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21 March 2010

Back in the 80s, when corporate takeouts were first becoming commonplace, financiers and academics said that the extra debt taken on by companies would force discipline on spendthrift CEOs. Mostly that has been proven true, though not in every case, of course.

I wonder if the same logic will apply to Congress and healthcare reform.
posted by mullacc 21 March | 22:07
That, friend mullac, is the $1 trillion question. Whether this reform will even work is a crap shoot with long odds regardless of cost overruns. If nothing else, the odds of legalized and taxed to hell-and-back marijuana by 2020 just increased ten fold.
posted by Ardiril 21 March | 23:34
On another note, I am still trying to wrap my head around federalizing student loans that was tacked onto this bill.
posted by Ardiril 22 March | 08:50
This was an interesting article and thank you for posting it.
It is absurd that the student loan money was wrapped into this, and I agree with almost all the points the writer made. However, when I got down to the penultimate paragraph, he totally lost me.

While the reclassing of budgets and the deferred spend and immediate revenue generation are kind of ridiculous in terms of shuffling debts in the background to make the plan look more lucrative, this is in NO WAY "stealing" from social security of student loans. That is exactly the point of all of the rejiggering- nothing is moving around, nothing is being diminished, it's just that the numbers are being massaged to look better than they are.
If this was in fact a zero-sum maneuver and funds were being diverted from these services, there would be an enormous uproar and this never would have passed in the Senate or the House. It is manipulative fear-mongering to label this as "stealing." It might not be the most honest or transparent accounting, but nothing is being minimized here.

And I agree with what someone said in another thread that it shouldn't be seen as a terrible thing to spend money for public services, and we don't have to come out on top budgetarily. The reality is, though, that to make this more palatable to congresspeople and voters, it has to look like there is some fiscal benefit. And that's when the reshuffling comes in. Not great, not accurate, but certainly not stealing.
posted by rmless2 22 March | 10:28
Three (or four or five, whatever) things you're enjoying lately. || Baby dictators