Good question, Mr. Stewart. Nancy Pelosi answers in typical Nancy Pelosi fashion — by saying “Republicans would have filibustered it.” Too bad budgets can’t be filibustered. They require a simple majority in both House and Senate to pass. What’s more: When Democrats did control both houses, they had a supermajority in the Senate. Republicans could have filibustered only with the help of Democrats. No way to pin this one on Republicans — and, yet, Pelosi still tries. Predictable.
Also, did you know Republicans “don’t believe in” Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety and public education? I surely didn’t. Honestly, I’m not even sure what it means to not believe in them — to not acknowledge their existence? To not desire them? If what she’s trying to say is Republicans don’t believe in Big Government, then sure: They’ve seen the inefficacy, the inefficiency, the clumsiness of programs that often do the opposite of what they’re intended to do — and they’d rather empower people to take personal responsibility than to continue to perpetuate dependency. But that’s rather different than not believing in programs that, like it or not, have become part of the political landscape and have to be addressed one way or another.
In fact, let’s talk about the true non-believers, for a second. To judge by their utter inaction on entitlement reform, it seems safer to say Democrats don’t believe The Big Three are headed for insolvency. Either that, or they don’t believe a social safety net is necessary, after all — because they’re willing to risk an entitlement implosion rather than implement intelligent reforms now.
According to a press release from Senate Budget Republicans, CBO projects that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will go bankrupt by 2020. That’s less than ten years from now. Medicare Trustees have sent a funding warning to President Obama — and that warning means Obama is statutorily required to act (just like Congress is technically required to pass a budget!). But has Obama done a thing? Nope — not for three consecutive years. When will he put forward a plan to reform Medicare?
In this interview with Jon Stewart, Pelosi also suggests it would be better for the American people if the super committee had to operate in utter transparency — if their every dealing were broadcast on public television. Something tells me she’s comfortable suggesting that only because she knows it will never happen. Does she want more people to know that Democrats rejected Republicans’ most recent proposal even though it included $500 billion in new revenues? (Remember: The “reason” the super committee has been unsuccessful so far, according to Democrats, is because Republicans aren’t open to new revenues.) Republicans put forward plan after plan, Democrats reject them and then label Republicans “obstructionists.” Come again?
Pelosi says what she says — that Republicans would have filibustered a budget, that they “don’t believe in” established programs, that she wants a transparent government — just because she can and no one calls her on it. Stewart slightly does here — but not to the extent he should have. Still, someday, maybe, Princess Nancy will realize her smiling lies don’t win points with those who know the truth — and more people will know the truth than not.
You’ll have to fast-forward through her early spin to reach Stewart’s brief rebuttal. She starts listing all Republicans don’t believe in at 6:50 and Stewart points out Dems’ failure to pass a budget at 7:56.