Tag: white house

‘Mountain of Debt’

The White House Office of Management and Budget homepage currently features the following quote from the president:

President Obama says he wants to “invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt.”

That’s a curious statement because the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the president’s current budget proposal projects that publicly held debt as a share of the economy would reach levels last seen at the end of the Second World War.

When the CBO’s numbers are plugged into a bar chart, the projected Obama debt levels (red bars) look like…the upward slope of a mountain (!):

To be fair, Obama’s predecessors – particularly the previous Bush administration – share in the responsibility for the mountainous rise in federal debt. However, that’s all the more reason for the Obama administration to work toward a peak instead of a steeper incline.

Sunlight Before Signing—Simplified!

When I first began tracking the results of President Obama’s Sunlight Before Signing promise to post bills coming from Congress online for five days before signing them, I quickly noticed that the White House was holding many bills for five days in the natural course of business, but not posting them, denying itself easy successes.

Followers of this blog and that issue may recall seeing columns in my Sunlight Before Signing tables titled “Five Days?” That was to say, “Hey, White House! These are easy wins for you!”

Well, as I reported in my last update, the White House has now made a practice of posting all bills on a special section of the Whitehouse.gov web site. And they are posting all the bills they receive.

We no longer need to highlight those five-day bills, so we’ve simplified the chart!

As you’ll see below, we’ve got the date the bill was presented to the president, the date he signed it into law, and a “Yes” or “No” simply to indicate whether there was Sunlight Before Signing compliance or not.

Number of Bills Emergency Bills Bills Posted Five Days
Overall 213
1
54
2009
124
0
6
2010
89
1
48

And the results are? … getting better—but painfully slowly.

President Obama has signed 213 bills into law now. One was an emergency bill, not subject to the Sunlight Before Signing promise. Out of the 212 remaining bills, he’s carried out his Sunlight Before Signing promise on 54 occasions—just over a quarter of the time.

In 2009, the administration was 6 for 124 — a dismal .049 average. So far in 2010, he’s 48 for 88, giving bills the promised sunlight just over half the time.

That’s a pretty far cry from carrying out his clear promise to put all bills online five days before signing them. But we’re seeing improvement. I’ve long guessed that we’ll see full implementation after the next election when people’s attention turns to the credibility of the president on the 2012 campaign trail.

