Five Lies About the American Economy

The Obama team’s favorite slices of fiscal baloney

The ongoing recession has raised a troubling question for otherwise resurgent Keynesian economists: How can the American economy keep getting worse under the intensive care of an interventionist economic team almost universally praised for its brilliance? The answer may be that the Obama administration is dealing with a fictional economy, one that bears little resemblance to the economy the rest of us inhabit. And when the difference between fact and fiction becomes too apparent, they just make stuff up. Herewith, five big lies the administration loves to tell and the mainstream media (with some notable exceptions) love to repeat:

1. Bold government action staved off a Depression, saving or creating 1.5 million jobs.

“Just remember,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said on November 1, 2009, “a year ago today, last year, you had markets around the world come to a stop. Economic activity just stopped, came to a standstill, like flipping a switch.”

Geithner implies that the American business climate improved substantially in the first year of the Obama administration. In fact, nearly every indicator, from employment to freight transport to rents to retail sales to real estate, has headed steadily south. In some cases, such as unemployment, the numbers have been far worse than the Obama economic team’s worst-case projections. In others, such as real estate, the weakness of the market is masked by expensive government support, including but not limited to the unkillable First-Time Homebuyer Credit, an assault on loan underwriting standards (see Lie No. 2) by the Federal Housing Authority and the government-run mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the completely opaque $75 billion Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The $787 billion in stimulus spending authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is now best known for its inflated and unsupportable job creation numbers. At press time, Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina D. Romer (who, confusingly, made her academic reputation proving that fiscal stimulus did not help the U.S. economy during the Great Depression and World War II) was giving the stimulus credit for 1.5 million American jobs in 2009. All efforts at checking her claims, however, have turned up very different numbers. The Associated Press, the Boston Globe, the L.A. Weekly, and local papers around the country have failed to find actual jobs to match up with those being reported at Recovery.gov. The administration’s only concession to this reality has been rhetorical: After claiming that hundreds of thousands of jobs had been “created” early in 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers turned to the phrase “saved or created” by mid-year. In December the Obama administration again changed its measure to jobs “funded” by the stimulus.

Of all the government interventions since the start of the real estate decline, only one—the rescue effort for too-big-to-fail Wall Street players, which predates Obama—has had a measurable effect. The Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Federal Reserve’s promiscuous use of discount windows and dollar-destroying low interest rates, and the Treasury Department’s open wallet for incompetent financial institutions have cumulatively ensured the survival of the biggest, failiest financial institutions, including such devourers of the commonweal as Citigroup, which managed to lose $7.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 despite an infusion of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars over the year. 

2. “No one wants banks making the kinds of risky loans that got us into this situation in the first place.”

President Obama made this claim following a December meeting with big bank officials, then contradicted himself by urging bankers to take “third and fourth” looks at rejected business loan applications. But the administration has been even more enthusiastic about encouraging another type of credit: the precise risky loans that got us into this situation in the first place. 

Mortgage lending standards have declined, and the amount of risky debt taxpayers are underwriting has rapidly increased, under Obama’s guidance. A 2009 audit found that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) was failing to vet lenders, ignoring missing borrower documentation, and declining to consider negative information prior to guaranteeing loans. More important, the FHA still guarantees mortgages with a minimum down payment of only 3.5 percent, despite abundant evidence that a borrower with low equity is more likely to default than any other type of borrower. (See Lie No. 3.) Defaults on government-approved loans continue to rise, as do redefaults on mortgages refinanced under HAMP.

Undaunted, the administration wants to give unpromising borrowers greater access to debt. At press time, the Treasury Department was considering allowing borrowers to get HAMP modifications by using only pay stubs, rather than tax records, to prove their financial status.

3. The economic crisis is a “subprime crisis.” 

“We believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will be limited,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in May 2007, “and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

To understand how Bernanke could be so wrong on something so important (see Lie No. 4), note that the real estate bust was not a problem with self-identified “subprime” loans (mortgages that are made to borrowers with bad credit and not backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). In fact, the rapid expansion in subprime lending was a late phenomenon that occurred in the last 18 months of a decade-long real estate bubble. Subprime defaults are actually slightly below their worst-ever historic records, and the explosion of subprime defaults that began in 2005 was accompanied or slightly preceded by a statistically equal explosion in prime defaults. 

