Skip to comments.There was no GOP entitlement-cutting plan
Posted on 01/19/2013 7:56:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind
In the fights over the fiscal cliff and now the debt ceiling, many conservatives were adamant: Republicans should reach an agreement with President Obama only in exchange for serious cuts in entitlement spending. It is the entitlements Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security that will drive future deficits, the conservatives argued, and without real cuts, the nations debt will spiral out of control in the not-too-distant future.
Some Republican lawmakers have been stressing that point for weeks and demanding that the president agree to real cuts before any deal could be struck. But what has emerged from the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia is that Republicans did not have an entitlement-cutting proposal to present to Obama in debt-ceiling talks, had the president ever agreed to negotiate with them. The talk about big entitlement cuts, at least in connection with a debt-ceiling agreement, was mostly talk.
Now, by deciding to pass a short-term debt-limit bill, and at the same time demand that Democrats pass a budget something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not allowed in nearly four years Republicans have sidestepped the entitlement issue altogether, at least for a while. That might have been the GOPs only option, since it had not agreed on an entitlement-cutting proposal.
House Republicans placed themselves on the side of entitlement reform when they voted for the Ryan budget. But the Ryan budget was a far-reaching, intricately interconnected plan that addressed not only entitlement spending but taxes and revenues and more. It was not a proposal that Republicans could just throw at the president and say, Here, this is our position. As for the actions on entitlements that might have been part of GOP demands for a debt-ceiling deal, says one participant in the Williamsburg meeting: Long term, those have to be figured out. But my sense of that is that it is not going to happen in ten days. This is complex, important. In other words, there was no plan for major entitlement cuts as part of the debt-limit strategy.
Rather than come up with their own plan for extensive entitlement cuts, Republicans considered focusing on some smaller proposals that Obama has spoken of favorably in the past and has now abandoned. If the debate had reached a discussion of entitlements, its likely the GOP would have latched onto those and pushed for the president to live by his own words.
None of this means Republicans didnt discuss among themselves some possible options for cutting entitlements. There were a lot of discussions about cuts and what to cut, says another Republican who has been involved in the process. Fifty-five and above was discussed. What could we get and where were discussed. But discussing does not mean agreeing on a plan. And the bottom line is that if President Obama had had an incredible change of mind and said to Republicans, OK, youre right. I will negotiate. And we need to cut entitlements. Whats your plan? the GOP would have had little to offer beyond what Obama himself has already said.
No doubt. The GOP is absolutely full of sh!t. No one respects them and they do not deserve any respect.
This one is easy. Cutting medicare and SS are politically toxic. Hell, Rs demonized O-care medicare cuts to help win 2010. They never plan more than a month ahead.
I could see what they (House + Senate Rs) were up to with this talk, they are begging O to give them cover for unpopular entitlement reform by signing on to it, but his lib base would freak if he did,
This is why its obvious Rs would lose in a confrontation on this.
There are a million other things that could be cut but these are the most politically sensitive issues and were never going to see meaningful cuts. Even talking about it at this point is bread and circuses.
Fortunately FReepers are happy to pay $100 million for an aquarium in Brazil, $125 million endowment for the arts, and a thousand other such minor things. Drops in the bucket to be sure but there are enough of them to fill a supertanker.
If they aren’t cutting the little less politically sensitive things, they aren’t going to cut the big ones. After all, the people rioting over section 8 housing couldn’t care less if we cut the endowment for the arts.
Which confirms what we already suspected: the gop has zero intention of making any meaningful reductions in spending.
Huge sums could be cut from thousands of other less politically sensitive things.
Obviously entitlements do need major reform but cuts elsewhere might help get some breathing room.
“No one respects them and they do not deserve any respect.”
Unfortunately about half of voters, including yours truly, dragged their butts to the polls and voted for this failed political party in November on the hopes that they might do something slightly better than the ‘rats. It’s painfully obvious that being even slightly better than the ‘rats is setting the bar way too high for the gop.
The gop is worse than worthless.
“Obviously entitlements do need major reform but cuts elsewhere might help get some breathing room.”
