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Obama Today: Not For Nothing, But Paul Ryan Just Hired the Mafia To Kill Your Grandma »
April 13, 2011

Obama's Remarks: I Am Boldly Authorizing The Next President To Deal With This Problem, And In Futherance of This Daring Strategy, I Am Also Punting To a New Commission To Be Named Later
PS I really want to raise taxes

First of all, he's proposing less deficit reduction than Ryan. $4.4 trillion versus $4 trillion in the Obama plan. And here's the cute thing: Obama is suddenly talking about 12 year windows, instead of the standard 10, as Ryan did.

So he chose 12 years, probably because he wanted to get the number up to the $4 trillion range.

Further, Obama's plan as far as Medicare consists, as far as I can tell, merely ordering the agency to keep spending at no greater than a .5 or 1% rate of growth.

Um, look, this is his same idea with "bending the curve" with Medicare; there he stole a half trillion from the program to pay for the health care of other people, and then simply asserted that stealing the money from the program would force costs down such that nothing would be lost.

1, this is silly, because the government is what you call a soft touch on these matters. Cost discipline gets imposed by the end-user. It will not be imposed by a government which desperately needs the votes of the end user.

Without actually suggesting any concrete ways to reduce Medicare's costs, he just basically says "I will magically make it cost less."

2, if stealing $500 billion from Medicare would magically force costs down so that no user experiences a net reduction in actual services, why should Ryan's proposal not have a similar property? Furthermore, Ryan's plan at least has a plausible mechanism by which it is possible to imagine prices being forced down (a private insurer, probably requiring higher co-pays and deductibles, which in turn makes the end-user more cost-sensitive and drives down price where it has to be driven down-- at the actual point of sale, not weeks afterwards when Medicare sends out a check for services already rendered.

3, I seem to notice him saying that if his proposed order to reduce Medicare costs does not reduce costs (which it won't, same as it didn't with ObamaCare -- premiums are going up, not down) by the year 2023, then, get this, he will authorize "the Commission" (I think the Medicare trustees or something) to propose further means of reducing costs.

Get that? If, in 12 years, his plan hasn't worked yet, he'll actually call for a third-party blue-ribbon commission to propose some more changes.

Oh, and guess what? His big idea for closing the deficit is 1 cutting defense spending and 2 increasing taxes.

Bonus: He also says that if, in 2014, two years after the next election, the CBO's projection doesn't show "the share of the deficit as a fraction of GDP" falling (note that is a lenient way to view it), he is willing to go so far as authorizing the President and Congress to consider further "spending cuts" and "spending reductions."


Get that? If what he's doing (which is nothing) doesn't work, he will reconvene two years post-election to kick it around some more.

I should note that the New Democratic Style Guide is to refer to any typical tax deductions as "tax expenditures" and hence, eliminating those (and thereby increasing taxes) is no longer a "tax increase," but a "spending reduction."

That's the new speak, man. Better get used to it.

"A Balanced Approach:" 12 year window, huh?

Obama's 12-yr plan: tax hikes now, more spending now, and then spending cuts in the last 5 years.

Yup, tax increases for 7 years and promise we'll start cutting spending like a mofo those last five years!!!!11! Swearsies!!!

Thanks to soothsayer for that.

Oh, he says that we can't cut spending right now because of this precarious recovery we supposedly have; we don't want to disrupt that.

But the tax increases? Oh, they won't fuss no one.

Another bonus: At the end of the speech, the bullshitty "uplift" part, he used the word "quagmire," but he pronounced it, en francais, I guess, as "quogmire."

Like, we're in a quogmire in Pokistohn.

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