Claire McCaskill’s spending caps are a “Medicare kill switch” (Action alert)

And now it’s the Dems. Sometime-Obama-surrogate Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) is proposing automatic spending caps on the federal budget. We spotted her here expressing her budget hawkery (shades of Amy Winehouse).

Now she’s full on it, a back-door Paul Ryan in the Senate, with her new best friend Bob Corker (R-Tenn). The Hill (my emphasis):

The liberal advocacy group is pressing Congress not to entertain Medicare cuts, including cuts the group says would be inevitable under a cap on total government spending. released a letter Monday in which 75 economists say spending caps, like the one proposed by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), would “amount to nothing less than a Medicare kill switch.”

The letter cites a report [pdf] from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities that said “enormous” cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would be inevitable under the type of overall spending cap McCaskill and Corker have proposed. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) referenced the same study when he said last week that the proposal would be worse for Medicaid than House Republicans’ plan to convert federal funding for the program into block grants to the states.


(1) MoveOn suggests you call Senator Charles Schumer (202-224-6542) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (202-224-4451) and tell them “you’re counting on them to oppose spending caps that contain a Medicare kill switch.” I make the same suggestion.

You can call others, such as your own senators, or even McCaskill herself (202-224-6154). As always, be polite but clear.

(2) I think it’s time we lose McCaskill, regardless of the price. Not only is she working hard against against progressive interests, but she seems to be speaking for the White House, just as she did during the campaign (that last link called her a “close Obama advisor”).

In 2006 she beat Jim Talent 49%–47%. She’s up for re-election in 2012. If there’s a move afoot to primary her Blue Dog soul, please post the information in the comments.

Working hard against her (and winning!) would achieve two goals — it would drop a key opponent from a position of power, and it would send the man she sometimes closely advises a little message. I’m for both of those things.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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