Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So What's a Few Billion More?

President Obama is pushing forward on health care, invoking the favorable stars and insisting that spending way more money than most people can contemplate will actually save money, an argument that rarely works when you're talking about furniture or appliance purchases, but is somehow supposed to make sense in Washington:

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said “the stars are aligned” for Congress to pass legislation to revamp the U.S. health-care system this year, which he said would help revive the economy and get budget deficits under control.

“Businesses are using money to pay their rising health- care costs that could be going to innovation and growth and new hiring,” Obama said today at the White House. “That’s why we have to get this done. We have to get it done this year.”

The president spoke after meeting with top House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, as he spends the third straight day focusing on his push to restructure the health-care system.

Pelosi said she is “quite certain” the House would have a floor debate on health-care legislation by July.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are sorting through options for extending insurance to the estimated 46 million Americans without health coverage while holding down the costs. The most contentious issue may be how to pay for the president’s plan without adding to the deficit, which the administration projects will hit $1.84 trillion this year and $1.26 trillion the next.

The initial costs for the health care overhaul are about 650 billion dollars, if you believe the Democrats; Republicans put the costs higher, and everybody agrees that in the long term giving everybody in America "free" socialized medicine is likely to be a budget buster, not an aid to stimulating the economy.

But we have this problem when it comes to even contemplating the numbers at work, here--which is why I want to share a video put out when the news media was hailing Obama's pledge to cut $100 million from the federal budget:

If that penny fragment represents a $100 million dollar cut, then a $650 billion dollar increase in the budget means adding 325 more stacks of five pennies each (which represented 2 billion dollars) on the side of the table that represents money we don't have, money we borrow--in other words, the deficit. Granted, those 325 stacks would theoretically be added over a ten year period--but during that ten years, what is the likelihood that the initial cost estimates will be found to have been woefully inadequate?

But hey--the stars are aligned. Who cares about little mundane facts like "We can't afford to give every American free health care," or "Quality and choice in care are about to go out the window," or "This is the biggest power grab by the leftists in our government in the history of America," when we can say nice things about hope 'n change, and saddle a generation yet unborn with a mountain of crushing debt and a serious restriction on their freedom?

1 comment:

Mike in CT said...

What I wonder Erin, is what's going to happen when our debts are called in?