You can say many things about Governor Jan Brewer (R-AR), but you certainly can’t say she’s afraid of controversy. Given her record as Governor–most notably April’s controversial immigration law– it should hardly be surprising that Brewer is taking the fight on Obamacare right to the White House. I mean, why wait for repeal…the more pressure the better.
At Brewer’s request, Arizona lawmakers passed legislation authorizing her to request a waiver from the federal government to back out of stringent Medicare spending requirements. With the new Medicare requirements, states will have their hands tied when trying to balance their budgets, effectively preventing them from touching Medicare in the struggle to cut state deficits. With many states struggling to crawl out from under piles of debt, if this provision is not retracted, it will effectively be impossible to fix their budget crises. This reality is especially true of Arizona who has increased Medicare spending by 65% over the past four years. The Medicare rolls have swelled by 46%, and the program now accounts for 29% of the entire state budget.
Twenty-nine Republican Governors have signed a petition asking the Obama Administration to strike the mandate from the new law, but Brewer is the only one who has pushed the ball into Obama’s court in order to force a response. There is little doubt that the White House will refuse, but the action will force the Administration to openly reveal its contempt for state’s rights, which can never be stressed enough.
This struggle is entirely representative of the fight that will be had on the federal stage very soon. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only way to close budget gaps nationwide is through cuts to entitlement programs, and with Republicans becoming more receptive to the idea of defense spending cuts, the only impediment in the way of substantive steps towards fiscal responsibility is the insanity of the Left. Take Democrat state Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona who, in response to Brewer’s new assault on Medicare, had this brilliant idea for cutting the state budget:
Sinema said she and other state Democrats will be pushing to get the savings instead by closing some of what she maintained are at least $10 billion in corporate tax loopholes on Arizona’s books – including tax exemptions for liposuction and country club memberships.
Well, I don’t particularly have a problem with cutting exemptions to liposuction and country club membership, but the last thing we need to be doing right now is increasing revenue through corporate taxes. With the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world and a workforce struggling to compete in a brutal world economy, it hardly makes sense to limit productivity in this way.
The Democrats sure like to tout the deficit reduction capabilities of Obamacare….except for, as in this case, when the regulations actually make it harder to restore the nation’s fiscal health… then it becomes quite convenient to ignore that reality.