Tag Archives: Medicaid

Kyl says he’s going to takes his toys with him?

Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican Tea Party (GOTP) member of the so-called “super committee” deficit-reduction panel in Congress has said he would quit the panel if new defense spending cuts are considered.

Well, gee Jon, thanks for playing, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. So, defense spending is the sacred cow? We’re going to continue to fund the defense department at the same – if not higher – levels than we have during the past decade since 9-11? Earth to Jon, we got Bin Laden; we can bring everyone home now.

Of course Kyl made his threat in a conservative group hug sponsored by the uber-conservative think tanks Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. He spoke to the groupies a short time after the uber-committee held its first meeting; the same uber-committee which has been tasked by Congress and the White House to find $1.2 trillion in new government savings over the next 10 years.

“I’m off of the committee if we’re going to talk about further defense spending,” Kyl said he has told super committee colleagues.

Once again, see ya Jon! So, you won’t cut defense spending, and you won’t raise taxes? Guess you’re OK though with cutting the guts out of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security though huh? It’s OK to throw Grandma under the treads of the tanks? Once again, we got the Boogey Man; we can stand down, and prepare for the next war. That’s what you do when the fighting’s over. Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that the deal struck to create this committee requires $350 billion in security program cuts, which – by-the-way Jon – includes defense spending? Or perhaps you’ve forgotten that if the uber-committee fails to come to a deal on at least $1.2 trillion in additional savings, automatic spending cuts would be triggered starting in 2013. Those cuts would be split evenly between domestic programs and defense?

This is the new GOTP, slash and burn social spending, cut aid to our own people, including veteran’s benefits and school programs, but don’t you dare cut anything out of the defense department’s budget; we need that money to keep the conservative sugar daddy, the military-industrial complex, humming. Please Senator shut your pie hole before you embarrass yourself any further, and please by all means quit the uber-committee. Oh, and by-the-by, your retirement can’t come soon enough.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Federal Budget


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What’s in this deal?

The White House is saying the so-called “bi-partisan” debt ceiling deal “removes the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time, by ensuring that no one will be able to use the threat of the nation’s first default now, or in only a few months, for political gain;

“Locks in a down payment on significant deficit reduction, with savings from both domestic and Pentagon spending, and is designed to protect crucial investments like aid for college students;

“Establishes a bipartisan process to seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform;

“Deploys an enforcement mechanism that gives all sides an incentive to reach bipartisan compromise on historic deficit reduction, while protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low-income programs;

“Stays true to the President’s commitment to shared sacrifice by preventing the middle class, seniors and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction; the President did not agree to any entitlement reforms outside of the context of a bipartisan committee process where tax reform will be on the table and the President will insist on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks.”

The “deal” – if approved by both houses of Congress (something that remains to be seen) – “immediately enacts a 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense spending.”

The “deal” authorizes the President (by Congress – if it passes) to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for further increases until 2013. Everyone needs to understand that the financial side of all things in government originates in the United States House of Representatives – currently controlled by the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) – and it’s upon their collective shoulders that debt originates from. The President can’t spend a dime without Congressional – particularly the House – approval.

The “deal” creates a bipartisan committee (also being dubbed the uber-committee) process tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform. Committee is required to report legislation by November 23, 2011, which receives fast-track protections. Congress is required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011. This is something never done before; it’s extra-constitutional in nature and will prove interesting to see how – or if – it functions, and to see if its creation – or decisions – isn’t soon challenged before the Supreme Court.

The “deal” also creates an “enforcement mechanism” established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction has been put in place so that if the uber-committee fails, then the enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts. It’s the Terminator for budget reduction; of course once it is released it will be fascinating to see if it can be controlled, or if it will simply run a muck through the halls of Congress saying “Hasta la vista, baby”.

The bi-partisan “deal” – if approved – supposedly removes the cloud of economic uncertainty until 2013, eliminating the economy to move forward without the mill stone of the Tea Party Congress dragging it down; which is a good thing since most independent analysts, economists, and ratings agencies – meaning anyone not on the payroll of FOX PAC and the Heritage Fundation (yes it’s a deliberate misspelling) – have all made clear that a short-term debt limit increase would create unacceptable economic uncertainty by risking default again within only a matter of months and as S&P stated, increase the chance of a downgrade. By ensuring a debt limit increase of at least $2.1 trillion, this deal removes the specter of default, providing important certainty to our economy at a fragile moment. The plus side is – if Congress approves it – that this puts the crazies in the closet until after the 2012 election when hopefully most of them have been defeated and the Congress can reach a normal level of grid-lock as compared to the Mad Hatter’s Wild Tea Cup Ride we’ve all been exposed to of late.

The “deal” is supposed to provide more than $900 billion in savings over 10 years by capping discretionary spending including savings of $350 billion from the base defense budget; which are the first defense cuts since the 1990s and which are supposed to be implemented based on the outcome of a review of our missions, roles, and capabilities that will reflect the President’s commitment to protecting our national security. Which means these cuts may never happen at all. To be sure the war rabid Tea Party members of Congress will never vote to cut defense spending, not while the specter of “Islamic Fascism” is repeatedly resurrected whenever FOX PAC needs a ratings boost.

But it doesn’t just cut defense spending; the other $550 billion will be taken from domestic discretionary spending, which will – if approved – drop to the lowest level since Dwight D. Eisenhower was President (1953-1961).

