Friday, April 29, 2011

Ryan Budget Plan Misleading

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post and Kevin Drum of Mother Jones agree that the Ryan budget plan passed by the Republican majority House is misleading in important ways.


It’s odd to say this, but I would really, really, really like for there to be, as Ross Douthat suggests, equivalence between the two parties on fiscal issues right now. Professionally, it’s much better for me to be able to say that the Democrats are falling short on entitlements while the Republicans have lost the thread on taxes. It makes me look more reasonable, more moderate, more middle-of-the-road...But it’s just not true. And it’s not true in important ways.

Democrats have already made substantial cuts and reforms to entitlements, while Republicans are still knifing anyone who suggests we may need more revenues. But it’s not the only difference. (The Ryan plan) simply lowered the growth rates for its Medicare vouchers and Medicaid grants to inflation — a move that even conservatives have given up defending as anything but pure fantasy. Josh Barro in particular deserves credit for being willing to say the plan’s health-care savings — which are where almost all of its savings come from — are unrealistic. (T)he fact is that the Ryan budget is misleading in ways the Roadmap simply wasn’t, and that the Affordable Care Act simply wasn’t, but it’s the plan that the Republican Party has yoked its fortunes to.


There's a lot of annoying mendacity in Paul Ryan's budget proposal, but the most annoying by far is his repeated insistence that under his plan seniors would get "the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy." Aside from the fact that he's offered no details about how or why private insurers would magically decide to provide the same kind of benefits to the elderly that they do to members of Congress, he's just flatly lying about the most important part of his proposal: namely that it will force seniors to pay far, far more for Medicare than they do now — and far, far more than members of Congress pay for their health insurance.

--Ballard Burgher

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