A few days ago, I had lunch with a friend who is active in the Republican Party's economic-policy debates. The real difference between Republicans and Democrats, he held, was that Republicans believe a fiscal crisis is very near, and that the only reforms that the markets will accept are structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
Odd, is it not, that the only structural changes the markets will accept are the virtual destruction of two safety nets Republicans have always detested?
I wonder how the markets would accept the obliteration of the elderly's healthcare security--as substantially covered by Medicare and Medicaid--resulting in the collateral obliteration of their disposable income, which at the present is disposable on economy-boosting consumer items such as food, clothing, and transportation.
The obliteration effect would also seep downward; the elderly's children and grandchildren would find themselves necessarily subsidizing their parents' and grandparents' newly imposed, much higher medical expenses--as well as the cost of their food, clothing, and transportation--which means that the children and grandchildren would themselves be endowed with less disposable income for their own food, clothing, and transportation.
But of course Republicans don't need to think this thing out. They have their all-encompassing, all-answering ideology to do their thinking for them.