Washington – The House on Friday passed a Republican budget blueprint proposing to fundamentally overhaul Medicare and combat out-of-control budget deficits with sharp spending cuts on social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
The non binding plan lays out a fiscal vision cutting $6.2 trillion over the coming decade from the budget submitted by President Barack Obama. It passed 235- 193 with every Democrat voting “no”.
The vote sets up the Republicans’ next round of confrontation with Obama Democrats over the country’s long-term deficit levels. The coming stand-off will likely come to a head this summer and set the stage for the 2012 elections.
Under the House Republican plan, deficits requiring the federal government to borrow more than 40 cents for every dollar it spends would be cut by the end of the decade to 8 cents of borrowing for every dollar spent.
The plan, the birth child of Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a rising figure in the party, exposes Republicans to political risk. It proposes transforming Medicare from a program in which the government directly pays medical bills into a voucher-like system that subsidizes purchases of private insurances plans. People 55 and over would remain in the current system but younger workers would receive subsidies that would steadily lose value over time.
The budget measure is non-binding but lays out a vision to fundamentally reshape government benefit programs for the poor and elderly.
The GOP’s solution to unsustainable deficits is to relentlessly attack the spending of the ledger while leaving Bush-era revenue levels intact. It calls for tax reform that would lower the top income tax rates for corporations and individuals by cleaning out a tax code cluttered with tax breaks and preferences, but parts company with Obama and the findings of a bipartisan deficit commission, who propose devoting about $100 billion a year in new revenues to easing the deficit.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and many budget experts say this spending-cuts only approach is fundamentally unfair, targeting social safety net programs like Medicaid and Food Stamps while leaving in place a tax system they say bestows too many benefits on the wealthy.
There is no doubt now that the country is heading for a show down between Conservative Republicans and more Liberal Democrats. But the battle is not going to be about Democrats -V- Republican just based on party philosophy. It will be about entitlement programs and how they will be delivered in the future. The problems with the republican approach is that these programs are considered the Social Contract put together years ago to assure that the elderly of today would have the assurance that they would enjoy adequate medical care. However, when legislation was passed back in 1965, allowing Congress to tap into Social Security funds, including Medicaid and Medicare, Congress broke their promise to repay the system. Now, we are in over our head, and the same ones who ripped off our grandparents as well as you and I are now saying that we should pay the Bill for their errors. That’s wrong. It is not right. Our elders should not take the hit because of Congressional mistakes, as well as failures.
It is a Social Contract, and a Social promise that when we pay into the system, we are the ones designated to enjoy those benefits in the future. The Congress of today thinks that they can not only rip us off. They can break the promise to all of us, and come up with a plan designed to make profits for huge conglomerate Insurance Companies!
So, now the stage is set for the 2012 elections. Again I say that Americans need to listen to what is being said. Listen to what is not being said. Listen to the slick matted down message given to us. Often what they say is nothing more than a mess of feel good phrases designed to woe us to the polls to vote for them. We think their cause is our cause. In reality, the causes they want to eliminate are the very causes near and dear to our soul. The same programs we will depend on in our later years.
Ask yourself this question…. Did any member of the Tea Party tell you before they were elected that they were going after Medicaid, Medicare , food stamps, and other important Social Sankey Net programs? Did they tell us that they were after Entitlement programs. Of course not! They would have lost their election so quick it would not have been worth the effort to run in the first place. They waited until after the election to tell us what they had in mind. When we protested they said “You elected me to clean up the budget, and that is exactly what I am going to do”. They just did not tell you how they were going to do it. Well they were going to DO IT by DOING YOU !!!
Pay very close attention to whats being said this election round. The vote you cast might be the vote you wish you hadn’t!
Have a great day and God Bless America!
Portions of this article gathered from the Associated Press.