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Grassley Claims Large Deficit Compels Him to Embrace Budget-Busting Status Quo

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Grassley Claims Large Deficit Compels Him to Embrace Budget-Busting Status Quo"

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Senator Chuck Grassley continues to cast about for pretexts to spike health reform and please his party leadership so he’s hit upon an unusually nonsensical reason:

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, one of three Senate Republicans negotiating on health care, said the soaring federal budget deficit “puts a stake in the heart” of $1 trillion measures being debated in Congress.

Obviously, the scope of the budget deficit in 2009 and 2010 has nothing to do with how the health care system ought to look in 2013 when the bills under consideration phase in. If the bills are affordable in 2013, then they’re affordable in 2013 regardless of current deficits. And if they’re not affordable, then small current deficits wouldn’t change that either. But more to the point, as the administration was emphasizing before Grassley’s “death panel” demogoguery helped scare them off the point, health care reform is integral to getting the long-run budget deficit under control:

ek_entitlements_three-1

Whatever you think of the current budget predictions, nothing about sticking with the status quo makes things better.

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