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Wednesday, June 1, 2011 

How fast can Issa backpedal on Medicare privatization?


~ After weeks of advocating for additional oil drilling that has proven to be unsafe, Issa is going back to underline the hypocrisy, this time focusing on the pace of recovery on the Gulf Coast. Tomorrow morning's witness list is headed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who until recently was a leading contender to run for the Republican Presidential nomination next year.
Issa was in charge of oversight for the agency that regulated offshore drilling for years leading up to the Gulf Spill and so supposedly knew about the lax regulation and safety standards, but remained a tireless advocate for increased drilling and less regulation. He has held hearings to receive testimony only from oil industry representatives, many of whom have directly funded Issa's campaigns, and recently used the anniversary of the spill to call for more offshore drilling in the Gulf.
~ The co-founder of the House Transparency Caucus announced today that the Oversight Committee will not consider the Transparency and Openness in Government Act (H. R. 1144), introduced by Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings. Cummings' proposed legislation would combine a number of other transparency and openness bills into one. Reinforcing his partisanship and apparently with no self-awareness of the hypocrisy in the reaction, Issa rejected considering the omnibus transparency bill in favor of seeking global solutions for transparency. According to Issa, transparency should still not apply to his own office, staff, or government contractors who donate unknown sums of taxpayer dollars to influence partisan elections.
~ Darrell Issa -- the richest man in the House who thinks that a $250,000 a year income is middle class -- mocked the President after a White House meeting today after the President pointed out that taxes are currently lower than during the Reagan administration. It's unclear whether Issa doesn't know that this is true or doesn't care that this is true as he continues pressing to further cut taxes and de-fund Medicare.
~ Meanwhile, as Issa prepares to slam consumer protections and defend major financial institutions again, housing prices have reached their lowest level since 2006 when the housing bubble burst. After Issa requested that corporate lobbyists and rich industry representatives set his committee agenda, the very first thing he did was propose the elimination of a major program designed to help homeowners and replace it with... nothing. Since then, despite representing a large military and veteran population where foreclosures have hit at four times the national average, Issa has been stunningly silent on the issue. Not only has nobody yet gone to jail for the financial collapse that goes along with the collapse of home prices, he has yet to even investigate anyone from the private sector who was involved.
~ Speaking of Medicare, Issa is joining many other Republicans in backpedaling away from the GOP banner plan to privatize the program. In April, Issa was publicly supportive of the Ryan Medicare privatization scheme, complete with a breakdown of of Issa's favorite selling points. But since then, the Washington Post found the proposal "false and misleading," Republicans lost the strongly-conservative 26th District in New York over the Medicare plan and a new poll finds 54% of Americans opposed against just 38% in favor. Cue the headlong sprint to disassociate, and Issa dodged desperately away from commenting on the Medicare privatization plan that he supports when asked about it this week.


Reader Discussion

Don’t we have a House Un-American activities committee anymore? Why can’t they deport Issa?

at 6:10 am on Sat, Jun 4, 2011Posted by Jimc

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