Minnesota, We Have Shutdown

Gee, the Republican legislature, swept into power for the first time in forty years to reduce the size of government, has already passed the largest budget in Minnesota state history.

But petulant Mr. Wouldn’t Even Be Governor but for Tom Horner is obsessed with raising taxes to spend even more, so here we are.

No Talks Expected Before Tuesday for Minnesota Shutdown

Minnesota lawmakers are back in their districts. Some are facing voters for the first time since the government shutdown. That reception may go a long way in determining how long the shutdown will last.

. . .

Reporter: “Do you feel like you went back on a campaign promise of some kind to not shut down government?”

Dayton: “Unfortunately, the two parts of that promise came into conflict with each other because I felt it was ultimately more important to raise the revenue necessary to meet a fair, middle compromise position”

Dayton says a deal fell apart when republicans sought agreement on social policies like abortion.

Kurt Zellers – (R) Minnesota: “To say that this blew up over policy…again, to Amy ‘s point this isn’t true.”

House speaker Kurt Zellers and senate majority leader Amy Koch say the breakdown came over tax increases. They offered non-tax revenue to meet the governor’s demands–and deny they wanted a shutdown.

See also:
Minnesota government shuts down over budget impasse
Minnesota government shuts down over budget woes
Minnesota government shuts down after tax plan torpedoes budget
Minnesota government shutdown puts Tim Pawlenty in spotlight
Minnesota Dem gov fights GOP’s ‘no new tax’ stance
Minnesotans frustrated, angry over state government shutdown
Minnesotans feel pinch of government shutdowns
Minnesota budget row shuts public services
In Minnesota Shutdown, Wider Budget Conflict Comes to a Head
Minnesota shutdown: The shape of things to come?
Lori Sturdevant: Scorched earth politics
Shutdown not seen harming Minnesota’s reputation
Who’s Shutting Down Minnesota?

Despite the shutdown, life in Minnesota goes on, most people don’t even notice, and every day the shutdown continues the State saves money.

/so hang in there Republicans, this is why you were swept into power, to reduce the size of state government and hold the line on taxes, keep the shutdown going as long as it takes until Dayton caves on his tax raising obsession

In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act

From behind the closed doors of Nancy Pelosi’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Affordable Health Care for America Act

If you start now and read several hundred pages a day, you might be able to get through it by the time they start to debate it on the House floor next week. As with all these bills, written in legislative gibberish that would make a challenging read for a lawyer, pack a lunch and leave a trail of bread crumbs.

Oh look, PBS has already posted a summary of the bill only a few hours after it was unveiled. I wonder who they got that from, Pelosi and the Democrats? PBS staffers certainly haven’t had time to read the bill for themselves yet.

Bill Summary: Affordable Health Care for America Act

House Democrats on Thursday unveiled the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The 1,990-page legislation is a combination of bills passed by three House committees earlier this year. Key tenets include:

· New regulations | New insurance industry regulations would prohibit insurers from rejecting customers based on pre-existing conditions. The regulations would also prohibit annual or lifetime caps on benefits.

· Insurance exchange | The bill would set up a new national health insurance exchange, a marketplace where individuals who do not have employer-sponsored insurance would be able to shop for plans. The exchange would also be open to small businesses, and more would be able to join each year. Companies with 25 or fewer employees would be able to join in 2013, companies with 50 or fewer employees could join in 2014, and companies with fewer than 100 employees could join by 2015.

· Public insurance option | The health insurance exchange would include a government-run public plan. Federal officials would negotiate payment rates with doctors and hospitals that accept the plan.

· Employer mandate | Employers with annual payrolls greater than $500,000 would be required to either provide health insurance for their employees, or contribute 8 percent of their payroll to a federal fund to help subsidize employees who purchase coverage through the exchange. Employers with payrolls less than $500,000 would be exempt from the mandate.

· Individual mandate | Individuals will be required to purchase health insurance, or pay a penalty fee. Some people would be eligible to apply for a hardship waiver.

· Medicaid expansion | Medicaid would be expanded to cover everyone whose income is below 150 percent of the poverty line, or about $33,000 per year for a family of four.

