Good morning from the land of Reality! I'm not sure what they put in the Holiday Punch over at AP and USA Today, but someone had their sense of Oh! Snap! heightened just recently because there is an actual story being carried by an actual newspaper this morning that points out that not only are members of the Republican Congress hypocrites when it comes to their opposition to the Health Care debate, but it even points out real reasons as to why!
x-posted at ProgressiveBlue
From USA Today (AP):
Republican senators attacking the cost of a Democratic health care bill showed far different concerns six years ago, when they approved a major Medicare expansion that has added tens of billions of dollars to federal deficits.
The inconsistency — or hypocrisy, as some call it — has irked Democrats, who claim that their plan will pay for itself with higher taxes and spending cuts and cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for support.
By contrast, when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House in 2003, they overcame Democratic opposition to add a deficit-financed prescription drug benefit to Medicare. The program will cost a half-trillion dollars over 10 years, or more by some estimates.
With no new taxes or spending offsets accompanying the Medicare drug program, the cost has been added to the federal debt.
All current GOP senators, including the 24 who voted for the 2003 Medicare expansion, oppose the health care bill that's backed by President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats. Some Republicans say they don't believe the CBO's projections that the health care overhaul will pay for itself. As for their newfound worries about big government health expansions, they essentially say: That was then, this is now.
Yes, my progressive friends, there is a Santa Claus and he delivered a gift of the telling of the state of things as they actually exist.
Of course Republican Senator's interviewed for this story are quite sure that when they spend money that was never accounted for when considering the actual repayment of that money, it's all good! But when Democrats spend money that the CBO shows will be an investment in the country and will pay for itself, that is BAD!! VERY BAD!!
Let's take a look at what Senator's Hatch (R-UT), Voinovich (R-OH) and Snowe (R-ME) have to say on the subject.
Six years ago, "it was standard practice not to pay for things," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "We were concerned about it, because it certainly added to the deficit, no question." His 2003 vote has been vindicated, Hatch said, because the prescription drug benefit "has done a lot of good."
Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said those who see hypocrisy "can legitimately raise that issue." But he defended his positions in 2003 and now, saying the economy is in worse shape and Americans are more anxious.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said simply: "Dredging up history is not the way to move forward." She noted that she fought unsuccessfully to offset some of President George W. Bush's deep tax cuts at the time.
But for now, she said, "it's a question of what's in this package," which the Senate passed Thursday in a party-line vote. The Senate bill still must be reconciled with a House version.
The political situation is different now, Snowe said, because "we're in a tough climate and people are angry and frustrated."
So, in a nutshell (heavy on the Nuts) Senator's Hatch, Voinovich and Snowe are telling Americans that A) Back in the dark ages, like 6 years ago, nobody could have forseen that stuff needs to be paid for and B) Times are tough now, not like back then, so we shouldn't, um, well, um, Americans are anxious, and angry, and frustrated or something.
In other words, as usual, Republicans are full of shit. That is the reality of the situation and it's about damned time someone in the media followed that obvious story back to it's roots.
Hell, even Republicans think Republicans are Hypocrits.
Maybe Franks isn't the worst hypocrite I've ever come across in Washington, but he's got to be in the top 10 because he apparently thinks the unfunded drug benefit, which added $15.5 trillion (in present value terms) to our nation's indebtedness, according to Medicare's trustees, was worth sacrificing his integrity to enact into law. But legislation expanding health coverage to the uninsured--which is deficit-neutral--somehow or other adds an unacceptable debt burden to future generations. We truly live in a world only George Orwell could comprehend when our elected representatives so easily conflate one with the other.
About time someone in the fish-wrap media decided to mention it.