May 27, 2011 1:25 PM @
McConnell puts Medicare in the ransom note
By Steve Benen
The Republican debt-ceiling strategy hasn’t been subtle: GOP officials are threatening to cause a recession, on purpose, unless Democrats give them the spending cuts they want. It’s Hostage Taking 101.
The trick has been identifying the ransom. Republicans have said they expect “something big” in exchange for doing what they obviously have to do anyway, but they’ve been vague about the details. “Meet our demands or we’ll kill the hostage.” What are your demands? “We’re not sure; why don’t you offer something and we’ll get back to you.”
In recent weeks, the details have gotten a little clearer, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying he expects $2 trillion in cuts or he’ll deliberately cause an economic catastrophe. But even that’s too vague —no one knows where the $2 trillion should come from or over how long.
Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went much further in clarifying what’s on the ransom note. In a Capitol briefing with reporters Friday, McConnell declared affirmatively that unspecified Medicare cuts are on the table in bipartisan debt limit negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden, and he expects they’ll be part of the final deal. But in response to a question from TPM, he went further than he has in the past in laying down a marker on that issue. Medicare cuts must be part of that deal to get his support, he says —even if negotiators manage to find trillions of dollars in savings elsewhere, even if his other priorities are met.
“To get my vote, for me, it’s going to take short term [cuts, via spending caps]… Both medium and long-term, entitlements.,” McConnell said. “Medicare will be part of the solution.”
To clarify, I asked “[i]f [the Biden group] comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but withoutsubstantially addressing Medicare, it won’t get your vote?”
“Correct,” McConnell said....
From http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/politi … 029870.php
and yet they don't see any reason to tax the richest Americans...their financial supporters...
The hostage - I mean budget - negotiations should be televised. Since McConell made Medicare an essential feature of the debate, I want to see his specific proposal as the opening bid.
Democrats should make a counter-offer true to our principles. Do NOT privatize Medicare, and lets make it work by FUNDING it. If that means raising taxes on the rich, democrats should be specific also.
This is the essential question for the voter. Do we want to pay for essential services or do we want to protect the fortunes of the rich?
Because you can't have it both ways.
Evidently these guy have enough wealth stocked up they don't have to ever have to worry about who will take care of them when they get old. But that doesn't count for the majority of Americans. I know first hand how quickly a life savings can become depleted when an aging parent become ill and incompacitated. It's a travesty the way the elderly are treated in this country.
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