The 112th Congress, at least the House of Representatives, has promised the American people that they will vote to repeal Obamacare. It is officially called the “Affordable Care Act.” Politicians name bills like this for political reasons. They are just as likely to come out with the “We Love Puppies Act” then fill it with billions in pork so they can claim opponents hate puppies, so Obamacare it remains. This 2200 page monstrosity was passed last year largely unread by our intrepid representatives and pushed through even as strong opposition came to light across the country. It wasn’t easy. The Democrats in Congress even had to bribe their own members with sweetheart deals to get them to vote for it. The ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (and well known intellectual lightweight) claimed that they would have to pass the bill to know what was in the law. This is what passes for leadership on the political left. The press took a powder. Once considered the watchdog of the people they remain today the lapdog of the Democrats.
The law was constructed in such a way that the government could start collecting the revenue 4 years ahead of the expenditures. This was done so they could claim that the first 10 years would cost less than $1 Trillion. In the feeble minds of Democrats, today’s definition of real costs doesn’t start until you get to 12 zeros. So they managed to convince enough of their party to accept what amounted to a scam, claiming that collecting for 10 years and spending for 6 was a valid way to hold down projected costs. The Democrat rank and file and the press bought it hook line and sinker.
The Federal Government has never been particularly good at predicting costs. What they generally do is lie to get a bill passed and then deal with the aftermath of cost inflation after the fact. Medicare is a prime example. When it was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in July of 1965, its supporters predicted that by 1990 the annual cost would grow to $12 Billion. At the time even that was an outrageous sum of money. But the Democrats controlled both houses of congress and the White House. Moreover, they felt that this would affectively purchase the undying loyalty of old people for the party in future elections. Medicare passed into the language along with the notion of “entitlement.” In 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 Billion. In 2009, $490 Billion. Medicare actually has an unfunded mandate of $23 Trillion based on the people alive today and that alone could double the National Debt if left as is. But hey? Who’s counting? We are entitled.
So here we are in 2011 and Obamacare is the law of the land with a projection of less than $1 Trillion in costs for the 1st 10 years. Let’s say that Medicare was a fluke. Let’s really go out on a limb and say that the accounting in 1965 was way off base and that today’s accountants are much more accurate. Let’s say they are 75% better at these kinds of predictions now rather than then. Let’s also pretend that Congress didn’t pass the $250 Billion supplemental spending bill to pay doctors so they could leave that money out of the totals on the final health care bill. That would mean that instead going up 800% in 25 years it will only go up 200%. So if it is projected at $100 Billion a year average and let’s keep inflation at 4%...because I too am a dreamer, by 2035 this monstrosity could be costing us, $5.7 Trillion a year.
Just as an aside, the healthcare law creates 159 new federal bureaus and agencies some of which have to do with healthcare and some that don’t. This cost all gets rolled into the projected budget of the Department of Health and Human Services one of the more bloated bureaucracies in history.
Now none of this is really going to happen because before we ever reach the final cost in any of these entitlement programs this country will have collapsed and we the people will be lucky if we can find something to eat by then. Once there are zero entitlements I am not sure what the Democrats will promise in exchange for power. One has to ask what they are counting on. We have a large and growing segment of the population that hates the private sector that the bureaucracy relies on for its continued existence. So they work diligently to hamstring the marketplace while demanding more of its output for government growth. They aren’t insane, they are suicidal.
So here’s the really funny part. The Democrats, our nation’s accounting gurus, now claim that Obamacare is going to save money and that repealing it will cost money. Okay stop laughing…I know, I know…but you have to understand something. They have managed to convince a lot of people that unbridled government growth, unemployment payments and taking money away from the person who signs our paychecks creates prosperity. They were able to convince a plurality of the American voter in 2008 that a fellow who had never held a real job, who believes in wealth redistribution, who went to college under an alias, and who had served only 140 days in the Senate before starting his Presidential run was capable of leading the free world. We aren’t the smartest people. We have allowed this to happen. There was a time when if someone wanted to run for President we would at least have an interest in their background and character. Times have indeed changed. The last election was indeed historic.
The new Congress elected in November ran under the guise of fixing the things that are wrong with America. They have promised a vote to repeal Obamacare. They will have a vote and it will pass the House, the Senate won’t pass it and that is where it will stop. I believe that we have reached a plateau in this country where, as former Texas Senator Phil Gramm used to say, the people riding in the wagon exceed the number of people pulling it. This isn’t accidental. The first order of business in destroying a Constitutional Republic is dumbing down the people to the point where they don’t understand the mechanics of liberty or the effects of neglecting free markets. We now have 2 or 3 generations who feel (as opposed to think) that it is the duty of government to make life’s outcomes equal. Who believe that those that have wealth only have it at the expense of those who don’t and those who don’t have wealth shouldn’t have to work hard, or at all to get it.
This is what creates the kind of entitlement mentality we are seeing in Europe right now. People who wouldn’t lift a finger to help themselves will riot in the street to demand that others provide what the politicians promise. I no longer believe that short of collapse or revolution that we have snowball’s chance in hell of turning things around. So buy guns and ammo while you can; food while it lasts and teach your kids a manual trade or perhaps send one of them to medical school just in case.
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