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gregspolitics
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Republicans havent won anything and Obama has not sold anyone out. As pointed out by Ezra Klein(in the link included by Gherald L above), the "public option" has never before been considered essential to health insurance reform, the whole point of which has been to make universal health insurance available to every American through subsidies and necessary regulations such as eliminating exceptions for pre-existing conditions and cancellation when you actually have to use your insurance and the provision of health insurance exchanges. There is every evidence that the votes are now there for passing this health insurance reform-a historic achievement. Obama has always been quite clear that he viewed the "public option" as a means, not an end, and largely as a means for cutting costs. However, no public plan that would work in a way to meaningfully cut costs, or that would actually cover any large number of people, can be passed in the Senate at the present time as part of comprehensive reform, and that is a simple political reality. If it proves necessary for cost cutting down the road, a public option can be passed as part of budget reconciliation, and in a way that would actually make it effective.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2009 on Dropping The Public Option at Obsidian Wings
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The purpose of the (misnamed) bailout was to save the financial system from collapse and prevent another great depression. PERIOD. In that it has been a great success. It demonstrated that the government, acting as the lender of last resort, could save the system, and that there are times when only the government, as lender of last resort, can save the system. Not only was it used to keep banks going, but it has also been used by the Obama Administration to save GM and Chrylser and the jobs of a whole lot of people in the auto and auto parts industry, again acting as the DIP financer of last resort in bankruptcy and demonstrating again the necessity of government action. As a liberal, I say declare VICTORY and move on. Of course, we need serious reform to try to avoid this happening again (although like other bubbles in history, no doubt there will be another crisis) and to try to prevent the growth of "too big to fail institutions" and provide a mechanism for liquidating large financial institutions without choosing between financial collapse and a financial rescue. And those things are being pursued now and should be supported. Criticising the bailout will not facilitate those reforms but will simply play into the hands of those who oppose those reforms and claim that government is always the problem and not the solution. In this case, government clearly was the solution and I say we should shout it from the mountaintops.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2009 on Well, What Did You Expect? at Obsidian Wings
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Actually the CBO pretty much agrees with the Obama projections for his first term (when they seem to largely agree with his expectations for economic growth), then projects a growing gap thereafter between his projections and theirs through 2019, but that is largely because they project a steadily declining increase in GDP growth from 3.5% in 2014 to 2.2% in 2019. The administration's budget uses 2.6% each year from 2015 through 2019, and that 0.4% difference in 2019 can make a big difference and it is way too early to know what will be the actual rate of growth in any of those out years. No one really knows how to project the economy over the next 10 years and it seems much more relevant to me what is going on over Obama's first term, when there is really little difference between the administration and CBO and a decline in the deficit both absolutely and as a % of GDP so I doubt people will see any reason to go running to the GOP in either 2010 or 2012. On the debt vs. deficit issue, because the social security trust fund is included in the budget the current social security reveue surplus reduces the yearly deficit figures from what they would otherwise be (during both the Bush and Obama years) while the debt increases yearly by a larger amount because the social security surplus is viewed for debt purposes as a purchase of government debt which the government must repay to the trust fund when it stops producing a surplus sometime next decade, almost certainly by issuing new debt to the public. Everyone involved has always known that the govt. has been living on a larger amount of borrowed money than is reflected in the budget figures because the "social security trust fund" has to be "repaid." Thus, the figures for the Bush years understate the real deficit and borrowing costs created by his tax and spending policies.
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2009 on Let it come down at Obsidian Wings
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