Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, January 30th, 2011.


When Adults Make Decisions

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Obama Administration

As Egypt continues to unravel, some rightie bloggers have seized a story at Huffington Post to bash the Obama Administration. The article says that in 2009 the Obama Administration deeply cut money for programs designed to promote democracy in Egypt, partly at the urging of the embassy in Cairo.

Now, in retrospect, the White House might deeply regret that decision. But, y’know, that’s how it is with cutting government programs. It isn’t painless.

Sen. Rand Paul last week (before Egypt began to unravel) was marching around boldly declaring that all foreign aid should be cut, which would include what’s left of the programs to promote democracy. And, y’know, in their speeches Republicans are gung-ho for cutting just about all government spending that’s not attached to a defense contract.

But when some program is cut, and there’s a detrimental effect as a result, Republicans turn around and scream about government incompetence.

(BTW, our buddy the brilliant Jim Hoft strikes again — he begins his bashing of Obama with “Obama failed to support the people of Georgia when Russian tanks plowed across the border,” which happened in 2008. I don’t remember what Obama might have said about it, but George W. Bush was still POTUS at the time.)

They did the same thing with the cuts to Medicare Advantage in the Affordable Care Act. Lots of people do like their Medicare Advantage plans, but it’s hard to justify taxpayer subsidy of them when the same benefits cost less when provided by regular Medicare. So, cutting Medicare Advantage subsidies (eventually a Medicare Advantage plan will cost taxpayers the same as a regular Medicare plan) was kind of a no-brainer, except to Republicans, who played up the cuts in their campaign against Health Care Reform.

Ironically, the much-celebrated “roadmap” of Paul Ryan would do away with Medicare entirely, although you don’t hear that spoken out loud by Republicans much.

For the record, regarding foreign aid — I’d like to cut back on military aid and use the money for medical, nutritional, educational, and other non-military assistance.

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