T-word

June 18, 2009

I love this title from NPR on the cost of Obama-care:

T-Word Looms Large In Health Care Cost Debate The T-word they are talking about is trillion.

Despite reassurances by President Obama and Democratic leaders that all new spending would be fully offset by other spending cuts or tax increases, Republicans immediately jumped on the T-word.

Now saying trillion is akin to swearing. Like N-word or B-word.

And it’s soap in the mouth for the head of the (nonpartisan) CBO :

According to our preliminary assessment, enacting the proposal would result in a net increase in federal budget deficits of about $1.0 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. When fully implemented, about 39 million individuals would obtain coverage through the new insurance exchanges. At the same time, the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million (or roughly 10 percent), and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million, so the net decrease in the number of people uninsured would be about 16 million or 17 million

The full report here.

WTF? One t-word dollars (over ten years) and we will reduce the number of uninsured by only 17 m-word people? It works both ways right? F-word that.

Why not give one trillion dollars to the uninsured so they can buy their own insurance. The number of uninsured people in the US is roughly 48 million. If you split up the cost of this part of the Obama plan, an uninsured family of four would get over $8,000 a year to pay for insurance. If you take out the uninsured that already would be covered by Medicaid but haven’t applied, that number falls to 31 million. That means a family of four would get almost $13,000 a year. If you want to be harsh and subtract out illegal immigrants without health insurance, the amount rises to $17,000 a year. That should be enough to buy you some decent insurance.

Is updating a 40 plus year old relic of the Ford administration really “change we can believe in”? It’s a failed policy at that. CAFE standards, when first implemented as a reaction to the Arab oil crises in the early 70s, were supposed to wean us off foreign oil. That worked out so well. Somehow the fact that when driving becomes cheaper people drive more has escaped the grasp of the brain trust that is the Obama administration.

Let’s not forget CO2 emissions. Obama says that CO2 emissions will be reduced by 900 mmt (million metric tons) over the lifetime of this policy. According to this calculator the CO2 emissions saved would reduce the earth’s temperature by .002 C. That’s two thousandths of a degree. I’m sure I’ll notice.

But wait, there’s more. The bankrupt/mostly government owned domestic auto companies will now have to charge $1,300 more for these new cars. At my current driving habits, it would take me over 11 years to make up that difference.

So to recap: if history is any measure, reliance on foreign oil will continue to rise, there will be no noticeable effect on climate and new cars will cost considerably more. What’s not to like?

Why am I worrying about the actual effects of “cap and trade” legislation on climate? This is scarier:

Given a choice of three options, just 24% of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29%) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17% think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30%) have no idea.

Great. Three fourths of the general public have no idea what President Obama is proposing let alone the cost or the impact on global warming.

Even worse:

Democrats are pushing the legislation on Capitol Hill, but Democrats around the country are a bit less likely than Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party to know that the concept has something to do with the environment.

Now that’s downright depressing. But never fear, the Obama administration is on top of the problem:

In the debate over his top environmental goals, President Obama is backing away from “cap and trade.”

Not the policy. It’s the phrase itself, deemed confusing by Democratic pollsters, that has all but disappeared from the president’s vocabulary of late.

Thanks for dumbing it down BO.

To be fair, I can see how people get confused. When I first heard about “cap” and “trade” this popped into my head (NSFW).

Climate change comedy

April 14, 2009

I love the title of this global warming article from the AP:

Study: Cuts in greenhouse gas could lessen warming

Shocking! It’s shocking, I say. Now that’s news you can use. Wow, I haven’t heard that before. But wait, it gets better; here’s the opening line:

A new scientific study finds that the absolute worst of global warming can still be avoided if the entire world cuts emission of greenhouse gases the way President Barack Obama and Europe want.

I didn’t know that the president could be in agreement with an entire land mass. Personally, I wouldn’t argue with Europe. Ennui is a bitch (not that I care).

It gets better:

A computer simulation by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., looked at what would happen by the end of the century if greenhouse gas levels were cut by 70 percent.

Ooh! Computer simulations. They’re always accurate. Just ask Wall Street.

And then there’s this:

But if the United States and Europe cut back on carbon dioxide and China, India and other developing countries do not, then the world is heading toward a harsher hotter future

To me, this seems like the most likely outcome of any climate agreement. We will make ourselves poorer while China and India get richer. We will have little, if any, effect on climate and will be worse off for it. What’s not to like?

UPDATE: The New York Times reports on the same topic but with a different headline: Study: Emissions Cuts Could Lessen Climate Change

The word “warming” is gone, now it is “climate change”.

mad-hatter

This AIG bailout/bonuses shit is getting into bizarro territory. First we have the president’s opinion:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday assailed AIG’s hefty executive bonuses as an “inappropriate use of taxpayer funds,” saying the government needed tools to prevent a situation like AIG’s from ever again posing a risk to the financial system.

And yet he signed the stimulus bill which explicitly protected AIG bonuses. Thank you, Miss Dodd:

In a dramatic reversal Wednesday, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., confessed to adding language to the stimulus bill last month that exempted all bonuses that bailed-out companies had promised to employees before Feb. 11, 2009.

Dodd told FOX News that Treasury officials forced him to make the change.

HUH? So when did the Treasury Department trump congress? Oh, yeah, I forgot…the first bailout bill (that BO supported).

And then we have this report about BO’s town hall meeting in CA (before his Leno appearence):

White House officials had expected questions about AIG, given the furor over the $165 million in bonuses given to officials at the company, which has received $180 billion in government aid. When the president mentioned the bonuses, many in the crowded booed. But not one person asked about the matter.

This is maddening. Congress writes bonus protections into the stimulus bill, the President signs it and then both go into total meltdown over these very same bonuses! And the reaction from the audience=crickets chirping.

Pay attention, bitches!

Tea party

February 19, 2009

Get mad or wait for your check.

aaron-schock