Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why Are We Adding Another Entitlement Program When The Ones We Already Have Are Broke?

Washington Post:

The recession's jobless toll is draining unemployment-compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections, 40 state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion in loans to keep issuing the benefit checks.

The shortfalls are putting pressure on governments to either raise taxes or shrink the aid payments.

Debates over the state benefit programs have erupted in South Carolina, Nevada, Kansas, Vermont and Indiana. And the budget gaps are expected to spread and become more acute in the coming year, compelling legislators in many states to reconsider their operations.

Currently, 25 states have run out of unemployment money and have borrowed $24 billion from the federal government to cover the gaps. By 2011, according to Department of Labor estimates, 40 state funds will have been emptied by the jobless tsunami.

Chances are that on Christmas Eve we will be gifted with yet another entitlement program. Let’s look at the entitlement programs we already have-Medicare will be broke by 2017, Social Security may well beat Medicare to insolvency and now we learn that 25 states are out of their employment funds and that number will soon swell to 40.

In order to “rescue” these programs either benefits will be cut or taxes will be raised. Most likely, there will be a combination of both. Reid and Company recognized that ObamaCare would also require services/treatments be limited (rationed) so deep in the belly of the bill they hid a provision:

Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.
The Dem’s aim is to lock-in the Advisory Board’s ability to cut costs through rationing. In other words, while the Dems have been denying that rationing is a feature of government health care, they have been simultaneously planning for it.

Rather than pushing through yet another entitlement program that will increase taxes, increase hardship and decrease productivity our government should be concentrating on fixing the broken programs we already have. They should start by getting people back to work.

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