Friday, March 19, 2010

Approaching End Game

Tons of commentary in advance of Health Care Reform Weekend. Keith Hennessey pens (pixels?) a plea to moderate Democrats who have professed fiscal concerns. As Hennessey points out, the slapdash spending cuts, tax increases, and unfunded mandates in the reform bill are so extensive that they amount to not just an increase in government spending, but also a decrease in options for future lawmakers confronting any fiscal crisis arising from the out-of-control spending being passed into law today: No New Promises, Please

You are being pushed to do a variant of what your predecessors have done. Solve a societal problem. Make a popular new promise. Ignore those who warn the promise is underfunded. Worry about the existing long-term problem later, or better yet, hand it off to the next crowd. If this legislation makes that long-term problem harder to solve by taking future options off the table, someone else can worry about that.

There is a simple answer, and you can choose it. Break the cycle. Don’t make a new promise that makes our biggest problem harder to solve and pushes it into the future. On our current path there’s not much future left.

Make us no new promises, please, until you have funded the old ones.

You should read the whole thing, but at this point, you should also know that no Democrat planning to vote "Yes" is really concerned about this. Surely they know how the CBO "scoring" process has been gamed to produce political cover. Surely they are aware that the bill is too long to be absorbed and understood prior to the vote on it. Surely they are aware that the tax increases they are passing now are well beyond what many would consider economically reasonable. They don't care. That's really what's underlying the vote this weekend.

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