Stop messing around with Medicare
The way ahead in the Medicare solution debate begins with a definition of requirements.
1. A large portion of American seniors will require Medicare assistance.
2. The number, types and amount of assistance is predictable and forecastable as is the associated cost.
3. The amount needed to support the requirement should be known by lawmakers and not paying for it is not an option.
4. Changing the form of payment to disguise cutting the benefit is what I think Republicans are doing with the Paul Ryan plan.
5. Avoiding the problem and delaying specific attention is what Obama wants to do until his second term.
6. Saying that the government cannot afford to take care of seniors and other citizens in need are not acceptable.
7. Decisions must be made to reallocate resources to this requirement at the expense of other costs such as Defense and Homeland Security where resources are squandered in excess and inefficiency.
8. The problem remains that the nation needs additional revenue to pay down the debt and to meets its social obligations.
9. There are two ways to increase revenue: 1) tax the sources that can afford it and 2) increase the GDP such that the pie is bigger from which to finance government.
10. Making the pie bigger is the hard part; taxing the wealthy is an interim fix.
“An Obama-GOP summit didn't result in progress toward a debt deal, report Zachary Goldfarb and Paul Kane: "A Wednesday meeting between President Obama and House Republicans about the nation’s debt ended with neither side showing a willingness to give ground on any substantive points or rhetorical differences...The most dramatic moment of Wednesday’s 75-minute meeting came when Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the man behind the GOP’s budget plan, said Obama is playing politics in the debt debate. He accused the president of mischaracterizing the GOP budget proposal as turning Medicare into a 'voucher' program that would hurt seniors. Ryan’s comments earned him a standing ovation from his colleagues...Obama replied that both sides have demagogued the debt issue.”