"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, November 18, 2016

Asking the Magic 8 Ball

Paul Ryan wants to elminate Medicare.  No surprise there; he's been trying to do that since at least 2011:

The Ryan Medicare Phaseout proposal is part of the Ryan budget which has been voted on in the House every year since 2011.
But the Congress hasn't passed a budget since 2009:

The GOP-led Congress Tuesday passed a full budget for the first time in years, laying out a road map for domestic spending cuts so deep that Democrats dared Republicans to follow through on them, predicting a swift voter backlash.

However, that "budget" was not law:

GOP leaders said the plan, which is a non-binding outline that doesn’t require the president’s signature, sets up the rest of the 2016 spending process, and is proof that Republicans can govern now that they control both chambers on Capitol Hill.
And maybe they want to pass one now, but they didn't earlier in 2016: 

Not long ago, congressional Republicans said authoring and passing a budget were the basics of governing. They flew into open rage when Harry Reid's Senate Democrats took a pass on advancing a fiscal blueprint, and threatened to withhold lawmakers’ pay as a punishment. And they persuaded voters to return them to power because they would make Capitol Hill work again.

But here we are, on April 13, with Republicans holding both chambers of Congress, and there isn't a budget in sight.

“We’re obviously not going to do a budget between now and April 15. But we’re leaving open the possibility we could do one later in the year,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican.
What's different now, a few months later?

Now the GOP can actually catch the car they've been chasing all this time.  Ryan's budget plan passed the House in 2015; it got nowhere in the GOP Senate that year, or this year.

Does the GOP want to eliminate Medicare, or not?  Tom Price says it does, but he's in the House, too.  Lamar Alexander indicates that's a very dim possibility, because reconciliation won't repeal Obamacare, which infers it won't repeal Medicare, either.

So many moles popping up, so little time to whack them all.


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