Thursday, March 25, 2010

Text, Lies, and Videotape

A friend of mine sent me this video of Rep. Weiner. I couldn't let this one go without comment. While the video is a mere 5-6 minutes long, what it really says speaks volumes.

We already know that Weiner is lying. It has been discussed and disclosed ad nauseum already that the IRS will need to hire 16,000 people at an estimated cost of 10 billion to monitor health care compliance and extort penalties from the unsuspecting public, both individuals and companies alike.

As I watched Weiner play his verbal shell game of avoidance, lies, spin, and speaking in circles, something else occurred to me, in addition to his lies. It is the potential truth in his lies which is even more revealing, which people might have missed and may have gone unnoticed. So I feel compelled to point it out in case you missed it.

If I were to take Weiner's statements as true, and there will be no enforcement of payment of the penalties, that means the government would not be collecting the penalties. If the government does not collect the estimated penalties imposed, that means that the planned revenue will not be collected to offset the costs. This would result in the health care bill costing even more than they admit. Not surprisingly, Weiner unknowingly revealed this in his spin.

So I was curious as to what this would mean and consulted the CBO opinion. (I know, what could be more fun than reading that?)

Upon reviewing the CBO information available, while reading the text, I realized a lot can be said by reading in between the lines. Just as an analysis can be made from what it says, it occurred to me that what is doesn't say is even more alarming.

Just for fun, you can read it too.'sAmendmenttoReconciliationProposal.pdf
So, what doesn't it say? Without having you gloss over from finance terms, I will try to keep this basic.

If we look at table 2, described as "changes in revenue", (you should understand that "change in revenue" is not actual revenue. It is a net effect.) That being said, this table discloses that there is 525 billion (net) revenues in fees and taxes. If there is no monitoring and enforcement, as Weiner claims, then this net revenue will not be collected and the cost of the bill really costs 525 billion more.

If we look at the bottom of table 4, the effect of these penalties as revenues are factored into the deficit reduction calculation. So there is an extra 150 billion (938 less 788) that they are claiming they will receive as revenues. But if there is no enforcement as per Weiner, than this 150 billion will increase the deficit when it is not collected.

Of course, the CBO report contradicts Weiner's comments on IRS involvement, as noted on page 11:
"CBO expects that the cost to the Internal Revenue Service of
implementing the eligibility determination, documentation, and
verification processes for premium and cost sharing subsidies would probably be between $5 billion and $10 billion over 10 years."

Also, don't overlook this extra special little tidbit on page 14:
"The reconciliation proposal and H.R. 3590 would maintain and put into effect a number of policies that might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time."

Really? Somehow, this disclosure was not discussed or mentioned anywhere, but should have been. Instead, we keep hearing the same soundbite repeatedly at how the bill is so great and will save money over time and reduce the deficit. What a load of crap if there ever was one. One can easily foresee higher costs and an even further bloated government bureaucracy in trying to implement and maintain this debacle.

Then there are the amounts that I couldn't possible quantify. Unlike what the government claims, insurance companies actually only make about 2% profit. The bill does nothing to control health care costs. Real health care reform would have been a bill for tort reform and state portability. With this bill, there is no state to state competition and the malpractice premiums and litigation awards will still be exorbitant. Doctor bills include the cost of the malpractice insurance, and your premiums will rise, as insurance companies still need to factor in the damages paid in court cases. The bill determines what insurance companies will be reimbursed from the government for coverage, but the insurance companies costs are still going to be the same or more. This will result in squeezing the insurance companies into bankruptcy and lead to a full government takeover as the single payer. When this happens, the government will further extort more money from the taxpayer in taxes, to cover the costs of health care.

I have some side comments regarding the IRS on this.
- As someone who has dealt with the IRS on a professional level, they are grossly incompetent and incapable of carrying out compliance for all the convoluted laws that already exist.
- A person can call the IRS, ask a question, and receive an answer. The same person can call again, ask the same question, but receive a different answer. They rarely put any opinion in writing, leaving the taxpayer unable to rely on their statement. This means the taxpayer is stuck trying to comply with a moving target.
- Prior to this law, the IRS has had the ability to freeze and even levy your bank account. This will not change with this bill, for which compliance is vague. Therefore, just as a criminal may rob you at gunpoint, the IRS can steal money from your bank account at their sole discretion, or freeze your account thus preventing you from accessing your own money to pay bills.
- This cost of 10 billion is 10 billion that is extorted from taxpayers and not spent on health care. When you take revenues and spend it on frivolous costs, the cost of the real product is higher since it is not offset by said revenues.

I also have my own personal thoughts on Weiner which are unfavorable at best. I attended his town hall last August. He spun his web of lies then, just as he does now. The whole thing was a circus, but I would like to mention something that Weiner said, that stuck in my brain and I will not forget. The crowd was disputing Weiner's comments with actual facts, and objecting to the health care bill. Weiner replied with "sometimes it is not about what you want". Oh really, Weiner? Um, yes it is. It is about we the people, and your job is to be a representative of the people, not a ruler, dictator, and tyrant.

The below link is a bit of citizen coverage on the event.

In summary, my short observations of Weiner, are that much like an actual hot dog. He is all fillers and no real meat. Keeping him around is definitely bad for your health and he should be tossed.

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