Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Five years ago, I compared Social Security to the Titanic. Insolvency played the part of fatal iceberg. On Monday I noted that the first stage of insolvency —  projected back then to take place in 2017 — has been refigured to arrive early. This year.

So much for our leaders’ plan of “not putting off till tomorrow what can be put off a decade.” Decades sure aren’t what they used to be.

Neither are the budget numbers politicians throw around. Take the Democrats’ just-passed medical reform package. Do you really believe it will save us money?

Who’s right depends on the reliability of the reform package’s cost projections. And, from what I can tell, those projections are filled with trickery.

A typical sleight of hand is to project ten years in advance, and extoll how that decade’s first years don’t add much burden to the taxpayer. But that’s only because chunks of the programs stagger into effect over the first half of the decade.

But before you go poring over the bill’s two thousand and more pages, checking the  numbers, ask yourself: When have government economists correctly predicted costs of a major new entitlement?

Never.

Take Medicare. Initial projections for catastrophic coverage were half of the real amount; Medicare as a whole grew nine times over its promised size; and the costs of Medicare’s Disproportionate Share Hospital Adjustment program proved 17 times higher than originally predicted.

Congress is in the business of making bad law, not good prophecy.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

8 Comments

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  2. SDN says:

    In Old Testament days, when a prophet claimed that God had told him what would happen, it was written down. If the prophecy didn’t happen, the false prophet was stoned to death. That might be a tad harsh, but I’d endorse removing our “false prophets” from office / employment, and forbidding them to hold any government position ever again.

  3. voxoreason says:

    Yeah, the 2017 figure is what I was expecting, only I had assumed that Congress would do absolutely nothing about it, then simply announce, Hey, it’s too late and there’s nothing we can do except double your taxes!

    Steve Dufus (one of FoxNews’ inane morning show’s 3 stooges; he seems to think he’s witty, which is at least a rhyme if not even close to the truth!) noted: “No, Obama isn’t a communist.” Picky, picky; okay, socialist.

    On the other hand, I have tinnitus, so Fox and Friends is great for background noise (along with the occasional breaking news alerts) and definitely superior to network news propaganda and their even worse morning shows. At times, the tinnitus is the lesser of two evils.

    How many industries does Obama have to nationalize or drive out of business before he’s officially a communist?

    I think they discovered a toad or something that can smell the economic disaster coming. This is better than almost half of Americans can do. I think that the last sentence spoken before the collapse of America (whenever that may come) will be: “Where my check?”

    SDN: [Stoning] might be a tad harsh, but I’d endorse removing our “false prophets” from office / employment, and forbidding them to hold any government position ever again.

    Personally, I think stoning would have better “optics” (plus pay-per-view revenue! $19.95; I would tape it), but this does start to get into Keith Olbermann territory, which goes beyond “so bad it’s amusing” to… well, a stoning offense.

    I think that Keith was meeting with his fan club, which he can do while standing in a room alone. His viewers could all fit in the room… and it wouldn’t require a big room.

    Prediction of the month: Rep Henry Waxman (the guy who looks like a fruit bat) will back off the Congressional grilling of the big biz leaders who, pursuant to the law, were required to report a “material change” to their shareholders and the SEC. (If you have a co with several factories and one of ’em burns down, this is a “material change,” something that is liable to have a big impact on a co’s bottom line.) Waxman is incapable of asking a meaningful question, if the topic is, say, Caterpillar warning shareholders (and the SEC) that they would lose $100 mill over the next year, hitting a “high” of $1 billion over time.

    ObamaCare increases (WHAT? Yes! INCREASES) the cost of employer-provided insurance (Medicaid Part D, I think it is) for a double handful of America’s biggest co’s, but Waxman doesn’t see how this might cut into earnings? Duh.

    Oops! They were just trying to drive people out of employer-provided insurance into something more palatable to the White House “weathermen”… and Waxman actually wants to put this on Drudge Report… again?!? Wonder if it will get “very top of the page” placement, as it did last time.

  4. Ellen says:

    The reason Social Security is in trouble is that the government has been raiding the account for years. Let them put back the money they have stolen from the fund — for which I understand there are IOUs. Social Security was sold to Americans as an investment — pay into it for years — interest will be paid — and the money would be a retirement fund for seniors. This fund is NOT an entitlement.

  5. Ellen says:

    Biggest probem right now is that there are too many “representatives” who have been in office for 15,30,35,40 years or more and have become too powerful — time for term limits. The president can serve only two terms but the the power-driven boobs in Congress seem to have life-time jobs.

  6. Drik says:

    Trillion here. Trillion there. Pretty soon your’e talking real money.

    Waiting for Congress to wake up and relaize that what the CBO calls unsustainable really is unsustainable. Likely to be a long wait.

    Better (ie more likly to succeed) approach is to start movements in each state for interposition, as posited by Jefferson and Madison, to have the states collect all the federal taxes, and forward the percentage that is constitutional, and return the rest. And have the county sherrifs jail anyone trying to impose federal penalties within the state.

    That will work quikly.

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