Tim Huelskamp: Cut Medicare or Tea Party will default on America’s debt

Republican House member, and proud Tea Party-er, Tim Huelskamp, just admitted to CNN’s Erin Burnett that the only way he and the Tea Party are not going to let the US government default on its debt in a little over 24 hours is if we make cuts to Medicare.

Welcome yet another hostage to the ever-growing list of Americans the Republican party seems hell-bent on harming this upcoming holiday season.

CNN’s Erin Burnett: You would be willing to make cuts, I want to make it clear, to entitlements, things like Medicare, that’s what you’re asking for [in order to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default]?

GOP/Tea Party’s Tim Huelskamp: We have had those votes, we’ve had those votes on numerous things, yes I will.

Tim Huelskamp

Tea Party supporter and GOP Cong. Tim Huelskamp

It’s bad enough that the GOP, including Huelskamp during tonight’s segment, continue to deny that the imminent default will cause any harm to the US, when independent analysts have said it would have “catastrophic” consequences far worse than what happened in the Great Recession of the past several years.

Here’s what Bloomberg News said a week ago about a debt default – it’s a horrific story, go read the entire thing:

Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. little more than five years ago knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen.

Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt — unprecedented in modern history — will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.

The $12 trillion of outstanding government debt is 23 times the $517 billion Lehman owed when it filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. As politicians butt heads over raising the debt ceiling, executives from Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Warren Buffett to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Lloyd C. Blankfein have warned that going over the edge would be catastrophic.

And it’s bad enough that it was in part this denial of the consequences of default by the GOP the last time around that led S&P to downgrade the US credit rating.

But now the GOP hostage list keeps growing.

First it was Obamacare.  Well, Obamacare and the entire US (and world) economy, since the Republicans threatened to torpedo the economy, and all of our retirement plans, in addition to our jobs and mortgages, if we didn’t let them kill the Affordable Care Act.

Then the hostage became the budget overall – with an ixnay on the Obamacare-ay – when the GOP realized that the public wasn’t willing to send the world into a depression (by defaulting on the debt) over Obamacare.

Then today it became the President, the VP, and the Cabinet (via their health insurance).

Then tonight, Republicans in the House started talking about taking a whack at the healthcare plans of congressional staffers.

And now Huelskamp admits that the real target – or at least another one – is Medicare, and America’s seniors.

The thing is, if Medicare is expensive it’s because health care in America is expensive.  But Republicans like Huelskamp have no desire to actually fix healthcare in America, that’s why they’re trying to defund the Affordable Care Act.  Fixing problems isn’t why they came to Washington.  They came for the fat $174,000 a year salary, and the opportunity to do absolutely nothing but dismantle the entire federal government while getting paid gobs of money to do it.

The hostage list keeps going because these guys don’t know what they want.  As GOP congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) admitted last week:

“We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

No one does.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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