It was somewhat convenient that I had to grade exams most of the day when President Obama held his “Health Care Summit.” I found Rep. Paul Ryan to be exceptionally incisive and in command of the data. The WSJ published the transcript of his remarks (which left the President totally befuddled). An excerpt:
The majority leader said the bill scores as reducing the deficit $131 billion over the next 10 years. First, a little bit about CBO. I work with them every single day—very good people, great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors.
Now, what do I mean when I say that? Well, first off, the bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending.
Now, what’s the true 10-year cost of this bill in 10 years? That’s $2.3 trillion.
[The Senate bill] does [a] couple of other things. It takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that’s really reserved for Social Security. So either we’re double-counting them or we don’t intend on paying those Social Security benefits.
It takes $72 billion and claims money from the CLASS Act. That’s the long-term care insurance program. It takes the money from premiums that are designed for that benefit and instead counts them as offsets.
The Senate Budget Committee chairman [Kent Conrad] said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Read the whole thing, or watch it below: