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 MedicareĀ are expected to more than double over the nextĀ decade (from $425 billion in 2009 to $871 billion in 2019), and theĀ program will consume an increasing share of the nationās economy for decades to come unless there are serious cuts and reforms. Even the Obama administrationĀ talks about ābending the cost curveā to slow the programās growth.
Yet Republican National Committee chairman,Ā Michael Steele, takes to theĀ Washington Post today to defend Medicare against any cuts, while at the same timeĀ criticizing the DemocratsĀ as āleft-wing ideologues:ā …Ā SteeleĀ uses the mushy statist phrasing āour seniorsā repeatedly,Ā as if theĀ government owns this group of people, and that they should have no responsibility for their own lives.
Fiscal conservatives, whoĀ haveĀ come out in droves to tea party protests and health care meetings this year, are angry at both parties for the governmentās massive spending and debt binge in recent years. Mr. Steele has nowĀ 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, SteeleĀ defends āour seniors,ā but at the expense of massive taxĀ hikes on āour childrenā if entitlement programs are not cut.