Allegedly the “deal” is designed to achieve balanced deficit reduction, consistent with the values the President articulated in his April Fiscal Framework. The discretionary savings are spread between both domestic and defense spending. And the President will demand that the uber-committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package, where any entitlement reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most fortunate Americans to sacrifice. The fact the President will have the option to push for tax increases may be the deal breaker for the Tea Party Freshman, who claim they will never vote for any tax increase. This appears to be the spoonful of sugar meant to help the medicine of domestic cuts easier to swallow by the Democrats.

Additionally, it appears that the Terminator enforcement mechanism complements the forcing event already in law which is the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts; it appears it will force the uber-committee’s hand into allowing the Bush tax cuts to finally expire on 1 January 2013. In effect, if the uber-committee fails to come up with balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts. If the President is re-elected – with seems entirely possible – it is certainly probable that the Bush Tax Cuts will expire, with or without a deal from the uber-committee as nothing says the President has to allow them to continue.

While there will be cuts in domestic spending, it appears the President stood firmly against proposals that would have placed the sole burden of deficit reduction on lower-income and middle-class families. This includes not only proposals in the House Republican Tea Party Budget that would have undermined the core commitments of Medicare to our seniors and forced tens of millions of low-income Americans to go without health insurance, but also enforcement mechanisms that would have forced automatic cuts to low-income programs. The Terminator enforcement mechanism in the deal exempts Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. It will be interesting to see where the uber-committee finds places to cut considering all the programs protected. Of course all of this is dependent on whether or not the severely weakened Speaker – John Boehner – has the political muscle to force it through the House.

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Debt Ceiling


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Greatest Generation gets the shaft by GOTP

They stormed the beach at Normandy, braved the cold of Bastogne, flew 25+ missions in B-17s and B-24s, raised the flag at Iwo Jima and secured for us our liberties only to be screwed by the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) when they can no longer take care of themselves.

“Thanks for your service, and sacrifice, but die already” Eric Cantor, Allen West and a host of other ungrateful conservatives seem to say by their words and deeds.

How quickly are the heroes and the heroines of our past thrown under the bus by the very people who claim to revere them and their service. It seems the GOTP Congressional Freshman class would rather cut the benefits of those who fought and bled for us than raise taxes on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney and Rupert Murdoch.

Makes you feel proud doesn’t it?

Who do conservatives think are the ones being sacrificed by cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veteran’s benefits? Who are the ones being shoved to the side when they slash “entitlements”? It’s the ones who kept us safe; and it’s despicable, detestable, cowardly and wrong.

So, go ahead and back this pack of thugs if you must; nod your heads in agreement when Rush, Hannity, et al vilify those who are living off of “entitlements”; but just remember who they are.

If there was ever a group “entitled” to be taken care of then it’s this group. It’s the men and women who went into harm’s way in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and countless engagements throughout the Middle East and points around the globe so we could sleep secure in our beds at night. It’s the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who dared to go where lesser men like Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck, Cantor, and Ryan feared to tread.

Go ahead and support their version of a “balanced budget,” and at what cost they’re willing to “balance” it.

Talk about paying someone back.

Talk about balancing the scales and rewarding those who served.

Sleep well.

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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Federal Budget


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Have a little faith liberals …

Everyone on the left seems to joining the conservatives in bashing the President over his insistence that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to the budget discussions. To everyone whining on the left I say, “Have a little faith baby.” President Obama is not selling out Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and this is what Presidents do; they bring all sides to the table and hammer out programs, budgets, etc … and besides that, when the President says “nothing is off the table” and the Republican/Tea Party (GOTP) members of Congress fire back that “tax increases to wealthy are not on the table” who looks immature and not ready for the prime time? That’s right, the GOTP.

Have you considered that putting everything on the table doesn’t mean he’s going to radically change them? No, it hasn’t. We’re all just going to join in and start bashing away with comments that “he’s too conservative” and “he shouldn’t be willing to negotiate.”

Regarding putting Social Security “on the table”, what if the President’s selling point would be that he forces the GOTP Congress to accept that every dollar earned must be collected on effectively ending the FICA tax loophole everyone earning more than $110,000 per year benefits from increasing the Social Security trust fund and effectively making it solvent well into the future? Not something Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and every member of Congress would be in favor of, but it bring hundreds of billions of dollars – if not trillions – into the fund.

And let’s suppose the President puts “everything on the table” and the Republican/Tea Party (GOTP) Congress still refuses to negotiate, who comes off looking bad? The Congress of course, because there are members of the Congress on the right who will not negotiate, no matter what, Congressman Cantor and Senator McConnell both come to mind, and they’ll come off looking like the bad guys. They’ll come off looking like the smucks they are.

So, before you drink any more Hatorade, take a deep breath, and have a little faith. This President has accomplished more than any other progressive president since FDR, let’s not forget that. He isn’t going to throw the big three under the bus in spite of what Ed Schultz claims, who by the way is beginning to sound as wild and crazy as Limbaugh more and more every day. Ed, ratchet it back a few, you’re beginning to sound ridiculous. President Obama will force the GOTP to the table, and he will come off the winner politically, and the American people will come off the better. If we default – as some on the far right would like to see – then the country will be in serious trouble. When the dust settles, the far right Tea Party members of the Congress will be standing there looking as morose as ever, and feeling foolish. They will not be heroes, and will then be painted as the frauds they are.

So, I repeat, “have a little faith baby.”

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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Debt Ceiling


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