Monday, August 15, 2011

Perry: Medicare Unconstitutional, Republicans Deny Debt Threat Responsibility, Radical Bachmann Cuts

A President Who Thinks Medicare Undermines America

Is it possible that we could have a President who thinks Medicare does not promote the general welfare of Americans?  Normally, this would go into the "Republican Reality-Free Zone," but it's not amusing on any level and, in fact, is highly dangerous to the aged and disabled for a Presidential candidate to believe that Medicare and Social Security have no place in America.  Conservative Republican Presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) says that Social Security And Medicare Are Unconstitutional.

"In an interview with the Daily Beast’s Andrew Romano, Perry makes his most outlandish claim to date -- Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional."

From the interview:  "The Constitution says that 'the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes . . . to provide for the . . . general Welfare of the United States.'  But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116, you left 'general welfare' out and put an ellipsis in its place.  Progressives would say that 'general welfare' includes things like Social Security or Medicare -- that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document.  What does 'general welfare' mean to you?
     "[PERRY:] I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term 'general welfare' in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care.  What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address.  Not the federal government.  I stand very clear on that.  From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that’s what those states decided to do.
     "So in your view those things fall outside of general welfare.  But what falls inside of it?  What did the Founders mean by 'general welfare'?
     "[PERRY:] I don’t know if I’m going to sit here and parse down to what the Founding Fathers thought general welfare meant.
     "But you just said what you thought they didn’t mean by general welfare.  So isn’t it fair to ask what they did mean?  It’s in the Constitution.

See Rick Perry on the Record, from The Daily Beast.

Hiding From Responsibility

Keep an eye on your own Senators and Congressman.  Watch what they are doing.  My Republican Senator keeps spinning the Medicare story and saying he will "protect" it and that it's a "sacred trust." But then he says health care reform is taking $500 billion from Medicare (not accurate -- and the Republican party line) and that promises to "current" retirees must be kept.  All of this really means that he is not supporting Medicare for future generations.

"Standard & Poors has a specific justification for downgrading the U.S. bond rating, and it's deadly for Republicans.  It wasn't just that Congress showed itself to be reckless and dysfunctional, or that the GOP shows no sign of ever ending their anti-tax jihad.  It's that for a period of weeks, some lawmakers (read: Republicans) were quite literally shrugging off the risks of blowing past the August 2 deadline, running out of borrowing authority, and missing payment obligations."  Now, after triggering a downgrade, debt default skeptics are denying their records.

If you have an opportunity to speak with your federal legislator, please be sure to ask him or her to explain their position on the debt, particularly if he or she thought default or the threat of default might be an "option."  Perhaps they thought a scare tactic was in order; but who are they scaring and for what purpose?  Ask them.

Bachmann: Cut Medicare, Education, and More By 90 Percent

Briefly, Michelle Bachmann Refuses To Say What Spending She Would Cut If Her Plan To Not Raise The Debt Ceiling Were Followed.  However, "a 40 percent cut in government spending that exempts the military and Social Security would mean cutting all other programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and education spending, by nearly 90 percent."

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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