Don't be fooled. This "budget battle" isn't about money. If it was about money we'd be long done with this tom-foolery. We're talking about a rather minuscule amount of money here. No, this is about ideology. It's about abortion (whether you're pro-choice or "pro-life", this debate doesn't belong in a budget process). It's about environmental protections. And it's about Health Care. In other words, it's not about cutting the deficit, but about using the budget as a way of enacting political goals that are tangential to the budget.
When it comes to cuts to the budget, the Democrats have come more than half way, but that's not good enough for the Tea Party impacted GOP. It's their way or no way, and so here we are, left on the brink of disaster.
Of course we're now in the blame game mode, but it's important to remember that what's keeping this from passing is a series of riders the GOP has attached to the budget bill.
If we want to get serious about deficit reduction, then both sides should at least start with the Simpson-Bowles Report. We might not like all sides of it, but that's the place to start. Yesterday, I heard Alan Simpson, former senator from Wyoming, on NPR talking about all of this. He was spot on -- the Bush tax cuts, especially for the wealthiest are indefensible.
Former Sen. SIMPSON: Some Republicans. There are plenty of us who never thought that was common sense. I thought it was absurd when it first started. How do you get a tax cut to help when you're in the midst of this global economy with this tremendous debt, with $4 billion a day being borrowed. I mean, this is absurd.
So I would have never voted for the original tax cuts back in the previous administration. I thought it was absurd then, and it's even more absurd now.
We need to find some ways to "affluence test" Medicare. We need to recognize that the "retirement dates" set for both Medicare and Social Security are based on the idea that people tend to die at about that point. Guess what, we don't.
So, if we really want to get to the bottom of the problem, let's all get serious about the real issues and not the side issues. It's time for everyone to grow up!! So, agree on some numbers, cut the deal, and let's get on with it.