Prepare for a messy 2013
I have to admit that I was wrong in two very serious ways.
That almost seemed to happen at the beginning for 2013 with the “fiscal cliff” deal. The GOP waited till the Bush tax cuts expired and then voted for trillions in new “cuts.” They then quickly folded on the debt limit, extending it for three months in exchange for free promotion of a hashtag.
Observing this, I imagined the GOP would fold quickly on the sequester and come up with some deal to delay it or fold it into a larger bargain that included new revenues.
I was entirely wrong. The GOP Leadership has now decided that they will not even negotiate with President Obama unless he surrenders on his demand for a balanced deficit deal.
Being forced to let the Bush tax cuts expire on income over $400,000 has enraged the House GOP and radicalized the contingent of Tea Party Senators — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — preparing for their 2016 runs for the GOP presidential nomination.
The three Senate stooges refuse to keep the government running unless ObamaCare is defunded. The House GOP made the same provision part of the Ryan Budget and will likely make that a key demand of the debt limit debate that’s coming soon.
Are they serious?
As usual, they’re so serious that it’s difficult to parody them.
But could a tiny contingent of the minority of the Senate really do much damage?
Yes, when any one of the them could destroy Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s career by endorsing his primary opponent.
And the more I think about it, the more I realize that making a last stand against ObamaCare isn’t just a fringe position of Tea Partiers who think it will destroy freedom and make Mt. Rushmore cry. Mainstream Republicans are terrified of ObamaCare for the exact opposite reason — it’s going to work in many ways.
About 10 million Americans will get government insurance in 2014. In the states that accept Medicaid expansion, the growth of rates will immediately slow as emergency room coverage for the uninsured will drop drastically. Income inequality will be improved by the richest Americans paying for the poorest American’s health care. People will stop avoiding the doctor for fear of being branded with pre-existing conditions. And entrepreneurs will have the freedom of starting a new business without fearing the loss of insurance for their family.
As I’ve been saying, ObamaCare is simply the best thing to happen to the middle class since Medicare.
And Republicans will get zero credit for it — even though it contains many of their ideas.
So expect that this year they will do just about anything to make sure we never get what we’ve already worked so hard for.