With that, the full Sunlight Before Signing chart…

Public Law Date Presented Date Signed Posted [(Linked)]? Posted Five Days?
P.L. 111-2, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
1/28/2009
1/29/2009
1/29/2009*
No
P.L. 111-3, The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
2/4/2009
2/4/2009
(2/1/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-4, The DTV Delay Act
2/9/2009
2/11/2009
2/5/2009*
Yes †
P.L. 111-5, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
2/16/2009
2/17/2009
(2/13/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-6, Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2009, and for other purposes
3/6/2009
3/6/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-7, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2105 East Cook Street in Springfield, Illinois, as the “Colonel John H. Wilson, Jr. Post Office Building”
2/26/09
3/9/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-8, The Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009
3/11/2009
3/11/2009
(3/5/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-9, To extend certain immigration programs
3/18/2009
3/20/2009
(3/19/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-10, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
3/19/2009
3/20/2009
(3/19/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-11, The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
3/30/2009
3/30/2009
(3/27/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-12, The Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2009
3/24/2009
3/30/2009
(3/24/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-13, The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act
4/20/2009
4/21/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-14, To designate the United States courthouse under construction at 327 South Church Street, Rockford, Illinois, as the “Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Courthouse”
4/14/2009
4/23/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-15, The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009
4/14/2009
4/24/2009
(3/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-16, The Statutory Time-Periods Technical Amendments Act of 2009
4/30/2009
5/7/2009
(4/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-17, A joint resolution providing for the appointment of David M. Rubenstein as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
4/28/2009
5/7/2009
(4/23/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-18, A bill to repeal section 10(f) of Public Law 93-531, commonly known as the “Bennett Freeze”
4/28/2009
5/8/2009
(4/23/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-19, The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009
4/30/2009
5/12/2009
(4/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-20, The Protecting Incentives for the Adoption of Children with Special Needs Act of 2009
5/5/2009
5/15/2009
(5/5/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-21, The FERA
5/19/2009
5/20/2009
(5/15/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-22, The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
5/20/2009
5/22/2009
(5/20/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-23, The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009
5/21/2009
5/22/2009
5/14/2009*
No
P.L. 111-24, The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009
5/20/2009
5/22/2009
5/15/2009*
No
P.L. 111-25, The Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act
5/21/2009
6/2/2009
(5/28/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-26, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 12877 Broad Street in Sparta, Georgia, as the “Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-27, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 300 East 3rd Street in Jamestown, New York, as the “Stan Lundine Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-28, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 103 West Main Street in McLain, Mississippi, as the “Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-29, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3245 Latta Road in Rochester, New York, as the “Brian K. Schramm Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-30, The Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004 Extension Act
6/19/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-31, The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
6/16/2009
6/22/2009
(6/12/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-32, The Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009
6/19/2009
6/24/2009
(5/20/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-33, The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009
6/16/2009
6/26/2009
(6/16/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-34, To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 306 East Main Street in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, as the “J. Herbert W. Small Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-35, To designate the Federal building located at 799 United Nations Plaza in New York, New York, as the “Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building”
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-36, The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
(6/19/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-37, The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009
6/25/2009
6/30/2009
(6/25/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-38, A bill to provide additional personnel authorities for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
6/24/2009
6/30/2009
(6/19/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-39, To make technical corrections to the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes
6/26/2009
7/1/2009
(6/26/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-40, A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (”WASP”)
6/24/2009
7/1/2009
(6/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-41, The Korean War Veterans Recognition Act
7/27/2009
7/27/2009
(7/25/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-42, Approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, and for other purposes
7/27/2009
7/28/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-43, A bill to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
7/30/2009
7/31/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-44, The New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act
7/27/2009
8/7/2009
(7/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-45, To authorize the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to use funds made available under the Trademark Act of 1946 for patent operations in order to avoid furloughs and reductions-in-force, and for other purposes
7/27/2009
8/7/2009
(7/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-46, To restore sums to the Highway Trust Fund, and for other purposes
8/4/2009
8/7/2009
(8/5/09)
No
P.L. 111-47, Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program
8/6/2009
8/7/2009
(8/5/2009)
No
P.L. 111-48, The Miami Dade College Land Conveyance Act
7/31/2009
8/12/2009
(7/31/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-49, The Judicial Survivors Protection Act of 2009
8/3/2009
8/12/2009
(8/5/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-50, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 46-02 21st Street in Long Island City, New York, as the “Geraldine Ferraro Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-51, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 601 8th Street in Freedom, Pennsylvania, as the “John Scott Challis, Jr. Post Office”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-52, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2351 West Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, Florida, as the “Elijah Pat Larkins Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-53, The Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-54, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 41 Purdy Avenue in Rye, New York, as the “Caroline O’Day Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-55, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 431 State Street in Ogdensburg, New York, as the “Frederic Remington Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-56, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 123 11th Avenue South in Nampa, Idaho, as the “Herbert A Littleton Postal Station”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-57, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1300 Matamoros Street in Laredo, Texas, as the “Laredo Veterans Post Office”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-58, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 702 East University Avenue in Georgetown, Texas, as the “Kyle G. West Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-59, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 19190 Cochran Boulevard FRNT in Port Charlotte, Florida, as the “Lieutenant Commander Roy H. Boehm Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-60, To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-61, Recognizing the service, sacrifice, honor, and professionalism of the Noncommissioned Officers of the United States Army
