Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the sphere… The Bitsblog Nightly Ramble
- DANGEROUS EXPANSION : The WSJ  says the House Healthcare bill dangerously expands IRS power. Well, yes. Of course it does. When we talk about expanding powers for the Federal government, how can we help but talk about expanding powers for the IRS ? The IRS, after all, is the means by which they maintain power.
- NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAM IS A SOLUTION TO ANYTHING: That”s a comment from Doctor Zero that in my view is a keeper. But the good Doctor really gets into it here. As he explains, one of the tricks involved with getting unpopular bills through Congress and getting popular support behind said bills is front loading the benefits while back loading the consequences … for example raised taxes. The house bill on healthcare for example.
This weekend may see the fateful vote on ObamaCare, or it may be passed with twilight’s last deeming. There is not much time left for Americans to consider what is about to be done to them, and raise their voices in a protest loud enough to frighten nervous Democrats out of their parliamentary maneuvers. The ruling class wants this bill badly enough to interpret anything less than fierce protest as implied consent.
Even discounting the sewer system of underhanded deals and bribes needed to push ObamaCare through Congress, distorting it beyond any semblance of a carefully-designed plan, it’s foolish to accept it as a “solution” to health care “problems.” No government program is a solution to anything. I’m not referring to their inefficiency or cost. I’m talking about their very nature.
He goes on to point out that the promises of how this bill will work in the future are empty ones.
Government social programs don’t work that way. They can’t. Today’s Congress cannot bind future sessions with discipline. They can only saddle their successors with obligations. The national debt has grown to staggering proportions because debt is the only thing each new Administration and Congress inherit from those who went before.
When Barack Obama tries to convince you to accept a government takeover of the health-care industry, he is making a promise he won’t be around to keep. ObamaCare’s job-killing taxes are front-loaded, but in order to fool the Congressional Budget Office into giving it a respectable deficit score, i ts benefits are delayed for years. Even if Obama wins re-election, he would complete his second term long before the program was completely phased in… and no external authority exists to compel either Obama, or his successors, to honor the promises he’s been making.
Consider the question of public funding for abortion, which has led Democrat representative Bart Stupak and his little bloc of pro-life colleagues to withhold their support. They are ostensibly holding out for guarantees against government-funded abortions, but the odds that ObamaCare will never cover abortions are exactly zero. It’s simply a question of when, not if.
Now, as important as those points are individually, they also expose a principle which we should be paying very close attention to as we consider this monstrosity. The promises about how this bill are is going to affect us in the future are in fact empty. There is no way on God’s green earth that what we’re being promised now about this bill is going to come true. Keith Hennessey  points up today, even outside the healthcare debate, yesterday:
America is on an unsustainable fiscal path. If we do nothing to address this, within 25 years the U.S. government will default on its debt, with devastating consequences for the U.S. economy and society.
We are on this path because past elected officials made unsustainable benefit promises and enshrined them in law. In some cases they paid for those promises in the short run. In all cases they created programs that would grow more generous over time.
Those past elected officials enjoyed the political benefits of creating a new promise, and they shifted the burden of paying for these promises onto their successors and onto future generations of citizens.
With that in mind, let’s reconsiderthe CBO scores on this healthcare monster. Why?
Well, look, we’ve already discussed the idea that the CBO is overloaded and their numbers are questionable thereby. But consider also the points Hennessey and Doc Zero make. Government programs always grow well beyond their original promises in terms of liability, but never in terms of benefits. So when the Democrats who are so desperate to get socialist healthcare into law start passing numbers around, the numbers are not with the paper they’re written on.
Moreover, consider the words of Obama himself, when he told us that this healthcare bill is just the first step. The numbers and promises of lower liability being passed out today don’t mean a damn thing to the reality of what this thing is going to become.