Berry: How Many ISHPIs Does it Cost?Written by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
During his April 13 speech on the federal deficit, the President tried to prove the fallacy that tax cuts are an expense that must be paid for. To do this, he introduced a new unit of economic measure when he said, “They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs.” Let’s call that $6,000 figure the ISHPI – Individual Senior Health (Care) Payment Increase. He wants to limit the ISHPI’s use to quantifying what he opposes; but let’s apply it to some of what he favors.
A week after this speech, the President had a campaign fundraiser in San Francisco. Price of a dinner was $35,800, or 5.967 ISHPIs. 85 people attended, for a total of $3,043,000, or 507.167 ISHPIs, raised. This means, by his own reasoning, that 507 senior citizens have to pay $6,000 more apiece in health care costs because this money went into the President’s campaign fund rather than to their assistance.
President Obama has taken more foreign trips than any of his predecessors in this time in office. Last fall, the National Taxpayers Union reported that it costs $181,757, or 30.293 ISHPIs, per hour to operate Air Force One. His 26-hour round trip between Washington and Bagram Air Force Base last December cost roughly $4,700,000, or 783.33 ISHPIs, just for the plane; and its costs are only a small part of the overall price tag of his jaunts. (In fairness, the claim that last fall’s trip to India cost $200,000,000, or 33,333.33 ISHPIs, per day was unverifiable and highly exaggerated; but then, Obama stated in 2008 that a hedge fund manager earns $580,000,000, or 9,666.67 ISHPIs, a year.)
The Porkulus bill of 2009 generated a fresh round of outrage this May when handouts of $24,000,000,000, or 4,000,000 ISHPIs, to 4,000 recipients owing $757,000,000 in unpaid payroll, corporate and other taxes were discovered. (Don’t pay taxes, and Obama gives you money at the expense of sick seniors.) When the Porkulus was passed, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accountability Office identified $54,000,000,000, or 9,000,000 ISHPIs, in it that were allocated to programs these offices identified as ineffective or unable to pass muster in a financial audit.
So, between the cost of Air Force One for just one of many Presidential trips, Porkulus handouts to tax cheats, and the waste and redundancy that was initially – and only initially, letting alone what’s been discovered since – identified in the Porkuklus, President Obama has said to 13,033,033.33 senior citizens, “Well, tough luck – you’re on your own.” That quote is from his blatant misrepresentation four paragraphs prior in the speech of how the Ryan budget proposal would affect people in need of health insurance.
The Ryan proposal never cites dollar amounts for tax cuts; it only proposes a reduction of the marginal rate and broadening of the tax base. When applied to his own spending, the President’s idea of measuring the alleged “cost” of these lower marginal tax rates in terms of health care costs for senior citizens exposes the dishonesty and fraudulence of the comparison.
The President is far out on a very tenuous limb. To this day, he still argues from false comparisons and phony data. His claim this week that Social Security checks will be delayed unless the government is allowed to go even further into debt, after his spending more than doubled the deficit and pushed the government to the brink of default, cements his reputation as a liar and a demagogue.
Thomas Berry, for the Children of Liberty,www.meetup.com/The-children-of-liberty