How is this possible? The period going back to the mid-1990s has seen a massive increase in mortgages that look prime (and are backed by Fannie and Freddie) but in fact feature dangerously low down payments, tricky interest-only and adjustable rate mechanisms, and other inadvisable debt schemes. Late in 2008, Fannie Mae admitted in a footnote that its portfolio had for years been stuffed with alt-A, negative amortization loans, and other junk debt.

Statistically speaking, the only reliable gauge of default probability is how much equity the borrower has as a share of debt. Fannie, Freddie, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration, and all other federal real estate concerns have been working since the 1990s to increase the loan-to-value ratio of mortgages. They have succeeded: Americans now own a smaller percentage of their homes than at any other time in history.

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  • johnl||

    It is too much to say
    """
    Statistically speaking, the only reliable gauge of default probability is how much equity the borrower has as a share of debt.
    """
    Especially right after calling negam loans junk. Not just wrong but inconsistent.

  • robc||

    Ummm...how is that inconsistent?

    The less equity the higher probabilty of default. Negams have negative equity which make them really high.

    Whats the problem?

  • johnl||

    The proportion of the equity that comes from principal payments is pretty small and doesn't have a lot to do with how much equity you have. The reason why negam loans default is that they are selected by people who are willing to pay a lot of extra money to lower their monthly payments a little bit. When someone gets a negam, they are telling you they can't afford their house.

    And there is plenty more that can help you predict if a loan will default. Investment properties are worse than residences, cashout refis are worse than purchases, ...

  • ||

    I agree, to say

    the only reliable gauge

    is an overstatement. Default rates are plenty well correlated to other factors--like (shocker!) FICO score. (And yes, that's after controlling for equity.)

  • ||

    That's still not inconsistent. I don't see where Mr. Cavanaugh claimed principal payments as relevant as a predictor. Negams start with little or no equity and get worse. They have high default rates and their borrowers have low equity stakes. If I'm missing something here, please explain.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's not the *only* reliable indicator, but it's true that high equity collateralized loans rarely default. The reason is simple, though. With enough equity the collateral can always be sold for a high enough price to cover the loan, even if it means a loss for the owner. Lots of people get into trouble with their house payments even though they have high equity, but it ends up being their problem alone and not the bank's.

  • The Gobbler||

    About that First-Time Homebuyer Credit:

    This time, there are no prostitutes involved, just a shady, and serious, tax-fraud scheme. The ploy involves the Obama administration’s 10 percent tax credit to first-time home buyers. The law says that the credit maxes out at $8,000 for an $80,000 home. But at the Detroit office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the rule seems open to interpretation. O’Keefe asks a staffer, What if I bought a place for $50,000, but the seller and I agreed to write down $80,000 as the purchase price?

    “Flip it any way you want,” the staffer replies.

    What if the place is worth much less — like only $6,000?

    “Yup, you can do that.”

    O’Keefe and fellow activist Joe Basel ran the same sting at HUD’s Chicago office and at several federally supported independent housing groups. Breitbart paces the parquet floor. The video is damning but not exactly Acorn-explosive.

    Then O’Keefe stops the playback. “Oh yeah, I forgot,” he says. “We went to the Detroit Free Press, to the managing editor. We told her the whole thing. She said she wasn’t interested. Wanna see the tape?”

    http://bigjournalism.com/mwals.....ng-target/

  • ||

    In other news

    ACORN, the liberal group notorious for allegedly trying to inflate voter rolls through fraudulent practices, has seen its last election in Ohio.

    The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now will permanently surrender its Ohio business license by June1 as part of a legal settlement with the conservative Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, both sides said yesterday.

    ACORN was active in Ohio in the 2006 and 2008 elections, working to register thousands of low-income people to vote and get them to the polls. The group's efforts were marred by irregularities, including one case in which ACORN workers allegedly induced a Cleveland man to register to vote 72 times, offering cigarettes as an incentive."

    http://www.dispatchpolitics.co.....stories/20

    Remember ACORN is out there doing God's work. If you are reading this Joe Boyle, fuck you and die.

  • ||

    The biggest disappointment about this Administration is that they are so much interested in looking good, as opposed to getting results.

  • ||

    Looking good. Looking good?

    They haven't looked good since Jan 20, 2009. It's all been downhill from there on both foreign and domestic policy. They have already set the four year record for unforced errors and PR fuck-ups. I'd say it's more like they're interested in what's good for their narrow power base and patronage parasites. The rest of us can go to hell.

