It should come as no surprise to anyone that Senator Mitch McConnell views the social safety net as the next area of government to gut. Not only that, but he would like Democrats to participate in the murders.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, McConnell said, "I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it’s a shame, because now the Democrats are promising Medicare for all."
He added, "I mean, my gosh, we can’t sustain the Medicare we have at the rate we’re going and that’s the height of irresponsibility."
No one needs to sit McConnell down and explain that the way to sustain Medicare is to broaden coverage so healthy people participate too. That would be policy, not politics, and he's certainly not open to that.
What he IS open to, however, is asking Democrats to be the ones to do the nasty, so he has political cover with the overwhelming majority in his state who do not want cuts to their Medicare or Social Security. The ones with aging parents, the ones with children who need health care, the ones with relatives who need Medicaid to help with their debilitating and lifelong condition.
McConnell, in what can only be a twisted and warped logic loop, says that it's impossible for cuts to these programs to happen when one party controls the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.
"I think it’s pretty safe to say that entitlement changes, which is the real driver of the debt by any objective standard, may well be difficult if not impossible to achieve when you have unified government," McConnell told Bloomberg.
Why? Why, when one party is in control, would it be impossible to achieve? Let Mitch explain.
Shrinking those popular programs -- either by reducing benefits or raising the retirement age -- without a bipartisan deal would risk a political backlash in the next election. Trump, during his campaign, promised he wouldn’t cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, even though his budget proposals have included trims to all three programs.
So, let's review that one more time. One: All of these programs are popular. Two: Shrinking them carries a deep political price. Three: They need Democrats to make it "bipartisan" to minimize that backlash.
Except, you know, Democrats don't want to cut popular programs. Democrats didn't cut taxes for rich people and drive up the deficit, and Democrats aren't going to bail Republicans out of the fix they're in.
While the hearings for Kavanaugh were sucking up every drop of every news cycle, the House of Representatives passed a draconian budget with deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with no attention. At the same time, they opened talks for a SECOND tax cut bill because apparently they haven't bled the country dry enough yet.
This is classic crisis governance, writ large. Defund the government and put it in crisis mode, then implement draconian cuts to those programs with the most benefit to the most people.
Let's translate McConnell's dilemma: To achieve the one goal he has not yet met (now that he has packed the courts and destroyed all norms), he would like to share the political pain with the other side -- the one that defends Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The side that wants to EXPAND Medicare, not shrink it.
If every Democrat doesn't immediately make this a clarion call, they're guilty of political malpractice. We needs ads up in the next 24 hours that quote McConnell on this in every state, especially the red states and swing states.
I will deny Mitch McConnell this victory to my dying breath. You should too.