It's About Ideology -- Not Money

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. 


Allan R. Bevere said…

I find it interesting that you put "pro-life" in parentheses, but not pro-choice.
John said…
Bob was just disclosing his personal bias, in case anyone didn't already know.

Terry Bobzien said…
Well put, Bob. Calling it like it is.
Robert Cornwall said…

I think that lack was inadverdant, but the reality is that the words "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are really meaningless. Pro-life apparently means anti-abortion, but doesn't necessarily mean that one is pro-life once life begins! Pro-choice is just as meaningless. It's supposed to mean that a woman has the right to choose, but it too becomes politicized.

My point is that this isn't about cutting the deficit, it's about imposing a particular ideological stamp on the outcome.

But, yes, John, I probably am revealing my bias here! I would like to consider myself pro-life, even though I'm not necessarily anti-abortion -- depending on what that means!
John said…
Bob, not a criticism, just a poke. I am very ambivalent, so far be it for me to criticize one side or the other.

But I agree it's all about naked ideological warfare. The extreme right is no longer content to sit idly by while the country moves so slowly from the center to the right, they want it all now while they have the momentum.

Maybe now the Democrats will see the harm in their apathy.

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