Ed Driscoll

A Fiscal Suicide Pact

At Commentary, John Steele Gordon notes how paltry the “savings” that Obama promises the faithful actually are in the scope of things:

If you believe the Obama administration (and I doubt there is a person on the planet not in custodial care who actually does), ObamaCare will, if enacted, save the government $132 billion over the next 10 years. In the world ordinary citizens live in, one of mortgage payments and tuition bills, that sounds like a lot of money, more than the net worth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined.

In the world of Washington, however, it’s chump change, an average of $13.2 billion a year, when the government will spend $3.7 trillion this year alone. Indeed, as Hotair points out, $132 billion is equal to only 59 percent of the deficit that the federal government racked up just in the month of February 2010, when the government spent $220.9 billion more than  it took in, the highest monthly shortfall in history.

As Michael Barone and others have noted, Nancy Pelosi seems to be having increasing trouble rounding up votes to jam ObamaCare through the House. The fact that it would be a political suicide pact for Democratic congressmen is surely the speaker’s biggest problem. But that it would be a fiscal suicide pact for the federal government might be an increasing factor. Only in Washington, after all, do people have trouble understanding what “we can’t afford it” means.

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt is the N/Y state of mind:

When and if a House vote is taken on the Senate version of Obamacare, all Democrats will have sorted themselves into one of four boxes –Y/Y, N/N, Y/N and N/Y.

A Y/Y Dem will have voted for Obamacare in the fall and also for the Senate bill.  This makes them big government liberals or worse, but at least consistent.

The N/N Dems will have a record of at least voting against the destruction of American health care, and this will make them the most-difficult-to-defeat targets in the fall elections.

A Y/N Democrat has a chance to make an argument to their constituents that they listened and acted in response to what the clear will of people was indicating.  Others in this group may cite their unwillingness to trust the so-call “sidecar fix” process or their inability to vote for public funding of abortion.  Their support for Obamacare in the fall will take some explaining, but at least they will have a story to tell.

The N/Y Democrats will be wearing the biggest targets in November, for they will have no story to tell except that they cravenly tried to hide from the voters in the fall by voting “no,” but when summoned by San Fran Nan they buckled under and provided the vote she needed.  Thus they will be revealed as both cowardly and deceitful, as well as not particularly smart.

Pelosi will try and minimize the number of Democrats on this list, and will probably not even take a vote if she cannot get to 216, but whoever crosses over from a “no vote” in the fall to a yes vote on the Senate bill will attract enormous waves of opposition energy and money beginning almost the day after any vote on the Senate bill.

How will that play out in November for Congressional Republicans? My fellow Pajamas Express blogger Steve Green dares to think big.