Both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner recently said the country doesn’t have an immediate debt problem. Nearly 7 voters in 10 say they are wrong. Conversely, 27 percent agree the debt can be handled several years down the road.
Voters are similarly at odds with Washington on the budget deficit. Almost all think the federal government should be required to balance its budget (85 percent) and believe reducing the budget deficit is a worthy goal “in and of itself” (85 percent).
I'll be damned.
You mean this finally sunk in?
Now if we can just get the people to focus on the medical issue like a laser, and take the entire industry, place it in the middle of the road, run it over with a bus and then back up and make damn sure you got it with the tires at least twice we could solve this problem.
I mean literally solve the budget problem.
That this is not the issue in both House and Senate is a national disgrace.
It is also going to destroy this nation if we do not change that right here and now.
But we can fix this folks, and further, a serious majority of Americans know we must fix it. They now need to understand exactly what portion of the budget is the cause of all of the problem and then have it pointed out to them exactly what can be done to resolve it.
It can be resolved, and there is still time.
Not much time, but there is, indeed, still time.
I want to focus your attention in one place, and only one place -- because it's the only place that matters.
In the next decade, Social Security will grow at an annual average of 5.8 percent. Medicare will grow at 6.2 percent. And Medicaid—thanks in part to its expansion under the health-care law—will grow at an astounding 9.9 percent. All of these programs are growing substantially faster than the economy.....
Good luck on those astoundingly optimistic figures.
Social Security has expanded at a rate of about 6% annually over the last 30 years. That's fairly close. But Medicare and Medicaid are not; the expansion from 1980 to today has been at a average compounded rate of approximately 9% and full-charge hospital bills are currently expanding at 10% a year and have been for the last several years.
Note carefully that the latter is not the government's cost, it's the cost in the broad economy!
Leave the net interest aside as that's a consequence of the two pieces directly under it.
Note that Social Security, after rising for a few years, begins to plateau and in fact starts to fall after about 2030. That's because the Boomers begin to pass on.
The medical explosion is not due to the boomers. It is due to the underlying systemic expansion of cost that in turn is driven by monopoly practices and cost-shifting, mostly to people in the United States.
A particularly outrageous but by no means isolated example is the scorpion antivenom that I wrote about -- made in Mexico for $100/dose and north of $35,000 a dose when administered in a US hospital. That's a mark-up of more than 350 times cost!
But it gets worse. Ryan claims that there's a "raid" on the Medicare "trust fund." He's lying.
Last year Medicare took in $201 billion in tax revenues. But between Medicare and Medicaid the Federal government spent just north of one trillion dollars, or five times what it took in. There is no "trust fund" to raid when you are spending five times the amount you collected in taxes. Any such assertion is a bald lie.
Worse, the attempted shift of Medicaid to the states will bankrupt all of them within five years. That's the arithmetic -- there is no state in the union that can shoulder that expense.
The only solution is to collapse the medical cost structure. It's politically damnable but it has to be done, and done now. Any budget proposal that doesn't have this as its centerpiece is un-serious and unworthy of consideration as it is an open, notorious and public fraud.
A beginning point for this could come in the form of a single two-paragraph law that requires that all health providers publish a price list and charge everyone the same price, irrespective of how they pay. This would make direct comparison of cost possible, and while a minority of care is paid in cash the fact remains that the cash customers would prefer competent care at a lower price over one that is five or ten times as expensive, as is often the case now. This would immediately collapse the high-cost outlier providers, forcing them to either cut that crap out or remove them from the market.
The second step is to remove both EMTALA and all anti-trust protection from the entire medical industry. And the third is to require insurance companies to actually sell insurance -- once the insured-against event happens you no longer have to pay anything -- the company pays you, unlike the present system where you can be co-billed for ridiculous amounts of money and must maintain premium payments or worse, are subject to cancellation even though you paid in for the unexpected and unlikely adverse event!
Ryan's budget also assumes GDP growth of more than 5% annually over the next ten years with no recessions, a feat that has never been achieved in the post-WWII era according to our government's own data. The use of the word "cut" in a budget that grows spending by 3.5% compounded annually is an outrageous lie as well.
But while railing against this is appropriate and necessary, none of it will matter if we don't deal with the medical problem now.
Within approximately two years Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest payments will consume all tax receipts. At some point before that happens the markets are nearly-certain to deduce that we are not serious about attending to the budgetary imbalance as we're then borrowing to pay the light bill in the Capitol, say much less anything important like Defense.
When, not if, that recognition occurs there is literally nothing that The Fed or the Government will be able to do about the ensuing flight from assets in this country, as the only remaining step available to the government to fund this escalation of spending will be outright confiscation of some form.
