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Robert Brenner

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Raiders of the Lost Medicare

Posted: 09/05/2012 5:30 pm

Deep within the Amazonian rain forest, far from civilization, anthropologist/adventurer Wisconsin Ryan has made a startling discovery: the lost Golden-years Idol of Medicare!

To reach this treasure -- the crown jewel of entitlements programs -- Wisconsin Ryan has had to overcome innumerable obstacles: poisonous snakes, blowgun-toting headhunters, Democrats.

But now Medicare is within Wisconsin Ryan's grasp! Won't his "father," Michigan/Massachusetts/New Hampshire/California/Utah Romney, be proud! All he has to do is replace Medicare with a voucher program of equal weight, and the Idol is his!

Carefully, he weighs out the bag of vouchers. Too much, and he will never achieve his dream of balancing the federal budget on the backs of the elderly; too little, and he will be torn apart by savage senior citizens.

With his free hand, he reaches for the Idol. He is about to make the switch, when suddenly a loud, commanding voice calls out:

"Not so fast, Wisconsin Ryan! The elderly depend on Medicare, and I'm not going to let your kleptocratic Republican hands touch it! We've come too far to turn back now!"

Wisconsin Ryan spins around to face the interloper. He sees a familiar -- and unwelcome -- visage. "Prof. Obama! So, we meet again!"

It is his old enemy and rival anthropologist/adventurer, Prof. Barack Obama. They previously crossed swords in Wisconsin Ryan and the Congress of Doom. Wisconsin Ryan scuttled the Grand Bargain -- despite being offered $10 in budget cuts in exchange for every $1 in revenue increases -- because he didn't want Prof. Obama to get the credit. Now apparently Prof. Obama is out for revenge.

"I'm not trying to destroy Medicare -- I'm trying to rescue it!" Wisconsin Ryan protests. "Sometimes you have to destroy the entitlements program to save it."

"Sure," Prof. Obama says, "and I'm a secret Muslim Kenyan socialist who was gay married and staged the Aurora shootings. You know when Newt Gingrich says your plan is too extreme, it's too extreme."

(Somewhere far away, Newt Gingrich rolls over and mutters in his sleep: "I remember when I was the intellectual leader of the Republican party, the man of ideas...")

"I'm just trying to balance the federal budget," Wisconsin Ryan dissembles. "Without cutting defense spending or raising taxes on the rich, of course."

"Save the budget balancing bushwah for your Tea Party patsies," Prof. Obama coolly replies. "What do you think this is -- Wisconsin Ryan and the Kingdom of the Empty Skull? You're the one who created the budget deficit in the first place!"

Curses! Prof. Obama has discovered Wisconsin Ryan's one weakness -- facts! Prof. Obama's archaeological digging has uncovered that there was actually a budget surplus at the end of the Clinton administration. That this budget surplus was squandered by the Bush administration. And that one of the chief squanderers was Wisconsin Ryan himself! Wisconsin Ryan didn't care about balancing the budget until there was a Democrat back in the White House.

"Ancient history!" Wisconsin Ryan says dismissively. "Voters barely remember the previous election, let alone the Bush and Clinton administrations. Next thing you know, you'll be telling me women can get pregnant from being legitimately raped."

Prof. Obama gives Wisconsin Ryan a pitying look. "Suit yourself. But don't say I didn't warn you."

Laughing in triumph, Wisconsin Ryan snatches away the Golden-years Idol of Medicare and replaces it with his worthless bag of vouchers. At first the two eldercare systems seem to perfectly balance; then the scales shift, and the bag of vouchers falls into a bottomless black hole. There is an ominous rumbling in the distance.

"What is that?" Wisconsin Ryan says, starting to panic. "Oh my one true Christian God, what is that?"

"I tried to warn you," Prof. Obama says. "But now it's too late. You've meddled with forces that should be left to people who don't think Atlas Shrugged is an economics textbook. It's the Ancient Guardians of the Golden-years Idol of Medicare -- the Savage Senior Citizens!"

They come! They come on canes, on crutches, on walkers, on motorized wheelchairs, in orthopedic shoes, but they come! Wizened, desiccated, mummified corpses of human beings, but they come! And as they come, they chant their terrifying war cry: "AARP! AARP! AARP! AARP!"

"Mommy!" Wisconsin Ryan cries. Dropping the Idol, he turns tail and runs for his political life. He runs fast -- not marathon-in-under-three-hours fast, but fast. "Senior citizens! Why'd it have to be senior citizens? I hate senior citizens!"

Chuckling to himself, Prof. Obama bends down and retrieves the Golden-years Idol of Medicare. He carefully dusts it off and delicately puts it back in place, where it will remain undisturbed for untold future generations of recipients. "It seems there is nothing you can possess that I can't take from you, Wisconsin Ryan. See you in November -- in Wisconsin Ryan and the Lost Election."

 

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