So we've got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it's putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.Okay, but why is his health care proposal classified as a "short-term investment"? Isn't it long-term spending? I'm not talking about whether it's a good idea or not, but just whether he's bamboozling us by calling it both "short-term" and "investment."
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.
So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.
Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything...
May 23, 2009
He's talking about how we're "operating in deep deficits" and why it is therefore important to distinguish between short-term and long term spending: