The 2012 Election

I would much rather sit out most of the run-up, especially July-September, to most elections. Usually the Greens find a way to be a way for some of these; not this time. It’s not that I’m against politics. I love it. It’s great to read and to talk about, especially if your side is doing well and ours is. And the Republicans are a bankrupt fraud.

But what that fraud leads to is discussions or articles like these about medicare:

If Medicare were a discretionary program funded through the standard authorization/appropriation process, there’d be no distinction between cutting the appropriation for program purchases and cutting the program’s funding. But Medicare isn’t a discretionary program, so what Obama did was decrease the pace at which the trust fund spends down. At earlier stages in the ACA debate, this was the focus of the great “double counting” debate since the Obama administration likes to say that the cuts both reduce the budget deficit (by reducing federal spending inside a 10-year scoring window) and increase the projected lifespan of the trust fund (because the unspent money is in some sense “in” the trust fund), which is really more a quirk of trust fund accounting than a real feature of the law. But whether one likes trust fund accounting or doesn’t, if you’re going to run around the country alleging that money is being taken from a Medicare piggy bank then you’re necessarily working from within the trust fund accounting framework. And the way it works is that Obama’s reductions of reimbursement rates keeps the piggy bank full longer, while if Romney repeals them the piggy bank will expire sooner.

On its face, a clear win for the forces of intellect and decency. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re surrounded by.

Make it stop. I know: we just need to get motivated. I’m not that cynical and both sides don’t do it. It’s not that. It’s just that one side has decided that its best hope is to make the whole thing so stupid that no one cares or pays attention, which makes it close and they win.

Okay. Now, I’m motivated. Thanks, dumb other side.