Commentary Magazine


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A Fiscal Suicide Pact

If you believe the Obama administration (and I doubt there is a person on the planet not in custodial care who actually does), ObamaCare will, if enacted, save the government $132 billion over the next 10 years. In the world ordinary citizens live in, one of mortgage payments and tuition bills, that sounds like a lot of money, more than the net worth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.

In the world of Washington, however, it’s chump change, an average of $13.2 billion a year, when the government will spend $3.7 trillion this year alone. Indeed, as Hotair points out, $132 billion is equal to only 59 percent of the deficit that the federal government racked up just in the month of February 2010, when the government spent $220.9 billion more than  it took in, the highest monthly shortfall in history.

As Michael Barone and others have noted, Nancy Pelosi seems to be having increasing trouble rounding up votes to jam ObamaCare through the House. The fact that it would be a political suicide pact for Democratic congressmen is surely the speaker’s biggest problem. But that it would be a fiscal suicide pact for the federal government might be an increasing factor. Only in Washington, after all, do people have trouble understanding what “we can’t afford it” means.