Wow, you guys are incredible
I suppose it’s a good sign that Republicans are finally waving the red flag on repealing the Affordable Care Act as a condition for not putting a bullet in the brain of our national (and possibly the international) economy. For weeks now, that has been their precondition for passing a budget to fund the government and for raising the debt limit so that we don’t become a Super Deadbeat Nation.
No, they have finally come to their senses and have decided that they will choose a different hostage. Instead of trying to destroy one of the most significant social programs in our nation’s history, one that was passed three and half years ago, they are now turning their attention to the other three most significant social programs in our nation’s history, laws passed decades ago: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Here’s Paul Ryan in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that will publish tomorrow:
[T]he president has negotiated before, and he can do so now … We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs.
These reforms are vital. Over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office predicts discretionary spending—that is, everything except entitlement programs and debt payments—will grow by $202 billion, or roughly 17%. Meanwhile, mandatory spending—which mostly consists of funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—will grow by $1.6 trillion, or roughly 79%.
Whether or not you agree that any of these programs needs reform, know this: they are simply new hostages that Republicans are taking in order to force even more concessions from Democrats as a condition for not ruining our economy. Realizing they weren’t getting anywhere with the Obamacare hostage, they’ve tossed that aside and chosen three new — or rather, OLD — hostages.
[Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]