Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Medicare Promise, Obama: Defense Trumps Medicare, Local Media Drop the Ball On Debt Downgrade, Santorum: Health Care a Luxury

Promises Made and Promises Broken

This is the most important article you should read today.  "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's acknowledgment that the GOP intends to break the promise of economic security provided to millions of middle-class Americans thanks to Medicare and Social Security offered a welcome dose of debt-debate honesty.  Anyone who has watched the recent fiscal follies shouldn't really be surprised by Congressman Cantor's remarks.  It's just surprising he said it out loud -- on camera -- in front of millions of Americans."

I couldn't agree more with the author -- Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.  Rep. Cantor has been far, far less than honest in admitting his agenda -- the harsh, hyper-Conservative, ideologically-strapped, selfish viewpoint that repudiates any notion of the common good.  It's a dog-eat-dog world thanks to that very attitude, never mind that the first colonists and patriots had to work together to survive -- JUST LIKE WE DO.

Mr. Richtman continues, "When it comes to promises made and promises broken, it's clear, many in Washington have made their choices about the kind of America they envision for future generations -- and it's a very different America from the one we live in today."

One in which the Big Dog rules, . . . and the middle class and poor are leashed and have no friends in power.

Obama Seems Willing to Cut Medicare

"Last week, Congressional Democrats were blindsided by newly-confirmed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who basically nixed any further cuts to military spending, and demanded that lawmakers trim from programs like Medicare and raise taxes to reduce future deficits.  Soon a new deficit Super Committee will begin debating tax and entitlement reform, and the penalty if they gridlock includes steep defense cuts.  Republicans are expected to seize on Panetta's remarks to push for another deficit deal that comes exclusively from entitlement cuts."  And now, President Obama has sided with Panetta on saving defense and cutting Medicare.

Perhaps what we can seize upon is NOT pushing for entitlement cuts -- if the Super Committee fails -- but on making sure the Super Committee succeeds.  But no.  Scare tactics -- from either side -- are more effective at stirring up people . . . and trouble . . . and diverting attention from what's really going on.

And the Conservative Republicans are expected to Resist ‘Pressure To Compromise On Tax Increases’ In Wake Of Debt Downgrade by S&P.  Clearly, any balanced approach is beyond the comprehension of Conservatives.

Republicans Blameless Thanks To Local Media Help

"When Standard and Poor’s issued its unprecedented downgrade of the nation’s sovereign credit last Friday, the rating agency blasted the GOP’s refusal to raise revenues in a press release accompanying the announcement.  As Igor Volsky notes in today’s Progress Report, S&P referred specifically to Republicans when it said: 'It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.'"

The article continues, "... a quick search of local news broadcasts from over the weekend shows that media outlets across the country have selectively omitted S&P’s reasoning behind the decision."  They found that many local news outlets Omit S&P Analysis On GOP Refusing To Raise Revenues -- and it wasn't only FOX "news."`

The Conservative Republican View on Health Care Costs

"During a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register on Friday, Rick Santorum said that people who can’t afford health care should stop whining about the high costs of medical treatments and medications and spend less on non essentials.  Answering a question about the uninsured, Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource [emphasis added] that is rationed by society and recalled the story of a woman who said she was spending $200 a month on life-saving prescriptions.  Santorum told her to stop complaining and instead lower her cable and cell phone bills."

I just wish he wasn't such a sensitive individual.  Surely he could give up his car -- a luxury, and his Congressional health care -- a luxury.  How about leadership by example?  But think of this:  What if health care HAS become a luxury and not a human right?  What if our ideals have surrendered to cynicism?

From Article 25. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. "  (Adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948)

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