR JUST THE LIBERALS AND SUPPOSED DO-GOODERS.

    35. Normca says:

      What is wrong with our health care system is what is wrong with other elements of our great country. Lawyers. They sue for everything; some valid, but mostly money grabbing. I find my health insurance carrier satisfactory after three stays in the hospital in the last 3 years. And I do pay a big per centage of my income for premium – $760. My 1st stay resulted in an infection, not related to the ailment I was there for and it almost killed me and as a self employed, lost 3 months of work. I did not sue the hospital. President Bush had a good idea that entailed tax breaks for individuals and restricting legal activity. It was immediately dismissed. Like any other insurance; more subscribers reduce the costs. BHO is going to tax employees' benefits. Which one is better ? He has to lie about the numbers of uninsured which includes illegal aliens and people who can afford it, but chose not to buy health insurance. And the lawyers who helped put him in office, like the unions, are due a pay back. Like the auto makers, the health care problem will not be solved until the door to the lawyers is closed. We have the best health care system in the world.

    36. Chad Miller, Hiawath says:

      In all I've seen transpire in Washington in these recent first months of Obama's term as President,& all I can think is just that just when you actually believe they can't bastardize things any worse than they've already managed to do so far….

    37. Floyd - Chicago says:

      Sending all of the illegal immigrants and their families, back to the countries they came from would reduce health care, social security and all of the other handouts arranged by the democrats.

    38. Scott - Jefferson says:

      How about collecting all the unpaid medical bills and welfare support moneys and deduct from the foreign aid money to Mexico and pay the hospitals and SSA back what they paid out plus VISA card interest.

    39. Pingback: My News Summary, 6/17/2009 « Mr. Smith Goes Conservative Blogging

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