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The Facts About the Ryan Plan’s Cost to Seniors August 19, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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$6350. That’s what the Obama campaign is telling us the Ryan plan would cost seniors in 2022. They’re basing that claim on this report from the CBO, dated April 2011. In that report, the CBO tells us that the Ryan plan would indeed retire the debt (albeit at a painfully slow pace), but that seniors would end up bearing a much larger portion of their health care costs than they currently do.

The difference, the CBO says, starts with the fact that they expect Medicare payments to doctors to be 11% lower than private insurance payments to doctors. Then, CBO expects the private insurance payments to increase at a faster rate than Medicare payments, so the end result is a 28% difference between the two plans.

This last bit is pretty silly. From 2002 – 2010, Medicare payments per enrollee have actually increased slightly faster than private health insurer’s payments. Here’s a chart from Medpac, the Medicare Congressional Advisory Committee, showing just that [OK, Medicare D was responsible for the big jump in 2006, but overall, the numbers are pretty similar]:

Not to mention that physicians are already complaining about insufficient reimbursements under Medicare – they’re unlikely to allow a larger payment gap to emerge. One can see the effect already with Medicaid, which reimburses physicians at 66% the rate of Medicare. In 2009, 90% of physicians were accepting new Medicare patients, but only 65% were accepting new Medicaid patients.

Finally, the CBO analysis assumes that all out-of-pocket expenses to seniors under Medicare will be proportional to the total Medicare expenses, while the costs under Ryan’s plan will be That is, if you went out and paid for a $25 flu shot at the local clinic, CBO assumes that under Medicare it would only cost $18. That’s obviously untrue.

How much will the Ryan plan truly impact seniors’ out-of-pocket costs? The question is well worth asking. But the CBO completely inflated the answer.

If You Were Wondering What Taxmageddon Means to You August 17, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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I was just reading a little article over at USAA.com about what happens if Congress doesn’t extend the Bush tax cuts (and Obama’s payroll tax cut) by January 1 (The ‘Taxmageddon’ scenario). They had a nice table that summarizes everything:


Kindness August 16, 2012

Posted by skinbad in History, Personal Experiences.

I went to a high school reunion a few days ago and thought of one friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. That got me thinking about something nice his dad did for me and how it has stuck with me for these *cough* thirty *cough* years. It goes something like this:

I would have been 17 or maybe just 18 when this friend’s dad bought a new boat. I had a few friends with boats back in the day and we would occasionally go to local lakes or reservoirs for a day of water skiing. (more…)

Illinois Makes the Case for Not Raising Taxes August 11, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

Illinois captures the problem with liberals’ cries to increase taxes:

Early last year, the state imposed $7 billion in new taxes on residents and business, pledging to use the money to eliminate its deficit and pay down a backlog of unpaid bills (to Medicaid providers, state vendors and delayed tax refunds to businesses). But more than a year later, the state is in worse fiscal shape, with its total deficit expected to increase to $5 billion from $4.6 billion

I honestly believe that most Americans would accept higher taxes if the government could demonstrate that it had balanced the budget and would be paying down the debt. But the government isn’t even close to such a demonstration – the deficit this year alone added $15,000 in debt to each taxpayer.

In these circumstances, it is foolish for taxpayers to support higher taxes. Every indication is that the Obama administration would spend that money and then borrow another trillion dollars.

Sort of like what Obama’s home state is doing.

H/T: Instapundit

More Cello August 11, 2012

Posted by Michael in News.

This is really outstanding. Another multitrack production by one guy playing various instruments, but mostly cello.

Grand Piano and Cello Classical Instrumental Version of “Rolling In The Deep” August 11, 2012

Posted by Michael in News.

I bet you thought I was over my “Rolling In The Deep” fetish.

You were wrong.

Palate Destroyers August 10, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.
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Mystery illness causes woman to grow fingernails in place of hair

LEGO piece found in boy’s nose after three years

Cambodia Has a Real Need: The US Has the Wrong Agency With the Wrong Solution August 9, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

The Department of Labor had this proud announcement yesterday:

US Department of Labor announces $10 million competitive solicitation for cooperative agreements to combat child labor in Cambodia

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced a $10 million competitive solicitation for cooperative agreements to combat child labor in Cambodia’s agriculture, fishing and fisheries/aquaculture, and domestic service sectors.

You may wonder why the US Department of Labor is worried about foreign labor laws. I dunno. Seems pretty far out of their jurisdiction.

But enough of that nay-saying. I’m sure that the intervention of a US domestic agency in foreign affairs will be effective, right?

Projects funded under the solicitation will focus on reducing social exclusion and promoting economic opportunities for Cambodian households with children who are vulnerable to child labor. Eligible applicants should address ways to combat child labor by increasing children’s access to quality education and vocational/skills training; promoting sustainable livelihoods for affected households; increasing beneficiaries’ access to national social protection programs that help households overcome dependence on child labor to meet basic needs; and increasing access to decent jobs for young people of legal working age.

Oh. The economy sucks, so families force children into child labor. The DOL’s solution is to give children skills that the economy can’t pay for, and to increase access to social protection programs that the economy can’t afford.

Liberals like to mock Conservatives’ mantra that a rising tide lifts all boats. But this approach in Cambodia is like doing extensive boat repairs on a boat that is beached. No matter what you do, it ain’t going nowhere.

Bacon coming August 8, 2012

Posted by Retired Geezer in Nature Shit.

Bud the Neighbor and I got a couple of pigs.
Here’s what we feed them.

It’s a truckload of day-old bread.
Yes class… Carbs = Fat.

Why I Don’t Obsess Over Polls August 8, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

Dueling headlines:

PPP: Obama ahead in Colorado


Quinnipiac: Obama leads in Virginia and Wisconsin; Romney leads in Colorado

PPP has Obama ahead in Colorado, 49 to 43. Quinnipiac has Romney ahead, 50 to 45.

Think I’ll just wait for November.

Down By The Water August 8, 2012

Posted by Michael in News.

Live in Austin. They have an accordion. They have a harmonica. They have a great drummer. Unfortunately, they do not cover “Rolling In The Deep” so this is the best I could do. They do mention “rolling in the water,” so that’s something.

This song is dedicated to DaveinTexas, who loves my music posts.

The SobekPundit Comparative Infinities Equation August 7, 2012

Posted by Sobek in Science.

I apologize in advance if you were told there would be no math, because I’m afraid that’s not going to be the case today.  As it turns out, when I’m not busy writing third-rate novels, working on esoteric art projects as a sorry excuse for a wedding present, or bloviating about history, sometimes I think about math.  And now you’re going to be subjected to it, partly because no one else posted anything today, and partly because I’d like to have an equation named after me.