A headline posted on FoxNews.com falsely claimed, "CBO: Senate Health Bill Won't Reduce Deficits." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that the bill would reduce federal deficits by $132 billion over 2010-2019 and would continue to reduce deficits in subsequent decades.
From FoxNews.com on December 21:
FoxNews.com article: CBO said Senate bill "would not reduce long-term federal deficits as much as previously estimated." The FoxNews.com article, headlined, "CBO: Senate Health Bill Won't Reduce Deficits Quite as Much," to which the false headline linked stated that on December 20, CBO corrected a previous analysis of the Senate health care reform bill. The FoxNews.com article noted that CBO said "that while the correction has no bearing on estimates for the impact of the bill over the next decade, it does slightly reduce the amount of money the plan is expected to save for the 2020-2029 period":
The Congressional Budget Office said Sunday that the Senate health care bill would not reduce long-term federal deficits as much as previously estimated, acknowledging that it made an "error" in its original analysis.
CBO Director Doug Elmendorf wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that while the correction has no bearing on estimates for the impact of the bill over the next decade, it does slightly reduce the amount of money the plan is expected to save for the 2020-2029 period.
The original estimate said the health care overhaul would yield deficit reductions worth about one-half percent of GDP -- the revision put that figure between one-quarter and one-half percent.
He also wrote that savings from Medicare cuts and changes would add up to about 10 to 15 percent per year in that period, compared with the 15 percent savings in the original projection.
Elmendorf said the legislation should still reduce budget deficits after 2019 -- but just not as much.
CBO: Manager's amendment still reduces 2020-2029 deficits more than original Senate bill. The FoxNews.com article did not make clear that the correction was made to CBO's December 19 analysis of the manager's amendment to the Senate health care bill, not to its original November 18 cost estimate of the bill. In the correction, CBO stated, "Relative to the legislation as originally proposed, the expected reduction in deficits during the 2020-2029 period remains somewhat larger for the legislation incorporating the manager's amendment."
CBO: Bill would reduce deficits over next 10 years and beyond. CBO concluded on December 19 that the Senate health care bill incorporating the manager's amendment "would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $132 billion over the 2010-2019 period." In the following decade, CBO estimates that "the legislation, if enacted, would reduce federal budget deficits over the decade after 2019 relative to those projected under current law-with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between one-quarter percent and one-half percent of GDP." CBO stated in the December 19 analysis that following 2029, "CBO anticipates that the legislation would probably continue to reduce budget deficits relative to those under current law in subsequent decades, assuming that all of its provisions would continue to be fully implemented."
There is no such thing as a dirty word.
Nor is there a word so powerful,
that it's going to send the listener
to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
Born December 21, 1940
The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that
intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree?
Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. "You eat this apple, you're going to be
as smart as God. We can't have that.
Tax the FUCK out of the churches!
The whole Universe is a large joke. Everything in the Universe are just
subdivisions of this joke. So why take anything too serious?
While Paul Krugman writing in the New York Times believes that the healthcare reform legislation now on the verge of passage in the Senate is "an awesome achievement," I do not share those sentiments. Though there is certainly much of merit in the bill,[...]
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Paul Krugman looks at how the Senate "has become ominously dysfunctional":
Yes, there were filibusters in the past ? most notably by segregationists trying to block civil rights legislation. But the modern system, in which the minority party uses the threat of a filibuster to block every bill it doesn?t like, is a recent creation.
The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, ?extended-debate-related problems? ? threatened or actual filibusters ? affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.
Some conservatives argue that the Senate?s rules didn?t stop former President George W. Bush from getting things done. But this is misleading, on two levels.
First, Bush-era Democrats weren?t nearly as determined to frustrate the majority party, at any cost, as Obama-era Republicans. Certainly, Democrats never did anything like what Republicans did last week: G.O.P. senators held up spending for the Defense Department ? which was on the verge of running out of money ? in an attempt to delay action on health care.
G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USDCHF0.19GBP0.17JPY0.14EUR0.09Thin, directionless trading is the best way to describe the Asian session. And with no first their economic data released today, we should expect more of the same. Asia?s regional indexes were unconvincingly mixed, while Europe is poised to open higher. However, we doubt this slightly positive sentiment will trickle through to the FX markets and expect any rally in risk to quickly dissolve. The…Read More …
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A little past 1 a.m. this morning, the Senate passed its health care bill 60 - 40. For all people can disagree about the composition of the bill, the politics are undeniable: although there are 2 more procedural votes left, there will be a House-Senate conference committee on revisions to the health care system in America.
For the first time in more than 40 years.
What happens next is dependent on two things: the make-up of the conference committee itself, and whether Democrats vote their individual consciences, or just to pass it. These two things are inexorably entwined. Bart Stupak is working with Senate Republicans to see how close to banning all abortions across the country the final bill can come. Progressives are under great pressure to reject a final bill that does not include a public option. These worlds may well collide. More details will emerge in the next few weeks.
Massive snows temporarily change things: you're stuck where you are, you interact with people you might walk away from if the airport was open (I'm thinking the Senate here), the stillness allows for more thought than is generally available. I wonder if the Senate bill would have gotten where it did over the weekend if both National and Dulles were open.
I have a neighbor who has been a Log Cabin Republican for the 18 years we've been neighbors. He voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary last year, and Barack Obama in the general. Yesterday, we did what we always do when there are huge amounts of snow on the ground: we went to the houses of our elderly and disabled neighbors and dug out their cars. And we talked politics. Here's a guy who works in finance, and has spent a fair amount of his career on Wall Street. He's appalled that the "change" he voted for never touched the street. He's furious that there is no public option. We talked about the politics of the health care deal: that from a political perspective passing something was critical at this juncture.
I told my neighbor that I was thinking of sitting out the 2010 elections. Heartbroken as I am. He said the one thing that no one else had said to me. "You owe me," he said. "You said if I voted Democratic this time, it would be for actual change. That didn't work out: I expected a repeal of DOMA and DADT, fire and brimstone raining on my bosses, a fixed economy, and real health care reform. It took you 4 presidential elections to convince me to vote against the Republicans: I finally heard that I shouldn't vote for people who'd rather see me dead. You owe me better Democrats. You owe me that you'll keep working for change."
And so I sit with my coffee, thinking about the politics of the health care bill, and this I know: if the bill dies in committee, we Democrats are done as a party. We splinter into conservadems and progressives. We lose both the House and the Senate in 2010, and the White House in 2012. If the bill passes, those things can still happen, but they are not a given. And so we progressives must fight for the best bill possible, swallow what we get, and then lick our wounds and vote for better Democrats.
Congrats to Harry Reid: it never seemed possible that HE could pull this off, but he did. Getting the process this far is an accomplishment of epic proportions. It even changes the calculus of his personal race next year.
Off now to read the comments and posts I missed yesterday: after digging out, there was sledding and then angels in the snow.
Last night-- technically this morning at 1:08AM-- although for me it was just after 7AM and I was traipsing around down the Apian Way north of Rome and visiting the Catacombs of San Callisto, a place of burial for 500,000 early Christians, including martyrs and popes some of whose deaths bore witness to a previous time when State and Church were united, Harry Reid's cloture motion to shut down the Republican filibuster of the healthcare bill came up for a vote. Cloture passed 60-40, every single Democrat voting yes (along with the two Independents, progressive Bernie Sanders and reactionary Joe Lieberman) and every single Republican (including faux moderates Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe) voted no.
This morning's NY Times says the procedural victory proves Harry Reid has the votes he needs to pass the badly flawed, ultra-compromised legislation. But with not a single Republican willing to vote for it, one has to ask if all those compromises-- compromises which took a mediocre bill and made it abysmal and barely worth passage-- were just quid pro quo for all the billions of dollars in thinly veiled bribes the Insurance and Medical-Industrial Complex have pumped into federal politics.
The vote was 60 to 40 ? a tally that is expected to be repeated four times as further procedural hurdles are cleared in the days ahead, and then once more in a dramatic, if predictable, finale tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Both parties hailed the vote as seismic.
Democrats said it showed them poised to reshape the health system after decades of failed attempts.
?Health care in America ought to be a right, not a privilege,? said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut. ?Since the time of Harry Truman, every Congress, Republican and Democrat, every president, Democrat and Republican, have at least thought about doing this. Some actually tried.?
Republicans said that the bill was fatally flawed and that voters would retaliate against Democrats at the polls in November.
The Senate bill, once completed, must be reconciled with the bill adopted by the House last month, and there are substantial differences between the two. The House measure, for instance, includes a government-run health insurance plan, or public option, that was dropped from the Senate bill.
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has said the House would not just accept the Senate bill. And some Senate Democrats have warned that they could turn against the bill if changes made during negotiations with the House are not to their liking.
David Broder just cannot understand how Democrats cannot be as unquestioning as Republicans.[...]
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NOTE FROM JOHN: Read this essay that Joe links to. I've not ready anything so spot on about the President, and what makes him tick.
A post at Huffington Post by Drew Westen, the political psychologist/neuroscientist, is sure to cause a stir today. Westen has gained a reputation as one of those scholars as an expert on political communication. His work in 2008 is often compared to what George Lakoff did in 2004.
Today, Westen provides a brutal, but accurate, assessment of the Obama presidency. It's worth a read. But have some coffee first, but you'll see things you've thought yourself over the past few months -- and you're going to be annoyed:
Somehow the president has managed to turn a base of new and progressive voters he himself energized like no one else could in 2008 into the likely stay-at-home voters of 2010, souring an entire generation of young people to the political process. It isn't hard for them to see that the winners seem to be the same no matter who the voters select (Wall Street, big oil, big Pharma, the insurance industry). In fact, the president's leadership style, combined with the Democratic Congress's penchant for making its sausage in public and producing new and usually more tasteless recipes every day, has had a very high toll far from the left: smack in the center of the political spectrum.I agree, as one of those pesky leftists.
What's costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn't a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both.
What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting.
The problem is not that his record is being distorted. It's that all three have more than a grain of truth. And I say this not as one of those pesky "leftists." I say this as someone who has spent much of the last three years studying what moves voters in the middle, the Undecideds who will hear whichever side speaks to them with moral clarity.