“In 2011, Medicare spent $549.1 billion on medical services for America’s seniors but only collected $260.8 billion in payroll taxes and monthly premiums. Trustees have now issued a funding warning for 7 straight years.” The bottom line: “ The cash shortfall is responsible for over one-fourth of the federal debt accumulated since 2001.”Datum 2:
Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office put out its own report, telling the Obama administration to stop wasting $8.35 billion on a Medicare “experiment.” The administration’s “Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration” was a scheme to give bonuses to Medicare Advantage programs, largely offsetting the cuts to that program required by Obamacare. ...
Simply put, one Ponzi scheme to hide another Ponzi scheme has been given thumbs down by the GAO.And Ms. Rubin bemoans: "Taken together, the trustees’ and GAO reports remind us of one of Obama’s most significant domestic failing: his lack of will to address our entitlement programs that are central to a real reduction in our national debt."
I ask this: What in this president's deeds leads Ms. Rubin to think that he has the slightest desire to "address entitlement programs"? President Obama simply loves entitlement programs and the more people dependent upon them, the better. There is not a scintilla of evidence over the last three years that this president wants to reduce dependency upon government largess or that he is the slightest bit interested in reducing the federal debt or annual deficits.
One repetitive refrain from the Right is that Obama is simply inept at the presidency, that he just doesn't know what he's doing. This is an attractive hypothesis, but the question is begged: What if he knows exactly what he's doing? What if, instead of having no plan, the looming economic collapse of the United States is the plan? Surely that can't be, you protest. No president would ever deliberately lead the country into such severe circumstances. So a thought experiment: If Obama was not actually trying to steer this country into decline on the world stage and economic collapse (or nearly so) at home, what exactly would be he be doing differently if he intended to do so?
Something to think about...
Update: Victor Davis Hanson reviews Obama's foreign policies and concludes:
There is a pattern here in all these recent missteps, one of hesitancy, moral confusion, and naïveté. To the extent that Obama knows history, it is a boilerplate one of European and American culpability. To the extent that he is interested in human nature, he holds a therapeutic belief that rhetoric and good intentions, not preparedness, resolve, and deterrence, impress rivals. To the extent that he understands geopolitics, it is of the juvenile multicultural sort, in which hostile nuclear powers, traditional enemies, and troublesome neutrals are either not much worse than or morally equivalent to long-standing allies and friends.The "boilerplate" template of "American culpability" in the world is that America is all that is wrong with the world. This ideology is eloquently explained by Lee Harris in his 2002 article, "The Intellectual Origins of America-Bashing." This template maintains as its central article of faith that the United States,
... is nothing less than “a menace to itself and to mankind” and that Noam Chomsky has repeatedly characterized as the world’s major terrorist state.And so this president's guiding principle of foreign policy: the less influence America has abroad, the better off the rest of the world will be.
But above all it is the America that is responsible for the evils of the rest of the world. As Dario Fo, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for literature, put it in a notorious post-September 11 email subsequently quoted in the New York Times (September 22, 2001): “The great speculators [of American capitalism] wallow in an economy that every years kills tens of millions of people with poverty [in the Third World] — so what is 20,000 dead in New York? Regardless of who carried out the massacre [of 9-11], this violence is the legitimate daughter of the culture of violence, hunger and inhumane exploitation.”