Republicans are despicable people.
Some of you may be wondering why I would say such a thing. After all, I periodically express my profound admiration for Ronald Reagan (as well as my appreciation for the only other good President of the past 100-plus years).
Moreover, I just wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial saying nice things about the Ryan budget. And I also have done a couple of TV interviews explaining how that plan would do a good job of controlling the burden of government spending.
But these are the exceptions. What really matters is what Republicans do when they actually hold power. By that standard, most GOPers are terrible.
And now I have something new for my list of Romney transgressions. Take a look at this awful campaign commercial.
Several things about this commercial make me nauseous.
- First, current seniors did not pay for Medicare. The Medicare payroll tax only covers about one-third of projected costs. To be fair, the ad doesn’t claim that seniors completely self-financed their benefits, but it clearly promotes the entitlement mindset – particularly with the nonsense about “guaranteed healthcare.”
- Second, while I agree that Obamacare is a “massive new government program,” it’s downright pathetic to run an ad defending an even more massive old government program.
- Third, Obama did not cut Medicare. He merely reduced the program’s rate of growth. Republicans correctly complain when leftists demagogue about non-existent spending cuts, but they lose all credibility when they use the same dishonest tactics.
You might be thinking that Romney was out of the loop when some campaign consultants went rogue and put together a deeply flawed commercial.
Don’t kid yourself. Here’s what Romney just said, as reported by the L.A. Times.
At a campaign fundraiser in Charlotte on Wednesday, Romney told NASCAR team owners and other donors that Obama “cut Medicare funding for current Medicare retirees” to pay for his healthcare overhaul. “That came out of the Medicare trust fund,” Romney told supporters at Duke Mansion, a colonial-style banquet hall. “He raided that trust fund to pay for Obamacare. And as seniors hear this, they’re going to be angry.” …Restoring the cuts, as Romney advocated Wednesday in a CBS interview, would swell the federal deficit in kind. Romney, who has named deficit reduction as a top priority, said nothing about how he would cover the expense.
In other words, Romney not only is criticizing Obama for restraining the growth of Medicare spending, he’s also promising to increase outlays on the program if he gets to the White House.
By the way, none of this should be interpreted as an endorsement of what Obama did. As you can see from these two charts (from Medicare’s Chief Actuary), the reductions in the rate of growth of Medicare spending basically were used to finance higher spending in other areas such as Medicaid.
But Romney’s basically promising to do nothing more than reverse these two charts. And that’s assuming we can trust his campaign promise to undo Obamacare. This cartoon shows why I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Based on his approach to Medicare, Romney at best wants to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
If Romney actually cared about taxpayers and the economy, he would promise to repeal the costly Obamacare program and then build upon that small first step with a commitment to reform the other unaffordable entitlement programs.