*Editorial from his publisher: We want you to live for many more presidential elections, not just 2012**
I'm an old guy--codger, geezer, whatever--but I really want to live Iong enough to see how the 2012 election turns out. It just might be a doozie.
That's not because the Republicans already have some gangbuster candidate who might knock Barack Obama out of the White House. One such may exist, but I haven't spotted him or her yet.
No, it's because the two major parties now differ so sharply on what government should and shouldn't do that we could have a real election about what kind of a country we want America to be. For example: House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R. Wis.) has issued a spending proposal that passed his committee on a straight party-line vote, 22-16.
So long, Medicare, as we know it. Ryan's plan would phase out the government run, fee-for-service program. New seniors, instead, would get vouchers that would help them buy private health insurance. It would repeal the health care law's requirement for people to have health insurance. Ryan's plan would not reduce health care costs, just shift them from the government to us. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that by 2022, the average portion of total Medicare spending borne by seniors would rise from 30% to 61%. Ready for that?
I don't know how much of this Congress would pass or the President approve. I don't know if the voters would be for it or against it.
But hey! A real debate! Might be kind of fun.