I got a little upset this morning when Harold Ford JR. and Mika Brzezinski said that Paul Ryan’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was a bipartisan approach to end the shutdown. No it wasn’t, it’s the same budget proposal that lost the 2012 election for the GOP. Paul Ryan might not have mentioned Obamacare, but he didn’t mention new revenues either.
Republicans and Democrats don’t change, as one is for privatizing and the other is for making government work.
John Boehner has heard from the Koch brothers and others about the consequences of default; his next strategy is to keep the government closed but he now wants to raise the debt limit for a short period of time. Republicans cannot come to the table without having a hostage to bargain with. Yes, Democrats have forced shutdowns in the past but we’ve never gotten this close to default.
I don’t think the tea party cares about the 28% approval rating the GOP has, in fact, they are probably making tee shirts with 28% written across the front and back. They didn’t come to Washington to govern; they came to blow up the place and start anew. These people are libertarians with a low regard for government, regulations, and taxes. They’ll take Social Security, Medicare and VA benefits and rail about the government takeover. Libertarians can’t win elections, unless they run under the Republican banner but now that they have, they are destroying the brand.
Democrats bring your chair little closer to your monitor so you can see plainly what the Republicans are up to. Entitlement reform is privation in Republican speak. Joe Scarborough said that reforms are needed in order to save these entitlements, but his way of saving will make it hard on those people who depend on them. There’s no question that reform is needed but benefits do not have to be cut. We could lift the caps and raise the contribution amount to 7% and make the program solvent for several years. Don’t fall for the means testing approach. When you mean test a social program, it makes a class warfare issue. We don’t have to raise the eligibility age on Medicare or Social Security because that’s all some people are looking forward to. I am against President Obama’s wiliness to move on a Chained CPI because it would hurt the poor in outlining years. Democrats can’t continue to give away the store without equal cuts in defense spending and insisting on tax increases or increasing the minimum wage.
This is an ongoing battle and you have to be pretty naïve not to think that the subsidies in ACA won’t always be a target for Republicans. Remember Paul Ryan may look like the boy who lived next door, but he’s still a disciple of Ayn Rand. We should compromise but beware of the Trojan Horse.