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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in At TMV | 16 comments

Paul Ryan’s Budget Scheme has Republicans Begging for Mercy

WASHINGTON – This is the single most hilarious stunt I’ve read about in quite a while. TPM has the letter that a group of Republicans sent to Pres. Obama crying “uncle!” They’re tired of getting hammered on Ryan’s Medicare ending disaster and want Obama to call off the Democratic attack dogs.

On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.

“We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs,” the letter reads.

Can’t wait to read the letter Republicans send after they read this scathing review on the GOP’s ridiculous no-tax-increase stance, which comes from one of their own, given anonymously, of course.

It’s ironic that Republicans would have been better off if they’d listened to Donald Trump, who was telling the truth again about Paul Ryan’s disastrous budget scheme on Wednesday, citing NY-26.

“A very popular Republican woman is running for the office. She was expected to win easily,” Trump said in the Granite State. “She’s having a hard time defending that whole situation with Medicare.”

He’s once again trying to sound like a member of the sane and he used a moment in New Hampshire, that’s right, New Hampshire to once again join the rest of us down on planet earth. (That was after this interview with Rolling Stone.)

Back when Mr. Trump was flying high as birther front man, mid April, he was the only outspoken Republican who didn’t mince words about the Ryan’s Medicare ending ideas. He said it in an interview with Sean Hannity.

“…I do worry… I have a lot of respect for Paul Ryan. I do worry that he’s a little bit far out in front… And I will tell you, me, I’m protecting, I don’t care what plan the Republicans put–I’m protecting the seniors. ..” – Donald Trump, with Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel

Trump went on to say that Democrats are doing their best to demagogue the issue and “are doing a number on that plan unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

It’s making the difference right now in NY-23, where there’s a three-way race between Democrat Kathy Hochul; a Republican, Jane Corwin; and an independent, Jack Davis, who as of last night suddenly pulled out of the debates.

If there weren’t three people competing, I’d say we might have the makings like what kicked off on NY-23 and the Tea Party rise from there, only this time leaning towards Democrats because of the Paul Ryan disaster. But that’s not what’s happening in NY-26 for Democrats, as Nate Silver writes. Three-way races are a nightmare for everyone and never certain or proof of a pattern.

But if Hochul wins it will prove one thing. Paul Ryan’s budget scheme was indeed a gift to Democrats, but also that Donald Trump was correct as the first Republican to say it out loud when every other Republican and many Democrats were busy talking about Ryan’s “courage.”

To make matters worse for Ryan, in a CNN poll out on Tuesday, Democrats took the lead in a generic ballot for the House, 50 to 46%. They’re still lagging with Independents, but by only 4 points, with constituencies coming home to Democrats again.

Thanks, Paul.

Taylor Marsh is a Washington based political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her blog.

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  • Dr. J

    So the claim seems to be that after the Republicans’ behavior they don’t deserve cooperation on crafting a more palatable Medicare reform?

    That may be true, but what do the people deserve?

  • ShannonLeee

    They deserve cooperation and a good spanking. No reason to let up on Republicans trying to kill grandma. Are Republicans incapable of both negotiating reform and taking a deserved beating? Poor kids, someone give them a crying towel.

  • No, Dr.J., Republican’s who crafted a budget to end Medicare most certainly do NOT deserve any quarter.

    As for the people, they’re lucky Democrats are there to stop the wackos from gutting an essential program that keeps seniors from the streets.

    ShannonLeee says:
    May 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I could not have said it better.

  • JSpencer

    Lots of amusing stuff coming from the R’s these days. They deserve to be taken seriously though – just as mad dogs deserve to be taken seriously. In defense of mad dogs though, thier condition isn’t usually self inflicted.

  • The Republicans’ plan is to leave Medicare recipients on the hook for cost increases, until they lose their assets and go to Medicaid.

    The Democrats’ plan is to keep borrowing or taxing for the cost increases, until either the taxpayers or the bond markets rebel, making Medicare go through even more major changes.

    And someone thinks that there’s a moral high ground here?

  • Dr. J

    As for the people, they’re lucky Democrats are there to stop the wackos from gutting an essential program that keeps seniors from the streets.

    Meaning the people deserve no more than the status quo?

    Ad hominems about the letter’s authors are great fun, but how about addressing its substance: by 2025 every tax dollar will go to entitlements and interest on the debt?

  • The “status quo,” as you call it DJ, is certainly better than Paul Ryan’s Heritage Foundation approved scheme. “Ad hominems” were well earned by this crew, who had no problem whatsoever doing the same thing to Dems in the run up to the 2010 midterms.

    As I’ve written in other columns, though not cross-posted at TMV, I believe there should be a surtax on the super wealthy, as well as higher tax rates for those making over $1 million. I also feel strongly about ending big farm & oil subsidies, as well as smartly cutting Pentagon spending, while immediately withdrawing from Iraq. That we shouldn’t have spent one dime in Libya is another bone of contention, but I won’t get into a foreign policy rant now.

    ProfElwood, I certainly never said either Dems or the GOP had the “moral high ground” on this one.

    But I did think thanking Rep. Paul Ryan for his political poison pill was appropriate.

  • Dr. J

    I support most of your list, Taylor, I just doubt it’s enough fix Medicare. We certainly can’t deal with costs going up 5% per year by raising taxes 5% per year.

    I thought Ryan’s Medicare budget was too stingy and his defense budget too generous. But I was thrilled he actually touched the third rail and made what Mr. Obama called a serious proposal. It is in no one’s interest, except maybe die-hard partisans, to have problems too big for politicians to talk about. Pillorying Ryan for it isn’t doing the public a service.

  • slamfu

    Dear Mr. President,

    I know we have been unrelenting douches to you since you took office, blocking everything you have tried to do without even reading it first, undermining your qualifications, your values, your religious standing, even your citizenship, but we’d really appreciated it if you could forget all that and do us a favor. You see, one of the nutballs we got some idiot voters to elect has shoved his foot so far into his mouth its actually causing the whole party to take a beating. All because we came up with a bunch of fiscal policies after reading “Atlas Shrugged” for the tenth time and it turns out the world doesn’t really work that way and now we’re in a pickle. If you could see your way to calling off the political attack dogs we think that would be just swell. Anyways, thanks, and once again, sorry about all the lies, insinuations, and general assbaggery of the last few years. XOXO


    Some scared republicans

  • Taylor Marsh:”But I did think thanking Rep. Paul Ryan for his political poison pill was appropriate.”
    But by giving the Democrats a pass for an even worse plan, y’all are encouraging them to do nothing, which is an even worse plan.

  • That’s your opinion ProfE, but I would say nothing is worse than Paul Ryan’s scheme, with a whole lot of Americans in agreement. Giving vouchers to seniors, really? Non-starter, always was.

    Nice, slamfu.

  • Jim Satterfield


    Do you really think the Republicans would work with the Democrats on a plan that would preserve Medicare and Medicaid? I don’t think they would. The ideology of the hyper-conservative wing than now rules the party really does want to wipe out those programs among others. I think the Paul proposals were just a step along that path. If you could get something through that would soon make it look so bad that an argument could be made that it’s worthless maybe their dream could come true. Or so they must think.

    But I don’t see anyone making proposals or even working on ideas that would actually reduce the costs of these systems. They would have to be radical ones but no one seems to have the guts to do it.

  • @Jim Satterfield
    Hyper-partisan? Yes, and a bit ironic considering that you applied it only to Republicans. I’d call it an act of hyper-partisanship to ignore an oncoming disaster.

    Radical (as in extreme)? Well, I guess that depends on what you call extreme. I would say that setting up a system that lets industries tell congress what to pay them is pretty extreme. I would call a program that has no spending limits extreme.
    Getting rid of laws that prevent competition would probably be called every name in the book, but that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the concept.

  • Dr. J

    Jim, if you define limiting benefits or harnessing private market efficiencies as wiping the programs out, of course you’re not going to see any proposals that preserve them while reducing costs.

    The tragedy is that doing nothing is itself going to limit benefits, probably quite substantially. It just doesn’t do so explicitly, but more implicitly, through reduced benefits, availability, and quality. I can see how implicit limits are much better for politicians, but surely seniors would be better off with explicit ones they have some say over.

  • DLS

    The most hilarious or pathetic thing currently is for lefties (such as on this site) to ignore the latest worse news about the unsustainable federal entitlement (and welfare) programs, Social Security and Medicare. That’s despite having an even-more-sanitized, or dumbed-down and bad-news-removed, version of this year’s Trustees’ Summary Report.

    The only serious question is how these programs will be reformed in order to be rescued. That has always been the case. Only those with behavioral inadequacies or worse insist that the question is whether the programs should be or need be reformed.

  • DLS

    Professor Elwood wrote:

    The Republicans’ plan is to leave Medicare recipients on the hook for cost increases, until they lose their assets and go to Medicaid.

    The Democrats’ plan is to keep borrowing or taxing for the cost increases, until either the taxpayers or the bond markets rebel, making Medicare go through even more major changes.

    GOP: That’s what I’ve been trying to teach to those who want means testing for Social Security and Medicare — it’s the “Medicaid trap.” It’s not just (though yes, that, too) playing “devil’s advocate” about leftist support for universality of these.

    Dem: It’s not limited to entitlements; it involves everything. I’ve tried to teach the lessons of New York City 1975 as well as Greece.

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