Archive for March 3rd, 2012

Washington is filled with people who exaggerate, prevaricate, dissemble, and obfuscate. And those are the people I like. The ones I don’t like are much worse.

That’s why, during the Obamacare debate, I warned that the numbers were utterly dishonest.

We were told, if you remember those grim days, that adopting a giant new entitlement somehow was going to lead to less red ink, but I doubt anybody with an IQ above room temperature actually believed that nonsense, notwithstanding the supposedly non-partisan estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Well, Obamacare was enacted and we’ve already seen evidence that supporters were being less than truthful.

"I'm shocked, shocked, that Obamacare is more expensive than the original forecasts"

And now there are additional re-estimates suggesting the problem is much worse than even critics feared.

One wonders whether supporters of the legislation will now imitate Inspector Renault from Casablanca and pretend that they are surprised about this outcome.

Here are some excerpts from an Associated Press report about these “surprise” findings.

Cost estimates for a key portion of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law have ballooned by $111 billion from last year’s budget… the estimated cost of helping millions of middle-class Americans buy health insurance has jumped by about 30 percent for an eight-year period, from 2014-2021. Administration officials say the explanation lies in budget technicalities and that there are no significant changes in the program that would raise concerns. …Cost overruns for the health care overhaul could create new political problems for Obama by undermining the law’s promise to reduce federal deficits. The revised health care numbers, buried deep in the president’s budget, stumped lawmakers and some administration officials earlier in the week. At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is in charge of carrying out the health care law, indicated she was unaware of the changes. …Last year’s budget estimated the cost of the aid to be $367 billion from 2014-2021. This year’s budget puts it at $478 billion over the same period.

A mature and dignified person would resist the temptation to say “I told you so.” But I’m neither mature nor dignified, so here’s an encore edition of my video on the Obamacare cost estimates.

This is a case, though, where I wish I had been wrong. Unfortunately, if you’re predicting bad results from government intervention, you’re on firm ground – especially if politicians are trying to deal with a mess caused by previous forms of government intervention.

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I get agitated when I think about”energy policy” in Washington.

The jackasses in that town are requiring us to use crummy light bulbs. They’re mandating sub-standard washing machines. And they’ve coerced us into ridiculous “low-flow” toilets that don’t work very well if you happen to…um…deposit something that reminds you of Washington.

And let’s not forget examples of sleaze and corruption such as the Solyndra scam and the ethanol racket.

But I haven’t written anything on rising gas prices because, in general, I don’t think politicians can be blamed.

Yes, prices would be a bit lower if the crowd in Washington wasn’t blocking pipelines and hindering exploration, but those policies presumably don’t cause sudden price spikes. So I’ll mostly let Obama off the hook, just as I’ve sometimes defended him in the past.

That being said, the Administration’s energy policies are a joke – especially the plethora of green energy subsidies. So even though I don’t blame them for higher gas prices, I’m nonetheless amused that the White House is taking a beating on the issue.

As illustrated by these cartoons.

The Algaeman cartoon reminds me of President Bush’s silly switchgrass policy.

Here’s a Ramirez cartoon about the prevarication, dissembling, and obfuscation at the White House.

If you like Ramirez cartoons, you can see some of my favorites here, here, here, here, and here.

Last but not least, here’s a funny image a friend posted on my Facebook page.

These are all funny images, but the history of botched government intervention in the energy sector teaches an important lesson. As illustrated by this poster, you’ve asked a very silly question if more government is the answer.

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