Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Magical Laffer Curve Fairies, And Other Economic Theories

House Republicans are gearing up for another round of massive austerity cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and eliminating Obamacare for 16 million plus people with their budget proposal.

Republicans say their plan would balance the federal budget and create a surplus by 2024. By contrast, they say, Obama’s proposed budget would generate more than $700 billion in annual deficits by that year. The GOP budget would save over $5 trillion over the next 10 years. 

Sure it will.  And I'm Genghis Khan.

The GOP plan would replace Medicaid expansion through State Flexibility Funds, which would put Medicaid coverage plans in the hands of state governments. It would leave in place some alternatives to traditional Medicaid expansion plans proposed by Republican governors in states like Indiana, where Gov. Mike Pence (R) won federal support for a program that is similar, but not identical, to expansion envisioned under the ACA. 
The budget repeals several parts of the Dodd-Frank legislation, including an end to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s authority to bail out creditors of institutions deemed too big to fail. It would require Congress to appropriate funding for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, which currently generates its revenue from the Federal Reserve. And it would privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the semi-public lending institutions
The budget also curtails some programs implemented through the 2009 stimulus bill, which spent about $800 billion trying to drag the United States out of an economic recession. The bill proposes limiting Energy Department programs that have invested in emerging technologies by requiring the department leave application and commercialization of those technologies to the private sector. It also rescinds money that hasn’t yet been spent on green energy programs. 
Republicans said their bill would simplify the tax code through comprehensive reform, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax and lowering rates for both individuals and corporations. It would create a reserve fund to spur a new surface transportation bill that would keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent.

And on top of all those huge tax cuts for corporations and the rich?  $400 billion in additional Pentagon spending over ten years.  Yet somehow all this will balance the budget in ten years.
How does that work?  Magic, apparently.  But there's that mythical "patient-centered" replacement for Obamacare that Republicans have been promising since 2010, but still can't put into legislation.

If you thought previous shutdown fights were fun, this one will be a doozy.

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