You know the amazing accounting miracle of the health care reform bill, where we can add a trillion dollars to federal spending and reduce the deficit.
Once again, if it sounds too good to be true, then it isn't.
Since the announcement that made Democrats 'giddy" we've ben treated to how this report isn;t worth the ink used on the paper. Forget the obvious dodge here, where the taxes kick immediately for ten years and the expensive part of the bill ony runs for six; we've got bigger fish to fry.
There seems to be a hard to justify $29 billion "plug number" in Medicaid reductions years from now.
Unless the Democrats are really eager to hammer the medical community, it is assumed that they will forego a reduction in Medicare reimbursements...i.e. the "doc fix". Remove this spurious budget reduction and there's about $208 billion in added costs; and this alone makes the bill in the red by $59 billion..
The Democrats have challenged the authenticity of a memo outlining this pretty little scam, but there's no doubt of the truth of the central allegation....the bill's true cost is being hidden so that in the midst of an era of trillion dollars deficits a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility is provided to the Blue Dogs.
I also suspect that one way the federal numbers were managed was to expand the unfunded Medicaid mandates on the states, therefore shifting expenses on their backs and imploding their already precarious budgetary situations.
I'll leave to the likes of Megan McArdle and Keith Hennessey to find the other scams and gimmicks embedded in whatever bill Nancy Pelosi can cajole 216 votes for this evening. One message to deficit hawks. Tax increases and budget cuts deferred now for political expendiency now are highly likely to be deleted in the out years for political expendiency. But the left will defend the entitlement rules and expenditure levels. Don't fall for the "Wimpy" approach.
I've seen documents like this before. It's like a sham appraisal used to get a subprime lender to approve a loan for more than what the property is really worth. It's like a Moody's rating on the MBS instruments secured by the bogus mortgages. It's a transparent "Made as Instructed" canard only Bernie Madoff could love. Subsitute "Blue Dog" Congressman for "pension fund" and we now see a bogus deficit neutrality score is like a bogus investment grade rating. It justifies unwise investments.
Once upon a time there was an urgent matter for the national administration, which it sought to gain public and congressional support. Supposedly the folks supposed to provide objective analysis were pressured into providing the evidence necessary to gain support for the policy agenda.
After we are years into the quagmire of expanding entitlements as the nation careens towards bankruptcy like a Toyota with a stuck accelerator, I suspect we will get some tell-all book about how the CBO budget process was manipulated. I can;t wait to read the "CBO Street Memo" Once upon a time even Ezra Klein complained about gimmicks. I look forward to the meal of crow down the line.
P.S. Last night on the House floor Ohio Democrat Rep. Ryan compared health care reform to Chevrolet. Rep. Ryan is aware that General Motors went bankrupt, isn't he?