    Lookin' goooood, Baracky!

  • JoshInHb||

    Heckuva job Bammy.

  • Paul||

    (who, confusingly, made her academic reputation proving that fiscal stimulus did not help the U.S. economy during the Great Depression and World War II) was giving the stimulus credit for 1.5 million American jobs in 2009.

    You wave the flag for the company which hires you.

  • It's All Coming Apart 4 Nancy||

    Boehner Resolution Passes: What Did Pelosi Know and When Did She Know It?

    The House just passed a resolution on a 360 to 2 vote to conduct an investigation into Eric Massa's alleged physical sexual harassment of congressional staffers and an intern. The Washington Post reported a Pelosi aide was informed of Massa's misconduct back in October.

    The Atlantic reported yesterday that a House Democratic chief of staff was told in 2006 of allegations that Massa attempted to sexually assault others in the Navy

  • The Gobbler||

    No wonder they want to pass Obamacare ASAP!

  • ||

    Noooo! We've got to pass it because 70 people a day are dying for lack of health care. That's why we have this fierce moral urgency to start taxing now but wait until 2013 to roll out the benefits. The 71,750 people who will die because they lack health care between now and then are still going to vote Democrat.

  • ||

    "The 71,750 people who will die because they lack health care between now and then are still going to vote Democrat."

    Forevermore...

  • ||

    Cracked has a funny if not entirely accurate article today

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-4136-national-debt/

  • ||

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-4136-national-debt/

  • xxx||

    GOP senators demand answers from White House on High Road:

    Frustrated by the administration’s refusal to brief them on the topic, a group of Republican senators are demanding more details on a White House proposal that would overhaul the way the government awards contracts.

    The senators, led by Susan Collins of Maine, want to know more about the High Road contracting policy said to be forthcoming from the White House. The proposal, backed by liberal advocacy groups and organized labor, would implement widespread changes in federal procurement to favor contractors that pay higher wages and provide benefits. Critics contend the administration is leveraging federal contracting for political purposes and believe the new standards would heavily favor unionized companies competing for federal contracts.

    “High Road is actually a low road when it comes to protecting core American values such as competition, taxpayer transparency and public accountability,” said Collins. “It also diminishes the critical role that small businesses play in our economy by making it much more difficult for them to compete. From its name, ‘High Road’ sounds like a good program, but that’s just a marketing ploy. In actuality, its enactment would increase costs to taxpayers, make federal contracting more expensive and burdensome and decrease competition by pushing out some cost-effective small businesses.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/03.....z0huQTstOQ

  • ||

    The proposal, backed by liberal advocacy groups and organized labor, would implement widespread changes in federal procurement to favor contractors that pay higher wages and provide benefits.

    Because those are sure to be the low bids. Its all about fiscal austerity, people!

  • G Mc||

    I think you mean five arguable points of view, espoused by Obama, with which you disagree.

  • ||

    1. "Geithner implies. . . . ." There's a difference between what you interpret as an implication and what was said. You're the liar for twisting simple English.

    2. You say Obama is a liar because he's opposed to making risky loans but suggested that banks look at some business loans that they turned down. Are you serious? You see, there's a difference between being sure about a decision and making a risky loan. You're the liar for twisting simple English.

    3. Bernanke said in 2007?????? And you blame that on Obama?? It's an Obama lie? No, it's your lie and it's an insult to those of us that know that Obama wasn't president in 2007.

    4. Obama said Bennanke has led the Fed through the depression to date and he was helpful. You can't argue with that so you slide into Time Magazine naming Bernanke 2009 Person of the Year.

    5. Regarding the worst of the recession being behind us; We'll have to see and you don't know it isn't the case any more than I do. Things are however, starting to look better so in all probability you're wrong on number five too, thereby making it a perfect sweep.

    I don't know about others on this blog but I've seen so many right-wing Republican posts that aren't even close to libertarian thought. The LP has been polluted by right wing social cons to the point that it's hardly a shadow of the integrity it once was.

    At the very least, we can deal with truth and say things the way they are instead of parroting the mindless babble that comes out of the RNC think mills these days.

    Looks to me that you hate Obama more than you love freedom. What's next? Stopping abortion, outlawing gays, banning stem cell research, prayer in school? Maybe we could make the Southern Baptist Church the Church of America.