· Affordability subsidies | People who earn between 150 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for subsidies on a sliding scale to purchase insurance through the exchange. Those subsidies would ensure that people who make 150 percent of the poverty level would not have to pay more than 3 percent of their income in premiums, while those who make 400 percent of the poverty level could pay up to 12 percent of their income in premiums.

· Out-of-pocket expenses caps | New regulations would cap yearly out-of-pocket medical expenses for individuals at $5,000 and families at $10,000. Those who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level would have lower caps, on a sliding scale.

· Tax surcharge | The bill would help pay for itself by imposing a 5.4 percent tax surcharge on individuals earning more than $500,000 per year and families earning more than $1 million.

· End-of-life counseling | The bill retains a controversial provision that allows Medicare to pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling

Oh yeah, and did you catch the part where Pelosi said that the House bill would cost less than $900 billion? Would it surprise anyone to know that she’s lying her ass off through her Botox induced permagrin teeth?

CBO: House Bill Costs $1.055 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the House Democrats’ health care bill. The headline number — likely to be widely cited in media accounts — is that the bill costs $894 billion over 10 years. But in reality, the CBO says that the gross cost of the bill will be $1.055 trillion. The $894 billion number reflects the taxes being paid by individuals who don’t have insurance and employers who don’t provide insurance.

In addition, the bill relies on some of the same budgetary gimmicks as the Senate Finance Committee’s bill. Once again, we see that the Democrats backload the spending provisions into the final six years of the CBO’s 10 year budget window to make it appear cheaper. Specifically, the CBO says the bill’s gross spending will be $60 billion in the first four years, and $995 billion in the next six years (or 94 percent of the total).

Also, while the CBO says that the bill will reduce deficits by $104 billion over 10 years and keep reducing the deficit (albiet slightly) beyond that, it cautions that these estimates assume that proposed budget cuts will actually get enacted by future members of Congress. “These longer-term projections assume that the provisions of H.R. 3962 are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation,” the CBO director Douglas Elmendorf wrote. “The long-term budgetary impact of H.R. 3962 could be quite different if those provisions generating savings were ultimately changed or not fully implemented.”

The CBO estimate doesn’t include the more than $200 billion it will cost to prevent scheduled cuts to doctors’ payments under Medicare, which Democrats intend to pass through separate legislation.

The bill would also add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls, costing states an additional $34 billion over 10 years.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the CBO report doesn’t say anything about whether the bill actually bends the health care cost curve. To be clear, while it estimates — with caveats — that the bill will reduce deficits, that isn’t the same thing as reducing national health care expenditures, which is how people derive all those statistics about how high of a percentage of GDP we spend on health care compared with other countries. If you hike taxes high enough, you can get the CBO to say it reduces deficits on paper, but that’s a lot different from bringing down the actual costs of health care to our nation.

Wait a minute, it’s not just Pelosi who’s lying about the 2000 page path to socialized medicine . . .

See also:
House Democrats announce health-care bill
Statement from President Obama on the Affordable Health Care for America Act
House health bill clocks in at 1,990 pages
House Dems unveil health care bill
House Democrats unveil healthcare legislation including public option
House Dems announce health bill
Pelosi Unveils House Health Care Bill
House takes another step on healthcare reform
Details on health care bills in House, Senate
A 1,990-Page Medical Monstrosity
It’s alive! End-of-life counseling in health bill
Clyburn: ‘Cadillac tax’ in healthcare would violate Obama’s pledge
House Healthcare Bill Longer Than ‘War and Peace’
Democrats’ Unhealthy Reform Plans
1502 Pages Of Senate Deficit Deepening, Health Care Razing Gibberish

Of course, this monsterous sham has to be passed by the House and then Reid has to come out from behing his closed office doors and unveil the Senate’s gigantic mockery of health care “reform”, which will have to be passed by the Senate. Next, Pelosi and Reid will have to take the ~4000 pages of both bills behind closed conference doors, to conjure the final bloated shamockery bill, that’ll need to pass both houses of Congress.

