Those who toughed out Sarah Palin’s debate performance to the end last week saw her close by mangling a line from Ronald Reagan. If we don’t stay on guard she admonished, we’ll be “telling our children and our children’s children” about a time when America was free.
Palin was trying to stoke fears of terrorism, the only remaining issue where her ticket still has an edge over the Dems. Never mind that the Gipper was talking not about national security but legislation to guarantee health care for older Americans, the program we now know as Medicare.
So there was plenty of irony in yesterday’s story that Palin’s boss would gut Medicare after all. Top Gun’s senior policy advisor Douglas Holtz-Eaken let it be known over the weekend that Medicare and Medicaid program cuts would be used to fund the Republican tax-credit-dressed-up-as-a-health-plan stunt.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated these cuts would have to total $1.3 trillion over the next decade in order to keep the McCain plan budget neutral.
It is not clear that complex bureaucracies like Medicare could survive cuts like that, especially if they are implemented all at once, but that’s the point I guess. And never mind that Top Gun proposes a $5,000 health care tax credit for families, but the average family would have to fork over $12,000 for adequate coverage.
Conservative Republicans never warmed up to Top Gun. But now that they know what a President McCain would do to their despised entitlement program, they may just pull a lever for the guy after all.