After considerable budgetary discussions between the President and key Republicans and Democrats in the Congress, the opening salvo from the Republicans in the House of Representatives is anything but encouraging. Indeed, it is so far distant from what is needed at this stage that it is almost comical. Trouble is, no one is laughing.
Congressman Ryan indeed had the temerity to suggest that his exceedingly austere and uncompromising budget program was something that he and Governor Romney had basically sold to the American people in the last election — which, last time I checked, was the election they lost. The election they thought they would win in a landslide.
Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are so far apart that it seems fairly obviously that a deal of reasonable dimensions will not be possible by the end of the month.
The problem with the Ryan budget is not just that it is nearly the same as the last one he proposed — indeed, it is far worse, or at least it is presented far more harshly. Further, the tone with which it is being presented is even worse. It’s a here it is, in your face document that is presented in a way that is insulting to the core, and most Americans when they think about it will just get very mad.
Item 1: The Affordable Care Act is now the law. When it was voted into law it was challenged and that challenge went to the Supreme Court where the basic constitutionality of the law was upheld. At least one provision was altered but the law stands. As it is implemented the law will change, modifications may be made as they are for many laws, but this is the wrong time to continue to talk about repealing the law and returning mechanisms for health care in the nation to the states and or to the private sector. Both of those options will break it up into little pieces and costs will never be brought under control.
That may not matter to Republicans who see in the destruction of the law an opportunity to get a large program out of the hands of the federal government — and at the same time for the rich people running heath care to get richer. Some states, of course, would do a fine job with health care while others would make it nearly impossible (in their state).
Item 2: Ripping apart both Social Security and Medicare/Medicade will destroy, remove or at least minimize the last vestiges of net worth of the average citizen who has seen the value of the house he or she may own as well as retirement savings dwindle after the wizards of Wall Street finished them off in 2008. Republicans now wish to create a nation of serfs, wherein they (the Republicans) would willingly hand over management of what remains of the safety net of the poor up through the middle class back to the same wizards who destroyed the financial system in 2008. What are we to be taken for? Fools!
Item 3: Wall Street and business firms right down to those at the back end of Main Street have recovered from their problems in 2008. They have made their money back and then some. They’ve accumulated profits that are sitting there doing nothing. Where are the jobs, boys and girls? Where are the jobs? That accumulated profit has to be reinvested in America.
Of course, the barons of industry claim that they are overtaxed and over regulated. They have sent their Republican lackeys, the barbarians we see at our gates, to get whatever the average man or woman in the country has left. Then they will create a few jobs and send the rest of the funds in their vaults overseas to make their widgets at even lower cost than they pay here, and what they can’t get done that way they may try to throw us a bone or two to keep us quiet. Then they will invest the rest both here and abroad while the build their multimillion dollar IRAs in the Cayman Islands.