PolitiFact on Potential Federal Abortion Funding

July 16, 2010

Update on previous post: Since the news broke of federal-government funds going to pay for abortions in Pennsylvania, PolitiFact has tackled the issue.  Here is their take claiming the funds will not go toward “elective” abortions.

In the end, we’ll see if the “forthcoming regulations” actually address this issue.

Debt to Surpass Entire Economy

April 2, 2010

Here’s a troubling forecast courtesy of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH):

… our national debt ($12.7 trillion today) is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy (about $15 trillion) in just two more years.

At first it may seem to be hyperbole, but PolitiFact has confirmed it:

Still, we consider Boehner’s statistics valid. While he underestimates the size of the projected debt in 2010 and 2012, his assertion that “our national debt … is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy … in just two more years” is on target, according to the president’s own Office of Management and Budget. So we rate his statement True.

Here is a running total of our debt right now. Depressed yet?

Health-Care ‘Reform’ Facts

March 20, 2010

PolitiFact, the St. Petersburg Times political fact-checking site, just recently posted what they view to be the top facts to know about the proposed health-care reform. They are posted below with further elaboration from me:

  1. The plan is not a government takeover of health care like in Canada or Britain.” This is true in the sense that it will not involve the government employing all health-care workers and providing all health-care services. However, it is a giant leap into a more heavily regulated health-care system. Some have viewed it as trojan horse to bring about a “single-payer” (government pays for it) health-care system.
  2. Insurance companies will be regulated more heavily.” I have no argument with this one. This further regulation will no doubt lead to rising premiums to cover the costs of the new government impositions. The cost to provide insurance will go up. Remember, if you want less of something, regulate or tax it.
  3. Everyone will have to have health insurance or pay a fine, a requirement known as the individual mandate.” This is also true. Leaving the paternalism in such a mandate aside, there is also a strong argument that it is unconstitutional. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=health+care&iid=8281761″ src=”a/8/6/e/Speaker_Pelosi_And_4d9c.jpg?adImageId=11461241&imageId=8281761″ width=”234″ height=”155″ /]
  4. Employers will not be required to buy insurance for their employees, but large employers may be subject to fines if they don’t provide insurance.” For “large” employers (more than 50 employees), this would mean added costs to employ individuals. That would potentially mean less employment — something highly undesirable at any time, let alone a time when the jobless rate is still near 10 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

Ad Puts Insurance Costs into Perspective

March 14, 2010

An interesting ad from the health insurance industry pointing out the relatively low percentage of total health care costs attributed to health insurance:

PolitiFact has since vouched for the information in the video, despite claims from many political leaders that the insurance companies are largely to blame for rising health care costs.

Returning and Respending the Money

February 6, 2010

A seldom publicized fact about the TARP legislation is that funds returned/recovered by the program are supposed to go toward reducing the federal debt. That seemingly (read: thankfully) would prevent one of President Obama’s State of the Union proposals to give $30 billion already paid back to the program to “community” banks to lend to “small” businesses (both adjectives in quotes to, of course, be defined by the government).

PolitiFact reported on this issue when fact-checking a statement by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). Notably, it mentions how Congress could get around the law’s requirement in the following passage:

But we also talked with budget experts who said that Congress could get around those rules in a number of ways. For example, Congress could rescind the TARP money and then, in a separate action, use it to pay other expenses, said Brian Riedl, lead budget analyst for the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Spending more money on such ideas is only aided by the fact that the House of Representatives recently raised the official federal debt ceiling. Only the sky is the limit these days.

“Free” Phones & Minutes

November 28, 2009

Here’s a Web site I stumbled on a while back touting free cell phones, sponsored by the government: SafeLink Wireless. The service also provides free airtime in certain circumstances.

PolitiFact found the following out about an FCC program that enables this type of “free” service:

The law required the FCC to create the Universal Service Fund, a pool of money subsidized by small charges on our phone bills (we checked our bill and found we kicked in $2.80 last month) and redistributed to the low-income service programs as well as programs that bring telecommunications services to rural areas and schools.

Customers who actually pay their phone bills are subsidizing those who do not. Like all other “free” government programs, in the end someone is paying.