Yet if you set aside the hype and look at the details of Obama's plan (or listen carefully to the candid comments offered to Fox News by White House political strategist David Plouffe), parts of the Republican plan for Medicare are already part of Obamacare. After all, Obamacare builds upon the Republican idea of a mandate to purchase commercial insurance, and the Medicare "improvements" it envisions will soon become a very real part of the New American Nightmare.
Should we be surprised? I don't think so. After all, the President's call to, yet again, "make sacrifices" and "learn to live within our means" is in line with last Saturday's weekly Internet/radio address, in which Obama suggested that the proposed $38 billion slash in the federal budget was an instance of "cooperation" between "the two parties" to "invest in our country's future while making the largest annual spending cut in our history" -- and all in one and the same breath.
If you are still desperately trying to find a silver lining in Obama's by now well-established Orwellian double-speak, get it over with: there is none.
So what to do?
First, we need to act quickly. Before John Boehner's House Republicans succeed in ramming through this Friday their rightwing budget for 2012, which would destroy Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, we need to demand that legislators, if they have any decency left, vote for the "People's Budget", fought and won by the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
In a nutshell, the CPC People's Budget reduces the deficit by 2021 without devastating Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and targets the true drivers of the deficit: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession. It restores the nation's economic health by building roads and bridges, training more and better teachers, and supporting community colleges. Last, it ensures that the banks that wrecked our economy pay a modest financial responsibility fee, that exotic trading by Wall Street traders is taxed, and that oil companies making record profits from price gouging at the pump no longer receive taxpayer charity. And it taxes US corporate income as it is earned, in much the same way working Americans are taxed.
There is no time to lose. Tell your Representatives to vote for the CPC People's Budget.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).