I’m too busy at work to fully break this down (so this is a complete hit and run, I know). A few things I’m noticing right off the bat.
I was awaiting your reactionary response to this. Let ME break it down for you:
First off, let me say this: If you had read the article, you would see that the point of this article is to counter the claims being launched by Republicans that the Obama administration is the reason we are in this debt crisis. Speaker Boehner himself last night called it the “crisis atmosphere that he [Obama] has created”. This chart looks at NEW costs (some one-time and some ONGOING) because that is how you can properly indicate what costs were added by PRIOR administrations which currently contribute to the debt versus those that contribute to the debt which were enacted under the CURRENT administration. Republicans are playing willful ignorance in their claims that Obama has contributed to the debt more than any president in history.
The $152 billion in “Obamacare” is lumped in with the net savings that the bill is expected to produce over the next decade according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. It’s also been shown that Republican claims against the CBO’s projection are completely off-base. As the bill is enacted, it is expected to result in lower healthcare costs for the government. Again, this is a 10 year projection but the point of this article is not to address the looming costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but to address claims by the Republicans that Obama’s current policies are the direct result of our CURRENT situation.
On your objection to considering the tax cuts a cost, you are simply incorrect. You can’t just say “I disagree on the definition of this word” and end the conversation there. I work at a college and let’s say that we expect to receive $10,000,000 dollars each year in revenue. In fact, we budget for that revenue, as does every single functioning company, school, small business, etc in the world when they assemble their budgets. If you BUDGET for $10,000,000 in revenue for the year because you KNOW your tuition per student is $1,000 and you will admit 1,000 students (based on historical trending, number of students typically accepted, targeted enrollment numbers, etc) but the board of directors decides suddenly “tuition will now be $900 and we cannot raise enrollment rates this year” then you are now COSTING the school at least $100,000 in lost revenue. Cost does not equate to expense. The federal government of course has a budget that fluctuates more given that things like a weak economy can result in lower tax revenue. In that case, one would say that the recession cost the federal government $XXXX in lost tax revenue. In THIS case, the lost revenue WOULD have come in had the tax cuts not been enacted and as a result, it cost the federal government $1,812.
I agree with you to an extent that none of this spending matters, but the Republicans and even you don’t seem to be consistent in that belief. Moody’s is not looking to downgrade our debt because of the future costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A company’s rating goes down when the leadership proves it is not leading. If the board of directors of Goldman showed a willingness to let the company tank to serve their private interests, they would get a downgrade in a heartbeat. Republicans have shown that they are willing to hold the world economy hostage for ideology/private interests and market forces are paying attention. If the U.S. debt is downgraded, $1.3 trillion and interest rates go up 1%, the debt will shoot up $1.3 trillion just due to the rise in rates.
Finally, let’s get real, they’re going to downgrade us now no matter what the outcome is at this point and it’s going to be bad for everyone. I’d openly bet you $20 on that one if you disagree (and if you expect you’re going to win, budgeting the additional the $20 for yourself, the cost of your bet isn’t just $20 but a net cost of $40 in gambling costs and loss of potential revenue).
The government pays employers $700 billion to offer health insurance to their employees, which no economist would say is a good idea. We’re subsidizing select parts of the energy sector, spending almost $2 billion, for instance, to subsidize “open-loop biomass” rather than simply pricing carbon emissions and letting the market work out the details, and we’re handing $4 billion to oil and gas companies that explore for new reserves.
Midway through my excavation, however, when I was really just getting warmed up, I realized I had made a mistake. I wasn’t looking at the federal budget — I was looking at the U.S. tax code. So cutting all those costly programs wouldn’t count as cutting spending to Republicans in Washington. It would count as raising taxes.
So basically a lot of the rhetoric around tax increases and cutting expenditures is mostly useless and politically motivated. If Republicans were REALLY committed to cutting spending, they wouldn’t pull all this bullshit crying “tax hike!” every chance they get. Especially telling that they only seem to care about the Bush Tax Cuts, and none of these other tax incentive programs.