Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poor Paul

Poor Paul Ryan, he can't get a break. First, after introducing a plan to effectively end Medicare, his constituents greeted him with boos and catcalls. Then fellow Republican and candidate for the party's presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich, scathingly attacks the plan as "social engineering".

So, what's a poor congressman to do? Keep on peddling the idea to a friendlier audience.

The architect of the GOP’s controversial Medicare overhaul delivered a forceful defense of the plan here Monday, saying it would empower seniors and accusing President Obama of having a “shared-scarcity mentality” that promotes “bureaucratically rationed health care.”

Facing a backlash from voters over his proposal to turn Medicare into a system that subsidizes health-care coverage for retirees on the private market, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) moved to recast the plan as the only one that would make the economy grow. ...

Ryan said the government cannot fix its fiscal problems without bringing down health-care costs over the long term. He argued that his Medicare plan, which the House approved in April, would do just that by providing “less help for the wealthy and more for the poor and the sick.”

That friendlier audience was, of course, a businessmen's group in Chicago. They liked the idea that ending Medicare would grow the economy for them. That way they wouldn't have to, you know, actually hire people to make real goods and sell them. It makes their lives easier, never mind that it doesn't do much for the rest of us or for the economy or for actually cutting health care costs.

A friendly audience, however, was a nice change for a man who clearly is contemplating a run for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Wisconsin Senator Kohl.

Lots of luck on that one, Paul.

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