Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not Medicare's Fault, Medicare Popular With Republican Voters, Joint Committee Testimony Begins, More From the Debate

Danger for Medicare

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare notes that "Social Security & Medicare Did Not Cause Our Deficit Crisis."  "It's clear, after listening to statements made by many members of the Deficit Super Committee today, that cutting Medicare, Medicaid and even Social Security, to cut the deficit remains their primary goal."

"Repeated statements that these programs are the primary drivers of our current debt, contrary to the facts, do a disservice to the process and impede finding real solutions to the real problems.  Conflating current debt and future obligations is a political strategy designed to target these programs to pay the price for years of failed fiscal policies and tax cuts for the wealthy."

As we've noted here at TMDR, Medicare and Social Security are the targets of destruction.  We all need to do everything we can to keep them safe and secure, so they keep us safe and secure.

Republican Voters Support Medicare

"A PPP poll out on Wednesday illustrates a clear contradiction within the GOP electorate: overwhelming majorities of voters who deride President Obama as a socialist, but who also love actual real social welfare programs -- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- and don’t want to see them cut.  For a candidate like Rick Perry, that cognitive dissonance could present real problems.  He’s rocketed to the front of the pack on the strength of his appeal to the Tea Party, where the Obama-as-socialist rhetoric runs red hot.  He’s also pretty much declared war on Social Security."

"71 percent of Republicans in the poll agree that President Obama is a socialist.  But 75 percent of them don’t think that the government should end Social Security.  78 percent think that ending Medicare would be a bad idea.  And 61 percent say the same about Medicaid (health care for the poor)."

In my opinion, these respondents -- as with many Americans -- are angry about the conduct of public officials, their lack of true moral standards, their cowardice of ideology, their pandering to big business, etc. (as well as the condition of the economy).  Smartly, their anger stops when they recognize the clear success of America's pre-paid public benefits.  They have seen the help and justice delivered by Medicare and Social Security.

Committee Testimony

"Political debates over deficits and debt are always marked by obfuscation and technicality. The numbers are huge and frightening, the terms obscure and technical, and the simple, fundamental point of the argument gets buried underneath this avalanche of panic and esoterica.  But for a brief moment Tuesday, under questioning from Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Congress' top economic analyst made it perfectly clear to everybody who was listening.  'I think really the fundamental question for you is not how we got here, but where you want the country to go, what role do you and your colleagues want the government to play in the economy and the society?'"

There's actually a scary answer coming from the Conservative Republicans.

Debate Leftover

"Just after the candidates sparred over whether Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, the focus shifted to another topic of great interest to seniors -- the Medicare prescription drug benefit embraced by former President George W. Bush and enacted during his tenure.  They all agreed to maintain it, but that to pay for the program, government waste must end."

How strange is it that Conservative Republicans SUPPORT Medicare Part D but not Medicare itself?  What is different about the Drug Benefit -- which is incredibly costly?  Why would Republicans support it?  Is it political contributions from the drug companies?  Someone enlighten me, please.


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