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/09)
No ‡
P.L. 111-62, A joint resolution granting the consent and approval of Congress to amendments made by the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact
8/7/2009
8/19/2009
(8/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-63, The WIPA and PABSS Reauthorization Act of 2009
9/10/2009
9/18/2009
(9/10/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-64, A joint resolution providing for the appointment of France A. Cordova as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
9/11/2009
9/18/2009
(9/11/09)
No ‡
P.L. 111-65, To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf
9/21/2009
9/30/2009
(9/21/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-66, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
9/30/2009
9/30/2009
(9/30/2009)
No
P.L. 111-67, The Defense Production Act Reauthorization of 2009
9/24/2009
9/30/2009
(9/24/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-68, The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2010
9/30/2009
10/1/2009
(10/1/2009)
and
(10/23/09)
No
P.L. 111-69, The Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act
9/30/2009
10/1/2009
(9/30/2009)
No
P.L. 111-70, To amend the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 to reauthorize the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
9/30/2009
10/9/2009
(10/1/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-71, To amend the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 to extend by one year the operation of Radio Free Asia, and for other purposes
9/30/2009
10/9/2009
(10/1/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-72, To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to delay the date on which the accreditation requirement under the Medicare Program applies to suppliers of durable medical equipment that are pharmacies
10/7/2009
10/13/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-73, The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009
10/5/2009
10/15/2009
(10/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-74, To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at McKinley Avenue and Third Street, SW., Canton, Ohio, as the “Ralph Regula Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-75, To designate the United States courthouse located at 525 Magoffin Avenue in El Paso, Texas, as the “Albert Armendariz, Sr., United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-76, To provide for the transfer of certain Federal Property to the Galveston Historical Foundation
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-77, To designate the Federal building located at 844 North Rush Street in Chicago, Illinois, as the “William O. Lipinski Federal Building”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-78, To designate the United States courthouse located at 301 Simonton Street in Key West, Florida, as the “Sidney M. Aronovitz United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-79, The Foreign Evidence Request Efficiency Act of 2009
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-80, The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/16/2009
10/21/2009
(10/9/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-81, The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009
10/16/2009
10/22/2009
(10/16/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-82, A bill to authorize major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes
10/15/2009
10/26/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-83, The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010
10/22/2009
10/28/2009
(10/9/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-84, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
10/26/2009
10/28/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-85, The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/21/2009
10/28/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-86, The Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
10/22/2009
10/29/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-87, The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009
10/26/2009
10/30/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-88, The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/30/2009
10/30/2009
(10/28/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-89, A bill to provide for additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
10/30/2009
(10/29/2009)
No
P.L. 111-90, The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009
10/22/2009
11/3/2009
(10/22/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-91, The Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009
10/29/2009
11/6/2009
(10/29/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-92, The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009
11/5/2009
11/6/2009
(11/5/2009)
No
P.L. 111-93, The Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-94, Proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously
10/29/2009
11/6/2009
(10/29/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-95, A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-96, A bill to allow the funding for the interoperable emergency communications grant program established under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to remain available until expended through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-97, The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act
11/4/2009
11/11/2009
(11/4/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-98, A bill to authorize a major medical facility project at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Walla, Walla, Washington, and for other purposes
11/4/2009
11/11/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-99, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10355 Northeast Valley Road in Rollingbay, Washington, as the “John ‘Bud’ Hawk Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-100, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 37926 Church Street in Dade City, Florida, as the “Sergeant Marcus Mathes Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-101, To name the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture in Lane, Oklahoma, and the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 310 North Perry Street in Bennington, Oklahoma, in honor of former Congressman Wesley “Wes” Watkins
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-102, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4282 Beach Street in Akron, Michigan, as the “Akron Veterans Memorial Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-103, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 140 Merriman Road in Garden City, Michigan, as the “John J. Shivnen Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-104, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1615 North Wilcox Avenue in Los Angeles, California, as the “Johnny Grant Hollywood Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-105, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 115 West Edward Street in Erath, Louisiana, as the “Conrad DeRouen, Jr. Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-106, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 867 Stockton Street in San Francisco, California, as the “Lim Poon Lee Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-107, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1165 2nd Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, as the “Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Memorial Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-108, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 936 South 250 East in Provo, Utah, as the “Rex E. Lee Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-109, A bill to redesignate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2777 Logan Avenue in San Diego, California, as the “Cesar E. Chavez Post Office”
1/28/2009
1/29/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-110, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 60 School Street, Orchard Park, New York, as the “Jack F. Kemp Post Office Building”
