Saturday, March 20, 2010

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES

The health care bill now pending in Congress (I will call it Reid-Pelosi Care, or "RPCare") will mean a huge new entitlement program, vast increases in the federal budget, and huge new federal deficits.

We are currently watching the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid (call them S2M2) programs approach bankruptcy. Soon we will get to watch RPCare approach bankruptcy, along with the Federal Treasury.

The Congressional Budget Office issues reports each time RPCare changes. The people at the CBO must be approaching nervous breakdowns.

The CBO reports suggest that over 10 years the bill as presently constituted will shave about 10% of the RP's cost off the federal deficit. Now this is small beer, in any event, given the enormous increase in the federal deficit during the Bush/Obama "debt = eternal happiness" era of government expansion.

But the CBO "scoring" is just that: "scoring," as in a weird game of Risk, based on arcane rules that ignore historical reality. CBO predictions of cost savings almost never materialize, and CBO always woefully underestimates how fast health care costs really grow.

Even on their own terms the CBO's estimates don't promise fiscal solvency. They just say that they can't predict where the bill will take us past 10 years, but that by increasing revenues now and postponing new health care expenditures for 4 years, the bill ekes out about 10% more revenue than expenses by year 10. This means 10 years of revenue to pay for 6 years of health care.

Never mind the quality of the "revenues" RPCare asks us to believe in. That is a sausage factory you do not want to see or smell.

After 10 years, we have to pay as we go. See, this is the problem with Ponzi schemes and check-kiting. At some point your "float" drys up. The expenses will keep on going up dramatically, while the revenue sources won't. The math will stop working very rapidly.

And then what? The S2M2 bankruptcy will be dwarfed by the bankruptcy of RPCare. We will either scrap the system, at untold cost to poorer Americans with nowhere left to go, or turn to a truly nationalized health care system. Welcome, Veterans Hospitals.

The administration understands that RPCare is the last, great hope of turning the United States hard toward a nationalized health system. The administration sees such a turn as "the right thing to do." Every year, every month, every week that goes by without RPCare allows America to keep thinking about "entitlement bankruptcy." Voters are getting more and more jittery, even now. Witness Scott Brown sitting in "Ted Kennedy's" seat. People's enthusiasm for new spending will continue to erode, the closer the S2M2 bankruptcy lumbers toward us.

Hence, the urgency to pass this bill now, while Democrats can. Because very soon, the moment will have passed, never to return.

In the end, I don't think Obama cares very much about health care. He didn't before the primaries. He picked up Hillary Clinton's fervor as a convenient device for accomplishing his true passion, a federal government locked into growth at a faster rate than the private economy. If Obama wins health care, he wins constant government growth, relative to the private economy. The rest of the story is interesting, but essentially inevitable, like finishing a hand of solitaire once all the cards are up.

Health care has grown faster than the rest of the economy for 40 years. If the federal government is running health care, the health care math means government expands at a rate faster than the private economy. 2 + 2 = 4, and that's that.

And this means that at some point within a generation, the government will have overcome and swallowed the private economy. That day will mark a great victory for America's left. No armed revolution will have preceded this takeover; just a vote on health care on March 21, 2010.

Obama and friends see federal control of the private economy as the only sure way to ensure social justice, a social justice defined by Obama and people who agree with him. Once they get RPCare done, all they have to do is wait, and the rest of the deal comes to them while they sit.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. The weather is likely to be lovely, here in Hotville. I hope the House of Representatives refuses to approve RPCare. I am Eternally Optimistic.

3 comments:

  1. I weep and I pray. Totus tuus!

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  2. I dream at night....of playing 'Whack A Mole' with Nancy Pelosi's head !!!

    ReplyDelete