Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Government Shutdown vs. Entitlement Reform NOW! What's a Republican to do?

First off, I'd like to state up front that I haven't decided where I stand on the issue of allowing the Government to shut down if a compromise on these token cuts in spending can't be made. Or on the other hand, diving into a pool before making sure there is water in it first like the proposal put forth by Congressman Paul Ryan. So you can look at the following as my thinking about this out loud.

What's so bad about a Government shut down? What exactly does that mean?

Here's how it all breaks down:
  • Entitlements: If a shutdown occurs, most officials say it will likely be brief, which means scheduled Social Security checks and food stamps would arrive and Medicare/Medicaid benefits would still be available-though staff might not be able to process new applications. Even in the event of a prolonged delay in funding, regularly scheduled payments will still be made.
  • Pentagon: Defense Secretary Robert Gates specifically addressed the matter in a House Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, saying that any lapse in funding would not affect any current military operations. 
  • Parks & Museums: But as nonessential facilities, national parks and Smithsonian museums are likely to close their doors during a shutdown. 
  • Congress: Nonessential operations would cease should funding lapse. But according to a House memo obtained Tuesday, the Legislative Branch is constitutionally obligated to keep running. 
  • Federal Workers Pay: Congress will have to include in whatever budget legislation is eventually passed provisions to pay federal staffers who worked in essential capacity during the shutdown. During the shutdowns that occurred in 1995-1996, nearly half a million such employees continued to work for retroactive pay. No guarantee exists for furloughed employees, who may or may not be paid for the time they're off work.
After reviewing the above, are we all still alive? Aren't most conservatives in favor of 'smaller' government. It doesn't get any smaller than that.

Now lets look at Paul Ryan's plan to tackle entitlements. For the sake of argument, I'm going to call them, SENIOR ENTITLEMENTS.

I am intelligent enough to realize that SENIOR ENTITLEMENTS will eventually bankrupt this country. But being a SELFISH, WANT TO WIN BACK THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2012, kind-a-guy, What would be wrong with  kicking this can just a little ways down the road until 2013?

Do we really want to PISS OFF one of the largest voting blocks BEFORE the 2012 elections? Now I realize there's a difference between cutting and reforming, I'm not that sure that the majority of seniors know or understand the difference.

Here is the results of a recent Gallup poll:


Medicare: 38% for cutting, 61% against
Social Security: 34% for cutting, 64% against

There you have it.
WHAT SAY YOU?

20 comments:

Right Wingnut said...

Do we really want to PISS OFF one of the largest voting blocks BEFORE the 2012 elections?

Yes, that is a legitimate concern, but what makes you think they would suddenly gain the courage to take action in 2013? What about the 2014 elections...the 2016 elections...etc.?

BOSMAN said...

RWN,

"Yes, that is a legitimate concern, but what makes you think they would suddenly gain the courage to take action in 2013? What about the 2014 elections...the 2016 elections...etc.?"


Well with a PRESIDENT ROMNEY being on the same page as Ryan, and perhaps a Republican Senate, maybe the chances would be MORE REALISTIC instead of SYMBOLIC NOW!

OhioJOE said...

Hahaha, and what if Mr. Romney is not the President????

BOSMAN said...

OJ,

"Hahaha, and what if Mr. Romney is not the President????'


"FACTS are stubborn thinks!"

DanL said...

Politicians have been kicking this down the road for decades. RWN is completely correct. If we kick it down the road to 2013, then we will keep kicking it down the road.

Your explanation of what happens to federal funds in the event of a shutdown is good. I do not fear the shutdown itself. I do worry that we could lose what little political capital we have over a small, stupid fight, instead of using it on the big fight that needs to be won, Paul Ryan's proposed reforms.

OhioJOE said...

"I do worry that we could lose what little political capital we have over a small, stupid fight" With respect the Democrats could (or should) be worrying about losing political capital too. If we are not brave enough to use our political capital now, I kindly want to know when because I am not the only person who wants an answer.

Right Wingnut said...

Bosman, With all due respect to Romney, I'm not convinced he would sign Ryan's legislation.

OhioJOE said...

""FACTS are stubborn thinks!"" That phase is cute, but it does not answer the question. If Conservatives are going to vote GOP, they first want an answer on how the GOP is going to cut the budget when the rubber meets the road.

BOSMAN said...

Would Ryan's proposal pass a Democratic Senate?

Would Ryan's Proposal get signed by Obama?

Would it have a better chance of passing a Republican senate?

Would it have a better chance of being signed by a Republican President?

BOSMAN said...

Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal: potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates give tepid praise

BOSMAN said...

What will probably happen with Ryan's proposal:

May pass House, Won't pass Senate. If it did, Obama won't sign.

Fast forward to 2012 campaign:

Obama's ad state something like, "I saved SS and Medicare from Republicans for seniors." There would be a good chance that seniors might fall for that line. WE NEED THEM to take back the White House.

Obama knows this!

larry said...

Bosman,

It sounds like you're asking, What is more important as 2012 approaches:

Demonstrating that Republicans are willing to make the tough choices. Even if they go no-where now.

or

Getting back the White House in 2012.

OhioJOE said...

"There would be a good chance that seniors might fall for that line." So you do not trust Senior to make the right choice?

"Would it have a better chance of being signed by a Republican President?" That is the question we are asking and not all of us are sure of the answer. Clowning around is all fine for April Fool's Day, but at some point we want a serious answer.

BOSMAN said...

OJ,

"So you do not trust Senior to make the right choice?"


A better question would be, Do we want to take a chance and find out?

BOSMAN said...

Larry,

Very observant!

OhioJOE said...

I'd rather take a chance with Senior than with the GOP. Recent history illustrates that the former is more reliably Conservative.

Ann said...

I think that I agree with what Bosman is getting at.

Most of my friends are seniors and are nervous about any changes to medicare.

It might be smarter to hold off until we have a Republican President.

Why take a chance now and be on record for it when many seniors fear this?

Maybe it would affect the 2012 election.

Revolution 2010 said...

Hey Bos,

You might be correct in this. The Dems have begun scaring seniors already with this ad just released today.

Anonymous said...

Great post Bos.

Deciding what to do, isn't so cut and dry.

I wouldn't want REPS to do anything that would hurt the 2012 election.

zeke

ConMan said...

You make a good point.

Is it better to try something now on principal and fail or wait until the climate is more receptive?