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-111, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 630 Northeast Killingsworth Avenue in Portland, Oregon, as the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Post Office”
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-112, A bill to extend the authority for relocation expenses test programs for Federal employees, and for other purposes
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-113, A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to include in the Federal charter of the Reserve Officers Association leadership positions newly added in its constitution and bylaws
12/2/2009
12/14/2009
(12/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-114, A bill to permit each current member of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance to serve for 3 terms
12/2/2009
12/14/2009
(12/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-115, To amend titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to prohibit retroactive payments to individuals during periods for which such individuals are prisoners, fugitive felons, or probation or parole violators
12/14/2009
12/15/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-116, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, and for other purposes
12/14/2009
12/16/2009
(12/14/2009)
No
P.L. 111-117, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010
12/15/2009
12/16/2009
(12/15/2009)
No
P.L. 111-118, Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
12/19/2009
12/19/2009
(12/19/2009)
No
P.L. 111-119, A bill to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to clarify the eligibility requirements with respect to airline flight crews
12/9/2009
12/21/2009
(12/11/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-120, To extend through December 31, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of the Army to accept and expend funds contributed by non-Federal public entities to expedite the processing of permits
12/14/2009
12/22/2009
(12/14/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-121, Appointing the day for the convening of the second session of the One Hundred Eleventh Congress
12/16/2009
12/22/2009
(12/16/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-122, A bill to establish a section within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to enforce human rights laws, to make technical and conforming amendments to criminal and immigration laws pertaining to human rights violations, and for other purposes
12/17/2009
12/22/2009
(12/17/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-123, To permit continued financing of Government operations
12/24/2009
12/28/2009
(12/25/2009)
No
P.L. 111-124, To extend the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act, and for other purposes
12/23/2009
12/28/2009
(12/23/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-125, To extend the commercial space transportation liability regime
12/24/2009
12/28/2009
(12/25/2009)
No
P.L. 111-126, To accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the earthquake in Haiti
01/22/2010
01/22/2010
(01/22/2010)
No
P.L. 111-127, The Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act
01/27/2010
01/27/2010
n/a E!
n/a E!
P.L. 111-128, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 116 North West Street in Somerville, Tennessee, as the “John S. Wilder Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-129, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 76 Brookside Avenue in Chester, New York, as the “1st Lieutenant Louis Allen Post Office”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-130, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 9810 Halls Ferry Road in St. Louis, Missouri, as the “Coach Jodie Bailey Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-131, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 440 South Gulling Street in Portola, California, as the “Army Specialist Jeremiah Paul McCleery Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-132, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 427 Harrison Avenue in Harrison, New Jersey, as the “Patricia D. McGinty-Juhl Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-133, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 16555 Springs Street in White Springs, Florida, as the “Clyde L. Hillhouse Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-134, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 North Main Street in Smithfield, Utah, as the “W. Hazen Hillyard Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-135, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3900 Darrow Road in Stow, Ohio, as the “Corporal Joseph A. Tomci Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-136, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
01/29/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-137, To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes
01/20/2010
02/01/2010
(01/20/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-138, A bill to provide that claims of the United States to certain documents relating to Franklin Delano Roosevelt shall be treated as waived and relinquished in certain circumstances
01/22/2010
02/01/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-139, Increasing the statutory limit on the public debt
02/04/2010
02/12/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-140, The Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act
02/04/2010
02/16/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-141, An Act to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 until February 28, 2011
02/26/2010
02/27/2010
(02/26/2010)
No
P.L. 111-142, The Social Security Disability Applicants’ Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010
02/25/2010
02/27/2010
(02/25/2010)
No
P.L. 111-143, The Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2009
02/17/2010
03/01/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-144, The Temporary Extension Act of 2010
03/02/2010
03/02/2010
(03/03/2010)
No
P.L. 111-145, The Capitol Police Administrative Technical Corrections Act of 2009
03/04/2010
03/04/2010
(02/26/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-146, The Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendment Act of 2010
03/17/2010
03/17/2010
(03/05/2010)
Yes †
P.L. 111-147, The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act
03/17/2010
03/18/2010
(03/18/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-148, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
03/22/2010
03/23/2010
(03/14/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-149, To amend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to establish requirements regarding payment of the non-Federal share of the costs of wetlands conservation projects in Canada that are funded under that Act, and for other purposes
03/15/2010
03/25/2010
(03/15/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-150, P.L. 111-150, To permit the use of previously appropriated funds to extend the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, and for other purposes
03/26/2010
03/26/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-151, The Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010
03/26/2010
03/26/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-152, The Reconciliation Act of 2010
03/30/2010
03/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-153, The Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010
03/26/2010
03/31/2010
(03/26/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-154, The PACT Act
03/19/2010
03/31/2010
(03/18/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-155, The Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act
04/01/2010
04/07/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-156, Recognizing and honoring the Blinded Veterans Association on its 65th anniversary of representing blinded veterans and their families
04/01/2010
04/07/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-157, The Continuing Extension Act of 2010
04/15/2010
04/15/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-158, The Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act of 2010
04/15/2010
04/26/2010
(04/15/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-159, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that health coverage provided by the Department of Defense is treated as minimal essential coverage
04/14/2010
04/26/2010
(04/14/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-160, A joint resolution granting the consent and approval of Congress to amendments made by the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact
04/16/2010
04/26/2010
(04/16/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-161, The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010
