Monday, October 18, 2010

Question for Republicans

I want real answers, not the usual Republican spin about “waste and inefficiency” that is in government. Republicans have controlled the executive branch of government for 20 out of the last 30 years. It was the Democratic President, Bill Clinton who finally brought the deficit under control, but let’s spare that debate for a second. Let’s look to the future. Republicans want to continue the W. Bush tax cuts. What specific expenditures are you willing to cut to pay for it? I WANT SPECIFICS (note, we liberals try not to use all CAPS when writing because it makes us look like angry conservatives, but I’m willing to meet them half way).

The vast majority of the federal budget is in the areas of social security, Medicaid, Medicare and National Defense. Once you get beyond these areas, any material cost savings (ask your Republican accountant friends what material means) will have to come from these areas if they are to really affect the deficit. Spending through earmarks barely show up as a factor compared to the obvious elephants in the room. So what is it? Do we cut the military? Social security? Medicare? Tell me. Keep in mind that baby boomers are now beginning to retire and the projected costs of social security and medicare are only going to increase, no matter what inefficiencies you business geniuses can find.

So what is it? As a car buyer, I’d like to know what is under the hood. Is it a four, six, eight cylinder, or lawn mower engine? Or is this just the typical Republican "cut taxes and borrow" engineless Lamborghini that looks so good in advertisements, but doesn’t exactly get me to work? My eyes are weary from watching posturing teapartiers and other clueless know-nothings yell at the top of their lungs that government needs to be reined in. Well here’s your chance. Chaffetz? Lee? Bishop? Rein it in. Specifically what are you going to cut? Is there any engine in this car you’re selling, or do we need to get Fred and Wilma to show us how it really works.


Becky Stauffer said...

Excellent post and excellent question. We know there will be no answers -- just more one-liner politics from the screaming Right.

Dr. Joe Jarvis said...

I have twice had a Republican nomination for the legislature (Senate 2 in 2006 and House 24 in 2008) so perhaps I am qualified to provide at least one Republican's answer to this question.

American health spending is 2/3 tax money. Our health financing system is loaded with inefficiency and quality waste. We could legitimately cut $1 trillion out of our national $2.5 trillion health budget and have better quality care for all.

Please see multiple posts on this topic at the Utah Healthcare Initiative blog:

Or visit the website at

It is time to recognize that both parties have been slopping the hogs at the public health care trough. I'll follow a political leader of any party who is willing to stand up to the corporate health care interests and stop the corporate welfare. So far, it isn't this Congress or this President. (Nor is it the Utah legislature or the current governor.)

Obi wan liberali said...

Hi Becky, it is good to hear from you.

Dr. Jarvis, I appreciate your thoughts. I read some of your articles, particularly the one about Health Care being a gift, not a commodity.

I thought you made some good points and I found it refreshing to read a self-described Republican admit that the market doesn't necessarily solve all of society's problems.

I am willing to entertain health care reform at the levels you were talking about. However, when President Obama tried to address our society's most expensive and difficult problem, there was more heat than light, and any talk of government action was labelled as socialism by the new brand of Republicans.

rmwarnick said...

Both parties have the same answer that they are not telling us before Election Day. Social Security and Medicare cuts are coming.

The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility of Reform, aka the "Catfood Commission," is working out the details now behind closed doors.

We paid into Social Security and Medicare, money that was loaned to the government to fund some really expensive wars and tax cuts for the rich. The Catfood Commission is going to refuse to pay back our money so that the rich can get another round of tax cuts.

Dr. Joe Jarvis said...

Obi Wan: Yes, Republicans speak nonsense about health system reform, but so do Democrats. And both parties protect corporate welfare for corporate health interests. The Affordable Care Act is not reform, and therefore it neither protects patients nor is affordable. Our political leaders of both parties are failing us on this issue, and their collective failure is threatening our tax base, our families, and ultimately our economy. Only a people driven initiative (I believe) has a chance to get health system reform started. Will you join the effort?