Holy crapsky, this is explosive.
John McCain really does hate government spending. For weeks we've been hearing about McCain plans on providing tax credits for Americans to buy their own health care - a scam, as Obama points out, paid for by taxing health benefits.
Well, if only that were the extent of it. The Wall Street Journal has the scoop:
John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs.
The Republican presidential nominee has said little about the proposed cuts, but they are needed to keep his health-care plan "budget neutral," as he has promised. The McCain campaign hasn't given a specific figure for the cuts, but didn't dispute the analysts' estimate.
Said little? In fact I'd say McCain has said nothing about them. And with good reason. His best hope for victory is a large margin of victory amongst the oldest voters. Well, if the market's tanking and the notion of McCain's privatizing social security wasn't enough for them, how about a trillion dollar cut in Medicare?
Mr. Holtz-Eakin said the Medicare and Medicaid changes would improve the programs and eliminate fraud, but he didn't detail where the cuts would come from. "It's about giving them the benefit package that has been promised to them by law at lower cost," he said.
Okay, I don't dispute there are ways to improve the programs and that there might be some fraud. But $1.3 trillion in cost-savings simply by "improving" these programs? No. If McCain is committed to funding his health care proposal this way, he will simply cut the money first and push Medicare and Medicaid to figure it out. But realistically this will mean massive reduction in benefits at best.
At worst, this is the beginning of the end of these programs. And let's be clear: that is most likely McCain's ultimate goal. He wants to phase out these government programs and phase in "tax credits" for consumers to buy their own health plans.
Obama campaign, you have yet another gift that fell into your lap. Quietly, stealthily, the McCain has planned the wholesale destruction of some of the most vital social safety nets this country has.
Don't let him get away with it.
CROSS-POSTED AT STRATEGY '08