Does anyone really know? Looked up a few numbers today and I'm not sure anyone really knows how to look at the big picture. A few numbers to throw around:
1/7 of the economy (you know, the part we spend on healthcare) is something over 14%.
The cost of running the government takes another 18% (this taken from a chart showing the last 50 years) with the last 10 years the average being approximately 18%.
The CBO projects that the cost of running the government (without healthcare) will be around 40% by 2075, but only our grandkids and great grandkids will have to worry about that, right?
Anyway, put the healthcare and government costs together and that's about 1/3 of the monies available at current rates which I suspect will only go up.
One little known or publicized point: Back in 2002 the unfunded liabilities of Social Security were "off budget" and amounted to $15 trillion. Today we learn that Geithner asked to have the debt ceiling raised to over $13 trillion but still no one is talking about unfunded liabilities. Where is the transparency? What are the real numbers?
A couple of observations: The President, at his scripted Town Hall meeting yesterday said Medicare is working just fine because we are all wanting to keep it. Well, get this, Mr. Obama, the reason it is working is because we pay out of pocket for MediGap insurance which under HR 3200 would be unlawful and $330 billion will be cut from Medicare. So where will be the satisfaction with that? Also heard him say that FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service are getting along just fine. The only problem, my words not his, is that the Postal Service is in perpetual deficit--as they say, how is that working for you?
There is no way to remedy either the stubbornness or stupidity of legislators. Sen. McCaskill (D-MO)had a Town Hall meeting and announced "Do you really think you can convince anyone of your position by shouting?" The answer came back, "No, we're just trying to convince YOU" and she just doesn't get the message. She was interviewed this evening and she quite proudly pointed to herself as being cool headed with no sense of what her constituents were saying to her.
The worst part of all of this is that all pretense of bipartisanship will be swept under the rug when the August recess is over and Congress passes whatever they darn well please because they won, remember? I'm afraid the Blue Dogs don't stand a chance. Maybe they stand a prayer, if so
Let's just remember the old adage "work as though everything depends on us and pray as though everything depends on God." It's all we can do.