Take a walk down memory lane with me to the time in 2009 during the health care debate when the Tea Party/AFP contingents were hand-wringing over death panels. Remember that? Sarah Palin was sure Grandma was going to have her plug pulled, and Chuck Grassley et al joined in the fun. Oh yes, that was a summer never to forget. Hot, humid, and stupid.
But. It was 2 years ago, after all, and so everything old is new again in reverse.
Yesterday, Rep. Woodall of Georgia got all verklempt about those mean, mean, bad Democrats scaring seniors over their health care. A really interesting little verbal brawl ensues between Chris Van Hollen and Woodall, who ends up waggling his finger and shouting "shame on you!"
Here we are today, in 2011. Paul Ryan has introduced his proposal to kill Medicare for anyone under age 55 right alongside Social Security, and they're worried that seniors are scared?
They damn well ought to be scared. We all ought to be scared enough to never, ever let Republicans have a majority in either branch of Congress ever again. Even though Van Hollen focuses primarily on the donut hole closure, anyone 55 and older should understand that if they break the Medicare compact for the under-55ers, it's only a question of time before they come back to the House floor claiming they have no money and break it for over 55ers.
If you're planning to live another ten years, you ought to be stone-cold shaking-in-your-boots scared and looking for a house in Canada. Or Sweden, which are the two countries Republicans cited in their arguments today as countries who made "deep cuts" and now have thriving economies.
Two countries with single-payer universal health coverage. Two countries with higher marginal tax rates than the US and established procedures for promoting outcomes-based treatments in order to contain health care costs. Sweden and Canada, cited as models of cost-cutting success by Republicans.
What interesting times we live in.