Ever since the government’s partial “shutdown” took place, the argument among the establishment has changed from being about Obamacare to saving face and public relations, with perhaps a few spending cuts or other small policy changes to satisfy conservatives. In this vein, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week that addressed entitlement and tax reform – and neglected to mention the word “Obamacare.”
Tea Party Patriots’ National Coordinator and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin addressed Ryan’s op-ed, but the shift from stopping Obamacare to amorphous entitlement/tax reform is worth noting in light of Charles Krauthammer’s widely-read op-ed this morning in The Washington Post:
Raising (and indexing) the retirement age while changing the inflation measure for entitlements would themselves be major achievements. So would agreeing on a framework for genuine tax reform, although that still would remain speculative. Democrats could be offered relief on the sequester — which everyone agrees needs restructuring anyway, since it cuts agency budgets indiscriminately, often illogically, by formula.
It’s win-win. A serious attack on the deficit — good. Refiguring sequestration to restore some defense spending and some logic to discretionary spending — also good. Forcing the president off Mount Olympus — priceless.
America desperately needs entitlement and tax reform, but these issues are fights that can take place any time. They should have taken place years ago, but political cowardice prevented it. The fight against Obamacare must take place now, because it is not yet an entrenched money pit. The law remains unpopular and its rollout is an utter disaster. Now is the last best chance to prevent a further usurpation of personal wealth and individual liberty by the federal government.
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, and other entitlement programs are difficult to manage because millions of Americans are dependent on them, even as their costs skyrocket. If the fight against Obamacare is pushed off, it will enjoy the same fate.