Debt-Panel Faces Pressure From Lawmakers’ Backers. What A Shame If They Can't Agree On Cutting Social Security And Medicare!


A Republican think tank hack quoted in this story uses classic misdirection techniques. He equates Democrats lobbying for senior citizens on behalf of Social Security and Medicare with ... Republican "distaste" for tax increases. Yoo hoo, Mr. Frenzel? The difference is, rich people aren't going to die if they don't get their way:

The 12-member congressional panel charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings may be unable to overcome resistance from the lobbyists, donors and interest groups that sustain them in office.

The committee, already split by internal divisions over taxes and entitlements, will examine defense and health care for possible cuts, and both industries have influence with its members. Health professionals are the biggest donors to three of the House members. Three senators have dozens of military installations to protect, and employees of defense contractor Boeing Co. (BA) are top donors to the panel’s co-chairwoman, Patty Murray.

Retirees are among the largest givers to almost all the lawmakers, and members considering scaling back Social Security or the Medicare insurance program for the elderly will confront a barrage of lobbying by the seniors’ group AARP.

“Nobody wants to promise their cohorts any kind of pain and suffering or divergence from the current theology,” said Bill Frenzel, a former congressman who served as the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee. Republican distaste for tax increases and Democrats’ insistence on protecting entitlement programs is a “doomsday formula,” he said.


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