McCain Stands Against Pork

While John McCain may give conservatives paroxysms from time to time, he also has a well-earned reputation for being one of the strongest fiscal hawks in the Senate. He’s even gone as far as calling on Congress to repeal the Medicare prescription drug bill to pay for hurricane reconstruction.

When McCain is right, he’s right, and when McCain is wrong, he’s wrong. In this particular instance, Sen. McCain is absolutely right. The Medicare bill is a massive expansion of an already over-stretched entitlement system that puts a massive drain on the Treasury. Canceling that one bill alone would more than pay for reconstruction, as well as help us relieve some of the massive debt we’re accumulating due to the fiscal irresponsibility of Congress and the President.

What McCain is proposing is politically risky – in fact, it’s extremely risky. Repealing entitlement spending is not the sort of thing that most Republicans care to do less they be crucified by the press for being heartless bastards who want to make Grandma eat dog food. However, McCain is one of the few politicians who can have a shot at pulling that off. He has a reputation as a straight shooter, and if he says we need to tighten our belts, people may listen – whereas if Bill Frist would have the fortitude to do the same the media would eat him alive.

In any event, McCain is right. We must control the massive growth of non-defense discretionary and entitlement spending in this country. And so far, McCain is one of the few members of Congress who has the cojones to stand up and say that we may have to make some serious cuts to spending in order to put our fiscal house in order.

McCain is right, and the rest of the Congressional Republicans should be standing with him. It is a time to end business as usual in Congress. We face war, natural disasters, and shifting demographics. Now is the time to get serious about fiscal discipline, before our problems grow to the point where they drag on economic growth.

It’s time for the Republican Party to once again become the party of fiscal discipline – a mantle we have sadly abdicated in recent years. If John McCain will lead this party towards that end, then the rest of the party would do well to follow in his footsteps.

2 thoughts on “McCain Stands Against Pork

  1. I admire McCain’s convictions and actually agree with him that the flawed prescription drug bill should be the fall guy for the Gulf Coast reconstruction financing. Politically, it could go either way for him. Suggesting at this point that we do without the prescription drug bill will ignite generational warfare and intensify regional warfare in America.

    On one hand, it’s gonna be hard justifying to Iowa and South Dakota seniors that they should be indefinitely fleeced by the pharmaceutical industry so that we can finance Trent Lott (and millions of others) foolishly rebuilding his coastal home until it’s inevitably flattened once again by the next hurricane. On the other hand, this move helps to solidify McCain’s “straight shooting moderate” credentials in the minds of many moderate blue state voters….the kinds of yuppies living in places like Connecticut and suburban Philadelphia who aren’t likely to have any personal stake in the prescription drugs debate.

    This may well be a moot point as I find it hard to believe that the Bible-clutching, Rapture-preaching Republican primary crowd will hold their nose and vote for McCain to be the nominee. On the off-chance he’s able to slide in (which is entirely possible in a crowded field if the fringe right can’t settle upon a Gingrich, Frist, or Allen), I’d give him strong odds whether he is or isn’t successful in drowning the Medicare expansion.

  2. It may not be realistic politically to repeal the whole Medicare RX plan. However, it could be modified to eliminate the “no negotiation of drug prices” clause, a giveaway to the Pharma industry. This alone could save some billions and still provide the benefits intended.

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