South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint
insists the 2012 budget released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan Tuesday does not cut Medicare and those who think it does are “not listening.” DeMint also told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto, GOP senators plan to introduce a proposal to match Ryan’s Thursday that will balance the budget in 10 years and also only cut federal Medicare spending.
“Well, Neil, this is not a cut in benefits,” DeMint said Wednesday. “
We may be saving money at the federal level, but I think most Americans would like to keep the private health insurance that they have. In fact, this program would encourage people to buy and keep their own policies throughout their life.
“The only people who have cut Medicare is the half-trillion dollars that [President Barack] Obama cut for his Obamacare program,” he said. “The Republicans have not cut Medicare. So if we can`t win this argument, people are not listening.”
Cavuto noted Democrats — and particularly Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — claim cuts in the Ryan proposal, whether to Medicare or other entitlement programs — show the GOP is being held “hostage” by the tea party.
“Well, it is completely dishonest. Frankly, Neil, this has nothing to do with the tea party, as much as it does just reality,” DeMint said. “If we do not get control of our debt within the next few months, if we don`t show the world that we have the political will to get control of our debts, the people who are lending us money — we are borrowing $4 billion every day, at the same time increasing spending — we are going to lose our credit ratings, interest rates are going to skyrocket, and we are not going to be able to borrow any more money.
“And so this is not about politics — Harry Reid and the president are not even on the same page with reality. Now, this is a real financial emergency — and the president has us on a course to bankrupt our country,” he continued. “And what Paul Ryan does is hardly extreme. It basically cuts the debt in half over the next 10 years.
“And there is a lot more that we have to do,” DeMint said. “And some of us are going to introduce a complement to Paul Ryan`s budget tomorrow that brings that budget into balance in 10 years.”
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