Over the Obama years, NBC's David Gregory has been a big proponent of an unfounded belief that America has to cut entitlements to fix the the federal deficit. He's gone as far as saying that entitlements are cannibalizing the budget during the government shutdown debacle overseen by Ted Cruz.
He took that obsession to Patty Murray on Meet The Press today as he had Murray and Paul Ryan on to discuss their two year budget compromise and I was not surprised to see him side with Rand Paul and push that phony meme today.
DAVID GREGORY: All right. So, there's a lot of what we haven't seen much before, right? I don't know. This is quite the Kumbaya moment. But it passes, for one, from what we've seen on Capitol Hill. So, people watching this have to say, "Okay. That's a start." But now, let's talk about the big, hard stuff. Because, as your other colleague Rand Paul said, "This doesn't solve the debt problem, over $17 trillion. This doesn't even deal with the debt ceiling. It certainly doesn't deal with our entitlements that are drivers of the debt." So, you haven't taken on the hard stuff here, Senator.
SENATOR PATTY MURRAY: I think what both of us feel very strongly, and I know I do, is that we can't take on the tough discussions unless we can learn to use the word "compromise" so that we can have that be a respected, trusted word in this Congress. I come here with passionate things I care about.
When Dancing Dave talks about the debt problem in relation to entitlements, he's only talking about making cuts to the programs. I won't list the many fixes that have been suggested during the Obama years because we've written about them over and over again. The TV Beltway elites always push either raising the retirement age of our seniors or overall cuts to the programs themselves. Ideas like that will always seriously hurt 98% of the country while insulating the rich and Dancing Dave knows this.
Gregory then had the gall (not Galt) to suck up to Paul Ryan as an expert on Medicare.
DAVID GREGORY: So, surprise me. Meet in the middle on something really hard. Maybe it's Medicare, which you've worked hard on, or tax reform. Where could you two reach common ground on something that you would at least mark as a starting point.
Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare and Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicaid rely on the same bait-and-switch: They use a reform to disguise a cut. In Medicare’s case, the reform is privatization. The current Medicare program would be dissolved and the next generation of seniors would choose from Medicare-certified private plans on an exchange. But that wouldn’t save money. In fact, it would cost money. As the Congressional Budget Office has said (pdf), since Medicare is cheaper than private insurance, beneficiaries will see “higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare.”
In Medicaid’s case, the reform is block-granting. Right now, the federal government shares Medicaid costs with the states. That means their payments increase or decrease with Medicaid’s actual rate of spending. Under a block grant system, that’d stop. They’d simply give states a lump sum at the beginning of the year and that’d have to suffice. And if a recession hits and more people need Medicaid or a nasty flu descends and lots of disabled beneficiaries end up in the hospital with pneumonia? Too bad...read on.
Dave gets a failing grade once again. And you wonder why so many people don't know what the heck is going on in our country?