Jeff Spross

Jeff Spross is a Prospect Summer 2010 intern.

Recent Articles

"Seriousness" Really Does Mean Screwing the Less Fortunate.

Ezra Klein lists the ways the Affordable Care Act pushes Medicare toward smarter and more efficient ways of buying health care, then notes Paul Ryan's plan does none of that. It simply "appeals to people who have an ideological take on health-care reform and believe we can make Medicare cheaper by handing it over to private insurers and telling seniors to act like consumers." What's interesting is, even if such changes could control cost growth, it likely wouldn’t show in CBO’s scoring. The ACA got stung by this same problem: Its grab bag of reforms was scored by CBO as producing zero savings. With both Ryan's consumer-driven changes and the ACA's delivery-system reforms, you're talking about cost control through altered behavior, which is hazy. But increasing taxes or slashing reimbursement rates or capping Medicare growth at inflation all come with hard numbers and are much less difficult to extrapolate from. The ACA still got a pretty good deficit-reduction score, but if its...

Ryan's Plan Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Having slammed Paul Ryan 's budget in a previous piece, David Frum now tries to list what he likes about it. Not an unworthy exercise, but it’s worth noting that a lot of Frum's positive points assume we’ll eventually fold Ryan's plan into the structure laid down by health-care reform. Frum praises Ryan's plan for abandoning the "death panels" meme and advocating on behalf of efficiency in health-care spending. He also notes that Ryan’s Medicare restructuring plan actually endorses the health-care act's exchanges and suggests moving Medicare and Medicaid entirely onto them. It's an interesting thought experiment, but let's face facts: Republicans don't want to build on health-care reform because that’s an implicit endorsement. They want to repeal it. They're not interested in creating a consistent, rational, or humane health-care system. They're just concerned with spending less, and the vouchers and block grants are just a smoke screen to hide that fact. Ryan doesn't get his...

Obama Is Clintonian on the Deficit

Here's Rand Paul ( via Matt Welch ) saying Clinton was preferable to Bush : Imagine this—what if there had never been a President George W. Bush, and when Bill Clinton left office he was immediately replaced with Barack Obama. Now imagine Obama had governed from 2000 to 2008 exactly as Bush did–doubling the size of government, doubling the debt, expanding federal entitlements and education, starting the Iraq war–the whole works. He says Republicans would never have given Obama the free pass they gave Bush, and calls the inconsistency “inexcusable.” But follow Paul's alternate universe to its next logical step: After Obama-as-Bush left office, what policy would 2008’s new president have engaged in? That illustrates what Paul leaves unsaid: The vast majority of deficit spending since January 2009 was baked into the cake long before Obama arrived – rising health-care costs, the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the bank bailout, and above all, the recession. On top of that...

The Sad, Messy Saga of Peter King.

Now that we have the names of the six witnesses who will appear at Peter King's hearings this week on radicalization within the American Muslim community, a few observations can be made. First, the people on the list -- and more specifically the people not on it -- embody a chronicle of sorts of the collapse of King's grandiose plans. Araan Hirsi Ali and Walid Phares were both added to and then summarily dumped from the hearings after both individuals were tagged for bringing an anti-Islamic slant. On top of all that, King has not been able to find one official willing to testify publicly in support of his claim that Muslim communities and leaders do not sufficiently cooperate with law enforcement. Contrast this with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca , who has repeatedly defended the Muslim community on those grounds, and will be appearing at the hearing. Second, King has not done a stellar job of sticking to his commitment to rely on Muslims themselves to flesh out his concerns...

The TAP Five.

The five TAP pieces that have made a stir around the Web this week. " Mike Allen's Mind-Mis-Meld. " " Health Reform 2.0. " " Islamophobia And The Bigger Picture. " " Nativists Are Great! Except When They Aren't, at All. " " He And His Palestinian Wife. "

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