/hopefully, there’s still enough hoops to jump through and divisions between Democrat factions that, somewhere along the line, they’ll come up short on needed votes and the entire national debt boosting travesty will collapse under it’s own socialist weight

First Comes The Trial Balloon . . .

How many times did we hear this claptrap during the campaign?

And you believed him? Well, guess what?

Geithner, Summers hedge on tax hikes

Wavering on an emphatic promise he made in the spring, top White House economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers would not rule out middle-class tax increases Sunday as a way for the Obama administration to pay for a sweeping health care plan.

The statement, which was echoed by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on Sunday’s talk shows, pries open a door to the kinds of broad tax increases that Mr. Obama opposed in his campaign and that he and his advisers have ruled out since taking office in January.

In March, Mr. Summers told CNBC emphatically, “Let’s be very clear. … There are no, no tax increases this year. There are no, no tax increases next year.”

On Sunday, however, Mr. Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, was much more circumspect, saying that circumstances change and options cannot be ruled out.

“There is a lot, though, there is a lot that can happen over time,” Mr. Summers said when pressed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” about whether the Obama administration would raise taxes on the middle class to cover the massive planned expansion of federal health care coverage and the ballooning federal deficits.

“It’s never a good idea to absolutely rule things out no matter what,” Mr. Summers said, elaborating by saying the administration would not act in ways that would be funded “primarily” by the middle class.

“But what the president has been completely clear on is that he is not going to pursue any of his priorities – not health care, not energy, nothing – in ways that are primarily burdening middle-class families,” he said.

Mr. Geithner spoke similarly, declining to rule out broadly based tax increases, when pressed during an interview that aired Sunday. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos invited Mr. Geithner five times to rule out raising taxes to pay for health care reform and/or to close the budget deficit – and he never did.

“Again, we’re not at the point yet where we’re going to make a judgment about what it’s going to take,” Mr. Geithner said on ABC’s “This Week.”

When asked about tax increases, “you’re not ruling it out, you can’t rule it out,” Mr. Geithner responded: “I think that what the country needs to do is understand we’re going to have to do what it takes. We’re going to do what’s necessary.”

See also:
Econ chief Timothy Geithner won’t rule out middle class tax increases
CQ Transcript: Economic Council’s Summers on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’
On their way to summer vacation..
Will Barack Obama tax middle classes? U.S. finance chiefs flag tough measures to tackle growing budget deficit
2 Obama officials: No guarantee taxes won’t go up
Geithner, Summers Sent To The Corner Over Tax Bungle
AP ENTERPRISE: Federal tax revenues plummeting
Tax Receipts Fall Off Cliff; Worst Drop Since Depression

Of course today, they’re furiously spinning away, trying to reel the trial balloon back in, like it wasn’t floated on purpose.

No middle-class tax increases, White House insists

Despite warnings from President Obama’s top economic advisers that new taxes for middle-income Americans cannot be ruled out, the White House insisted today that the president’s “commitment” to a campaign pledge to avert new taxes for those earning less than $250,000 a year holds firm.

Both Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers had suggested during appearances on the Sunday morning news talk shows that tax increases could not be ruled out for Americans earning less than the threshold that the president has set.

But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs adamantly and repeatedly insisted today that the president remains committed to his pledge — though he was unable to explain why Geithner and Summers had strayed from the administration’s line.

“The president’s clear commitment is not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year,” Gibbs told reporters pressing for an explanation about apparent discrepancies in the White House’s message.

Gibbs added, “I hope you’ll take my reiteration of this clear commitment . . . in the clearest terms possible, that he is not raising taxes on those who make less than $250,000 a year.”

The president, arguing that the healthcare overhaul he is seeking will not only benefit the public but also help control runaway government spending, has said that he will support tax increases to support his plan only for the wealthiest Americans, those earning more than $250,000.

Right. One thing that cannot happen by accident in Washington, is both top administration economic officials going on the major Sunday talk shows, on the same day, delivering the same message, that middle class taxes increases are on the table, without express marching orders from the White House to deliver it. Gimme a break, how dumb do they think we are?

/the numbers just don’t add up, tax revenue collection is plummeting and the rich don’t have close to enough money to pay for all of Obama’s reckless deficit spending, the money has to come from somewhere