Problem is, Republicans are themselves culpable, though not in the way you may think.
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In contrast to Romney’s pandering, Rick Santorum said that if he becomes president, he “will deal with Medicare and Social Security, not 10 years from now. But we need to start dealing with it now because our country is facing fiscal bankruptcy.”
Santorum’s answer was honest, and the only moral and constitutional position to take. But Romney’s view is, unfortunately, accurately calculated to be a political winner. And Romney is not alone. Recently retired Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) made arguments similar to Romney’s in 2009, suggesting that tort reform and curtailing “waste, fraud and abuse” — always Republican magic bullets — are the primary cost savings worth considering, adding that “any savings in Medicare have to go back into the Medicare system” because of the number of people moving into the system.
If Republicans, supposedly interested in economic sanity and limited government, argue against cutting the cost of Medicare — which makes up the largest portion of our nation’s more than $60 trillion in unfunded entitlement mandates — what hope is there of preventing it from destroying the national fisc?
As abhorrent as the vision of IPAB “death panels” is, what choice does our nation have if government is the primary provider of health care funding? Medicare’s finances are speeding toward an immovable brick wall of economic reality. Obamacare stepped on the gas. Congress has demonstrated through years of “doc fix” legislation that it does not have the stomach to step on the brakes, or even to get behind the steering wheel. This leaves IPAB as perhaps the only realistic way to slow us down, making the inevitable crash something we might, if we’re lucky, survive even if economically bruised and bloodied.
Repealing IPAB, as Republicans seem intent on trying to do, is both an economic and political mistake. Economically, it removes the only viable tool currently in place to keep Medicare costs under control. Politically, it weakens voter support for the repeal of Obamacare in its entirety (a critical first step toward broader entitlement reform). Yes, those two arguments may sound contradictory, but such is the nature of entitlement politics in America.
The best thing that could happen to Republicans and the nation is for the Senate to refuse to pass H.R. 452. Repealing IPAB, like excising just a fraction of a metastasizing cancer, is political and economic malpractice.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?