Republican party 2011: We must cut medicare! It's the only way to reduce the deficit! We're still very serious!
The current Republican deficit reduction proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan is not only breathtakingly ill-timed (cutting federal expenditures during the recovery from the recent recession is a fucking great idea boys!) but relies heavily on the effective privatization of medicare benefits and the more or less complete destruction of medicaid to achieve its ends.
Krugman calls Ryan's plan out for its reliance on unicorns:
First, the plan assumes that tax cuts will set off a literally unprecedented boom.I encourage you to click through to the Krugman and Baker articles, but in short, Ryan's serious plan is on several basic economic levels, completely unserious. Surprise, surprise! Who could have guessed?
Then there’s the Medicare business. According to the CBO analysis, a typical senior would end up spending more than twice as much of his or her own income on health care as under current law. As Dean Baker points out, this means that seniors would end up paying most of their income for health care. Again, right.
But in a way, the worst part isn’t the Medicare plan: it’s the fact — which so far has not penetrated the debate — that the biggest source of supposed savings in the plan isn’t actually health care, it’s an assumption that federal spending on everything except health and Social Security can somehow be squeezed, as a percent of GDP, to a small fraction of current levels.
We can only hope that Senate Democrats and the Administration do not fall for the Republican bait and switch again during this budget battle. It already happened once during the healthcare debate. Today's Republican party relies on a simple tactic:
1. Accuse the Democrats of being unserious because they will not adopt batshit insane Republican ideas.
2. Wait for Democrats to adopt those very ideas in the name of compromise.
3. Move the goalpoasts for the current debate as far right as possible.
This is ample evidence that the Republicans are not only deeply unserious, but are also just mean, nasty, shysters. Fuckers.