Inside the Beltway there are Very Important People with Very Important Ideas that everyone must listen to and accept as Truth and Fact. Digby calls them Villagers. I call them self-important fools. Yesterday, the Very Important Voices wrote an Editorial in the Most Important Publication -- The Washington Post.
These Very Important Voices are annoyed at ordinary Americans for refusing to acknowledge that Medicare, as it exists today, just cannot -- CANNOT -- exist.
Democrats have effectively scared seniors as a political tactic for many years. Republicans turned the tables in 2010, using the Medicare scare tactic against Democrats. Now Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has given President Obama and his party a chance to reclaim the low ground, and they haven’t hesitated.
You see, according to these Very Important Voices, we are not under any circumstances to speak the truth according to what the Republicans actually do, rather than what they say. We are not supposed to mention that under Paul Ryan's plan, seniors are thrown to the whims of insurance companies. We are not supposed to mention under any circumstances that even if Medicare were to continue for people age 55 and older, there are a vast number of us between the ages of 45 and 55 who will be well and righteously screwed by this plan, just as we have been well and righteously screwed by insurers for the last 20 years.
According to Those Who Know Everything And How It Must Play Out, we're just giving short shrift to a bold, realistic plan for cost containment.
But it’s honest enough to acknowledge that simply preserving Medicare as we know it is not an option. Society is aging and health-care costs are rising so fast that, absent some change, Medicare will gobble up the biggest share of federal spending.
Got that? Not. an. option. No way, no how. God forbid that the bulk of our spending should be spent on American citizens instead of wars and weapons. God forbid that we should raise taxes just a teeny, tiny bit on a group who is paying NO taxes right now (large corporations), or that we should raise taxes on people who still end up with umpty-zillion after taxes. No, no. And as Paul Krugman reminds, the quagmire we're in right now is a top-down problem endorsed and promoted by the very same Very Important and Serious People:
The fact is that what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.
Here's what I don't understand: It is already proven that insurance companies don't operate according to free-market principles. So why on earth do these Very Important People assume that they would suddenly begin operating thus when tossed a multi-billion dollar subsidy to insure elderly people with a myriad of health problems?
Until someone in the Very Important Realm can answer that question, they're nothing more than yes-men for an Incredibly Stupid, Cynical Idea.