Ever since Saturday's announcement that Paul Ryan was Mitt Romney's VP choice, team Obama has been in full throat scare mode. The problem is, this time around, the truth is getting out...in a number of outlets. Oh sure, you still have the kool-aid besotted talking heads like Soledad O'Brien, Piers Morgan and Chris Matthews but when you have the real big names like Wolf Blitzer taking Democrats to task, you know the meme has lost it's punch. And with good reason.....
Paul Ryan is committed to radically changing Medicare into a voucher program, and Democrats are hoping that they can turn this fact into an issue that destroys Romney's chances in Florida, a state filled with entitlement-happy seniors that is a must win for the Republicans.
But if Florida seniors were thinking rationally and self-interestedly, this Democratic attack would flop.
Paul Ryan is proposing no changes to Medicare for another 10 years, so anyone currently 55 or older wouldn't be affected at all.
And if you assume that the law won't get passed for a couple years, you can safely assume this issue is 100% irrelevant to anyone 53 or older.
The distinguishing characteristic of Florida is old people, but if the law doesn't even affect anyone who is older than their early 50s, it really shouldn't be a problem in Florida at all.
...Ryan's budget plan is far from radical.
His proposed spending and revenue levels are above historic averages. His Medicare reform has strong bipartisan support. His tax reform plan is similar to one proposed by Obama's own bipartisan debt reduction commission.
Ryan's budget, which passed the House last March, would set the federal government on course to spend an average of 20% of GDP over the next decade. That's slightly higher than the post-World War II average of 19.8%.
His tax plan would produce revenues averaging 18.3% of GDP. That, too, is somewhat higher than the 17.7% post-war average. What's more, Ryan's plan would set tax and spending rates higher than every Democratic president before Obama.
James Pethokoukis from the American Enterprise Institute highlights a summary that comes in under 100 words.
In his most excellent post on the Paul Ryan vice presidential pick, AEI’s Andrew Biggs highlights some key facts about Ryan’s approach to saving Medicare. These are clip and save:
1. No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.
2. Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. “Premium support”—that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals—is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will.
3. Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals. Is this “gutting Medicare” and “ending Medicare as we know it”? In reality, it’s the market giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.
The truth is getting past the scaremongering. That is one reason why rhetoric coming from Team Obama has become so very strident this week. Oh sure, James Carville and Debbie Wasserman Shutlz SAY that they are happy with Romney's choice, but the truth is a little bit closer to the Onion's satire than the Democrats care to admit.