This NYT article by Robert Pear this morning is a case in point, although I'll admit it read a little better the second time than the first. Still, Pear refers to the whacking of these important programs and social safety-net pillars of our economy as merely a "fundamental rethinking of how the two programs work", excused as the need to "address the nation's fiscal challenges". As to the scope of the cuts, Pear understatedly reports that
the proposals on Medicaid and Medicare could shift some costs to beneficiaries and to the states.
Later, Pear discusses the plan's Medicaid component:
The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that a Medicaid block grant, of the type proposed by Mr. Ryan and Ms. Rivlin, could save $180 billion over 10 years. House Republicans could save an additional $434 billion by eliminating the expansion in Medicaid eligibility scheduled to take place in 2014 under the new health care law.
Just think of it--if we could just whack that rather silly expansion in Medicaid provided by Obamacare we could save a whole nuther $434 bill. Wouldn't that be great?
The whole thing is a radical, drastic proposal to increase poverty, misery and economic inequality (as the plan also includes further cuts in the highest marginal tax rates).
Of course, if President Obama had not given away the store already in agreeing that "middle class" taxes can never be raised by any amount, ever, there might be the basis for offering an alternative to this nihilism. In the absence of that, in the "fierce urgency of now", our medial villagers will likely work double-overtime to assure us all how wonderful this fabulous budget blue print is.