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Sarah Palin’s WSJ “Prebuttal” to Obama’s Healthcare Speech Tomorrow Night; And How Much It Will Actually Cost Us? Hello, National Sales Tax!

by Bob in Breckenridge ( 27 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Healthcare, Politics, Progressives at September 8th, 2009 - 8:10 pm

Two Wall Street Journal op-eds for the price of none! What a deal, huh? No need to thank me…

This “prebuttal” will appear in tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) Wall Street Journal…

Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care

The president’s proposals would give unelected officials life-and-death rationing powers.

By Sarah Palin

Writing in the New York Times last month, President Barack Obama asked that Americans “talk with one another, and not over one another” as our health-care debate moves forward.

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s engage the other side’s arguments, and let’s allow Americans to decide for themselves whether the Democrats’ health-care proposals should become governing law.

Some 45 years ago Ronald Reagan said that “no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds.” Each of us knows that we have an obligation to care for the old, the young and the sick. We stand strongest when we stand with the weakest among us.

We also know that our current health-care system too often burdens individuals and businesses—particularly small businesses—with crippling expenses. And we know that allowing government health-care spending to continue at current rates will only add to our ever-expanding deficit.

How can we ensure that those who need medical care receive it while also reducing health-care costs? The answers offered by Democrats in Washington all rest on one principle: that increased government involvement can solve the problem. I fundamentally disagree.

Common sense tells us that the government’s attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats’ proposals “will provide more stability and security to every American.”

With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it’s a promise Washington can’t keep.

Let’s talk about specifics. In his Times op-ed, the president argues that the Democrats’ proposals “will finally bring skyrocketing health-care costs under control” by “cutting . . . waste and inefficiency in federal health programs like Medicare and Medicaid and in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies . . . .”

First, ask yourself whether the government that brought us such “waste and inefficiency” and “unwarranted subsidies” in the first place can be believed when it says that this time it will get things right. The nonpartistan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn’t think so: Its director, Douglas Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee in July that “in the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount.”

Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He’s asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of “normal political channels,” should guide decisions regarding that “huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . .”

Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats’ proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through “normal political channels,” they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats’ proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we’ve come to expect from this administration.

Speaking of government overreaching, how will the Democrats’ proposals affect the deficit? The CBO estimates that the current House proposal not only won’t reduce the deficit but will actually increase it by $239 billion over 10 years. Only in Washington could a plan that adds hundreds of billions to the deficit be hailed as a cost-cutting measure.

The economic effects won’t be limited to abstract deficit numbers; they’ll reach the wallets of everyday Americans. Should the Democrats’ proposals expand health-care coverage while failing to curb health-care inflation rates, smaller paychecks will result. A new study for Watson Wyatt Worldwide by Steven Nyce and Syl Schieber concludes that if the government expands health-care coverage while health-care inflation continues to rise “the higher costs would drive disposable wages downward across most of the earnings spectrum, although the declines would be steepest for lower-earning workers.” Lower wages are the last thing Americans need in these difficult economic times.

Read the rest here

And here’s another WSJ op-ed about the REAL cost and massive tax increases to pay for Obamacare…

ObamaCare’s Crippling Deficits
The higher taxes, debt payments and interest rates needed to pay for health reform mean lower living standards.

By MARTIN FELDSTEIN

While the deficits caused by the fiscal stimulus package will end in 2011 and will help to sustain a fragile recovery in 2010, the deficits projected for the longer term are a threat to our economic future. The starting point for controlling those future deficits is for Congress to abandon the administration’s health-care plan—a plan that will cost more than $1 trillion.

The deficits projected for the next decade and beyond are unprecedented. According to an assessment released in March by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the president’s budget implies that deficits will average 5.2% of GDP over the next decade and will be 5.5% of GDP in 2019. Without the president’s proposals, the budget office forecasts a 2019 deficit of only 2% of GDP.

