In an interview yesterday morning, a prominent Senate Republican outlined his preferred “collapse and replace” strategy if an agreement cannot be reached within the Republican party to repeal and replace Obamacare. The theory being that it’s better to let Obamacare collapse on its own and lay the political blame on the Democrats than attempt to fix the healthcare system and risk Republicans assuming the blame if it does not work. This is a continuation of the same strategy that Democrats have used to demonize anyone attempting to reform entitlement programs as pushing grandma off a cliff. In the inside-the-beltway culture, political optics always trumps policy solutions.
It appears that many Republican members are poised to embrace this strategy. This is emblematic of a risk-averse, political opportunism mentality that is exactly how we have racked up $20 trillion in debt and why there is not a single plan from either side to address the more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities that are ready to sink our younger generations’ futures.
The root of this mentality is careerism, a disease that is so powerful that some Republicans honestly believe that it would be better to allow real harm to the economic and health outcomes of the American people than to lose the perception of relative political power in Washington.
President Trump released a budget blueprint today that serves as a precursor to his full budget coming in May. While both side of the aisle are already panning the spending reductions outlined within the budget document – perhaps everyone should take the title to heart. It does not say Republicans First. Nor Democrats First. The blueprint is entitled: “America First.”
Everyone in Washington knows the real problems that need to be solved. Instead of political posturing to ensure the opposition party is stuck with the blame when things go wrong – it’s time for members to roll up their sleeves and solve the major issues that face our country. When politicians play political hot potato, it is the American people that always get burned.