04/29/2010
04/30/2010
(04/29/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-162, A bill to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
04/29/2010
04/30/2010
(04/29/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-163, The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009
04/27/2010
05/05/2010
(04/23/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-164, To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center in Long Beach, California, as the “Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr., O.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center”
04/26/2010
05/07/2010
(04/26/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-165, To provide that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011
05/03/2010
05/14/2010
(05/03/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-166, The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009
05/06/2010
05/17/2010
(05/06/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-167, The Blue Ridge Parkway and Town of Blowing Rock Land Exchange Act of 2009
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-168, To provide for the sale of the Federal Government’s reversionary interest in approximately 60 acres of land in Salt Lake City, Utah, originally conveyed to the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association under the Act of January 23, 1909
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-169, To provide for an extension of the legislative authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in honor of former President John Adams and his legacy, and for other purposes
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-170, To amend title 39, United States Code, to clarify the instances in which the term “census” may appear on mailable matter
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-171, The Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-172, The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009
05/17/2010
05/24/2010
(05/18/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-173, To clarify the health care provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that constitutes minimum essential coverage
05/21/2010
05/27/2010
(05/21/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-174, The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2009
05/21/2010
05/27/2010
(05/21/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-175, The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010
05/17/2010
05/27/2010
(05/18/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-176, To designate the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, District of Columbia, as the “Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building”
05/28/2010
06/08/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-177, The Extending Immunities to the Office of the High Representative and the International Civilian Office in Kosovo Act of 2010
05/27/2010
06/08/2010
(05/27/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-178, The FBI Families of Fallen Heroes Act
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-179, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1210 West Main Street in Riverhead, New York, as the “Private First Class Garfield M. Langhorn Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-180, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 109 Main Street in Swifton, Arkansas, as the “George Kell Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-181, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 101 West Highway 64 Bypass in Roper, North Carolina, as the “E.V. Wilkins Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-182, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 43 Maple Avenue in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, as the “Ann Marie Blute Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-183, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 9727 Antioch Road in Overland Park, Kansas, as the “Congresswoman Jan Meyers Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-184, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 7464 Highway 503 in Hickory, Mississippi, as the “Sergeant Matthew L. Ingram Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-185, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 45300 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, California, as the “Roy Wilson Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-186, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 930 39th Avenue in Greeley, Colorado, as the “W.D. Farr Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-187, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2-116th Street in North Troy, New York, as the “Martin G. ‘Marty’ Mahar Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-188, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 119 Station Road in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, as the “Captain Luther H. Smith, U.S. Army Air Forces Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-189, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 216 Westwood Avenue in Westwood, New Jersey, as the “Sergeant Christopher R. Hrbek Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-190, To amend the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004 to extend the operation of such Act for a 5-year period ending June 22, 2015, and for other purposes
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-191, A bill to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to authorize advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
06/14/2010
06/15/2010
(06/10/2010)
No
P.L. 111-192, The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act
06/24/2010
06/25/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-193, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2000 Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the “Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building”
06/17/2010
06/28/2010
[06/17/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-194, A joint resolution to provide for the reconsideration and revision of the proposed constitution of the United States Virgin Islands to correct provisions inconsistent with the Constitution and Federal law
06/30/2010
06/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-195, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010
06/28/2010
07/01/2010
[06/24/2010]
No
P.L. 111-196, National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-197, Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part II
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-198, Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-199, Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-200, Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-201, Recognizing the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War and reaffirming the United States-Korea alliance
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-202, To permanently authorize Radio Free Asia, and for other purposes
07/01/2010
07/13/2010
[07/01/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-203, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
07/15/2010
07/21/2010
[06/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-204, Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
07/20/2010
07/22/2010
[07/15/2010]
Yes †
P.L. 111-205, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010
07/22/2010
07/22/2010
[07/15/2010]
No
P.L. 111-206, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Administrative Jurisdiction Transfer Act
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/19/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-207, Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/16/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-208, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1981 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, as the `Clarence D. Lumpkin Post Office’
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/19/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-209, To amend the effective date of the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009
07/15/2010
07/27/2010
[07/16/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-210, Approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003
07/27/2010
07/27/2010
[07/27/2010]
No
P.L. 111-211, To protect Indian arts and crafts through the improvement of applicable criminal proceedings, and for other purposes
07/27/2010
07/29/2010
[07/23/2010]
Yes †
P.L. 111-212, Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010
07/29/2010
07/29/2010
(03/24/2010)
No
P.L. 111-213, Independent Living Centers Technical Adjustment Act
07/29/2010
07/29/2010
[07/29/2010]
No

