Monday, August 27, 2012

The back-burner is getting crowded

From Opinion Journal: "Cheesecake Factory Medicine":
So get a load of Mr. Orszag's Tinker Bell alternative, which he called the "most important institutional change" after ObamaCare passed in 2010: the Independent Payment Advisory Board composed of 15 philosopher kings who will rule over U.S. health care.
Who are these Orszag 15? Well, nobody knows. The board was supposed to be up and running by the end of September, but the White House is avoiding naming names for Senate confirmation until after the election. No one knows, either, what this group of geniuses will propose, but that too is part of the grand Orszag plan.
Of course, Obama doesn't want America to know that he's appointing a board to slash Medicare so...he doesn't.  Add this to the "fiscal cliff," the Sequestration Transparency Act, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the next fight over the debt ceiling, entitlement reform, meeting with the Jobs Council, and selling off the government's stake in General Motors to the list of "things that can wait" until after the election.

It's called leadership, people.


Anonymous said...

Padding. The fiscal cliff, the expiration of the tax cuts and the debt ceiling fight are functionally the same thing from a political standpoint.

When we're done tut-tutting about this kick-the-can "leader" who postpones hard decisions to avoid paying a political price, thus demonstrating why America needs the serious GOP adults in charge, remind me: why did John Boehner structure the December 2012 automatic expiration/cuts deal the way he did?

Eric said...

Dunno. Maybe he was distracted by the burden of passing a budget, unlike the Senate.

Anonymous said...

You know who else passed a budget? Ricky Ricardo. And the weekly allowance he gave Lucy to spend was just as real and credible and impactful as the House's show votes.

Say, it's Tuesday... isn't it time to repeal Obamacare again?

Anonymous said...'s as substantial as the Democrats want it to be when it's a target of attack. The Senate Democrats know better.

"We don't have a solution but we know we don't like your plan" - Profile in Courage Tim Geithner

Nigel Tufnel said...


Thank you for exposing Obama's secret anti-elderly agenda to slash Medicare expenses through his rogue IPAB star chamber.

But isn't slashing Medicare something you've been advocating as a means of balancing the budget?

Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes said...

"We don't have a solution but we know we don't like your plan" - Profile in Courage Tim Geithner

As opposed to the Republicans, who don't even like their OWN plans anymore, at least not after Blacky Hussein McSocialist says they have merit.

Q-&-A said...

Q: You're seeking the House, Senate and presidency. Why should the American people trust you with the trifecta? Last time you had it, you passed a health care reform that wasn't adequately funded. You cut taxes more than spending was reduced, and you turned a surplus into a deficit, and you led the country into a catastrophic recession in 2008. Why should anyone give you that much power again? How has the Republican Party changed?

MAJORITY LEADER JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I think our pro-growth economic policies are exactly the right prescription for this country. I think that getting our tax code reformed is going to make American companies more competitive, and make American exports more competitive, and help bring those $3 trillion worth of corporate profits that are sitting overseas back to America to help create more jobs here. So, if you look at our plan, I think we have a solid plan for getting our economy back on track.

The President's policies have failed. I just went through the whole litany earlier. They failed. They made things worse. And he didn't do what he promised he would do. And I think the American people will hold him accountable.

It's called leadership, people.

Eric said...


Let me put it this way: Medicare is going to run out of money in 2024 - only twelve years away. At that point, according to current law, spending will be automatically slashed to match incoming FICA deductions.

What's the most reasonable way to address the most predictable crisis in American history? We could acknowledge that everybody needs to take a haircut but the seniors will go ape. So instead Obama says: hey, YOUR benefits won't be cut but we'll cut reimbursements to hospitals. Yes, you'll have to wait four months to see a doctor but, gosh, you'll still have those benefits.

Further, Obama didn't plow the cuts back into Medicare to extend its lifetime - he used Medicare (and the FICA funds that pay for it) as a piggy bank for Obamacare. So seniors are seeing the money they "paid into the system" go elsewhere.

But it's OK because it's magic money: when HHS secretary Sebelius was asked whether the money cut from Medicare benefits went to extend Medicare's lifetime OR pay for Obamacare, she said "both."

Anonymous said...

In that case, let's return to your original post. According to current law, the defense budget will automatically be slashed on January 1, 2013. Same goes for domestic programs, and the Bush tax cuts are bye-bye. Because it's current law, that means that no other outcome is possible. (But what are all the press releases for?)

Also, it's laughable to hit Obama for refusing to "acknowledge that everybody needs to take a haircut because the seniors will go ape" while giving three cheers for Mr. "If you're 55 or over, your benefits won't change."

Eric said...

Well, you're quite right about that. For example, even though Bill Clinton's welfare-reform law very explicitly said work requirements could NOT be waived, Obama said "screw it." By law, the Senate is supposed to pass a budget but who's going to hold them to that?

Yeah, right: Ryan's plan at least has a pathway to solvency even if it means passing some costs to seniors if they choose the non-Medicare option. Obama's Medicare solution is scare Grandma for

Anonymous said...

With the exception of the Senate non-budget, that's quite a comment. Is there any Romney '12 line of bull you're not swallowing?

Eric said...

Yeah, when Mitt Romney says that Obama is a "good man."

Rubberglue said...

Complaining about Medi-scare with the same breath that parrots Romney's "Obama waived the work requirement" lie...

...this HAS to be some kind of deadpan post-ironic comedy bit, right?

Eric said...

Yeah, why did Obama gut the work requirement for welfare?

He shouldn't have scrapped the work requirement.

LIE MITT LIE said...

This is like when Sideshow Bob stepped on fifty rakes.

Eric said...

Sideshow Bob scrapped the work requirement? I don't remember that episode.

You can't handle the truth. No truth-handler, you. I deride your truth-handling abilities. said...

No worries. Once President Obama says he doesn't remember that episode either, you suddenly will.

Om Bama said...

Scrapped the work requirement.
Waived the work requirement.
Gutted the work requirement.

It must be Eric's zen koan. What is the sound of one campaign choking?