Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 financial report of the u.s. government: either taxes have to rise, or Medicare benefit levels have to fall

Aleph | There is little to no fanfare for the release of this report, (why do they release at such a distracted time of year, where people will ignore it?) which strips away a lot of the malarkey that the US Government delivers by providing data on an accrual basis, rather than on a cash basis, which is what the politicians argue about. As a result, the politicians take actions that hurt the future in order to benefit the present. If we viewed the national budget the way this report does, we would have had very different policies over the last 25 years.

As it is the report gives credit to Obamacare for lowering the costs of Medicare, as if a stroke of the law could reduce the medical needs of the elderly. If it does decrease actual demands on Medicare, unlikely but good. If not, we need to revise estimates up, as the alternative scenario on page 134 does. (PDF pg 156) And perhaps more than that.

Here are the figures for the last three years:
The big shift was the passage of Obamacare, which was funded by a large cut to Medicare Parts A & B. It’s not as if that law repealed the health care needs of the elderly, but only the rates at which doctors would be paid. If the ultimate amounts to be paid by the government don’t shift, because we adjust the law & payments to meet undiminished need later, the 2011 Adjusted figures would be low by around $5 trillion.

The 2010 Adjusted figures attempt to strip out the distortions created by Obamacare. The 2011 figures leave in the adjments from Obamacare, but reflect the Illustrative Alternative Scenario on page 133:

The Medicare Board of Trustees, in their annual report to Congress, references an alternative scenario to illustrate the potential understatement of costs under current law. This alternative scenario assumes that the productivity adjustments are gradually phased out over the 16 years starting in 2020 and that the physician fee reductions are overridden. These examples were developed by management for illustrative purposes only; the calculations have not been audited; and the examples do not attempt to portray likely or recommended future outcomes. Thus, the illustrations are useful only as general indicators of the substantial impacts that could result from future legislation affecting the productivity adjustments and physician payments under Medicare and of the broad range of uncertainty associated with such impacts. The table below contains a comparison of the Medicare 75-year present values of income and expenditures under current law with those under the alternative scenario illustration.
Another factor in holding down the 2011 deficit was that measured inflation was low, there were no cost of living adjustments [COLAs], when assumptions expected 2.5% or so. To the extent that COLAs remain low in future years, there will be further positive adjustments.


Tom said...

Amusing.  It's true that the amount of money handed out to the military + Medicare + Medicaid + Social Security, taken together, needs to come down.   Because that total is most of the budget.    But somehow people keep forgetting the military part.  Guess some old people need to starve so we can defend freedom.

Tom said...

Oh, right, taxes have to go up too.    

But realistically, cannibalizing the entitlements is on the program.  Whatever the military is doing, Ike probably alerted us to the last chance to stop it. 

CNu said...

That ruling class is deeply and profoundly disgusted by the
teeming and unprofitable mass, and, it has many, many times more than
enough of the means along multiple lethality vectors to rid itself of
the mass by which it is disgusted and which no longer turns a profit.

CNu said...

The baby-boom geezers have vastly exceeded their profitable shelf-life (making themselves absurd promises that are impossible to keep) while forward-looking imperial commitment to the impending resource wars is very very deep.

nanakwame said...

Geezers LOL  - Smart ones won't starve (we still have the disposal income) and their mental abilities are still needed. The three generation is back and a fundamental tradition for human evolution, wherever it goes. Why Afro-Americans middle class, went against it is a paper in itself.  With the generation of men behind me, Euro or Afro, we got a long transition yet. 25 years old and down is the real changes, IF...I agree Euro-America, build them a privileged illusion that has come home to roost - pray they don't ask for fascism to keep going longer, since other traditional ethnic groups (our quartet Euro/Afro/Latin/Asian) followed blindly and worsen the problem. I still believe the band will be paid. And watch who  the Iowa Caucus votes for, should be interesting - "older white folks".... 

CNu said...

