Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tea Party-Aligned Maryland Think Tank Admits Real Goal: Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

UPDATE: The AARP is now teeing up spots to defend seniors' entitlements from cuts. Like I said, let's bring the GOP's 3-point platform below to Florida!

Maryland Juice earlier this week criticized Tea Party politicians for supporting policies that would hurt their constituents, and we implied that some of them were being phony in their support for eliminating government. Everyone breath a sigh of relief, because the Maryland Public Policy Institute (MPPI) responded by basically saying: a) these policies really do work, and b) Tea Party politicians really do believe this stuff.

Maryland Juice thought it was worth pointing out which policies MPPI is supporting. Below we highlight some of MPPI's suggestions, with some very brief commentary. This is not intended to be an issue review, just a sampler:

Gut Social Security

MPPI: "Reforming Social Security, such as Rick Perry is suggesting, could easily be done in a way that would lower the cost of the program while preserving services for the needy.

Funny, Politico just published a piece called "Rick Perry's Social Security Problem." Here is how the article characterizes Rick Perry's views: "Perry’s chief rival, Mitt Romney, hurled attacks at the Texas governor for calling the program a 'monstrous lie' and a 'Ponzi scheme'....  Moreover, Perry’s position is not just that the retirement program must be fixed — a call that other politicians, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), have made and survived. Rather, Perry has upped the rhetoric in dangerous ways. He has alleged that Social Security is unconstitutional." I'm not a Rick Perry expert, so I'm now curious what MPPI means by "reforming" Social Security? We presume by "reform" you meant "end" or "gut."

Gut Medicaid

MPPI: "Cutting and reforming Medicaid, a program that offers a horrible 
quality of care, would likewise benefit those in poverty."

In other writings, MPPI defines "reforming" as cutting. So really, the quote above should read: "Cutting and cutting Medicaid, a program that offers a horrible quality of care, would likewise benefit those in poverty." Indeed, MPPI's real goal is to end Medicaid: "We can keep Medicare and Medicaid around, if we really want to.  But if we got serious about reducing the barriers to entry into the healthcare industry and the excessive regulations then we would see prices for quality healthcare fall to levels that would make both programs far less costly -- and (hopefully) unnecessary."
Gut Medicare

MPPI: "The Paul Ryan Medicare reform plan would be good for Medicare recipients...."

To quote GOP Senator Scott Brown: "Why can’t I go along with the Ryan Medicare plan? First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support— and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform."

Earlier this week Maryland Juice reminded readers that the Presidential race is still all about the Electoral College. Right now the major swing states are likely to be: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. We wish MPPI, the GOP, and the Tea Party best wishes in selling this 3-point program in Florida. At least for MPPI, if the election doesn't go well, there will always be more bogus reports to write about millionaires leaving Maryland because of our taxes.

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