First off, it’s not a “fiscal cliff.” What we’re slated to hit as of New Year’s Day, as the Wall Street Journalnotes, is a tax cliff. Our fiscal cliff, which drops off into a far deeper canyon, is what looms because of our $16,000,000,000,000 debt and the runaway entitlement spending that fuels it — Medicare, Medicaid, (and now) Obamacare. In truth, the debt deal passed in the summer of 2011 — which the press now says we must scrap if we are to avoid the “fiscal cliff” — was designed to postpone our going over the (actual) fiscal cliff.
At Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan and Carl Cannon rightly note that “[Mitt] Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan cheered fiscal and social conservatives within the Republican Party and provided a much needed shot in the arm for Romney’s campaign.”
Politicowrites that Nancy Pelosi’s “drive to regain the [House] majority for Democrats is on the verge of a complete collapse.” It adds, “Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best — a fraction of the 25 they need. On the eve of the election, some party officials are privately worried that Democrats might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority.” Why? In large part because Obamacare continues to haunt the Democrats, while the Democrats’ Mediscare campaign has fallen flat.
Several months ago, President Obama’s Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, initiated the Senior Swindle, an $8.35 billion ploy (far more than either presidential campaign will raise this year) to hide the effects of Obamacare’s Medicare Advantage cuts from seniors until after the election.
In 2008, Barack Obama promised to cut federal spending, cut wasteful programs, reform Medicare and Social Security, and create "5 million new jobs" in a "new energy economy." At Buzzfeed, Andrew Kaczynski has four videos of Obama making those promises at the town hall debate in 2008. Here, for instance, is Obama talking about the need to reform entitlements in his first term:
During last Wednesday’s presidential debate, President Obama claimed that the private sector just can’t match the leanness and efficiency of the federal government. He was speaking specifically about privately covered health care versus government-run health care.
After staring in some amazement at PolitiFact’s ostensibly unbiased rulings on the truthfulness of various statements made during Wednesday night’s presidential debate, I finally realized what the problem is: PolitiFact’s self-described Truth-O-Meter is clearly broken. Thankfully, however, it’s broken in a way that’s both predictable and fixable. You see, if you simply turn the Truth-O-Meter two notches to the right for any claim made by a Republican, and two notches to the left for any claim made by a Democrat, its reading actually becomes surprisingly accurate.
“Can we stay on Medicare?” Mitt Romney asked debate moderator Jim Lehrer after several minutes of back and forth on the issue between himself and President Barack Obama. It was a characteristic moment in Romney’s strong performance in Denver, when the former governor of Massachusetts sensed an advantage on a topic and kept pushing. It was also an indication of how these days, Republicans talking about Medicare are playing on their home turf.
Yesterday, when speaking via video to the AARP, President Obama said, “But what I’m not going to do, as a matter of principle, is to slash benefits or privatize Social Security and suddenly turn it over to Wall Street.”
Yet last year, during the budget ceiling debate, President Obama said he'd be up for cutting Social Security.
Addressing the audience at an AARP convention today, Paul Ryan declared, "The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare." He explained to those in attendance how Obamacare would turn "Medicare into a piggy bank," while also putting "15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future." Ryan added, "The president doesn’t talk much about what Obamacare will really mean for seniors." Why? "People don’t like it."
In his speech Wednesday night, Bill Clinton said, "President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No president—not me or any of my predecessors—could have repaired all the damage in just four years."
At the official kickoff of his reelection campaign, President Obama offered a tacit (although unintended) admission of four years of failure, declaring, "We have to move forward, to the future we imagined in 2008. ... That’s why I’m running for a second term as president of the United States." This peculiar yet revealing emphasis on the future, the past, and the imaginary neglects only two things: the present and reality. Lacking laudable achievements to tout in the present, Obama wants voters to focus on the future they imagined in the past.
Shortly after Paul Ryan’s speech ended last night, the left wing blogosphere and commentariat launched an attack on the vice presidential nominee for his supposed mendacity. They attacked from many angles, but the most substantial assault was on Medicare.
Perhaps if we all ignore PolitiFact, they'll go away. But for the time being, the supposedly independent organization continues to crank out skewed and partisan work. There's no better example of this than the the current jihad the "fact checking" organization is waging against the Romney-Ryan health care plan.