Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rebutting the left wing spin on Ryan's Speech

Jonathan Cohn's TNR hit piece on Ryan was mostly devoid of factual value. Here's why.

1) Wrong. The plant was still open until April 2009. Obama said that he would help it stay that way. He didn't.

2) Some truth. True that Romney-Ryan counts the cuts, but the cuts are effectively irrelevant to Romney-Ryan because their plan is to completely overhaul the medicare system anyway. A plan so horrendous, it was co-authored by a a liberal democratic Senator. Indeed, unlike the President, Ryan has always said that he is willing to negotiate on this issue as part of a grand compromise. 

I find these quotes absurd -  

"By the way, Obamacare's cut to Medicare was a reduction in what the plan pays hospitals and insurance companies. And the hospitals said they could live with those cuts, because Obamacare was simultaneously giving more people health insurance, alleviating the financial burden of charity care.
What Obamacare did not do is take away benefits. On the contrary, it added benefits, by offering free preventative care and new prescription drug coverage. By repealing Obamacare, Romney and Ryan would take away those benefits—and, by the way, add to Medicare's financial troubles because the program would be back to paying hospitals and insurers the higher rates."
Let's see what doctors decide to do when the opportunity cost of treating Medicare patients becomes even more excessive. And where is Obama going to find the money for his new 'added benefits'? As with his Medicare proposals (and his budget - see end of 5), he is going to imagine it into existence.
3) Republicans must share some blame for this. I have argued the same. But... In the end, it was Obama who failed to engage in genuine negotiations with House Speaker Boehner about how to resolve the debt crisis. Boehner was willing to stand up to the huge power of the tea party in pursuit of a deal. In contrast, Obama went back on his word so as to please left-wing Democrats in Congress.

4) Somewhat fair. But those lines are on an escalating track through the next ten years. In addition, they assume that Obama wants to cancel all the Bush era tax cuts (which he doesn't). And... it hilariously asserts that Obama has no responsibility for the continuing economic troubles. And... it claims that Obama has no responsibility for Iraq/Afghanistan even though he has direct control over both theaters. 

5) This is an ideological issue. Republicans believe that the Federal Government should have less role in social service program provision. IE - If New Yorkers want to pay more taxes for more programs, then that is their prerogative. If Mississippians want to pay less taxes for less programs, again, that is their prerogative. Block granting allows states to find cost savings at the local level, rather than having the blind hand of the Federal Govt. throwing money into a dark, bottomless abyss.  Just look at the cost growth of the Federal disability support program as an example of this issue. The poorest Americans are the ones who have the most to lose if we continue on the debt course. Such a situation risks Medicare's very existence.  The real issue here is addressing the health care cost growth which is absorbing low/middle income real wages (neither Obama nor Congressional Republicans are yet offering substantive plans to address health care inflation) (though I believe Ryan will want to press this concern onto a Romney Presidential agenda). Cohn seems to think (like many Democrats including the President) that we have an ample supply of money. We have no money. We have to make tough choices rather than tough attack ads. Oh and on tax reform, Ryan's plan (endorsed by Romney) would eliminate loopholes so as to prevent the rich from being able to reduce their tax bills through heavy avoidance. Obama would simply reinforce the thousands and thousands of pages of our tax code mess. Obama's approach to America's fiscal situation is a dream. And a nightmare for America. 

1 comment:

  1. I have copied this post from my facebook page. I couldn't get rid of the blue background.