11:57 AM EDT, August 23, 2012
On Aug. 2, William McCollum attempted to "inform" us about President Obama's missteps ("For those less well-informed, here's list of Obama's missteps," letter). Unfortunately, McCollum apparently did not do his homework. So many allegations, so little time, so I'll speak to the two items that I am familiar with.
Recess appointments are not unconstitutional. The Constitution, Article 2, Section II, paragraph 3, specifically outlines the process for filling vacancies during the Recess of the Senate. Recent presidents to use this authority are Bill Clinton (139 appointments), George W Bush (171), and Obama (32). No recess appointments were made when the Senate was in session.
To presume that a "string of lies" was provided to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a serious misstatement. All legislative proposals are priced first by the agency affected.
In the case of the ACA, that would be the actuaries and budget analysts of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). These are career employees known for their integrity. Indeed, Rick Foster, Chief Medicare Actuary, has refused both presidential and congressional requests to alter estimates to meet political "needs." Both the assumptions and analysis are carefully reviewed by the CBO.
It's true that the budget process can be arcane and that the Supreme Court decision altered the equation, but to cast aspersions on people I know and respect goes too far.
The writer is a former Medicare budget analyst.