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December 23, 2009

CBO Reponds to Republican Inquiry: After Careful Research and Analysis, We Conclude There Is No Such Thing as Magic Beans

It is embarrassing to link Hot Air again, but Ed's been on top of crap today so what can I do.

So. The Democrats sought to put aside the "savings" from cuts in Medicare that will almost certainly never occur into a trust fund to spend in the future in order to very partially shore up Medicare's solvency.

So, so far, we have imaginary dollars going to solve a real-life actuarially-certain problem.

But that's normal for Washington. Bear in mind doctor's fees were "cut" in 1997 to balance the budget and yet those cuts were delayed every year since then, and now, twelve years later, they're going to be delayed for ten more years in the doc-fix bill.

But okay: We have these imaginary dollars we can pretend to spend in the future.

Here's something -- since they're imaginary anyway, why not spend them twice?

Why not spend these imaginary dollars first on a trust fund to shore up Medicare's finances for the future, and also spend them to increase spending on current health care by spending these phatasmobucks on millions of new government clients?

Hey, why not?

CBO has been asked for additional information about the projected effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), incorporating the manager’s amendment, on the federal budget and on the balance in the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, from which Medicare Part A benefits are paid. Specifically, CBO has been asked whether the reductions in projected Part A outlays and increases in projected HI revenues under the legislation can provide additional resources to pay future Medicare benefits while simultaneously providing resources to pay for new programs outside of Medicare. …

The key point is that the savings to the HI trust fund under the PPACA would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs. Trust fund accounting shows the magnitude of the savings within the trust fund, and those savings indeed improve the solvency of that fund; however, that accounting ignores the burden that would be faced by the rest of the government later in redeeming the bonds held by the trust fund. Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the PPACA and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits. To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.

It should be noted the CBO is required to be stupid, by law. If Congress says they're going to rake in $600 billion in savings by cutting the popular Medicare program for the vote-diligent elderly, the CBO has to pretend to believe them, no matter how jackass it is.

That's a question of sincerity and honesty and likelihood -- and the CBO is restrained by law from making determinations on such questions.

However, this is a case of pure math. And in pure math, you cannot arbitrarily double a figure by supposing you can spend it twice in two completely different ways. This is a pack of lies the CBO is not legally barred from calling bullshit on.

So, there you go. There's your Hope and Change at work. The central funding mechanism of this plan is "savings" that will never occur, which are then spent twice on two entirely different groups of people.

Since we're spending fake-pretend phatasmobucks now -- can we use $33 billion per year to pay off developing countries to "go green" as Obama wants? Why is it that when it comes to something like that, he gets persnickety all of a sudden and demands we spend real money instead of these phantasmobucks?

I wouldn't mind if we were just spending phantasmobucks on phantasmal "problems." But no -- real money for that.

Video at the link. But here's a video from a future ObamaCare client, praising how well the system works.


Thanks to Drew for that video suggestion.

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posted by Ace at 02:51 PM

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