But this one might take the cake.
From the paper industry blog Dead Tree Edition comes pretty shocking news that President Obama's latest health care "reform" proposal expressly relies on $24 billion in "subsidy cuts" that literally do not exist. And just so we're clear here, when I say that they "don't exist," I'm not talking about the standard timing tricks, the unrealistic assumptions, or any of the other budgeting tricks that have become commonplace in this ridiculous healthcare debate. No, I'm talking about silicone-fake, bright-orange monopoly money. Here are all the gory details (emphasis mine):
The Obama Administration announced today that it wants to close the non-existent "Son of Black Liquor" loophole to help "pay" for new healthcare legislation.Read the whole thing here (cross-posted on a reputable industry website here). The author goes on to provide oodles of evidence (including original source documents) demonstrating that the mythical "black liquor loophole" was actually closed on December 31, 2009, and thus any 2010 legislation relying on that "revenue raiser" is not just misleading, but intentionally and patently false. He also documents how the original, now-closed loophole was used to "knowingly allow pulp and paper companies to receive billions of dollars in original black liquor credits, apparently to help get a healthcare bill out of committee."
A few hours later, Senate Democrats won a key vote on jobs legislation that, in some versions, would be paid for partly with the "savings" from closing the same mythical loophole.
Meanwhile, the watchdogs of the news media acted more like lapdogs, taking Administration and Congressional statements at face value without bothering to check the facts...
"Current law provides a tax credit for the production of cellulosic biofuels," notes the Obama Administration's summary of its new healthcare bill. "The credit was designed to promote the production and use of renewable fuels. Certain liquid byproducts derived from processing paper or pulp (known as 'black liquor' when derived from the kraft process) were not intended to be covered by this credit. The President’s Proposal adopts the House bill’s policy to clarify that they are not eligible for the tax credit."
As Dead Tree Edition has explained previously, black liquor is already ineligible for the Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Credit program, so there is no loophole to close. No money has been budgeted to provide such credits for black liquor, so there is no savings to be budgeted for healthcare, creating jobs, or anything else.
Only in Washington would people try to use the same fake money to pay for two different programs.