RE: Can the Obama Administration Afford Any More Missteps?

Well, Pete, they had another today from Christina Romer, who seems to be, like Robert Gates, one of the few in this administration who really can’t lie. For months and months, Democrats have been pushing the notion that we’re going to save money by enacting health-care “reform.” This is balderdash, of course. Today Romer agreed:

We are going to be expanding coverage to some 30 million Americans. And, of course, that’s going to up the level of health-care spending. You can’t do that and not spend more.

But eventually, she says, there will be “a dramatic impact on where we are relative to where we might otherwise have been.” Sort of sounds like those millions of jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus plan that saw us go from 8 percent unemployment to double digits. She explains:

While the legislation initially would increase government spending on Medicare and Medicaid, Romer told reporters, the total cost of the two programs would begin to diminish by 2019, when the legislation would deliver an estimated $14 billion in savings. Lower payments to Medicare providers would translate into savings for Medicare beneficiaries, who have seen some premiums double over the past decade, rising at three times the rate of Social Security.

So by slashing payments to doctors and hospitals, we’ll save money. Maybe. In 10 years. Who could resist such a plan?

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RE: Can the Obama Administration Afford Any More Missteps?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Shut Down Senselessness

Podcast: Government shut down, ???, profit!

John Podhoretz is out today. In his absence, the remaining COMMENTARY Magazine hosts untangle the complicated policy and politics behind a short-lived government shutdown. Who benefits, who doesn’t, and what was at stake? Did this brief cessation of non-essential government activity change the political landscape ahead of 2018? Give a listen.

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The Democrats’ CHIP Hypocrisy

Mixed messaging.

Congressional Democrats appear to have meandered into a cul-de-sac. Ostensibly, the federal government shut down last week during an impasse over whether to make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permanent this month or next. Democrats had threatened to shut down the government over DACA recipients before but backed off amid mounting objections from the party’s moderate governing wing. As public polling has confirmed, Americans are in favor of legal status for this deserving set of illegal immigrants who suffer that status through no fault of their own, but voters do not believe that outcome is worth a government shutdown. It’s therefore reasonable to expect that Democrats will soon shift gears, leaning into the other ostensible reason why the government shut down: lapsed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Yet here, too, the Democrats and their allies in media are playing a double game.

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Democrats Go Soft on Anti-Semitism

Shameful.

I don’t always agree with Kenneth L. Marcus, the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. But he is without question the kind of person who might have been nominated in any Republican administration to serve as assistant secretary of education for civil rights. In fact, Marcus served in the same role in the George W. Bush administration on an interim basis. Yet Marcus received not one Democratic vote in the Senate Health, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which just voted 12-11, on party lines, to advance his nomination.

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Pod Shut Down America

But they fight.

On the eve of an ill-fated government shutdown in 2013, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof published a column that captured the sentiments of liberal opinion makers perfectly: This was all talk radio’s fault.

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Harvard Rewards an Iranian Hate-Monger

Another dubious honor.

What is it with the Harvard Kennedy School’s penchant for celebrating dishonorable characters? First came a speaking invitation and fellowship for the traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning. The Kennedy School disinvited Manning following a public outcry in September, but now its leadership has awarded a fellowship to an equally odious figure.

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