Memo to Bill Clinton: Democrats Aren't Allowed to Talk About Reforming Medicare!

Here's what former White House dweller Bill Clinton said about dealing with rising spending on Medicare at a Pete Peterson-sponsored forum on (what else?) the deficit earlier this week:

"You shouldn't draw the conclusion that the New York race means that nobody can do anything to solve the rising Medicare costs,” said during his speech. “I just don't agree with that.  I think you should draw the conclusion that the people made a judgment that this proposal in the Republican is not the right one.  I agree with that, but I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion that because Congressman Ryan's proposal, I think, is not the best one, that we shouldn't do anything and I completely disagree with that."

It's not exactly what I want to hear from a politician, but it's not entirely insane either, especially given that congressional Democrats are being heavily criticized for refusing to support any sort of budget plan or tough choices of their own. It's easy enough to see why Democrats aren't backing any plan of their own, though, when you look at a response to Clinton's statement posted at Daily Kos. The headline says it all: "Memo to Bill Clinton: STFU." For much of the Democratic base, reforming existing entitlements is not an option. I suppose letting Medicare (not to mention the rest of the federal budget) collapse all on its own is?  

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  • ||

    Reform or watch it implode. It's your choice.

    Incidentally, I read that that race lacks any significance on Medicare. There was a Tea Party candidate of some sort that siphoned off votes from the GOP candidate. That's the more interesting news from this race, since the Medicare issue obviously wasn't the decisive point.

  • pmains||

    I'm not good at golf, I never got good. I never got a hole in one, but I did hit a guy. And that's way more satisfying. You're supposed to yell "Fore", but I was too busy mumbling "There ain't no way that's gonna hit him." - Mitch Hedberg

    That, in a nutshell, is the Dem plan. There ain't no way Medicare is gonna fail.

  • ||

    Really, how evil is that? I called Congress psychopathic yesterday, and I meant it. Only a handful of them give a shit. It's dangerous to their personal careers to make tough decisions, so they flush the country down the toilet. Fuck them.

  • ||

    The Tea Party guy was a perennial candidate who had run as a Democrat before.

    A better argument would be that the winning Democrat also ran to the right of the Republican in some ways; e.g. attacking him for not supporting Cumo's budget cuts.

    Another simple point is that GOP candidates often lose special elections held after a sex scandal.

  • kinnath||

    Saw an indepth write-up on the Tea Party guy recently. He is a life-long "republican" who was pissed at the republican incumbant. So he talked the Democratic party into letting him spend his own money to run against the incumbant. Once the incumbant was ousted, the Democratic party dumped him. So the Tea Party guy ran independently using his own money.

    Overall, the Tea Party guy comes across as being a bit unhinged.

  • Mike M.||

    It is totally wrong that I'm actually looking forward to it imploding?

  • fish||

    Nope~!

  • ||

    I pick "watch it implode". Why the fuck not?

  • Jim||

    You know, maybe we should support the unchecked growth of the welfare/warfare state. The worse we can make things for everyone, the sooner the whole thing will blow up and people will finally have to face the facts.

  • ||

    That will be great comfort while we're fighting to the death over cans of beans in the street.

  • Democrats||

    Entitlements are a suicide pact.

  • Mike M.||

    This is sarcasm, right?

  • Jim||

    It isn't. Tulpa is much more moderate than many of us here.

    He will be the first to be purged, come the revolution.

    (j/k Tulpa ;D )

  • ||

    If we simply let Medicare go bankrupt -- rather than fixing it or abolishing it in some graceful way before it's too late -- it will drag the rest of our economy down with it when it collapses.

    Those who advocate starving the beast seem to have little experience with what starving animals are capable of.

  • ||

    Besides, are we really sure the left is simply deluded about fixing entitlements by raising taxes? Maybe some of them know that it won't work, and are hoping to destroy the system Cloward-Piven style? "Gee, Medicare is bankrupt, only single-payer can save us now!!"

  • Coeus||

    Those who advocate starving the beast seem to have little experience with what starving animals are capable of. are aware of the horrible problems it will cause but see no other way of killing it before it swallows them whole.

    FIFY

    Unless you have a better plan that you think the great unwashed masses will actually support?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I have a plan. We save Medicare by cutting everything else. It's the only way we keep Grandma from dying in the streets because she broke her hip, and if you don't agree, well, I bet you hate Mom and apple pie, too.

    Military, cut. Regulatory agencies, cut. State funding, cut. Duplicate programs, cut. Foreign aid, cut. Funding for stupid experiments like towel folding robots and treadmill walking shrimp, cut. Everything, cut.

  • pmains||

    I think this moment is coming, but we're not going to learn a thing. The failure of the welfare state will be blamed on the "free market" that was unable to sustain the impossible load.

  • Sudden||

    Exactly.

    Look at Greece. Protesters there aren't exactly asking for their country to turn into the Mediterranean Somalia. They're dawning the red flags; not the black and yellow they ought to.

  • Jim||

    They're dawning the red flags...

    Would you say it's a...Red Dawn!!!

  • ||

    Go Steelers! #1

  • sarcasmic||

    The rich didn't pay enough taxes.
    We know this because they are rich.
    If they paid their fair share then they wouldn't be rich.
    The failure of the welfare state is the rich not paying their fair share.

