Thursday, April 21, 2011

Republican Budget: Is The GOP The Ritual Suicide Party?

ABC News, in announcing the House's passage of Paul Ryan's "Road to Ruin" budget (or as I've been calling it, the "Path to Pathology"), says the bill includes a "controversial plan to transform Medicare."

An email from MoveOn (sorry; I don't have an online ref) puts it more bluntly:

Unbelievable. They really voted to eliminate Medicare.

Last week, all but four House Republicans voted for a budget that eliminates Medicare for anyone born after 1957.1

Right. Republicans: "Medicare is only the most popular government program of all time, so let's eliminate it." Yes, doing so fits their ritual kowtowing to the most bloody insane of their base. So why not do it? The world can live without the Republican Party, whatever they may believe.

(The footnote leads to the ABC News piece linked above.)

So... how popular is Medicare? From the above-linked MoveOn Medicare for All article:

The dual situations of Medicare popularity and the control of opinions by those who have not experienced Medicare are summarized by Mark Blumenthal of the National Journal:
“… Americans experienced with “government-run” health insurance (Medicare) like what they have and don’t want to change it, and younger Americans enthusiastic for change don’t know what they’re missing.”
Article of 6/29/2009: “Who’s Afraid Of Public Insurance?
Health Care Consumers Give Medicare Higher Marks Than Private Plans”
Polls referenced by Mr. Blumenthal in support of single-payer,Medicare for All, include these support levels:
      67%, (80% from a poll of 65 and older) (Kaiser Family Foundation polls)
      72% (CBS News / New York Times)
Highest marks (rating 9-10) from what Blumenthal describes as a “massive collection of data”:
      56% for Medicare (152,600 responses)
      40% for private plans (190,722 responses)
See Mr. Blumenthal’s complete article
Any questions? How do you spin those numbers as "Medicare is unpopular"?

Kill Medicare? Based on the above, sane people would want to expand it into a population-wide system, Medicare-for-all, and go about finding a way to pay for it. As I said earlier this week in a thread on Bryan's site, I personally favor an "eat the rich" approach, and I say that only half ingest. (Awwww, did he really say that? Yep.)

Seriously: Robert Reich points out:

If the rich were taxed at the same rates they were half a century ago, they’d be paying in over $350 billion more this year alone, which translates into trillions over the next decade. That’s enough to accomplish everything the nation needs while also reducing future deficits. 
Need I say more? If the GOP had set out intentionally to hand the Dems an ideal campaign issue for 2012, they couldn't have done a better job.

Some murderers, in a fit of remorse, commit suicide. Here's the GOP, planning to murder millions of senior citizens. Have they, too, decided to commit party suicide? Probably not... to do that, they'd have to have either a brain or a heart, and they're lacking both.

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