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Thread: House GOP Unveils Blueprint To Slash Medicaid, Medicare And Repeal Obamacare

  1. #111
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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    No, Congress only makes it legal to put money into the wallet and to take money out.
    Actually Congress compels the money-taking-out. Presidents' used to have the discretion not to spend monies appropriated and allocated by Congress, but no more.

  2. #112
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    Re: House GOP Unveils Blueprint To Slash Medicaid, Medicare And Repeal Obamacare

    For those who are interested, the House budget plan can be found here: http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy14budget.pdf

    More importantly, the actual legislative language can be found here: http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfile...resolution.pdf

    A few quick comments:

    First, the document talks about long-term fiscal risks.

    Second, it seeks to introduce a degree of means-testing to Medicare (something with which I agree). Mandatory spending reform will be needed to address the long-term fiscal imbalances and means-testing is one practical approach. More broadly, it conceptually seeks to delegate a larger share of responsibility for Medicare and Medicaid to the states (an approach that would have its own issues that runs beyond the scope of budget numbers).

    Third, it offers some budget process reforms e.g., a point of order against new mandatory spending provisions, that could make it more difficult to expand mandatory spending benefits. In the context of the challenges facing those programs, that's not a bad idea.

    Fourth, much critical detail is missing. For example, the plan discusses a broad concept of tax reform but doesn't provide the level of detail necessary to estimate post-reform tax revenue. Instead, the plan states, "This budget accommodates the forthcoming work by House Ways and Means Committee Chiarman Dave Camp of Michigan." As this work is "forthcoming," one does not know the details concerning exemptions, deductions, and other changes that would be needed to estimate post-reform revenue. Absent those details, one does know that income tax rates would be reduced, the alternative minimum tax would be repealed (this is a big source of revenue as per past CBO discussions), and the corporate tax rate would be reduced, all of which would reduce overall tax revenue absent the missing details. Could those changes even be accommodated without reducing overall tax revenue below what would be the case under current law?

    Before one automatically assumes that this uncertainty is anything but the result of a lack of detail, the text of the legislative language acknowledges the uncertainty by providing blank amounts for tax revenue (see pages 3 and 4).

    Finally, one does not have basic assumptions (GDP growth, interest rates, health cost inflation) on which to build the estimates once the details of the policy changes are developed. One can use CBO or IMF assumptions in those areas, but the report makes no mention of either source of assumptions.

    All said, I don't believe there is enough information for the CBO to attempt a score. Without such a score, it is difficult to conclude whether the plan would achieve balance within a decade. The uncertainties from the currently missing details are enormous. From the conceptual approach, it is probably reasonable to assume that the planned expenditures would likely be less than those under current law. But tax revenue might also be less, perhaps substantially less, than under current law.

    My guess is that we'll know more once the actual resolution is brought before the House for consideration.

  3. #113
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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Tell that to the thousands (millions?) of people who lost their retirement investments in 2008.
    I said good financial advisors. Many people made money in the markets during the recession. In addition, many people have made significant gains since the market's lows. One thing you can count on with the markets is that they always trend upwards even if they have periodic drops along the way. But if you think the American government, going in the whole at a clip of $1 trillion plus a year is a better investment vehicle, more power to you.

  4. #114
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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Actually Congress compels the money-taking-out.
    I was equating "take money out" with spending, but if the "wallet" is the US Treasury then yes, it gets allocated (but not necessarily spent). I believe that the amount of money that goes unspent over the course of a couple of years is in the $100 billion dollar range.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Presidents' used to have the discretion not to spend monies appropriated and allocated by Congress, but no more.
    It's still the case that so long as the laws are "faithfully executed," an unused portion need not be spent - but this depends on how the legislation is enacted (e.g. it might say that any unused portion allocated for Project A be used for Project B). In "no-year accounts" the President has the authority to cancel (i.e. return to the treasury) any remaining funds, having determined their purpose already fulfilled.

    What presidents used to be able to do and can no longer do is refuse to spend money on legislation they disagree with (or deem no longer necessary, etc.).

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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Actually Congress compels the money-taking-out. Presidents' used to have the discretion not to spend monies appropriated and allocated by Congress, but no more.
    I didn't know that had changed? I'm not asserting you're wrong but When did that happen??
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  6. #116
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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I said good financial advisors. Many people made money in the markets during the recession. In addition, many people have made significant gains since the market's lows. One thing you can count on with the markets is that they always trend upwards even if they have periodic drops along the way. But if you think the American government, going in the whole at a clip of $1 trillion plus a year is a better investment vehicle, more power to you.
    Some never come back while others come back at a much lower initial price.

    The Fed contributes nothing to the SSA except the payroll taxes it collects in the name of the SSA. I wish they'd move the SSA back off book so people could see the real issues instead of constantly harping about SSA and Medicare, which have their own income stream.
    Mt. Rushmore: Three surveyors and some other guy.
    Life goes on within you and without you. -Harrison
    Hear the echoes of the centuries, Power isn't all that money buys. -Peart
    After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg

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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I didn't know that had changed? I'm not asserting you're wrong but When did that happen??
    Post-Nixon, I think.

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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Post-Nixon, I think.
    I learned the basics of how government works while Nixon was in office and haven't kept up on those nit-picky details. I don't remember reading about any Pres that didn't spend the money allotted for projects and programs, so it didn't seem to matter. Of crouse, back then there wasn't as much fighting and certainly not as much grand standing as their is now. Things seemed to get done even when there was disagreement.
    Mt. Rushmore: Three surveyors and some other guy.
    Life goes on within you and without you. -Harrison
    Hear the echoes of the centuries, Power isn't all that money buys. -Peart
    After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg

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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    The real question should be why we need to spend half our budget on defense when no one is even threatening us.
    Why should we take you seriously if you think we spend "half" our budget on defense? We don't even spend half of half the budget on defense.

    We could eliminate the entire defense budget and would still run a $500BN deficit. Yes, it IS that bad.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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    Re: Full Extreme Ahead

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Why should we take you seriously if you think we spend "half" our budget on defense? We don't even spend half of half the budget on defense.

    We could eliminate the entire defense budget and would still run a $500BN deficit. Yes, it IS that bad.
    Depends on how you do the math.
    Military budget of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Budget breakdown for 2012

    Defense-related expenditure 2012 Budget request & Mandatory spending[22][23] Calculation[24][25]
    DOD spending $707.5 billion Base budget + "Overseas Contingency Operations"
    FBI counter-terrorism $2.9 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
    International Affairs $5.6–$63.0 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
    Energy Department, defense-related $21.8 billion
    Veterans Affairs $70.0 billion
    Homeland Security $46.9 billion
    NASA, satellites $3.5–$8.7 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA's total budget
    Veterans pensions $54.6 billion
    Other defense-related mandatory spending $8.2 billion
    Interest on debt incurred in past wars $109.1–$431.5 billion Between 23% and 91% of total interest
    Total Spending $1.030–$1.415 trillion
    2012 United States federal budget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Total --- $3795.547 billion
    $`1.4 Trillion 37% of $3.8 Trillion. So...

    My 50% guess was much closer than your less than 25% nonsense.

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