Blogs » Politcs Plus » Ideological lines are being drawn in the sand



The only thing certain is that something has to give the because the ideological lines have been drawn in the sand. The president said Medicare will not be privatized on his watch and that the Bush tax cuts will be repealed because we can't afford them and in a spirit of shared sacrifice, the top 2% will be asked to pay more. The republicans, say we have a spending problem not a revenue problem, so they insist they will not support any new tax increases on any one. In fact, 235 republicans have signed Grover Norquist's pledge to never vote to increase taxes....Grover Norquist is the president of an advocacy group, Americans for Tax Reform, so republicans voting for tax increases will do so at their own peril.

The president's initial budget proposal was pretty weak, opening the door for republicans to question presidents Obama's leadership in getting our fiscal house back in order. This emboldened the GOP to submit Congressman Paul Ryan's budget proposal. Ryan's budget proposal calls for the privatizing Medicare for those under at the age of 55, lowering the corporate tax rate to 25%, and changing the funding practice for Medicaid by providing block grants to the states, so they can determine the best way to do that. The Ryan budget does not call for any new tax increases or any real defense spending cuts. This left the door open for the democrats to say that Ryan will balance the budget on the backs of the poor and disabled. It looks like the republicans played right into the hands of the White House because this past Wednesday, president Obama held a press conference to demonize the efforts of Congressman Paul Ryan and submit the budget they have been working on for quite sometime. The president said that Medicare will not be privatized on his watch and that the Ryan budget will change the basic social compact in America. Those were harsh words for Congressman Ryan to swallow, as he sat in the front row as an invited guest of the White House. Joe Scarborough and Mica Brzezinski have been going at it for two days as to whether it was inappropriate or not for the president to invite his opposition and then say his plan would change the basic social compact in America. Joe Scarborough said it was a stupid move because the president will have to negotiate with Congressman Ryan, and those words have poisoned the well. On the other side, Mica Brzezinski said that the republicans are just cry babies because political rhetoric should be expected....MSNBC's political analyst, Mark Helprin said if a republican president would have done that, the mainstream media would've led with a story about a republican president demonizing his opponent. I don't know about that because I never gave it any thought as I was listening to the speech, but I did not know that Congressman Ryan was an invited guest. President Obama (as all presidents do) acknowledged the distinguished guests in attendance, but I don't remember hearing the name Congressman Ryan mentioned.

I purposely didn't get into the details of both budgets because in the end, the one that is adopted for 2012 will not have any resemblance whatsoever, to the ones being proposed. The arguments will be the basis for approving the debt ceiling to be raised, so the final proposal will have great significance. I don't think there's a chance that we will default on our debts, so I have a lot of confidence that the debt ceiling will be raised. The republicans should get the stand alone up or down votes for defunding Planned Parenthood and healthcare out of the way because there's not a chance it will pass the senate or a presidential veto. They can get the votes in the record and use it as a campaign issue. The house republicans do control the purse strings, so the White House has to negotiate because of the separation of powers. The GOP already knows that the privatizing of Medicare is a loser for them, besides the president will veto any attempt to privatize the system. Today, the house will vote for the Ryan budget, but it will be dead on arrival when it gets to the senate. It's going to be another interesting summer.