Holding a whiteboard and yelling about the cost of health care reform, former Senior Bush advisor Karl Rove melted down on ABC's This Week Sunday. Rove faced off against David Plouffe, one of President Barack Obama's senior advisors.
Rove is a paid contributor for Fox News where he rarely receives the kind of debate offered by Plouffe.
Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert, took exception to Rove's use of the whiteboard. "With all due respect to Mr. Rove, a man I find quite personable, a breakdown of #s on a whiteboard should only be done by 1 man," tweeted Russert.
ROVE: Look, I think the country is better off if this thing doesn't pass. This thing is $2.4 trillion for the first 10 years of its operation. This thing has 10 years' worth of -- of tax increases, $569 billion in tax increases, including $210 billion in a new payroll tax and a new 3.8 percent surtax on investments that's going to make us less competitive, $500 billion-plus in Medicare cuts to pay for, in essence, four complete years of the operation of this program.
The subsidies don't begin until year four and are not fully operational until year 10. If you look at the first 10 years of the operation of this thing, it is $2.4 trillion, and this thing is paid for by Bernie Madoff-style accounting in which they double-count money and ignore enormous costs. They claim $138 billion of deficit reduction, but it's either between $480 billion in debt -- in deficits added to the -- to the red ink...
ROVE: ... if you just look at what they double-count, and it's $720 billion if you count what they ignore in here. These people are double-counting $53 billion worth of Social Security revenue twice, once for Social Security, once to pay to this program; $70 billion for the new long-term care premium, they count it for the premium program and then for paying for this program. They count $500 billion worth of Medicare cuts twice. They ignore $208 billion in Medicare doc fixes that they just put off to the side and said we'll -- we'll pay for that later and $30 billion in Medicaid doc fixes.
This thing is not $138 billion in the black. It is either $480 billion, if you look at what they double-count, or $720 billion in deficit in the first 10 years if you take what they ignore.
KARL: So, David...
ROVE: This thing is a gigantic disaster.
KARL: ... Bernie Madoff accounting, a gigantic disaster?
PLOUFFE: Well, you know, listen, Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that, since under their leadership, they took us from big budget surpluses at the beginning of the last decade to a $1.3 trillion deficit by not paying for things like the prescription drug plan, two wars, big tax cuts.
So, no, this is -- the Congressional Budget Office is very clear. Over the next two decades, this is going to cut the deficit by over a trillion dollars.
ROVE: But -- but...
PLOUFFE: A trillion dollars.
ROVE: ... cuts the deficit, it only cuts the deficit if you double-count, as you double-count $53 billion worth of Social Security payroll taxes twice, if you double-count $500 billion in Medicare cuts twice, once for reducing the cost of the $38 trillion unfunded liability in Medicare and, at the same time, for the current expenditures in this program, and if you double-count $72 trillion in premium payments for a new long-term care entitlement program twice, once for premium payments for the program and once for this.
Look, you have run up more deficit before this bill in the first 20 months and 11 days of your term in office than was done in the entire Bush years. Your plan is to take the deficits, which were 2 percent under George W. Bush, to 5.1 percent over the next 10 years under Barack Obama.
Don't be lecturing us about what you're doing with the profligate spending that started last year with the failed stimulus bill and continued with your budget increases. You have increased the discretionary domestic spending budget in the United States 25 percent starting in the middle of the last fiscal year.
This is $2.4 trillion in cost for its first 10 years, and the country cannot afford it, and you will bankrupt the country if this bill passes.