And the gop can’t even muster the will to do that.
Yeah, RKBA, I did too. I did it for McCain too, but I’ve really had it.
I am just not going to saddle myself with oh we have to do whatever we can do get republicans in because...there is no because.
I can at least respect the democrats for being a damn formidable enemy who knows what they want and will do anything it takes to get it. I cannot respect the GOP at all. In fact I spit on them and I’d very much like to pee on all their shoes while they are standing in them. I bet that they would not even have the stones to tell me to stop.
I do not know what the solution to America’s problems is, but I do know that the solution is not the GOP.
“Why should they, GOP voters are demanding entitlement reform and ignoring everything else.”
Those gop voters are becoming a rarer and rarer breed. At a certain point even the most strident gop stalwart wonders if they’re being played for a sucker and finds something else to do with their time.
Remember the House GOP swore off ‘earmarks’ ?
So instead they sent letters to the departments run by Obama picks begging for money for their districts for wasteful projects. but its the thought that counts.
Congress is not designed to cut current spending.
The business roundtable wants both tax cuts and lots of spending (no cuts) now, but to raise the SS/MC ages to 70, something impossible to pass through congress for obvious reasons.
We must get actual cuts.
The GOP is useless. If Obama’s not careful, his effort to crush Republicans will pave the way for a real opposition with principles and guts.
If the feds are going to waste any extra money we give them, why would I agree to reduce my SS or Medicare? Effectively, you waste it on them via x, y, and z, so you can waste some more on me via SS and Medicare. If you stop wasting money on x, y, and z, then we can have a discussion on reducing debt by changing SS and Medicare.
“I do not know what the solution to Americas problems is, but I do know that the solution is not the GOP.”
Expecting the gop to somehow fix America is like expecting smoking to somehow fix lung cancer.
I’m through with it. I just don’t see the point in wasting more time with electoral politics. It’s time that would be better spent working in the garden, or picking my nose for that matter.
"Expecting the gop to somehow fix America is like expecting smoking to somehow fix lung cancer."
That is an exceptional analogy, I must say.
Im through with it. I just dont see the point in wasting more time with electoral politics. Its time that would be better spent working in the garden, or picking my nose for that matter.
Agree completely. I may go out of my way to try and elect republicans to state government, especially if Charlie Crist, Whore, tries to run against Rick Scott, Inconsequential, but I'm not donating any money.
And at least gardening is good exercise and can result in lovely flowers and roses or even food, and nose picking results in booger-free airflow, which to me is a prize worth far more than all republicans combined :D
<> It is the entitlements Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security that will drive future deficits<>
Not true, Byron.
How much of the 16 Trillion dollar debt is Social Security???
Answer — 0.
How much of the 16 Trillion dollar debt is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund???
Answer: several Trillion dollars.
It’s the only program still in the black despite politicians stealing from it year after year and dumping every social program on earth into it rather than the regular budget.
Perhaps its time that those social programs should be charged to the Federal Employee Retirement Fund.
What happened to the report on duplicitous gov’t? How many BILLIONS+ of $$ would that have saved?
Nope, the GOP can’t even fight about that! They enjoy the power of being in the minority, they offer no real solutions aside from being less than the other side (and not by much).
The GOP members know when to vote NO on things because of how we feel back here.
Pork barreled “hurricane relief”, tax increases, the debt ceiling hike and so on get passed with some GOP support while most members vote NO with a tough sounding statement accompanying their vote.
But those NO votes almost all of them support Boehner as their leader, that gives away the phony game our elected GOP congressman play.
The NO congressmen need to kick out YES congressmen and Boehner from their caucus but don’t hold your breath.
The GOP is run by Rovish moderate business as usual politicians who have over 90 percent of the people we elect under their thumb.
But get angry about Obama and terrorists, Obama and guns, Harry Reid, labor union bosses etc. etc. while the GOP keeps this county on course to disaster with ever increasing spending and debt.
There can be no compromise on taxes, spending and debt, but there have been cave ins and more are to come.