Why R & R are Right To Take on Medicare Now

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All squish talk aside, no one ever accused Mitt Romney of not being able to understand a spreadsheet.  The proof is in the pudding on that account.

When he looks at social security and medicare the numbers don’t lie.  And when he looks at the government budget in general the numbers don’t lie. Nor have they lied for many years.  There’s a cliff ahead, but so far the best anyway could ever come up with were strategies to slow us down to 50.

Even Ronald Reagan, for whom this duo is named, had to come up with a way to produce revenues faster than the government could spend them, and thanks to Arthur Laffer, found one. That has been Republican policy ever since; low taxes mean greater government revenues. But it also means the Democrats, of late oozing a hateful Marxist rhetoric against America’s builders even Reagan never had to confront, only get half of their pie that way. For while they want all that money to spend, Dems don’t like the idea of untethered men getting rich creating all that revenue. The only people they want to see get rich are those squarely in their camp, and who show the appropriate amount of gratitude for being allowed to earn that wealth. Socialists want to be able to tap out the winners.

Of course, wealth produced in this way can only be created on a much smaller scale, in fact, just enough to maintain the accoutrements of wealth and power for about 20% of those currently enjoying it now. The rest of us, well, we have to tighten our belts, too. Downsized wealth means re-allocated wealth, and it affects everyone, except for the allocators. (This is the fundamental difference between Clinton-like hot tub socialists and Obama-like get-even socialists. One doesn’t want to kill the golden goose while the other wants to replace it with a squab…broiled.)

For Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, it’s simple math and accounting. Medicare is going to cease to exist within a decade all by itself, social security not far behind. Millions of young taxpayers today are paying 13% of their gross income into a medical retirement plan none of them ever expect to see when they retire in 20-30-40 years from now. In fact, that’s a guarantee.

And what do they tell their children, ages 2-8-12, when they look down into their baby-blues, other than the fact that before they have eaten their first Crayola they are already over a $100,000 in debt?

So what will they see?

Paul Ryan, the brilliant analyst, looked at this problem when he first came to Congress, and decided it can be fixed. Mitt Romney, the experienced turn-around businessman, decided it has to be fixed, for nothing else in government can be fixed until this is fixed.  If this can’t be fixed, what we call “governance” will cease to exist. Something else, as yet undetermined, will replace it. All bets are off. All plans for the future, to be announced.

So instead of complaining about the R & R Plan, or the iffy politics of it, what do the Democrats plan to do about this impending leap from the cliff?

Mitt’s been asking this question for many years. So was Herman Cain, another expert from the private sector. It was why Herman supported Mitt in 2008.

Everywhere Mitt has turned, even in his own party, he heard “This is the budget mess, we’re spending way beyond our ability to create new revenues, even with the best of Laffer assumptions, but only this part over here, discretionary spending, is all we can work with. This part over there, non-discretionary spending (56% of the total budget pie), aka entitlements, we can’t touch.”

“Why can’t we touch entitlements?” Romney and Ryan ask.
“Because the Democrats say so.”

“Well, what are the Democrats going to do about the cliff, now that we’re getting so close and pedal still to the metal.?”

“They won’t say. They’re just saying if Republicans get in charge, we’ll drive everyone over that cliff…old folks, minorities, women and children first….and you know how afraid we are to be accused to hurting old folks, minorities, blah, blah, blah.”

It’s true. The only Democrat talking points are about what’s wrong with the GOP plan, while shedding no light on how they propose to attack the problem…today.

But the correct question to ask isn’t what the Democrats plan to do to keep us from jumping into the abyss, but rather what plans to they have once we do?

Well, this is one of those issues that divides conservatives from Establishment Republicans, for while we do consider it, saying it out loud amounts to stockpiling food, water and ammo in the basement for a long siege. Establishment GOP types, on the other hand, are in a kind of denial, for they just can’t allow themselves to think the unthinkable.

What we do know is that Barack Obama dithers. It took him days to finally pull the trigger on bin Laden (and less than 90 seconds to give the names and addresses of the men who did it.) It took him weeks to decide to lead from behind in Libya (a story still unfolding as to whether any good guys actually won there.) He dithered on the BP oil spill response, but less than a day to shake down BP.

So we are more or less assured he’ll dither on Medicare and Social Security, in part, just like the sub-prime mortgage crisis that brought on the banking meltdown, they don’t want anyone to see their fingerprints on the $700 billion they robbed from Medicare to cook the books on Obamacare. At worst, this car crash is intentional. At best, Obama and the Dems can’t see much further down the road that the length of Obama’s attention span.

So this is a very good hill to set down a flag and start defending. Besides, when in doubt, always take the right road.

But the good news is that R & R can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, actually a thing that is expected from a presidential team, and woefully lacking in the current occupiers. They can set out flags on other hills as well. And will; the economy, ( jobs, baseline budgeting, taxes) foreign policy (Iran, Russia, China, spitting in Hugo Chavez eye), energy (oil, coal, pipelines) education (sending back to the states), excessive regulation (EPA).

In politics, when a man’s playing defense, he’s down. But in survival, end-of-freedom politics, when that man’s down, kick him.

 

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vassarbushmills
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bobmontgomery
August 17, 2012 1:06 pm

Some day….after the election….I hope we can have some discussions about what the definition(s) of “entitlements” are. Whether one is ‘entitled’ because one worked all his/her life and paid his way and paid his dues; or whether one is “entitled” because one is lame or bi-polar or a recent immigrant. I also hope we can discuss how medicare is not”free” even under the current system. How the recipient’s portion of his Medicare insurance is automatically deducted from his Social Security benefit and how even then it doesn’t pay for everything. This is how Republicans get hoisted on their own petards… Read more »

Pamela
August 17, 2012 4:54 pm

For anyone who has been paying into Social Security and medicare from the time they started working, it’s difficult to see that money not being there after work ceases to be. For many of us, we will most likely work until we die. Unfortunately, I think that is the hope and change aspect of Obamacare and any of the multitude plans, laws, regulations and executive orders brought up from the depths of hell, and the depraved indifference of those who think they and only they, must be obeyed. As an aside, BP is selling everything they own here in the… Read more »

Cold Warrior
Editor
August 19, 2012 1:45 pm

I would have changed one word. You said, “That has been Republican policy ever since; low taxes mean greater government revenues.” To help people understand this better, I would changed “taxes” to “tax rates.” By lowering the tax rates, people now have a greater incentive to strive to make more income, and generally do so. Thereby creating more wealth and greater tax revenues for the government.
Thanks,
CW