Posts Tagged Budget
“Yes – Fox News actually just admitted that Obamacare would reduce the deficit. Republicans have continually repeated the lie that Obamacare increases the deficit; it doesn’t.”
From Fox News’ September 6 2012 Democratic National Convention coverage:
Full video HERE.
This chart shows both the increase in revenues and costs and the line in the middle shows the impact on the deficit by year. If the line is below zero then it reduces the deficit and if the line is above zero – it increases the deficit. You can see…the estimate is that it reduces the deficit: Source
The new estimates reflect a couple of factors. The Congressional Budget Office lists them:
– An increase of $168 billion in projected outlays for Medicaid and CHIP;
– A decrease of $97 billion in projected costs for exchange subsidies and related spending;
– A decrease of $20 billion in the cost of tax credits for small employers; and
– An additional $99 billion in net deficit reductions from penalty payments, the excise tax on high-premium insurance plans, and other effects on tax revenues and outlays—with most of those effects reflecting changes in revenues.
Jonathan Cohn at the New Republic digs into the details and rebuts those Republicans who INCORRECTLY say Obamacare now costs double:
To figure out the cost of health care reform, CBO looks at each of the law’s component parts and, for accounting purposes, groups them into different categories. It calls one category “gross cost of coverage expansions” – that’s the amount of money the federal government will spend to help people get insurance, mostly by offering Medicaid to more people or giving people subsidies they can use to help offset the cost of private insurance. Last year, CBO estimated that the gross cost of coverage expansion from 2012 through 2021 would be $1.445 trillion. Now CBO thinks the gross cost will be $1.496 trillion. The number shifted, in part, because the CBO has changed its projections for economic growth. (MSNBC’s Tom Curry has a nice explanation of this.) But, in the context of such a large a budget projection, that’s barely any difference at all.
Governor Jon Huntsman has proposed state budget cuts of 7 percent. Not to be outdone, the Utah Senate Republicans are proposing cuts of a whopping 15 percent.
Senators feel the cuts will be needed to offset further revenue declines, which may come with February estimates. They are preparing for the worst, but discussed lesser cuts if revenue totals allow for it. They met at the Little America Hotel in a closed-door retreat.
While Huntsman is calling for cuts across the board, the senators are willing to cut nearly all departments including education, but roads projects, no so much.
Transportation will see its proportional cut of funding, but won’t see more the extreme cuts proposed by Huntsman, if the Senate majority has its way.
“Looking back at past years, [transportation funding] was considered another rainy day fund,” Killpack said. “We had a little more confidence in our friends at the federal level back then, but those days seem to be gone. Too much of our economic development and well-being rely on solid transportation project funding.”
No doubt there’s fat in the state budget, but I’m concerned that the transportation budget remains sacred above all the rest. Pardon my paranoia, but it sounds fishy to me. Perhaps the senators need to be a little less gung ho, and consider the guv’s more moderate across-the-board cuts.
And a word on Sunshine Laws, ethics, and meeting in secret:
Did you notice the senators “met . . . in a closed-door retreat”? Some years ago they passed a law commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law that required local government entities to meet only in properly announced public meetings except for some very limited exceptions (such as, to discuss a real estate purchase or a personnel matter, I think that’s about it). But of course, the legislature made itself exempt from this law.
Since ethics is another big topic on the table for this coming session, I’d like to see the legislature submit itself to the same rules it has placed upon other government entities. Stop meeting behind closed doors to do the people’s business. It makes it look like you have something to hide and makes us distrust you.
Let the sunshine in, brethren.