(Parentheses indicate a separate Whitehouse.gov page with a link to Thomas legislative database)
* Page now gone, but it was either directly observed, evidence of it appears in Whitehouse.gov search, or White House says it existed.
[Brackets indicate a link from Whitehouse.gov to Thomas legislative database]

† Bill was posted for five days after final passage, though not formal presentment. Counted as “Yes.”

‡ Link to final version of bill on impossible-to-find page.

E! Emergency legislation not subject to five-day posting

AP: Obama Misleads Voters about ObamaCare’s Effects on Premiums

The Associated Press reports:

Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print…

The [Congressional Budget Office] concluded that premiums for people buying their own coverage would go up by an average of 10 percent to 13 percent, compared with the levels they’d reach without the legislation…

“People are likely to not buy the same low-value policies they are buying now,” said health economist Len Nichols of George Mason University. “If they did buy the same value plans … the premium would be lower than it is now. This makes the White House statement true. But is it possibly misleading for some people? Sure.”

Nichols’ comments are also misleading – which makes the president’s statement not just misleading but untrue.

Under ObamaCare, people would not have the option to buy the same low-cost plans they do today.  That’s the whole problem: under an individual mandate, everybody must purchase the minimum level of coverage specified by the government.  That minimum benefits package would be more expensive than the coverage chosen by most people in the individual market.  Their premiums would rise because ObamaCare would take away their right to choose a more economical policy.

Note also that the CBO predicts premiums would rise by an average of 10-13 percent in the individual market.  Consumers who currently purchase the most economic policies would see larger premium increases.

Finally, the Obama plan would also force millions of uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance at premiums higher than current-law premium levels, which they have already rejected as being too high.  Their premium expenditures would rise from $0 to thousands of dollars.  Yet the CBO counts that implicit tax as reducing average premiums, because those consumers are generally healthier-than-average.  Only in Washington is a tax counted as a savings.

The Least Obama Could Do for Civil Liberties

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has just fired off a letter to Barack Obama urging him to finally appoint some members to the long-vacant Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, echoing a similar recent request from a coalition of civil liberties groups.

I don’t think anyone should make excuses for Obama’s appalling about-face on Patriot Act reform, but at least in that case there’s a real, difficult, and complex policy debate that needs to play out in a preoccupied Congress for anything to happen. But there is no reason whatever that seats on this board should sit vacant a year into this presidency. Congress agreed to create the independent board—after a predecessor within the White House was deemed to lack sufficient independence—back in 2007. There’s agreement that the board is needed; the president just needs to pick people to sit on it. Yet there are precious few signs he’s even conducting a serious search. After a long series of decisions that have appalled civil libertarians, staffing the watchdog group Congress created three years ago is, quite literally, the absolute least Obama could do to begin living up to his campaign rhetoric.

