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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today in Washington D. C. - June 17, 2009 - A Tidal Wave of Debt

Government Approved Tourism: Yesterday, the Senate voted 90-3 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1023. Today they will resume discussions and move toward a final vote on "creating a privately run nonprofit corporation to market the United States as a travel destination abroad.” Do we need S 1023? Please note that anyone can create a non-profit. If Congress and the Executive Branch are involved that means future tax dollars will be funneled to this "non-profit." Enough!

As if the Internet, 50 State offices of tourism, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Disneyland, Disney World, Dollywood, Las Vegas, New York City, Williamsburg, Branson, Hawaii, Alaska, the Grand Canyon, freedom, liberty, our National Parks, the low value of the dollar to foreign currency and all other etc. etc. are not enough to promote American tourism. Visit any major American tourist spot today and you begin to wonder if you are even in America with the majority of the visitors being from other countries. It is not as if people in other countries do not know that the Unites States is great place to visit - they all know! Some even come as tourists and opt to remain illegally -try that in another country!

National Government Run Health Care: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee began its markup of a health care bill written by Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) at 10 AM. It is being broadcast on C-SPAN3.

The Washington Post writes today, “President Obama’s plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured is likely to dig the nation deeper into debt unless policymakers adopt politically painful controls on spending, such as sharp reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers, congressional budget analysts said yesterday.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday said the still-incomplete bill being considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee would cost at least $1 trillion over the next decade and fall 37 million people short of covering all uninsured Americans. Yesterday, the CBO released its estimate for the Senate Finance Committee’s bill: $1.6 trillion over 10 years and falling 15 million people short, according to The Wall Street Journal.

These “eye-popping new cost estimates,” as the AP described them, left Senate Democrats and the White House “scrambling to regain their footing,” according to The Hill. The New York Times reports, “Alarmed by cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, leaders of the Senate Finance Committee delayed releasing a detailed description of their bill for several days, as they effectively went back to the drawing board to cut the price tag.”

It’s important to remember, though, that neither of these bills are complete, and some of the most expensive components have no detailed plans yet. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on the floor this morning, called the CBO figures “staggering” and said they don’t “even account for the money that would be needed to pay for expanding Medicaid and creating a new government-run plan.”

And when those costs are added in, they are unlikely to be static, as the CBO director told USA Today. “In an interview Monday with USA TODAY, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said the cost to insure [currently uninsured] people will continue to rise, and savings from efforts to curb health care spending may be elusive.”

The WSJ notes, “Democrats, including [Senate Finance Committee Chair Max] Baucus, have said the cost of the health-care initiative will be fully offset with tax increases and spending cuts.” Despite their assurances, Sen. McConnell pointed out, “[N]o one can tell us where any of this money will come from.”

And in spite of all of this—massive cost estimates Democrats want to reduce, the lack of details for the most far-reaching and expensive components of these plans, and no concrete explanations how any of this will be paid for—Senate Democrats and President Obama want to rush a health care bill through Congress. Bloomberg points out, “[t]he largest expansion of U.S. health care since the creation of Medicare in 1965 may emerge” from a “45-day sprint.”

Sen. McConnell warned against a hurried approach today, noting that the last time a trillion dollars in spending was rushed through Congress, we wound up with the stimulus bill which “is now being called a bad guess by the very people who proposed it. . . . Just like the stimulus, we’re being told in the most urgent tones that this government takeover of health care is absolutely necessary, and that we have to approve it as soon as possible — without review, without knowing the full cost, and without knowing how it will affect people's lives. Once again, it’s rush and spend, and rush and spend — and a tidal wave of debt.”

Tags: Barack Obama, buying debt, health care, nationalized health care, tourism, US Congress, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:45 AM - Post Link


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