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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

President’s budget?

BY LEN TRIA, Uncommon Sense

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Sixty-five days late and bleeding with more red ink, the president’s budget was unveiled to the country. After listening to the talking points, which are full of holes, the analysis of the document will be forthcoming for the next several columns.

Let’s start with a so-called olive branch to the Republicans; that being the chained CPI, which will lower payments to Social Security recipients. One must go back to the campaign of 2008 when Sen. Obama was debating Sen. John McCain and the latter suggested such an approach to the recalculating of the CPI.  

Obama faced the camera and, in a loud, unequivocal voice, stated “I will never do that.” The operative word being “never.” So how does one define hypocrite or provocateur? Not one of the brain-dead media has brought that point up … but when President George H.W. Bush said “read my lips, no new taxes” and he went back on his word, that clip was played over and over again.

That one clip did more to lose the election to “Slick Willy” than almost anything else. But it’s okay for Obama to go back on his word because he is the anointed one and can do no wrong.

The fact is that the CPI change will not make Social Security solvent in the coming years but illustrates the double talker we have in the White House. The other issue that McCain put forth was raising the eligibility age for Medicare; now Obama is promoting that in his 65-day-late budget proposal.

In addition, the budget maintains the Obamacare implementation while adding $1.8 trillion in new spending by 2023 and adding two new entitlements.

Medicare was not addressed in depth as to the soaring cost that will add trillions of dollars to the debt. Minor adjustments that do little to ensure solvency and will only require tough decisions to be made later.  

Part D premiums are due to rise as the government requires mandatory drug rebates by companies. Then for seniors there is a tax hike in the Part B deductible of $25 in 2017, 2019 and 2021 for new beneficiaries, and in 2017 a new Part B surcharge equal to 15 percent of the average Medigap premiums for new enrollees.

Then there are increased premiums for Part B & D beneficiaries in upper-income brackets, for which I have not yet received the numbers, for new entrants. Are your eyes beginning to glaze over because mine are, and nothing so far has driven down the spiraling cost of health care that threatens to consume us.

Thanks to several sources including the Heritage Foundation for the information. This is only the beginning as I will try to get the information out in an impartial and fair manner.

Len Tria, a regular columnist for Hernando Today, lives in Spring Hill and is a former Hernando County commissioner.

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