In the Arena

Exclusive: White House to Streamline Obamacare Application

The Obama Administration has announced new application forms for the Obamacare health care exchanges set to drop next year

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A few weeks ago, I gave the President a tough time about the slow and messy implementation of his health care plan. But there’s been some progress in recent weeks — and I’m happy to pass it on.

One of the things that concerned me was the 21-page application form that was required for people to join a health care exchange — which, if you’re unfamiliar with the jargon, is an online health-insurance superstore (think Orbitz or Hotels.com) where individuals will have the collective market power of large corporations like, say, Time Warner.

On Tuesday morning the Administration will announce a spiffy, new three-page application for individuals (find it here).* There will be a seven-page application for families (11 including the appendix), but even that one will be far better designed than the initial effort (find it here). “We did a lot of work testing words, to come up with simpler language,” an Administration official told me, “and we did time tests. Our average was seven minutes to fill out the paper version and even less if you do it online.”

This compares favorably with applications for private insurance plans, which average about 17 pages (and can go as high as 35). “We’re hoping to move as many people as possible to the e-mail application form,” a second Administration official told me. “We received a lot of [negative] feedback from insurers and individuals like you when we published the first application forms, and we’re trying to be responsive to those concerns.”

My primary concerns remain the implementation of the online superstores. I remain concerned that employees of small businesses won’t have a choice of health plans in the first year. I’m also concerned that the state exchanges run by the federal government — over the opposition of Republican governors — won’t offer as many choices as a true market should.

There are more than a few other concerns and ways the system might be improved that I’ve written about in the past. The good news about the streamlined application, though, is that it shows the Administration is alert and flexible and responsive — and, if we’re lucky, may turn out to be innovative in enacting a system that will bring health care to those who haven’t had it before, and lower costs to the self-employed masses who’ve had to go out and buy insurance on their own.

*The application form will be even simpler for higher-income individuals and families that aren’t eligible for a health-insurance subsidy but want to shop at the exchange in search of less expensive coverage.

274 comments
lietrasher
lietrasher

Comparing Health Insurance policies with payment ceilings, gotcha clauses, pre existing retroactive sue you for money back small print, that go up 17% each year while cutting amounts of care       with      ObamaCare,

is

Insane!


One is "actual" insurance!


The other is a Con job! Your not insured if you get really sick!


So stop it already!


Its apples and oranges!



Do you want actual protection for yourself and your family?

(even if it costs less or a little more?)


or "pretend" retoric created by a building full of lawyers and CEO's to screw you and your family at every turn of the cards. And, to pursue you if you didn't dot an I or cross a T in your application?



Stop being soooo gullible, its embarassing!


In the end the consumer has more power under Obamacare and eventually when all the Wall St. money is spent, people will realize a better deal, for less money! 


But, you must compare what you are getting for the dollars spent!


Real should cost more than pretend!


In this case real could cost the same or even less!


And it stops some of the waste , fraud and abuses built up over 80 years of a 

corrupt monopoly!

mdigital83
mdigital83

This is getting ridiculous. There is so much more to worry about today than if one can afford simple medical care. America is a great country for many reasons, but the greed involved with our medical field is disgusting. Right is right. There seems to be no logical compromise for this way of thinking. This “Republican Bargaining” video is hilarious, but sadly a little too real: http://youtu.be/v8AADOKijfQ

curt3rd
curt3rd

Great news, we made the application smaller.  Now we just need to figure out how are we gonna be able to afford it.

segesta65
segesta65

Klein doesn't even pretend not to be a shill.

BillCarson
BillCarson

Three pages of crap instead of 21?  Wow?

JimWolfson
JimWolfson

Big Stupid Government is greedy, inefficient and lazy.  democRats are corrupt parasites.


Those two facts tell us everything we need to know about where OfailureFraud is heading.

malbertsd
malbertsd

I have no clue if my wife and I will benefit from Obamacare, I am near retirement, my wife is self-employed and household income is < $35k.  I did save for retirement and am proud of what I saved, now I fear it will disappear to those who did not.  What I take from this is the Feds have made it easier to take my money.

tommyudo
tommyudo

@JimWolfson

"democRats" and "OfailureFraud"????  Really? LOL!!!

How old are you? Usually the discussions here are a  few notches above places like The Hill, where the true incoherent numbskulls reside. Better for you to go over there, because they are laughing at you here.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@JimWolfson Yes Big Stupid Government. Let just trust Big Corporate America instead. They'll look out for our interests just like they did when Wall street collapsed and BP poisoned the Gulf Coast.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@malbertsdThe wealth in this country is draining into the very few but very well lined pockets of the 1%. They have more percentage than any time since the last depression they caused that way. If you fear the game is rigged, you are right. Don't look to Wall Street. They don't live there anymore. The real economic elite deal in derivatives and private funds off the radar so no one can watch what they do. Just like the 1920s.You have to be getting poorer along with the rest of the middle class, their boundless increase in wealth has to come from somewhere and you are the only ones left from which they can get it.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@malbertsd The wealth in this country is draining into the very few but very well lined pockets of the 1%. They have more percentage than any time since the last depression they caused that way. If you fear the game is rigged, you are right. Don't look to Wall Street. They don't live there anymore. The real economic elite deal in derivatives and private funds off the radar so no one can watch what they do. Just like the 1920s.You have to be getting poorer along with the rest of the middle class, their boundless increase in wealth has to come from somewhere and you are the only ones left from which they can get it.

Kevpvp
Kevpvp

@malbertsd If you're near 65, you will be covered by Medicare, the highest rated government program in existence.  If you're under 65 and purchase your own insurance, you would be eligible to buy insurance on the Exchanges that go up in 2014.  Most likely at your income level, you would receive substantial subsidies from the government to help cover the cost of your insurance.  These subsidies are meant to mimic the benefit that employees of large companies receive today, where their employers typically cover a significant portion of the cost of insurance.  This won't be the government taking your money, but rather the government giving you money.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@malbertsd If your near retirement, aren't you eligible for medicare?  Why does any of this concern you?  

 If your not eligible for medicare, then one thing that will be of great benefit (when it's in effect) is that health insurance companies can't take into account your medical history (and maybe age?) when charging you for health insurance.  That should make your insurance *significantly* cheaper than it would have been. 

It also expands medicaid in most states, so you may be entitled to subsidies to help you afford health care.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Going after terrorist because they bomb one of the biggest cities in our country is idiotic?  Whats idiotic is believing that over 1600 pages of legislation passed in the middle of the night so we could find out whats in it will lower   our healthcare cost. (just in case you dont get your news from any other place,  premiums are on the rise)

oelric
oelric

@mantisdragon91 @JimWolfson We can't trust corporations to do the right thing and we can't count on it from our government either. Our government was the great enabler that moved so much of our industry out of our country. I'm certain there were plenty of corporate "donations" to help our fine leaders pass treaties such as NAFTA and others, but the end result was lowering our average standard of living.  Don't bother with the Libs/GOP are evil crap. Both sides are dirty and have made more deals with the devil to get where they than we could stand to hear. Neither side is the friend of the common citizen and you are a fool to believe otherwise.

Good_Lt
Good_Lt

@HazeAndDrizzle @malbertsd So explain to us how rich people, who are super-duper evil rich and all richee and stuff, get 'rich' extracting money from people whom you claim have no money?

malbertsd
malbertsd

@Kevpvp   Perhaps my paranoia caused me to misspeak, near retirement = 58. I am partially employed with no benefits and as I said my wife is self-employed so we purchase catastrophic insurance with $8k deductible, rolling the dice.  Well, last year and this year we are out of pocket the $8k.  Funny enough we are fairly healthy, don't smoke, drink to excess and we exercise.  We are not overweight and the food we eat is not processed or frozen and is pronounceable and recognizable. The uncertainty is the issue.  Works like "most likely" don't provide much comfort.

The startling news is that my doctors are not confident in the future either.  The Doc on Monday stated most older doctors are leaving their practice early because they don't want to put up with the added work and that the US will be short physicians in the future endangering adequate care.  He suspects he may have 10 good years left.  He is late 40s. 

The debate rages on, if there is a source that can provide the truth about what healthcare will be available in 2014 please let me know.

tepitts
tepitts

@Kevpvp @malbertsd Where did that money come from that the government is "giving"? The government only takes money and redistributes it. So that money is coming not from the person it is so graciously being given to, since his money has long ago been spent, but from those of us who are working. Once again, an example of this Federal Government reaching into the back pockets of the hard working folks like you and me to essentially buy votes.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@tom.litton @malbertsd No. But rather I am concerned about the total freezing of social mobility. The super wealthy are sucking the country dry and imposing a hereditary economic aristocracy at the top. The poor are utterly mired at the bottom. The middle class can rise or fall but in narrower and narrower bands, generally declining ones at that. The government is not the problem. Wake up. Reaganite economics has devastated this country and is taking it down daily. 

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @malbertsd Maybe he cares about the future of his children, and his children's children who are already funding this behemoth of a Federal Government before they are born? Maybe he cares because we have a Federal Government that has run roughshod over the Constitution of these United States? Maybe be cares because our Federal Government is borrowing nearly forty cents of every dollar it spends? Maybe he cares because of losing his privacy to the Federal Government? Other than that, yeah you're right. Why should he care.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Im gonna let you have last word. I have to get back to work.  Somebody is gonna have to pay for all this stuff.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Its a start to disaster.

curt3rd
curt3rd

You realize Obamacare does not include everyone. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd And I'm okay with that. I'd rather spend the money on getting everyone health care, as opposed to invading a country that never attacked us and lining the pockets of Cheney's buddies.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Thats pocket change to Obama.  We are gonna spend over 2 trillion on Obamacare which is more than double he said it would cost and so far all it does is raise taxes and premiums.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd How much restructuring of our Health Care system do you think we could do with Two Trillion? Which also happens to be the latest estimated cost of Georgie's big adventure in Baghdad.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Im sorry, I thought you said wars.  Oh wait you did.  Are you only talking about Iraq when you say wars or do you want to include Afghanistan?  Also, no comment on the rising premiums?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd Really and how many of those Terrorists were from Iraq? You know that little war that will end up costing us Two Trillion once all the costs of replacing worn out equipment and rehabilitating the tens of thousands of injured vets are fully accounted for.

Kevpvp
Kevpvp

@malbertsd @Kevpvp Thanks for clarifying your situation.  You're correct, there is a lot of uncertainty related to your specific situation.  Undoubtedly, you and your wife will be eligible to purchase insurance on your state's Exchange.  I'm not sure what State you're in, so it is unclear how this process will work for you.  Ideally, these Exchanges will work for healht insurance like how Orbitz.com works for flights.  It will provide a clear comparison of plans that all meet a minimum set of criteria.  There are different levels of coverage, with Bronze being the lowest (high deductible, catastrophic, and probably the most similar to what you have today).  These plans, including Bronze, must meet a minimum standard of care.  This is actually a big source of a complaint for those on the right.  The minimum standards of these plans are higher than many lost cost plans on the market today, hence a higher cost.  However, the argument for these minimum standards is easy to make, as a full 60% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are related to an adverse health care event, and the majority of these are from individuals who had health insurance.  While I don't know your individual circumstances, if God forbid you or your wife were to have a major health care event under your current plan, chances are pretty good you would exceed a maximum allowable amount of your coverage and be responsible out of pocket from there.  This is outlined in great detail in Time's "Bitter Pill" article that came out earlier this year.  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136864,00.html

As for resources, surprisingly the government's healthcare.gov site is pretty informative.  I would suggest starting here:  http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/understanding/options/index.html

Kaiser Family Foundation also does an excellent job of reviewing health care issues, including Obamacare:  http://healthreform.kff.org/

As for your last part about Dr's retiring early, this is one of the major issues facing the health care industry.  The traditional way (and the main "idea" sponsored by Republicans) to cut federal health care costs is to simply reduce reimbursement rates for Medicare patients.  I know many Dr's who feel a moral obligation to provide care to the elderly on Medicare, but can't sustain their practices without heavily subsidizing with those who have private insurance.  What is actually happening in the market is major consolidation, so little 2 or 4 Dr. practices are being bought by larger organizations.  Those that don't want to consolidate are feeling more cost pressure.  I'm sure there are those out there studying this issue in more detail that I'm familiar with, but it is something that would be happening regardless of Obamacare as this has been a trend prior to the passage of the law.  

Good_Lt
Good_Lt

@mantisdragon91 @Good_Lt @tepitts @Kevpvp @malbertsd Those are the rules, the Democrats have and do play that way when they win, and now you get to deal with the consequences of your loss in 2010 (as a result of Obamacare being passed, ironically). Obamacare is an albatross on the party and the country at large that will forever be linked with Obama and the Democrats, and not a single Republican can be held responsible for it. 

Time to own it.


lietrasher
lietrasher

@tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd  Infrastructure spending is short term you moron!


So, why did Republican'ts vote down their own favorite thing?


They would rather the Country fail than Obama suceed!


But, its not Obama's sucess were talking about! He already suceeded, he won the second election!


Its We the People they are hurting now, all for Political future power. 


All because they have no idea's or credits to run on!


They must lie, cheat, steal restrict voting and anything else available to win.


Because the Kings they work for already got what they wanted fron GW. They can afford to wait.

as long as nothing changes, they get more powerful and richer!


Its We the People the Republicans are stomping on!

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd It also calls out to provide for the common wellfare. 

Going back to only spending on military is never going to happen. At best, you can transition the responsibility of the social network over to states.  Honestly even that is a long shot at best. 

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts @tom.litton @grape_crush @malbertsd Yes meaningless.  They are past numbers, not future numbers.  If the conversation was about the past, then they would be meaningful.  But you can't take numbers like that and assume they will apply for every year going forward.  

Those are 2012 numbers.  2013 and future year numbers will be different.  So the 2012 numbers are meaningless.

It takes an act of congress to change economic and tax policy, the president can't decide it alone.  At best he is 50% at fault. 

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @malbertsd Our Constitution clearly calls out that our Federal Government should provide for the defense of our country. Other than that, I think taxation is suspect at best.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd Yes, you do not understand.  

What do you think over head is?  It's all spending.  It's still someone's income.  

If taxes are robbery and immoral, then you are for no taxes of any kind?

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @grape_crush @malbertsd Meaningless? Only because they do not support your line of thinking. We have a president, our Dear Leader, whose economic and tax policies are stifling growth, which is why our economy is recovering more slowly than it should. But in your mind I'm sure it is due to greedy business owners or some other boogeyman.

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @malbertsd MY lacking of understanding? Do you not realize that the $1 taken from the EARNER reduces his/her ability to choose how that is spent? Do you NOT realize that the $1 taken from the EARNER does not translate to $1 paid out due to Gov't overhead? I am approaching this from the standpoint that someone has been robbed of their earnings so that someone else can benefit from their labor. That is morally wrong.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts@tom.litton@malbertsdAgain, your showing a lack of understanding of the subject matter.  Government spending is still spending.  All spending translates to income for someone else.  And then when they spend it, it translates to income for someone else, etc, etc, etc.  That's why $1 spent usually adds more than $1 to GDP.  You don't just hand your money to the government and it disappears.  I know it feels that way, but it doesn't actually happen.

Have a look at:

http://economics.about.com/od/economics-basics/u/Macroeconomics-101.htm#s4

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts @tom.litton @grape_crush @malbertsd  

This is why republicans are often wrong.  You (and they) react on intuition and not on actual evidence and thought.  The numbers you mentioned, while accurate, only predict the past, not the future.  They are meaningless to this conversation.

The deficit is shrinking fairly quickly, thanks to spending cuts (ok cuts in expected growth), more revenue, and less spending on unemployment, food stamps, etc.   And the economy is recovering, more slowly than it should be, but still recovering.

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @malbertsd Please remember that the original dollar came from someone else. It was subtracted from the economy, since government does not create wealth. It only prints currency at an alarming rate - either directly or indirectly. So someone else's wealth was confiscated and given to someone else. Green energy... why are subsidies necessary at this point? I do not subscribe to the conspiracy theorists who say that oil companies will put green companies out of business, etc. If a technology is good, it will win in the marketplace and will stand on its own merits.

Interestingly, military spending sits at 18 percent in the 2013 budget. The defense of this nation is the one item explicitly called out in the Constitution. 7 percent is set aside to pay interest on our national debt. So 75 percent of Federal spending is allocated for spending that is not Constitutionally called for. That's pretty suspect in my opinion.

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @grape_crush @malbertsd The federal debt at the end of FY'12 stood a little over $16T. At almost $1T per year in the red, we will get there in four to five years. Not if, but when. And when won't be too long.

tepitts
tepitts

@grape_crush @tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd Obamacare has driven the cost of the minimum acceptable insurance policy for a family of four to exceed $20K per year. Yeah, rates aren't going up... You cite the link, but point me to the author to refute it? That's classic. You think we aren't heading toward the same situation as Greece? Check back with me in four years when the outstanding debt of this country exceeds $20 trillion...

tom.litton
tom.litton

@grape_crush @tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd  

Also he is not adjusting for inflation, not adjusting for cyclic spending (which will go away), and not adjusting for the loss of revenue (which will come back when the economy recovers). 

In other words stats without context are meaningless...

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @tepitts@grape_crush@tom.litton@malbertsd > Call me simple...

Sure. You're simple. 

> ...when the insurers in the state I live in are appealing for 53 percent increases (in the case of one of the largest insurer) due to the requirements of Obamacare, 

a) Doesn't mean that they will get their rate increase.

b) Doesn't mean that Obamacare is the cause, only that insurers are willing to use that in order to justify another rate increase.

c) Doesn't mean that these companies will die off, given the fact that they are well in the black.

> I don't view that as a slow growth.

It isn't, but health insurance premiums were growing larger before Obama was in office; your point that Obamacare is hiking your rates is invalid.

> Is that 9.9 percent?

a) The 2009 budget was set before Obama took office, so you can discount that.

b) You got a problem with the math at the link I provided, take it up with the author.

> The most recent being Greece...

/sigh.

We are not Greece. That's a boogeyman story told by right-wing media outlets to the simple.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts@tom.litton@malbertsd

I've heard of fiscal multipliers at 1.4 before.  I doubt they are really that high, but there is mounting evidence that they are above 1.  

Just to be clear, every $1 the government spends adds more than $1 to GDP.  There are a lot of factors that can throw that off, but there always are. 

Also note that it isn't always true.  When the economy recovers, then the fiscal multipliers will fall, probably below 1.  That's why the argument for spending now, and cutting spending later.

A few sources for private deleveraging:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/02/us-private-sector-deleveraging-where-are-we/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/notes-on-deleveraging/

For government spending here is a graph:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/american-austerity-an-update/?gwh=7D61C95BD80EBE3029D314C3635EF677

Don't forget the states have cut a lot of spending.  Not to mention the several budget related deals reduced spending over the next 10 years. 

Low interest rates is a great rationale for spending more, especially if it makes you more later, or will be required spending later (such as infrastructure spending).  Which is my argument. 

As for subsidies on green technology, that is a better debate to have.  I can see both sides.  But my perspective is this:  China, Germany, and others heavily subsidies their green industry.  So we can either do the same and try to compete for a piece, or succeed the industry to them.   It will be very hard to compete with them without subsidiesing our own companies. 

As for government spending, food subsidies, stamps, unemployment, and most programs for the poor are a relatively insignificantly part of the budget (at least the federal budget).  If you want to significantly reduce spending, you have to look at the big 2:

Military spending

Entitlement spending

tepitts
tepitts

@new_obtuse/clever/hip_pseudonym @tepitts @tom.litton @malbertsd We certainly see things differently. Call me simple, but when the insurers in the state I live in are appealing for 53 percent increases (in the case of one of the largest insurer) due to the requirements of Obamacare, I don't view that as a slow growth. And suddenly insuring almost 30 million Americans that were previously uninsured is absolutely going to add costs... Who will pay those costs?

The deficit spending of this president is much greater than 9.9 percent. FY'08 deficit spending was $458B, and it jumped to $1.413B in FY'09, $1,294B in FY'10, $1,300B in FY'11, and $1,087B in FY'12. Even by the most generous measure, deficit spending during the Obama administration increased over $630B from the $458B starting point in 2008. Is that 9.9 percent??

If you want to see what "we need to spend beyond our means" will yield us, history has many examples. The most recent being Greece, which is still playing out. Is that what you want?

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @malbertsd Wow, this sounds like Nancy Pelosi's argument that for every $1 spent on unemployment, the economy yields $1.40 in return. At that rate, we should all go on unemployment and watch the government's coffers swell!! ;-)

The private sector has many reasons for reducing spending. Financial uncertainty is the biggest driver today. So it is not accurate to say of private sector operations that they reduce spending because "they have tons of debt to pay off". I would not want to be a part of a company in that situation (many examples of Green technology come to mind that are no longer in business - though they never were truly "in business" given they required subsidies to operate, and even then they failed miserably). And I'm totally confused by your statement that the Federal Government has decreased spending "by a lot". The sequester did not reduce total spending. It decreased the rate of growth of spending. Did you know that each agency within government has a built-in expectation of growth that ranges from 4 to 8 percent? Interestingly, that is considered "flat spending" by those agencies. The sequester "cuts" simply reduced their rate of growth. Only in government is a reduction in growth considered a "cut".

I agree with you that the cost of money is favorable today, but is that the rationale to spend MORE? I could only agree with that IF the spending increase were short-term, and government has consistently demonstrated that the increase of this year is simply the baseline for the next. There is no going back with these "leaders". Past behaviors have shown that there is no willingness whatsoever to to cut government spending.

grape_crush
grape_crush

@tepitts@tom.litton@malbertsd> All Obamacare has done is to increase to total cost to the consumer. Period.

False.

"Health insurance costs workers almost twice what it did in 2002 even though premiums have grown more slowly since 2007, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 employers. [...] Efforts by health insurance companies and medical providers to become more efficient may be helping to curb costs, but elements of President Barack Obama's health care reform law probably aren't a factor in cost to-date, Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman contends in a post on the organization's website. "No one has yet been able to disentangle the causes of the slowdown persuasively," Altman wrote." 

> ...having one president increase Federal spending by nearly four trillion dollars in four years is appropriate?

False.

"Just to give you some guidance in making that guess, federal spending under the sainted President Reagan grew by 9.6 percent from 1980 to 1984. (Again, all of these numbers are inflation-adjusted.) Under the second President Bush, with a largely Republican Congress, federal spending grew by 16.5 percent from 2000 to 2004.

So how much has it increased under Obama’s 'spending inferno'? 25 percent? 35 percent?

The answer is 9.9 percent. Between 2008 and the recently completed fiscal 2012, total federal spending has increased by 9.9 percent, about the same amount as under Reagan and considerably less than under Bush."

Not to mention that we had to dig our way out of a recession.

> Why is it okay then for our Federal Government to spend well beyond its means...

Wars don't pay for themselves. Neither does border security, school lunches, health care, highways, etc. Most people can't buy a house outright either; we spend beyond our means when we sign that mortgage.

Unless you want to raise taxes in order to pay for this nice bit of civilization we Americans enjoy, then we need to spend beyond our means.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts@tom.litton@malbertsd This link explains it better than i can:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/opinion/krugman-the-story-of-our-time.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Basically to look at the government spending as a business is to look at only one side of the equation.  Spending and income is linked, ie spending turns into income, and vice versa.  So reducing spending, also reduces income.  

The private sector has to reduce spending because they have tons of debt to pay off.  If government also decreases spending (which it has, by a lot), then everyone's income goes down.  This is why every economist expects the sequester to negatively effect the economy.

Also real interest rates for the federal government are negative.  People are actually paying us to borrow their money.  

 So it makes the most sense to borrow money to pay for anything that will make us more globally competitive, and do as much of it as possible right now.  It will help the economy now, putting resources that are just sitting there idle anyways to work, set us up for an economic boom later, and partially pays for itself by raising revenue from the jobs created. 

Later, once the economy recovers and the government starts competing with the private sector, you cut government spending and reduce the debt to GDP ratio and prepare for the next recession.

tepitts
tepitts

@tom.litton @tepitts @malbertsd Care more about them getting good health care? How do you know he isn't already? All Obamacare has done is to increase to total cost to the consumer. Period. Re: roughshod, do you remember the 10th amendment? What rights do states have today now that the interstate commerce clause was so broadly interpreted? And do you believe that ruling via fiat through the use of executive orders is bypassing Congress is adhering to the checks and balances our founding fathers designed? And surely you cannot tell me that having one president increase Federal spending by nearly four trillion dollars in four years is appropriate?

As long as we the people consent to the type of leadership we have today, we are getting what we deserve. We need better, and we can do much better than this. Fiscal responsibility and accountability is a must. You wouldn't buy a $1M home if you couldn't afford it, and nor would I. Why is it okay then for our Federal Government to spend well beyond its means as a normal course of business? Raising taxes is not the answer when our so-called leaders are drunk on spending. Raising increased revenue through increased employment and participation by all taxpayers is fine by me, but today we have nearly half the country who do NOT pay Federal income tax. Have those people participate, and see how quickly they care about spending.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@tepitts@tom.litton@malbertsd

"Maybe he cares about the future of his children, and his children's children who are already funding this behemoth of a Federal Government before they are born?"

Then he should care more about them getting good health care.

 "Maybe he cares because we have a Federal Government that has run roughshod over the Constitution of these United States?"

Not according to the supreme court.  Or are you saying that the checks and balances set up by the constitution is broken, and the constitution itself needs to be replaced?

"Maybe be cares because our Federal Government is borrowing nearly forty cents of every dollar it spends?"

Then he should care about getting people good jobs and raising revenue, not cutting spending (and therefore reducing revenue).