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Montana’s Congressional candidates debate tonight, and it’s likely Daines is worried. He’s definitely not going to want to talk about his unpopular plans to end Medicare and cut Social Security benefits. So, Daines’ major goal tonight will be to avoid discussing it.
This isn’t going to be easy. Daines is already on the record saying in the Billings Gazettethat he would have voted for the so-called Ryan budget, the conservative budget blueprint that was endorsed by the GOP-TEA-Party controlled House.
This budget would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit in favor of taxes for oil companies–and give tax breaks to corporations who outsource American jobs overseas. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it will increase health care costs by an extra $6,359 for every future Medicare beneficiary. That means all of us, if we’re lucky enough to live that long.
“The measure […] stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades. […] The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”
So, Daines desperately needs to try to switch topics. But rather than coming up with anything of his own to talk about, Daines instead decided to plagiarized his own opponent’s campaign ads. In his new ad released today, Daines repeatedly calls himself a problem solver, something Kim Gillan said about herself in her first television ad 19 weeks ago.
If Daines has any success in tonight’s debate it will be because he’s using Gillan’s lines.
The debate will air live on MontanaPBS, TONIGHT, SEPTEMBER 25, from 7 – 8:30 PM. It will also be simulcast on Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio, streaming on-line at www.montanapublicmedia.org.
It looks like some Democrats in Gallatin County got together to hold an accountability canvass for TEA Party Republican Rep. Tom Burnett. The piece highlights Burnett’s vote for a pay raise for himself while voting to increase the tuition bill for students and against local jobs. Burnett barely won his seat by some 75 votes, and is seen as vulnerable for 2012. He is an especially poor fit to represent the people of Bozeman, as his wacky writings demonstrate.
The Flathead Memo has some interesting predictions up for the GOP presidential primary. Check them out here.
Tom McMahon, Executive Director of Americans United for Change, the group behind the ad says:
“They say an elephant never forgets but these Republicans in Congress clearly have forgotten that the economy needs to work for everyone. No matter how they frame the cuts, Rep. Denny Rehberg and his Republicans colleagues need to realize that slashing Medicare and Medicaid will do nothing to create jobs. And you better believe Montana residents will remember those cuts. Asking our seniors and those who can least afford it to bear the burden while millionaires continue to enjoy the privilege of tax breaks – as Republicans have a history of doing – not only doesn’t make fiscal sense but it’s just cruel. It’s time for the GOP to remember their constituents and not just those that line their campaign coffers.”
Here’s the script:
SCRIPT: I’ll Remember
ANNCR: If you vote to cut Medicare, Congressman Rehberg – I will remember it every time I visit my doctor.
ANNCR: I’ll remember you cut Medicare and Medicaid every time I fill a prescription
ANNCR: I’ll remember you cut Medicare if I fall down, or get hurt
ANNCR: I’ll remember you chose protecting millionaires over protecting my health.
TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg sent out an email this week trying to give the impression that he didn’t intend to cut Medicare. Problem is, he never says he isn’t planning major cuts:
Unfortunately, some members of Congress and their special interest allies are willing to use half-truths to scare seniors. They want you to think that someone is trying to take away the Medicare benefits that you spent a lifetime earning. Fear mongering may be good theater, but it’s not good for the country and it’s not something I’m going to do.
The “it” he’s not going to do is “fear mongering.” He doesn’t say he won’t cut Medicare, rather, he only says:
I want to set the record straight. Any Medicare reform I support must first have the support of Montana’s seniors.
Which only means that when he votes again to cut it, he’ll trot out a couple of TEA partiers rounded up to say they agree with him.
You can read Rehberg’s entire email message below the fold. It includes a longish video, in which he immediately launches into a fear mongering campaign saying that Medicare is broken and in dire need of immediate changes. This appears to be his attempt to lay the groundwork for the cuts he expects to vote for later in the campaign. He says he won’t “undermine” Medicare, but specifically will not say that he doesn’t plan to propose or support major cuts.
the folks who want to cut the deficit by ending Medicare as we know it while protecting tax loopholes for oil companies and the super-rich are going to use this new committee as another path to their goal. And it’s up to everyone who supports Medicare to stop them.
Women live longer than men, so the majority of Medicare beneficiaries are women, as are two thirds of Medicaid recipients. Seventy percent of Medicaid dollars go to care for seniors and Americans with disabilities.
Did anyone catch this little gem from The Hill this afternoon? House conservatives are apparently up in arms over Pell Grant funding in John Boehner’s budget-slashing bill. As of this posting, Boehner has delayed a vote on his bill, and sources say it’s because he doesn’t have the votes to pass it.
Why? According to The Hill, it may be because “conservatives who have stalled legislation to raise the national debt limit are angry that it includes $17 billion in supplemental spending for Pell Grants, which some compare to welfare.”
Yes, Pell Grants. And yes, we can thank our own esteemed millionaire Congressman for the “welfare” reference.