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Chances of shutdown increase as House OKs anti-Obamacare measures

  • A government shutdown is looking increasingly likely on Tuesday, when the new fiscal year starts, after the Republican-led House approved measures that Democrats oppose and the Obama Administration has said it would veto. The legislation was part of a short-term bill that would provide financing to federal operations.
  • Representatives voted to delay funding for major parts of Obamacare by a year and to repeal a tax on medical devices that is intended to help finance Obamacare.
  • Still there was a bit of bipartisan unity - the House unanimously passed a bill that ensures that military personnel would be paid if the government shuts down.
  • The Senate is due to meet on Monday, when it's likely to reject at least the first two of the House measures.
Comments (80)
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    go invest elsewhere. where - a crapistan? good luck!
    29 Sep 2013, 06:20 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Is that next to Detroitistan which I will be visiting tomorrow?
    30 Sep 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    Gosho, Obamacare has the potential to bring the US economy to its knees and the action by the House of Representatives is about as close as I’ve ever seen these clowns get to doing their jobs and representing the will of the people. The majority of Americans (including a lot of Democrats) do not want Obamacare in its present form. The Federal Government exists to serve its citizens, not investors.

     

    To answer your question (Is there anything positive about this country?) probably the only positive thing I could say about the US is that we’re not dead yet.
    29 Sep 2013, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • gsterling
    , contributor
    Comments (682) | Send Message
     
    You're right the majority don't want Obamacare but the majority do want the Affordable Care Act.
    29 Sep 2013, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    obamacare IS ACA! same thing.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    aeroguy48, I think gsterling was pointing out the differences between the ACA and the UACA.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • gsterling
    , contributor
    Comments (682) | Send Message
     
    Yes I know and that's my point. Rope a Dope is saying that Americans don't support Obamacare, but that's mostly because people are uninformed or just don't like anything with the name Obama in it. There are plenty of polls where people are asked about the different components of the Affordable Care Act (eliminating pre-existing conditions and lifetime maximums, covering kids 25 and under on their parents plan, setting up exchanges, etc.) and they show people are very much in support. Some people actually don't support the ACA because it doesn't go far enough.

     

    Do I think it's perfect? No. The argument that it's going to bring America to it's knees is ridiculous. Massachusetts, where they set up "Romneycare", hasn't fallen into the abyss yet.
    29 Sep 2013, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    gsterling, how many new taxes did Romneycare introduce? The answer is zero while Obamacare introduced 20 or 21 new taxes. Romneycare also was negotiated and endorsed by Democrats and Republicans alike. This was rammed down our throats, and I might add, before they even read it. Not one Republican voted in favor of this legislation.

     

    There are parts of Obamacare I endorse, but these changes needed to be done in a way that does not introduce harm to our economy. It's already clear Obamacare is forcing employers to reduce hours (to get under 30) and reduce to under 50 employees where possible or to find ways to skirt the requirement. It's not often I agree with ANYTHING said by US unions, but even they fully understand the impact just these two requirements will have on US employment. The US will have nothing but part time workers in the near future and I think it’s easy to see the impact that will have on discretionary spending. There is no doubt in my mind Obamacare has the potential to bring our economy to its knees.
    29 Sep 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • busterbrown
    , contributor
    Comments (131) | Send Message
     
    How about this, we have an abundance of oil and nat gas so their telling us.
    29 Sep 2013, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • busterbrown
    , contributor
    Comments (131) | Send Message
     
    Isn't ObamaCare the same thing as RomneyCare? What are the differences? I thought RomneyCare was the blue print for this whole ObamaCare thing. Just asking
    29 Sep 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • aflitzy
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    gsterling: from Ma. And frankly if you can get out of an ER within 8 hours that is a shot wait. Most primary care physicians insist one goes to the ER.

     

    Report: Massachusetts Health Reform in Practice

     

    OVERVIEW: While the Massachusetts health reform law of 2006, widely regarded as the model for the new federal health law, reduced the uninsured population in the state, it did so at the cost of rapidly rising underinsurance, increased health care premiums, and a financial crisis among the state’s safety-net hospitals and community health centers. And the financial burden of the reform has fallen disproportionately on lower-middle-class families.

     

    Those are some of the findings in a new, exhaustively documented report on the outcomes of the Massachusetts reform law released by Mass-Care and Massachusetts Physicians for a National Health Program. The report draws on hundreds of sources, including academic studies, government statistics and scientific surveys, in the first compilation of its kind.

     

    DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT: Massachusetts Health Reform in Practice and the Future of National Health Reform (PDF)
    DOWNLOAD REPORT APPENDICES: Massachusetts Health Reform in Practice, Appendices A – E (PDF)

     

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

     

    The Massachusetts Health Reform Law of 2006 expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor and made available publicly subsidized private health insurance for additional low-income residents of the state. It also mandated that all but the poorest uninsured residents either purchase private health insurance or pay a substantial fine (up to $1,212 in 2011). Smaller fines (up to $295 per employee) were also levied on employers who fail to offer insurance.

     

    Four years after full implementation of the law, Massachusetts has not achieved universal coverage, although one-half to two-thirds of the previously uninsured now have some type of insurance policy. Most of the gains in coverage have come from expansions in publicly subsidized insurance. This largely represented a shift of patients from the state’s former Free Care Pool, which compensated hospitals and community health centers directly for care of the uninsured, to private insurance plans, which is a more costly way to provide care. The reform did not lead to a sustained increase in employer-sponsored coverage, but did slow declining employer coverage. Instead of dropping coverage, employers in Massachusetts have increased cost sharing, shifting costs on to employees, leading to rapidly rising underinsurance after health reform. The use of high-deductible plans more than tripled for residents with private insurance, and good insurance coverage at small businesses all but disappeared over a few short years after reform.

     

    Reform has had a positive impact on access to care in the state, but this impact has affected a modest share of residents, and for some patients has been negative. For example, some low-income patients who previously received completely free care under the state’s prior free care program faced new co-payments and premiums after becoming insured, which impeded their access to care. Reform has not reduced the burden of medical bills and medical bankruptcy on Massachusetts’ families.

     

    The growth of residents with insurance coverage has exacerbated a primary care shortage in Massachusetts by increasing wait times for appointments and decreasing the portion of physicians accepting new patients, creating access problems even for those with coverage. Reform did not reverse growing use of the state’s emergency departments for care, despite expectations that expanding insurance coverage would reroute patients through primary care offices. There is no evidence as of yet that expanding insurance coverage has had an impact on health outcomes or disparities in health outcomes. Reform has also created a financial crisis for safety net providers that specialize in care for low-income communities and the uninsured, by shifting resources away from safety net providers while patient demand for safety net care has actually increased.

     

    The public cost of reform has been high, exceeding $800 million in fiscal 2009 for a state with a total budget of $32.5 billion. However, federal taxpayers paid for the bulk of the law’s public expenses. The state has made a broad range of cuts to the original law in order to its keep costs down, cutting back coverage for over 30,000 documented immigrants, curtailing some benefits, increasing cost sharing, and increasing the share of enrollees required to pay premiums. Substantial funds from the federal stimulus bill were also used to sustain the reform law, but this was a short-term fix only.

     

    Public payments account for only a portion of the reform law’s costs. A central premise of the law was that the state, employers, and individuals would all have to sacrifice financially to approach the goal of universal coverage. This premise of “shared responsibility” for the costs of the reform was in many ways disingenuous. Although employers, individuals, state and federal government have shared the burden of increased costs roughly equally, this overlooks the fact that governments pass on their spending to taxpayers, and employers pass on their costs to employees. The actual burden of health reform was regressive, with increased spending after health reform falling disproportionately on lower-middle income residents.

     

    The reform failed to “bend the cost curve” in Massachusetts because it contained no significant cost-control provisions. Health care costs in Massachusetts are higher than in any other state in the nation, and reform has been found to accelerate the rising costs of employer-sponsored health care. There is general agreement that the Massachusetts reform is itself not sustainable without effective cost control.

     

    Massachusetts enjoyed favorable circumstances at the outset of reform, such as previously high levels of spending on health care for the poor, high personal incomes, and relatively low rates of uninsurance. Without controlling costs, national reform will run up against the same difficulties as Massachusetts: growth in public insurance coverage will prove unsustainable and will accompany the rapid erosion of private insurance benefits, while modest gains in access to care will be threatened in the short term by unsustainably high costs that are increasingly shifted on to patients.

     

    While Massachusetts health reform has enjoyed support from a majority of residents in the state, that support has declined since national health reform instigated a broader debate over alternatives to the Massachusetts plan. Moreover, while residents support the Massachusetts reform law over no change at all, they have expressed increasing skepticism that the law is working for vulnerable communities, and more residents report that the law is hurting them than helping them.

     

    We believe that the data in this report should give pause to those concerned with national health care reform. Although not without its successes, the Massachusetts reform has not addressed the fundamental deficiencies in the health care system – treating symptoms rather than causes – and even its modest successes are unsustainable for the state and Massachusetts residents.
    29 Sep 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • busterbrown
    , contributor
    Comments (131) | Send Message
     
    So this isn't all great either?
    29 Sep 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    That's simply not true. Most countries rely on tax payer financed health care, which I am sure you would also claim would bring America to her knees.

     

    As an economist I have looked at the relative efficiency of different health care systems and the US is the worst hands down.

     

    I got an MRI in Paris for 1/3rd the cost of the average American MRI.

     

    Your system cannot control costs and the result is the US spends as a percentage of GDP twice what other developed countries pay.

     

    Obamacare is a mild reform, probably inadequate to fix out-of-control costs, but a step in the right dire ction.

     

    The Republicans are sorely out of touch of reality, which is not surprising since most of them show no virtually no curiosity about the rest of the world unless it has oil.

     

    Last time the Republicans shut down the government, they took beating. I expect no different this time.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    It is called democracy. The law was passed by Congress and signed by the President.

     

    And it is not a radical reform. It is a very mild reform.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • Common_Denominator
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    In UK, France, Germany the ratio of lawyers to population is 1/5 of the USA. In UK if you sue someone and lose, YOU pay their legal cost! In US, any lawyer can sue any one for any reason and there is zero penalty if his suit loses.

     

    Almost all US doctors practice defensive medicine. Which means they order every conceivable test to cover them against a potential malpractice suit in future. MRI's cost more in US because there is more demand for them. Check number of MRI's done in US versus France per 100,000 population. There is your answer.

     

    And who is against tort reform? Democrats! Bingo!!
    29 Sep 2013, 10:16 PM Reply Like
  • Common_Denominator
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    Glaring flaws in Obamacare:
    1. You can not buy health insurance across state lines.
    So you have less choice, less competition!

     

    2. You can not buy just catastrophic insurance which is all most young people need. Obamacare requires you to buy deluxe insurance approved by the gov't.

     

    3. You can not import cheaper drugs from abroad.

     

    4. There are ZERO restrictions on health insurance companies on profit increases and rate increases. There is a restriction on the maximum they can spend above actual delivery of healthcare. But they can just increase rates and get the profits they desire.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:27 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    I’ve also received cheaper medical care overseas, sometimes at 5% or 10% of the costs I would have paid in the US. When I travel outside the US, I will often walk into a drug store and purchase brand name medication at 5% or 10% of the price I would pay in the US and ............ without a prescription. I recall a Roche antibiotic I purchased both in the US (with a prescription) and then again in Central America (without). The product in Central America cost about 20% of what it did in the US. It was the exact same product in Roche packaging; the only difference was the Central America product was printed in Spanish, not English and I wasn’t required to see a doctor to get it.

     

    Why are Americans paying considerably higher costs for the same exact drug? Why are there laws that prevent Americans from importing these much cheaper brand name drugs? The drug manufacturers need money to fund research and development and since Americans are considered to be so wealthy, we pay higher prices than anyone else. There can be no other logical reason. Is that completely fair to Americans? No.

     

    My sister has been a Registered Nurse for over 20 years but I just learned a few weeks ago that she has to carry malpractice insurance. I was stunned; I had no idea nurses were required to carry this. I’ve met 2 doctors over the last 2 years who were folding their practices and both cited malpractice premiums as the cause. They both said they simply couldn’t raise prices because a lot of the costs are either set by the government or insurance companies and it was a battle they could not win. I’ve read a few articles about hospitals closing down, all citing the same reason, higher insurance costs and declining payments. Insurance costs for hospitals and medical personnel are out of control and Obamacare does nothing to correct that. When this legislation was being crafted Congress, legislators did get input from the insurance industry, but not from doctors.

     

    I have no doubt Obamacare will eventually collapse under its own weight and I stand by my assertion is has the potential to bring America to its knees economically. This legislation was brought to you by the same people who invested in Solyndra, First Solar, and a host of other failures all while telling America ‘trust us, we know what’s best for you’.

     

    One thing is certain; both parties are spending 100% of their political capital to either defeat or support Obamacare. This will be a ‘winner take all’ scenario and whoever is correct about the effect Obamacare will have on our health care and economy will guide America’s direction for the foreseeable future.
    30 Sep 2013, 06:06 AM Reply Like
  • ucantfixstupid
    , contributor
    Comments (53) | Send Message
     
    Wrong: a minority of the people are on a crusade against the ACA. Unfortunately the majority is like it happens more and more powerless against a minority that unfortunately has much more money to spend in propaganda and influencing senators and representatives.
    You must be one of those people happy about the "citizens united" decision.
    30 Sep 2013, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • rlmod
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
     
    Only because Massachusetts is an affluent state, where the majority already had health coverage.
    30 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • rlmod
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
     
    Massachusetts is an affluent state where the majority already had healthcare.
    30 Sep 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    Common Denominator,

     

    You can still sue for malpractice in Europe.

     

    The real difference is the fact that the government negotiates prices with the suppliers. You have one buyer in France. The French government. That is enormous bargaining power and keeps prices down.
    30 Sep 2013, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    Shut it down!
    29 Sep 2013, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • WMARKW
    , contributor
    Comments (10471) | Send Message
     
    They will never shut it down. They can't. First they don't know how to. And second, they don't want us to know how easy it would be for us to get along without them.
    30 Sep 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    The obama administration played with fire when they said earlier Saturday, that a shutdown would cause the military from being paid but they still needed to be on their job. Friday obama said that obamacare exchanges would go on and not be cut. Note the bill to pay the military if there is a shutdown was passed unanimously by Democrats and Republicans 423-0. If the Democratically controlled Senate approves paying the military during the shutdown, wont they be openly defying the obama administration? Interesting times. I say every time the Senate rejects the peoples House of representatives constitutionionally originated spending bill, take away even more money.
    29 Sep 2013, 07:15 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    You're grasping at straws. This is a second Republican fiasco, very similar to the Clinton era shutdown.

     

    You have a group of right wing extremists who represent a minority of the American people try to force their Norman Rockwell view of the world down their throats.

     

    Clinton became a hero and saw his approval rating soar due the Republican shut down. I expect more of the same this time except Obama is already in a strong position and Clinton was weak going into that battle.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • Andreas Hopf
    , contributor
    Comments (8901) | Send Message
     
    Probably most Tea Party members that have since long hijacked the Republican Party are massively shorting stock to profit nicely after the ensuing chaos they eagerly help to create, while the average retail investor will be left holding the bag.

     

    ; )
    29 Sep 2013, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    .........holding the tea bag. Lol.
    29 Sep 2013, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (13579) | Send Message
     
    The politicians will play their temporary games, markets will fall, predictions will be made that the economy will collapse, hysteria may ensue, all as we've seen so many times. Those who will benefit will be those not swept up in the frenzy, who will be shopping for good buys on the dip.
    29 Sep 2013, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • bbro
    , contributor
    Comments (9852) | Send Message
     
    Shush Tack.....don't tell everybody....
    29 Sep 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • Regarded Solutions
    , contributor
    Comments (16781) | Send Message
     
    Please do not fail to read our latest article, published early this AM:

     

    http://bit.ly/18g5NFw
    29 Sep 2013, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • C.N
    , contributor
    Comments (197) | Send Message
     
    market is going to tank, because it saw Miley Ray Cyrus (with clothes on her body). Totally shocking. :(
    29 Sep 2013, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    Who cares? The debt ceiling is more of an issue. The stock market won't tank much with respect to the government shut down - it is not the first time and the market didn't care much.

     

    Anyhow, if the US partially defaults on its debt because of the bloody debt ceiling, the Tea bags can prepare for years and years of their fierce resistance. Because they will be in the opposition even in their own party (which will be in opposition).
    29 Sep 2013, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    Or they might be working at their jobs.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    ok, or that. What jobs do they have typically?
    29 Sep 2013, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • ecromer
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
     
    I am not an American but have huge respect and admiration for so many aspects of the USA.

     

    But the American version of democracy and how it works?

     

    And the US wants to convince all these Middle Eastern countries, and many others, that what they really need is democracy??

     

    Come now, how about convincing the others that democracy really works? Please set an example for others to follow.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (703) | Send Message
     
    LOL, we are not a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic. Big difference. Although we elect our representatives using the democratic (majority) rule, a true democracy is actually the rule of the mob. In a true democracy, many of our landmark decisions and policies would never have come to pass, because the majority of Americans were not in favor at the time.
    29 Sep 2013, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (13579) | Send Message
     
    HB:

     

    Your differentiation is accurate, but only as applies to direct democracy. America's constitutional republic is a subset of democracy.

     

    The word, "democracy," has come to encompass several forms of voter-driven systems, e.g., direct democracy, constitutional republics, constitutional monarchies, parliamentary systems, etc.

     

    http://bit.ly/Rk7Xxy
    29 Sep 2013, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    We are a democracy. The difference is that it has the key feature of modern democracy, checks and balances.

     

    In fact, I would argue it has too many checks and balances. We keep having a majority governments that have their legislation blocked in the Senate by minorities of the left or the right.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    TP, do you believe our current fiscal path is sustainable? I don’t, and I believe if no attempt is made to rein in spending now it will be considerably more painful when we are forced to confront the fact we are unable to pay our bills. Considering the fact we’re borrowing roughly 30 cents of every dollar we spend, you could argue we’re there now.

     

    S&P downgraded the US credit rating 2 years ago in part because of the inability of Congress to address rising expenditures and debt. Nothing has changed much with regards to addressing the debt and the mountain of unfunded liabilities coming at us.

     

    Interest rates will certainly rise once QE ends and it is estimated that it will cost $1 trillion (yes, T) annually to service the National Debt by the year 2020. It is beyond irresponsible to pass this debt onto future generations.

     

    I don’t belong to the Tea Party but for the most part, I agree with their attempts to rein in government spending. Not one person reading this, including Liberals, runs their personal finances in a manner like the Federal Government does. Why shouldn’t we expect them to live within their means like we do? A lot of people love to bash the Tea Party but I have yet to read a response from any basher on how our current spending habits are sustainable.

     

    I am an American first and a Republican second; show me a viable plan on how our government can sustain our current fiscal path and I’d be willing to not only listen to it, but vote accordingly if it offers a better approach to securing our long term solvency. I’ve made this same statement to numerous Democrats and Liberals over the last few years and I am still waiting for a response.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • TruffelPig
    , contributor
    Comments (4091) | Send Message
     
    @RaD: In the end our opinion isn't that far apart.

     

    a) The tea bags are a bunch of people who think they can dominate everything even though they are a minority really. They are often anti democratic and non compromising and have NOT even started cutting their own pork barrels. Having said that, basically the complete congress has become useless.

     

    b) Deficit is not the real problem if you print the money. Growth of the economy is. Lack of responsibility is. Two things largely led to the housing crisis: deregulation and greedy companies! I think if you want an answer to how to deal with this mess go to Clinton. He did it. It is not that difficult but if the congress behaves like a herd of 5-year old kids it might be. Btw., Obama didn't impress me either nor did the Senate or Congress Leadership. In the end we need better leadership.
    29 Sep 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    I don't know what you are talking about.

     

    The US has a very low debt service. In fact, it is astonishing low.

     

    Of course, the debt trajectory is sustainable. During the last twelve months the US deficit has declined over 30%.

     

    I just don't understand the way people like you think. You don't look at the relevant statistics, which include the ability of the country to service its debt.

     

    Instead you focus on figures that in isolation are meaningless like the gross US Federal debt, which is roughly 17 trillion.

     

    Sounds large? Well the US generates almost that much income every twelve months and the net worth of the US is over 50 trillion dollars ...

     

    Big figures are meaningless in themselves.

     

    What is meaningful is that the US pays about 200 billion in interest each year, which is not a big burden for an economy producing almost 17 trillion in annual income.

     

    And a big chunk of that 200 billion is money paid by the Treasury to the Federal Reserve who then gives it to the Treasury.

     

    So where is your "national tragedy"? I don't see it.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Angel Martin
    , contributor
    Comments (1311) | Send Message
     
    AIP, you want a relevant statistic, how about PV of unfunded liabilities of > $200 trillion, that's well over $1 million per taxpayer

     

    http://bloom.bg/15Dwbew
    29 Sep 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • starboard
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
     
    The current interest on the debt is ridiculously low because of ZIRP . When interest rates begin to rise due to tapering, the debt service will increase.
    29 Sep 2013, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (578) | Send Message
     
    You continuously confuse deficit spending with the National Debt. While the rate of deficit spending has indeed decreased, the government is still spending more money than it takes in with no end in sight to this; ever. The rate of deficit spending is decreasing (for the moment) but the National Debt continues to climb.

     

    Here’s a good snippet from a WSJ article that spells out what our liabilities really are and why this is not sustainable. A warning in advance; this is based on math.

     

    When the accrued expenses of the government's entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.

     

    Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

     

    In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation's debt and deficit problems be solved.

     

    Here’s a link to the full article - http://on.wsj.com/19PNQg1
    30 Sep 2013, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    Angel,

     

    These are pay as you go programs. So unfunded liability is meaningless.
    30 Sep 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    You don't know that. No one knows how much of the the low interest rates is due to Fed bond purchases, weak economy and investors shell shocked by the Great Recession.
    30 Sep 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    I don't confuse the two. The deficit is declining and hence public debt is growing more slowly.

     

    The US net debt burden is less than Germany's.

     

    The debt service burden is tiny.
    30 Sep 2013, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    Election cycle coming up republicans can ill afford to alienate almighty tea party minority so important in their primaries but a liability in any general
    29 Sep 2013, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • zaprianov
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Its the democratic process...and behind all screams and blame games etc....the trend of lower US deficits is undeniably there. It is actually an amazing nation - deficits went down in half in less than two years....and the economy still managed to grow....and we are in the midst of another wave of tech innovation....no wonder SnP is hitting all time highs....come on people...cheer up.
    This will get resolved soon, I have no doubt. And dont act surprised - the Fed didnt taper for a reason - they knew this is a highly likely outcome.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (13579) | Send Message
     
    "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

     

    -- Winston Churchill
    29 Sep 2013, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • aeroguy48
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    Has the Fed tapered? Do tell.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • American in Paris
    , contributor
    Comments (5504) | Send Message
     
    They will. It's coming. You can't justify QE forever when the US economy is growing consistently 2% a year, which is only a half percent below its long run potential of 2.5%.

     

    So yes, it is coming.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    At the end tea partiers will be able to tell their supporters they fought the good fight but unless they want to be looking for new jobs yr. after next they have to deal at some point sooner than later. If theres one thing polticians worship above all else its the gods of reelection.
    29 Sep 2013, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • GaltMachine
    , contributor
    Comments (1146) | Send Message
     
    "Chances of shutdown increase"

     

    I wonder if anybody will notice if it happens.

     

    To use a cliche:

     

    http://bit.ly/166lkIm
    "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality."
    29 Sep 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (452) | Send Message
     
    In Congress very few are photogenic.My advice is short and sweet:Please stay off the T.V. next week in order not to scare the school kids.The worst Congress by far in my lifetime and I was not born yesterday.
    29 Sep 2013, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • tomlos
    , contributor
    Comments (1147) | Send Message
     
    Government is shutting down huh? No one will know the difference. Let's just turn the lights out and call it good. Less people to take my money and then proceed to waste it.
    29 Sep 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • rjj1960
    , contributor
    Comments (1370) | Send Message
     
    I don't see a problem with the shutdown, all dead wood anyhow. Active military get paid only, not the guys on a pension working for a defense contractor. All of the monkey spluge in congress should return the salaries they have been draining the US tax payer.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • STREETRE2
    , contributor
    Comments (177) | Send Message
     
    Congress exempting themselves from Obamacare can be summed up "Let them eat cake". We would all be better off if Congress stayed home and we sent them their checks. Take a year or two off for the good of our country.
    29 Sep 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • tom_t
    , contributor
    Comments (273) | Send Message
     
    Could they shut down the Fed while they're at it? :)
    29 Sep 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Mrkus
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    Military needs to be included in any possible 'shutdown'. If servicemen and women caught wind of this, then Congress would catch bloody hell. Right now, enough people seem not to care.
    29 Sep 2013, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • BIG_BEN
    , contributor
    Comments (155) | Send Message
     
    I assume Congress will not get paid during a shutdown right?
    29 Sep 2013, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (13579) | Send Message
     
    Wrong. See 27th Amendment.
    29 Sep 2013, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • RS055
    , contributor
    Comments (2878) | Send Message
     
    Politics has always been messy and often much worse that today - in America. If you just started paying attention - I understand the shock value - but guess what - thats the way it is . And , in spite of that - let me list why its not a "sh***y" country:
    - Best fresh water sources
    - best food production - cheap and plentiful
    - best - actually, only country where smart driven immigrants have become part of the fabric - unlike say in Japan or Germany.
    - Invented/commercialized the following minor items:
    Electricity
    Automobiles
    Television
    packaged consumer goods
    Computers
    Internet
    Google
    OK?
    I challenge you to list any such accomplishment by the vast brilliant populations in Asia.
    29 Sep 2013, 07:45 PM Reply Like
  • RS055
    , contributor
    Comments (2878) | Send Message
     
    Of course - most of these accomplishments have been the efforts of just a few individuals and a fantastic natural resource base. Still - why does it continue to happen in America much more so than elsewhere?
    Looking at the lower end - how does an electrician, carpenter or plumber live in the US versus say, China?
    Owns a house, drives a car and gets as much protein as he can absorb. Versus - sleeps in the corner of a warehouse, owns a bicycle and gets some chicken as an occasional treat.
    Sure - lets all chime in and complain - but honestly , I think most people would be better off focusing on the "micro" - their own jobs and lives and leave the "macro" alone. Because to analyze the macro, in a rational manner, requires a decent grasp of history and the rest of the world - which is much to much work for most.
    29 Sep 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • golden1234
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    If Obamacare is so great, why doesn't congress, Fed workers, POTUS, supreme court, unions, etc... want to sign up for it??
    29 Sep 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • tom_t
    , contributor
    Comments (273) | Send Message
     
    Why do people keep saying this? ACA is meant to make insurance more affordable for people who otherwise wouldn't or can't get it. It's not advertised as "better than your private insurance."
    30 Sep 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • sarichter
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    The last time I checked, the majority of the population want this... why are we still arguing?
    29 Sep 2013, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • caupachow
    , contributor
    Comments (415) | Send Message
     
    Gosho, many times I have felt/thought like you but this is MY country and I will continue investing here for I feel it is the best investment for the long term. This country is so great it will actually let foreigners like yourself invest here and let citizens like myself invest in other countries; if those countries let foreigners invest there.
    29 Sep 2013, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • rungrandpa
    , contributor
    Comments (218) | Send Message
     
    Go invest in Cyprus.
    30 Sep 2013, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • sethmcs
    , contributor
    Comments (3327) | Send Message
     
    Why have insurance at all? Healthy? Pay a small fine. Sick? Have the government pay for your care. Remember you cannot be denied for a preexisting illness.

     

    Lots of unintended consequences.
    30 Sep 2013, 02:12 AM Reply Like
  • Ishi Kenjo
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
     
    If your kids are running up bills bigger than your paychecks when do you cut the cards and cut off the spending? Before or after the house is repossessed? The lunacy must come to an end. America finds solutions when it faces the music and admits its problems. We can't afford to run debt and wait for rates to go through the roof.
    30 Sep 2013, 02:32 AM Reply Like
  • sarichter
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    What is with all the 'bigger bills' and 'spending spree' rhetoric? Last time I checked, government spending has been coming down... pretty drastically. The last time I checked the stats it came down from 3.11 trillion to 2.9 trillion in under two years. That's a 6.8% drop... especially with a Congress that can't get out of their own way.
    30 Sep 2013, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Deja Vu
    , contributor
    Comments (1291) | Send Message
     
    Republicans are making a political mistake. Instead of defunding Obamacare, they should have included a provision, in the measure raising the debt ceiling, that allowed the legislature or governor of individual states to decide whether or not that state would participate in Obamacare.

     

    It would have been hard for democrats to argue that the state legislatures and governors should not decide and that Washington knew best.
    30 Sep 2013, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • sarichter
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    One one hand, I would say that is sort of enticing... allowing states to decide what is best for their citizens. However, it's a scary proposition as well because we have seen (quite recently) states electing not to follow federal law because they don't 'like' the rules.

     

    Why this subject is even being debated is beyond me. 49% of the population gets their healthcare from their employer (which is only partially subsidized by their employer and that subsidy has been going down every year), 16% is medicaid, 13% is medicare, 1% is other types of coverage, leaving only 16% uninsured.

     

    People who have health coverage through their employer should not be angry about the ACA... your health coverage was diminishing annually for decades (check your pay stub!). If people follow the rules and enough people sign up, there is a good chance premiums will stop rising so quickly.

     

    Check the average premiums for coverage in each state as well people! I found it interesting that the average premium for a 'silver' plan was no more costly than what I paid for health insurance (subsidized from my employer) almost ten years ago... I'd say that is a big win. I know that may be anecdotal, but please no comments about employers cutting health coverage because of the ACA... they have been doing that for decades prior to this!

     

    http://nyti.ms/169XgEH
    30 Sep 2013, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • Deja Vu
    , contributor
    Comments (1291) | Send Message
     
    I think you miss the point. The cheapest plans only cover 60% of the bills (the ones you get when you fall sick, not preventative care). The best plan covers only 90%.

     

    Current insurances cover 100% after you reach the deductible limit. So under Obamacare, if you fall ill under the lowest level plan and run up a $100,000 bill, you will be on the hook for $40,000.

     

    So, you say, you will upgrade to the platinum plan that covers 90% of the bills as they wheel you through the hospital door since they can't deny you for the preexisiting condition? Yes, everyone will buy the 90% plan as they are lifted onto the the stretcher. Soon the insurance companies will make huge losses on the 90% plan.

     

    And then they will stop offering it or raise the premiums to equal the exact cost of your hospital bill since only sick people who need care will buy it.

     

    It's called "adverse selection".
    30 Sep 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • sarichter
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    That's a big 'if' saying people will buy the 90% plan as they are being wheeled through the hospital door. I don't know of any insurance plan available that can be bought on the spot in this manner and not cost a fortune to have.

     

    I thought part of the ACA was to tax those premium plans to help force insurance companies and hospitals find cheaper ways of delivering healthcare. Sure healthcare does cost a lot as it's expensive to research and develop drugs, equipment, etc. However, there is way too much fraud that is allowing a ton of money to be wasted as well.

     

    Does the ACA limit liability due to malpractice? I know this was discussed many moons ago, but I'm not sure if it ever made it into the bill. If it did, that surely will lower the overall cost of healthcare as well since a ton of money is wasted on unnecessary lawsuits.

     

    EDIT: I forgot to add... I work for a fairly large employer and my benefits do NOT pay 100% of hospital coverage. Sure there are out of pocket maximums, but we end up paying quite a bit for basic coverage. I don't doubt that these plans offer less coverage, but the point is that you don't get into catastrophic accidents where you need this type of coverage often. No one wants to pay $40,000 for a hospital stay, but someone has to pay for it, right? The current system we have doesn't work now. No sense in keeping the status quo.
    30 Sep 2013, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Sir. Monaco
    , contributor
    Comments (367) | Send Message
     
    as has always happened in the past treasuries rally, I'm buying the 10 year

     

    safety, as never will we default, such a thing is the last to ever happen, and before that all government expenses would have to go to zero, and we would still have Bernanke (who is also still buying),
    30 Sep 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • mobyss
    , contributor
    Comments (2044) | Send Message
     
    If Obamacare is so popular, then why did 63 Democratic Congressmen who supported it get voted out of office in 2010, many replaced by "Tea Party" candidates?
    30 Sep 2013, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • sarichter
    , contributor
    Comments (386) | Send Message
     
    and now the American public have buyer's remorse...
    30 Sep 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • User 509088
    , contributor
    Comments (1102) | Send Message
     
    you guys! be careful the karma doesn't run over your dogma.

     

    if the repubs were given their wish list, a pony, supper consisting of only desert on Fridays, and permission to stay up all night, this wouldn't even be a fight.
    30 Sep 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
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