Weekly Earnings Grew During the Recession, Now Falling: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average weekly earnings for employed workers—which actually grew during the recession—have declined since the president’s stimulus. Inflation adjusted weekly earnings grew by 3.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 when the recession began to the second quarter of 2009 when it ended. Since the end of the recession, weekly earnings have fallen by 2.3 percent under President Obama’s stimulus policies.
President’s New “Stimulus” Plan Would Increase the Deficit by 9.5%: The president said that his new $447 billion stimulus plan would be “fully paid-for.” In reality, the president merely shifted the burden of offsetting the plan’s cost to the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The committee was tasked with reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Now the president is asking the committee to use options initially meant to reduce the deficit in order to pay for his massive new stimulus plan. If the plan were not paid for, it would increase ten-year deficits under CBO’s baseline by 9.5 percent.
Premium Support Could Bend Cost Curve: In recent testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, AEI scholar and former CBO official Joseph Antos suggests “if we ever hope to bend Medicare’s cost curve, we must change the financial incentives that drive program spending to increasingly unaffordable levels. A well-designed premium support program can take full advantage of market competition to drive out unnecessary spending and increase Medicare’s value to beneficiaries. This is [a] safe and reasonable approach to lowering program costs. It is also our best hope for real Medicare reform.