Smart ones won't starve (we still have the disposal income) and their mental abilities are still needed.

uh, yeah...., the ones extracting present and future value via medicare are clearly of inestimable value.

The three generation is back and a fundamental tradition for
human evolution, wherever it goes. Why Afro-Americans middle class, went
against it is a paper in itself.

I was very fortunate to have been raised by an exemplar of a prior generation (born 1907) - but seriously Nana, your generation of african extracted folks in America (2nd/3rd line inheritors of the CRM) is quite possibly the most intergenerationally epic failure of all time.  Never have "elders" failed their young so catastrophically absent the effect of actual war.

Ed Dunn said...

CNu what you said is something hard for that older generation to swallow as they go to their caskets at the cheap funereal home knowing they failed the future generation of African-Americans chasing some pseudo Afrocentric ideology over establishing a platform/framework for the inheritors to build upon.

I'm like the guy trying to stop the runaway train and my heels are digging into the ground to turn this around. Hopefully we can but the damage has been done and hopefully, we will be the last generation to absorb the mess that generation passed down to us.

Cats cannot even grow their own food or sustain their own energy or established an economic model but least they Black and Proud!!!!!

Tom said...

LOL, no, you're saying it all wrong.  They're doing the best they can with limited resources.  Unfortunately some associates may be impacted.   If they have to put us down, it'll be for our own good.

CNu said...

You know Ed, negro and humble with investment dollars aggregated gets my respect.

As I survey the devastation, my mind is boggled by the 20% left to struggle, single-parent, no professional or managerial men left in the neighborhood, few if any sports teams and activities for children, no grocery stores,  even co-ops, NOTHING!!!!!  The african-extracted baby boomers have been the most selfish, least competent, most shortsighted, and most entitled collection of oxygen-thieving do-nothings OF ALL TIME!!!!

Jeezus H. Christ!!! Always wanna come around offering unsolicited platitudes. Offer that shit to a professional athlete or several and get these untutored, unmentored, young'uns to aggregate some of their Cristal pocket money to fund an Ed Dunn venture that will earn a nice return on investment and grow into something sustainable to pay their pension so my children won't have to hear about another crackhead, homeless, retired athlete dying of cancer without the funds to get himself euthenized.

It's the relentless focus on issues, events, and personalities, and the profound lack of involvement with projects and institution building that has made these 2nd and 3rd line inheritors more destructive than moths of what their predecessors and forbears tried with vastly less means and education to build up for themselves and their children.  Just a waste and with no clue whatsoever concerning what's around that signpost up ahead within what remains of their own lifetimes...,

Makheru Bradley said...

There's no greater example of incompetence than blaming others for ones own failures. The fact of the matter is the Craig Nulan's and Ed Dunn's of the world have not been able to convince the wealthy people of their own generation to support their ventures. The young people of the 1960s did not sit around complaing about not being supported by the older leadership. They created their own programs and reformed America. 

Makheru Bradley said...

There is no greater example of incompetence than blaming others for ones on failures.  The issue for Craig Nulan and Ed Dunn is not the lack of support from older generations. Why haven't they been able to generate support from the wealthy people of their own generation?

Regardless of the criticims of the generation of people who courageously attacked  American apartheid, they didn't waste a lot of time complaining about obstructions or the lack of support by older generations. They developed their own programs, mobilized masses of people, and fulfilled their mission.   

nanakwame said...

And you are saying what, I support that; not clear - I made connections  to political/emotional backwardness and always had, I am a smart Baby boomer, i prepare to face any death that comes my way. I lived a very good journey, to where now I don't know. There are a few success in my life and one teaching  self-motivation and tenacity to my children. They all work...
Quite a few believe and speak of coming falls. The connection to African, I am not clear. As there shit in the so-call Main Stream, there is shit among the Afro-Americana cultures, too. But I understand the emotive, coming here as a six your child taught me much. And it has paid off for I. Time reveals all Truths. 

nanakwame said...

Have a Nice and Peaceful New Years