After five State of the Union addresses, all Obama’s delivered is a series of broken promises on jobs, debt, health care, government and accountability.
What is the biggest disappointment in the current state of our union under Obama?
- Jobs: Under Obama, over 20 million Americans are still struggling to find work, despite billions of dollars in binge government spending and empty promises.
- Debt: Obama promised to tackle our debt and entitlement problems. But on his watch, the national debt has gone up $6.6 trillion, and Medicare and Social Security are still on a path to bankruptcy.
- Health Care: ObamaCare was the liberals’ dream solution to our health care problems. But since Obama took office, insurance costs for families have gone up by $3,671 and 5 million Americans have received cancellation notices for their health plans.
- Benghazi: Obama promised swift justice for the Benghazi attackers, but what we got was a political scandal. None of the Benghazi suspects have been brought to trial for their connection with the attack on our consulate and the murder of one of our Ambassadors.
- Government: Obama has let the federal government run wild: the IRS targeted conservative organizations, Obama’s agencies threw lavish taxpayer-funded parties, and lobbyists continue to pass through the revolving door at the Obama White House.
When so much of what government does makes matters worse, inactivity is a blessing
Michael Tanner writes: As this session of the 113th Congress draws to a merciful close, much of the punditry has picked up on the refrain that this is the “most unproductive Congress in history.” Indeed, this Congress has passed just 28 bills, easily eclipsing the previous record for inactivity set by Congress in 2012, when it passed just 68 new laws. But why, we might ask, is this such a bad thing?
Sure, there are things we might have wished Congress had accomplished. Something to address immigration or entitlement reform springs to mind. And it certainly would have produced less chaos if Congress had actually managed to pass annual appropriations bills instead of cramming all spending into the usual last-minute continuing resolution.
But there is a presumption behind such handwringing that we really need Congress to be even more involved in our lives than it is. Consider the laundry list of new programs that President Obama introduced in his State of the Union address back in January: early-childhood education, green energy, more economic stimulus, a higher minimum wage, and so on. Would we really have been better off if those things had passed?
Obamacare: So, what could go wrong next?
David Nather writes: Busted website, canceled policies, lousy early enrollment numbers. And that could be just the warmup.
Because the lesson of the last six weeks is that when it comes to the Obamacare rollout, if it can go wrong, it probably will.
‘It’s going to get worse’ –Bob Woodward
The stumble-filled debut of President Barack Obama’s health care law is drawing new attention to the other risks that have been on the radar screen of health care wonks for months. Think health insurance plans sinking under the weight of sick customers, newly insured people being stunned that they still have to spend on health care, and possibly another wave of canceled policies — right before the 2014 elections.
They’re mostly worst-case scenarios, and an Obamacare recovery in the next few months could still prevent some of the biggest ones from ever happening. But health care experts are taking all of them a lot more seriously now — because at this point, why wouldn’t they?
A complete list of possibilities could be overwhelming, but here are the main ones to watch:
This was always the worst of the worst-case scenarios: Only sick people enroll in the Obamacare health insurance plans, healthy people stay away, and everyone’s premiums rise out of control because there are no healthy people to cover the sick people’s costs.
Charles Blahous writes: Today the Mercatus Center is releasing a study I completed earlier this year that comprehensively analyzes the policy decisions underlying federal deficits. Too often partisan advocates focus on a limited time period to purposely throw blame on a targeted political figure. Instead I dissected the entire budget, identifying deficit-driving policies regardless of when they were enacted. The study was a mammoth undertaking; it required the digestion of practically every Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) budget report published over the past forty years.
The striking finding is that more than three-quarters of our long-term fiscal problem derives from a set of policy decisions made over a period of just seven years, 1965 to 1972. 1965 saw the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid, advocated for and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Both of these programs were later expanded in 1972 during the Nixon administration, as was Social Security. Nothing done by any recent President or Congress carries long-term fiscal consequences as daunting as those arising from these 1965-72 decisions. Read the rest of this entry »
Daniel Halper writes: New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare. Here’s a chart, showing that spending versus transportation, education, and NASA spending:
“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. Read the rest of this entry »
Government subsidies often produce unintended consequences
The latest example comes from the New York Times, which reports that federal subsidizes to encourage doctors and hospitals to use electronic billing and recording records are leading to larger Medicare bills.
That means that taxpayers are taking a double hit even though policymakers claimed that electronic record-keeping would make health care delivery more efficient, and thus less costly…
More >> via Cato @ Liberty…