Weekend Ramblings: The President Besieged By Bean Counters

Fred Barnes recently penned an article that asked if President Obama is an economic illiterate:

Is President Obama an economic illiterate? Harsh as that sounds, there’s growing evidence he understands little about economics and even less about economic growth or job creation. Yet, as we saw at last week’s presidential press conference, he’s undeterred from holding forth, with seeming confidence, on economic issues.

Based on his policy positions it is apparent that the President is an economic illiterate. Because a person’s economic and business philosophies are often the sum of their experiences, it should be expected that a background check would easily reveal what could be expected from a politician on economic issues. The problem with Barack Obama is that he has no background in promulgating important economic policy. During his Saturday address to the nation this morning, the President solidified his estrangement from basic economic and business principles with this statement:

(AP) WASHINGTON � President Barack Obama, citing a new White House study suggesting that small businesses pay far more per employee for health insurance than big companies, said Saturday the disparity is “unsustainable it’s unacceptable.”
And it’s going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law,” the president said in his weekly Internet and radio address.

A new study by the White House Council of Economic Advisers said small businesses pay up to 18 percent more to provide health insurance for their employees. As a result, fewer of them do so and the number has been shrinking further in these hard economic times.

It was released Saturday as part of the administration’s aggressive campaign to build public and congressional support for Obama’s health care efforts.

It doesn’t require an MBA to figure out that big business enjoys certain procurement advantages over small business. That large corporations can purchase a product like health insurance for less than small business is Business 101. Has the President ever considered why the hammer at the local hardware store costs more than the hammer at Walmart? (Of course he hasn’t.The President doesn’t shop at Walmart, but I digress).

What the President is really talking about is not prices reduced as a result of competition but price controls. Procurement and supply chain management may be boring and bourgeois to this President, but price controls? That’s something he can get his head around fast. Unfortunately for President Obama, those schlubs at the CBO work on Saturdays and this morning, while the President was delivering his unctuous dissertation on small business healthcare costs, Elmendorf’s Bombers struck again:

For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat’s health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years.

….But on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill’s $1 trillion price tag.

“In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized … but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized. Looking beyond the 10-year budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday.

The President’s policy initiatives have been devastated by a healthcare problem unanticipated by the smartest man to ever become president: foot in mouth disease and death by a thousand bean counters. The CBO and the Skippy Gates Affair have done more damage to this President than $300 million dollars of McCain campaign spending. Maybe the Republicans can take a lesson from this.

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