Social Security Back Peddle Alert
Briefly, "Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a lot of hay last year with his contention that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and his suggestion that states should be allowed to abandon it for their own senior support systems before it's too late. Less than a week after Perry announced his White House bid however, he's tempering that last idea a bit. 'I'm for having a conversation with the country about how we find some solutions,' Perry told Politico Monday. 'Having the states doing it is one of the ways.'"
And the hits just keep on comin': The Ten Weirdest Ideas In Rick Perry’s ‘Fed Up’.
Joint Committee: Predictable Results
The Stage Is Set! For Super Committee Gridlock?! One of the best descriptions I've seen of likely outcomes for the deliberations of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. ". . . the principles that will govern the dynamic on the panel. Dems: no entitlement cuts without some revenue hikes. Republicans: no revenue hikes. If Republicans are willing to deal, then there'll be plenty of room for one or two Democrats to join the GOP in a slanted plan that meets the committee's charge."
The article continues, "'We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.' That's a Republican talking point. More importantly, it's code for the underlying truth that conservatives don't like entitlement programs, and would rather bleed them slowly than ask wealthy people to pay more in taxes. More tax revenues might buy the time needed to rein in health care costs -- the main driver of long-term deficits -- and make the government's entitlement commitments solvent. But that would defeat the underlying goal. Unfortunately for them, the goal is not politically popular, and for months they've been trying to trap Democrats into giving them the cover they need to accomplish it -- or at least make strides toward accomplishing it."
Again, it's clear that Conservative Republicans are pushing an unpopular goal and are willing to have America suffer because of it. It's politics above patriotism, ideology above the common good, their narrow belief above the wishes of the large majority of Americans. The question is: "Who gains from this kind of thinking and this kind of gridlock? Who is making money or doing better as a result?" Keep looking for the answer.
I still don't understand how so many with so little have become so convinced that so few with so much should do so little for America.
Joint Committee: Opportunities & Dangers for Medicare
If you particularly care about what, who, and how Medicare could be cut, then please read Medicare, Liberals And The Lesser Of Two Evils -- analysis from Kaiser Health News and The New Republic. "Why does the debt ceiling deal give liberals so much heartburn? Many reasons, obviously. But a big one is the possibility that it will trigger automatic cuts to Medicare, the jewel of the Great Society and the program on which virtually every senior citizen depends for health insurance."
But also, "Talk to policy analysts, industry lobbyists, or advocates for the elderly, and you’ll detect an emerging, if tentative, consensus: The impact of automatic cuts would be relatively modest and, most likely, less severe than whatever that super committee would devise as an alternative." I'm always pleased to recommend Kaiser Health News items that I bring to your attention, and this is no exception.
Is Medicare for All in Our Future?
Commentary from Robert Reich: Why the New Healthcare Law Should Have Been Based on Medicare (And What Democrats Should Have Learned By Now). Interesting comments with which many will agree.
"The Republican strategy should now be clear: Privatize anything that might otherwise be a public program financed by tax dollars. Then argue in the courts that any mandatory purchase of it is unconstitutional because it exceeds the government's authority. And rally the public against the requirement. Remember this next time you hear Republican candidates touting Paul Ryan's plan for turning Medicare into vouchers for seniors to buy private health insurance."
"So what do Obama and the Democrats do if the individual mandate in the new health care law gets struck down by the Supreme Court? Immediately propose what they should have proposed right from the start -- universal health care based on Medicare for all, financed by payroll taxes. The public will be behind them, as will the courts."
Republican "I-Can-Get-Away-With-It" Zone