Fiscal Responsibility, A Trillion Dollars Worth

Peter Orszag and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House's budget director and health care point person, respectively, have an op-ed in the Washington Post this morning making one last case that currently proposed health care reform legislation is, in fact, fiscally responsible. They focus on the reform's provider-side reforms—in particular, the independent Medicare commission that will have the awesome power to make suggestions about how to keep costs down—and the bill's CBO-certified deficit reduction. One thing they don't note: the $950 billion overall cost of President Obama's latest version of the plan. Even if the hoped-for deficit reductions materialize—a hope that's in some doubt—the plan would add nearly a trillion dollars in new spending over the first ten year, and more like $1.8 trillion over the actual first ten years. Remember: Cutting the deficit is not the same as spending less.

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  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Cutting the deficit is not the same as spending less.

    It is too, if done in a bipartisan manner.

  • Flatus Rex||

    And by bipartisan, I mean leftest from across the entire spectrum.

  • ||

    Business insider has an interesting slide show about what the US budget would look like under an "austerity budget" similiar to what Ireland is doing. It makes for an interesting read. Other than the ludacris and religous based "carbon tax" none of it looks like that big of a deal. Seriously, a 4% reduction in defense spending or raising the retirement age to 67 doesn't exactly strike me as end of the world stuff.

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....ike-2010-2

  • robc||

    Retirement age has already been raised to 67...for anyone born after 1960.

    It needs to be raised to about 81 - 3 years above life expectancy, which is about what it was when SS started.

  • robc||

    Hmmm...50 years between 1960 and 2010, 14 years difference, about 3 months per birth year...so, change SS age to:

    67 - born in 1960
    68 - born in 1964
    69 - born in 1968
    70 - born in 1972
    71 - born in 1976
    72 - born in 1980
    73 - born in 1984
    74 - born in 1988
    75 - born in 1992
    76 - born in 1996
    77 - born in 2000
    78 - born in 2004
    79 - born in 2008
    80 - born in 2012
    81 - born in 2016

    I dont know if that makes SS solvent, but it doesnt hurt. And forces people who want to retire in their 60s or 70s to plan for it themselves.

  • ||

    It needs to be raised to about 81 - 3 years above life expectancy, which is about what it was when SS started.

    Who says difference from life expectancy is the standard for retirement age? There is no way most 80-year-olds can be expected to hold down a full time job (and if they did, you'd be crowding out the job market for young people).

    Not that it matters to my generation -- I fully expect my retirement age to be ∞.

  • robc||

    Its not retirement age, its social security collection age.

    Im not saying that should be the standard, but it was the original standard and makes it more reasonably fundable.

  • robc||

    Could the language used in that article be any more biased?

    Also, business insider should burn in hell for a multi-page slideshow.

  • ||

    It is totally biased. But when you cut through the crap language, I don't see any reason why any of that is so horrible. Oh no, public servents get a 10% pay cut. I would be effected by that. And I don't see it as that big of a deal. Whatever money I lost would be made up for in lowering the cost of living in Washington.

  • @||

    You're a public "servant" who spends all his time on H&R. Makes sense.

  • ||

    Too much sense.

  • Rich||

    Thanks, John. That *is* food for thought.

    They might want to change this image, though. Some people might get the wrong idea about what is to be cut.

  • ||

    That would be an illustration of the cuts made during the French Revolution (one cause being the regime went broke).

  • Flatus Rex||

    Clearly the kid is brushing too hard.

    http://static.businessinsider......es-cut.jpg

  • ||

    —in particular, the independent Medicare commission that will have the awesome power to make suggestions about how to keep costs down—

    I would really like to see someone argue that this doesn't count as "rationing".

  • ||

    Shouldn't we each be trying to control our own health care costs? Check out Whatstherealcost.org.

  • buy ugg boots online||

    I had a misdemeanor d be for the 96 gun law now i will be forced to sell my bussines after 35 years auto salvage yard to abide the law .Because of shells and guns in alot of them in my possesion Clean Record Since.

  • sathi2000||

    it must limit the size of government relative to the economy. It is unconscionable that our generation would leave a legacy of profligacy, and an enormous debt burden, for our children and grandchildren. Both government and citizens must work towards greater fiscal responsibility, and fiscal sanity, in their lives. A trillion dollars is attainable, and so is a Constitutional Amendment on Fiscal Responsibility. My older (and wiser) brother told me as a teenager: “Debt is Slavery. Savings = Freedom. Save until it hurts.” It applies equally to government.
    http://destinationsoftwareinc.com

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