Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily

| April 19 2013

Spending Daily | April 19, 2013

“Pompeo to Baucus: ObamaCare ‘Train Wreck’ Is Your Fault”

The Hill reports, “Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) was not impressed with Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) criticism of how the Obama administration has implemented its signature healthcare law. Baucus said Wednesday that he fears the implementation will be a ‘huge train wreck’ because people do not understand what the reform law does. If it’s a train wreck, Pompeo said, Baucus has no one to blame but himself. ‘No one in the country bears more responsibility for the complexity of this law than you,’ Pompeo wrote in a letter to Baucus on Thursday. Baucus, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act. Most of its major provisions were crafted in his committee, and the Finance draft was consistently treated as the primary bill even as other Senate and House committees worked on their own proposals.”

 

“Medicare missing out on $111 million interest payday”

The Washington Guardian reports, “When putting money in a bank, interest is a big consideration for most people.  But apparently not to the government. In fact, investigators think that Medicare could be missing out on as much as $111 million because it’s missing out on interest rates as high as 4.4 percent. Medicare Part D helps beneficiaries pay for prescription drugs, but investigators at the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General think the money is being paid out too quickly.  If the government held onto the cash for only 20 more days, investigators think they could have gotten an extra $111.2 million annually.”

 

Obama Labor Nominee Says Administration Has Understated Unemployment

The Washington Times reports, “President Obama’s nominee to run the Labor Department on Thursday acknowledged during his Senate confirmation hearing the administration has understated the nation’s unemployment rate. The Obama administration often touts slow-but-steady job growth and a declining unemployment rate that shrunk to 7.6 percent in March as proof the nation has moved beyond the recession and is headed in the right direction. But that’s not the whole story, said Thomas E. Perez, the former Maryland labor secretary tapped by President Obama to run the U.S. Department of Labor. Testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Mr. Perez said a more accurate assessment of the job market would consider the unemployed who have stopped looking for jobs and those who have settled for part-time work. With those factors added in, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the jobless rate nearly doubles to 13.8 percent.”

 

Poll: Americans Growing More Pessimistic Over The Economy

The Associated Press reports, “For the third year in a row, the nation’s economic recovery has hit a springtime soft spot. Reflecting that weakness, only 1 in 4 Americans now expects his or her own financial situation to improve over the next year, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. The sour mood is undermining support for President Barack Obama’s economic stewardship and for government in general. The poll shows that just 46 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the economy while 52 percent disapprove. That’s a negative turn from an even split last September – ahead of Obama’s November re-election victory – when 49 percent approved and 48 percent disapproved. Just 7 percent of Americans said they trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always,’ the AP-GfK poll found. Fourteen percent trust it ‘most’ of the time and two-thirds trust the federal government just ‘some of the time’; 11 percent say they never do.”

 

“Canadians Now More Affluent Than Americans”

According to The Wall Street Journal, “They’ve been known to get pretty excited when a new, big-name discount retailer comes to town, but thanks to a booming housing sector, Canadians are more affluent than their American neighbors. Canada’s net worth was at a healthy 648% of gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2012, according to a report from independent economic research firm Capital Economics, which has gained something of a profile for its bearish views on Canada’s economy, and particularly its housing market. By contrast, U.S. net worth was a more modest 550% in the same period. The catch is that Canadians’ wealth advantage is built mostly on the big run-up in housing prices in recent years, and that’s a very shaky foundation, at least from Capital Economics’ point of view.”

 

Get Ready For Flight Delays?

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Federal Aviation Administration has laid out final plans for implementing federal spending cuts at the nation’s airports that could cause delays and cancellations affecting thousands of flights a day. FAA officials told airline-industry executives this week that the cutbacks, due to start Sunday, could delay as many as 6,700 flights a day at 13 of the nation’s biggest airports, people familiar with the briefing said. The projected delays, which are more detailed than any the government has so far provided, are mainly the result of furloughs for air-traffic controllers that will require them to take one day off without pay for every 10 work days. Nearly a third of the more than 23,000 daily U.S. flights could be affected. The FAA has told airlines that on average each day, the furloughs could delay twice as many flights as during the most heavily storm-disrupted days last year. … Six other big airports, including those in Atlanta, Philadelphia and San Francisco, ‘likely’ will need traffic-management initiatives affecting about 2,900 daily flights, the FAA told the airlines, according to the memo. Traffic management generally means slowing the flow of traffic so the nation’s roughly 15,000 civilian controllers aren’t overwhelmed.”

 

Bowles and Simpson Releasing New Deficit Reduction Plan

The Hill reports, “The former chairmen of President Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, on Friday will release a new deficit reduction plan in the hopes of reviving a debt grand bargain this year. The two-step plan has about $700 billion more spending cuts than President Obama is seeking and $1.1 trillion more than Senate Democrats have proposed, while adopting roughly the same amount of new taxes called for in Obama’s 2014 budget. The new Bowles-Simpson plan calls for $585 billion in tax revenue from a reform process that starts by eliminating all deductions— then adds back in only those most needed–adopts a territorial tax system and maintains progressive tax rates.  This is less than the $975 billion in tax increases in the Senate budget.”

“Debt Ceiling Bogs Down Obamacare Tax Repeal”

Roll Call reports, “Looming negotiations to raise the debt ceiling appear to be at the heart of what is stalling stand-alone legislation to repeal Obamacare’s medical-device tax. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., has lined up more than 218 co-sponsors for his bill to repeal the tax on medical-device manufacturers created as a part of the Affordable Care Act. But House Republican leaders and key GOP committee members, concerned with maintaining their negotiating position in the upcoming debt ceiling talks, do not want to send Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a revenue bill that he could use to jam them. The Senate recently approved in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion a nonbinding amendment to repeal the medical-device tax, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has lobbied House Republicans to move legislation and force a vote in his chamber. Paulsen has indicated his support. But Republican sources on and off Capitol Hill have confirmed that GOP leaders don’t want to give Senate Democrats a vehicle they could use to combine a debt ceiling hike with tax increases.”

 

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