The debt ceiling debate will most-likely become the GOP’s fault. Not because the lion’s share of spending is from Republican policies, but because Democrats are much better at speaking in generalities, obscuring facts and planting doubt.
Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace facing Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland).
Chris Wallace made an interesting point, one that Van Hollen was eager to let pass without comment, that Jordan missed the opportunity to make a strong point on, and Wallace did a poor job of exploring: what happens if the debt ceiling isn’t raised on August 2nd?
Chris presented the issue by saying that if we pay Social Security first, some top government programs would have to take cuts of around 40%. A slide was displayed that listed programs like the Veterans Administration, the FAA, and more. Van Hollen let the slide go without comment realizing the trap. For Jordan, it perfectly illustrated the terrible situation America is in – we’re broke. After paying Social Security, many government programs are beyond our ability to fund. If we raise the debt ceiling, we are admitting that we can’t afford these programs and are too dense to do anything about it.
Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat on the House Budget Committee was flawless. Talking points firmly memorized and facts transmogrified into fear-mongering platitudes, he was able to defeat every one of Jordan’s responses with nothing but populist garbage.
Jim Jordon is one of the sponsors of the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation that will likely pass the House and fail in the Senate next week. Van Hollen falsely summarized the bill for the weak-minded: [paraphrased]: Their legislation would cut Medicare and give tax breaks to oil companies.
Jordan was ill-prepared for the debate. He was unable to contradict Van Hollen’s Mediscare talking point. In Jordan’s own committee bill (H.R. 2560 – Cut, Cap and Balance) there is a specific subsection that protects Medicare:
EXEMPT FROM DIRECT SPENDING LIMITS.—
Direct spending for the following functions is exempt from the limits specified in subsection (c):
(1) Social Security, function 650.
(2) Medicare, function 570.
(3) Veterans Benefits and Services, function
(4) Net Interest, function 900.
And again, in another section of the legislation, Medicare is exempted from the measure:
(B) Section 255 of the Balanced Budget and Control Act of 1985 shall not apply to this section, except that payments for military personnel accounts (within subfunctional category 051), TRICARE for Life, Medicare (functional category 570), military retirement, social security (functional category 650), veterans (functional category 700), net interest (functional category 900), and discretionary appropriations shall be exempt
There is only one more mention of Medicare in the entire bill and yes.. it also holds Medicare exempt from the proposed legislation.
Cut, cap and balance does not cut Medicare, in fact, it specifically protects it. Van Hollen was wrong and Jordan was not even able to quote legislation he sponsors to point that out. The fact that Chris Wallace was ill-informed is nothing new, but he let the Democrat get away with misleading information.
The right says: we only take in enough money to pay for 60% of our current responsibilities. We have to cut spending to affordable levels or we will face bankruptcy in the next 2 to 3 years.
The left says: they want to cut Medicare and give tax breaks to oil companies.
This is how Democrats intend to keep the spending faucet wide open – flat out lies. Class warfare, scare tactics on Medicare and other fabrications are all they have. Unfortunately, a large portion of America finds it easier to consume the dumbed-down rhetoric from the left, instead of trying to process the logic from the right.