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Market Watch, The Wall Street Journal

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

May 22, 2012, 12:01 a.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has.

Here are the facts, according to the official government statistics:

In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Check the official numbers at the Office of Management and Budget.

In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Read the CBO’s latest budget outlook.

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CBO Score On Health Care Bill Released: Boosts Democrats’ Hopes Of Passing Reform

HuffPost- Ryan Grim– First Posted: 03-18-10 09:20 AM   |   Updated: 03-18-10 05:40 PM

Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

The source said it also extends Medicare’s solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication. The CBO also estimated it would extend coverage to 32 million additional people.

The CBO score is the last piece House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was waiting on before putting the puzzle together on the House floor. A contingent of Blue Dogs has been holding out support, insisting that the bill be fully paid for and not increase the deficit. The numbers give a major boost to Pelosi and her leadership team, which can now begin the whip count in earnest and can specifically point to the cost savings.

With the CBO score released, the Democratic whip team has a specific, thoroughly-analyzed bill to show to undeclared members who can no longer claim they are “waiting to see the language.” Pelosi has very little room for error and needs to move nearly every undecided voter to a solid “yes.”

Since the House last passed legislation in November, three Democrats who opposed it — John Tanner and Bart Gordon of Tennessee and Brian Baird of Washington — have announced their retirements, relieving them of some political pressure to oppose the bill. Pelosi may end up drawing on those exiting members for a cushion of support.

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The health care bill is finally complete. Now that the language is “defined,” what do you think of the finished product?

UPDATE: The CBO score is here.

FULL TEXT OF THE BILL HERE: 111_hr4872_amndsub

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Attention politicians and traditional media people. Important announcement.

Is everyone with me? Chuck Todd: stop applying your beard rouge and pay attention. Bartiromo: leave the cork on the fork.

Okay, here we go.

The public health insurance option as defined in both the Senate HELP bill and the House bill (HR 3200) is not a far-left liberal proposal. A far-left liberal proposal would actually be a single-payer plan. The public option is actually a program supported by almost everyone, despite the misleading way it’s currently being discussed by Republicans, town hall wingnuts, cable news “smackdown” panelists and other very serious members of the Washington establishment.

To wit, David Brooks’ column the other day urged the president to reconnect with “the center” on issues like healthcare reform, and to also exercise more “fiscal restraint.” Naturally, Brooks isn’t prescribing this approach in a vacuum. It’s all over Washington, including within certain corridors at the White House.

And it only takes a few minutes of cable news viewing to arrive at the assumption that the “centrist” position on healthcare reform, according to Brooks and other establishment people, is a bill without a public option. The health insurance lobby in collusion with both the corrupt and spineless Blue Dogs and the lying hacks who control the cartoonish Republican Party have successfully convinced large chunks of Washington that the public option is some sort of ultra-left concoction manufactured inside the secret underground Wellstone Memorial Lib-ratory located beneath Howard Dean’s cavernous walk-in Birkenstock closet.

The reality, however, is that a healthcare reform bill with a robust public option is both extraordinarily popular and fiscally responsible, while, on the other hand, the kind of “centrist” bill that David Brooks wants is actually more expensive and generally more corrupt. In other words, a bill without the public option can hardly be called “centrist” by any definition of the term.

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