Friday, March 05, 2010

Paul Ryan schools all comers on health care finance and government obfuscation

A snippet:
CBO just scores what's in front of them. So let's just go through it point-by-point. When you raise Social Security's tax revenues, you also raise benefits. More coming in taxes says more benefits are being obligated CBO says you can only count that money once. If you're counting it as offsets for this bill, you're increasing unfunded obligations for Social Security. CLASS Act is another example: These are premiums for a benefit. You're counting these premiums for this benefit as offsets for another spending project, you're creating unfunded benefits. That's double counting. We're increasing obligations and we're not setting aside those dollars for those programs.

So when I hear [Health Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and others say that we're extending the life of Medicare with this, that can't be claimed if you're also using these premiums for offsets. That's disguising the true fiscal picture that's being painted here. The American people are hearing that if we pass this legislation it will improve our deficit situation. I'm saying that's not true because we're increasing these obligations and spending that money elsewhere.

The topper of this issue, which goes to the difference in our opinions, is that if you basically believe that we need the government to assert itself in this sector, then you have to global budget and, ultimately, ration. And that's just not the path we want to get on. We believe in a decentralized system where individuals bring market forces to bear.

Read the whole thing.

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