Skip to comments.Keeping The Focus on Obamacare, and The Jobless Obama Economy
Posted on 12/13/2013 10:02:48 AM PST by Kaslin
There is little to like in the debt-heavy, budget deal that is about to pass Congress. It does not seriously attack billions of dollars in wasteful spending and barely nicks monster deficits that are forecast to grow by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers and said the deal would cut the deficits by a mere $85 billion over the next 10 years in the absence of future spending reductions.
About $62 billion of that will roll back a big chunk of the automatic sequester spending cuts. The remainder, some $23 billion, would be applied to reducing deficits.
That's a minuscule amount in an annual budget that is now approaching $4 trillion a year in ever-higher spending.
This isn't a serious budget. It's an election cycle deal that sweeps the government's fiscal troubles under the rug to give voters in the 2014 midterm congressional races the chance to answer this question:
Do you want to continue with a divided Congress that prevents our country from getting its fiscal house in order through top-to- bottom spending reductions that shrinks the deficits, reduces tax rates and strengthens our economy?
The nation's debt-ridden mess stems from a politically divided Congress that has lost sight of Thomas Jefferson's vision of "a wise and frugal" government.
Republicans want to make sensible but deeper budget cuts and needed reforms in discretionary and entitlement spending, while reducing tax rates to unlock new business investments that foster job growth and boost tax revenues that will also shrink the deficit.
Democrats like the spending levels we've got now, and are working hard to raise them by creating a sea of new programs, agencies and entitlements like Obamacare.
They don't want to cut tax rates, they want to rise them, even in a lumbering, job-starved economy.
The compromise hammered out by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin with one political goal in mind.
Fashion a budget that can not only win the approval of the GOP- run House and the Democrat-controlled Senate, but also get past a very liberal, Democratic president who never met a spending bill he didn't like.
A budget that tries to achieve that is by definition a piece of legislation that will satisfy no one. And that's what lawmakers will vote on before leaving for the Christmas holidays.
There are some good things here and there in this bill to applaud. The Pentagon, hit hard by sequestered budget cuts, will get $2 billion more than last year.
It will curb taxpayer contributions to federal employee pensions, asking new government workers after Jan. 1 to pay more into their retirement accounts. Businesses will pay higher premiums for federal pension insurance, and security fees will rise for the airlines and their passengers.
But this was not the grand bargain that House Speaker John Boehner had sought in the past and that Paul Ryan wants to eventually achieve.
For the Republican leadership, this is all about keeping the government financed, open and running -- putting this year's damaging federal shutdown behind them -- as they head toward the start of a critical election year.
The disastrous Obamacare rollout, and a lengthening list of other health care problems it has spawned, plus an economy still in recovery, has hurt the Democrats a great deal more.
The shutdown was of brief duration and will gradually recede in most voters' minds. But Obamacare will impose higher medical care costs on providers, increased health insurance premiums, and cancelled policies for as long as it is the law of the land.
Meantime, the compromise budget that appears to be headed for approval is stirring bitter opposition among the GOP's conservative base and spawning a number of party primary challenges in next year's races.
"This proposal swaps debt reduction today and next year, for the dubious promise of debt reduction a decade from now," said former Congressman Chris Chocola who heads the Club for Growth that has a record of defeating GOP incumbents in the primaries.
"Apparently, there are some Republicans who don't have the stomach for even relatively small spending reductions that are devoid of budgetary smoke and mirrors," Chocola said. Then he issued this dire political warning to the GOP:
"If Republicans work with Democrats to pass this deal, it should surprise no one when Republican voters seek alternatives who actually believe in less spending when they go to the ballot box."
Boehner shot back in a news conference, charging that the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America were mounting their attack on the deal to boost their fundraising campaigns.
"They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals," he said.
What we have going on here is a deep disagreement over legislative strategies to achieve the GOP's long-held policy goals.
The GOP establishment's tea party critics want their party to oppose any deal that does not significantly cut spending -- even if it means yet another government shutdown.
Chocola, for example, is calling on House GOP leaders to pass a continuing resolution that "preserves the savings from the sequester," even though that can't win support in the Senate.
But party leaders in both chambers think that strategy is legislatively flawed and politically harmful to its chances of taking control of the Senate and strengthening its numbers in the House next year when they'll be in a much stronger position to dictate budget policy in Obama's last two years.
They want to keep the focus squarely on Obamacare and a painfully sluggish, high unemployment economy in the midterm campaigns, unimpeded by distracting threats of another shut down.
The Republicans believe they can beat the Democrats on those two issues next year, which is why this budget deal will sail through Congress with strong GOP support.
“Dems took away your doctor. Dems took away your health care”
If nothing else they will stay home
The only thing to like [not hate] about this is that is does indeed remove the power of the purse from the Senate Dems - which they had effectively stolen.
Hence the focus of DC can be 0bamacare and the nightmare it is as we roll toward 2014.
Of course the GOPe was given gift wrapped issues such as Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the IRS. All sure to tip the next election in the GOP's favor. What ever happened to these?
I heard some real world-class dumba$$es on Hannity last night
One guy kept saying the his beloved Obama had “cut the deficit in half” and “given health care to millions”
And talked about “what are WE going to do about people who don’t have insurance? as it is is OUR problem and only “the government” has solutions for everything.
And these were no stupid-sounding people.
And I am getting VERY tire of everyt BLACK guest saying “can i finish my statment” 100 times whenever you interupt to point out they are factually incorrect
(yes it is MOSTLY black guests I hear saying this- I dont know why, its not a racist thing, it is just what I SEE )
None of those took away voter's doctors after the Dems promising that it wouldnt.
This is the big one. At least through the next election
I pray that you are correct.
The bottom line is that this bill increases the deficit and spending and grows the government. It does not solve one single problem... this bill is meaningless unless you want compromise for the sake of compromise. Cruz says this, Rush says this, Levin says this and I say this. You can disagree but we are correct about exactly what I have stated above. Republicans have never won an argument or an election compromising with the dims... to quote clinton... “Not one single time”.
Not promising anything after next election however Obama delaying some pain till after that could be like money in the bank for us, hurting them even more later.
GOP theme needs to be :”Obamacare took away your....Obamacare cancelled your ...”
Oh and wasn’t it the same CBO that stated that OBAMACARE WILL ONLY COST 924 BILLION DOLLARS OVER 10 YEARS????? Does anyone trust their math any longer??? More like 22.5 billion in cuts over ten years... not 85 billion and that figure is probably a lie.
The meme this election will be 'how to fix obamacare'. The Dems will offer the most generous 'fixes' and responsible modifications will be greeted with"The Republicans want to cut your health care!" by the Dems and the media.
And this deal has nothing to do with that anyway. A shutdown could have been avoided without raising spending above the sequester levels. Until the Leadership and Ryan agreed to this deal. They intentionally made a shutdown inevitable and futile in any attempt to stop the spending increases.
"Battered wife" syndrome indeed...
Republicans dont have to jump into that trap, of calling for that next year.
Bachmann had a great idea : GOP should come out for repealing all the mandates on insurance except the exchanges.
And to say the exchanges are for the *uninsured*
Call it the “Freedom to pick the insurance that is right for you act”
Stick on that for a while. It kills the exchanges and its populist too.
It keeps the focus on Obamacare cancellations.
There are times when it becomes necessary to move tactically in a undesirable direction in order to succeed strategically.
This is such a time. Obamacare, as it continues to roll out with predictable impacts and results, is going to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Accepting, tactically, this budget deal in order to get it off the table is acceptable if doing so results in a GOP House AND Senate in January 2015 that can pass and send spending real reductions to Obama.
I don't see ANY responsible modification being greeted otherwise. Obamacare is just too much of a fantasy.
My idea works with that.
The exchange policies keep that mandate as with the other mandates. Any anyone can join them but they are primarily for *uninsured*.
The companies outside the exchanges can offer what they want.
If people want policies to pay for others pre-exists they can go to exchanges.
The way not to fall into the trap is to not give the Dems and the media an alternative to shoot at. Which is why the Dems are becoming increasingly shrill in their demands that the GOP produce an alternative.
The GOP needs to do little more than insure that the Dems OWN this fiasco. The media might have been powerful, but there’s not a heck of a lot they can do to tell people that “no, you really aren’t losing your coverage and doctor and your costs aren’t rising” when all of that is actually happening.
That might work for a while but it wont forever because then you fall into “At least Dems are trying to makes things better...” trap again that Dems used last year.
You offer something that gives Americans more freedom. Something that keeps focus on cancellations.
The key is when the media asks the GOP where their plan is to meet all these goals Obamapromised, they have to respond with “Obama care doesnt do any of that. It does the opposite. We are trying to clean up Dems mess.”
Respectfully, that won’t work when “trying to make it better” is having a real impact that’s actually making it worse.
How do you tell someone that things are being made better when they, as individuals, have lost their insurance, lost their doctor and seen their costs skyrocket?
That may fly to people who aren’t being impacted, but Obamacare has, is, and is continuing to hurt members of the very audience who are being told it’s really helping ...
I’m not happy with it. But politics is the art of the possible and conservatives who insist on asking for the impossible will only harm our chances of turning Obama into a real lame duck year.
When he is drowning, they want to throw him a life vest through another ill-advised government shutdown. The GOP would have eventually had to vote for another budget retreat when that was all over.
Wiser heads saved the GOP from another humiliating rout at the hands of Obama and the Democrats.
Yes it did.
But what I'd love to know is what additional percentage of the jobs is govt funded contractors?
I strongly disagree.
The GOP leadership may claim it has long-held policy goals, but, in action, they have no intention of changing anything.
RE: “They [the leadership] want to keep the focus squarely on Obamacare and a painfully sluggish, high unemployment economy in the midterm campaigns, unimpeded by distracting threats of another shut down.”
It doesn't matter if we win the Senate in 2014, and, in my opinion, we have almost no chance of winning it anyway.
The GOP leadership is NOT going to do the serious strategic thinking or accept the political risks that will be required to repeal ObamaCare.
The GOP leadership is NOT going to make politically painful cuts in the budget.
The GOP leadership is NOT going to undertake serious reform on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid - except to increase the taxes and reduce the benefits of the upper middle class, of course.
For comic relief, here are the 19 goofiest pictures of Bork Obunga:
Pass them along!
N-i-c-e take---I kinda liked it when Boehner got ballsy, for once. Even though he aimed it at conservatives.
That's the Christie MO--his advice to Repubs---how he demolished Dems, he says.
I don't mind taking a bit of a tongue-lashing as long as we keep our eye on The Prize rather than on Boehners blatherings fueled by old demon rum.
The Prize? That would be totally annihilating liberalism and trampling Democrats in 2014, and beyond.
As FReeper sickoflibs wisely said: "I am not taking this back and forth over the budget the least bit seriously. Right now I want to see Dems get a major licking in 2014, and see Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Wasserman-Schultz, and other Dems, humiliated at the polls."
I am with you on that,
That shutdown act was even a bigger fiasco than I had predicted it would be in comments here in September.
I truly believe the objective was nothing more than a Koolaid drinking loyalty test to see which Republicans are not willing to throw their seats away to Dems at others orders,
It was designed to lose to Obama, and it kept Obamacare OFF the news.
There was no coherent message behind it, it was totally counterproductive and quite embarrassing.