We've talked a lot on Scoreboard about the need to starve the beast. Political promises to cut back on spending are bull. The only way to stop Congress from spending is to keep money out of its hands.
That means keeping tax rates where they are -- or lowering them more.
President Obama promises that by raising tax rates on the rich, we'll be able to pay down the debt. But does anyone alive doubt that new money sent to Washington will be spent instead of used to pay off the debt? The president has already created so many new programs, agencies and bureaucracies that the he needs trillions in new revenue just to cover the new payrolls.
At the end of this article is a partial list of the 32 new agencies required or suggested just by our new health care law. And of course there are the new agencies created by the new financial regulation law, by new climate control regulations, new agencies within the FDA, within the transportation department, for tobacco control, and on and on.
This administration has been busy, you've got to give them that. But if taxes are going up, this is where the money's going. So when the president uses the word "irresponsible" to describe those who think we're taxed enough, as he did again today, he should take a hard, cold look in the mirror.
The most irresponsible thing we could do right now is give more money to folks who've proved time and again that they just can't handle it. It's like giving heroin to a drug addict and telling him not to use it. Of course, then the question becomes what to do with all these new agencies. All of these agencies and bureaucrats are going to want money. Do you just starve them of funds and hope they'll whither on the vine? That's what some in Congress are now calling for.
But does that speak to a repeat of what happened in 1995 and 1996, when President Clinton won re-election by warning voters that Republicans wanted to shut government down altogether?
It could, and thatâ€™s the political balancing act that the Republicans find themselves in at the moment.
Some of the new agencies created by Health Care â€śReformâ€ť Act:
Create state-based American Health Benefit Exchanges and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges
Create the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program to foster the creation of non-profit, member-run health insurance companies in all 50 states and District of Columbia to offer qualified health plans.
Establish the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund within the Department of Health and Human Services and allocate $1 billion to implement health reform policies.
Establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board comprised of 15 members to submit legislative proposals containing recommendations to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending.
Support comparative effectiveness research by establishing a non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to identify research priorities and conduct research that compares the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments.
Create an Innovation Center within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to test, evaluate, and expand in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP different payment structures and methodologies to reduce program expenditures while maintaining or improving quality of care.
Create the Independence at Home demonstration program to provide high-need Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in their home.
Creating a new office within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, the Federal Coordinated Health Care Office.
Establish the Community-based Collaborative Care Network Program to support consortiums of health care providers to coordinate and integrate health care services, for low-income uninsured and underinsured populations.
Establish the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to coordinate federal prevention, wellness, and public health activities.
Establish a Prevention and Public Health Fund for prevention, wellness, and public health activities including prevention research and health screenings, the Education and Outreach Campaign for preventive benefits, and immunization programs.
Create task forces on Preventive Services and Community Preventive Services to develop, update, and disseminate evidenced-based recommendations on the use of clinical and community prevention services.
Establish a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports (CLASS program).
Establish the Community First Choice Option in Medicaid to provide community-based attendant supports and services to individuals with disabilities who require an institutional level of care.
Create the State Balancing Incentive Program to provide enhanced federal matching payments to eligible states to increase the proportion of non-institutionally-based long-term care services. (Medicaid).
Establish a multi-stakeholder Workforce Advisory Committee to develop a national workforce strategy.
Establish Teaching Health Centers, defined as community-based, ambulatory patient care centers, including federally qualified health centers and other federally-funded health centers that are eligible for Medicare payments for the expenses associated with operating primary care residency programs.
Establish a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of a national emergency.