[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender...

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Wed Aug 27 06:42:33 PDT 2008

On Aug 27, 2008, at 3:10 AM, Stephen Williams wrote:

>> Here were the answers, among others, in support of $1T.  That  
>> estimate's been increased with additional scrutiny of his specific  
>> proposals.
> Where please?

By walking through each of the proposals and assuming two things:  (1)  
price inflation due to increasing cost-of-goods across the board,  
particularly due to built-in transportation costs;  (2) assuming a  
coefficient of underestimation of costs typical of all government  
programs, and particularly one that's higher the bigger the  
contemplated programs;  (3) assuming further dollar devaluation due to  
a (continued) complete lack of focus on macroeconomic priorities.  Net  
of this, anywhere from 33% - 50% inflation of the initial price tags  
stated is entirely reasonable.

I'm not going to walk through all of these individually, but here's a  
couple of brief comments:

>> $65 billion-a-year health plan

Vastly, VASTLY underestimated price.

>> $3.5 billion for a national service plan

Again, vastly underestimated price.

Then there are several other large, unstated expenses:  increased  
regulatory overhead, mentioned (but not priced) expansions of  
Medicare, Medicaid, and VA, mentioned (but not priced) expansions of  
unemployment benefits and (particularly) adult job training, which I  
believe will devolve into the national service mentioned being used as  
a safety net, greatly expanding the price.  Then there are the (again  
unpriced) community-oriented and faith-based programs...

Net of all of this, to see where the left wing would like to spend  
*more* all you have to do is look at where we spend today;  if  
Medicare and Medicaid were not put in separate buckets, they'd be the  
largest single spending item, ahead of defense.  And by combining all  
social program spending we get more than half the total annual federal  

> So, what flavor of coolaid are you drinking?  You're not winning me  
> over with what you have presented so far as proof.

I'm not trying to prove anything.  You can do your own analysis.  My  
point is this:  when doing so, don't cherry pick, and assume the worst  
case.  I've told you what my conclusions are;  you can factor that  
into your thinking or not.  I don't have the time, inclination, or  
motivation to offer much more than this at this point.


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