Annals of Fiscal Responsibility Chutzpah

Via Sullivan, someone named James C. Capretta says that in light of the Republicans’ attempt to end Medicare:

with a Republican plan on the table, the media will surely start to ask Democrats, “Hey, where’s your plan?” This will force them to either come clean with their tax-hike vision, or become the party that pushed the country toward a debt-induced economic crisis. Either way, with more clarity about where the parties actually stand, Republicans can win the public fight.

So who is this James C. Capretta, anyway?  Turns out, at least from his bio at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (a right-wing fake think tank that came to prominence in the 80’s for urging greater sympathy to right-wing torture regimes), he is basically a Republican functionary, who worked for Capitol Hill Republicans, went to the George W. Bush Administration, and now is the grateful recipient of wingnut welfare.  But this is really the highlight of his resume.  Capretta

was an Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 2001 to 2004, where he was the top budget official for health-care, Social Security, education, and welfare programs.

So the Associate Director of OMB during the first three years of the Bush Administration, which took a huge surplus and turned it into a series of crushing deficits, is now lecturing the Democrats on fiscal reponsibility.  We don’t let convicted felons vote: an equivalent rule should be to deny credibility on budgetary matters to anyone who worked for George W. Bush.

In any event, it shows how little Capretta appears to know about the health care debate that he seems to know nothing about the good ideas to reduce Medicare costs.  No doubt, it is a very hard job, but if you were going to name two ideas, they would be 1) comparative effectiveness research, so that Medicare doesn’t pay for expensive yet ineffective treatments, and 2) providing funding for seniors to voluntarily write advanced directives, in order to start trimming the grotesquely expensive and ineffective treatments in the last three months of life.

Well, guess what?  Those are precisely the things that the Right mendaciously attacked as “death panels”, to which Politifact gave its coveted Lie Of The Year award

So there’s your Republican strategy: lie about the other side’s genuine efforts at cost control, attempt to end Medicare, and then whine about your opponents don’t have a plan.  All in a day’s work for your typical right-wing apparatchik.