The strange Republican embrace of Medicare
Chris Edwards over at the Cato Institute is also unsettled by how the GOP is endorsing the status quo with Medicare spending to score political points:
Yet the taxpayer costs of MedicareÂ are expected to more than double over the nextÂ decade (from $425 billion in 2009 to $871 billion in 2019), and theÂ program will consume an increasing share of the nationâ€™s economy for decades to come unless there are serious cuts and reforms. Even the Obama administrationÂ talks about â€śbending the cost curveâ€ť to slow the programâ€™s growth.
Yet Republican National Committee chairman,Â Michael Steele, takes to theÂ Washington Post today to defend Medicare against any cuts, while at the same timeÂ criticizing the DemocratsÂ as â€śleft-wing ideologues:â€ť …Â SteeleÂ uses the mushy statist phrasing â€śour seniorsâ€ť repeatedly,Â as if theÂ government owns this group of people, and that they should have no responsibility for their own lives.
Fiscal conservatives, whoÂ haveÂ come out in droves to tea party protests and health care meetings this year, are angry at both parties for the governmentâ€™s massive spending and debt binge in recent years. Mr. Steele has nowÂ informed these folks loud and clear that the Republican Party is not interested in restraining government; it is not interested in cutting the program that creates the single biggest threat to taxpayers in coming years. For apparently crass political reasons, SteeleÂ defends â€śour seniors,â€ť but at the expense of massive taxÂ hikes on â€śour childrenâ€ť if entitlement programs are not cut.