Right now it appears there is a stale mate between the White House and the House Republicans on raising the debt ceiling and cutting trillions for the sake of the deficit. And yes, the GOP want to put Medicare on the table, front and center.
The Republicans are proud of the Paul Ryan Plan of eliminating Medicare as we know it. The Ryan Plan will eliminate many programs within Medicare, as we know it. The Republicans have decided to double down on this to their own peril. (Latest CNN Poll is that the GOP is losing the Medicare argument, in other words, they are SINKING!!)
Democrats, let them double down. It is their problem. Let them hang themselves by their own noose on this one. Don't you dare put Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security on the table, period.
The implications of the Washington, D.C. Republicans are being watched, heard, and consumed by the voters out here. You now have GOP politicians running for office scared to commit to the Paul Ryan Plan. Case and point, look at Candidate Mike Haridopolos from Florida. He was afraid or "scurred" to come out plainly to support the Ryan Plan.
During the Ray Junior radio show, Florida Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos (R) was asked 10 times if he would vote for Ryan’s budget. After ducking the question 10 times, the host hung up on Haridopolos.
This is the litmus test that will be pressured on every single Republican running for office in 2012. It is the "with us or against us" test, a test to see if you are a true conservative.
The Republicans have decided to stand still and not vote to increase the debt limit, unless they get their way on massive 1 trillion in cuts, including Medicare. The real deal on the debt limit is that it has been raised 74 times since 1962 and TEN TIMES WHILE BUSH WAS IN OFFICE. We heard NOTHING from the Republicans about the debt ceiling, who were in charge during most of former President George W. Bush's tenure. In fact, we all know it is the Republicans that put this economy on the destructive road it is at with wars off the books, Medicare D not being paid for, tax cuts for the very rich in this country, also not being paid for. But now, the Republican Party has a come to Jesus moment and must bring the deficit in check no matter how many people they throw under the bus.
This is what we are dealing with in Washington, D.C. Ideologues so out of touch, that many voters from Wisconsin, to Michigan, to Ohio, to Florida are having SERIOUS buyers’ remorse. So, if the Republicans are in such a cluster fuck, why would we even consider BLINKING when it comes to Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security for that matter?
Today, President Obama met with the House Republicans and from reports it was a frank meeting. It appears that both sides are at a stale mate. During this meeting Speaker of the House John Boehner is now linking raising the debt ceiling to job creation.
“Increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and budget reforms will send a message to American job creators that we still are not serious about ending Washington’s spending addiction, and this will bring further harm to private- sector job growth in America,” Boehner said in the statement.
And Congressman Paul Ryan is whining about how his wonderful GOP Budget is getting smeared and slammed by the White House and is practically begging for the President to not be so harsh.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said that at today’s meeting he expressed concerns to Obama about how the president was characterizing the plan Ryan wrote to privatize Medicare by giving people subsidies to buy health insurance.
“We’ve got to get our debt under control, and if we try to demagogue each other’s attempts to do that then we’re not applying the kind of political leadership we need to get this economy growing,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters.
At this point, I don't care about the Republicans whining and crying. After all the smears they did on the Obama Healthcare Plan and literally won re-election on the back of lies? Why should the Democrats give them a pity party? Yet, alone to even listen to putting Medicare or any other program on the table for cuts?
Lastly, let me reiterate how the public feels about this. From a Democratic Pollster:
If Democrats in deficit negotiations agree to a compromise that cuts Medicare benefits to seniors, they risk squandering the advantage they’ve built up over Republicans on the issue since 2010 and risk losing their more general edge as defenders of the middle class, a top Dem pollster who just completed an extensive health care poll tells me.
Jeff Liszt, of the respected Dem firm Anzalone Liszt, has just completed a poll for two liberal-leaning groups finding that the Paul Ryan Medicare plan is deeply unpopular with voters, and particularly with seniors and independents, when the plan is described to them. The poll also found that Obama and Dems have increased their advantage over Republicans on Medicare, on health care in general, and on who can be trusted to defend the middle class.
Now, President Obama and Leader Reid can sit and listen to the Republicans, but if they feel pressured to put Medicare on the table for cuts, negotiation they will have a very hard time for re-election let alone gaining more house and senate seats. Right now, Medicare is blunting the economy which is the biggest elephant in the room. Do we need to go stupid now?
I hope not.
Cross-posted @ Daily Kos