When Is a Tax Not a Tax?

I was just watching the news. The Senate is having a lot of fun, apparently, trying to add 500+ amendments to its healthcare bill. The amendments themselves cover 600 pages. The cost is now at the one trillion mark. But we’re not supposed to worry because the federal government will cut $400 billion from Medicare and bring in more than $300 billion in new “revenue.” By the time they’re done, we’re assured, it will practically pay for itself.

First, has the federal government ever cut anything from Medicare? The short answer is “no.” Now we’re supposed to believe they will do so?

Second, where are all those new revenues coming from, if not from the taxpayers? Doesn’t that mean we will pay more taxes? Of course not, we’re told, and we have no less authority than the president himself telling us that there are no new taxes under consideration.

President Obama made the rounds of the Sunday news shows (Fox excepted, of course) claiming that there are no taxes being added. When George Stephanopoulos challenged him on that (a major victory in itself), he refused to concede that taxes would be levied somehow.

In this make-believe world that is being spun, we are to be comforted by the “fact” that we will actually be saving money if we buy into a government-sponsored healthcare plan.

I hope you’ll understand if I’m skeptical.

The economics of it all makes no sense. This is similar to snake-oil salesmen from an earlier era. There are always gullible people who will believe nonsense, but I’m not going to be one of them. I hope you won’t either.

Meanwhile, in another part of the world . . .

Does anyone else see something amiss with priorities here?