Video: CBO chief didn’t get memo ObamaCare fixed health care costs, calls them “fundamental challenge”

posted at 9:21 pm on March 19, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

This is Douglas Elmendorf, the guy responsible for evaluating the costs of all the nonsense Congress wants to do, often forced to use the nonsense numbers it provides him and project the effects of innumerable unknowable factors many years into the future for giant programs Congress itself has no idea how it will run or enforce. It’s an unpleasant job, but he’s an admirable, no-nonsense guy with a very knowledgable perspective on the fiscal problems facing this country. Maybe Sen. McCaskill’s been listening to him.

Below, Elmendorf explains what is known as common sense and fact to conservatives but is classified as damn-near traitorous fantasy by liberals. Guys, he argues, there are two major drivers of our fiscal problems and they will shortly be eating up all our resources. Those two things are Social Security and federal health care programs— specifically an expansion thereof, which despite what we’ve been told, is not bringing spending down. If we’re going to change those programs to address these problems, it will be less painful to do it sooner rather than later. Also, debt is bad and not exactly a jobs program.

Loopy, alarmist and reeking of a desire for austerity if you’re a Republican office holder. But what about when the No. 1 numbers guy concedes the obvious about our numbers?

Via CNS News:

“So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are,” Elmendorf said.

“And we haven’t actually decided as a society…what we’re going to do. But some combination of those three choices will be needed.”

Elmendorf said there are various ways to proceed: “But they tend to be unpleasant in one way or another, and we have not, as a society, decided how much of that sort of unpleasantness to inflict on whom.” …

Elmendorf said the nation’s main fiscal challenge is not short-term deficits, but “the very high level of debt” over the long term:

“And a high level of debt will ultimately crowd out capital investment and slow accumulation of capital and slow the growth of wages and incomes. It also reduces the flexibility for policymakers to respond to future crises that arise.

“So it’s the high level of debt and the growing deficits in the long-term. The reason why action today would be beneficial is because if you — we want to make changes in programs for retirees or changes in the tax code, it’s better to make those with a warning. One wants to set — one wants to make changes. One wants to set them in motion early, even if their full effect won’t be felt for many years.”

An old profile of intrepid, upstanding nerd, Elmendorf is here.


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…that dumbas$…is a CEO?

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Mr. Obama. Remember bending the cost curve down? It’s gone out of control, Sir, and is even now shooting right up your, er, vent.

Mason on March 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM

[CBO]…often forced to use the nonsense numbers it provides him and project the effects of innumerable unknowable factors many years into the future for giant programs Congress itself has no idea how it will run or enforce.

THANK YOU MKH for pointing this out. So called “trustworthy/impartial” CBO, is shackled by the old cliché, garbage-in, garbage-out, and I would love to see you expand on this in a future column, maybe with links to others who have exposed the underlying manipulations, so that HA readers can see how this particular scam works to distort “optics” for political reasons.

RushBaby on March 19, 2014 at 9:32 PM

I have complete faith in my fellow citizens and the politicians they elect.

NOTHING will be done until the wheels fall off the cart!

GarandFan on March 19, 2014 at 9:35 PM

We’re expected to believe honest figures from a guy named Elmendorf?

Rovin on March 19, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Despite the truth and logic of his nerdy, tepid statements, he is being audited even as the stomach churns…

vnvet on March 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Remember, before this disaster passed, the Democrats submitted numbers to the CBO that kept O’care under a trillion dollars. Then, oops, now it’s a 2.5 trillion and rising.

Rovin on March 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM

If he keeps being so vocal, I think it will be a “fundamental challenge” for him not to have a fundamental freak accident.

VorDaj on March 19, 2014 at 9:45 PM

It seems that the socialists hate him a lot… They hate people who speak the truth…

mnjg on March 19, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Elmendorf

Sounds like a city in Middle Earth.

mankai on March 19, 2014 at 9:49 PM

America savor the taste of the crap sandwich known as the ACA. Dimwits.

CW on March 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Loopy, alarmist and reeking of a desire for austerity if you’re a Republican office holder.

Ma’am, them “austerity” republicans are very few and even farther between. They have shown their true colors in magnificent shades of chickenshit over the last four years.

arnold ziffel on March 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Makes me want to buy Hoppes #9 by the gallon.

wolly4321 on March 19, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Best start looking around for things that are belt fed.

docflash on March 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Since Progs don’t believe in self protection their “stuff” will be the first the thugs will come for…it’s coming.

d1carter on March 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM

“So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are,” Elmendorf said.

“And we haven’t actually decided as a society…what we’re going to do. But some combination of those three choices will be needed.”

Why that’s just Ross Perot level crazy talk…

elgeneralisimo on March 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM

arnold ziffel on March 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Well spoken Sir.

DDay on March 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM

DDay on March 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Thank you. I am definitely a sad effin panda over the current state of affairs.

arnold ziffel on March 19, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Oh, no problem. We’ll just print all the extra money we need.

It’s guaranteed, that is what we will do. We will most definitely NOT do what we should do.

ZenDraken on March 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

I’m getting close but they can start with me. Time to be honest.

Cindy Munford on March 20, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Elmendorf’s words are probably music to Obama’s ears. He has years to make things worse. But it would aid his efforts greatly if there could be major censorship of the pesky internet:


Obama’s Internet Surrender: a “fate worse than death” for the Internet

Chessplayer on March 20, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Amerikans are morons. As proof I offer Obama’s re-election in 2012.

earlgrey on March 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM