Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obama's Critics are also in the White House

Criticism for the Obama Administration's economic agenda is hitting very close to home. Martin Feldstein, an advisor to the President on economic issues and Harvard University professor has become openly critical of the President's health care agenda. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (aptly titled "ObamaCare's Crippling Deficits"), Feldstein states that "the higher taxes, debt payments and interest rates needed to pay for health reform mean lower living standards."

Feldstein has been an advisor to both Republicans and Democrats, but is known as a proponent of huge "stimulus packages" during economic decline. In spite of this, Obama probably did not make a particularly smart choice in picking the fiercely independent Feldstein. The one time advisor to Ronald Reagan publicly warned that president of the negative implications of the deficits in the 1980s. Those deficits were nothing compared to those provided in Obama's budget. His deficits would last years after the recession is over and in spite of the massive tax increases that promises to accompany them. The Democrats correctly criticized Bush's deficits. Feldstein notes that Obama's deficits, because of its expensive health care agenda will reach $9.3 trillion -- more than twice the amount of the previous administration.

In an earlier article in the Washington Post, Feldstein noted that "For the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, the Obama health plan is bad news. It means higher taxes, less health care and no protection if they lose their current insurance because of unemployment or early retirement." Feldstein also notes that the price of the program is enormous and would cost more than $1 trillion and would raise the current maximum tax rate from 35 to 45 percent.

Barack Obama has fundamentally been dishonest when it comes to the health care debate. Consistency he has been arguing that his agenda would lower cost and expand coverage. The reality is, his agenda would dramatically reduce the quality of coverage for those who currently enjoy the best health care system in the world and would be accompanied by the excessive costs so common in bureaucratically driven programs.
Kevin Price is a syndicated columnist whose articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media. Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at PriceofBusiness.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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