Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CBO is part of the swamp: Defended Obamacare using wildly inaccurate figures

Democrats defeated Republicans in the Obamacare repeal fight by warning that 22 million Americans would be thrown off their health insurance. They pointed to data leaked from the Congressional Budget Office.

Well, it turns out that data was completely wrong.

According to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office wildly overestimated the number of people who would lose their health insurance with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty.

Initial estimates from the Congressional Budget Office said 14 million would drop off their health insurance coverage due to the elimination of the individual mandate. Then, during the height of the 2017 debate over repeal, progressives touted a leaked number from the Congressional Budget Office claiming that 22 million people would “lose” their insurance if Congress repealed the law.

However, as health care analyst Avik Roy pointed out, what made this number so high was the inflated number of people expected to lose their insurance due to repeal of the mandate—about 73 percent to be exact. So, it wouldn’t be 22 million Americans losing their insurance. Most of those in the projection would simply be choosing to opt out of insurance.

And it turns out even that wasn’t true. A far smaller number of Americans appear to be opting out of insurance since the individual mandate’s repeal. Only 2.5 million more people are expected to go without insurance in 2019 due to its repeal, according to the latest report, and that number is expected to decline in the years ahead.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein called the Congressional Budget Office “scandalously off in its estimates.” That’s about right, considering all that was riding on its numbers.

As Klein noted, the Congressional Budget Office estimates were a large part of why the individual mandate was adopted in the first place, and a big reason why its repeal didn’t pass. So it’s a wonder why the media isn’t picking this up.

“Given the outsized influence that the CBO has on policymaking in Washington, the CBO’s misfire on the individual mandate should be a major story,” Klein wrote.

The Congressional Budget Office is opaque, to say the least. It does not publish or share the way it comes up with numbers, and some have criticized the organization for its lack of transparency and outsized influence on policymaking.

Doug Badger, a visiting fellow in domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that Congressional Budget Office analysis has been a chronic problem.

“When it comes to the individual mandate, CBO has never let the facts affect their wildly inaccurate estimates. CBO continued to forecast that millions of insured Americans would suddenly become uninsured if the mandate were repealed,” Badger wrote in an email to The Daily Signal. “CBO’s faulty estimates misled the public into believing that repealing Obamacare would lead to a vast increase in the number of uninsured. Bad estimates produced bad policy.”

Many conservatives are fed up with the deference shown to the agency, given it’s poor track record and track of transparency. Reps. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in 2017 that it’s time to stop “blindly” following the agency’s predictions.

“The value of having outside experts review legislation cannot be understated,” they wrote for the Washington Examiner. “But continuing to hinge congressional actions on the projections of an agency that has proven to be so consistently wrong does a disservice to not only members trying to represent their constituents, it primarily does a disservice to the public.”

I wrote in 2017 that perhaps we should be more skeptical toward the findings of independent agencies like the Congressional Budget Office. It seems those doubts were valid.

Unfortunately, the damage is already done. These faulty numbers have had their decisive effect on policy debates, and we are living with the consequences.

We can expect nothing more until we all begin to take such “expert” predictions with a little less certainty.



Another Liberal Hate Crime Uncovered, And It May Be EVEN WORSE Than Smollett’s

Whenever one hears the words “hate crime hoax,” the person of interest is not a conservative almost 11 times out of 10.

Democrats have a big problem on their hands with lefties making things up in an attempt to savage pro-Trump Americans, but fortunately for them, the media is on their side.

Another potential hate hoax has been uncovered, and this one is comparable – if not worse – than former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s.

Michigan prosecutors charged 54-year-old Nikki Joly — a transgender person — for allegedly burning down their own home in 2017 in what investigators appear to believe was intended to be a fake hate crime.

The LGBT activist — whose five pets were killed in the fire — had allegedly received threats in the past and was instrumental in leading a battle for LGBT rights in Jackson, MI.

“Authorities later determined the fire was intentionally set, but the person they arrested came as a shock to both supporters and opponents of the gay rights movement,” The Detroit News reported on Monday. “It was the citizen of the year — Nikki Joly.”

While an official motive has not yet been established, The Detroit News noted that an investigative police report shed light on a possible motive:

Two people who worked with Joly at St. Johns United Church of Christ, where the Jackson Pride Center was located, said he had been frustrated the controversy over gay rights had died down with the passage of the nondiscrimination law, according to the report.

The church officials, Barbara Shelton and Bobby James, when asked by police about a possible motive for the fire, said Joly was disappointed the Jackson Pride Parade and Festival, held five days before the blaze, hadn’t received more attention or protests.



Former Staffer Claims Trump Kissed Her Without Consent, Two Witnesses Go Public With TRUTH

So what #metoo madness are we talking about this time? An alleged kiss. Not just any kiss, mind you. This tall-tale-kiss-account comes from an African-American woman who is a Trump supporter.

An Alabama woman who worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign claimed in a Monday lawsuit that Trump kissed her “without her consent” in front of multiple people during a political event in Florida in 2016 – an accusation the White House is denying.

The woman, Alva Johnson, filed suit Monday against Trump and his presidential campaign in federal court in Tampa. The lawsuit said Johnson served as the campaign’s director of outreach and coalitions for the state of Alabama, before working to help Trump in Florida during the general election.

So who is this woman? According to the Washington Post, she was a campaign staffer who was hired to organize rallies, do some much needed outreach to black communities, manage some recreational vehicles, etc.

She alleges that on a rainy Florida day in 2016, Trump was in one of the recreational vehicles and as he was leaving, he needed to pass by her. Noticing her, he took her hand in his and told her that he knew that she had been working hard for him and that he wouldn’t forget her.

This is when Alva Johnson claims that he came in close and started to kiss her, but she turned away and it ended in him kissing her on the side of her mouth.

She ALSO CLAIMS that there were two witnesses there that can attest to what happened. But here’s the interesting part- both of the “witnesses” have come out to call her out.

Here are their statements: “Do I recall seeing anything inappropriate? One hundred percent no,” said Pam Bondi, Florida’s Attorney General. “It absolutely did not happen,” said Karen Giorno, Trump’s Florida Campaign Director.

In response to these quotes, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also had a quote of her own:

“This accusation is absurd on its face. This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible witness accounts.”

If that weren’t enough, even the Washington Post reporter who gave the story admitted that when she interviewed both of the “witnesses” that they both “strenuously denied” Alva Johnson’s story.

So then, why would any credible media outlet believe Johnson, if both witnesses “strenuously” deny the allegations?

Oh, it’s because Alva’s BOYFRIEND and PARENTS remember her saying something about it to them. But there’s ANOTHER big problem with the story. Rather than reporting it, Alva Johnson decided to “put it behind her” and just move on with the campaign.

She did, of course, pull a Blasey-Ford where she claims that years later, now it’s important to speak out. And just like Blasey-Ford fashion, she also has notes from later therapy session that prove ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But who care about facts when you have feelings?



America Smashes Another economic record, And It’s All Because Of Trump

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a bombshell report indicating that America’s crude oil production hit 12 million barrels per day in mid-February.

The EIA’s weekly petroleum report stated that crude output increased more than 1.7 million barrels per day compared to the same time in 2018, when it jumped from 10.3 million to 12 million barrels per day.

“U.S. oil and natural gas production is breaking every record in the book, which helps families and businesses and our national security across the board,” said Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research.

Here’s more from The Daily Caller on the incredible report:

Indeed, drillers continue to beat analysts’ expectations. For example, EIA’s November 2018 energy forecast didn’t see oil output hitting 12 million barrels per day until mid-2019. The month before, EIA didn’t see the U.S. hitting that milestone until the fourth quarter of 2019.

EIA didn’t forecast the U.S. hitting 12 million barrels per day until 2020 or later in its January 2018 estimate. The massive increase in oil output is primarily driven by the Permian basin, which lays deep under Texas and New Mexico.

In the past decade, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling allowed oil and natural gas production reach never-before-seen height. The boom propelled the U.S. to become the world’s top oil producer, edging out Russia and Saudi Arabia earlier in 2019.

While the oil and gas boom started on private and state-managed lands during the Obama administration, it’s gained steam under President Donald Trump. The Trump administration rolled back Obama-era policies it saw as damaging to the energy sector.

“President Trump has awakened a sleeping American energy giant,” Kish said.

EIA’s latest energy outlook estimates the U.S. averaged 12 million barrels per day of production in January, but the weekly oil production reports for that time don’t show output hitting that milestone until mid-February.

Here’s a chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing the incredible increase under Trump from last year, and it will only likely continue to skyrocket.

Many experts argue that Trump’s pro-business mentality is the driving force behind the booming economy and markets.

The president has also made a huge push for America to become a global leader in energy and oil output, and it’s working.

That argument is particularly accurate in terms of oil production, as the Trump administration has taken swift action for years to ensure the U.S. is far less dependent on other nations.

There’s finally a no-nonsense businessman in the White House, and the United States has been exceeding expectations on several different fronts.

Trump just keeps winning for the American people, and this latest report is just one of many major accomplishments the president has had since taking office two years ago.



Federal Court Delivers Humiliating Ruling Against Obama

Former President Barack Obama has suffered a humiliating defeat in court regarding his presidential library in his hometown. A federal judge has ruled in favor a group of concerned citizens suing the Obama library for carrying out what they have called a “power grab.”

The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, the former president’s hometown, is being challenged as nothing more than a giant land grab attempt.

The multi-million dollar project is scheduled to be completed in 2021 and aims to take a major chunk of downtown Chicago to give the Obama family a massive center.

As reported by The Chicago Tribune, the judge’s ruling is a major setback on plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side lakefront.

In a written decision, U.S. Judge John Robert Blakey said the environmental group Protect Our Parks has enough legal ground to bring some of their objections before him. Blakey did toss out parts of the lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago and the park district.

The ruling to allow the suit to proceed is significant because it could delay construction for months, if not years, and potentially raise the question of whether the $500 million sprawling presidential campus can be built at all on lakefront property in Jackson Park.

The key issue of the lawsuit is over whether Chicago has legal standing to issue construction permits so that Obama’s team can build the presidential center on public park property.

If the presidential center is created, it would tear down a major chunk of a historic park in downtown Chicago that has been there for decades.

The matter has been closely watched because it is reminiscent of the court case that killed the $400 million museum proposed by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas. In that case, Lucas and his team didn’t wait for a judgment, and decided to move his Museum of Narrative Art to Los Angeles.

The lawsuit challenging the presidential center was filed in May by the leaders of Protect Our Parks and three other plaintiffs. In their suit, the environmentalists called the presidential center an “institutional bait-and-switch.” The Obama Foundation isn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Instead, the lawsuit targets the city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District, arguing that the presidential center is not the same as a presidential library and should not be granted access to public land.

The foundation has said it wants to break ground this year, but with the lingering issues, there is no concrete date set. The foundation has not revealed if it has a design prepared for another location.

The ruling is a big win for those who are sick and tired of the courts giving Obama a huge pass and allowing him to get away with everything he wants to do.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: