Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The “Lie of the Year:” Democrats’ Mediscare Campaign

Politifact this morning is out with its claim for the 2011 “Lie of the Year,” and it’s the claim from Democrats that “Republicans voted to end Medicare.”  The column tracks the history of the numerous Democrat mis-statements regarding Republican proposals for entitlement reform.  Democrats’ record of “Mediscare” tactics is indeed impressive:

Democrats have furiously attacked Republican proposals for entitlement reform – and, as noted above, made highly misleading claims in the process.  Yet what proposals have Democrats in Congress put forward to solve Medicare’s looming fiscal disaster?  Nothing.  And why do they want to do nothing?  In a word, politics:

  • One House Member objected to any agreement between the President and Republicans on fundamental entitlement reform, because reforming entitlements now would “cancel out any bludgeoning that Democrats might give the Republicans over Medicare and Medicaid.”
  • The Washington Post’s liberal Plum Line reported in July that Senate Democrats don’t want to pass Medicare reform because it would be “giving away the biggest [political] advantage” Democrats have had “in some time.”
  • In a story last month, Rep. Steve Israel, Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “declined to say whether a [deficit] agreement to cut entitlements might have hindered his political strategy.”  In other words, Democrats WANTED the supercommittee to fail – so that they could resume their “Mediscare” political attack ads against Republicans.

Just look at the reaction when one Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden, collaborated with a Republican Member of Congress to put forward a comprehensive Medicare proposal.  Democrats objected because Wyden did not want to play politics with the issue: One source said the Ryan-Wyden plan “has the potential to take away a key argument for Democrats that are trying to retake the House,” while another told the New York Times that “This plan gives bipartisan political cover to Ryan and other Republicans against whom we have been waging a very successful political offensive.”

This morning’s column summarizes the fruits of a year filled with “Mediscare” rhetoric.  Congressional Democrats’ lack of an entitlement plan is fiscally dangerous.  The demagoguery for attempted electoral gain is crass politicking of the worst sort, the kind that makes the public hates Washington.  And the claims behind them are the Lie of the Year.  An ignominious Triple Crown for Democrats to celebrate this holiday season.