As I have no indication at present that anyone on The Hill will even discuss the fundamental arithmetic that lays behind this irrefutable truth, say much less reduce it to legislative language and introduce it as a bill despite several years of attempting to do so, I am forced to recommend that you prepare for the worst.
I hereby withdraw my formerly-expressed guarded optimism.
This man just can't stop -- the lies are a congenital problem for those who infest Washington DC, and Ryan is one of the worst offenders.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Sunday that his new budget includes the repeal of President Obama’s health-care reform law known as ObamaCare.
Ryan told “Fox News Sunday” that the new proposal will make enough cuts to balance the federal budget in 10 years, compared to his previous one that tried to achieve that goal in 25 years.
“We think we owe the American people a balanced budget,” the Republican congressman said.
Then do it.
No Congress can bind the next one. Therefore, if you believe you owe the people a balanced budget you must do it in the present tense -- or you're a liar.
More to the point, however, is that Ryan believes that there is no need to cut the government at all. He is proposing no cuts by his own words and instead believes that slowing the rate of growth from 4.9% to 3.4% will balance the budget in 10 years.
There are no cuts!
It will not work because (1) this presumes that GDP will expand faster than 3.4% at a sufficient rate (by close to two full points!) to close the gap over that 10 year period and (2) there will be no recessions in that ten year period (this has historically never happened before) and finally, the biggest fraud of all -- the premise that taking a $20 from one pocket (Medicaid paid directly by Federal money) and putting it in another (block grants to the states) will somehow stop the escalation of those medical costs.
It won't because those costs are escalating in the general economy, not just at the Federal and State levels, and have been since the 1980s. The cancer that is going to destroy our government and way of life is found in the medical system as a whole, not in medical entitlements. Medical entitlement spending is a symptom of the problem, not the cause of it.
Ryan's plan does nothing to address this, but the entire problem was created out of whole cloth by government law and regulation that prevent the market from working in the medical realm. There has been no attempt to fix this despite literal decades of knowledge; indeed the Federal Government has done nothing more than tighten the noose around everyone's neck by adding more and more monopoly and anti-market protections for the medical monopolies!
A short list (but not an exhaustive one!) of what's broken in this regard can be found here. Unless all of that, plus more, is addressed then there is no solution at all. Trying to glad-hand your way around this reality is nothing more than high-brow mental masturbation while the curtains are on fire, instead of grabbing a fire extinguisher and directing it at the burning material.
Neither the Democrat or Republican side of the aisle has breathed one word about the underlying issues surrounding this public-policy disaster. Yet we must address it, for it is the single item that threatens our nation and way of life.
It is infuriating to watch people who are allegedly both intelligent and learned intentionally ignore 5th grade arithmetic and wave their arms as if it does not exist. These people are no better than those who persecuted Galileo; indeed they are more-dangerous for those were people who simply wanted to impose some sort of religious authority and moral code.
These people are causing the wholesale destruction of American competitiveness, jobs, our economy and way of life -- all for the profit of those who employ a cadre of lobbyists.
Lyin' Ryan and his cadre of merry men must be deposed, along with Pelosi and hers, or this nation and her people are all ****ed.
It's much worse than I thought folks.
Remember that $850 billion number for FY 2011 on medical care that I've been tossing around?
The numbers are worse than they appear. Materially worse.
Here's the reality: Medicare and Medicaid services, including the "slide it to the states" for Medicaid, spent $1.053 trillion in FY2012.
We took in just $201 billion in Medicare taxes.
That is, the government is spending five times what it is taking in on health care.
Where is the discrepancy? In the Medicaid department; the "as spent" figures, unless you look real closely, hide the giveaway to the states. But that of course is BS as there is no magical money fairy.
For Social Security (including disability) the government took in $572 billion in FY2012. But the government spent $773 billion on both retirement and disability, or 35% more than it taxed.
That's not the only shocker. We gave $77 billion to people in the form of Earned Income and Child credits in excess of tax liability -- that's the amount that we literally handed out in welfare for simply being alive.
And we did not spend $180 billion on interest either -- we spent $359 billion.
We can survive the Social Security problem.
We cannot possibly survive spending five times what we take in via Medicare taxes and lying about interest cost will blow up in our face as well.
This must stop now.
Still can't be bothered to make a clear statement can you?
So in your opinion, Mr. Holder, it's perfectly ok if the President uses an M-16, a 9mm, a bomb constructed out of C-4 or burns the building you're in to the ground?
None of those things have happened before..... right?
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