Will Taxing Foreign Visitors Promote Tourism?

President Obama is taking a break today from promoting a more federalized health-care system to sign a bill creating a federalized tourist promotion campaign.

In a closed ceremony at the White House, the president signed the Travel Promotion Act. After gaining final passage by the Senate last week, the bill will raise an estimated $200 million a year by imposing a $10 tax on visitors to the United States from countries where they are not required to obtain a visa. The revenue will be used to create and fund a new agency, the Corporation for Travel Promotion, that would work with the U.S. tourism industry to promote the United States as a global travel destination.

I’m all for promoting tourism to the United States. Tourism is an important “service export” that generates more than $100 billion a year in earnings from foreign travelers to the United States. But a new federal agency and a new tax on travel are not the right way to drum up more tourism business.

First, just on principle, promoting a particular industry should be the business of that industry, not the business of government. Americans also export billions of dollars worth of farm goods, semiconductors, machinery, aircraft, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, along with financial, education, insurance, and other services. None of those industries deserves their own tax-financed promotion board either. If the payoff from promotion is so huge, the industry should be willing to bear its cost without the aid of the government.

More practically, it goes against basic economic logic to promote tourism to the United States by imposing new costs on tourists. Granted, $10 is not a large amount, but the demand curve for tourism is downward sloping - as it is in every other market. A higher price will lead to less demand, not more. As a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association told ABC News:

It’s absolutely counterintuitive. To us, we’re saying we’d love to see more people visit the United States, but we’re going to charge you more for the privilege of entering the country. We are in favor of increased tourism and visitation… but let’s look at our priorities. We don’t think that videos and billboards are necessarily a priority. Instead, we should be focusing on how to make customs and immigration easier for people.

As I argued in a previous post, the U.S. government should be doing more to keep dangerous people off  flights to the United States instead of making it even more difficult for perfectly harmless tourists and business travelers to get on those same flights.

Son of the Stimulus

Like the sequel to a horror film, the politicians in Washington just passed another stimulus proposal. Only this time, they’re calling it a “jobs bill” in hopes that a different name will yield a better result.

But if past performance is any indicator of future results, this is bad news for taxpayers. By every possible measure, the first stimulus was a flop. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, look at what the White House said would happen.

The Administration early last year said that doing nothing would mean an unemployment rate of nine percent. Spending $787 billion, they said, was necessary to keep the unemployment rate at eight percent instead.

So what happened? As millions of Americans can painfully attest, the jobless rate actually climbed to 10 percent, a full percentage point higher than Obama claimed it would be if no bill was passed.

The President and his people also are arguing that the so-called stimulus is responsible for two million jobs. Yet according to the Department of Labor, total employment has dropped significantly – by more than three million – since the so-called stimulus was adopted. The White House wants us to believe this sow’s ear is really a silk purse by claiming that the economy actually would have lost more than five million jobs without all the new pork-barrel spending. This is the infamous “jobs saved or created” number. The advantage of this approach is that there are no objective benchmarks. Unemployment could climb to 15 percent, but Obama’s people can always say there would be two million fewer jobs without all the added government spending.

To be fair, this does not mean that Obama’s supposed stimulus caused unemployment to jump to 10 percent. In all likelihood, a big jump in unemployment was probably going to occur regardless of whether politicians squandered another $787 billion. The White House was foolish to make specific predictions that now can be used to discredit the stimulus, but it’s also true that Obama inherited a mess – and that mess seems to be worse than most people thought.

Moreover, it takes time for an Administration to implement changes and impact the economy’s performance. Reagan took office in early 1981 during an economic crisis, for instance, and it took about two years for his policies to rejuvenate the economy. It certainly seems fair to also give Obama time to get the economy moving again.

That being said, there is little reason to expect good results for Obama in the future. Reagan reversed the big-government policies of his predecessor. Obama, by contrast, is continuing Bush’s big-government approach. Heck, the only real difference in their economic policies is that Bush was a borrow-and-spender and Obama is a borrow-and-tax-and-spender.

