Of course this sort of political bribery isn’t necessarily unusual or confined to one party. It is just a particularly blatant example of the practice that is at the heart of the rot infecting our form of government:
The White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal: They’ll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctors’ support of healthcare reform.
At a meeting on Capitol Hill last week with nearly a dozen doctors groups, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate would take up separate legislation to halt scheduled Medicare cuts in doctor payments over the next 10 years. In return, Reid made it clear that he expected their support for the broader healthcare bill, according to four sources in the meeting.
Quiz: What was one of the major means of “paying for” health care reform? That’s right – cutting payments to Medicare providers. What has Harry Reid et. al. just promised to do with this freeze? Give away those savings.
What does that then automatically do? Increase the cost of the legislation they’re proposing and making the CBO estimate of cost null and void. It also will most likely bend the cost curve up again (not that any serious person actually believed the current version would really bend it down in practice).
What does that mean? Well it means that President Obama, true to his word about not signing a bill which adds to the deficit, will veto this one if the promise is accepted.
When pig’s fly.
We all know that’s a promise he’ll be most pleased to break if he can get something – anything – to sign and call health care.
And, as an aside, making promises like this says to me that despite all the happy spin about how the administration and Democrats are regaining their health care mojo, they’re still short of what they need to pass the legislation.
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Are Democrat lawmakers really this disconnected and clueless?
First Rep. James Clyburn, D-SC likens townhall protesters to – yup, you guessed it – racists. Not just your generic, everyday racists, however. Instead, we’re talking Bull Conner, Deep South, red-neck, Klansman-type racists:
“I have seen this kind of hate before. I have seen this discussion before,” he said. “I have seen snarling dogs going after people who were trying to peacefully assemble. I have seen the eyes of people who were being spat upon.”
“This is all about activity trying to deny the establishment of a civil right. And I do believe that health care for all is — a civil right,” the House Majority Whip argued. “And I think that is why you see this kind of activity. This is an attempt on the part of some to deny the establishment of a civil right.”
Look at how hard he had to work to tar people who honestly and passionately disagree with his party’s proposed legislation on health care.
This is like watching a huge temper tantrum thrown by spoiled kids. Democratic lawmakers don’t see, hear or get what they want and they lash out at those who deny them with the most hateful rhetoric they can muster. In Clyburn’s case the most hateful image he can muster is comparing citizens who have nothing more than a political disagreement to Bull Conner.
Not to be outdone we have Sen. Harry Reid (D-BS), the Senate’s male version of Nancy Pelosi, uttering this unique characterization of the old folks and veterans in opposition to his agenda:
Town hall protesters are “evil-mongers,” says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
Reid coined the term in a speech to an energy conference in Las Vegas this week and repeated it in an interview with Politics Daily.
Such “evil-mongers” are using “lies, innuendo and rumor,” to drown out rational debate, Reid said.
“It was an original with me,” Reid said of the term. “I maybe could have been less descriptive,” he said, adding that “I doubt you’ll hear it from me again.”
Nevertheless, Reid worked in the word one more time during the interview.
Reid, of course, is a pathetic example of what we’re stuck with in terms of political leaders and another example of why seniority is a terrible system for picking leadership. I mean, for heaven sake, the man brags about coining a term to describe his constituents who disagree with him – “evil-mongers”.
“Evil-mongers”. It’s not even very good, for heaven sake, but witless Harry is proud of it.
This is what you get, apparently, when you cross our “civil” Democratic leadership (you know, the same one’s whining about the “uncivil” protesters?) – hateful comparisons with no basis and newly coined words designed to denigrate American citizens.
Thanks a bunch, guys. And may you enjoy many more years of the free speech you would deny others. Because you guys obviously know exactly what to do with that right, don’t you?
Turbo Tax Tim Geithner tells us:
Social Security’s annual surpluses of tax income over expenditures are expected to fall sharply this year and to stay about constant in 2010 because of the economic recession, and to rise only briefly before declining and turning to cash flow deficits beginning in 2016 that grow as the baby boom generation retires.
Of course what Geithner and the Democrats want you to believe is this sudden problem with both Social Security and Medicare has been brought on by the recession and, of course, that means it’s Bush’s fault.
But I took the opportunity to hit the QandO archives and found a couple of interesting live blogs Dale did. The first was the State of the Union address from February 3, 2005.
Thirteen years from now, in 2018, social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year, the annual shortfall will get larger…By 2042 the system will be bankrupt.
That line, of course, was met by Democratic jeers.
A couple of months later at one of his rare news conferences, Bush again emphasized the point and adjusted the dates. As Dale live blogged it:
—Social Security will start spending more than it take in 2013. By 2040, it’ll be bankrupt. Like, you know, it’s not bankrupt now, really.
Again, that was met by Democratic jeers. That’s because Bush mentioned private accounts. Incredibly, much to the horror of many on the right, he also mentioned means testing. But still, the Dems were more interested in blowing off the impending crisis as fiction than addressing it.
The same story was told the next year with the same results.
Our boy Harry Reid in May of ’06:
In a statement released Monday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the trustees’ report “confirms that, despite White House scare tactics, Social Security remains sound for decades to come.”
According to Reid, “The real threat to Social Security comes from Republicans, most of whom support and voted for privatizing Social Security.”
As it turns out Medicare/Medicaid is in much worse shape than Social Security, and deserves some discussion as well – but the Social Security question is instructive. This isn’t some ‘sudden’ problem brought on by the recession. This is one that was identified years ago and ignored by the very same people who are now trying to lay blame elsewhere. Just something to remember when they stand in front of the microphones, look directly into the cameras and lie through their teeth.
Sen. Harry “the SURGE has failed” Reid is again in the analysis business:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Monday that the banking industry is “very close” to being stabilized and the nation’s economy is starting to rebound.
“We tend to talk about the negative. … Things are beginning to turn and I think the American people are going to feel that very soon,” Reid said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show.
Cancel the “stimulus” and cut the deficit by 789 billion.
Fiscal responsibility somewhat restored (well, except for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid).