With Paul Ryan unleashing his budget, which abolishes Medicare within the next ten years, we now, finally, have a real debate. For the past twenty years, debates over the Federal Budget have been confused - most people believing that whatever ails the budget can be solved by cutting waste, inefficiency and foreign aid. But not now.
Now, there is a real question - what should the Federal Government do? Medicare is wildly popular, but here you have the GOP arguing that the Federal Government cannot afford it. Rather than take the easy way out, Democrats should ask the American people if Medicare is worth paying for. In other words, let's have a real debate about what government should and should not fund.
In fact, I'd love to see this spread to other areas of government as well. For instance, education at the state level is the primary function of state government. But there's no way of knowing what education costs because we keep changing the standards. So, instead of dickering, let's figure out how much education costs - with an agreed upon student/teacher ration, textbooks that must be so old, technology, etc. - and then figure out whether or not we want to pay it. Let's have honest discussions about what government costs at all levels of government.