Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Evils of Medicare, Sen. Murray Under Pressure, Spinning for Republicans

Other than earthquakes and hurricanes, times are relatively quiet.

Medicare - Social Security Bad for America

"Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), maybe the risingest of the rising stars of the GOP, gave a speech in Washington in which he declared that key social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare have 'weakened us as a people,' i.e., undermined the moral fabric and strength fo [sic] the American people."

"Weakened us as a People?"  Is he nuts?  How does he mean this?  Are we too generous?  Not selfish enough?  Everyone should send him a letter:  317 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510.  Or call him:  Phone: 202-224-3041.  Yes, he's young.  Clearly, he has no sense of history.  Please, we need the aged and disabled to explain to him in the most human of terms how beneficial Medicare and Social Security are.  They are our premiere pre-paid public benefits.

Joint Committee at Home

"A coalition that includes many important Democratic Party backers is asking Sen. Patty Murray for a public 'listening session' about her role on the debt-reduction 'super committee.'  The groups, representing low-income, medical, labor and senior-citizen advocates, say they want Murray to hold a public session to hear their concerns about the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

Sen. Murray clearly is trying to walk the very fine line between what many of her constituents expect of her as a somewhat liberal Senator, and her need to be careful not to say too much too soon -- even before the Joint Committee meets.  It's an interesting exercise and deserves careful reading to understand how such things can be handled.

Danforth Spins for the Republicans

Former Sen. John Danforth who co-chaired the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform in the mid-1990s talks with KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey about the politics of deficit-cutting commissions and what it will take to tackle the ballooning federal debt.

"So, there was near unanimous agreement about the problem.  But when it came down to making recommendations, we couldn’t get more than about six people out of thirty-some-odd to agree to anything.  And the reason is that even when there is recognition of the problem, the solutions are so controversial and so politically difficult that, at that time, it was impossible to do anything about them."

His voice sounds reasonable -- and the truth is mixed in occasionally -- but understand the meaning.  I couldn't disagree more with Sen. Danforth on what he says here.  He spins almost everything in favor of Conservative Republicans and omits anything that might be damning to them.  Something favorable to Democrats or a progressive view?  Forget it.


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