This raises an interesting question: Since last year’s stimulus was a flop, isn’t the Administration making a big mistake by doing the same thing all over again?

The President’s people actually are being very clever. Recessions don’t last forever. Indeed, the average downturn lasts only about one year. And since the recession began back in late 2007, it’s quite likely that the economic recovery already has begun (the National Bureau of Economic Research is the organization that eventually will announce when the recession officially ended).

So let’s consider the political incentives for the Administration. Last year’s stimulus is seen as a flop. So as the economy recovers this year, it will be difficult for Obama to claim that this was because of a pork-filled spending bill adopted early last year. But with the passing of a supposed jobs bill, that puts them in a position to take credit for a recovery that was already happening anyway.

That may be smart politics, but it’s not good economics. The issue has never been whether the economy would climb out of recession. The real challenge is whether the economy will enjoy good growth once the recovery begins. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration policies of bigger government – combined with the Bush Administration policies of bigger government – will permanently lower the baseline growth of the United States.

If America becomes a big-government welfare state like France, then it’s quite likely that we will suffer from French-style stagnation and lower living standards.

Obama’s ‘Best’ Idea? Rationing Care via Clinton-esque Price Controls

Hoping to revive his increasingly unpopular health care overhaul, President Obama has invited Republicans to a bipartisan summit this Thursday and plans to introduce a new reform blueprint in advance of the summit.  On Sunday, the White House announced that a key feature of that blueprint will be premium caps, a form of government price control that helped kill the Clinton health plan when even New Democrats rejected it.

The New York Times reports on President Obama’s blueprint:

The president’s bill would grant the federal health and human services secretary new authority to review, and to block, premium increases by private insurers, potentially superseding state insurance regulators.

It bears repeating what Obama’s top economic advisor Larry Summers thinks about price controls:

Price and exchange controls inevitably create harmful economic distortions. Both the distortions and the economic damage get worse with time.

For example, as I have written elsewhere, artificially limiting premium growth allows the government to curtail spending while leaving the dirty work of withholding medical care to private insurers: “Premium caps, which Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is currently threatening to impose, force private insurers to manage care more tightly — i.e., to deny coverage for more services.”  No doubt the Obama administration would lay the blame for coverage denials on private insurers and claim that such denials demonstrate the need for a so-called “public option.”

As the Progressive Policy Institute’s David Kendall explained in a 1994 paper, the Clinton health plan contained similar price controls.  Kendall explains why they would be a disaster:

In spite of the late hour in the health care debate, Congress has not yet decided how to restrain runaway health care costs. The essential choices are a top- down strategy of government limits on health care spending enforced by price controls or a bottom-up strategy of consumer choice and market competition. History clarifies that choice: Previous government efforts to regulate prices in peacetime have invariably failed. Moreover, government attempts to control prices in the health care sector would undermine concurrent efforts to restructure the marketplace…

The idea of controlling costs by government fiat is seductively simple. But it rests on a conceit as persistent as it is damaging: that government bureaucracies can allocate resources more wisely and efficiently than millions of consumers and providers pursuing their interests in the marketplace. The alternative – one rooted in America’s progressive tradition of individual responsibility and free enterprise – is to improve the market’s ground rules in order to decentralize decision-making, spur innovation, reward efficiency, and respect personal choice.

As centrally planned economies crumble around the world, many in the United States seem bent on erecting a command and control economy in health care. This policy briefing examines the reasons why government price regulation would fail to constrain health care costs and create many adverse side effects…

Ultimately, government price regulation will always fail because it does not change the underlying economic forces driving up prices. If we are serious about slowing the growth of health care costs, we have to change the ways we consume and provide medical care. Price controls evade the hard but essential work of structural reform in health care markets: They are a quintessentially political response to an economic problem. The alternative is to allow well-functioning markets to set prices and allocate resources, while ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable health care coverage. The market-oriented approach leaves decisions to cost-conscious consumers and health care providers rather than bureaucrats.

Any of that sound familiar?  It’s worth reading the whole thing.

This is not hope.  This is not change.  (Much less a game-changer.)  It is, to pinch a phrase, a return to “the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis.”