Archive for the ‘medicare’ Tag

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST:

But, first, here’s my take. The crisis has been resolved, but this respite is temporary. We’re bound to have more standoffs and brinkmanship in the months and years ahead. To understand why, you must recognize that, for the tea party, the stakes could not be higher.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz put it plainly at the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We’re nearing the edge of a cliff, and our window to turn things around, my friends, I don’t think it is long. I don’t think it’s 10 years. We have a couple of years to turn the country around or we go off the cliff to oblivion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: Cruz dominated the summit’s straw poll, taking 42 percent of the vote, more than three times his nearest rival. Cruz’s national approval rating might be an abysmal 14 percent, but to the base of the Republican Party, he’s an idol.

The current fear derives from Obamacare and what it will do to America, but that is only the most recent cause for alarm. Modern American conservatism was founded on a diet of despair.

In 1955, William F. Buckley Jr. began the movement with a famous first editorial in National Review declaring that the magazine “stands athwart history, yelling stop.” Hardline conservatives have been yelling stop ever since.

John Boehner tries to tie into this tradition of opposition when he says in exasperation repeated, “The federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years.”

But, one might respond, what have been the results over these past 60 years? The United States has grown mightily, destroyed the Soviet Union, spread capitalism across the globe and lifted its citizens to astonishingly high standards of living and income.

At the end of his 1961 speech that launched his political career, Ronald Reagan said,

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: But the menace Reagan warned about, Medicare, was enacted. It’s provided security to the elderly. There have been problems regarding cost, but that is hardly the same as killing freedom.

After all, the right-wing Heritage Foundation ranks many countries as “more free” every year. For example, Switzerland and Australia and they all have universal health care.

For many conservatives today, the “rot” to be excoriated is not about economics and health care but about culture. A persistent theme of conservative intellectuals and commentators, in print and on Fox News, is the cultural decay of the country.

But compared with almost any period in U.S. history, we live in bourgeois times, in a culture that values family, religion, work and, above all, private business.

Young people today aspire to become Mark Zuckerberg. They quote the aphorisms of Warren Buffett. They read the Twitter feed of Bill Gates. Even after the worst recession since the Great Depression, there are no obvious radicals, anarchists, Black Panthers or other revolutionary movements except for the tea party.

Now, for some tacticians and consultants, extreme rhetoric is just a way to keep the troops fired up. But rhetoric gives meaning and shape to a political movement.

Over the past six decades, conservatives’ language of decay, despair and decline have created a powerful group of Americans who fervently believe in this dark narrative and are determined to stop the country from plunging into what they see is imminent oblivion. They aren’t going to give up just yet. The era of crises could end, but only when this group of conservatives makes its peace with today’s America. They are misty- eyed in their devotion to a distant republic of myth and memory and yet passionate in their dislike of the messy, multiracial, capitalist and welfare-state democracy that America actually has been for half a century, a fifth of this country’s history.

At some point, will they come to recognize that you cannot love America in theory and hate it in fact?

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1310/20/fzgps.01.html

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Stewart “It must be a pretty eclectic group (of states), with many different reasons, to explain why they would turn down federal money to bring health care to their working poor, or maybe there was just one reason.”

Reporter “All of those states have Republican governors or legislatures that are controlled by Republicans.”

Stewart “Oh, which makes it really hard not to see this as just the latest example of that hit game show sweeping part of the nation, What Do You Hate More: Poverty Or Obama?  Brought to you by spite.  Spite, the emotion that makes you turn down millions of dollars that would go towards health care for the working poor, because you hate the President.”

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-10-2013/medican-t—-taker–states

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http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/fugelsang-cutting-medicare-to-fix-budget-is-like-invading-iraq-when-you-were-attacked-by-15-saudis/

John Fugelsang:

America’s broke and it’s the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion. So if you’re mad about the former, thank the millions of Americans who opposed the latter. Because this anniversary is a fitting time to talk about the destructive budget battle that now divides our nation.

The Republican Party is outraged over the deficit — although George W. Bush never once balanced a budget in eight years, but of course those were freedom deficits.

Now after the credit-card-with-no-limit presidency of Mr. Bush, the credit card bill has arrived — in your mailbox. It’s called austerity. Last decade we had two wars off the books while cutting taxes for the wealthy and this decade, y’all get to pay for it.

Now there are ways to fix our deficit that don’t hurt the poor or the middle class. A carbon tax of $20 per ton could cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion. Treating capital gains as income could raise over $530 billion. A financial transaction tax could reduce the deficit by an estimated $350 billion. But apparently we don’t really hate deficits that much.

So here’s an even better idea: Let’s build a time machine, go back to 2003, and stop President Bush and his Republican and Democratic allies from invading and occupying Iraq. Because today we know from estimates by the Costs of War Project, the war will eventually wind up costing the U.S. taxpayers at least $2.2 trillion.

That’s in addition to the 190,000 people killed — the men and women in uniform, the contractors and civilians. Two trillion dollars America would have in the bank, if we hadn’t had a bloody unconstitutional dine-n-dash of a war.

Now please keep this in mind as some of the people who told you how necessary the Iraq War was — both in politics and media — are now telling you how necessary austerity is.

The people who were wrong about everything are now telling you we’ve got to repeal everything since the New Deal.

The same people who said Iraq definitely had WMDs are now telling us you’re going to have to definitely eat more Mickey D’s. The ones who promised we’d be greeted as liberators are now telling us you may have to be liberated from some of your earned entitlement benefits. The politicians who guaranteed democracy would flourish in the region now say surpluses will flourish if we voucher-ize Medicare.

The guys who said two wars in Iraq would bring down gas prices then, are telling you now that the Keystone Pipeline will bring down gas prices.

The folks who said Iraq would be a cakewalk are now saying, “Let ‘em eat cake.”

So let’s thank some of the people who opposed the Iraq invasion: people like Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Ron Paul, Arianna Huffington, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Pat Buchanan — yeah, I said it — Michael Moore and the last two popes. They knew how un-Christian a concept pre-emptive war was: “Forgive us our trespasses as we trespass against those we think might trespass against us.”

Or go ahead and listen to the ones who were wrong: Limbaugh, George Will, Kristol, Krauthammer, McCain, Condoi Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilly, Scarborough, Bush and way more Democrats than I should be able to name.

Unlimited funds then, austerity now. And they want your Medicare, and they want your Social Security. And they’re gonna get it, unless America wakes up in a way we didn’t wake up 10 years ago.

Because, my friends, going after Medicare to fix a budget crisis is like going after Iraq when you were attacked by 15 Saudis.