Newt Gingrich: CBO “Is An Engine Of Socialism”

From Newt Gingrich’s August 9, 2012, appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal:

NEWT GINGRICH: This baseline thing is crazy. Basically what— Imagine your children convinced you that they had a baseline of getting a two-dollar-a-week increase in their allowance, and they deserve, therefore, in a normal month of four weeks, they deserve an eight-dollar increase to be even. And you say to them, “Well, you know, I haven’t gotten a pay raise, how about if I give you two dollars?” And they say, “Why are you cutting me six?” So you’re saying, “I’m giving you a two-dollar increase,” say “No you’re not, because my baseline is to get eight.” And I hope that I’m not– I’m doing this without a blackboard, so I hope all of our viewers can follow me. This is why I want a complete reform of the Congressional Budget Office, which is an engine of socialism and big government. The Congressional Budget Office has these models of what they call baseline budgeting which basically says if you don’t increase it by this amount, it’s a cut, even if it’s an increase. Now if you think about it, there’s no family in America, there’s no small business in America, that has a baseline budget like that. Normally if you spent a hundred dollars last you and you spend a hundred and five this year, it’s an increase. The Congressional Budget Office could score that as a fifteen-dollar cut if they have a baseline that’s bigger. So you put your finger on a very sophisticated point about why Washington is so hard to govern, and reforming the Congressional Budget Office is a significant step towards getting it governed, and if Republicans control the Senate in January, I hope that they will sit down with the House Republicans and insist on a director dedicated to fundamentally overhauling and changing the Congressional Budget Office.

American Future Fund: “Frustrating”

American Future Fund (AFF) is trying to convince New Mexico voters that Rep. Martin Heinrich is responsible for the effects of the Great Recession, which started wreaking havoc on the economy well before Heinrich took office in January 2009. In the process, AFF throws out a misleading statistic on New Mexico’s unemployment and criticizes Heinrich over his support for the stimulus, which prevented an even greater economic catastrophe, created American jobs, and cut taxes for millions.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “Sense”

Crossroads GPS uses Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s vote in favor of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act to accuse him of supporting tax hikes on Montana families and small businesses. In reality, Tester’s vote supported an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all income up to $200,000. Those earning more than that – approximately the top 1.4 percent of households – are, contrary to Crossroads’ suggestion, very rarely actual small businesses. Crossroads’ other evidence for Tester’s supposed habit of hiking taxes is the health care law, which won’t increase taxes for the majority of Americans.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “Holes”

Crossroads GPS attempts to take Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine to task for both ‘soaring spending’ and ‘devastating’ cuts to spending on higher education during Kaine’s tenure as the state’s governor. But the budgetary reality of Kaine’s tenure was largely determined by the foibles of the global economy, which saw Kaine into office during a period of strength before enduring a massive recession that devastated state revenues and forced the governor and the legislature to make tough decisions about cuts. Ultimately, Kaine balanced every budget during his tenure.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “People Over Government”

Crossroads GPS is attacking Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) over taxes, attempting to cast her support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans as a determination to increase taxes on small businesses. But what McCaskill has actually “voted repeatedly” to do is to cut everyone’s taxes on their first $200,000 of income, and to revert to Clinton-era rates on the 1.4 percent of Americans who earn enough to benefit from the top-end Bush tax cuts. In addition to the standard conservative conflation of rich people and small businesses, the GPS ad misleads about the tax impact of health care reform, and implies that it’s McCaskill, and not a massive global economic crisis, that’s hurt Missouri’s manufacturers.

Read more after the jump.

Americans For Prosperity: “A One Term Proposition”

An ad from Americans for Prosperity features a flurry of TV news clips about rising debt in the past few years and connects them to President Obama’s statement in February 2009 that “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” However, recent deficits have been fueled by Bush policies and the recession, and the ad takes the president’s words completely out of context. In fact, Obama was talking about whether efforts to rescue the economy would lead to economic progress. Since that interview, massive monthly job losses have turned into steady private-sector growth, including 4.5 million new private-sector jobs in the last 29 months.

Read more after the jump.

How The Affordable Care Act Makes Medicare Stronger

More than two years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, the conservative crusade against the bill continues. Perhaps the most common attack against the law is that it hurts America’s seniors, specifically by “cutting” or “slashing” $500 billion from Medicare. In reality, ACA’s savings do not have a negative impact on current benefits – and the controversial GOP plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) actually retained almost all of the spending reductions in the law. ACA also reduces overpayments to Medicare Advantage, a private alternative to the federally run plan, and creates a Senate-confirmed board of experts to find future savings. Meanwhile, conservative critics fail to mention that ACA closes the prescription drug “donut hole,” provides free preventive services to millions of seniors, and extends the program’s solvency.

Affordable Care Act Closes The Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”

“Donut Hole” Is Gap In Drug Coverage For Annual Costs From $2,830-6,440. From CNNMoney: “What’s the donut hole? In addition to a $310 deductible, Medicare beneficiaries pay 25% of their drug costs until the total reaches $2,830 for the year. Then, they fall into a coverage gap. At that point, enrollees must pay all costs out of pocket until their annual expenses exceed $6,440. After that, seniors pay 5% of drug costs for the rest of the year.“ [CNNMoney, 6/7/10]

Read more after the jump.

More Bad Medicine For Seniors In Latest Ryan Budget

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is out with an updated version of his fiscal blueprint for the country, replacing last year’s widely panned plan to effectively end Medicare by turning it into a voucher system with an only slightly less destructive concoction. In his latest proposal, Ryan pitches a premium-support system that would offer seniors a voucher to buy either traditional Medicare or a private plan, purporting to control costs by allowing competition. But the vouchers wouldn’t be able to keep up with rapidly rising medical costs, shifting the burden onto beneficiaries and eventually rendering traditional Medicare an unviable program.

Click here to read more about the Medicare overhaul in Rep. Ryan’s previous budget, which was passed by the House GOP in 2011.

The New Ryan Budget Undermines Medicare

The 2013 Ryan Budget “Reiterates Republicans’ Call Last Year For Overhauling Medicare.” From Bloomberg: “The proposal reiterates Republicans’ call last year for overhauling Medicare, though with some changes reflecting a compromise plan Ryan of Wisconsin has since written with Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat. It would offer seniors, starting in 2023, subsidies they could use to buy private health insurance or use in Medicare. Either way, benefits would be capped, which would be a major change in how the open-ended program now operates.” [Bloomberg, 3/20/12]

Read more after the jump.

Ryan Medicare Plan Eliminates Health Security For America’s Seniors

In 2011, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a controversial plan that he claimed would “save” Medicare. The proposal was included in the House budget, which passed the lower chamber with nearly unanimous support from Republicans but was voted down in the Senate. The Medicare debate rages on, however, and the facts about the Ryan plan are too often obscured by the aggressive spin of its supporters and distracting arguments about the definition of words like “end” and “voucher.” Whatever the right wants to call it, the Ryan plan is radical legislation that would hurt millions of Americans who rely on Medicare for health security.

Ryan Plan Would “Essentially End” Medicare For Future Seniors…

Ryan Plan Transforms Medicare Into A “Premium Support System.” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s overview of the Ryan plan: “The proposal would gradually transform Medicare into what is described as a ‘premium support system.’ Beginning in 2022, all newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries (i.e., individuals turning 65 as well as younger, disabled individuals becoming eligible for Medicare) would only have access to health coverage through private insurance plans, rather than through the current government-run Medicare program (i.e., traditional Medicare), or under a Medicare Advantage plan. Under the new premium support system, Medicare beneficiaries would be entitled to a payment from the federal government to help defray premiums and other health care costs under the plan. The government would make payments directly to private health plans on behalf of Medicare eligible enrollees, rather than pay hospitals, physicians, and other medical providers directly for the services provided to their Medicare-eligible patients, as is currently the case. If the government payments to plans on behalf of enrollees were insufficient to cover premiums and/or other costs, beneficiaries would be responsible for additional costs. In other words, Medicare would no longer provide coverage for medical care, but instead provide a ‘subsidy’ toward the purchase of a private health insurance plan.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2011, emphasis added]

Read more after the jump.

Rep. Jordan: People On Food Stamps Think It’s “Okay For Someone Else To Be Responsible For Them Being Fed”

From Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) August 4, 2012, speech at RedState Gathering:

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Finally I want to mention this: It’s not just about the money. That’s important, but it’s the cultural concerns as well. I mean, I never– I never intended to get involved in politics. I was a wrestling coach. I was assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. I was gonna help student athletes try to get to their goals and dreams on the wrestling mat, and I liked doing that. But you get married, you have kids, you start looking at the world different. You get tired of government taking your money, insulting your values, telling you what to do. And I decided to run for office. And the cultural concerns are one of the things that got me involved in politics. We do also – while we’re working on the things I described – we do also have to remember that life is precious and we should protect it. That family is important, it’s the first institution the good lord put together. Before the state, before the church, it was the family, and we should—we should have policies that emphasize those key facts as well– Think about this. Forty-eight million Americans today are on food stamps. One in seven Americans now believe it is okay for someone else to be responsible for them being fed. That is sad. The greatest country in the world, one in seven.