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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/13/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Senator Ron Johnson says Obama is using 'bully pulpit'

Senator Mark Johnson and his fellow Senate Republicans began working last month alongside top White House officials to define how big the Medicare problem really was. Their proposal is to agree on the size of this particular entitlement program before tackling the reforms that would solve it. Officials were rattled at the sheer amount of debt Medicare has racked up. Originally set at around $4 trillion, it was learned that the debt was set at $106 trillion.

The deficit amount is so huge that some controversial reforms appear inconsequential in comparison.

The deficit amount is so huge that some controversial reforms appear inconsequential in comparison.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/13/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Ron Johnson, Barack Obama, Medicare, deficit, debt, entitlement


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The figure of $106 trillion is only the medium estimate, or $106,954,000,000,000. Even the lowest, extremely conservative estimate comes in at $72 trillion. The highest debt estimate is over $120 trillion. 
 In the meantime, White House chief of staff Dennis McDonough, congressional liaison Rob Nabors along with other Obama officials has reiterated that U.S. President Barack Obama's position that the purported $4 trillion in deficit reduction would basically solve the problem for now.

GOP deficit projections, as prepared by Johnson and obtained by National Review Online have revealed the true size of the problem. It's disconcerting considering the many seasoned budget negotiators involved.

The deficit amount is so huge that some controversial reforms appear inconsequential in comparison. Take Obama's "chained CPI" proposal: it would save an estimated $89 billion over ten years, or 1.3 percent of the total deficit over those same ten years.

The Senate GOP projection is for 30 years, which encompasses the retirement of the baby boomers, a far more significant problem than the deficits of the past few years.
 
"In all of these budget negotiations, we're really trapped by this ten-year budget window, which, truthfully, minimizes the problem," Johnson said.

CBO's long-term budget outlook offers two estimates: the "baseline" scenario and "alternative fiscal scenario."

Baseline is according to current law; including all of the gimmicks Congress has put in current law to game their CBO scores. Under this premise, the debt will slowly go down without Congress having to do anything, which is highly unlikely.

The other scenario is more realistic. In it, debt begins to really ramp up around 2025, and quickly becomes unwieldy - even insurmountable - by 2040, when the graph ends.

President Obama made something of an admission in his speech at the Jefferson Hotel in March.
"The problem you have reforming Medicare is that for every dollar Americans pay into the system, they're going to get three dollars out in benefits. Americans don't understand that," Obama said.
 
"You're right about Medicare. We've been quoting that exact same study," Senator Ron Johnson responded, according to attendees. "We're pretty small little voices compared to your platform. It would be enormously helpful if you use that bully pulpit and start telling the American people the truth." 

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