Monday, August 20, 2012

Florida seniors deserved the truth from Paul Ryan but didn't get it

Let me make this perfectly clear. It doesn't matter if they are Republicans or Democrats. If we don't insist they at least tell us the truth, we all lose so it doesn't matter which party "wins" the election. If we don't insist they live up to what most of us actually do want, the media won't do it either. We end up hearing a lot of nonsense and wonder how things got so bad for us. Be an informed voter! Know what candidates are really up to so you can tell the difference between what they say to us and what they actually do after we elect them.

The truth is Obama's budget and Ryan's make cuts to Medicare. Obama cuts costs, not services. The difference comes from what they plan on doing with the savings. Ryan gives the money to companies and Obama gives it to the recipients. Ryan's budget will cost seniors out of their own pockets. In other words, Ryan's speech was short on truth and more like a dog distracting the hens so the wolf would sneak attack.

One more thing Ryan didn't talk about was his budget also calls for $11 billion cuts to the VA and kicks off 1.3 Million Vets.

In Florida, a conversation with Paul Ryan
By Alex Sanz
WPTV NewsChannel 5
Posted August 19, 2012

THE VILLAGES — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. warned Florida seniors about the perils of Medicare during a campaign appearance here on Saturday, telling an overflow crowd of mostly retired seniors that President Barack Obama had raided the entitlement program to help pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"We want to earn your support. We want to earn victory. So that when we win we have the mandates — the moral authority — to stop kicking the can down the road and get this country back on track," he said.

Ryan, who was joined at the campaign appearance by his mother, Betty Douglas, a part-time Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident and Medicare recipient, drew clear distinctions between how he and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would reform Medicare.

"The first thing we have to remember is President Obama raided $716 billion from the Medicare program to help pay for the Obamacare program," he said during a one-on-one interview with FLDemocracy.

Danny Kanner, a spokesperson for Obama for America, defended the president's position on Medicare after the campaign appearance, and said Ryan and Romney had lied to seniors about their plan for reform because its details were "politically suicidal."

"Seniors would face higher Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs and would be forced to pay out of pocket for preventive care," Kanner said. "(Ryan) didn't say that if he had his way, Medicare would be bankrupt in just four years, or that he would give $150 billion taxpayer dollars back to private insurance companies, which raises costs for everyone. He didn't say that they'd turn Medicare into a voucher system, ending the Medicare guarantee and raising costs by $6,400 a year for seniors. And he certainly didn't say that they'd do it all to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
read more here

This is from Bloomberg Business Week back in April, long before Romney decided that Ryan should be able to do what he wanted. After all, Romney fully supported Ryan's budget.

The Audacity of Paul Ryan
By Drew Armstrong and Heidi Przybyla
on April 06, 2011

Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, on Apr. 5 did something politicians seldom do: He stuck to principle. The fiscal conservative and Republican rising star stunned Washington with a 10-year budget blueprint that would shrink government, privatize the Medicare health program for seniors, turn Medicaid into a block grant to the states, and lower to 25 percent the top rate on corporate and individual taxes.

The plan would cut federal spending by $6 trillion over the next decade and slash the deficit to 2 percent of the economy by 2022, down from this year's 9 percent, without raising taxes. Among its weaknesses: overly optimistic assumptions, including that unemployment will be a mere 2.8 percent by 2021. By slashing money for food stamps, education, transportation, and scores of other programs, it's also politically untenable to Democrats. And despite the deep cuts, the House Republican plan would not balance the budget until 2040, largely because of offsetting tax cuts. Still, the scope of Ryan's proposal made Washington's nonstop bickering—and the threat of a government shutdown on Apr. 9 unless a deal is reached over funding levels for the next six months—seem small-bore by comparison.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Ryan's call to convert Medicare, the $500 billion-a-year entitlement program and the biggest reason for mushrooming federal deficits, to a voucher-like system beginning in 2022. A week before Ryan presented his ideas, outside experts involved in the discussions said it was unclear whether the proposal would even cover Medicare. Along with Social Security, Medicare is a crucial part of the social safety net, one that politicians historically have been loath to tamper with, including President Barack Obama in his 2012 budget.

Democrats could hardly contain their glee, believing they'd been handed their talking points for next year's Presidential election. Politically, at least, party leaders see Ryan's proposal as a replay of former President George W. Bush's abortive 2005 plan to create Social Security private accounts, which they used to rally seniors and regain control of Congress in 2006. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) calls Ryan's budget a "thinly veiled attempt to dismantle Medicare" that pulls "the rug out from under seniors."

Republican ambivalence was evident. The party's House leaders, while endorsing Ryan's spending plan generally, largely omitted any references to the Medicare overhaul. The plan is a calculated risk for the GOP. While the proposal could alienate senior citizens in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Florida, and Iowa, reining in spending may help win over independent voters who gave Obama the edge in 2008. Opinion polls show that independents, who represent 29 percent of the electorate compared with 16 percent for senior citizens, now consider the deficit the most pressing issue facing the nation after jobs. Ryan's budget "is not going to have the repercussions everybody thinks it will," says former Representative Tom Davis (R-Va.), who led the House Republicans' election efforts from 1998 to 2002. "A lot of it is going to be messaging," he says, and "the election is ultimately going to be about swing voters."

Republican leaders may be betting that by embracing the broader anti-spending message of Ryan's plan without dwelling on the details, they can show voters a road map to growth that depends in part on paring the debt and controlling runaway entitlements. "This is not simply a deficit-hawk dynamic," says Republican pollster David Winston, who advises House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). "This is going back to Reagan and how you create jobs."

Ryan, 41, would essentially privatize Medicare by giving those over 65, beginning in the year 2022, about $8,000 to spend on private insurance that would replace the government program. Seniors would shop for subsidized coverage in an "exchange" where the government would approve insurance companies' offerings, says Conor Sweeney, a spokesman for Ryan. The plans would compete for seniors' business, and the subsidies would be based in part on income levels. The plan would also gradually raise the eligibility age to 67 by 2033.
read more here
In other words, companies win and seniors lose. Top all of that off with cuts to the VA and seniors I talk to are screaming because no politician is telling them what is really going on.

Congress has not come up with one plan for putting people back to work but then they turn around and point fingers at everyone else. They want their jobs back, well so do we but while they let us suffer all they could talk about was the deficit. They tell us we shouldn't pass on the debt to our kids but never once mention our kids are suffering right now!

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