I appreciate President Barack Obama's comments to the Des Moines Register crediting President George W. Bush for advocating comprehensive immigration reform, but I would have rather seen his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 when he was the junior Senator from Illinois, or his introducing an immigration bill when he enjoyed Democratic majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate during his first two years as president. As a senator he claimed to support the 2007 bill, but when decision time came he sided with labor unions and voted for the two amendments that gutted the guest worker program, one of the three key elements of comprehensive reform. As president he did not introduce a bill or drive the discussion, and instead of working with Democratic and Republican members of Congress who were working on the DREAM Act, he signed an executive order in response to his declining support with Latino voters. He says he's "fairly confident" Republicans will have a "deep interest" in getting immigration reform done in his (unlikely) second term, but his record does not convince me he would be as committed.
Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by an average of 47.7% to 47.5% in national polls conducted over the last two weeks, with today’s Gallup poll of likely voters putting him at 52% to Mr. Obama’s 45%. This is Mr. Romney's second day above 50% with Gallup’s likely voters, something Mr. Obama has not yet done. Mr. Romney has now tied President George W. Bush’s best 2004 number in this Gallup poll, and today’s numbers are almost identical to the October 16, 2004 tracking when Mr. Bush led John Kerry 52% to 44%. Many Obama supporters have tried to draw false parallels with this race and the 2004 Election; however, they probably weren’t counting on this comparison.
Check out this new video from American Crossroads. President Obama misled the American people on Libya and this video gets to the bottom of it—piece by ugly piece.
What do we have to show for all the new debt? Check out this new video "Sack It" from American Crossroads.
Just received this email from Chris Jacobs, Senior Policy Analyst, Joint Economic Committee, Senate Republican Staff, which is worth noting:
Vice President Biden just claimed that Obamacare’s $716 billion in Medicare spending reductions strengthened the Medicare program. That’s not what the Congressional Budget Office said. The non-partisan CBO said that the Medicare reductions in Obamacare “will not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits” – because those savings will be used to fund other unsustainable entitlements. If the President wants to use the Medicare savings provisions to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund – and not to fund the new entitlements created by the law – the Congressional Budget Office previously estimated what the fiscal impact would be: “A net increase in federal deficits of $260 billion” through 2019.
Even President Obama himself admitted this irrefutable logic in a 2010 interview, when he stated that “You can’t say that you are saving on Medicare and then spending the money twice.”
Worth noting from Chris Jacobs, Senior Policy Analyst, Joint Economic Committee, Senate Republican Staff:
The President claims that IPAB will help reduce costs in a pain-free fashion. But that’s not what he said in 2009. In an interview with the Washington Post that January, he said this about capping Medicare spending (audio excerpt here):
What I think is probably the wrong approach is to think, well, the way to solve this is Medicare is spending X, and we’re just going to cap it at Y, and whatever that means in terms of people being thrown off the rolls or cutting benefits, you know, then so be it. Because that doesn’t solve the underlying problem which is health care costs themselves are still escalating at a 6 or 7 or 8 percent rate. All we’re doing is we’re just saying to people, you know what, you’re going to get less health care.
But that’s exactly what Obamacare does – it caps Medicare spending at pre-defined labels. And according to Barack Obama circa 2009, that method – which he dubbed the “wrong approach” – means seniors are “going to get less health care.”
Actions speak louder than words. Are you better off?
Just the Facts: Congressional Democrats did not back President Bush's 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Bill
In a debate last night in Marin County, CA, Governor Howard Dean said many Congressional Democrats supported President George W. Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug bill in 2003, which uses the premium support model proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for overall Medicare Reform. When I took issue with Mr. Dean's assertion that many Democrats backed Mr. Bush's reforms, he said I was wrong.
If you are one of the Marin County residents who wanted to check out who was right, here are the links to the votes on final passage of the measure in the House and Senate. It passed the House 220-215 with just sixteen Democrats voting in favor. It passed the Senate 54-44 with only eleven Democrats backing it. The other 224 Democrat Representatives and Senators voted against the prescription drug reform, which uses premium support to deliver the benefit.
ICYMI: New American Crossroads Ad, "Forward?"
As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week, Republicans can win the Medicare debate if they have courage to make the case that reforms are necessary to keep Medicare from going broke in 2024.
President Obama provided the opening for Republicans to win this debate when he reduced future Medicare spending by $716 billion to pay for ObamaCare.
The Romney-Ryan ticket would repeal ObamaCare and thereby restore the $716 billion to stabilize Medicare’s finances. Mitt Romney has also offered a reform package to protect all the promises made to today’s seniors, while making Medicare sustainable for future generations.
Of course, Mr. Obama and his team are attacking Romney-Ryan for offering these reforms. What’s more interesting is that the president is obligated by law to offer his proposals to save Medicare, but has shirked this statutory responsibility four years.
Mr. Obama is required by law to respond to the “Medicare trigger,” a forecast from the Medicare Trustees that general revenues will be required for 45% or more of the program's outlays within a seven-year period, which signals that Medicare is financially unsustainable.
Specifically, Section 1105 of Title 31 of the U.S. Code requires:
“If there is a Medicare funding warning under section 801(a)(2) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 made in a year, the President shall submit to Congress, within the I5-day period beginning on the date of the budget submission to Congress under subsection (a) for the succeeding year, proposed legislation to respond to such warning.”
The Medicare Trustees have issued this warning every spring for the past five years, but only President George W. Bush followed the law, submitting legislation to Congress in 2008 that lowered general revenue spending to the 45% level, restoring Medicare to financial sustainability. The measure was introduced in the House and the Senate, but the Democratic Congress under Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to ever consider the measure.
Though the Medicare Trustees issued a warning in 2009, 2010, 2011, and again this spring, Mr. Obama has ignored the law each year and failed to submit the required legislation to Congress. His neglect has not gone unnoticed, as members of his own Cabinet have reminded him of his duty to do so, and Congressman Paul Ryan wrote a letter with Senator Jeff Sessions earlier this year demanding the president act.
In 2008, then-Senator Obama said he wanted to tackle Medicare in “first term as president.” He didn’t do so. Every spring for the past four years, the Medicare Trustees have reminded him of his legal responsibility to propose how to put Medicare’s finances in order.
The president’s failure to act is another example of how he has put politics ahead of the country’s best interests and in this case, how he has put politics ahead of the rule of law. It’s a failure of presidential leadership every American should remember as they watch the debate over Medicare.
This article originally appeared on FoxNews.com on Saturday, August 20, 2012.