With just 12 days until the November 2 elections, pro-market, small-government candidates, activists, and concerned citizens should study and then disseminate three charts that perfectly encapsulate the status quo that, if all goes well, the midterm vote will capsize.
The first of these looks as intricate as an integrated circuit. Titled “Your New Health Care System,” this schematic shows how Obamacare’s hundreds of moving parts will fit together and whirl — or not, as rising health costs at Boeing, McDonald’s, and the United Federation of Teachers (to name a few affected organizations) already reveal.
Staff members at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee “spent four months, night and day, and weekends” assembling this amazing graphic, Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas) tells me by phone. “They vetted it based on all 2,801 pages of the Obamacare legislation. They captured this new law’s stunningly complexity.”
Literally scores of icons and symbols show how the president, the secretary of health and human services, the IRS, and other existing federal actors and agencies interact with Obamacare’s new entities including, among many others, the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, the Medicare Prescription Drug and MA-PD Complaint System, and the National Oral Health Public Education Campaign.
Even worse, the JEC’s diligent personnel could not fit all of this new law’s boards, commissions, mandates, and other elements onto this chart. So, by way of shorthand, they created “bundles of bureaucracy.” Beyond those functions delineated in the chart, these seven collective symbols respectively represent clusters of four loan repayment and forgiveness programs, four other new regulatory programs, 17 insurance mandates, 19 special-interest provisions, 22 other new bureaucracies, 26 other new demonstration and pilot programs, and 59 other new grant programs. These 151 additional items within Obamacare do not appear individually on this diagram. As Representative Brady explains, “If we included all of these units, this chart would be three times larger.”
Anyone who believes the JEC concocted this out of thin air should think again. Beneath each new program or agency, policy analysts cited the section in the Obamacare law that empowers that particular intervention in the American people’s medical decisions. The lines that connect programs to mandates indicate the pertinent passages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that bind them together.
The JEC’s 25-megabyte creation is difficult to transmit via e-mail. However, a convenient link opens a PDF that allows readers to zoom in and explore this chart in amazing and shocking detail.
Even those who believe that government actively should heal the American people must wonder if that goal really required something this staggeringly convoluted.
As it is, the JEC’s chart is both an incredibly impressive piece of graphic design and a jaw-dropping glimpse of the health-care Hell that awaits the American people, unless they elect a new Congress to shutter this entire fiasco before it renders this republic irretrievably ill.
The second chart appeared in the New York Post on September 6 and is based on a Heritage Foundation analysis of figures from the U.S. Labor Department, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Haver Analytics. Between December 2007, when the Great Recession began, and last July, the private sector lost 7,837,000 jobs (down 6.8 percent). Local-government employment dropped 128,000 positions (minus 0.9 percent), while state governments shed 6,000 positions (less 0.1 percent). Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., boomed. Federal employment zoomed by 198,100 slots as Uncle Sam’s workforce expanded by 10 percent.
This graph’s whiff of Marie Antoinette should boil every patriot’s blood. While the American people live increasingly ascetic lives, and even city halls and statehouses have displayed some restraint, Washington, D.C., increasingly resembles Versailles — an out-of-touch, extravagant, and callous place that fuels little beyond the nation’s disgust, fury, and organized rebellion. As the party rages within the Beltway, federal revelers scream, “Let them pay taxes!”
Finally, USA Today on August 10 published this front-page chart based on Bureau of Economic Analysis data. It shows that in 2009, the average private-sector employee saw compensation of $61,051 ($50,462 in wages and $10,589 in benefits). Among state- and local-government workers, the relevant figure was $69,913 ($53,056 in wages and $16,857 in benefits). For federal-civilian employees, the picture was far prettier: Compensation stood at $123,049 ($81,258 in wages and $41,791 in benefits).
These nauseating numbers show federal employees earning 201 percent of the average private worker’s compensation. Federal benefits equal 395 percent of private-sector benefits.
This bloat is bipartisan. While President Obama’s spending spree has exacerbated the inequality of federal vs. private compensation, this problem reaches into the irresponsible Bush-Rove years. Between 2000 and 2009, private salaries and benefits grew by 8.8 percent after inflation. Among federal civilians, however, salaries and benefits exploded by 36.9 percent.
Liberal pundits who wonder why so many Americans are so angry today should examine these graphs, which should answer that question.
If these charts infuriate you, please forward them to your friends. Copy and hand them to your co-workers. Distribute them on street corners.
And ask everyone who sees them to do one thing on November 2: vote.
— Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.