This editorial gets it wrong that the ACA (Obamacare) will trim the deficit. Through accounting gimmicks, the Democrats were able to get CBO to say that ACA does not add to the deficit. CBO then showed last year that the adjusted ten year forecast put the net impact of ACA (taxes and expenditures together) in the red. Then, because the Medicaid provision was struck down by the Supreme Court, CBO now says that yes the ACA is back in black (through reduced expenditures and less coverage, but with the same taxes and fees). If we wait a year or two, the ballooning expenditures in the out years will come into the ten year window, and the ACA will be in the red again, this time with less to show for it and the same pain for taxpayers.
“The law balances expenditures through … new taxes …” so “overall there is a net savings to taxpayers". Did anybody read this before publishing it? Even if the ACA reduces the deficit (for now), that is not a net savings to the taxpayer. At best, it is a net savings to the government. To put it in the left’s terms, if the baker gives you half a loaf instead of a whole for the same price as before, so that she can balance her books and turn a profit, that is not “net savings to the consumer". Pull yourself together Tampa Bay.
Left and Wrong author: Paul Krugman
More drivel about the OWS goons.
If you read carefully you can see the implicit acknowledgement that the problem is not with Wall Street but with … government! The losses of Wall Street banks would have been losses suffered by Wall Street alone if the government hadn’t bailed them out and saddled the rest of us with the cost of their misjudgments. Who suppoerted the bailouts? Liberals. And they continue to cause problems because of “explicit and implicit” federal mortgage guarantees. Who continues to back FNMA and FHLMC? Liberals. And don’t get me started on “tax loopholes", something that every free-market economist and politician has had in their crosshairs well before Ronald Reagan and Steve Forbes brought tax reform to the national policy stage. (BTW, does Krugman get a pass for sneakily eliminating the word “effective” from the phrase “paying lower rates"? Despicable dishonesty.)
Left and Wrong author: Michael Tomasky
Left wingers have it all wrong. They think the American people have record high disapproval of Obama’s presidency because he “doesn’t show any backbone.” How about because he’s a socialist ideologue?
I mean, back in the last Congress, when his Republican opposition was diminished, he bullied them every chance he got. On the stimulus and on Obamacare, he got the most left-wing legislation passed that could have passed, with razor-thin margins.
Now that his opposition is bigger and tougher, he simply can’t do that anymore. But he still tries to. In every initiative and every speech, he still sounds like he believes in the old welfare-state line, even if he can’t actually get that kind of stuff through.
But left-wingers like Tomasky think it’s because he doesn’t have backbone, that he doesn’t stand up for his beliefs. They are living in denial.
And so what is Tomasky’s solution? Run away! Run away! Like Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, he wants Obama to avoid confrontation now that the foe he once bullied is as big as he is. Tomasky’s solution is to force Congress into recess and try to sneak through appointments through a loophole. Yep, lot of backbone shown in that.
Recess appointments are a mechanism to make it so someone can be appointed to make the trains run on time (or get the ethanol subsidies paid) until Congress returns from break. It was not supposed to be used to get appointments through which would not have been confirmed by Congress. Both Democrat and Republican presidents have used this loophole in recent history, and it is a reprehensible practice.
The American public has turned on Obama because they see him as someone who will use smoke and mirrors to get his way. They see him as being the antithesis to “post-partisan". Using recess appointments, an outgrowth of extreme partisanship in the last few decades, does not show backbone. It shows spineless cowardice.
Left and Wrong author: Thomas Friedman
I’ve never really liked Thomas Friedman. The stuff he writes that people think is insightful is only insightful to people who never really understood the world in the first place. In other words, they are cute ways of explaining relatively complicated matters to people who are unsophisticated. Good as teaching materials to a junior high civics class.
In this latest article of his, it really seems like he’s spent too much time in a seventh grade classroom. Our political leaders just need to come together and say, “we’re all going to compromise", and that will be it! One minute later, “the Dow [is] up 1,223 points!” Why don’t we do that every day? By the end of the week I’m a millionaire.
It’s bad enough that the leaders and thinkers of today are excessively cynical. We don’t need people like Friedman who exhibit excessive naivete.
And I like how his fictional John Boehner gives in not just on tax loopholes but on rates too, while Obama doesn’t give up anything–not high-speed rail, not his stupid health care law, not entitlement reform. Instead, Obama admits, “I’ve done a poor job integrating my nation-building ideas, including health care, into a single vision so people understood where I was going.” Which is no admission at all, but another accusation against the people, who lack understanding.
Tom Friedman, you’ve lost your marbles.
Left and Wrong author: Harold Meyerson
Errors, errors, everywhere.
Don’t bother to read the linked article first. I’ll reproduce it here in pieces and comment on each.
Uh-huh. Liberal talk always seems out on a limb, drenched with hyperbole, and some writers thinks that gets them places. “Don’t take me literally” is their prepared response. So always assume that their entire body of writing is hyperbole: is it our job to know when he’s using facts and when he’s using hyperbole?
