Democrats using 'budget gimmicks' on healthcare (Rep. John Shadegg)

Now, more than ever, American families are living on strict budgets. If we have learned anything from the economic downturn, it’s that we must be cautious about how we spend our hard-earned money.

However, Congressional Democrats continue to set the rules of the health care debate on their own terms, using budget gimmicks that defy logic and saddle future generations with trillions in new debt.

The latest salvo comes in the form of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) score of the Senate finance bill. One day after the CBO announced that our record deficit has tripled in just one year, Senator Baucus and friends in the media were busy running victory laps with the latest CBO “score” of his health plan. In reality the Baucus plan hides nearly $1.2 trillion in additional spending from the American people.

Amid pages of description and complicated budget tables lies the heart of what this bill means for the American taxpayer. On page 10 of the “score,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf writes that the expansion provisions in the bill are estimated to cost $180 billion in 2019, with projected growth at 8 percent beyond 2019. However, also revealing, the “score” assumes taxes on health insurance plans will total $46 billion by 2019, and receipts from these taxes are expected to grow by 10 to 15 percent in the following decade. Other taxes in the bill will total $52 billion in 2019, and are expected to grow by 10 percent in the following decade.

What do all these figures mean? Simply stated, it means the costs of the Democrats’ program will continue to grow and taxes will have to increase exponentially to pay for this growth. This is the story that Democrats don’t want you to know. Higher spending means higher taxes. Period. Americans know that if they spend more than they should, there will be less in their savings account at the end of the month. American families aren’t playing fast and loose with their dollars. Their government shouldn’t either.