Republicans in House signal retreat on Medicare plan

It’s a very bad day for Paul Ryan. He’s been humiliated politically, ambulance as well as strategically, pilule his plan to gut Medicare lying in shreds across the Capitol. All Ryan could mutter was “we’re not going to get a grand-slam
agreement.” The man’s a political neophyte.

The Washington Post headline is a bit kinder that I was above: Budget talks: Republicans offer to seek common ground with Democrats. Ri-ight… common ground, that’s what Republicans want. Hardly, they’re simply trying to save face after Paul Ryan got them entangled in a policy debacle that would have been an electoral disaster in ‘12.

Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.

On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama “excoriated us” for a proposal to privatize Medicare.
[…] But Cantor said negotiators could avoid the “big three,” which Democrats have vowed to defend, by focusing on changes in other areas. “If we can come to some agreement [and] act to effect those savings now, this year, it will yield a lot of savings in subsequent years,” he said.

What remains absurd is that Democrats are still insisting that cutting spending is what’s required. Robert Reich calls the McCaskill-Corker plan the “same Republican pig,” simply with a little lipstick on it to make it look like it’s not.

In other news of Republican collapse, a “top Republican” admits repealing health care is “dead.” They’re sticking with what I wrote from the outset was the problem with ACA, which is the individual mandate. If the Obama White House had listened to Dr. Howard Dean from the start they could have saved Democrats a lot of anguish and possibly the rout in November midterms.

Tomorrow is what looms large, everyone preparing for more bad news on jobs, the economy still dragging Pres. Obama down in his polling, because he and his team have absolutely no clue on the economy.

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