Actually, Proper Republicans have always warmed to the “American social contract” called the Constitution. That is as close to a social contract as you will find. It is a contract for limited government. What is this “American social contract that governed most of the past hundred years"? Did we not have a social contract before then? Oh, it’s this one “enacted” by Roosevelt and Johnson for the “collective national responsibility for the well-being of the elderly and children". Guess what, Meyerson? Many Americans have not particularly warmed to these “collective responsibilities” in large part because they are outside of the social contract, extra-constitutional. And while there is solid public support for Social Security, people rightfully chafe at having the responsibility of taking care of children taken from parents and given to 300 million people who have never met their child and have vastly less concern or knowledge for how to take care of them. One more thing, college grants and loans are NOT for children and have not been around as a collective national responsibility for a hundred years. Try forty.
Here it is for everyone to see: Keynesians actually believe that the stimulus of government spending can happen continuously, over the long-run, and you never have to pay for it. Over one hundred years time (we’ll round up, like Meyerson), you can prime the economy with consumer spending by the poor and never have any ill effects on interest rates, investment, or exchange rates. And how does “bolstering the purchasing power of the elderly” result in enabling “adult children of the elderly to invest ore in their own children"? Where does Meyerson think Social Security moneys come from?
From Wikipedia (sources IEF and EFW studies): “The people living in the top one-fifth of countries [ranked by economic freedom] enjoy an average income of $23,450 and a growth rate in the 1990s of 2.56 percent per year; in contrast, the bottom one-fifth in the rankings had an average income of just $2,556 and a -0.85 percent growth rate in the 1990s. The poorest 10 percent of the population have an average income of just $728 in the lowest ranked countries compared with over $7,000 in the highest ranked countries. The life expectancy of people living in the highest ranked nations is 20 years longer than for people in the lowest ranked countries.”
Meyerson’s “striking lack of … data” is more like a striking lack of effort on his part to find it. It is everywhere. And everyone knows it. Except him, for some reason.
Government can not “bring down costs", period. Government is the use of force, not innovation, and forcing ("negotiating with") drug companies on prices simply means many companies will stop producing innovations. Thanks a yahoo.
Ryan’s plan is a sensible reform to Medicare: it gives people the same money, but allows them to save funds by choosing where and when to spend their money. The demand curve will slope down, like it does everywhere else in economics. It’s why food at the grocery store costs less than food in a five-star restaurant: people will care about the price.
And maybe you’ve been on sabbatical for the last three years, Meyerson, but everyone knows that defined-benefit pensions are on the way out because they are bankrupting the country. They are not even popular with people who have them. And it has nothing to do with current seniors, except that they suffer from having had defined-benefit pensions.
If we are saved from high-speed rail users shoving their costs onto taxpayers (and thus the system never being built because it’s not viable), I’m sure many people would be happy. Alas, I fear some government official will still squeeze other programs to fit that idiotic idea in the budget somehow. If you think it’s such a great idea, go start a high-speed rail company yourself. Go ahead. No one’s stopping you. Yeah, it makes as much sense as starting a horse-and-buggy overnight delivery business.
(1) Ryan’s tax cuts are revenue neutral: he suggests trading rate reductions for elimination of deductions and loopholes. (2) Bankers did not “force” our government to spend trillions “averting a collapse". Rather, mostly Democrats and some Republicans forced banking losses onto future taxpayers. This is a constant refrain: bankers shoved all their losses onto the rest of us. They didn’t do it, they can’t do it. The government did. (3) Don’t know why he says the burden is shifted to seniors. They will bear none of it. All the Medicare reforms (which save Medicare) are for people born after 1957. In fact, Ryan’s plan spends more on Medicare ($7.39 trillion) than the President’s plan ($6.46 trillion) or current law over the next ten years.
Real GDP per capita, the best approximator of income growth adjusted for inflation, actually rose from $38,592 in 1999 (the highest for that decade) to $43,397 in 2008 (the last year Bush was in office). Now it has declined in the last two years under Obama, to $42,721 in 2010, but that is still higher than 1999. In fact, the Bush increase was 10.7%. (data from www.measuringworth.com)
Another thing to note is that these figures aren’t panel data, i.e. “ordinary Americans” would have seen their incomes increase further than this. This is something liberals continually fail to grasp. Here, I’ll lay it out:
Hypothetically, let’s say there are the same number of people in every age group. And let’s say they start earning at age 20, earn their age times 1,000 (20-year-olds earn $20,000/yr, 40-year-olds earn $40,000/yr, etc.) and stop earning at 60. Now fast forward ten years, and assume zero income and population growth. The total income for the economy remains the same, as is the per capita income. But each individual now makes $10,000 more annual income. Surprise!
So income growth statistics understate income growth on an individual basis.
No comment on his questions about Obama. You nominated and then elected him. Deal with it.
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