Grassroot Perspective – Aug. 20, 2003-Brief Analysis 451: Corporate Taxes; Shock! Politicians Lie

article top

“Dick Rowland Image”

”Shoots (News, Views and Quotes)”


– Brief Analysis 451: Corporate Taxes

August 14, 2003

U.S. corporate income taxes are among the highest in the world and —
unlike most developed countries – the United States imposes them on
income earned by corporate subsidiaries in foreign countries. In recent
an increasing number of American companies have come under fire for
reincorporated abroad to avoid these U.S. taxes. A new NCPA Brief
Analysis by Senior Fellow Bruce Bartlett explains this phenomenon and
attempts to stop it will ultimately be ineffective short of a
reform of the corporate income tax law.

Above article is quoted from National Center for Policy Analysis

– Shock! Politicians Lie

Reuters May 17, 2003

It’s official. After intensive research; scientist have concluded that
politicians lie.

In a study described in Britain’s Observer newspaper, Glen Newey, a
political scientist at Britain’s University of Strathclyde, concluded
that lying is an important part of politics.

“Politician’s need to be more honest about lying,” he told the

According to Newey, whose findings were published by the
government-funded Economic and Social Research Council, voters expect to
be lied to in certain circumstances, and sometimes even require it.

“Politics should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing
truthful statements and more like a poker game,” he said. “And there is
an expectation by a poker player that you try to deceive them as part of
the game.”

The main cause of lying is increased probing by the public into areas
that the government would rather not discuss candidly. If voters only
asked fewer questions, politicians would tell them fewer lies.

Above article is quoted from Libertarian Party News 7/2003

”Roots (Food for Thought)”

– The Sky’s the Limit: Medicare’s Upwardly Mobile Drug Cost Projections

By Derek Hunter

WebMemo #326

Whatever the outcome of the current House-Senate conference on Medicare
legislation, taxpayers can depend on one thing: The cost projections of
the Medicare drug entitlement keep rising.

In less than one month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
significantly increased its estimates of the mammoth House and Senate
bills. Initial estimates put the cost of the program at $400 billion
over 10 years. CBO now estimates that the drug benefit will cost:

*$432 billion from 2004-2013, in the Senate bill, and

*$425 billion from 2004-2013, in the House bill. [1]

Universal Benefit Drives Cost

House and Senate leaders refuse to target limited taxpayer funds to
low-income seniors who do not have, or cannot afford, prescription drug
coverage. Instead, they insist on creating a universal Medicare drug

House and Senate leaders also ignore the fact that most seniors already
have prescription drug coverage from a variety of sources, including
private, employer-based retiree coverage. Instead, they insist on
displacing existing private coverage in favor of a government

This means, of course, not only that many seniors will lose their
perfectly good existing private coverage, but also that America’s
current and future taxpayers are going to pay-big-time.

Higher Costs a “Down Payment”

The recently passed House and the Senate versions of the proposed
Medicare prescription drug entitlement are expensive. Sponsors claimed
the provisions would cost about $400 billion over 10 years. Both bills
passed on June 27, 2003.

Then, on July 22, 2003, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued
another report on the bills. The result: The drug benefit in the Senate
version of the Medicare drug provisions (S.1) is now estimated to cost
$432 billion over the period 2004-2013. The House version (H.R.1) is now
estimated to cost $425 billion over the same period. [2]

Thus, in less than one month, CBO significantly increased its estimates
of the mammoth House and Senate bills. But today’s CBO estimates do not,
and cannot, take into account what can happen when and if a bill becomes
law and is routinely subjected to the legislative changes that Congress,
under pressure from liberal seniors’ lobbies, can and will make at any

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), indicating that $400 billion is just a
start, made it very clear in an interview with US News & World Report
that the current Medicare legislation is a “down payment” on the
Medicare drug benefit. [3] With the congressional leadership building the foundation of
the Medicare drug entitlement, it is only a matter of time before
Members of Congress erect a massive entitlement structure.

Ignoring Real Market Competition

The current debate over a Medicare prescription drug entitlement is
hardly new. For many years, Members of Congress have pointed to the
absence of drug coverage in Medicare as prima facie evidence that the
program was both slow to change and too hindered by legislative and
bureaucratic inflexibility.