    But who you blame when the system fails even after the wealthy have been looted?

  • JD||

    But who you blame when the system fails even after the wealthy have been looted?

    The Jews?

  • ||

    Wreckers, saboteurs, spies, and diversionists?

  • Rob||

    Do you know who else used to blame the Jews as a scapegoat for all of the problems?

  • Trespassers W||

    Mel Gibson?

  • Auntie Semitic||

    Oooh! Pick me! I do!

  • spencer||

    So YOU are john gault then. That answers that question- and could have saved me a whole lot of pages.

  • ||

    They're just living for the moment, man.

  • spencer||

    I'm sure they, like almost every other politician, are waiting until their re-election campaigns are over to worry about this... in a time of constant campaigning we all know what this means.

  • ||

    The plan is probably to deliberately wait until it's a red-alarm crisis and then ram through a huge tax to cover it.

  • ||

    Either that, or the plan is to count on the stupidity and apathy of the American electorate, which can be relied on to lash out at anyone who wants to slow down the gravy train.

  • ||

    Clinton is leftist and kind of a sleaze. But unlike Kos, he is not insane. It is amazing how liberals continue to devolve. In 1993 Bill Clinton was a radical bent on socializing medicine and passing a huge energy tax. In 2011, he is a lone voice of sanity in the Democratic party.

  • fish||

    In 1993 Bill Clinton was a radical bent on socializing medicine and passing a huge energy tax. In 2011, he is a lone voice of sanity in the Democratic party.

    Always got the feeling that the health care deal was his way of getting his wife out of the White House for a while!

    Shit even she's starting to seem reasonable compared to what's going on in government now...something I thought completely impossible.

  • kinnath||

    HRC for Republican Part Nomination !!!

  • fish||

    Hey...shut up....someone might actually propose it!

  • kinnath||

    Calling ProLib

  • ||

    Here you go!

  • kinnath||

    I believe we actually had a minor press leak before the formal campaign started at urkobold.

  • ||

    Yes, and as the linked post implies, I was punished for my role in that link. The Urkobold's not a fan of transparency. Well, except maybe in the clothing of the female staff. You wouldn't believe the money we spend annually on EEOC settlements.

  • kinnath||

    Staff Photos?

  • ||

    Actually, I believe the Urkobold has posted a few over the years.

  • Not Sure||

    She started out as a Rockefeller Republican when she was young. Don't think her views ever moved beyond that.

  • ||

    Actually, she was a Goldwater Republican, not a Rockefeller Republican. And I'm pretty sure that it only lasted for the summer and fall of '64 though.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    The guy's a sleaze and a partisan hack, but the guy was also a budget-savant, so he probably can't help but realize the fiscal disaster this country is heading towards.

  • ||

    He supported ObamaCare in 2010, so his evolution may not have proceeded as far as you think.

    His evolution while in office was helped along by an obscure occurence in November 1994.

  • fish||

    There's support and then there's support...he was always expected to put in a good word but I don't remember him showing any particular enthusiasm for the thing.

  • ||

    I don't think he has evolved. I still think he is a leftist. He is just not insane and will admit the obvious. It is the Demcoratic party and liberals in general who have evolved from ordinary socialists to madness not Clinton.

  • MJ||

    You know the Left is in a bad way when Bill Clinton's the Dem most willing to be honest about stuff.

  • ||

    ba-dum tshh

  • Paul||

    I suppose letting Medicare collapse all on its own is?

    Isn't medicare essentially doing what all public health care systems eventually do?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Clinton has retracted this statement.

  • Paul||

    After hearing Mr. Clinton's comments on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, spoke with aides to Mr. Clinton and advised that he clarify his thinking

    Wow, beltway politics is a smarmy business.

    Imagine a couple of guys with suits knocking on your door, telling you to "clarify your thinking".

  • WTF||

    There's got to be a Fight Club joke in there somewhere...

  • fish||

    ...err...The first rule of Medicare reform...is that you don't talk about medicare reform.

  • ||

    I am Jack's grass-fed organic ghee

  • Trespassers W||

    Ghee, having a substantial effect on health insurance premiums, is now prohibited under the interstate commerce clause.

  • ||

    Imagine a couple of guys with suits knocking on your door, telling you to "clarify your thinking".

    Then, imagine a couple of guys running like hell to get away from three thoroughly pissed off dogs, while I shake my cane and tell them to get off my lawn.

  • Paul Ryan||

    I can have you put down you crazy old man....

    Maybe I'll just have you starved instead.

  • ||

    You Texans know all about running away from confrontation. I am so disappointed.

  • ||

    "Clarify your thinking" is the new "recalibrate your words".

  • ||

    I pray that some day the country will be rid of these welfarists on the left (Kos, etc.) and the warfarists on the right (Heritage, etc.).

  • fish||

    Cage match to the death has it's appeal!

  • PsychoLSD,||

    Do we keep the leftist Obama war machine?

  • ||

    Heheh, that picture looks like Clinton is shooting himself in the head.

  • ||

    i fear its all going to collapse and the sad thing is they are going to blame capitalism

  • ||

    Nuh-uh. It's going to collapse and they're going to blame libertarians.

  • ||

    "Here's what former White House dweller Bill Clinton said..."

    I would have referred to him as "former White House [crawler] Bill Clinton".

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