Prior to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as ObamaCare, the Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis of the bill stating that it would result in a reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion between 2010 and 2019. This projected deficit reduction was never very convincing. It relied on politically untenable cuts in Medicare and Medicaid physician reimbursement — cuts that have already been forestalled for another year by Congress and the President. It counted as savings minor reductions in enormous future outlays. It was skewed because the tax increases in the bill began almost immediately while much of the spending — including, for example, a long-term at-home healthcare benefit that the CBO projected would “add to future federal budget deficits in a large and growing fashion” — will not commence for several years. And it did not include $115 billion in probable additional spending because of the speed with which the bill was rammed through Congress. (Most of these matters were raised by Richard Foster, chief Medicare actuary, in a pair of reports, one during the congressional debate on the bill and one last August.)
From Ninthers, and Tenthers to the Second Amendment Foundation, it seems there’s an advocacy group for every amendment in the Bill of Rights. The inertia propelling these organizations has increased since the inauguration of President Barack Obama (see the story — perhaps apocryphal — regarding the increase in gun sales since November 2008).
In response to evidence that rank-and-file members and supervisors within the New York City Department of Sanitation intentionally refused to carry out their duties after the recent blizzard as a way to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies, the New York City Council is launching hearings on Monday January 10 into the matter. Prompted by the uncovering of damning evidence by Queens Councilman Dan Halloran, the Council is holding two citywide oversight hearings, as well as a series of public hearings to fully gauge the impact of the sanitation department and union’s failure to adequately respond to the crippling snowstorm.
The new session of the U.S. House of Representatives read the full text of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor January 6, the first time the full text of the 1787 document had ever been read on the floor, congressional historians told the Associated Press. But the liberal media used the occasion to ridicule the very idea of taking the founding document seriously.
On Dec. 7 MSNBC.com reported that the government has conceded there’s too much fluoride in the water, and plans to lower recommended levels — the first change in nearly 50 years.