Instead of trying to reform the program and attacking the bureaucratic
inflexibility at its roots by injecting real market competition into
program, however, many Members of Congress have insisted on simply
adding a Medicare drug benefit as an entitlement just like other
Medicare benefits, to be administered under the same type of structure
that governs other Medicare benefits. Likewise, the price tags for these
various Medicare drug proposals have risen significantly from year to

In 1988, Congress passed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, which
included a self-financing prescription drug entitlement. Original CBO
estimates put the five-year cost of prescription drugs at $5.7 billion.
But less than 12 months later, CBO estimates put the price at $11.8
billion, nearly doubling the earlier projections. These Medicare
Catastrophic drug projections, interestingly enough, were positively
puny by today’s standards. Nonetheless, seniors did not want to pay for
the rapidly rising cost of the new benefits, including the new drug
benefits. Following protests by angry seniors over how much the law was
going to cost them, the law was repealed in 1989. [4]

For the Record: Recent Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals

Given past history on Medicare drug cost projections, no one can say
with any certainty how much any Medicare prescription drug entitlement
will cost. One thing is clear, however: Over time, the costs of
Administration and congressional proposals to add a Medicare
prescription entitlement have all gone in one direction: up.

Escalating Cost Estimates of a Medicare Drug Benefit


*The Breaux-Thomas Proposal. The Bipartisan Commission on the
Future of Medicare announced the results of their study on how best to
improve Medicare. Along with an overhaul of the Medicare system to
include competition between private plans for Medicare recipients’
business, the majority of the members of the Commission, led by Senator
John Breaux (D-LA) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-CA), called for $60
billion to cover prescription drugs for low-income seniors. The
Breaux-Thomas proposal included a targeted drug benefit for low-income
seniors within the broader context of an overall reform of the Medicare
program, based on the best features of the successful Federal Employees
Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The Clinton Administration strongly
opposed the Breaux-Thomas proposal, calling it “inadequate and
inefficient.” [5]

*The First Clinton Medicare Proposal. President Bill Clinton
proposed a prescription drug benefit as part of a broader package of
changes in the Medicare program. The overall Medicare proposal was
estimated to cost $374 billion over 10 years and $794 billion over 15
years. For the drug benefit provisions, the Clinton proposal was to cost
$118 billion over 10 years. [6]


*The Gore Proposal. Vice President Al Gore, as a presidential
candidate, called for adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare
that would cost $253 billion over 10 years. [7]

*The First Bush Proposal. Governor George W. Bush, as a
presidential candidate, proposed an overall reform of Medicare at a cost
of $198 billion over 10 years, $158 billion of which was to be used to
cover prescription drugs. [8]

*The Second Clinton Proposal. President Clinton proposed another
Medicare prescription drug benefit, this time at a price tag of $160
billion over 10 years. [9]

*The House Republican Proposal. House Republicans passed a
Medicare prescription drug benefit that was estimated to cost $157
billion over 10 years. [10]


*The Graham Proposal. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) introduced a
Medicare prescription drug bill that was estimated to cost $318 billion
over 10 years. [11]

*The Breaux-Frist Proposal. Senators John Breaux (D-LA) and Bill
Frist (R-TN) introduced legislation to reform Medicare. The proposal
also included provisions to cover prescription drugs in Medicare at a
cost of $176 billion over 10 years. [12]


*The Graham-Miller-Kennedy Proposal. Senators Bob Graham (D-FL),
Zell Miller (D-GA), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) proposed an amendment to
the Greater Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals Act of 2001 (S. 812)
that was to spend $594 billion over seven years. [13]

*The Tripartisan Proposal. A proposal sponsored by Senators James
Jeffords (I-VT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Orrin
Hatch (R-UT), and John Breaux (D-LA) to add a prescription drug benefit
to Medicare was defeated in the Senate. It was estimated that the
proposal would have cost $340 billion over 10 years. [14]

*The House Medicare Reform Proposal. The House or Representatives
passed a Medicare reform bill that provided $320 billion over 10 years
for prescription drugs in Medicare. [15]


*The Second Bush Proposal. President Bush proposed $400 billion
over 10 years for a Medicare prescription drug benefit. [16]

*Senate Medicare Bill (S. 1). On June 27, 2003, the Senate passed
a Medicare prescription drug benefit that the CBO estimates would cost
$432 billion over 10 years. [17]

*House Medicare Bill (H.R. 1). On June 27, 2003, the House of
Representatives passed a Medicare prescription drug benefit that the CBO
estimates would cost $425 billion over 10 years. [18]

*House Democratic Proposal. House Democrats called for a
prescription drug benefit ranging from $800 billion to $1 trillion over
10 years. [19]

Explosive Entitlement Growth

Over the past few years, the cost of proposed Medicare drug provisions
has steadily increased. Yet the latest 10-year CBO estimates barely
begin to take into account the first wave of 77 million baby-boomers
that will begin to retire in 2011. When they do, and their enrollment
nearly doubles the size of the Medicare population, Medicare drug costs
will soar.

Members of Congress should be honest with taxpayers. What members of the
House and Senate, as well as the current and the previous
Administration, have determined to be necessary to help senior citizens
to pay for prescription drugs has increased significantly over the past
five years. There is no way to know how much this new entitlement will
end up costing taxpayers.

Remarkably, the latest $400 billion 10-year cost estimate is already
outdated. The CBO projection, in any case, has turned out to be a floor,
not a ceiling, for the next explosive growth in federal entitlement
spending. [1]Congressional Budget Office, “H.R. 1: Medicare Prescription
Drug and Modernization Act of 2003 and S. 1: Prescription Drug and
Medicare Improvement Act of 2003, Congressional Budget Office Cost
Estimate, July 22, 2003, p. 3, at [2]Congressional Budget Office, “H.R. 1: Medicare Prescription
Drug and Modernization Act of 2003 and S. 1: Prescription Drug and
Medicare Improvement Act of 2003, Congressional Budget Office Cost
Estimate, July 22, 2003, p. 3, at [3]Gloria Borger, “Rx Drugs: Whose Issue is it?” US News &
World Report, June 30, 2003. [4]For more information on this, see Robert E. Moffit, “The
Last Time Congress Reformed Health Care: A Lawmakers Guide to the
Medicare Catastrophic Debacle,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No.
996, August 4, 1994. [5]Robert Pear, “Clinton Planning to Cut Long-Term Cost of
Medicare,” The New York Times, June 27, 1999. [6]Robert Pear, “Clinton Lays Out Plan to Overhaul Medicare
System,” The New York Times, June 30, 1999. [7]Mike Allen, “Bush Details Medicare Plan; Proposal Includes
Drug Benefit,” The Washington Post, September 6, 2000. [8]Ibid. [9]Joseph P. Shapiro, “Medicare’s Drug Woes: A Costly but
Crucial Plan,” US News & World Report, February 21, 2000. [10]Press release, “Graham Prescription Drug Plan Officially
Dubbed Affordable,” June 8, 2001, at [11]Ibid. [12]”Politics & Policy RX Drug Benefit: CBO Says ‘Rival’
Plans Are Affordable,” American Political Network, American Health Line,
Vol. 6, No. 9 (June 11, 2001). [13]Press release, “Graham-Miller-Kennedy Prescription Drug
Benefit Receives CBO Score,” July 19, 2002, at [14]Amy Goldstein and Helen Dewar, “Senate Defeats 2 Drug
Proposals; Prescription Cost Accord Is Elusive,” The Washington Post,
July 24, 2002. [15]Ibid. [16]Sarah Lueck, “Federal Worker Health Plan Offers Choices,
but at What Cost?” The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2003. [17]Congressional Budget Office, at [18]Ibid. [19]Editorial, “Into the Medicare Maw,” The Wall Street
Journal, March 5, 2003.

Above article is quoted from the Heritage Foundation August 12, 2003

”Evergreen (Today’s Quotes)”

“A tendency toward improvement of the standard of living of the masses
can prevail only when and where the accumulation of new capital outruns
the increase in population figures” — Ludwig von Mises

“The citizen of the United States is taught from infancy to rely on his
own exertion, in order to resist the evils of life; he looks upon the
social authority with an eye of mistrust and anxiety, and he claims its
assistance only when he is unable to do without it.” — Alexis de

”’Edited by Richard O. Rowland, president of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, 1314 S. King Street, Suite 1163, Honolulu, HI 96814. Phone/fax is 808-591-9193, cell phone is 808-864-1776. Send him an email at:”’ ”’See the Web site at:”’