In May, President Obama touted $17 billion in cuts he had planned for a budget of more than $3 trillion. Obama was quite proud of these cuts. Really. He told reporters that while $17 billion in cuts was considered “trivial” inside the beltway, “outside of Washington, that’s still considered a lot of money.”
So forgive me if I am skeptical when Obama — who called it “painful” to squeeze one half of 1 percent from the gargantuan federal machine — claims, as he did at Wednesday night’s news conference, that two-thirds of his plan to provide universal access to health care for Americans “can be paid for by reallocating money that is simply being wasted in federal health care programs.”
What shocks me is how smart people actually buy into the notion that the administration can expand health coverage and that it will not — indeed, should not — cost most taxpayers a dime.