Friday, February 1, 2013

The Right Thing To Do

Governor Nixon delivered his annual State of the State address this week, highlighting his newfound liberal stance on entitlement programs – specifically Medicaid.  He is advocating for a billion dollar increase in the Missouri budget to expand a broken program that is already filled with waste, fraud and abuse.  Auditor Schweich’s recently released audit proves the fact that welfare programs remain rife with improper spending and abuse.  Those are facts.  The Governor’s talking points, which certain liberal editorial boards have parroted across the state, are supposedly: 1) “It’s the right thing to do.” and 2) “It’s the smart thing to do.”  This is the depth of his argument.  For $1 billion of your hard earned tax dollars, I expect more details and you should, too.

I oppose the expansion of this entitlement and here’s why:

A.     The Missouri electorate has consistently reminded its government officials that they will not accept tax increases, do not favor ObamaCare, nor have they supported those who have promoted either.

i.       President Obama lost Missouri in both of his elections

ii.      Governor Nixon campaigned on no new taxes and never mentioned his support of ObamaCare in his re-election bid

iii.     Proposition C in 2010 overwhelmingly rejected ObamaCare to the tune of 70% of the vote

iv.     Proposition B in 2012 (less than 12 weeks ago) proposed a tax increase on cigarettes to support education programming – it failed 

B.     None of the politicians or advocates of the expansion have addressed how to pay for the expansion once Missouri’s share kicks in – an amount that will cost you and I hundreds of millions of dollars.  Next to spending on social programs, which comprises almost one-third of Missouri’s current $24 billion budget, education is our largest expenditure.  Our kids – our future job creators, employers, researchers – will see less funding per capita in the classroom if this short-sighted expansion moves forward. 

C.     An economic analysis of the impact of Medicaid expansion was released late last year, and some have taken these figures as gospel.  New jobs, they say.  New taxes from new spending, they say.  The problem with this analysis is glaring, but unreported.  It fails to account for where the money will come from and what the underlying impact of taking it out of your pocket will do to the economy.  This is not new money.  It is borrowed, and it will ultimately come from our taxpaying citizens and our businesses.  When they are forced to give the government money, they can’t spend it in the private sector, invest it in their own future, or save it for a rainy day.  Yet zero consideration for this huge, looming economic squeeze is given.  Let us not forget our federal government is making fiscal promises without passing a budget and by borrowing $0.40 of every $1.00. 

Governor Nixon may find it easy to just say “It’s the right thing to do,” but I’m here to make responsible decisions.  I’m here to be realistic and pragmatic.  Governor Nixon and his allies may feel comfortable trying to hoodwink the public into agreeing with their positions, but I’m here to be honest with you.
I will not support this short-sighted, bankrupt idea.  The right thing to do is to support limited government, better tax policy, and growth strategies that will encourage entrepreneurship and economic development.  The right thing to do is transform the Medicaid program to improve access, care delivery, and overall healthier outcomes. It’s not just the right thing, but also the smart thing to do.

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