(CNSNews.com) – The United States faces “fundamental fiscal challenges” stemming from the growth in spending for Social Security and major health care programs,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told a gathering in Washington on Tuesday.The rising cost of those programs leaves Americans with “unpleasant” choices to make, but the sooner they’re made, the better, he said: “So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are,” Elmendorf said.”And we haven’t actually decided as a society…what we’re going to do. But some combination of those three choices will be needed.”Elmendorf said there are various ways to proceed: “But they tend to be unpleasant in one way or another, and we have not, as a society, decided how much of that sort of unpleasantness to inflict on whom.”He noted that many Americans have paid Social Security taxes for decades, expecting to get benefits in retirement. But the money people paid years ago was used to fund other government activities.So, “If one wants to change those programs, then giving people a lot of warning about that — those changes coming — would be especially important,” he said.Elmendorf said the nation’s main fiscal challenge is not short-term deficits, but “the very high level of debt” over the long term:”And a high level of debt will ultimately crowd out capital investment and slow accumulation of capital and slow the growth of wages and incomes. It also reduces the flexibility for policymakers to respond to future crises that arise.”So it’s the high level of debt and the growing deficits in the long-term. The reason why action today would be beneficial is because if you — we want to make changes in programs for retirees or changes in the tax code, it’s better to make those with a warning. One wants to set — one wants to make changes. One wants to set them in motion early, even if their full effect won’t be felt for many years.”Elmendorf said Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and Obamacare will be much more expensive relative to GDP in future years because health care costs are rising, subsidized health insurance is expanding, and the population is aging: “There will be a third more people receiving Social Security Medicare benefits a decade from now than there are today,” he noted.”And with those three factors at work, that handful, just a handful of very large programs, is becoming much more expensive.”Elmendorf was interviewed at The Atlantic’s 2014 Economy Summit in Washington. – See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/cbo-director-important-give-advance-warning-about-coming-changes-social#sthash.mgi4jPs9.a6lEUDvA.dpuf
If you remember during the great debate on healthcare, we were told time and time again that Obamacare would insure anywhere from 30 million to 48 million uninsured people? Without spending 2.7 trillion dollars, these people would be one sickness away from ruin. Guess what? With less than a month to go, only 4.2 million previously uninsured have signed up. And that includes people who signed up but never paid for their policy. Insurance companies have been pretty consistent in reporting a 15% rate who do not purchase insurance. That leaves 3.6 million people. And of those 3.6 million people, how many are getting free Medicaid? My guess would be between 1/3 and 1/2.
Reports from the White House Council of Economic Advisers predicted 46 million:
“Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance.”
The census bureau took it a step further and said 48 million. The numbers have either been highly or Obamacare isn’t as loved as they claim. I call it a toss up.
The democrats were counting on a huge number of young, healthy people signing up, but there’s no incentive to. Many will not be able to afford it and those who can, are better off not buying because if they get sick, they can then buy a policy. If they don’t get sick, they pay the $95 tax. In fact, the insurance companies say there are a large amount of the elderly signing up. They need a lot of medical care, which will drive the prices even higher.
We could have bought $5,000 policies for all of them for 21 billion a year. And everyone else could have kept their insurance they liked. We destroyed the best medical in the world for this?
Ask any liberal, and he’ll tell you that the worst insult you can heap on any President is comparing him to Richard Nixon. Meet the newest inductee to the Nixon Missing Tapes Hall of Fame — the still-much-beloved of liberals Bill “Bubba” Clinton.
Steven Portnoy (no relation) of ABC News reports:
Among the thousands of pages of documents released by the Clinton Library recently, two had this tantalizing notation at the top: “Tape One, Side One.”
That stamp appeared on transcripts of two conversations Bill Clinton had behind closed doors with aides inside the Oval Office. They included the president’s ribald remarks on race, frank talk about gays, and even how to prepare for Y2K. And they were captured on cassette tapes.
“All of which raises the question,” Portnoy wonders aloud:
Might we hear Clinton in his famous Arkansas twang musing that Rep. Tom DeLay was “probably” to blame for the notorious dragging death of a black man? Could we hear Clinton admit that talking about gays caused his poll numbers to drop? Or that he wishes he could advise Americans to buy shotgun shells before the millennium?
The answer, sadly (albeit somehow unsurprisingly), is no. When ABC News requested copies of the tapes, officials at the Clinton Library said they couldn’t find them. A library official named Diane LeBlanc wrote in an email to ABC:
The creation of this particular audio tape, its use, and any transcription [aides] chose to make were all done by White House staff prior to the transfer of Clinton Presidential records to NARA [the National Archives and Records Administration], and as such we simply don’t know much more than what can be found by searching the holdings as our Archival staff has done.
But at least there are transcripts, and as anyone can tell you, White House transcripts are the next best thing to being there. These documents can’t be doctored (right!).
Nevertheless at least one of the transcripts seems to be the authentic rough cut. In it, Clinton is wrestling with the question of whether to mention the beating death of Matthew Shepard, a gay man, in a speech he is planning. He reveals to his aides (on paper) that, according to his pollster, his “numbers go down” every time he mentions gays in a speech.