When Romney Picked Ryan
A compilation of reads on the Romney-Ryan pick.
So, first and foremost, what the selection of Ryan tells us about Romney is that he’s not passive. He’s not Dewey without the mustache. Ryan is hardly a cautious choice of a running mate. He’s the boldest. Now Romney must actively promote and defend the Ryan plan. As of today, it’s the Romney plan.
As we’ve documented extensively at The Apothecary, the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan—so named because it was coauthored by progressive Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.)—only applies to Americans younger than 55 years of age, and gives those younger individuals the option of remaining in the traditional Medicare program, or choosing a comparable private-sector insurance plan.
The policy-wonk term for this approach is “competitive bidding,” an idea that originated with Democrats. The Wyden-Ryan plan is nearly identical to one that was introduced a few weeks earlier by Mitt Romney.
The bottom line: if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has “ended as we know it,” what you’ve really ended is the English language as we know it.
No, Ryan is not in favor of reshaping Medicare "for retirees"--he wants to reshape it for Americans who are 55 years old and younger. It shouldn't be too difficult to mention the very basic fact about which Americans would actually be affected by the Romney Ryan plan. But the word "Medicare" appears five times in the New York Times report, and not once does the report explain that Ryan's reform takes effect for new retirees starting in 2023.
Most of the public does not yet know who Paul Ryan is or what his Medicare plan would do. The success of the Romney-Ryan campaign will depend in part on its ability to combat distortions and lies about the Romney-Ryan Medicare reform.
The good news for the campaign is that Ryan is the best advocate of his own plan and the best attack dog to go after the Democrats' plans to cut and ration Medicare.
First, Ryanism reminds the American people that a long-term trend is not the same thing as a law of nature. That the welfare state always has grown does not mean it always must grow. Indeed, a well-designed and well-administered welfare state can, in a welcome sense, grow and shrink at the same time. Second, Ryanism challenges the Democrats to finally come clean, 80 years after launching the New Deal, about the cost and consequences of their ambitions