That’s what I argue in this week’s American Issues Project column. Here’s a portion:
The health care reform bills circulating through Congress are job killers because many of their provisions include billions of dollars of fees and taxes that will hit the American people both directly and indirectly. The Baucus bill in particular is loaded with tax increases not just on individuals but also on insurance companies, device manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and clinical laboratories. All of these taxes will be passed on to and will be paid for by the American people through increased medical costs. These de facto tax hikes on the American taxpayer would be a bad idea in a good economy. In a bad economy, they are instant poison. They will add up to large increases in insurance premiums. According to the Wall street Journal, a study by WellPoint shows that premiums could triple under ObamaCare. This rise doesn’t even include the increases in health care costs that will occur naturally as technologies improve. Again, that’s more money ripped out of the American people’s pocket books.
We can expect similar increases in energy costs should the president’s Cap and Trade plan become law. The legislation in the House would limit energy producers to a ceiling of CO2 production via the issuance of CO2 credits. If these companies need additional credits to burn more CO2, they will have to purchase them from other energy producers who are producing less CO2. If a company goes over its credit limit, however, the government will slap it with a hefty fine. Experts in the energy industry fully expect this plan to drive up the cost of energy production dramatically, inflating energy prices for already cash strapped consumers. Energy consumers can also expect to spend more money on everyday goods and services as increasing energy costs impact all areas of the economy.
Inevitably, all of this governmental meddling will lead to even more Americans losing jobs. Significantly fewer taxpayers mean less revenue for the Treasury. It also means a lot more money will go out because of millions of long term unemployed Americans will require unemployment benefits, food stamps and other social programs, including subsidies for access to a government run health care system. Money will also be required to pay the salaries of the additional government employees who will staff these two new massive health care and cap and trade bureaucracies.
Something in the budget will have to give and you can be assured it won’t be either of the two new programs because once they are up and running, they will be as impossible to reverse as Medicare and Medicaid. So what part of the budget will have to be sacrificed in order to pay for these massive new government expenditures and entitlement programs? The same part that European countries sacrificed as a result of their ballooning social programs: the defense budget.
This massive government meddling will not bring down the deficit. It will only drive it up. It won’t bring down the cost of health care or energy. They will only go up even further, ripping money out of the American people’s pockets. Taxes will go up, more people will lose their jobs if these two huge government programs are implemented.
All this will lead to an inevitable conclusion: President Obama will have to cut the defense budget in order to continue funding his ever expanding array of entitlement programs and subsidies.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? You can leave a comment here or at the AIP column itself.