Sunday, February 24, 2013

President Obama Revives “Leave It To Beaver's” Eddie Haskell For the Sequester Debate

Eddie Haskell was the real star of the 50s classic TV series “Leave It to Beaver.”  Eddie constantly stirred up trouble, blamed the hapless Beave and Wally when things went wrong, but  whose misdeeds were found out in the end by Ward and June Cleaver. That was a different day and age, but the Eddie Haskells are still with us, and they are in very high places.

Barack Obama is our first “Eddie Haskell President.” He stirs up mischief, for which he blames the rascally Republicans, while professing his own innocence or non-involvement. He levitates above the fray while his operatives do the dirty work. He offers grand bargains, then moves the goal posts, and blames his jilted adversaries for obstructionism.  He extracts costly concessions and then berates the conceders for not giving enough. He promises a post-racial society but conducts a campaign of class warfare. Wall Street bonuses and Cayman accounts disqualify opponents but are “not important” for his own nominees.

Our media is supposed to play the sensible Ward and June Cleaver in exposing such antics, but it acts instead as Eddie’s accomplices and enablers. Where are Ward and June when we really need them?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Government Study Finds Obama Care Leaves Thirty Million Uninsured

President Obama promised that the Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care would eradicate the national scandal of tens of millions of Americans, largely poor, without health insurance. A supportive media bombarded a sympathetic American public with woeful accounts of poor mothers and sick children suffering without medical care. The European press derided a barbaric American health-care system that left the poor out in the cold.  A widely-cited Harvard Medical School study found some 45,000 deaths a year caused by the lack of health insurance. If Harvard says so, it must be true.

Surprise and Shock!  According to the government’s own and most authoritative study, Obama Care will leave 30 million Americans uninsured during its first decade. Thirty million is a far cry from the universal coverage the President promised. Another pledge down the drain along with “if you like your doctor, you can keep him. If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” I have not heard the press reminding us of these broken promises.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The $995 billion Sequester Cut Is Actually a $110 Billion Spending Increase

The Congressional Budget Office gives its baseline budget projections for fiscal years 2013 to 2023 in its February 5, 2013  Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023. Table 1-5 shows how the CBO incorporates the $55 billion per year in sequestered defense cuts and the $37 million per year in sequestered non-defense cuts into its projections of  discretionary spending.

The sequester “cuts” are subtracted after  increasing  appropriations subject to the sequester at the rate of  inflation and adding back in more than a trillion dollars (over ten years) of spending exempted from the sequester.

The sequester has been advertised as “cutting” discretionary spending over a ten year period by $995 billion. After inflation adjustments and exempting more than a trillion dollars of defense and non defense discretionary spending from the sequester, the CBO projects  (in its Table 1.1) discretionary spending to increase by $110 billion over the decade. There is no actual $995 billion cut after the CBO applies its magic adjustments. Rather there is a $110 billion increase.

Sequester alarmists will respond that it is impossible to run the federal government  without annual inflation adjustments and without exempting certain government spending. We American voters might respond that most of us do not receive automatic inflation adjustments to our earnings and we are expected to tighten our belts when times are tough and our personal debt has gotten out of control.

Whatever the case, it is hard to characterize a $110 billion increase as a draconian cut that will bring America and its federal government to its knees.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Obama Administration Proposed Sequester Cuts Do Not Include GAO's Duplicative and Wateful Programs

The New York Times list of "damaging cuts" to federal programs seems not to include any of the GAO's proposals for cutting wasteful and duplicative programs. It seems they could only find cuts of programs that people would like to preserve. Strange.

Here is the GAO's summary table from its March 2011 report on waste and publication in government: