April 4, 2011
To the Editor,
One has to wonder if Richard Higer, a regular on these pages, would benefit from widening his source material for his diatribes outside his admitted main source of information, The New York Times. If that were the case, he might be reminded that the Congressional Budget Office is only committed to evaluating on the legislative assumptions incorporated in the actual bills it reviews.
It accepts the fiscal assumptions in the bills before it; it does not offer an analysis of the assumptions contained in the bill. Thus, Obamacare (forgive me the demeaning reference) assumes $500 billion in savings from “reforms” and waste reductions in the Medicare program, but does not indicate how that is going to occur, or when. The C.B.O. just assumes the bill will do what it says.
Recently, it re-evaluated the bill and indicated it would cost $2.3 billion more than the original estimates. And we have yet to see any cost estimate of the over 1,000 waivers granted to a multitude of corporations and unions, with more seemingly added every day. And now, we hear that included in this massive legislation that we were told by Nancy Pelosi we would only be permitted to see after we passed the bill, some interesting giveaways to those “evil” corporations Mr. Higer so regularly rails about.
Mucho millions were doled out to General Electric, General Motors, the auto workers’ union, AT&T, Verizon, etc., to cover the cost of their retired employees not yet eligible for Medicare! News to us. As the days go on, and the digging goes on, I’m sure we’ll see more of these payoffs to those who supported the bill, like AARP, which rakes in big bucks from United Healthcare and its auto insurance associations.
Mr. Higer goes on to accuse the newly elected Republican majority of having “no new ideas” and doing nothing about creating jobs since they were installed in January, less than three months ago. I mean, even The New York Times understands that a majority in one house of Congress by the Republicans with a Democratic President and and Democratically controlled Senate does not give them control of the government.
I might add that the Democratic Party, the party of the “little guy,” that likes to bail out banks and corporations, that had control of both houses of Congress, the presidency, the attorney general’s office, the Treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc., could not, would not, even pass a budget for their last session. Possibly they were too busy making reservations to light out to Holiday Inns in Indiana to escape having to vote on any cuts in spending. People like Mr. Higer have been fond of referring to Republicans these past two years as the party of no. I think we might accurately characterize Democrats as the party of not here.
Two years of this administration, miserable job creation, increasing inflation, a decimated, going-nowhere housing industry, trillions of dollars of debt, and all the likes of Mr. Higer are concerned about is how mean and maligning are the mildly disparaging comments accorded to Mr. Obama’s middle name, his reluctant birth credentials, Michelle Obama’s fashion choices. Poor baby! One soon forgets the daily calumny heaped upon George Bush and his family, not to mention “Darth Vader” Dick Cheney, with little or no concern for their impact.
Finally, I suggest Mr. Higer expand his resource horizons beyond The New York Times and National Public Radio; maybe if he sometimes glanced at The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and American Heritage, he might gain a new perspective on the new legislation suggestions the “no new ideas party” is going to lay before the country this week from Representative Paul Ryan. Now we’ll see who the real party of no is. Mr. Obama is going to have to do more than say he’s present when 2012 comes along!