Friday, July 22, 2011

More on the Debt Ceiling, Defending Medicare Part D, Who Speaks for the Disabled and Aged?

When I started TMDR, I never thought I'd be paying so much attention to the debt ceiling.  I knew there would be budget and fiscal issues and I knew there would be political differences.  However, I never thought there would be such inflexible ideological positions or that one party would bring the United States to the brink of default.

Debt Ceiling Talks Might Be Making Progress

"The White House is denying reports that President Obama is close to a deal with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on a debt limit/deficit reduction package comprised of concrete spending cuts, and aspirational revenue increases."  However, Democrats are concerned that President Obama may be giving up too much -- that "aspirational" revenues could come sometime in the future while spending cuts would begin immediately.

The article continues, "One Democratic operative close to principals in the talks put it this way: 'It is now up to Reid and Pelosi to have the courage to defend Democratic values and say no to a deal that will eviscerate Medicare and Social Security.  Will they?'"

Democrats are becoming skeptical about any budget deal.

Will Democrats Continue to Defend Medicare?

Recommended reading:  "Quite rightly, the Democratic Party has long been considered the party of Medicare.  The giant health coverage program for the elderly and disabled was created by a Democratic president and initially passed by a largely Democratic Congress over stiff opposition from Republicans.  When Republicans proposed gutting Medicare -- first in 1980s budget debates and again following the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress -- Democrats have stood firm to defend it."  "Now, in the midst of budget talks, the way the party deals with that same [Medicare] drug benefit will determine whether Democrats can retain their credibility as the Party of Medicare or surrender the program's future to its historical antagonists in the Republican Party."

Who?  Is It You and I?

Democratic values and Conservative values are on the line.  Somehow, some way, a reasonable compromise must be joined.  And, yet, it seems that both sides are unmoved and unmovable.  We know very clearly who protects and speaks for the rich.  The question is: "Who protects and speaks for the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the aged?"  Is it the Democrats, the Liberals, the Progressives, the religious community?  Is it you and I?


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