Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman, right, accompanied by White House press secretary Jay Carney, speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, about the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report and the Affordable Care Act. The federal deficit is likely to continue its slide to a lower-than-expected $514 billion for 2014, the nonpartisan CBO reported Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman at the White House on Feb. 4 (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

It wasn’t rocket science. “Because the insurance subsidies are tied to income and phase out as cash wages rise, some people will have the incentive to remain poorer in order to continue capturing higher benefits. Another way of putting it is that taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education.” Nevertheless, the Congressional Budget office didn’t acknowledge the full implications of this until last week’s CBO report.

Republicans don’t exactly have a heavy lift making the case against Obamacare these days. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “I think any law you pass that discourages people from working can’t be a good idea. Why would we want to do that? Why would we think that was a good thing? How does that allow people to prepare for the time when they don’t work? This number is about three times as big as the number that was on the table when people that voted for the president’s health care bill voted for it in 2009 and ’10 when the estimate was it would cost the equivalent of 800,000 full time jobs. Now, they’re saying 2.3 million, and the best face can you put on that is that means people that don’t want to work don’t have to work. Surely, that’s not what we want to encourage. And that’s what this law does encourage.”

Iran strategy isn’t brain surgery. It’s very easy to see what we need: “In a country too often divided, we are united in our desire to strip Iran of the ability to make nuclear weapons – so much so that we are willing (69-21 percent) to use targeted military strikes to ensure it, should that be needed, a view that is shared by 61 percent of Democrats. As our attention shifts to the final agreement, we need to be clear both with ourselves and with the Iranians that the world will not live with an Iran forever on the brink of a nuclear weapon, and capable of enriching uranium. And as in everything, our words should be backed with determined actions and unflinching resolve.” The problem is a president with no will.

The GOP doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel; it can just ask Bush 41, who got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. “Sen. Rand Paul on Friday met with George P. Bush, a rising star in Texas GOP politics, to discuss how to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal in diverse communities.” Voting for immigration reform instead of coming up with excuses not to vote for it would help.

You needn’t have split the atom to have predicted this one. Insurance carriers will abandon the exchanges as the mess worsens. “Last month, Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini casually dropped the hint that his insurance company might have to consider ducking out of ObamaCare if the program doesn’t get its act together, especially in terms of providing more certainty for insurers (. . . the poor dears). That evidently got the administration’s attention, and Bertolini mentioned this week on CNBC that Obama officials have been in contact trying to figure out what it would take to keep Aetna in the system.” Hence the “bailout” the GOP is trying to stop.

Republicans need not rack their brains to come up with the obvious solution on this one. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) figured it out: “Hoping to break the impasse over immigration reform, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday floated a compromise proposal that would delay the implementation of any changes beyond President Obama’s tenure. Republicans have long-been divided on the issue, but this year they’re blaming their reluctance to act on a distrust in Obama to implement the law in good faith.” No kidding.

Republicans no longer have the wind in their faces, to be sure. “[Obamacare's] going to kill [Dems] in Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana. I mean, they’re going to get wiped out in November, most likely — unless the Republicans screw it up, which is possible. They’re going to get wiped out. And they know it. And they’ve got to do something fast to stanch the bleeding.”

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.