Where's the beef?
Yes, indeed. That is why this passage in the President's speech had me scratching my head:
The president has promised for months now that he would have a plan to “bend the cost-curve.” Indeed, even tonight, he spoke of the plans being worked on in Congress as if they would address the problem of rising costs and improve our long-term budget outlook.
It’s as if the president and his team haven’t read anything that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said about the health care bills under consideration. The truth is that these bills would add an additional runaway health care entitlement to the ones already on the federal books. CBO has said that the House bill would set in motion new spending that would grow at about 8 percent rate per year, while the revenue to pay for it would increase only about 5 percent per year. You don’t have to be a financial genius to see a problem here.
I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future.(Applause.) I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize.At first, it sounds like the President is threatening to veto the bills being considered in Congress because, according to CBO, they will add significantly to deficits in the out years. If true, that would be a big story. But the provision he mentions in the next sentence seems to suggest he is just passing the buck.
Translation: "I promise to fix the problem. And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone. I promise he will. Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem. You can count on it. Would I lie to you?"