Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More mainstream media lies: Bush's budget is hardly cutting Medicare spending

I'm the first to say that Medicare and other socialist (not to mention unconstitutional) programs should be abolished completely, but let's continue debunking a common lie since the start of Bush's administration. My blogfather Don Luskin has pointed out for a long time that, regardless of whether you think the programs are right or Constitutional, Bush has increased spending so much that it ought to make any liberal happy. I'm still trying to find his very detailed analysis that proves my point here, that Bush is hardly cutting funding from health care to childrens' programs -- his proposals are to cut only the increase in spending, so spending still increases.

Update: check this.

To continue this tired old lie, HealthDay News, a socialist propaganda group masquerading as a news source (like pushing a survey claiming Canadians are healthier than Americans, ergo Americans need socialist medicine), "reported" today:
MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- President Bush's new budget proposal would cut $196 billion over five years from both Medicare and Medicaid -- programs that provide health care to millions of poor and elderly, federal officials announced Monday.

The proposed cuts are part of a plan to stop Medicare from running out of money in little more than a decade, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mike Leavitt told reporters during a press conference. He said the savings would help keep premiums affordable, maintain the Medicare/Medicaid system, and balance the current Medicare budget.

"The Medicare portion of the budget should be viewed as a stark warning," Leavitt said. "Medicare on its current course is 11 years from going broke. Americans have become numbed to entitlement warnings as a repeated cycle of alarms and inaction," he said.

But President Bush and Leavitt are sure to face a Congressional showdown over the budget proposals.

"This administration ought to know that five years' worth of Medicare and Medicaid cuts totaling $200 billion are dead on arrival with me and with most of the Congress," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, told the Associated Press.
But if you want the truth, read further into the article:
Under the president's plan, the annual growth of Medicare spending would slow to 5 percent instead of the 7 percent currently projected. Similarly, spending growth would slow from 7.3 percent to 7 percent for Medicaid.
If a spendthrift family were going to spend 7% more, but instead spent only 5% more, is it accurate to say they "cut" their spending? Of course not. The fact is, spending will continue at a record pace. Even at 5%,

Well, why not accuse Bush of cutting the programs by 10%, or 20%, or 100%? Why don't Democrats just accuse Bush of cutting $1 trillion from the programs next year, because he wouldn't go along with a plan to increase taxes by $1 trillion? After all, the federal government could have increased spending the money as much as tax revenues and borrowing permit, by their warped logic.

Again, this is regardless of what you think about the programs. My initial point is that the MSM is so rabidly infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome that reducing a proposed 7% increase to 5% is a "cut" to them, and they've always seized on that as a lie. The very purpose is to rile up voters who live off taxes the rest of us pay, of course, and the sad thing is that it works. People believe the half-truths and outright lies that the news throws at them, like in this article. It's correct to point out the huge deficits under Bush, but it's completely dishonest to imply that things were great under Clinton:
Seven years ago, Bush took over a government predicted to generate $5.6 trillion in surpluses over 10 years.
Such predictions were overly optimistic, it turned out, being based on the unsustainable economic growth of the very late 1990s. Furthermore, let's say the $5.6 trillion in surpluses was realized somehow -- that wouldn't have been because of any spending cuts, but because Congress taxed us $5.6 trillion more than what they spent.

Now, if we want to talk about whether the programs should exist, the bottom line is that they're morally wrong. It's not morally wrong to help people, but it's morally wrong to steal from one unwilling group of people, no matter how benevolent the intentions may be. People like Paul Krugman would have you think that not funding these programs from the poor, because you're giving tax cuts to the rich, is "Dooh Nibor" economics, "Robin Hood" backwards, i.e. what they claim is theft from the poor to give to the rich. As Don Luskin explained, that couldn't be less true:
In other words, by cutting taxes that robbed high-income earners of their income -- and cutting government spending that transferred that stolen income to low-income earners -- we have a "transfer of income from the middle class to the very affluent"? If we simply reduce the rate at which we are stealing from the rich, are we therefore stealing from the poor? We can certainly have an argument about whether there ought to be redistributive taxes. But it's nothing but sophistry to suggest that a move toward less redistribution in the future constitutes robbery.
But this feeling of "entitlement" will persist so long as people think that majority voting somehow gives them a right to other people's property. I was thinking about this "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" quote the other day: "Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."

But is the second any less absurd, when your neighbors band together, call themselves a "government," and as "the masses" proclaim their inviolate right to seize your property against your will?

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