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Brief history of health care

By Tom Toles
c_03232010.gif What about the Grandkids???

There's been a lot of garment-rending about the deficits accumulating under Obama and the effect they'll have on our grandchildren. (These deficits, of course, are completely unlike deficits accumulated under Republican administrations, which don't matter.) And now health-care reform! It won't be any solace to think about somebody's grandkids getting health-care coverage -- not with the reform leading to bigger deficits for other grandkids, despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office says it won't. Something must be done! But what?

Here are two ideas for the brow-furrowed. First, you could work to protect the climate for the grandkids! That might be something they'd appreciate. Take some of the responsibility now, and let the grandkids reap the benefits. NO, NOT THAT, you say, climate change is a hoax! No need to do anything when it's all a hoax! Okay then, here's the second idea. Find somebody, and I'm sure you can, who says deficits are a hoax. -- Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | March 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Health care, Obama White House  
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Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:


Stop the war in Afganistan, stop the war in Iraq and pay back the trust fund. Its no fun and to expensive in human life and dollars to be the world's police force. Let's take care of Americans.

Posted by: jago003 | March 24, 2010 3:12 AM | Report abuse

kemurph wrote:

...a fairy tale about social security.

Wow, fully funded! Nothing to worry about! Happy days are here again!

Hate to intrude reality into your happy little world of unicorns and rainbows, kermurph, but social security is "solvent" only if you count the "trust fund" that's supposed to be funding it. You know that great surplus of funds the baby boomers have been paying into it for years?

Do you think they piled that money up in a vault at Ft. Knox? No, the rapacious government spent it, and issued IOUs to itself. All that's in the vault is a slip of paper saying the USG owes social security a whole boatload of money. And when SS runs out of real money to send out in the form of checks each month, and asks the Treasury to pay up its IOUs, where do you think the government -- the one running up $1.5 trillion ANNUAL deficits to pay for things like TARP, "stimulus" spending, the ever expanding social welfare state and yes, Obamacare -- is going to get the money? It's going to borrow it, if it can, further increasing the debt and the percentage of (what little non-entitlement spending is left in) the budget going toward interest payments for the debt we've already racked up.

If you're representative of the fiscal literacy of those who supported Obamacare, I'm beginning to see how it managed to squeak through.

Posted by: warddm | March 23, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Tom, just read your comments in there and I'm happy to say that some of the deficits are a hoax. Who out there has ever actually looked at CBO's projections for Social Security? Well, I have and its problems are massively overstated. First of all the program is FULLY FUNDED for the next 40 YEARS! Even after that, when the population redistributes to a higher average age, it's 80% funded IN PERPETUITY! Meaning we can pay 80% of benefits no matter what with zero changes to the system today. And what modest change could make more sense in a population with a higher life expectancy than a slightly higher retirement age? Move it up a few years and all problems are solved. In the early 80's the system was due to be bankrupt in under a decade and Teddy K fixed it with minimal elbow grease. Today's reported problems have more to do with the media selliing papers and politicians getting votes than with reality.

Posted by: kemurph | March 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

A near perfect cartoon missed the mark by lacking familiarity with basketball pop culture... the proper balloon for Pres. Obama would have read "Nothing but net"

Posted by: kemurph | March 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I used to enjoy Tommy's cartoons when he worked for whatever rag he was scrawling for in Buffalo. When the execrable Herblock finally passed into the Great Beyond, I was hopeful that Toles would freshen up the Post's editorial page -- instead we got the perfect replacement for Herblock, a cartoonist exactly as left wing, unsubtle, and unfunny.

I didn't know he wrote a blog, too (lucky us! More deep thoughts off the top of the head of another Post hack) but it's certainly consistent with the dishonesty and hypocrisy we've seen from the Post's pundits and "reporters" throughout the Obamacare debate.

I don't know if Tommy is dishonest or stupid (or a little of both) but here's some reality: Republicans spent too much money when they were in power, but their efforts to imitate the Democrats fell woefully short of what their donkey-eared colleagues were capable of. The last budget under a Republican government (FY ’07) resulted in a deficit of about $161 billion. Then the Democrats took over Congress and the deficit jumped to $458 billion. Could Bush have vetoed spending? Yes and he probably should have. But you should take a civics course, li’l Tommy, where you’ll learn that spending is determined by the Congress, not the president, whose powers are restricted to signing the bill or vetoing it.

And your comment about deficits is breathtakingly idiotic. No, on second thought, it’s got to be dishonest; even you can’t be that stupid. As anyone who has looked at this honestly knows, the CBO score was rigged with gimmicks and fantastic assumptions that no one with an IQ over room temperature believes. If we want to cite CBO, let’s cite their letter to Paul Ryan, stating that with enactment of the “doc fix” for Medicare – which Pelosi stripped from the bill but promises to pass, and which Barry told Bret Baier “is not about helping doctors, it’s a health care issue” – the health care bill in fact adds to the deficit in the first ten years. And if only a couple of the fantasy assumptions are removed, beyond 10 years the bill continues to add to the deficit on the order of a quarter percent of GDP each year.

C’mon, li’l Tommy, you won – you don’t have to keep lying.

And why was this post removed the first time it went up?

Posted by: warddm | March 23, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Find somebody, and I'm sure you can, who says deficits are a hoax."
Wow, that's too easy. How about Dick Cheney? Didn't he say that Reagan proved that deficits don't matter?

Posted by: wmw4 | March 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

the partisans lost in the first round

Posted by: skygrunt | March 23, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

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