The CBO’s deficit projections are based on the optimistic assumptions that the economy will grow at a healthy 3% pace with no recessions during the next decade; that there will be no new spending programs after this year’s budget; and that the rising national debt will increase the rate of interest on government bonds by less than 1%. More realistic assumptions would imply a 2019 deficit of more than 8% of GDP and a government debt of more than 100% of GDP.

Such enormous deficits would crowd out productivity-enhancing investments in new equipment and software as the government borrows funds otherwise available to private investors. The result would be slower economic growth and a lower standard of living.

In the nearer term, the projected deficits could cause interest rates on bonds and mortgages to rise sharply if bond investors fear that the government will not prevent inflation. This is a greater risk now that more than half of the U.S. government debt is held by the Chinese and other foreign investors. Such an interest rate rise could kill a recovery in 2010 or 2011 and depress growth in the years that follow.

Dropping the Obama health plan would significantly reduce fiscal deficits over the next decade and help restore public confidence in the ability of Congress to control spending. The CBO estimates that the House committee versions of the Obama health plan would add more than $1 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade. But the actual costs would be much higher.

For starters, $1 trillion of extra debt-financed spending would cause the government to pay about $300 billion of extra interest in the next decade. Moreover, the CBO’s method of estimating the cost of such a program doesn’t recognize the incentives it creates for households and firms to change their behavior.

The House health-care bill gives a large subsidy to millions of families with incomes up to three times the poverty level (i.e., up to $66,000 now for a family of four) if they buy their insurance through one of the newly created “insurance exchanges,” but not if they get their insurance from their employer. The CBO’s cost estimate understates the number who would receive the subsidy because it ignores the incentive for many firms to drop employer-provided coverage. It also ignores the strong incentive that individuals would have to reduce reportable cash incomes to qualify for higher subsidy rates. The total cost of ObamaCare over the next decade likely would be closer to $2 trillion than to $1 trillion.

The administration’s claim that the health-care plan would be “self-financing” is both false and irrelevant. It is false because it would only be self-financing if one counts a variety of President Obama’s proposed tax increases—and even those would produce much less revenue than is assumed in the budget calculations. The claim is irrelevant because those tax increases have nothing to do with health care and could be used instead to reduce other projected deficits.

For example, the administration and the congressional designers of ObamaCare say they would finance a substantial part of health reform with the revenue from new taxes on corporate foreign profits and on high-income individuals. The likely revenue from these tax changes would be much less than the official estimates because of the induced changes in taxpayer behavior that the estimators ignore.

Previous experience with changes in the marginal tax rates of high-income individuals implies that the current proposal to raise the marginal tax rate to about 50% from today’s 40% would produce only about half of the official revenue estimates. No one knows how much of the estimated extra tax revenue on foreign profits would be lost as the resulting fall in international competitiveness reduces profits, and as businesses sell their overseas subsidiaries or shift their profits in other ways.

While abandoning health reform would be an important step, it would not be enough to limit the exploding level of future deficits and debt. That requires substantial reductions in existing spending programs, if large tax increases are to be avoided. Since Medicare is the largest contributor to the explosive growth in government spending, a good way to start shrinking government outlays would be by restructuring Medicare to shift more of its costs to supplementary private insurance, perhaps on an income-related basis.

Given the perceived need for significant additional tax revenue to shrink future fiscal deficits, there is now talk in Washington of introducing a value-added tax (VAT), the kind of national sales tax that European governments use to finance their welfare states. That would be a triply bad idea. Although it is a tax on spending, a VAT effectively raises marginal tax rates. Like the income tax, it reduces the reward for work and entrepreneurship by adding a tax to the prices of all goods and services. A VAT would also be grossly unfair to those whose lifetime savings would now be subject to a new tax when they start to spend those savings.

A VAT would open the door to an explosion of new spending programs. That’s because, no matter how low the initial rate, the tax rate would be drawn inevitably to European rates of more than 15%—on top of existing income and payroll taxes.

Read the rest here

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27 Responses to “Sarah Palin’s WSJ “Prebuttal” to Obama’s Healthcare Speech Tomorrow Night; And How Much It Will Actually Cost Us? Hello, National Sales Tax!”
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  1. Macker
    1 | September 8, 2009 8:15 pm

    Y’know, it seems as if the Demo☭rats came back from their town halls with all that stuff which went in one ear…
    …and out the other. They just. Don’t. Give. A. Damn.


  2. Bumr50
    2 | September 8, 2009 8:16 pm

    “Independent Medicare Advisory Council—” iMac!

    Hey! That’s taken.

    Are those green jobs?


  3. Bumr50
    3 | September 8, 2009 8:16 pm

    re: #1 by Macker

    Macker has such wonderful toys…


  4. Bumr50
    4 | September 8, 2009 8:19 pm

    re: #1 by Macker

    On a slightly more interesting note, I am noticing people with fingers in their ears chanting “lalalalalalalal” everytime bestselling books, Sarah Palin, or 9/12 is mentioned.

    I guess I’m a glass half-full kinda guy!


  5. Macker
    5 | September 8, 2009 8:28 pm

    re: #3 by Bumr50

    ‘Scuse me? 8)


  6. Bob in Breckenridge
    6 | September 8, 2009 8:30 pm

    re: #1 by Macker

    Y’know, it seems as if the Demo☭rats came back from their town halls with all that stuff which went in one ear……and out the other.”

    That’s because there’s nothing in between the libtard’s ears to block it.


  7. Bumr50
    7 | September 8, 2009 8:30 pm

    re: #1 by Macker

    My blue dog Rep.Jason Altmire (D) held a tele-town-hall and hung up on me before I could connect, and when I called back, I wasn’t allowed to participate.


  8. Bumr50
    8 | September 8, 2009 8:31 pm

    re: #5 by Macker

    Hammer and sickle thingy.


  9. Macker
    9 | September 8, 2009 8:35 pm

    re: #8 by Bumr50

    And that’s not all! 8)


  10. Bumr50
    10 | September 8, 2009 8:39 pm

    re: #5 by Macker

    It was a Batman reference. The Jack Nicholson Joker.


  11. Macker
    11 | September 8, 2009 8:50 pm

    re: #10 by Bumr50

    DUHHHH! My bad. I still say to this day Jack should have received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of The Joker 20 years ago. Of course, I still haven’t seen Heath Ledger either.


  12. tee
    12 | September 8, 2009 8:52 pm

    The main thing is we cannot afford it. Where is is the money going to come from. Over 200,000 people lost jobs just last month. Sadly, they will still probably pass this bill. Because, they just have too.


  13. Macker
    13 | September 8, 2009 8:54 pm

    re: #12 by tee

    The main thing is we cannot afford it. Where is is the money going to come from. Over 200,000 people lost jobs just last month. Sadly, they will still probably pass this bill. Because, they just have too.

    And if they do, guaranteed bloodbath for the Demo☭rats at the polls next year. Minimum of 50 seats in the House, not sure about the Senate.


  14. tee
    14 | September 8, 2009 8:57 pm

    13. Macker

    This is strange. The bill will not go into effect until 2013, what is the hurry?


  15. Macker
    15 | September 8, 2009 9:04 pm

    re: #14 by tee

    Tell that to Президент Оба́ма, Диктор Пелоси, Сенатор Гарри Рид, and of course, Барни Франк!


  16. m
    16 | September 8, 2009 9:05 pm

    Sorry OT:

    Libel Case Sparks New Focus On Stalin’s Reputation

    A Russian court has agreed to hear a libel case brought by Josef Stalin’s grandson. Yevgeny Dzhugashvili says a newspaper commentary stating that Stalin ordered the killings of millions of his country’s citizens damaged the dictator’s reputation.

    Historians and human rights activists say the case is yet another effort by the government to airbrush Stalin’s image.

    Leonid Zhura, a former trade official and devoted Stalinist, persuaded Stalin’s grandson to file the lawsuit. Zhura, 62, is representing Dzhugashvili in court.

    Sitting in a tiny apartment, surrounded by books on Stalin, Zhura says his beloved dictator never ordered the murders of Soviet citizens.

    “Stalin was a great leader who saved the country and led it to democracy. His constitution was the best ever written. Yes, many innocent people suffered and were killed, but Stalin was not responsible for this. Others were. It’s time to put the record straight,” Zhura says.

    Historian Anatoly Yablokov, who wrote the newspaper article that is the target of the lawsuit, says such claims would have been unthinkable five years ago.

    “What has changed is the mood of society. Society is increasingly praising the Stalinist period. You see this in many ways. I fear this reflects a move toward totalitarianism,” Yablokov says.

    Under Vladimir Putin, the former president who is now prime minister, the image of Stalin is less clear cut than it was when communism first crumbled two decades ago. Archives that had been opened are now being reclassified as secret. Putin has endorsed a history teachers’ manual that portrays Stalin as an effective crisis manager.


  17. tee
    17 | September 8, 2009 9:09 pm

    15. Macker

    Since, I cannot read Hebrew, I will answer my own question. They are Democrats, they are elistist, we cannot take care of ourselves, they must do it for us. Whether we like it or not.


  18. 18 | September 8, 2009 9:13 pm

    re: #16 by m

    Чарльз Джонсон will be praising Stalin as well on Маленькие Зеленые Футболы. I’m not shocked by this since the Hard Left turn for МЗФ.


  19. tee
    19 | September 8, 2009 9:15 pm

    Oh, it was Russian, no wonder I didn’t understand


  20. Macker
    20 | September 8, 2009 9:15 pm

    re: #17 by tee

    That’s not Hebrew, Comrade. Try again! 8)


  21. song_and_dance_man
    21 | September 8, 2009 9:17 pm

    re: #14 by tee

    It is calculated. The detrimental effect of its import will not be felt until B. Hussein enters his 2nd term. The same with the Health Care bill. It will not go into effect for four years. That will be enough time for B. Hussein to try for a second term before the effects of his socialist programs destroy our economy and allow for the Libs to nationalize all industry.


  22. no2liberals
    22 | September 8, 2009 9:21 pm

    re: #17 by tee
    No, they are self-anointed elitists.

    Got to crash, but just a reminder, Marshall plays at Kilgore Friday night.
    You can listen live via the innernut right here on Friday night, real world time.
    :lol:

    Later on, dude.
    Got to hit the bunk.


  23. tee
    23 | September 8, 2009 9:39 pm

    22. no2liberals

    Marshall dystroyed that Sherveport team last week. This young Kilgore team will need some breaks to win.


  24. 24 | September 8, 2009 10:17 pm

    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]


  25. 25 | September 8, 2009 11:55 pm

    [...] » Sarah Palin's WSJ “Prebuttal” to Obama's Healthcare Speech … [...]


  26. chickadee
    26 | September 9, 2009 11:04 am

    I get the feeling that most of these citizens who oppose Zero’s Health Care Scam, aren’t even focused on the cost yet.
    They are most concerned with the inevitable rationing of care that will happen. These people are looking at being put on an ice flow and watching the shore line get farther and farther away.
    Big Zero Government won’t deliver on their promises.


  27. 27 | September 10, 2009 4:39 am

    [...] First, ask yourself whether the government that brought us such “waste and inefficiency” and “unwarranted subsidies” in the first place can be believed when it says that this time it will get things right. …. Previous experience with changes in the marginal tax rates of high-income individuals implies that the current proposal to raise the marginal tax rate to about 50% from today’s 40% would produce only about half of the official revenue estimates. …Page 2 [...]


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