Jonathan Chait reports on the lastest GOP strategy to make sure Obama suffers through a crummy second term. It's all neener-neener stuff, but Chait thinks it could work.
The plan is to refuse to raise anymore revenues. Neener-neener! "Rather than take up President Obama’s offer to cut Social Security and Medicare in return for higher revenue through tax reform, Republicans should refuse to increase another penny of revenue, period."Neener-neener!
Naturally, insisting on zero new revenue will make a deal to reduce the long-term deficit impossible. ...Chait, Daily Intel
So, step one: Block any compromise to reduce the deficit. Step two: Blame Obama for failing to reduce the deficit. I actually think this plan can work. ...Chait, Daily Intel
Gotcha, "Mister 'President'." Gotcha!
This is, apparently, Paul Ryan's payback. As Chait points out, Ryan hates the Affordable Care Act. "Ryan has elevated confidence in his voucherized method and total disdain for the possibility that Obama’s might work into a total metaphysical certainty within his party."
Viewed in this light, the GOP’s refusal to strike a deal makes sense. What is the point of cutting retirement benefits, if their One True Solution to long-term deficits is not tried? Why agree to a plan that would appear to reduce the deficit, and may even do so for a while, and thus take away the party’s ability to campaign against runaway deficits in 2016, and elect, say, Paul Ryan, and implement its plan? ...Chait, Daily Intel
All of this comes from the Republican conviction that medical costs are bound to continue to increase.
However, they don't seem to be increasing dramatically. That's changed already.
Ryan utterly and fervently rejects the reforms put in place by Obama in the Affordable Care Act, which amounted to a comprehensive overhaul of Medicare designed to incentivize doctors, hospitals, and insurers to pay for better outcomes and not just more expensive procedures. Ryan has insisted that these reforms must fail because they involve bureaucracy and only markets can work. This is despite the fact that every other advanced economy on Earth has both a more regulated health-care system and dramatically lower per capita health-care costs. It is also despite the fact that health-care costs have dramatically slowed their growth in recent years, a trend suggesting at least the possibility that the pay-for-value revolution can work and that the budget projections assuming endlessly, skyrocketing health-care-cost inflation (and thus skyrocketing deficits) will prove far too pessimistic. ...Chait, Daily Intel
Neener-neener, Republicans! Gotcha!