with Jimmy Sengenberger, Mike Coffman, April 22, 2010

Station: KCRX

Show: SengCenter with Jimmy Sengenberger

Guest: Coffman Link:

Date: April 22, 2010

Topics: Afghanistan, Defense Budget, Balanced Budget Amendment, Health care, Medicaid

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JIMMY SENGENBERGER:  It is generational theft, as John McCain would phrase it.  It’s an instance where the previous generation has shown a total lack of regard for the future generations,–just concerned about the immediate present and that I think has some moral questions to it.  But I want to take a turn to an issue that directly affects the debt, and that is the new health care law that recently went into effect.  Of course the Congressional Budget Office has given assumptions that they have to use in basing their estimates. Now, one solid professor of mine has phrased it this way, where estimates or models are only as good as the assumption upon which they are based.  This health care bill, or law, now, is in no way going to cost less than a trillion dollars.  It most certainly is going to be up in 2.5 trillion dollars and more in the long term. What’s your sense of the fiscal implications for this health law.

MIKE COFFMAN:  Well, I think that your professor was certainly right, the Congressional Budget Office does work off the assumptions and is not allowed to challenge the assumptions given to them by the Congress.  And so when you have proponents of the legislation in drafting this proposal say we’re going to fund it by stripping literally hundreds of pages outside of the Medicare system, and that money will be made up through waste/fraud abuse that will make the difference, and that Medicare will be made whole, I mean it’s just ridiculous.  And so they can’t challenge that.  Then you’ve got half a trillion dollars in new taxes but there’s an assumption that, you know, over the next ten years there will never be  economic downturn, number one, there will be consistent economic growth, that this tax increase will not have any adverse impact on the economy, you know, and that they’ve essentially say it balances in ten years.  Well, you have six years of spending.  The benefits don’t really kick in until 2014, but taxes start very soon—start now.  So, you know, 10 years of taxes, six years of benefits, saying that it balances out.  I mean, it’s just a lot of fictional stuff.  And its because it’s a process that evolved in a political culture where there is no requirement to balance the budget.  And so that is how the institutions of Congress were formed, and so it’s merely creating a fiction of a balanced budget.  Or that this program will not add to the deficit.  It absolutely will add to the deficit, and it will I think hurt this country.