[W]hy have so many in Washington, especially in the news media, been taken in by this flimflam? It’s not just inability to do the math, although that’s part of it. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense. And last but not least, there’s deference to power-- the G.O.P. is a resurgent political force, so one mustn’t point out that its intellectual heroes have no clothes.
But they don’t. The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
This morning's column is Flimflam Part II: Ryan's plan, he begins isn't noble; it's "a self-serving piece of junk. It doesn’t add up-- in fact, it would probably make the deficit bigger not smaller. And far from representing some kind of sacrifice of political interests in the service of the greater good, it’s a right-wing wish-list on steroids: sharp tax cuts for corporations and the rich, savage cuts in aid to the poor, and a gratuitous privatization of Medicare. And again, it’s technically incompetent along the way. ... Ryan and his colleagues expected to float through on a cloud of pundit love, which would allow them to bypass the public’s fundamental dislike of everything they were proposing."
This is very much how Ryan's Democratic challenger, Kenosha County Supervisor Rob Zerban, sees it and it's basically what he was saying after the spectacular series of lies that made up Ryan's Meet the Press appearance on Sunday. "Paul Ryan tried to promote his radical budget plan on Meet the Press yesterday by falsely claiming that the alternative would lead to rationed care when the truth is the exact opposite. By forcing seniors into private healthcare with a voucher of diminishing value as their only assistance, many would forgo treatments and new technologies because the costs would be out of their reach. Paul Ryan knows that by gutting our current Medicare plan, seniors will face drastically higher out-of-pocket costs. This helps big insurance companies, not Wisconsin's seniors. What the taxpayers of southeastern Wisconsin need is a plan that would shore up our existing Medicare system without gutting it and forcing our seniors to figure it out on their own." Maybe Zerban was being too polite to mention that Big Insurance has showered far more cash on Ryan ($713,003) than on any other Wisconsin politician in history.
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