  • mr simple||

    If this was sarcasm, I apologize, it's early. If you are serious: I've never seen a post more rife with cherry picking word parsing, logical fallacies and outright falsehoods. But I guess those are the weapons of the Obamanauts, defending him at all costs. You clearly either don't know what you are talking about or are a liar.

  • ||

    Don't bother apologizing. All I'm suggesting is that there isn't one lie clearly identified in the original article. It's all subjective and IMO, the subjectivity is based totally on opposition to Obama regardless of rational. That's a bunch of social con right wing nonsense and totally ignores truth. Criticize Obama for what he does, not for come conjured up excuse to mask a hatred for him because he doesn't belong to the right party - the GOP is no more a friend of libertarian principles than the Dems and it's high time we begin pointing that out to the pretend-libertarians that are oozing into the movement.

  • brian||

    Why don't you just call him a nigger hatin' racist?

    I'm not sure if you're aware of the fact that this site is not particularly fond of either party. That includes the GOP Jackass.

  • ||

    Don't know that he's a "nigger hatin' racist," but I'm pretty sure he's a GOP cheerleader. Yeah, I know this board's not too partisan but as I suggested above, the whole libertarian movement is being inundated by right wingers that think they're libertarians. That's unfortunately, true of a number of the writers of Reason too.

  • ||

    Actually by definition the opposition party is always pretty much the friend of libertarian principles.

    To be otherwise the majority party would have to be trying to reduce government, which almost never happens.

    So yeah, the GOP is against dem expansion of government now so they are on the side of right.

    Just like when the dems opposed the patriot act they were on the side of right.

    And if you think the economy has turned around I suggest you invest heavily;)

  • Consistency||

    Yes, intellectually consistent libertarians want to... stop STATE funded abortion, ban STATE sanctioned gay (and other) marriage, ban STATE funded stem cell research and allow prayer in PRIVATE schools.

  • ||

    Preventing a job from being lost is the same as creating one. Federal stimulus money to states helped prevent hundreds of thousands of jobs like cops firefighters and teachers being lost.

    Economic growth went from -3.2% gdp in 2008 to projected -1% in 2009. That is a measurable improvement (albeit still crappy).

    Keyenesianism worked.

  • JoshInHB||

    Preventing a job from being lost is the same as creating one.

    Until the spurious funding runs out.
    The truth is that many of these "jobs" never should have existed in the first place.

    They were one of the many misallocation of resources that happened because of the credit bubble of the 00s. Specifically state and local governments had a temporary surplus of tax revenues from debt enhanced economic activity. The governments turned this artificial and temporary surplus into structural defecits by hiring too many people and giving public employees large pay increases.

    Federal stimulus money to states helped prevent hundreds of thousands of jobs like cops firefighters and teachers being lost.

    Only temporarily, until the artificial funding runs out. By doing so, they are prolonging this depression.

    The painful fact is that all of the distortions caused by the credit bubble must unwind before the economy will be healthy again.

    Employing unnecessary people, preventing forclosures and ensuring the existance of insolvent financial institions may seem to be the humane thing to do. But it is only proing the pain.

    Economic growth went from -3.2% gdp in 2008 to projected -1% in 2009. That is a measurable improvement (albeit still crappy).

    Financial speculation with Fed funny money is the only thing driving "GDP" growth. Its entirely meaningless the overall economy.

    Keyenesianism worked.
    Not even close.

  • KPres||

    Let's assume you're right and the stimulus saved/created 2M jobs. Given that it was an $800B bill, thats $400,000 per job!

    Hell, they could have just given $50,000 to everybody who lost a job because of the recession.

    Of course, you're not right. The fact is the $800B stimulus crowded out over $900B in private sector spending.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....04040.html

  • ||

    KPres, if I remember Econ 101 correctly each job is worth something like five to seven jobs over time. If you look only at the immediate arithmetic, maybe we really are paying $400,000 per job but add in the extra jobs and if those jobs stay for some years, it's a pretty good investment.

  • mr simple||

    if I remember Econ 101 correctly

    you don't

  • ||

    LOL - following me around in your state of confusion? Maybe you could elaborate a bit more. Maybe????

