Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Special Report with Bret BaierWednesday, August 15, 2012

On the Democrat attacks on Paul Ryan’s budget and Medicare:

I think the Democrats are discovering that they stepped on a land mine with Medicare. The fact is that Medicare was raided for Obamacare. And here is why — this isn’t even a weedy issue. The Obama administration had to show — because it kept arguing this — [that] this [Obamacare] won’t cost anybody anything. This will be revenue neutral. It’s not going to add to the budget deficit. That was the mantra for a year-and-a-half, so they had to get half a billion dollars from somewhere.

That is why they made the cuts in Medicare: in order to be able to say — in the bill, in the Obamacare bill itself — “You take that [Medicare] money, you put it in Obamacare, and it pays for itself.” Thus it [Obamacare] is revenue neutral. This is not a fable, not a fiction. It was the heart of the debate.

Now, as you [Bret Baier] interviewed the president, you pointed out [that] they keep arguing that: No, the money isn’t spent over here. It’s really in the trust fund.

It is not. You can’t have it in two places, so that is simply a fact.

That is devastating because the Republicans can now argue that Obama is actually taking the money away from your grandma today and for the next decade, whereas the Ryan plan contemplates a change which begins in ten years — which would exempt anybody who is in the system today — which doesn’t reduce the [current] spending in Medicare.

And then what Obama said is that at the end of the [Ryan] plan… you lose the guarantee of the Medicare.

That is also a falsehood. The Medicare option is retained in 2022.

On the beginning of implementation of the quasi-amnesty for young illegal immigrants as granted by executive order:

Constitutionally, it’s an abomination. Politically, it’s a stroke of genius. On the policy, itself, you can argue it either way.

It’s clearly completely lawless. This is the DREAM Act — that the Senate had considered in 2010 and rejected — enacted unilaterally by the executive. That is not how it’s supposed to be done in a constitutional democracy, and Obama knew that.

The timing is, of course… cynical. He could have done this in January of 2011, but he didn’t. So this is a stroke of genius. Right now we were looking at the lines of the kids lined up, you know, attractive  kids. They obviously live in neighborhoods with other — I’m sure a lot of them with other — immigrants, many of whom are citizens, legally here, who vote. There is all this excitement, there is all this hubbub on the ground. It’s as if you had people canvassing the neighborhoods and essentially doing a ground game on behalf of Obama. It is surely going to help them.

And it is surely something that you shouldn’t do under our system.

As to whether it’s a good idea, there is a long argument about that. We had it in Congress, and Obama had lost, but he doesn’t care.

On the Pennsylvania judge upholding the state’s voter-ID laws:

Except that the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in a decision written by John Paul Stephens, a liberal hero, that it’s completely and utterly constitutional. The case is closed. There is nothing surprising in this ruling today.

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