There is no letup in the Republican’s attempt to repeal Obamacare. In fact, they have now redoubled their efforts.
On Tuesday, they offered a dramatic budget plan that will include the elimination of the new health care law along with a wide variety of other programs. The proposal was met with a dull silence from Democrats who hold Obamacare and other federal programs dear to their hearts no matter how far the nation slips into debt.
In other words, the entire proposal was immediately rejected by the White House. Their reply was so instant it would have been impossible to have actually read it. It “just doesn't add up” and would harm America’s middle class, was the response.
This is nothing new. The president has rejected similar proposals two years ago and rallied against any changes during the election campaign. The chief author of both budget attempts is none other than Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. – Mitt Romney’s running mate.
The Republican proposal is like night and day with anything the Democrats have in mind. No obvious areas of compromise exist at the present time.
The Senate Democrats, who have not passed a budget in years, responded with a far more watered-down plan repealing automatic spending cuts (Obama’s sequester idea) that began to take effect earlier this month.
Their plan offers $100 billion in new spending for infrastructure and job training. More spending as the debt creeps towards 17 trillion dollars.
Here’s their astonishing plan:
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., proposes to raise taxes (not a writing error) by almost $1 trillion over a decade and cut spending by almost $1 trillion over the same period. But by doing the math, more than half of the combined deficit savings would be used to repeal the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that began to hit the economy earlier this month and are slated to continue through the decade.
So what’s new about this?
The president attempted to show his version of compromise by trudging up to the Capitol joining Senate Democrats (no Republicans) for their secretive weekly “policy” luncheon. He considered it his attempt at a bipartisan outreach to both the House and Senate on the budget.
What we are actually seeing is another attempt at his version of a “grand bargain” that he thinks will enlighten moderate factions of both parties. Yet his competing budget presentation is written strictly along party lines.
With that in mind, Obama got around to the Republicans the day after the closed-door session with Democrats. It’s hard to imagine what could possibly be accomplished in this rare meeting between the president and the GOP. The differing proposals are actually presenting political differences rather than solving anything to do with the deficit.
The empty gesture played well with the mainstream media.
“The president was pretty clear that there are pieces of the Social Security system he is willing to talk about. But he’s going to need some give from Republicans, as we all are,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
What can Sen. Murphy possibly mean by “give?” The nation is 17 trillion dollars in debt. What does “give” have to do with overwhelming debt?
The House GOP plan is a promise to pass a budget that would balance the government’s books, which the measure would achieve by cutting $756 billion over 10 years from the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled, cutting deeply into the day-to-day budgets of domestic agencies, and repealing new health coverage subsidies enacted two years ago with Obama’s signature healthcare bill.
Should the Republicans “give” on such a modest proposal? Should the nation be shocked by such cuts? Rep. Ryan continues to fight over the annual cap for the 12 spending bills that Congress is supposed to pass each year. His proposal will amount to a savings of well over $1 trillion dollars with most of the savings coming from day-to-day agency budgets.
He has promised the American people his plan will cut the deficit from $845 billion this year to $528 billion in the 2014 budget year that starts in October. It would then drop to $125 billion in 2015 and hover pretty much near balance for several years. 2023 would see a $7 billion surplus in 2023.
“While the House Republican budget aims to reduce the deficit, the math just doesn't add up,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Deficit reduction that asks nothing from the wealthiest Americans has serious consequences for the middle class.”
Not a surprising remark considering this administration has spent the better part of four years dividing the American people into two camps.
It seems like it will take the actual true beginning of Obamacare for the nation to make their choice. An economy headed toward total collapse and a 1929 déjà vu, or an act of whistling past the graveyard as if there is nothing to be deeply concerned about.
November, 2014 will bring the answers Americans impatiently will be waiting to vote on.
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