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July 31, 2006

Mike Pence: No "Fiscal Hawk"

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Via Punkass Marc comes Gail Russell Chaddock's article on the GOP estate tax bill in the Christian Science Monitor:

"I want permanent death tax relief. But I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that also contains an excessive minimum wage increase that will hurt small businesses and cost American jobs," said Rep. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana, a fiscal hawk.

Why is Pence being called a "fiscal hawk" for liking a tax cut that screws up American fiscal policy?  (I doubt that this is a sly reference to the way that hawks have screwed up our foreign policy.)  Pence likes spending cuts, but fiscal policy has two sides, and an estate tax cut would knock a $300,000,000,000 hole in the budget over ten years.  While there is general media awareness that spending more increases deficits, the equally obvious fact that tax cuts increase deficits seems to be beyond their ken. 

July 31, 2006 | Permalink



I also love the idea that he calls this wage hike "excessive," when most of us would call it "long overdue" or "sorely needed." Maybe Pence, like Chris Muir, seems to have misunderstood the crucial word in his argument.

Posted by: punkass marc | Jul 31, 2006 7:14:55 AM

$.3 trillion dollars is nothing compared to the $65 trillion in future unfunded Social Secuirty and Medicare liabilities, thank you Liberals. Both Social Security and Medicare are Pay-As-You-Go Ponzi Schemes (PAYGPS).

Young uninsured taxpayers don't mind paying Medicare tax so multi-millionaires in Tampa Bay on Medicare can have free healthcare so their money may be better devoted to golf or boating.

Liberals have never seen a tax they didn't like.

Vote Republican if you want to be a multi-millionaire. Vote Democrat if all you want is what you wear (Down on your knees begging a politician for a handout in retirement)

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jul 31, 2006 8:57:00 AM

God bless Mike Pence! We need more Republicans just like him.

"You will work for your betters, damn you, until you die! And you will be grateful for it!"

It's so refreshing to see an honest conservative, one who doesn't hide behind false concern for anyone but the richest of the rich.

Posted by: Stephen | Jul 31, 2006 9:00:37 AM

Ron, we are talking a very real $.3 trillion dollars over a specfic 10 year time frame as opposed to a $65 trillion "liability" calculated over the Infinite Future Horizon.

Under the standard Intermediate Cost alternative for Social Security the Trust Fund is projected to be at $4.2 trillion in 2015, which is to say up $2.3 trillion from the $1.85 trillion it is sitting at today.

Let me repeat that slowly. Social Security UP an additional $2.3 trillion. Estate tax blowing a $.268 trillion hole in the General Fund over the same period.

Look Ron buddy your assemblage of Cato talking points is a bunch of proven nonsense. Either you don't know the actual numbers on Social Security, in which case you are just talking out your ass, or you do know some are are just lying out that same ass. Either way it adds up to ass.

But don't try to slip an Infinite Future Horizon projection over. It is statistical crap and if you don't know that it is time to learn.
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR06/III_cyoper.html#wp142447 Table V.A3
http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR06/VI_OASDHI_dollars.html#wp150920 Table V1.F8

Ron you are on record, you will not get away with these ridiculous apples to oranges comparisons. If you want to be proven stupid just keep bringing these kind of numbers on. At a minimum it allows me to link people back to the actual official tables.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Jul 31, 2006 11:30:37 AM

The link is right, the label is wrong. The first link will take you to table III.A3 Operations of the Combined OASI and DI Trust Funds, Calender Year 2005.

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Jul 31, 2006 11:33:18 AM

While there is general media awareness that spending more increases deficits, the equally obvious fact that tax cuts increase deficits seems to be beyond their ken.

Silly Neil. Tax cuts increase revenue and economic growth. Can't you hear the certainty in the voices of the people who say that? They know it's true!

Posted by: Chris | Jul 31, 2006 12:15:46 PM

Silly Neil. Tax cuts increase revenue and economic growth. Can't you hear the certainty in the voices of the people who say that? They know it's true!

Then Chris must believe that we can tax our way into prosperity!!!

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jul 31, 2006 1:02:45 PM

Bruce bud, the medicare trustees just came out and said Medicare is done in 2018, 2 years faster than than last years date. Also, this is not an unlimited projection until the year 3006 like you suggest.

Oh, the CATO puts dangerous employer-based health insurance on their own employees so I'm not too impressed with Dr. Cannon. The CATO would be smarter to listen to President Bush and get portable individual insurance on their employees with a tax free HSA.

With that said, many uninsured Americans pay heavy taxes so millionaires in Tampa Bay can get their health care for free. There are 100,000 millionaires in Tampa Bay and a majority of them are on Medicare. These rich people can now dedicate their funds to golf or boating, it's pathetic. Heck, until recently people were getting Viagra from Medicare and Medicaid. Republican Rep. King (R-IA) put an end to that.

I'm sure you know Bruce that Medicare is in much more rotten financial shape than Social Security. Bruce, Medicare Part B premiums are currently $88.50 a month and this cost comes out of the Social Security check. This Part B premium is going up 15% per year and Social Security is not. It is just a matter of time until the Medicare Part B premium will be larger than old peoples' Social Security check. It's pure math bruce and the CATO has never pointed this out yet, but I will.

I have my own talking points I don't listen to the CATO on health care because they are a little slow. Don't pretend that Medicare Part B premiums will not become larger than Social Security payments with the increases that are well know in our history.

I thought everybody knew this Bruce.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jul 31, 2006 1:03:13 PM

Ey, Ron,

I'm pretty sure that millionaires aren't the only ones drawing off of Social Security and Medicare in their old age. I'm extremely sure that those young uninsured voters you name-check wouldn't mind a minimum wage raise that offset their Social Security payments. When I was working minimum wage jobs in college, a state minimum wage raise was the ONLY raise I got- and yet, strangely, I didn't get fired because of it, nor did any of my co-workers. My employer didn't fold. The economy didn't tank. Strange times, those, strange times not easily explained by the standard Econ 101 economics that anti-minimum-wage politicians spout every time the cameras are turned on them.
I'm a latte-sipping, mass-transit-using, art-film-watching, liberal arts major working for lawyers doing immigration work. I'd have to do more than just vote for the GOP for them to make me a multi-millionaire and, frankly, I like what I'm wearing.

Posted by: Ursula | Jul 31, 2006 1:38:59 PM

Greiner, define "done". In 1992 Medicare was projected to be deplete by 1999. Didn't happen.

In the 2003 Report the HI Trust Fund was good until 2026. In the 2004 Report that slipped to 2019. (Drug coverage) In the 2006 Report the date is now 2018 which implies that 2005 was at 2020. (The most recent change to 2018 is put down to some changes in assumptions about short term usage for HI).

And you may not like it but those are Infinite Future Horizon projections. Feel free to download the 2006 (or earlier reports) from:
http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/01_Overview.asp & check out Tables III.B10; III.B11; III.C15; III.C16; III.C21, III.C22 all of which have 'Infinite Future in their titles. Moreover Infinite Future Horizon is a new measure that never made its appearance until the 2003 Social Security Report with the sole purpose of allowing schlubs to throw around '$65 trillion', the numbers were not scary enough.

Moreover if we check out page 3 of the 2006 Report we get this little nugget: "As a percentage of GDP, expenditures are projected to increase from 2.7% in 2005 to 11.0% by 2080 (based on our intermediate set of assumption). Although this compares favorably with the corresponding estimate of 13.6% of GDP shown in last year's report . What I take from that is that as a percentage of GDP in the course of a single reporting year we see a revision down from 13.6% to 11%. This hardly squares with impending doom. Who says that trend downward will not continue.

"Its pure math bruce". Yes well bring some numbers with your pure math next time.

Yes lots of people think they "knew this". None of them who seem to have actually examine the Reports. Feel free to download them and examine the numbers for yourself Ron. I have, every year since 1997. I can back my sneers with actual numbers, can you?

(Medicare is just not in as dire shape as people assume. Revenue assumptions are too pessimistic and as inflation assumptions. I'll explain why to Ron after he has done a little homework.)

Posted by: Bruce Webb | Jul 31, 2006 1:59:58 PM


You are correct that every single parent mother is paying Social Security tax on every dollar earned so Medicare people with million dollar homes get free health insurance.

There is no Payroll Tax on employer HSA deposits. It's compensation without taxation. It's smart when employers and employees band together and cut the IRS out. Employers would prefer to give their money to their employees instead of the IRS. Why do Liberals want the working poor paying taxes on every dollar earned to give rich people free healthcare?

Sometimes Liberals can be pretty mean. My Senator Nelson (D-FL) doesn't want Americans to get 100% deduction on their health insurance unless it is purchased from their employer. Senators don't pay taxes on their health insurance but they insist that no other Americans can have their own tax dodge unless it's employer provided insurance. Come on Ursula, have a heart. Company CEO's don't pay taxes on their health insurance so why should poor Americans without employer-based health insurance pay taxes on theirs like the law now insists upon. President Bush wants all Americans to get to deduct the cost of their health insurance exactly like company CEOs are doing now. The President says it's a matter of fairness. Democrats will tax anybody at anytime to grow the size of government and to pander to employer-based insurance plans like Blue Cross, a giant monopoly.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jul 31, 2006 2:16:47 PM


You say, "Yes well bring some numbers with your pure math next time" Here you go Bruce. Medicare part B premiums are $88.50 per month for the citizen. You know that is 25% of Part B's cost, it's the law. This premium has been going up at 15% per year. Social Security goes up by the CPI, you know that.

It's a matter of time before Medicare's Part B premiums are larger than the entire Social Security check. It's math, don't get confused Bruce. You are smarter than that.

What is $88.50 per month inflating at 15% annually in 30 years from now? People are so bad with math anymore, I blame the educational system. But I'm sure if you try really hard you can come up with something other than your "Yes well bring some numbers with your pure math next time." Are you suggesting that Medicare Part B premiums are not $88.50 per month? Are you saying that Part B premiums are not going up 15% per year? Are you saying Social Security benefits will go up faster than the CPI?

Don't act confused Bruse. I have not changed any numbers you just refuse to admit the truth. This is not to complicated for you is it Bruce?

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jul 31, 2006 2:30:45 PM

Ron, your sales pitch is all wrong. You are never going to sell these HSA's by going around bad mouthing people! You've got to feign some kinda neutrality, fool 'em into thinkin' your in the middle! Ya know, brilliant asides like "well I don't support any Republicans but I do support our President of the United States, George W. Bush!" Your whole approach is too angry, you gotta show some optimism! Now stop goofing around on the 'net, put on that blue blazer and get out there and sell those HSA's! You can be a multi millionaire too!

Posted by: Daddy Warbucks | Jul 31, 2006 2:52:27 PM

Daddy Warbucks, your ideas on advertising are all wrong. I advertise on America's largest radio show, Rush Limbaugh, in selected markets in the US. I don't feign any kind of neutrality like you would. You are stuck in the cotton picking past, blue blazers, I'm sure.

Today, clients can just enroll online and the big bucks is automatically deposited in my bank accounts. Of course I don't "SELL" HSAs because they are FREE. There is no fee and HSA balances are FDIC insured. So you Daddy are just a little confused. You better bone up on health care reform so that you sound more informed.

Do you know people paying for an HSA or is this just a guess on your part? Please tell me what you sell that makes you so informed on how to motivate consumers with your deceptions. I like Governor Jeb Bush too, so you are wrong there, again. Jeb said about the Demecratic politicians after Katrina, "In Florida we never get 25,000 people together without food and water." I like Jeb because he calls a spade a spade and Democrats, "Pathetic." At least that is what Jeb called them after the IRS closed down on the Florida Democratic Party's bank accounts for stealing their own employees' Social Security payroll tax. Now the Democrats are running the Democrat in charge of the tax fraud for Governor. Don't expect the Dem to win because they are broke down here.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Jul 31, 2006 5:20:39 PM

HSAs Benefit Uninsured

The most exciting and politically motivating news is that HSAs are making a dent in the uninsured population. Three different sources report that between 33 percent and 40 percent of those purchasing HSAs were previously uninsured.

America’s Health Insurance Plans - 37 percent of HSA policies were purchased by persons who were previously uninsured.

EHealthInsurance - Nearly 33 percent of HSA purchasers were previously uninsured for more than six months.

Assurant - 40 percent of applicants did not indicate having prior health insurance.
As a result, members of Congress who supported HSAs can say they have done something that (a) helps the uninsured, (b) is not another public program or entitlement expansion with an inherent budgetary time-bomb, and (c) may in fact encourage consumers to treat their health and pocketbooks in ways that are better for both their health and welfare.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jul 31, 2006 5:55:43 PM


You are correct that every single parent mother is paying Social Security tax on every dollar earned so Medicare people with million dollar homes get free health insurance.

I don't think that's what I was saying... but I think I agree that those very few retired rich people shouldn't be making money off of every single parent mother. So... you must be suggesting that we should only give Medicare and Social Security benefits to those who need them... and only take the money from those who afford it. And viola, progressive Social Security and Medicare. Nice call, Ron. I could support that.

But surely, since you want me to have a heart, you want me to support a minimum wage raise and the continuation of the estate tax? Or do you just want to dance around the notion all day and do your best class-warrior populist bit? Surely, Ron, surely, you must admit the necessity of some taxation- you're just disputing which programs get it, right? Or do you think we should just push our debt off on foreign countries and future generations until no one will lend us money any more?

To conclude, Ron, I don't know your Senator Nelson from Adam. Don't lump me and all my ideological kin in with him just because it's rhetorically convenient for you.

Posted by: Ursula Owen | Jul 31, 2006 9:50:56 PM

Pence likes spending cuts, but fiscal policy has two sides, and an estate tax cut would knock a $300,000,000,000 hole in the budget over ten years.

Why not champion spending cuts? Why is there never enough taxation? Good times...time to raise taxes.....bad times....time to raise taxes. When is it ever time to cut spending?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Jul 31, 2006 10:29:01 PM


America's biggest tax dodge is employer-based health insurance. But, citizens who have employers who don't offer health insurance, like my 22-year-old son and my pregnant daughter-in-law, can't deduct 100% of their health insurance premiums like rich CEOs and US Senators. President Bush wants all Americans to be able to deduct the cost of their health insurance but Democrats say, "No." President Bush says, "It's a matter of fairness." Why should my son pay taxes on his health insurance when Bill Gates and Senator Hillary Clinton don't?

Democrats have a heart of stone and pander to politically connected employer-based health insurance companies. Blue Cross gives more money to Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) than any other Senator in America.

Why are uninsured citizens paying $1,000 a month for city, county and state employees with family health insurance when in the free and open market many families have HSA health insurance for $200 a month? Trust me, the American taxpayers suffer.

None of the Liberals here will even try and defend the Democratic position on health care, they can't. Deaniac bloggers are so uninformed they don't even know what the Democratic position is. So move to America and vote Republican and lets run these Socialists out of office.

Why won't rich Democratic politicians, like Hillary, let all Americans have the same tax dodge on health insurance that she enjoys? Hillary is cold hearted.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 1, 2006 6:06:39 AM

Ron, wow dude - you advertise on a big time radio show to sell something that's "FREE"? Hey, here's a big sales tip for ya; usually when you sell something, it is to make a "profit". If your HSA's are free (!), just log off the net for once, walk outside, in your blue blazer of course, and give them away to everyone you see! No need to spend precious advertising dollars!
And to think we thought you were a salesman!

Posted by: Daddy Warbucks | Aug 1, 2006 2:02:24 PM

None of the Liberals here will even try and defend the Democratic position on health care, they can't.

Ron, the sad truth is these are not mainstream Democrats here. These are the fringe, and they take fringe positions.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 1, 2006 4:17:47 PM

Daddy Warbucks, I will slow down for you. You and your "Blue Blazer" ideas are old school. Remember how I told you that you are stuck in the cotton picking past. We have 200,000 appointed agents and they all think like you. So they are broke. I am the only one that wears a FORTIS ring , so you can trust me. Your problem is that you have never worked for a large company. FORTIS is one of the world's largest 50 companies. Yes, larger than Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble and DuPont.

The HSA is the doorway to the 21st Century Financial Service Sector. You will understand more in the future. Right now its on a need to know basis and you don't need to know.

I will tell you this, the Tax Free HSA is a cornerstone of the Ownership Society and can't be stopped. Basically, its a start of a giant movement of FREEDOM. 2 million Americans went tax free in the last 10 months. I had this all figured out when I Fed Exed America's first HSA away to WI in 1996 (to America's oldest health insurance company).

Besides, wearing blue blazers and walking around all these palm trees would be wrong.

Don't listen to these other HSA enrollers Daddy Warbucks. They want to charge you, as you well know, and they are "all" lethargic rookies looking for uninformed broke liberals, like you, to make a buck and keep you broke. Liberals think you can't handle large bank accounts but I know better. Even low paid blogging Deaniacs would prosper if they didn't pay taxes on every single dollar saved for retirement. Its pure Reagonomics. TrickleDown saved by citizens in tax free HSAs, FDIC insured, is better than paying tax on every dollar earned, like zombies, so Tampa Bay and Miami Medicare Millionaires can have free healthcare.

President Bush said, "Become empowered with a tax free HSA."

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 2, 2006 8:21:56 AM


If it doesn't make people more dependent upon government, it will not be accepted by the left regardless of whether it is an effective tool or not. This first test will be applied and if it doesn't pass, they will look no further.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Aug 2, 2006 9:56:16 AM

You're right Fred.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 2, 2006 10:59:30 AM

Pence is in fact a fiscal conservative because he advocates both spending restraint and letting earners keep more of their earnings. And of course, reducing taxes encourages economic growth which ultimately increases tax revenues. Yes, there is a curve along which at a certain point that is no longer the case, but we've yet to hit it.

Not to mention that it's just plain tyrannical for the State to be taxing people to this degree, anyway.

Go Pence!!

Posted by: Brian | Aug 2, 2006 11:54:27 AM

It's so nice to see Fred and Ron getting along together.

Posted by: Violet Slandre | Aug 2, 2006 1:47:06 PM

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