  • brian||

    From your previous post -"conjured up excuse to mask a hatred for him because he doesn't belong to the right party - the GOP is no more a friend of libertarian principles than the Dems and it's high time we begin pointing that out to the pretend-libertarians that are oozing into the movement."

    Are you suggesting that you Jack, are a libertarian whilst defending Obama? What is remotely libertarian about him or his policies?

  • ||

    Jack,

    You're mistaken or deliberately lying. Probably the latter. It IS going to get worse and it's even going to hit the loser fedgov types eventually. Obamacare, if it passes, will bring the nation to a state of armed revolt. Obama and the America-hating Democrats are trying to foist a huge new entitlement on a near-bankrupt country that can't possibly afford it and that will collapse under the weight. Suckers like you are going to approve of it, too--right up to the point where you feel the hook set deep and hard. Don't think you're going to be the boy that escapes the consequences: you won't be. Meanwhile, the rest of us are smart enough to have already seen the consequences and be mad as Hell about being betrayed by our own government.

    I'd love to be there when you finally realize just how hard reality is going to bitch-slap you Dems. It's going to look like you just took a left hook-right cross combination from a young Mike Tyson. You'll be in the fetal position for a month.

    One more question: what is a statist bastard like you doing coming on a libertarian blog? Axelturfing?

  • ||

    Yes, borrowing on a credit card is the same as sustainable employment. GDP didn't even grow dollar-for-dollar with the amount of money spent of "stimulus" and devoted resources to sectors least in need.

    Case in point, teachers and firefighters getting funds. Yes, federal stimulus money ensured fire chiefs could retire with a $240,000 annual pension while people who generate tax revenue continue to lose their jobs. It isn't public sector jobs that need help - the hardest hit sectors are construction and retail.

  • ||

    Isn't this all just a little like "trickle-down" economics, except the 'trickler' is government instead of private individuals?

  • ||

    Keynesianism worked to increase unemployment and retard growth, just like it did during the the 30's and the 70's.

    For Keynesianism to do something good you have to presume a government bureaucracy who gets more money the more they spend can spend a dollar more efficiently than a private actor whose livelihood depends on making frugal spending decisions.

    The Keynesian fallacy is that money spent by government has a multiplier effect but that the money they took from the economy somehow didn't.

    The truth is the money left in private hands always has a higher multiplier effect, and this is why disney economic policies always fail every time they are tried.

  • ||

    This letter appeared in the Indianapolis Star (which is owned by the same people who own the Arizona Republic ) and was sent to a very popular Indiana Senator. This just goes to show everyone what pressure these Democrats are currently under, so continue to let them know how you feel about the healthcare bill.
    Bill Stough

    Shock to NBC This morning.


    An Indianapolis doctor's letter to Sen. Bayh about the Bill (Note: Dr. Stephen E. Fraser, MD practices as an anesthesiologist in Indianapolis, IN ) Here is a letter I sent to Senator Bayh.. Feel free to copy it and send it around to all other representatives. -- Stephen Fraser


    Senator Bayh,

    As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government's proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.

    I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.

    Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!

    Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

    Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!

    Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!

    Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

    Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals' finances & a 'National ID Health card' will be issued! (Papers please!)

    Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer. (Time for more cash and carry)

    Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).

    Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the 'Exchange.'

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans -- The Govt will ration your health care!

    Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (Translation: illegal aliens.)

    Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members - your health care WILL be rationed!)
    Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)

    Page 12 4 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt monopoly.

    Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association - The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.

    Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)

    Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees ANDtheir families. (Employees shouldn't get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)

    Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! (See the last comment in parenthesis.)
    Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn't provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

    Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

    Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) (Like always)

    Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records. (I guess so they can 'deduct' their fees)

    Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." (Yes, it really says that!) ( a 'fee' instead)
    Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected.)

    Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn't matter what specialty you have trained yourself in -- you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that's not Socialism!)

    Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor's time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally-- the value of humans.)

    Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for "private" HC industries.

    Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

    Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!

    Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e...re-admissions).

    Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission -- the Govt will penalize you.

    Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)

    Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)
    Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?)

    Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of=2 outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want -- rationing.)
    Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan)

    Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of 'special needs people!' Unbelievable!

    Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a "Tele-Health Advisory Committee." (Can you say HC by phone?)

    Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates "Advance-Care Planning Consult." (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)

    Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it's mandatory!)
    Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an "approved" list of end-of-life resources; guiding you in death. (Also called 'assisted suicide.')(Sounds like Soylent Green to me.)

    Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on "end-of-life." (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)

    Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced-care planning consultant" will be used frequently as a patient's health deteriorates.

    Page 429 Lines 10-12: An "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans.. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)

    Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.. (I wouldn't want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)

    Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life! (Again -- no choice!)

    Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. (Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)

    Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)

    Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.

    Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.

    Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.

    Respectfully,

    Stephen E. Fraser, MD

    Dear Reader,

    I urge you to use the power that you were born with (and the power that may soon be taken away) and circulate this email to as many people as you can reach. The Power of the People can stop this from happening to us, our parents, our grandparents, our children, and to following generations

  • ||

    Thanks tater salad. Good post.

  • ||

    The Health Choices Commissioner does not decide what care you get.

    But they can raid your bank account with this innocuous language:

    "SEC. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.

    ‘(2) GOALS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS- The goals for standards under paragraph (1) are that such standards shall--

    ‘(D) enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card;

    ‘(E) enable, where feasible, near real-time adjudication of claims;

    ‘(4) REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC STANDARDS- The standards under this section shall be developed, adopted, and enforced so as to--

    ‘(C) enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice;

  • ||

    What gets me are the fools who insist that *something* must be done. "Doing nothing is not an option." Well, it is if the alternative makes things worse.

  • ||

    Economic indicators are still down, unemployment is over 10%, and energy prices are already rebounding. I'm not sure we *can* go back to business-as-usual this time. There may not be a way back up for us.

  • ||

    Oh, there's a way, but it requires someone taking a chainsaw to our government(s), who are sapping the strength. . .and wealth. . .from us.

  • ||

    Liberals don't care about results, they only care about keeping up appearances through corruption, coverups and lies. It's like high school, only with other people's money.

  • HeadTater||

    The only logical explanation for all this is that the Obama Administration, most of Congress and a large portion of the mainstream media are all on acid.

  • Tony||

    Or, just to be parsimonious, it may be you on the hallucinogens.

  • Brian Trust||

    Would that the current unemployment rate was only a hallucination.

  • ||

    "Obama said when nominating Bernanke for a second term as Fed chairman. “As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another..."
    Uh, he meant CAUSING.
    It truly is astounding when you look at the record of Bernanke's statements... with apologies to Churchhill - never has one man been wrong on so many things and screwed so many.

  • ||

    "Obama said when nominating Bernanke for a second term as Fed chairman. “As an expert on the causes of the Great Depression, I’m sure Ben never imagined that he would be part of a team responsible for preventing another..."
    Uh, he meant CAUSING.
    It truly is astounding when you look at the record of Bernanke's statements... with apologies to Churchhill - never has one man been wrong on so many things and screwed so many.

  • The Republican Heretic||

  • ||

    It apparently will not be easy to get this economy rolling . Its differant this time . They dont want to hire people when their benifits cost more than their wages . They dont seem to want to work for just benifits either . Most dont want more new equipment even for 1% or zero interests . We dont want to pay for the equipment . the economy and future expansion mode will have a hard time paying for repairs and upkeep of what we already have . last yr many employees said they were working for health insurance . they are required to pay for 1/3 of their healthcare costs and half of their 401 k retirements accounts . most of them need more cash wages now . Many have asked to be removed from the fulltime employee status and reclssified as tempary help without benifits . Evrey where I look down and lower is the direction . I dont Understand how we can get going again by reducing interest . it is already zero , reducing taxes always helped before , but now taxes are very low too . We could go to negative interest rates . And reward the borrows with kickbacks , But thats kinda what cuased the housing bubble and crash . Now there are a lot of houses for sale that I would not take for free , becuase I dont want to pay the taxes .

  • ||

    God, I wish you people would get this straight. NOBODY dies from a lack of health care, unless he chooses to on his own. Under law, any emergency room in this country has to treat anybody who comes in for health care, regardless of ability to pay. What we are talking about here is health INSURANCE, not health CARE!

  • ||

    Although, this is pure bullsh*t "..."The 71,750 people who will die because they lack health care..." Obamacare will not take effect until 2014 so Obamacare will actually make CERTAIN that nearly 300,000 people DIE because they lack health insurance.

    Well, this November the DemocRATs in Congress are going to feel the wrath of the American People and in 2012 the Marxists in the White House will be voted out of office.

    Never again will the American People buy into the baloney spewed by Liberals, Progressives, Socialists and Marxists. Ya, know folks - the Beginning of the End is at hand. If you want to become a part of the solution instead a part of the problem pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

    Read and study it. Tell your friends, family and neighbors the good news.

  • ||

    I know many small business owners and tradesman on Cape Cod, the south shore and NewHampshire. As of xmas time all I spoke to were struggling to make it month to month. Some of them were not making it - depleting savings and hoping for better days. If there are "green shoots" the powers that be are talking about another planet is the response that I got. I see more and more work trucks, cars and toys for sale in front yards as I drive around New England. If you ZILLOW almost any zip code you see a massive blob of red "for sale indicators". Although I notice that there are some properties selling, those who are now purchasing real estate may be surprises when property prices are much lower a couple of years from now. According to REALTORS it is always a good time to buy. "The great unwinding" is just getting started. As for Larry Sumners look at the condition he left Harvard University in. WATCH FRONTLINE'S "THE WARNING" ON PBS. You will see what these stooges are really all about. None of them saw the shit storm comming. How can they be trusted to solve the problem they never saw. No one asked me if I would commit my families next few generations to bail out Wall Street's screw ups. "Batten down the hatches boys we got water come'n in".

  • Steve in Greensboro||

    Hey Tim, Would you agree that you and all Obama voters owe the rest of us an apology for voting as you did? All of the lies offered by your Obamanauts are about problems aggravated by the current administration, never mind the socialized medicine plan.

    Quoting from the 10/29/08 Reason article "Who's getting your vote", you said: "1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama. All my life I've been waiting for a black president; Obama's not monumentally unqualified, and his solid-if-boring book at least had some unkind words for teachers unions. Also my kids like him."

    You should promise never to vote for president ever again if this is the sort of thinking that goes into your votes.

  • ABC||

    Tim Kavanagh's a racist, he can't help selecting somebody because of skin color.

  • ||

    According to a WaPo article dated March 15, 2010, 75% of the mortgage loans currently in default (6 months behind) are considered "traditional prime" loans.

    You made a great point about the fact that by the mid-2000's loans that were labeled as "prime" loans made by Fannie/Freddie/FHA/VA were just as risky as subprime, because the number 1 common denominator in foreclosed homes is "low or no downpayment".

    By 2005, we were calling a down payment an "obstacle to home ownership", not an investment.

    No one wanted to put any money down back then, certainly not 20%... not even on "prime" loans.

    THAT is what drove prices higher and higher and made the buyer more likely to default... no "skin in the game".

    To think of this as a subprime crisis only is to grossly misunderstand the scope of the problem.

    It was an asset bubble (caused by cheap Fed money) of ALL types of assets and loans, not just one.

  • David Jeremiah||

    Lies, Deception and Blame, that is what democracy grew on over the last 100 years. The evidence is blatant. It is Industry and population growth that has greatly promoted Capitalism and Democracy. With a massive public debt, the population with disposable income will decline and so will capitalism and democracy. Corporatism will rise and so will Totalitarianism. Everything will be done in the name of "Common Good" but it will benefit the quality of life of only a select few. www.buyerbeaware.blogspot.com

  • ||

    We need your participation to get this off the ground:

    Your Constitution is at stake.

    http://teapartyrevolution.com/

  • James||

    The article is well written. It's hard to sum up a complex problem in 5 'lies' - i grant you lies is a streech here. However, I do believe we have seen the bottom and our government has turned enough knobs enough degrees to make a good change.

    Well, good change may be too strong - but better than giving everyone short term loans which is what previous Presidents would have done.

    Consumers need to more responsibility for the usage of loan products.

  • Short Loans||

    agreed with the poster above. These are not lies. Just because the vox populi does not see the short loan problems, does not make it a lie.

    So many of these are just bad luck and bad execution of ideas. Also, tater salad a few comments above is right. Where too now?

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  • jim||

    The article is well written. It's hard to sum up a complex problem in 5 'lies' - i grant you lies is a streech here. However, I do believe we have seen the bottom and our government has turned enough knobs enough degrees to make a good change.

    Well, good change may be too strong - but better than giving everyone short term loans which is what previous Presidents would have done.

    Consumers need to more responsibility for the usage of loan products.

  • Care Dog||

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  • Golden Real Estate ||

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