There’s been a lot of “buzz” coming out of Congress in the past few weeks, particularly as the Republicans start rolling out various Tea Party ideas for cutting the budget. Included in that are Medicare and Social Security. Yes, the primary advocate for doing away with those programs – privatizing them – is Representative Paul Ryan, who interestingly enough, is also one of their lead budget negotiators. You see, he wants to substitute vouchers for the current Medicare payment system. You’ll be given a set amount to go out and buy health insurance. Anyone who’s ever priced health insurance in the past few years is going to tell seniors that their chances of getting insurance that provides equivalent coverage at the voucher price are – slim.
At the same time, they’re making noises about shutting down the federal government, by failing to raise the debt limit. Which would have some … interesting … repercussions. I saw an analysis which said that it wouldn’t necessarily cause a collapse in the financial markets, at least as it pertains to interest payments on US debt. Matter of fact, there are Republicans in Congress who are introducing legislation to make sure that external bondholders get paid. Particularly foreign governments like China. It would, however, immediately freeze all payments to states, shut down most government services, stop Social Security and Medicare payments, along with any number of other things the government does. The states and the people that are going to take the hardest hit? It’s the states and people that voted for these people. That’s right, the Republican’s strongest “base” are the elderly and the “conservative” states which have the highest level of dependence on federal spending. When the reality of what those cuts or a sudden freeze means hits them, they’ll be the ones screaming the loudest about it.
I’ve run out of patience with them. Here’s my stance: If (and I hope it doesn’t) those things happen, the people who voted for these Republicans will have no reason to complain. Period. I won’t want to hear it. They’ll be getting exactly what they voted for. If someone stayed home because there was “no difference” between the parties, because they wanted to “make a point,” or they were sure “it doesn’t matter,” then they will have no reason to complain either. For whatever the reason, if they didn’t bother to vote, then they gave up their right to complain about what the politicians do.
The only people I feel sorry for are the ones who realized this, and voted against these people in the primaries and the general election. They have every right to complain. They told you what they wanted to do. If you didn’t believe them, or thought that it wouldn’t affect you, that’s your problem. If you voted for them – or didn’t vote – you’ll be getting exactly what you asked for. So if it happens, shut up and take it.