Thursday, August 4, 2011

The GOP Will Run On Ryan's Kill Medicare/Austerity Platform After All

Here's a reason for this!

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousands words and the one above, should get across the point we're making this morning. Wednesday night, Sioban Hughes, writing for the Dow Jones Newswires, hit the transom with these points from an interview Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor did in that day's Wall Street Journal, the parent company:
--Cantor: Government promises 'aren't going to be kept for many'

--Cantor: Younger Americans will have to adjust

--Cantor: Americans will see current cutbacks as paring back government waste

Republicans will continue a push to overhaul programs such as Medicare, saying in an interview that "promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many" and that younger Americans will have to adjust.

"What we have to be, I think, focused on is truth in budgeting here," Cantor told the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal. He said "the better way" for Americans is to "get the fiscal house in order" and "come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many."

His comments suggest that Republicans are committed to overhauling entitlement programs such as Medicare even after President Barack Obama signed into law a debt package under which Medicare recipients weren't hit with direct cuts. Congress left Medicare recipients untouched directly in order to win enough Democratic votes for the debt package to become law.

But Republicans could make a new push to cut back on Medicare as the debt-reduction deal is implemented. The law initially provides for $917 billion in spending cuts over a decade, but a bipartisan committee of lawmakers must come up with a proposal by Nov. 23 to find an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. The panel's members--half of whom will be Republican lawmakers-- could try again to change Medicare.

"When we came out with our budget, we said, look, let's at least put people on notice, but preserve those who are 55 and older," Cantor said, referring to a Republican-written budget plan that would turn Medicare, now a fee-for-service program, into a program that subsidizes private health insurance. "The rest of us have got ample time to try and plan our lives so that we can adjust to reality here when you look at the numbers. Again the math doesn't lie."

So... voters completely rejected Paul Ryan's plan to kill Medicare-- you'll recall the election of Democrat Kathy Hochul in New York's mostly deeply red district (a district where Obama only managed to win 46%, his worst showing in the state)-- but the Ryan model is still what the GOP wants to hang its hat on going forward.

Or do they? Boehner and Cantor do. Ryan does. But their troops in the field? Tuesday Wisconsin state Senator Alberta Darling, not just a firm ally of Scott Walker's and the author of some of his most notorious anti-family legislation but a loud advocate for the Ryan budget, will be facing the voters in her recall election. She was considered a shoo-in... before she adopted Ryan's kill Medicare talking points. Wednesday she seemed to back away. Questioned by journalists in Milwaukee, Darling, whose polling has been trending down, said she now doesn't know enough of the details of Ryan's plan to endorse it-- though she already did-- but that she supports his "fiscal goals."

This is going to be the great debate that rages between now and 2012. Since Obama is totally conflicted and tied in knots, congressional Democrats have to make their own case that they are NOT the party of right-wing Austerity. Democrats are doing it quite well in Wisconsin. Tuesday will tell us a lot about how the rest of this election cycle plays out.

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