What part of what I said do you disagree with? Are you disputing that most of the health care bill is MANDATORY spending rather than discretionary spending? Or are you disputing that Congress can't simply deny funding for mandatory expenditures?
Not at all, I'm saying that in this particular case the political shenanigans to which you are referring simply will not work. Congress can't just decide they aren't going to fund mandatory spending (which is why it's called mandatory spending). They would have to repeal the bill authorizing the mandatory spending.Originally Posted by Crunch
Originally Posted by Crunch
Yep, less than two months after the most sweeping health care reform in 45 years became the law of the land, obviously *I* need to recognize when I'm defeated.
I'm merely pointing out the reality of how our government works: You cannot defund mandatory spending without repealing the legislation. If you find that reality irritating, don't blame me, blame the way our spending rules are set up. So hopefully I've established that (with the exception of a few small pieces of the legislation) it would need to be repealed rather than defunded. And hopefully it's clear to you that it won't be repealed after the 2010 election. But maybe you're holding out hope for 2012, the last election before the bill takes effect. So let's consider what would have to happen for the bill to be repealed after the 2012 election:
1. Republicans would need to win the White House
2. Republicans would need a majority in the House of Representatives
3. Republicans would need 60 votes in the Senate (if they wanted to repeal the entire bill)
4. Republicans would need to make a unified push to repeal the legislation
Now let's think about these four requirements, one at a time.
1. Only once in the past 100 years has a party been booted out of the White House after a single term (that honor goes to Jimmy Carter). So while it's not impossible for a Republican candidate to defeat Obama in 2012, I think it's fair to say that the odds are against it given historical patterns.
2. This seems plausible to me, although by no means a certainty.
3. This is simply not going to happen. The Republicans currently control 41 Senate seats. That means they would need a 19-seat swing in two election cycles. The Democrats will only be defending 40 seats over the next two election cycles. Do you honestly believe that the Republicans can snag nearly HALF of the seats that the Democrats are defending? Even under the best circumstances for the Republicans, this is a fantasy.
4. Even if, implausibly, all of the first three things occurred...the Republicans would have to make a major push to repeal the legislation, and keep most or all of their members on board. This would involve at least as much work as it took the Democrats to pass the bill in the first place.
So you can harbor your fantasies about the Republicans defunding the legislation (which they are legally not allowed to do) or repealing the legislation (which is almost politically impossible) if you want to. But now that health care reform has been signed into law, I'm not losing any sleep over the prospect of it not being implemented.