Republicans’ concern over the growth of government is moral as well as fiscal. To quote the House Republican “road map” that accompanied the release of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, “Americans were known and admired everywhere for their hopeful determination to assume responsibility for the quality of their own lives; to rely on their own work and initiative. . . . But over time, Americans have been lured into viewing government . . . as their main source of support; they have been drawn toward depending on the public sector for growing shares of their material and personal well-being. The trend drains individual initiative and personal responsibility.”Now that Harold Meyerson has explained the Republican strategy, I agree. Cut off the slackers and welfare queens! Build up the moral fibre of Americans by making them pay-as-they-go!
To remedy this, House Republicans passed a budget that chiefly increases the opportunities for initiative and responsibility available to seniors by reducing their dependence on Medicare and Medicaid (which devotes two-thirds of its funding to nursing-home care). By converting Medicare from a guarantee of payment for medical care to a voucher to purchase insurance, the Congressional Budget Office calculated, the share of medical bills that seniors would have to pay themselves would rise from 25 percent to 68 percent.
Republicans are right to aim big if they mean to reduce the deficit through cuts alone. By most measures, seniors are the major spongers on taxpayers, chiefly through their insistence on not working productively once they hit 65, 78, 92 or whatever. But for the sake of argument, suppose we don’t want to put that burden on our mothers, fathers, grandparents and ourselves. Where else can we identify a comparably large group of drainers of the public till?
Happily, the Tax Foundation — a conservative Washington-based think tank — has, however unintentionally, provided the answer. In 2007, the foundation published a survey of 2005 federal spending in each state and compared that with each state’s contribution in federal taxes. In other words, the foundation identified the states that sponge off the federal government and those that subsidize it. The welfare-queen states and the responsible, producing states, as it were.
If we’re really serious, then, about reducing the deficit entirely through cutbacks, the solution is clear: Cut off these slacker states. As we can’t very well expect them to support legislating an end to their slothful dependence on our sugar-daddy subsidies, the only real solution is to reduce them to vassal status, strip them of their congressional and electoral college representation, and compel them to pay what they owe America’s producing class. If need be — we can’t just go on passing the debt to the next generation — by force.
Take taxes off the table and it’s either the South (and kindred sponger states) or the seniors. I say, the South. It’s time for bold choices. What don’t you understand? We’re broke!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Getting the Facts Straight
Here is a bit from an opinion piece by Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post. It makes sure that people clearly understand the purpose and goal of Republican budget cuts: