So, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Baucus health care reform plan will shave a whopping $81 billion off the federal deficit by 2019. The Left is crowing with joy and the Right is quaking in its boots at the prospect nationalized health care with all the progressive trimmings.
Let me remind you of something: The CBO may have estimated a $81 billion-dollar savings over ten years, but the deficit for this year alone was estimated last March at $1.752 trillion. So, annualize that savings and you get… Let’s see, $8.1 billion divided by $1,752 billion is… carry the one…. A less than one-percent savings! Proof-positive of President Obama and the Democrats’ commitment to responsible public finance! Party on!
What a bunch of malarkey. How stupid do they think we are? Remember this also, this bill hasn’t been written yet. This is a preliminary analysis that’s waiting for the final legislative language. And that’s just the Senate version. The House has its own bill and, assuming they insist on passing it, the two measures will have to be reconciled in a conference committee and voted on again. These so-called savings, pathetic as they are, could vanish as quickly as a snowflake in the Sahara. The “Baucus Bill” is a bad joke.
(Harry Reid, though, will do his darnedest to ram it through.)
So don’t start dancing in the streets, yet, little Lefties, and don’t be crying in your beer, my fellow Righties. Once the smoke clears from this bombshell, you’ll see that there’s still a long way to go. (Senator Snowe, for one, may hold things up until the final legislative language. You know, so the public can see it? Hey, didn’t the Democrats campaign on transparency? ) This fight to prevent an absolute disaster of a bill from becoming law is far from over.
LINKS: Gaius wonders if anyone does math, anymore.
UPDATE: As pointed out by Neo in the comments and Ed at Hot Air, the new taxes under the Baucus plan start three years before the “benefits” kick in. That takes any talk of deficit reduction from the ludicrous to the absolutely meaningless. As Ed points out:
However, Baucus has also included a little sleight-of-hand in this scenario. While the program itself would not start until 2013, the taxes start in 2010. That means the CBO compared seven years of expenses to ten years of revenue, which hardly makes for an apples-to-apples comparison, and will likely mean that the real analysis — which will contain a projection for the second decade as well as the first — will look much less positive for Baucus.
Do read the whole thing. (Cross-posted from Public Secrets. I’m helping out while Our Hostess is on the mend.)